New Orbea Orca 2024: total renovation to celebrate lightness
The Orbea Orca 2024 has just been introduced with a new version of this iconic model. The seventh generation of the Orca arrives with a deep renovation based on achieving the lightest and most efficient climbing bike possible with the new standards of modern cycling. The Orca 2024 weighs 6.7 kg, comes in 11 models ranging from 3.399€ to €10,999, debuts Oquo wheels and here we bring you all its new features.
Key features of the Orbea Orca 2024
- Total renovation focused on lightness
- 6.7 kg without sacrificing stiffness
- Frame made of OMX (competition) and OMR (comfort) carbon, both are identical in shape
- Redesign of the frame with classic connection between stays and down tube
- Rounded shapes and structure with fewer carbon parts
- Maintains stiffness and identical driving sensations in every size
- New Oquo wheels
- Available in 11 models (6 OMX and 5 OMR) from 3.399€ to 10,999€.
- Immediate availability at orbea.com
New Orbea Orca 2024: lightness is once again the main protagonist
Road cycling is a sport full of myths, emblematic cyclists and, of course, bikes that mark eras. The Orbea Orca is one of those models. Its first version was the first carbon road bike manufactured by Orbea and after more than 20 years of evolution, the Orbea Orca 2024 is presented as a tribute to lightness.
In recent years we have seen in the market a tendency to introduce aerodynamic concepts in all bikes. This, together with the advent of discs and certain improvements in integration or aesthetics, has brought with it a generalized increase in weight. The 6.8 kg limit imposed by the UCI, which a few years ago seemed obsolete and was even used to weight competition bikes, now seems difficult to reach with the new standards.
Orbea wanted to return to making a bike where lightness is a priority and in the presentation of the new Orbea Orca 2024 they explained it to us in detail.
After extensive research and testing, they analyzed the advantages of aerodynamics versus weight in all kinds of situations.
“A super aero bike needs less watts at high speeds. But as the gradient increases, and speeds decrease, the effect of gravity takes over from air resistance and the lightweight bike gains an advantage. In order to prove this, we have done Low and High Speed Efficiency Tests. The Low Speed Efficiency tests measure the number of watts needed to maintain a given speed on a steep climb. This test removes aerodynamics from the equation. To perform well, bikes need to be light and transmit the power from the cranks to the wheels efficiently”, Joseba Arizaga, Orbea Road Product Manager says.
“The other side of the equation is the High Speed Efficiency test. Using the velodrome we measure the watts needed to maintain a high speed, where aerodynamics dominate. To perform well bikes need to minimize drag. Reducing weight by 500g on a gradient of 5% saves around 3W. If you increase the gradient to 10% the savings increase to around 6W. At higher speeds, aerodynamics take over. So at 30kmph, a super-aero bike saves around 12W, at 40 kmph that climbs to 15W and at 50 kmph that is around 28W. This is why increasing the weight of a light bike in exchange for aero features doesn't make any sense. On the climbs the lighter the bike, the better and at high speeds the more aero the better. The middle-weight bike with aero features doesn't win anywhere ”, explains Arizaga.
Orbea claims that "Increasing the weight of a light bike in exchange for aero features doesn't make any sense"
Orbea claims that the Orca is about 3W faster than an aero bike with an average rider on a 5% slope; and about 6W faster on a 10% slope. Adding partial aerodynamic features, and thus more weight, would jeopardize those advantages and reduce that special feeling of lightness, agility and responsiveness.
There is also another factor that Orbea is very aware of, and that is the emotional, or we could say the "placebo effect". A light bike gives the rider a feeling of agility and of being faster. It is that feeling of lightness in which the incline of the climbs seems less steep and we seem to go faster.
Total renovation with weight as the ultimate goal: the Orbea Orca 2024 remains at 6.7 kg.
Taking into account these studies, where it is clear that an aero bike is faster on the flat and a lightweight bike is faster and more efficient on climbs, Orbea does not see the point in sacrificing the lightness of a climbing bike by introducing aerodynamic features that add weight.
Orbea has completely redesigned the Orca. Lightening an already light frame is really difficult, while maintaining the necessary stiffness and response, so they have studied every detail in the most meticulous way.
The best balance between lightness and stiffness has been found by using rounded shapes, since the edges, in the construction of the frame, imply a greater accumulation of epoxy resin and thus greater weight.
They have also reduced the number of carbon fiber parts, making them larger, thus eliminating overlapping parts and again saving weight. This is not easy and requires more work in construction, but they have managed to use 90 fewer carbon fiber parts in the OMX frame.
The new Orca has been designed to be as light as possible, but with stiffness being of the highest importance in order not to lose efficiency. The frame has been designed to provide the strongest climbers with optimal power transmission to the rear wheel.
With this premise they have designed what they call the Power Spine, i.e. the part that includes the down tube, head tube, bottom bracket area and chainstays, where stiffness must be prioritized, since this is where the lateral and torsional loads are supported.
This Power Spine has been designed using rounded shapes that, as we have said, maintain the best stiffness-weight balance.
