New Orbea Orca first ride review: a lightweight renaissance for the brand's most iconic bike

Does the desire to offer a versatile and practical bike overshadow its climbing aspirations?

The Orbea Orca ridden on a tarmac road with the mountains in the distance
(Image credit: Orbea)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The launch of the Orbea Orca was a great opportunity for me to give both framesets a first ride shakedown. My initial thoughts are that the OMX frameset platform of the performance focused Orca M10iLTD PWR wasn't for me. While it sits at a similar price point to its peers, it just doesn't have any standout characteristics that give it the wow factor. It does have practical designs elements, but they don't really mesh well with the lightweight narrative. The Ocra M20iTEAM however, is the star of the show. It manages to balance claiming agility while instilling confidence in its pilot to urge the bike on. It's remarkable how just a different carbon layup and fatter tires can instantly make you feel more stable, proving that comfort can also be fast.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Two framesets to choose between

  • +

    'Open' compatibility for consumer choice and versatility

  • +

    Lightweight for price points

  • +

    OMR offers comfort and confident inspiring ride

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the lightest bike on the market

  • -

    OMX sacrifices comfort for stiffness and speed

  • -

    Cheaper and lighter option than OMX

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

It's been a good long minute since the phrase 'lightweight' and 'bike' have been paired together, but clearly 2023 is the year that it returns to the stage. 

Over the past decade or so the best road bikes have mostly had 'aero' as a prefix, and understandably so as we strove to emulate our favorite sprinters who bought panache to the sport that was trying to distance itself from previous 'personalities'. 

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