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2018 Orbea Rallon M10

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Need more info? View our Enduro / All-Mountain Mountain Bikes buyer's guide.

Review - 2018 Orbea Rallon from Vital MTB Test Sessions

Orbea comes out swinging with their updated Rallon. This bike surprised us with its great handling, stability, and agility. The lifetime warranty and custom paint are just icing on the cake.

Rating: Vital Review

During the 2018 Vital MTB Long-Travel 29er Test Sessions, the Orbea Rallon went head-to-head with four other leading bikes. What follows are our thoughts specific to the Rallon. Be sure to check out the main feature for an in-depth comparison video, timed testing results, and more.

Highlights

  • Orbea Monocoque Race carbon frame
  • 29-inch wheels
  • 150mm (5.9-inches) of rear wheel travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) fork travel
  • Advanced Dynamics suspension with concentric rear axle/pivot
  • Offset Metric 230x60mm shock
  • Shorter 44mm offset fork
  • Adjustable geometry
  • Internal cable routing
  • Threaded bottom bracket with ISCG05 mounts
  • 180mm rear brake post mount
  • Boost 148mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle
  • 1X-specific drivetrain
  • Customizable paint and components via MyO program
  • Measured weight (size large, no pedals): 31.4-pounds (14.3kg)
  • Lifetime frame warranty with two years paint and finish
  • MSRP: $4,999 USD base price, $6,890 as shown

Strengths

The Rallon's main strength is the fact that it stays composed through almost any terrain. Once we adjusted the bike to be in the lowest geometry setting, we felt more 'in' the bike and welcomed the stability through nearly every situation. It has a very quiet sense to, calming the terrain as it comes at you and allowing you to look that much further ahead. Like the Transition Sentinel, Orbea is now using a shorter-than-normal offset fork. In the 'Low' geometry setting things weren't clicking 100%, but dropping it into 'Lower' resulted in excellent connectivity to the terrain with the front wheel and allowed for a high level of trust in the bike.

The ability to completely customize the Rallon's build kit and paint job through the MyO program is really unique as well. Orbea even goes into the smallest details like having your name on the frame. You can pick your colors and parts easily, allowing you to tailor the bike to suit your preferences and riding style. Looking to keep the cost reasonable while maximizing performance where it really counts, we chose a mid-tier base build and upgraded to a higher-end FOX Factory 36 Float fork, FOX Factory DHX2 coil rear shock, SRAM Code RSC disc brakes, 25mm longer travel Race Face Turbine dropper post, and 5mm wider DT Swiss EX-1501 rims/wheels.

The bike's suspension was excellent on small to medium-sized hits, and provided a good amount of traction through rough terrain despite one of the narrower rear tires in our test. The frame design isn't super progressive, so we used a lot of travel on bigger hits when paired with the coil shock. Even so, the geometry and overall handling never gave us a reason to distrust the bike. Pumping the terrain with this setup resulted in plenty of speed.

Weaknesses

The Rallon took a bit more tuning than other bikes to make it feel perfect, and we can't help but think it would be better with an air shock and a more adjustable/progressive spring curve. Even with a firmer coil spring the bike would bottom out pretty easily in the rear, creating a slight imbalance. The positive of that imbalance was a more descent-oriented rearward weight bias, but nevertheless it was still an imbalance.

With a middle-of-the-road weight and a decent climb setting on the DHX2 shock, we thought the Rallon would climb a bit better than it did. It had a pretty firm response that wasn't bad, but also not exceptional like the way the Trek Slash has a very light feel or the Specialized Enduro 29 Coil has gobs of traction.

Be sure to take care while making the geometry adjustment, as the thin aluminum bits are prone to cross-threading.

Suggested upgrades for a few hundred dollars: We'd find a way to get a larger bottom-out bumper to give the shock some assistance deep in the stroke, as well a Maxxis Double Down rear tire.

Geometry

Suspension Analysis

Using the bike industry's leading linkage analysis software, André Santos was able to determine a close approximation of the Rallon's kinematics for the purpose of this review. Though they don't always tell the full story, these charts provide great insight into several key factors that impact how it rides.

