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Item # ORB0079
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Orbea Orca Silver/Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike - 2013 $0.00
Orbea's silver lining.
In true Orbea fashion, the new Orca SLT Complete Bike was developed with the angular tube shapes and signature planar profile that encompasses all of its top-end carbon road bikes. Its pronounced lines are unmistakable, creating a striking quality that leaves a lasting impression. As part of the Silver collection of bicycles, the SLT shares this same overall shape with the more expensive Orca Gold. However, this frame makes use of a materials mix that provides impressive results out on the road, without producing a lasting effect on your wallet.
While the Orca model has been around for a good number of years, its recent redesign considerably improved the bicycle's ride quality. Where the older design used more traditional ovalized tube shapes, this iteration ventures into sharper-looking, more angular territory. However, the tube shaping isn't all about good looks. Orbea uses what it calls its Size Specific Nerve (SSN) technology in order to produce frames that deliver the same comfort and ride characteristics across the entire size range. In other words, each frame size has specific carbon layups and tube dimensions. So, you receive the same road-tuned feel regardless of what size of frame you select.
Supplementing this, the angular tube shapes and relatively pronounced edges are the result of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), which creates resistance to flex in critical areas like the bottom bracket, seat tube, and head tube junction. That said, Orbea used some rather pronounced shaping in the seatstays and fork legs of the Orca Silver and Gold models in order to absorb road vibration. Orbea calls this Attraction, and you won't find it on the Orca Bronze. 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. A while this design improves comfort over rough road surfaces, it has no effect on the stiffness of the rear triangle or on power transfer. And for the truly savvy, you've probably noticed that Orbea has essentially modernized the long lost designs of Hetchins.
The Orca SLT frame and fork molded using a monocoque construction method. Essentially, this creates a homogenous structure with fibers running continuously along the length of the tubes and through the intersections. This increases the total strength of the bike, particularly at the tube junctions. The Orca SLT is made with Orbea's Silver grade carbon fiber, which is a high-modulus carbon. The difference between this model and the Orca Gold is easily quantifiable in numerical terms -- for another thousand dollars you're able save around 130 grams and get an admittedly exquisite clear coated carbon weave finish. Out on the road, though, you'd be hard pressed to discern the difference.
Similar to its more expensive sibling, the Orca Silver was uses a BB30 bottom bracket and a tapered head and steerer tube. At the bottom bracket, you receive a stiffer and lighter junction compared to standard external bearing design, which is the same for the tapered, 1.5-inch lower headset bearing. The increased inside diameter of the bearing allows the carbon fiber steerer tube to be oversized as well, which increases the torsional rigidity of the front end.
The last difference between the Orca Silver and Gold frames is the seatpost that comes with each model. Where the Gold is supplied with an Orca Monolink style post, the SLT uses an Orca-specific carbon post with an easy-to-adjust two bolt clamp. Both models use a sculpted aluminum clamp that relies on an internal wedge to secure the post from sliding up or down.
For the build of the Orca SLT, Orbea spec'd the bike with Shimano's Ultegra 6700 10-speeed drivetrain, complete with its BB30 50/34t compact crankset. The cockpit received 3T's Ergonova handlebar and its ARX stem, with the proprietary Orbea Orca post supporting Selle Italia's SLR XP Flow saddle. In the wheel department, Orbea wrapped the reliable Mavic Aksium wheels with Mavic Aksium clincher tires.
The Orbea Orca SLT Complete Bike is available in six sizes from 48 to 60cm and in the color Anthracite/red. Please note that all Orbea bicycle frames come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.