Updated: 29th May 2018
The Orbea Rallon is a long travel mountain bike that is built for speed on challenging enduro trails. Lightweight for such a capable machine, the Rallon bikes we review here are all built around a full carbon frame, with 29” wheels for rapid rolling on rough tracks.
The Rallon is available in three different specification levels each with the same monocoque carbon frame. You can also customize each model with bespoke paintwork and even choose different components on some bikes. We will look into this in more detail later.
The Rallon’s full carbon frame is made up from a monocoque front triangle, constructed using a one-piece mould, complemented by a carbon rear end. The asymmetric design features a one-sided strut that joins the top tube and seat tube at the point where the shock and linkage are attached. This ties the ends of the shock together to reduce stresses on the frame making it stiffer. The rear shock is offset slightly so there is great access to the adjustment dials and the stand over height is nice and low.
Long, low and slack, the Rallon features thoroughly up to date enduro geometry. A flip chip on the shock mount allows you to drop the bottom bracket height and slacken the head angle from 65.5 in low to 65 degrees in lower. The Rallon is still a competent climber thanks to the steep seat angle that puts you in just the right position for the ups. The seat tube height is low on all sizes too. This makes room for a longer travel dropper post, so you can easily get the saddle out of the way on those very steep descents. Each model is also available with custom paint work.
There is a real feeling of quality to the frame on this bike, with a great stiffness flex balance and no harsh feeling over the high frequency bumps as we often find with some carbon bikes. Dirt
The suspension ate up everything in its path, from small chatter to big dumb splat to flat landings and poorly estimated cases, yet still provided an efficient platform from which to mash up hills.
The Concentric Boost rear suspension design, which uses the rear axel as a pivot, offers a very supple feel and remains active while braking. A Fox Factory shock controls the 150mm of rear travel on every bike. The Rallon M10 gets a DPX2 while the M-Team gets the extra big hitting performance of a Float X2. At the top of the range the M-Ltd gets a coil sprung DHX2 shock for a more linear feel and improved consistency on long descents. Both the M-Team and M-Ltd are available with custom Fox shock options.
Up front each bike gets the hard-hitting performance of a Fox 36 fork offering 160mm of suspension travel. The 36 is without doubt one of the best enduro forks on the market, so is a perfect match for the Rallon. The M10 gets the Performance version while the other two bikes get a Factory fork with Kashima coated stanchions and advanced damping for pro level bump soaking capability.
The Orbea Rallon M-Team not only scores with its appearance, but also with its enormous versatility. It climbs terrifically and will put a grin on your face on every kind of downhill. Enduro MTB
It is great to see SRAM Eagle 12-speed drivetrains fitted to each model. Offering a massive 500% gear range with easy shifting, this is the ideal drivetrain for aggressive mountain bike riding. The M10 gets the basic GX Eagle drivetrain, while the other two bikes get high-end XO1 (M-Team) or XX1 (M-Ltd). The M-Team and M-Ltd both get SRAM brakes too, with Guide RSC brakes fitted as standard. These can be upgraded to the more powerful Code RSC’s using Orbea’s customization options. The M10 changes things up a little with Shimano XT brakes that offer refined stopping power.
All the Rallon bikes get quality Race Face finishing kit, with wide bars and short stems. The turbine dropper post is a highlight on the M-Team and M-Ltd offering up to a 175mm drop. You can customise the stem length on each bike. The top two models allow you to change out other components including the crankset, seatpost and saddle.
The new Orbea Rallon rolls exclusively on 29” wheels which offer pure race speed on the most challenging terrain. Each bike gets high quality DT Swiss wheels with 30mm rim widths. These offer great support for the tyres, especially when running lower pressures. The M10 gets E-1900s while the M-Team gets the improved performance of the E-1501s. At the top of the range the M-Ltd rolls on XMC-1200s with carbon rims for a very lightweight and stiff wheelset.
You get high-quality rubber on every bike. With a Maxxis Minion DHF up front, for maximum grip and a fast rolling aggressor on the rear. All the tyres are tubeless ready with EXO side wall protection for the very rockiest trails. The triple compound, 3C MaxxTerra, rubber on the front offers the perfect balance of low rolling resistance and superb cornering grip.
Straight out of the box this bike is a weapon! Built to go fast and eat up the terrain. Dirt
When the trail pointed down the Rallon just kept asking for more. Where most bikes would be on the edge, the Rallon kept its line and was urging you to keep off the brakes. The combination of the 29” wheels and 150mm travel make it feel akin to a downhill bike when the trail got rough, maintaining stability through challenging sections.
Cornering is a breeze with what seems to be unlimited grip. When things get tight though, it can take a bit of extra muscle get the bike to listen, but with a little acclimatisation, this wasn't a problem even of the steeper, tight tracks. Two geometry settings mean you can adjust the bike to suit the terrain you are riding. This is a quick, five minute job with the included tool so could even be done between runs. The standard settings seemed fine, but some might prefer slacker angles when things get really steep.
With near downhill bike performance, the Orbea Rallon takes care of your gravity-fuelled needs.
Climbing isn't the chore you would expect with such a gravity-focused, pedalling steadily up climbs.
With its descending capabilities and 150mm of travel, we expected the Rallon to be a slow climber that could sap your energy. While it is by no means an XC whippet, the slightly steeper seat tube angle allows for a comfortable position and power transfer is quick with minimal feedback, which makes for a steady and surefooted climber. The 12 speed SRAM Eagle drivetrain with an enormous 50T rear cog truly gave you the impression that anything was possible. Although not all the gears would be needed for every ride, at the end of a hard day, spinning in a light gear is much appreciated.
During technical climbs you could feel the bigger wheels ability to slightly smooth the way and give you more confidence and time to take the best lines. As with descending, the longer wheelbase made it a bit more challenging to get round the tighter switchbacks, but taking it slightly slower remedied this.
We took the bike for a spin around our local trails at Afan Forest, South Wales. A warm up at the skills park was followed by a session on the slightly larger set of jumps. Instantly the bike felt at home, not being shy to get airborne, unlike the general consensus of what 29ers are capable of.
It easily popped off the take offs and allowed for a good amount of pump on the landings, keeping speed for the next jumps. Surprisingly, it felt quite nimble in the air and was easy to manoeuvre.
The Orbea Rallon was at home in the air, easy to whip around with little resistance.
The Orbea Rallon is a very capable mountain bike that is built to tackle the most challenging trails on all-day-long rides. While it’s built for enduro racing, the Rallon is a versatile bike that climbs well and offers a grin inducing ride on every kind of downhill trail. Every model offers capable performance for racing as well as riding with your mates. From trail centre loops to bike park uplifts and Alpine adventures the Rallon will take it all in its stride.
While the stock colours and spec are really good on this bike, the custom colour and spec options are a great way to individualize your ride. We can help you to choose your perfect Rallon build and colourway. Just give us a call and we will be happy to talk you through the process. All custom bikes are built to order by Orbea so they do take a little longer to arrive than the stock bikes.
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