André's Observations:

  • The Rallon has a slightly progressive linkage at 8%, therefore you might need to tweak the shock (either via extra spacers or compression) to achieve more bottom-out resistance.
  • This bike has relatively high anti-squat values compared to most bikes in this segment, with approximately 140% on middle cogs. This might provide a firmer suspension feel under hard pedaling.
  • The amount of chain growth and pedal kickback is relatively higher than most trail bikes due to the high anti-squat values across the travel.
  • Anti-rise values near 50% mean that there is a good balance between geometry preservation and traction under rear braking.
  • Overall, the Rallon has almost linear suspension with relatively high anti-squat values.

Vital's preferred suspension settings for a 175-pound rider on stock components: 450# spring // HSR - 3 clicks from closed // LSR - 10 clicks from closed // HSC - 9 clicks from full firm // LSC - 11 clicks from full firm

What's The Bottom Line?

The Orbea Rallon, while not necessarily winning in any category, surprised us with its excellent handling and earned more and more of our trust as time progressed. It is stable and very communicative as to what is going on at the wheels. While the fork outshined the rear shock, creating a slight sense of imbalance, we feel this could be easily remedied at the time of purchase by selecting an air shock which is exceptionally easy with Orbea's MyO bike builder. We feel the Orbea excels in fast terrain, small to medium hits, and anywhere you would appreciate the unique combination of agility and stability, making it a great all-rounder. The frame has very nice details, can be customized to suit your paint preferences, looks well constructed, and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Visit www.orbea.com and the 2018 Vital MTB Long-Travel 29er Test Sessions feature for more details.

Vital MTB Rating


About The Testers

Steve Wentz - Age: 33 // Years Riding: 21 // Height: 5'8" (1.73m) // Weight: 174-pounds (78.9kg)

"Despite what it looks like, I'm really precise and calculated, which I'm trying to get away from. I'm trying to drop my heels more and just let it go." Steve is able to set up a bike close to perfectly within minutes, ride at close to 100% on new trails and replicate what he did that first time over and over. He's been racing Pro DH for 15+ years including World Cups, routinely tests out prototype products, and can squish a bike harder than anyone else we know. Today he builds some of the best trails in the world.

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what's what.

Photos by Luca Cometti // Video by gordo with assistance from Suspended Productions

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22 comments newest first

Testers height and weight is listed but unfortunately nothing about which sized bike they rode...does it feel smaller with steep seat angle, thererfore size up...run big or standard 6ft ok on large as normal and per the orbea size sizing charts?

| Reply

We tested a size large with a short 40mm stem. No issues.

Orbea point man Jordan Hukee provided some insight as a 6' tall rider:

I am 6' tall with rangy arms and legs and have been going back and forth between the Large with a 50mm stem and XL with a 35mm stem. They both have their strong points and I am still not certain which one I prefer. I rode the biggest Rallon in the previous 27.5 version and I loved it, but the new XL with the longer wheelbase and big wheels feels a bit like I grabbed onto a missile and am simply along for the ride. It's awesome when the trails are scary, but I struggle a bit to find the balance point for flat turns and moderate terrain. I jokingly call it the Power of Attorney Bike - I trust it to make decisions in my best interest, but I don't necessarily have to be there.

The Large probably "fits me better" and is quite fun to ride everywhere else. It requires a bit more input in rough terrain but it's easier for me to change direction and hence, more fun. I don't have to pull up five minutes early to bunnyhop something. Honestly the only thing holding me back with the Large is my brain - I am used to seeing a big ass frame with a tiny stem and I equate that with "rad" now. I ride the Large Occam with a 50mm stem and never think twice about it. The Large Rallon is about 6mm longer.

| Reply

Hi bturman,
Thank you very much for your feedback. I'm actually in between L and XL with 6,1" and an larger inseam.
Orbea Size Chart recommends XL but I fear that this "Long Vehicle" won't be so nimble and playful on tight trails / turns.
What you're saying gives me a bit more confidence to go with the L even if everybody says "Reach does Matter" .
My riding style isn't that "Downhill Thrilla' from Manilla" and I like when the bike is more playful.

So next thing topic will be to find the right color with the "MyO" configurator ....

| Reply

Best 29er I demo'd. Sadly a couple nitpicks kept me from purchasing:

1) Chainstay sits right next to chain and is quite noisy. Maybe it could be silenced by wrapping and double wrapping it but maybe not?
2) The shock fill sits pretty far proud of the frame thanks to the asymmetric mount and can snag knee pads. Wish they could clock the shock fill position so this wasn't an issue.

How can you guys not mentions these common concerns with this bike?

| Reply

As an owner
1) Tape helps. I wrapped mine from new with road bike bar tape and black electrical tape and its silent.
2) I have pretty inwardly turned knees when I ride and don't feel like its an issue. I was worried I would be hitting my knees off the shock, but I've yet to experience any issues. Mind you, my pads don't have straps so that's maybe why I don't get any snagging either.

In regards to other people's comments on shock choice, mine has the coil but I can't say I have had bottom out issues and finesse isn't a word I would use to describe my riding style. I mean, it does bottom out at times but I have never really noticed it. I would love to try it with the float X2 mind you! Its certainly not a problem as it stands, and this is me coming from a Capra with a float X2, which would be very progressive in nature. (Whilst we are on the subject, the biggest difference I noticed when swapping bikes was the climbing ability. I find the rallon to out climb the capra by miles. The Slash must be insane uphill if the rallon was described as mediocre!)

| Reply

I had my remote cable slapping around inside, I ran a foam tube over it (as well as a bit of fuzzy velcro behind the chainring) it got really quiet, a few folks who jump on it have said the same.

I have heard at a demo that the air valve cap on the Float X2 was snagging a rider's pads, If you ride the coil (no valve) or if someone has the DPX2 (valve points straight down) then maybe that's what's going on. I've never hit on my DPX2

| Reply

Ahh yes, the R4! Here's a previous review for those interested in seeing how the Rallon has evolved: https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Bikes,3/Orbea/Rallon-X-LTD,13273#product-reviews/1704/expand

We drew a few comparisons in our launch piece for the R5, so I suggest giving it a read as well: https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Bikes,3/Orbea/Rallon-M-Team,18873#product-reviews/2781/expand

Bottom line, the bikes are similar. Suspension has a comparable progression rate. They've bumped up to 29-inch wheels, however, added a carbon frame, and dialed in dozens of small details that make the new one an even better ride.

| Reply

rad bike! these reviews are great as well. all these bikes you tested i’d put into the category of ‘superbike’ and the prices reflect that. it’d be cool to see how a $3000 alloy capra 29 stacks up to these in time and overall feel

| Reply

I don't understand the bottom line regarding the fork outshined the rear shock. I understood that the shock test was a DHX2 coil. Is the reco that an air shock would be better for this bike or that there are better coil shock options?
It was interesting to see from the testing that bikes with linear rear suspension were faster (i.e., Rallon and Spesh Enduro).

| Reply

Yes, we feel this one would be best off with an air shock. I updated the bottom line to eliminate any confusion.

Either that, or the coil with a bigger/custom bottom-out bumper to provide some more support near the end of the travel.

| Reply

Go-Ride in SLC is experimenting with increasing the pressure in the DHX2 reservoir (it can be doubled and stay within FOX spec limits) and initial reports are that it ramps up quite nicely. If this works well it might be a great/simple change.

| Reply

Go-Ride's solution is really interesting. I'm curious whether the open-cell bumpers will fatigue and deteriorate from use, humidity, or UV. Like is that something you'd have to replace fairly often?

| Reply

To the point of a bigger bottom out bumper, I have a rather linear sb5.5 fitted with an elevensix that has exactly that. I won't claim it's an equal substitute for a bit more progressive spring curve, but it's amazing how a seemingly low-tech solution goes a long way to changing the ride characteristics (though Darren from PUSH tells me it's actually not as low tech as it might appear). Do I max out the travel a bit more? Yeah I'm sure I do, but I can't feel it so I don't notice. Didn't Rockshox have a two-part tunable bump stop on the orivinal Vivid coil for the same purpose? I've always found the Fox bumpers in particular to be fairly firm, like they are there primarily to prevent damage more than anything else. Would love to see more coil shocks with larger, open-cell type bumpers that offer a bit more progressive cushion. Anyway, loving this new in depth video review format, might work great for a multiple air/coil rear shock comparision now that there are about a dozen options out there.

| Reply

so, this bike is better with a air shock? good thing to consider if someone is interested to buy it. How much is the difference? or the normal people wouldnt fell it.

| Reply

It would be down to personal preference. I have the dhx2 coil shock on mine, and though it does bottom out on bigger hits, its not a jarring feeling like some bikes, more composed in my opinion. An air shock would obviously have more tuneability, but for more gravity orientated riders, the coil gives you that monster trucking sensation when smashing through rough sections of trail.

| Reply

and how low is the BB in the lower position? I mean when you are riding, not in the paper... because the bike has a lot of wheelbase and 35mm of BB drop its feel like you are going to hit everything

| Reply

In two months of riding it i have yet to bash it against anything, few pedal strikes but nothing you wouldn't get on any other bike i dont think. Mind you, i was on the previous version of the Rallon, so may be more accustomed to being that low to the ground?

| Reply
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Specifications
Product 2018 Orbea Rallon M10
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry S, M, L View Geometry
Size S M L
Top Tube Length 583mm 611mm 644mm
Head Tube Angle 65.5° High, 65° Low 65.5° High, 65° Low 65.5° High, 65° Low
Head Tube Length 100mm 110mm 125mm
Seat Tube Angle 76° 76° 76°
Seat Tube Length 406mm 444mm 483mm
Bottom Bracket Height 343mm (High), 326mm (Low) 343mm (High), 326mm (Low) 343mm (High), 326mm (Low)
Chainstay Length 435mm 435mm 435mm
Wheelbase 1187mm 1217mm 1253mm
Standover 737mm 767mm 781mm
Reach 430mm 455mm 485mm
Stack 615mm 624mm 637mm
Wheel Size 29"
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details OMR Carbon
Rear Travel 150mm
Rear Shock FOX DPX2 Factory, 3-position adjust, Evol, Kashima, custom tuned, 230mm x 60mm
Fork FOX 36 Float Performance, 3-position adjust, 110x15mm QR, Kashima
Fork Travel 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
Headset FSA Integrated
Handlebar Race Face Aeffect, 35mm clamp, 20mm rise, 780mm width
Stem Race Face Aeffect R, 35mm interface
Grips
Brakes Shimano XT M8000 Hydraulic Disc, Ice-Technologies
Brake Levers Shimano XT M8000 Hydraulic
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle
ISCG Tabs ISCG05
Chainguide N/A
Cranks SRAM X1-1400 Boost
Chainrings SRAM X1-1400, 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette SRAM GX XG-1275 Eagle, 10-50 tooth, 12-speed
Rims DT Swiss E-1900 Spline 30mm TLR
Hubs DT Swiss E-1900 Spline, 110x15mm Boost front, 148x12mm Boost rear, IS (6-bolt) rotors
Spokes
Tires Maxxis Aggressor 29" x 2.3" TLR, 60 tpi, Exo
Saddle Selle Italia XR Trail
Seatpost Race Face Aeffect Dropper, 385mm length, 125mm travel
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 148x12mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes (single)
Colors Red-Black (gloss), Blue-Mint (matte), Purple-Light Blue (matte), customizable via Orbea's "MyO" feature
Warranty Lifetime frames, 2 years paint and finish
Weight 31 lb 7.4 oz (14,270 g)
Miscellaneous Advanced Dynamics suspension technology
Internal cable routing
Price $4,999
More Info

www.orbea.com

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