2013 Orbea Ordu
Written by: Greg Kopecky
Added: Mon Aug 27 2012
This pretty little number:
What is that message? After spending a morning with the bike and several folks from Orbea, I boil it down to this: a wider and smarter fit range, better parts specification, and clearly improved aerodynamics over the old version. What about downsides? The only tangible thing I could identify really came as no surprise – an increase in mechanical complexity. However, that is certainly not unique to Orbea, and they do not appear to be throwing any extra wrenches in the works than you’d expect in a modern high-end triathlon bike.
The best thing that Orbea has done to improve this bike – even beyond aerodynamics – is fit. While they retain a total of four frame sizes, the number of people that will fit this bike increased significantly. Here is a look at the stack and reach comparison of the 2012 and 2013 bikes:
The smallest size frame is the real beauty. While it did get slightly longer, it also got much shorter due to a change from 700c to 650c wheels. Bike fitters can rejoice, and wives who want to borrow their husband’s race wheels can lament it (or – use this as an excuse to buy your own race wheels). However you look at it, the undeniable part is that - in terms of fit and low-speed-cornering safety - the move to a 650c wheel is a huge step forward for Orbea.
The other big change in fit is the front end of the bike. It has an integrated fork system. As a previous owner of a 2010 Felt DA, this looked eerily reminiscent.
Each frame or complete bike includes four stems: 75, 90, 100, and 110mm. Keep in mind, however, that the sizing is indeed done a little differently than my old Felt (and perhaps differently than other frames with highly integrated stems and forks). The now-standard measurements of stack and reach are static. They are what they are. The folks from Orbea were very clear that they understood stack and reach, and that they understood where the key ending coordinate lies – at the center and top of the headset. This was good news. The thing I wanted to know was – where does the stem length start and end?
This photo of my old bike illustrates the confusion. The red dot is your ending coordinate for stack and reach. Orbea agrees with this and measures to the exact same point on their frame.
After talking this through with the Orbea staff, I was reassured to learn that they understand the problem and do take it in to account. The stem length on these Orbea bikes is the blue plus the green – it all adds up to affect your resulting reach to the handlebars.
The stem adjusts on a single pivot to go up:
Orbea also addressed a much needed area of fit, simply by steepening the seat tube angle. The old bike was designed as a UCI-and-Tri bike, at 76 degrees. The new bike comes stock with a single seatpost which can adjust between 76 and 80 degrees of effective seat tube angle. Bravo, Orbea!
The seatpost is also unique in that it accepts two different saddle standards: the typical dual rail saddle, and Selle Italia’s new Monolink system.
The round hole accepts a mount for standard rails, and the channel in the middle is for Monolink style saddles.
This is what everyone wants to know about, right? How much faster is this thing? Orbea tells me that their primary testing site for the new frame was the A2 wind tunnel in North Carolina.
As for the aerodynamic performance of the frame, this is one area where we’ll just have to take their word for it – at least for now. Orbea quoted me with the following numbers:
“The new Ordu can save you up to 30 watts over the older bike at 10 degrees of yaw. Over the course of a 40km time trial, ridden at 25mph, this increase in efficiency could result in a roughly two minute time savings! With the same data, we calculate that the new Ordu could potentially shave roughly nine minutes from a 112 mile triathlon bike leg. Of course, efficiency may vary depending rider position and conditions.”
While I can’t verify their numbers personally, I will say that at first glance, the frame appears to have many design cues similar to other frames that show fast testing numbers.
This Orbea is one of the first bikes to get Shimano’s brand new Ultegra Di2 TT.
Orbea does bikes in a similar way to, say, Trek. There is one frame and many different parts specifications. This is in contast to, say, Cervelo, who offer several levels of frame, each with fewer options in parts. I don’t think one is necessarily a better way to do it, but it is worth mentioning.
The big change for Orbea in parts spec can be seen either as a bright shining star, or a sore thumb. I’m guessing, however, that the vast majority of consumers and bike shops will see it as the former. What is it? ISM saddles come on these bikes from the factory.
The Mechanical Side of Things
As I previously eluded to, this new frame does have some increased mechanical complexity over its predecessor. For starters, the stem and steerer system is more complex than a standard stem. The preload still gets adjusted via a top cap, albeit somewhat hidden:
Cables end up running over the top of the whole assembly:
Next up is the bottom bracket. Orbea has chosen to go with PressFit BB86.
The last key point to address in terms of mechanical function is the brake system. The front fork uses a standard caliper brake. However, the rear uses a Tektro mini-V style brake. This is a photo with the cover removed:
Miscellaneous Bits and Pieces
There is a single frame offered for both mechanical and electronic shifting. Note the front derailleur area. The small hole on the left is for a derailleur cable, and the larger hold on the right is for electronic:
Here is a view of the rear of the bike:
In speaking with the Orbea staff, there seemed to be about an even 50/50 split on opinion of the subject of a single bottle mount. But – it was also made known that the frame is not 100% absolutely final, so this could change. If you want to see two frame bottle mounts, now is the time to vote and let your dealer know how you feel.
Overall, I think Orbea has made some good strides in the right direction with this bike. I look forward to spending more time with one for some real test riding, but hopefully this quick look satisfies your desires in the meantime. If this bike is up your alley in terms of fit, I think it deserves a place on the list among other modern “super bikes”.
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