Tested : Pete’s Orbea Rallon M-Ltd Review.

Sitting at the top of the pile, the Orbea Rallon M-Ltd has a price tag that might make you wince but the ride certainly won’t.

Pete weighs in with his thoughts on Orbea’s bike aimed at getting Martin Maes on the top step of the EDR World Cup podium.

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

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.

From the get-go, the Orbea Rallon M-Ltd was as fast as the asking price should justify. Not the speediest up the climbs but this is no racing snake, it’s essentially one step down from a full on downhill sled with the angles to make going back up for another lap acceptable.

That said, once you’re used to the bike, it does cover the ground well considering the DH casing tyres I specced, and some lighter rubber might well help in that respect. It has consistenly cleaned the Randy climb despite the fairly hard easiest gear courtesy of the 32t ring on the XX cranks. The grip off the top of the travel is something that the Orbea does very well indeed, and climbing grip as a result is unlike anything I have ridden before.

Even on bikes of similar travel, nothing gets close to how supple the opening portion of the Rallon’s rear wheel travel. This combined with the Fox X2 air shock means I can fine tune the shock to suit and after a couple of setup runs, it was singing my tune. Since then all I have had to do is adapt to just how fast this bike is.

For such a big bike, it does the low speed, tight and twisty far better than I expected, the ability to run the rebound fast adding to the lively nature of the bike, but when you’re charging and the hits start to get bigger and more frequent, it’s composed, swallowing up the hits and throwing you out faster than you went it.

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It’s very nice to see a SRAM brake fitted with the thicker HS2 rotors attached as they’re every bit the brake that a bike of this ilk requires and they’ve done sterling work allowing me to brake later, something the bike is very keen on too.

The swap to some 750mm OneUp carbon bars dealt with the bar width issue. The OC bars that came stock were a touch wide and the OneUps are just wonderfully comfy bars to hold onto all day. Control as a result has increased but the Rallon still doesn’t feel that keen on back wheel. Again, the Steep n Deep seat tube allows me, at five foot four, to run a 175mm dropper slammed, and the saddle is no impediment to descending.

Reliability has been spot on. The only minor grumble being a sticky Transfer dropper. Given that this bike has relit the flame of riding every day following a particularly wet winter, I will give it a pass on this. A bit of love and I am sure it’ll be back to normal.

As a result, I have been able to concentrate on going on the hunt for the limit. Despite the fact that I am going faster downhill on the Rallon than I have on anything else, likely ever, it doesn’t feel like I am getting close to the limit. The only other bike that delivered a similar feeling was the latest Nukeproof Megawatt, but I never got to ride that on home turf.

Whilst it’s hard to justify anyone spending £11,000+ on a bike, if you can, it’s likely the fastest bike you’ll ever ride. If you want Rallon performance without the eye-watering asking price, the base model Rallon M10 will get you 90% of the way there but at half the cost.

The Rallon has joined the exclusive club of bikes I would pay my own money for. It really has lit the fire under me that’s got me out of the house on the daily despite the near constant quantity of liquid falling from the sky and the inevitable aftermath of hosing everything down that follows.

What do we think?

Orbea’s Rallon is the real deal. It is the new benchmark for descending speed and composure against which everything else will be judged.

We love:

  • Fastest thing on land down a hill
  • Supremely confidence-inspiring
  • Chassis is super composed

Could do better:

  • £11,000+ is an awful lot of money
  • A DoubleDown equivalent tyre option would be the business

Read Pete’s First Look Review on the Orbea Rallon M-Ltd on our Bike Reviews page here.

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


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