First Look Review : Pete’s Orbea Rallon M-Ltd.

Orbea launched their updated Rallon back in October, featuring more travel, updated kinematic, flip chip and updated carbon layup.

Pete casts his opening thoughts on the top of the range Orbea Rallon, designed for some serious trails, and with some spec tweaks to suit personal preference.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox 38 Float Factory 170mm fork
  • Fox Float X2 Factory shock
  • SRAM XX AXS T-type 12-speed drive
  • SRAM Code Stealth Ultimate brakes
  • OQUO Mountain Control MC32TEAM wheels
  • Fox Transfer Factory dropper
  • From £11,399.00 RRP
  • Orbea.com

The latest edition of Orbea’s big mountain enduro machine gains a 62.5mm stroke shock as well as a main pivot that is further forward, increasing the rearward axle path of the opening portion of the travel. Travel grows to 176mm at the rear. Anti-squat and anti-rise stay are broadly similar to the outgoing model, with a progression curve between 22 and 33%.

All pivots operate on fully sealed bearings, the carbon lay up has been fine tuned to allow for better tracking, internal routing is sleeved with rubber entry points and the frame has co-moulded protection in key areas to keep the bike quiet.

Lockr downtube storage keeps the essentials tucked away and you, as always, have the FLP multitool and the axle-mounted 6mm. The eccentric flip chip introduced on the Occam also carries over to the new Rallon.

Head angle is adjustable between 64 and 63.5 degrees, with the seat tube adjustable similarly between 75.5 and 77 degrees. Those seat tubes are uninterrupted and shorter to take up to a 200mm dropper. The bike can be run as a Mullet with the supplied Mullet link.

Five models are available, all in carbon fibre frame options. The range starts with the Rallon M20 at £5,399.00 and tops out with the Rallon M-Ltd at £11,399.00.

Geometry

The Orbea Rallon is available in S, M, L and XL sizes.

Reach on the M is 460mm with a seat tube of 415mm. Head angle is adjustable between 64 and 63.5 degrees, with the seat tube adjustable similarly between 75.5 and 77 degrees. Chainstays are 440mm on the 29er and 438mm on the Mullet. Wheelbase on the M 29″ is 1231mm.

Before we get into setup, which will have all the adjustments being a top of the line machine, it’s worth noting that I made some changes to the stock spec of this Rallon M-Ltd to suit my preferences. Forks, drivetrain and finishing kit go unchanged.

SDG Tellis V2 Dropper Leaderboard

Choosing the Fox X2 Factory over the DHX2 Factory saved £100, and having had X2 units suit my low weight previously, this was a no-brainer. For Fox coil springs, like the one I ran on the Occam, I was at the bottom end of the spring rates available. The air unit bypasses that problem.

I also opted to go for the alloy OQUO MC32 Team wheels which save £700 off the asking price of the bike. The main reason for going carbon on rims is stiffness, and at a mighty 60kg soaking wet, stiffness isn’t something I’m often on the hunt for more of. Quite the opposite in some cases.

Finally, I opted for downhill casing tyres on the Rallon. Maxxis Assegai out front and a Minion DHR II out back. I would probably go for an EXO+ casing on the front and a DoubleDown on the rear but this option isn’t available on the custom builder. Either way, they’ll give me the grip and protection this bike will no doubt demand. Upgrading the tyres to DH casing versions cost £35.

So with a few minor changes for personal preference, I managed to clip the best part of a thousand pounds off the asking price of this top tier Rallon. Needless to say, I don’t think the performance will suffer, and if anything, it might suit my personal preference that little bit better.

With the Fox Factory dampers fitted, I could run riot with the high and low speed circuits on setup, essentially running them just the closed side of fully open, sag at 30% front and rear, levers fairly flat and a fair old bit of wind out of the tyres.

In the hand, this doesn’t feel like a featherweight by any means and crossing the ground with downhill tyres on only adds to this feeling but that all changes once you’re on some chunkier terrain. Climbing grip is seemingly endless, with square edges no real impediment to forward momentum.

Fast, rough and steep is the bread and butter of the Rallon. My usual setup trail seemed to be far too pedestrian, and the longer, faster trail I usually end my day’s riding on seemed to be well within the bike’s limits. Only I had to readjust my riding to suit the massive amount of speed that I was approaching at.

The SRAM Code Stealth Ultimates with the thicker HS2 rotors as stock do a cracking job of hauling everything back into line when things get sporty, but the bike has a feeling of being able to be pointed at anything and it’ll come out the other side faster than you went in. It’s also nice on a bike this big, and with a 28″ inseam, to be able to run a 175mm dropper slammed. There’s no hint of the saddle coming anywhere near me on the descents.

At 800mm, the stock OC Mountain Control MC10 carbon bars, whilst not overly stiff for a 35mm carbon bar, are definitely too wide. At speed they do allow a massive amount of leverage and therefore dictating where the front wheel goes is pretty straightforward, getting the front wheel off the ground with my shoulders already maxxed out, not so much.

In any case, the Rallon has shown its ability to batter down pretty much anything at home with consummate ease, so I will have to take it up a large mountain to try and find where the limit is, seeing as this is what the Rallon is designed for.

You can check out the Orbea Rallon range over on our news page here.


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