Enduro: 29’’ bikes have taken over
30 October 2017
3 October 2017
Published by Orbea
“An incredible machine”, “For top-level competition”, “Devilish maneuverability”, 4.5 out of a potential 5 stars or a plain “Killer” are some of the adjectives used by the magazines that enjoyed the Rallon presentation in Benasque. Here we review how they described their first experience with our new Enduro machine.
Ieuan Williams (Dirt Magazine) used one word to describe his feelings after testing the new Rallon: “¡ACOJONANTE!". “This bike looks set to really challenge for our enduro bike of the year”. The UK magazine defined the fifth generation of the Rallon as being “a weapon designed to go fast and eat up the terrain”.
Ieuan highlighted the design and component customization options offered by the Rallon through its MyO program: “We were over the moon with this bike”, states Ieuan, who adds: “There is a real feel of quality to the carbon in this bike with a great balance to the feeling of the chassis, not too stiff not too flexy, and certainly no harsh feelings over the high frequency bumps as you will find in some carbon built frames”.
“If you want a rig you can throw into the gnarliest terrain with total confidence, line up and be competitive at the highest level of enduro racing or occasionally mix it up and go for a big day pedalling in the hills, then this bike ticks all the boxes”.
That's Bikeradar's recommendation, one of the most prestigious UK media outlets, which also highlights how fast they realized how easy the new Rallon was to ride: “There was none of the awkwardness you might expect from going in cold aboard a long travel 29er.” Its Editor, Ed Thomsett, confessed that “When I dropped the linkage into the lower setting and bolted the Fox DHX2 coil onto the back, things just got even better. Not only was the level of grip phenomenal, but the coil shock's consistent bump eating capability while riding down 10 minute-plus descents was seriously impressive”.
Having tested the Rallon, Dean Hersey praised its performance, highlighting that we had managed to create a bike “that has a superbly optimised frame balancing flex and feedback with strength and rigidity”
Dean stated that on the Rallon he felt like a passenger on an express train: “The level of grip in even the most vertical dry dusty corners was astonishing. My mind being blown turn by turn, section by section by both the mountain and the machine. The descent back into Benasque lasted 20 minutes. I didn’t want it to end.
Lastly, Dean highlighted a characteristic “that he had not seen until now on any other MTB”: It stampedes through the terrain never making you feel the bike get uncontrollably out of shape conserving your energy. The carbon frame had a lovely feel to it, structured stiffness and a tuned rigidity that reduces fatigue”.
The prestigious Canadian site also highly rated the fifth gen Rallon: “Faster is better. But faster, safer and playful is way better!”, states Kike Abelleira, who adds: “You'll be amazed by how the bike gets the job done. On the trails, the Rallon feels stiff and agile. This bike asks for speed, and rides true to its racing-oriented spirit”.
The American media outlet ventures a score for the new Rallon: 4.5 stars out of 5. Fred Robinson was able to verify for himself that the “the aggressive nature of the Rallon really shined” on steeper terrain: “Even while left in the ‘Low’ position (the steeper/higher setting), the bike never held us back and not once did we feel it was overwhelmed”.
“With excellent handling in the steep, fast, and rowdy, all while being capable of making the journey to the top, the Rallon is absolutely one bike we wouldn’t hesitate to throw a leg over again”, indicates Vital MTB. Robinson also highlights the Rallon's “modern enduro geometry, and well-thought-out features and design”- and concludes that “we’re sure the shelf life of this bike will deliver years of hard charging and fun riding to come”.
Mountain Biking, the best-selling MTB magazine in the United Kingdom, also points out the good balance “between maneuverability and grip at high speeds”: “Even with the BB raised it was hard to fault the Rallon’s cornering ability, and we couldn’t believe the amount of traction over loose ground”. MBUK concludes that the Rallon is more than ready to be thrown “into the gnarliest terrain or race tracks imaginable” y “it’d come out on top”.
