First Look Review : Pete’s Orbea Occam LT M10.

Pete heads deep into the Pyrenees to see what Orbea’s Occam LT can offer the discerning mountain biker in terms of performance.

The longer travel option of two new Orbea Occams launched today, the Occam LT is designed for some serious business. Pete headed to the Pyrenees to see what it can do.

Photos by Jeremie Reuiller.

Key features:

  • Fox 36 Factory 160mm fork
  • Fox Float X Factory shock
  • Shimano XT 12-speed drive
  • Shimano XT 4-piston brakes
  • Oquo Mountain Control MC32TEAM wheels
  • OC Mountain Control MC21 dropper
  • £6,499.00 RRP
  • Orbea.com

Orbea have blurred the lines between the Occam and the Rallon with the Occam LT. This may signal a new Rallon lurking beyond the horizon but for now, here’s the new Orbea Occam LT. As ever, with a new bike, Orbea have left no stone unturned when it comes to launching their latest trail slayer.

The new Occam LT sports a 150 rear travel in 29″ with a 160mm fork out front. That 150mm travel is 4% more progressive than the outgoing Occam. Anti-squat and anti-rise are now very close to what the current Rallon offers too. A shock extender-mounted eccentric flip chip also allows for geometry adjustment with the rear axle-mounted 6mm allen key.

Head angle loses 1.5 degrees whilst the seat tube angle is up to 1 degree steeper too. Reach grows on all sizes too and is now in 25mm increments between the sizes. A 230mm dropper can now fit inside the size Small, the bigger post being a MyO customisation option.

Beyond that, there’s plenty of things aimed at keeping the bike running smooth too. Frame protection is extensive, as well as the clear wrap, you also get fully sealed stainless high quality bearings throughout, a silicone sealed headset, industrial seals within the pivots, and work has been done to smooth pivot action to help extend the life of the bearings.

The Occam LT range is five bikes strong. Three carbon fibre and two alloy models are on offer. The range starts with the Occam LT H30, coming in at £3,499.00 rising to the Occam LT M-Team at £8,599.00.

Geometry

The Occam LT is available in S, M, L and XL sizes.

With the lower shock mount flip chip, you get Low and High geometry. Reach for the M in Low is 455mm with a seat tube of 415mm. Head angle is 64 degrees with a seat tube angle of 77 degrees. Chainstays are 440 across the sizes with a wheelbase of 1227mm.

Opening moves

Setup for the Occam was slightly different thanks to the presence of the team from Fox and Orbea’s mechanics, neither of which were content to let me set my bike up myself. Sag was to the milimeter and everything else was just so. Tyre pressures within a decimal point too. Although the response to ’15psi please’ still met with incredulity from mechanics.

In hand, the Occam felt light, and car park maneuvers showed a real pop and fizz in response to any inputs, be it bodyweight, pedal power or bars yanked, the Occam felt ready to go. We’d take a long old shuttle up to a short hike-a-bike where a hefty old whack of descent awaited. Almost immediately the tyres needed less wind, funnily enough, what I’d asked for, but this experience is not unique.

Traction was limited in the loose terrain and riding blind, I was more focused on navigating the rain ruts than focusing on the bike. With suitable wind in the wheels, the bike started to make a lot of sense, and cracking on when the ground tipped downwards was a delight. The Occam seemed to urge me into taking the slightly riskier line choices but always rewarded me for doing so. The chassis felt stable going faster than I might have wanted to initially, and the bike felt well within its limits as I felt like I was getting closer to mine.

A few shuttle laps helped fine tune the setup, just the odd click of rebound on the fork, so nothing major. Getting back to back laps allowed me to attack a little bit more knowing what was coming next and focus on any setup changes to be made over lunch. While the fork stood up well in the steeps, it did feel a little firm, so out came the air volume spacers, and I’d opt to throw on the DHX coil on the recommendation of Diego from Fox.

Back to the laps, the bike had found an extra gear. I had no issues with the Float X air shock, the DHX coil was a step change. That opening portion of the travel was now glued to the deck, with a delightful ramp up to the mid stroke that just urged me to up the ante. I’d also take the opportunity to stick the Occam in the ‘Low’ position, which is hilariously easy. Pop the 6mm out of the rear axle, loosen the bolt, rock the eccentric chip, tighten the bolt. Simple.

Any firmness issues with the fork were solved by simply getting my weight forward. A few too many early mornings had me doing the classic leaning off the front and wondering why I was struggling. A strong coffee had me back in attack position.

Day two saw us start from our camp at 2400m, and do a high mountain pass that was flat out tech descent into some chunky undulating river-side trail for a good 1000 vertical metres. Where the climb would go, the Occam just reveled in it. Square edges on climbs are usually momentum killers but the light weight and amazing responsiveness of the shock just kept the wheels rolling. Even on the big hike-a-bikes, the bike was floaty light.

Other than the slightly too firm grips, the Occam was a real treat to rally down a proper mountain side. Nimble in the tight, stable in the fast and rough, and enough travel to deal with the chunk when it arrived.

Whilst the bike I rode was almost entirely stock, DHX shock were likely the two optional upgrades I’d go for if I was buying this bike. The downhill casing tyres might be a bit much for most of the use this bike would get, but in the high Pyrenees where rock is king and our pedalling time was low, they were welcome.

With the coil shock fitted, the Occam LT became one of the few bikes that had me doing silly things at silly speeds within an hour or two. This list is short but got one bike longer with the Occam LT. Hopefully I can get more time on this bike to see how it handles a bit of home turf.

You can check out the new Orbea Occam LT over on their website here.


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