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Orbea Ordu Gold $0.00
The classic adage tirelessly rings, 'good things come to those who wait.' Well, patience be damned, in the case of the new Orbea Ordu. After all, we waited, then waited some more, then resigned ourselves to the possibility that we'd be waiting forever. Countless spy shots and missed release dates later, it seemed that the Ordu was destined to be 'vaporware' -- another victim of over-ambition. But, much to the delight of triathletes worldwide, rest assured, the Ordu Gold is indeed here. Additionally, it's benefited greatly from the extra development time that Orbea wisely took. And while the Ordu Gold is radically different than its predecessor, Orbea wasn't quick to dismiss its impressive showcase of results and lessons learned through sponsorship of five-time World Champion Craig Alexander. It wasn't just Alexander's results though -- the Ordu was piloted to victory by numerous athletes at virtually every major international triathlon spanning the last decade. This means that Orbea would have some extremely large shoes to fill in replacing it.
At first glance, it's clear that the Ordu Gold is much more than a re-tooled Ordu of yesteryear. Clean slate in hand, Orbea took designer Ronan Bariou's most fanciful frame blueprints to the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina to ensure that the paper-to-carbon fiber translation was as fast as possible. Gone from the original Ordu is the signature pointed head tube and triangular seat tube juncture, both in the name of aerodynamic efficiency. Razor-tight wheel clearances and radical tube shapes on the Ordu Gold abound -- which, even without bold down tube branding, make the bike immediately recognizable as a member of the otherworldly Orbea livery. However, none of the tube shapes are as purpose-driven as the fully integrated fork, whose leg depths are four times their width. Translation? This 4:1 fork aspect ratio is not legal in UCI races. While something of a surprise, it conversely means that Orbea has its sights confidently squared upon triathletes whose races are not bound by the 3:1 regulatory standards. For the Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team and the rest of us racing in UCI-sanctioned TT events, however, Orbea will make a separate fork available that dutifully adheres to the UCI rule book. Race legalities aside, Orbea claims a full 30 watt savings at every yaw angle over the previous Ordu, which could net you nearly two minutes of time savings on a 40km course ridden at 25 miles per hour. Stretch that into an Ironman-length bike leg and you're looking at savings of over nine minutes. Ridden under best-case weather scenarios for sure, but the raw energy savings and pure speed delivery of the new Ordu simply cannot be denied.
So, while it's quite clear that Orbea was absolutely dedicated to making the Ordu Gold as fast as (il)legally possible, one even more critical factor remained -- one whose resolution would significantly favor the Ordu Gold over its predecessor. That factor, of course, is the bike's fit. Despite being ridden by an impressive roster of international triathlon talent, the original Ordu was designed around an outdated European-style TT fit which forced taller or shorter riders to re-develop their own positions in order to ride most comfortably and efficiently. A cursory comparison of both iterations of the Ordu reveals an upwardly sloping top tube on the Ordu Gold, and a new, fully-integrated fork and stem. Fit savants might be quick to note that an integration shortens the top tube lengths by nearly two full sizes, but worry not -- each Ordu Gold frame and complete will include four different stems: 75, 90, 100, and 110mm, each measured to offset the difference in top tube length. Not only does this ensure that you're able to naturally dial in your reach, but the stem interface is also designed to vertically pivot. This enables you to find a stack height that works best with your riding position and riding style.
Through the Ordu Gold's stem interchangeability, the bike is able to extend its sizing range to accommodate a significantly wider range of taller riders. However, Orbea has also made an impressive commitment to shorter athletes -- specifically those who ride road bikes smaller than 50cm. And while 700c wheels are typically the bane of smaller bikes, the X-Small Ordu Gold is designed for use with 650c wheels, vastly improving the bike's cornering and handling prowess at speed. 15 Ironman wins and an emphatic Ironman World Championship for the 5ft3in Mirinda Carfrae don't lie -- 650c is the answer for powerful riders of short stature.
In pursuit of either comfort or pure speed, few details on the Ordu Gold have been overlooked. One such design choice, with regards to the latter, is the rear brake. Rather than try to integrate the rear brake into the seatstays, Orbea deduced that the most aerodynamic position for this brake was beneath the bike, where the chainstays meet the bottom bracket. Here, you'll find the aerodynamic TRP TTV RC -- a post-mounted miniature linear-pull brake, similar to those found on certain cyclocross bikes, hidden beneath a fully-integrated aerodynamic shroud. Unlike many brake integrations found on TT bikes, what this brake configuration lacks in carefully calculated modulation it more than makes up for in sheer stopping power. Rest assured, you'll have little trouble slowing this Spanish-bred missile from mach 1 as you converge on your second transition area.
The Ordu Gold is carefully laid from the same cloth that Orbea uses on its award-winning Orca Gold -- that superlative ultra-high modulus carbon fiber. Compared to conventional carbon fiber weaves, this material is stiffer, with greater tensile strength and lower density as well. This allows Orbea engineers the design luxury to use less material in the layup while still managing to achieve the greatest stiffness-to-weight ratio possible. Orbea molds the Ordu Gold frame and fork as a monocoque. Each of these parts is a homogeneous structure without bonded joints where failures, either structural or cosmetic, are able to 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.
Another similarity shared between the road Orca ridden by Olympic gold medalist Sammy Sanchez and his Euskaltel Euskadi team, is the inclusion of an aerodynamic seatpost that allows the use of Selle Italia’s latest Monolink saddles with Orbea's Friction Free design. More importantly, though, if you prefer another brand, or simply a traditional two-railed saddle, you're able to use the supplied adapters, which setup in a snap, while still giving you a rock-solid perch. The seatpost clamp is a sculpted aluminum that relies on an internal wedge to secure the post from sliding up or down.
Orbea has chosen the PressFit BB86 standard for the bottom bracket on the Ordu Gold. This means that standard 24mm spindle cranks made by Shimano, SRAM, or FSA should work just fine. The frame is available in four sizes from X-Small to Large and in the colors Carbon/red and White/carbon.
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