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Orbea’s revamped Terra burst onto the scene late last year, bringing with it a fresh outlook on who to design a gravel bike for.
With gravel spanning UCI sanctioned races all the way to long-distance roaming spanning weeks and months, trying to accommodate both those extremes in one bike just isn’t going to happen.
But although Orbea is very much trying not to be a jack of all trades (and master of none) with its Terra range, it’s still designed to cover the needs of three quite different kinds of rider.
The Terra is designed to be “the ideal choice for the 'pure' graveler in pursuit of long rides and with a preference for speed, comfort and efficiency across all surfaces.” While also being versatile enough for “the explorer that enjoys getting lost on new trails and fire roads.” Finally, Orbea claims “the adventurer will appreciate Terra for its ability to handle long, light bikepacking-style adventures.”
Now, although the aluminium Terra and the carbon Terra are both of the same family and are designed with the same vision in mind, there are some subtle differences that pull the models in different directions. Let’s take a look at those now.
What’s difference between the carbon and alloy Terras?
First, is the mounting points. Whereas both models come with bosses for mudguards and three water bottles, the aluminium Terra includes mounts for a rear pannier rack – opening up the bike’s applications for longer adventures and even doubling for commuting duties.
Second is the geometry. While the carbon Terra has chainstays of 420mm – incredibly short and snappy for a gravel bike – the aluminium Terra’s chainstays are 430mm. This is still shorter than the 435mm of most gravel bikes, which should help to keep the sprightly and quick cornering feeling the Terras are aiming for, but that’s likely to be somewhat mitigated.
Finally, the Lockr integrated storage system of the carbon Terra hasn’t made a showing here – presumably because of the limitations working with metal rather than carbon. And the aluminium Terra doesn’t appear on the UCI’s list of approved bikes – unlike the carbon model.
This is the much longer list. First, pretty much the whole rest of the geometry is identical. In a size 54cm, the head and seat tube angles are each 71 and 73.5 degrees, respectively. The stack and reach remain the same at 570mm and 389mm, again, respectively. And the BB drop remains at a low 78mm across the models too.
Tyre clearance and chainring clearance likewise are identical, with up to 45mm x 700c accommodated and 50mm x 650b (a 2.1 inch tyre is 54mm, for reference). You can spec essentially any 1x ring you like, but the largest inner ring that can be accommodated is 34t, so no double setups larger than a compact.
The OMR monocoque fork keeps its presence at the front, while the sizing still ranges from XS up to XXL.
The range starts at $2,499 / £1,999 for the Terra H40 with Shimano’s Tiagra equivalent 400 series GRX, featuring a 2x10 groupset. The wheels are Orbea’s own spec with Shimano RS470 28H hubs, while the tyres are Vittoria Terreno Dry Gravel G2.0 TNT 700x38c.
Next up is the Terra H30 1x, which costs $2,699 / £2,199 and uses a full mix of GRX components for the shifters, brakes and rear derailleur (600 series, 400 series and 800 series, or 105, Tiagra and Ultegra equivalents, respectively). The chainring is 40t and the cassette 11–40t. The wheels and tyres remain the same.
Finally, there’s the Terra H30 at $2,799 / £2,299. This uses mostly GRX 800 series and is equipped with a 2x11 drivetrain. The wheels and tyres remain the same again.
You can visit Orbea’s website here for more information and to view the full range.
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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia.
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