Olivier Béart is categorical in his assessment: “It's not just a good enduro bike, but quite simply a current segment leader”. The Vojomag journalist particularly appreciated the sensation of safety offered by a 29er such as the Rallon, particularly for Enduro enthusiasts with less riding experience: “Regardless of the conditions, its 29" wheels overcame obstacle after obstacle, tirelessly spinning to the rider's surprise, never having imagined they could be conquered”.
“Giddy” with the sensation of speed offered by our new Enduro creation, Vojomag also highlights its “hyper precise” steering and ease of riding: “For me, the Rallon is infinitely simpler than the Specialized Enduro 29, which gave me the impression that I needed to be at the very top of my game to get the most out of it”.
Enduromag reviewer, Valentin Rühl, congratulates us for the result we have achieved with the Rallon, indicating its a “a phenomenal enduro bike” and also highlighting that it “takes us right back to the spirit and roots of the best enduro bikes, but comes with the latest tech and some clever details”.
Having analyzed its geometry and testing it in the Valle de Benasque, Enduromag underlines the Rallon's downhill behavior: “Once the trail points downwards, the Rallon starts to fly. Man and machine seem to blend into each other and riding the Rallon is as fun as it gets”. Two days and 6,000 vertical meters of descent later, Valentín confesses he had not encountered a trail where he could bring the Orbea to its limits: “The Orbea seems to soak up everything you throw at it, delivering lashings of confidence. No trail is too steep, no rock too big, no drop too high. The position in corners is very balanced, the more you dare to weight the front wheel the more it bites”…
Solobici defines the Rallon as “an enduro thoroughbred”. Dani Pérez highlights that we are in the presence of a “beast” “that always responds well, is reactive and easy to operate”. Dani was surprised at how well the Rallon behaved on the ground: “It felt like a 27.5er, not a 29er, until we reached areas where the strengths of a 29er came to the fore, such as its stability and sure-footedness in tackling complicated passes during technical sections“.
Antoine Hoffman also highlights the handling of the Rallon, which in his opinion rides like a 27.5’’ bike: “Rallon allows you to jump, pull and turn as fast and as aggressively as the terrain and the pace dictate, which reminds him of another Enduro bike that he tested recently: the Norco Range. With one difference: “If the Norco adapted well to the terrain, the Orbea does so even better. Its suspension is incredibly active, reactive and sensitive... I never had the sensation of having pushed the tires, wheels or suspension to their limits”.
Tobias Brehler, the Editor of Bike Magazine, highlights that with Rallon we have created “A MTB-Enduro bike that delights thanks to its superior rear suspension and balanced handling”.
Neither could Florian Storch find the limits of the Rallon during the Benasque trails: “The Rallon's front wheel does not jump up during steep climbs, the only limit on performance being the cyclist's physique. This Enduro 29er has amazing “verve: it evokes the agility of a trail bike, with less suspension travel. It's phenomenal, because the versatility of the Rallon makes it a convincing competition focused Enduro bike, that can also be taken on adventure day trips on rugged terrain”.
As with other media, the German magazine underlines the electric behavior of the Rallon downhill: “This Spanish mechanical jewel really shines during the narrowest and steepest descents, and the agility of its back end provides accommodating handling for the most complicated curves. At the same time, and thanks above all to its geometry, one can extract the bike's full speed potential with daring riding and good down force on the front wheel”.
Whilst most highlight the adrenalin of the descent, the favorite update for Travis Engle was how the Rallon climbs: “When seated on flat terrain, the cockpit did feel short, but not in a way that affected my ability to cover ground. And the moment I would get out of my seat, the bike would immediately feel natural. Once I got all my dials dialed, the Rallon climbed like a mid-travel trail bike. The suspension is plenty active and never wallowed while pedaling”.
Compared to other Enduro models, Bikemag indicates that our Enduro model is not “the clandestine DH bike that the Wreckoning or, at times, even the Slash is, but it’s more playful and definitely more efficient than either of them”. In this range of bikes Travis compares the Rallon with models such as “the Yeti SB5.5, though the Rallon is noticeably more capable in the rough, steep stuff. I live for the rough, steep stuff, and the low, slack Rallon is perfect there”.