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Orbea Orca Gold - 2012 $0.00
Orbea has been the longtime bike sponsor for the Euskaltel-Euskadi Pro Cycling Team, and the Orca Gold is the bike that Samuel Sanchez road to Olympic gold in Beijing. It represents the pinnacle of Orbea’s road racing line-up. It’s a no-holds-barred race machine and unapologetically exhibits strength and stiffness to match its ethereal lightness and aerodynamic efficiency. If going fast is your number one priority, then look no further down the Orca line.
The Orca has an angular, muscular appearance with flat planes and sometimes pronounced edges where other bikes use more rounded shapes. Its design is the result of FEA (finite element analysis) and Orbea’s intent to create resistance to flex in critical areas like the bottom bracket, seat tube, and head tube junction. Orbea uses what they term as SSN (size specific nerve) technology to produce frames that offer the same comfort and performance characteristics across the size range. More specifically, each frame size has specific carbon lay-ups and tube dimensions. This way, a 125lb five foot seven mountain climber doesn’t have to suffer the otherworldly stiffness that would be necessary on a bike built for a 180lb six foot four classics rider.
Though stiffness is a key priority, Orbea uses some particular shaping in the seat stays and fork legs of the Orca Gold to absorb road vibration. Take a close look at the abrupt bends above the full-carbon dropouts. Their shaping allows some shear movement between the long axes of the straight segments. While this improves comfort over coarse road surfaces, it has no effect on the efficiency of the rear triangle with regards to power transfer. Don’t forget, this is the bike that the pros ride.
The Orca Gold shares the same shaping and design with the lower priced Silver version, but the Orca Gold makes use of ultra-high modulus carbon fiber. The material is stiffer, with greater tensile strength and lower density as well. This allows the use of less material in the lay-up while achieving the highest performance and lowest weight possible. Orbea molds the Orca Gold frame and fork as a monocoque. Each of these is a homogenous structure without bonded joints where failures, either structural or cosmetic, can occur. With fibers running continuously along the length of the tubes and through the intersections, the total strength of the bike is increased along with the durability.
The Orca Gold uses a BB30 bottom bracket and a tapered head tube/steerer. Both of these details add performance by increasing stiffness where it counts. At the bottom bracket, you’ll enjoy a 30% stiffer and lighter aluminum spindle compared to standard external bearing cranksets. Another benefit is the increased heel and ankle clearance. Do you wear out the inside surfaces of your cycling shoes against the crankarms? If you answered yes, BB30 is for you. And if you already have a typical crankset, you can easily adapt it to fit the BB30 shell, no problem. The tapered head tube allows the use of a 1.5” lower bearing. The increased inside diameter of the bearing allows the carbon fiber steerer tube to be oversized as well. This increases the torsional and bending stiffness. This is a big part of what makes the Orca feel so stable through sweeping high speed corners. You’ll be impressed by the overall ride quality; it’s truly inspiring.
Another difference between the Orca Gold and silver framesets is the seatpost that comes with each model. This Gold version is supplied with an Orca Monolink style post that allows the use of Selle Italia’s latest saddles with their Friction Free design. It’s easy to set up and provides a rock solid perch for your saddle. If you prefer another brand or style of saddle, you can use the supplied adapters to fit typical dual-rail saddles. Both models use a sculpted aluminum clamp that relies on an internal wedge to secure the post from sliding up or down.
The Orbea Orca Gold has a luscious clear-coated carbon weave and is available in four color options – Blue, Orange, Silver, and White. It’s made in six tailored sizes from 48cm to 60cm. It comes with a matching Orca tapered monocoque full-carbon fork, integrated FSA headset, and carbon seatpost. It also includes a Gore cable set for ultra-smooth shifting. The frame is designed for super low profile cables, and the Gore lining keeps the cable from rubbing the clear coat off, so you'll want to continue to use lined cables. The Orca requires a braze-on front derailleur. All Orbea bicycle frames come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defect.
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