By Paul Norman
The Orbea Orca Aero was launched last year. Orbea’s first aero road bike was also one of the first bikes with tube profiles that took advantage of the UCI’s scrapping of the 3:1 tube profile rule, with extra deep forks and chainstays saving watts.
Now Orbea has launched a disc brake Orca Aero. It carries forward the Freeflow fork design of the rim brake bike, with the fork’s wider stance saving a claimed 4 watts over a non-aero fork. Disc braked aero bikes are hot at the moment, with launches in the last few days including the Specialized Venge, Trek Madone SLR, Look 795 Blade RS, Ridley Noah Fast and the BMC Timemachine.
The frame also has kammtail tube profiles with flattened sides providing better aerodynamics at lower speeds. Orbea uses an oval seatpost rather than a teardrop or kammtail profile. It says that this works better aerodynamically in an area of high turbulence, caused by the movement of the rider’s legs.
As with the rim brake option, the Orbea Orca Aero Disc gets the option to fit one-piece aerobars as well as separate bars and stem. There are clever features like the option to drop the bottle cage to a lower position on the down tube if you’re only carrying one bottle, where it has reduced air resistance.
We really liked the rim brake version of the Orca Aero when we tested it recently. It feels fast, with excellent power transfer, but still comfortable for longer rides on UK roads.
Specs and prices
At the top of the Orca Aero Disc range is the M10i Team-D. Priced at £7199, it comes as standard with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. There is a Vision Metron 5D bar-stem combo. Orbea operates a build and paint to order service, MyO, so you can select your own groupset from same price and upgrade options including Dura-Ace and Rotor as well as Rotor’s 2INpower double sided power meter. Standard wheels are DT Swiss ARC1400 Dicut DB 48 Carbon, although again there are other options. And you can spec 25mm or 28mm tyres.
For £4499, the standard build next-down Orca Aero M10 Team-D gets Vision Metron 4D bars with a separate stem, Dura-Ace mechanical and DT Swiss ER 1600 Spline DB 32 wheelset.
Move down to the £3899 Orca Aero M20i Team-D and you get Ultegra Di2, while standard Ultegra mechanical drops the price to £3199 for the M20 Team-D. Finally, the M30 Team-D comes with Shimano 105 hydraulic for £2999.
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