Orbea Orca Race M30 Complete Bike $5,699.00
Waving the Basque region's cycling flag.
Every year, it seems, the peloton is filled with bright new colors, courtesy of new teams, new sponsors, or simply a new kit design or two or twelve. With that said, when a new season begins, it sometimes takes a televised tour or two before we can easily pick out our favorite teams, riders, and of course, the bikes they're soaring upon. One exception, we like to think, was Team Euskaltel-Euskadi and their vivid orange livery, riding aboard equally stunning Orbea Orcas. Sadly, after nearly two decades of success, the team disbanded in 2013 due to limited resources available to fund the Basque Country-based Spanish squad. However, we can thank the folks at the Spanish bicycle maker for paying homage to the team with this Orbea Orca Race M30 Complete Bike, painted to replicate the legendary team's aesthetic and built with parts that mere mortals can not only appreciate, but afford.
Starting with their revered Orca frameset, Orbea recently revamped its fit system to focus on stack and reach, instead of the oft-misleading effective top tube measurements. Upon close inspection, the team at Orbea found that many manufacturers’ sizing structures result in significant gaps between sizes, or worse, considerable overlap between frames of different sizes. By focusing on stack and reach, Orbea has eliminated both the gaps and overlaps in sizing that have plagued riders for so long, especially shorter riders and women. But don’t worry, the smaller frames have been flex-tuned for lighter riders. In other words, you’ll get a bike that fits correctly, not the way a marketing team or a misguided salesperson tells you it should.
Orbea went to great lengths to ensure that the Orca’s handling is consistent across sizes. Accordingly, the 47, 49, and 51cm frames employ a more relaxed head angle, with a 53mm rake fork, as opposed to the 43mm rake found on the larger sizes. This allows the smaller Orcas to have the same trail measurement as the larger sizes, and thus an identical cornering feel. Additionally, it ensures that toe-overlap isn’t a factor, so shorter riders need not fear interference from the front wheel.
The M30 is built with Orbea's OMP (Orbea Monocoque Performance) carbon fiber construction method, which bonds mirrored halves together into a lightweight, durable frame without the failure-prone junctions that can cause issues with tube-to-tube constructions. The Performance series frame comes from the same mold as the team issue Race series frames, but the blend employs more medium-modulus carbon fiber. While it requires slightly more material, medium modulus carbon fiber is more elastic, which results in a smoother ride. Additionally, the thicker layup makes the bike more resistant to crash-induced damage. Best of all, the weight penalty is a measly 100g — and the benefits make the Performance series a better choice for the vast majority of riders.
The Orca M30 is an ideal platform for its Ultegra Di2 11 electronic drivetrain, which provides the same zero-effort, unbelievably precise shifting as its Dura-Ace Di2 counterpart. It's true that Euskaltel's orange doesn't make friends with many other colors, but Ultegra's sleek grey finish finds its way onto everything from derailleur to brakes and looks great aboard the bike. Speaking of brakes, the 6800 series Ultegra calipers feature a dual pivot, which makes them immensely powerful. The cockpit comes courtesy of FSA, with a Gossamer stem and Wing Compact handlebar. The Selle Italia SL Flow saddle sits atop the integrated Orca seatpost, keeping the weight down and the ride responsive. It rolls on Mavic’s Ksyrium Equipe wheelset, wrapped in Mavic Yksion Comp tires. Think of it as an ideal training wheelset, because if you’re serious about racing, the M30 more than justifies investing in a top-tier wheelset for closed-course use.
The Orbea Orca M30 Complete Road Bike is available in seven sizes, from 47 to 60cm, and in the Euskaltel-Euskadi Team color.
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop