Video: Eurobike faves – Orbea Orca 2011
Orbea's skinny super-model gets even skinnier for 2011
Here's another Eurobike fave, the new Orbea Orca. The Orca can probably lay claim to being the most influential road bike design of the 21st century. The elegant lines of the original 'New" Orca certainly influenced many very successful bikes from other big name bike - the Madone amongst them.
While they weren't the first to do it, Orbea were one of the first bike companies to really push the benefits of size specific carbon frames, with different wall thicksnesses, geometry and even tube profiles in different sizes to produce a bike that gave as close as it was possible to get to the same riding experience in every size. The Orca was also one of the first high end bikes to be available in different grades of carbon – Gold or Silver. So if you couldn't quite stretch to the ultra high modulus version you could still enjoy all the other benefits of the frame in plain old high modulus carbon instead.
The new version of the new new Orca retains all those features along with the emphasis on comfort and aerodynamics over weight as the vid points out though it's certainly no porker. It also retains the styling cues that made the old new (this is getting confusing) Orca stand out from the crowd in the first place.
This time out though Orbea's designers have really gone to town on the aero optimisation. How? by making the bike very skinny - the final and twist that the seat stay make before they reach the droput gives a good indication of just how slim the rest of the machine is, and check out the clearances between the chainstays and the seat tube - you're just going to have to get a wet butt with this bike. The pay off though, says Orbea ia a bike that's 14 per cent more aerodynamic than the one it replaces and that was a fairly slippery customer in the wind tunnel in it's day.
Available in various builds including Campagnolo Super Record and Shimano Di2 - yours for around £11,000 and with various options to personalise colours and kit courtesy of Orbea's in-house MyO.