The seat tube is also round again, which also provides a certain level of absorption and comfort.
Only on the top tube do we see flattened shapes that, while improving lateral stiffness, give the bike a distinct identity of its own.
Another striking detail is the classic connection between the stays and the down tube, as opposed to the last generation, where they were anchored lower to improve aerodynamics. The reason for this is that the classic shape is the one that provides the best weight-stiffness balance.
Although we have already seen that the new Orbea Orca 2024 prioritizes weight above all, it does not renounce aerodynamic solutions that do not penalize too much on the scale. Thus we find a fork with a certain aero profile, and an internal cable routing system that adds few grams and improves both aerodynamically and aesthetically.
There are no major changes in geometry compared to its predecessor, only a slight shortening of the chainstays. The same racing geometry will remain in force, with short chainstays and reduced length between axles that gives the Orca a great balance between responsiveness and stability. Contrary to current trends, it offers a generous wheel arch that accepts tyres up to 32mm.
Another detail in which aerodynamics, weight and design go hand in hand is the seatpost clamping system. So minimalist that there is only one hole, under a rubber cover, from which to operate the mechanism. This is an example of how far they have tried to reduce the hardware of the frame, leaving it only 40 grams in weight.
Orbea takes into account the performance of the bike in each of the sizes and has designed each size so that the performance and stiffness is the same regardless of the size of the rider.
OMX and OMR carbon frames
The Orca 2024 range continues to be offered in two different constructions. On the one hand, the famous OMX frame, ultra-light and very stiff and reactive, oriented to competition, and the somewhat more comfortable OMR frame. The novelty is that in this seventh generation of Orca, they share the same shape 100%.
The Orbea Orca OMX frame in size 53 weighs 750 grams. The fork with the same construction weighs 360 grams.
For the OMR frame the weights are 1030 grams, also in size 53 and 410 grams for the fork.
Starting from these weights, in the new Orbea Orca 2024 range we have setups ranging from 6.7kg for the top of the range, to 7.8kg for the entry model.
The goal to reduce weight to the maximum leaves us with surprising figures of 25 g of paint and 15 g of lacquer to decorate the Orca 2024.
As for colors, the OMX frame is offered in two color combinations and the OMR frame in three, although this can be customized with the MyO program.
“Praise the Light”
The result on this new Orca is a bike that conveys a feeling of incredible lightness, with instant agility and responsiveness. Not only does it excel on the climbs, but the feeling of acceleration when pedaling is maximum in a 6.7kg bike with great stiffness.
It is the ideal bike for those who like to climb and want the best bike to conquer mountain passes. But it will also appeal to those who are looking for a feeling of agility and responsiveness that only such a light bike can offer.
Premieres Oquo wheels
As we recently announced, Oquo has launched its first range of road wheels. A wide range that covers all types of profiles in aluminum and carbon rims, and with a fairly wide price range.
Naturally, the new Orca 2024 range comes equipped with the brand new Oquo, giving you total control in terms of design.
Orbea Orca 2024 range: models and prices
- Orbea Orca 2024 M11e LTD PWR: OMX frame, Red AXS groupset with power meter, Oquo PR35 LTD wheels, 10,999€
- Orbea Orca M10i LTD PWR: OMX frame, Dura Ace Di2 groupset with power meter, Oquo RP35 LTD wheels, 10,999€
- Orbea Orca M21e LTD PWR: OMX frame, Force AXS groupset with power meter, Oquo RP35 LTD wheels, 7,999€
- Orbea Orca M20i LTD: OMX frame, Ultegra Di2 groupset, Oquo RP35 LTD wheels, 6,999€
- Orbea Orca M31e LTD PWR: OMX frame, Rival AXS groupset with power meter, Oquo RP35 LTD wheels, 6,599€
- Orbea Orca M30i LTD PWR: OMX frame, 105 Di2 groupset, 4iiii power meter, Oquo RP35 LTD wheels, 5,999€
- Orbea Orca M21e TEAM PWR: OMR frame, Force AXS groupset with power meter, Oquo RP35 TEAM wheels, 5,799€
- Orbea Orca M20i TEAM: OMR frame, Ultegra Di2 groupset, Oquo RP35 TEAM wheels, 5,799€
- Orbea Orca M31e TEAM: OMR frame, Rival AXS groupset, Oquo RP35 TEAM wheels, 4,399€
- Orbea Orca M35i: OMR frame, 105 Di2 groupset, Oquo RP35 TEAM wheels, 4,399€
- Orbea Orca M30i: OMR frame, 105 Di2 groupset, Oquo RP35 PRO wheels, 3,399€
The new Orbea Orca 2024 range is fully customizable through the Orbea MyO service, where each customer can choose a unique decoration of the frame, or change and select different components, as well as adapt the measurements to our personal preferences, changing stem, handlebars, seatpost setback, etc.
These options are on all models except the lower three.
The new Orbea Orca 2024 range is available for immediate delivery and we will see it in competition for the first time in the women's Tour starting July 23 and on July 29 at the San Sebastian classic.