Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

What bike and bike bits should you buy?
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pete8uk
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Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby pete8uk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 22:46 pm

OK, after a lot of research, both online and in bike shops, I'm down to a choice between these two bikes:

Orbea Orca (Silver) SLi2 - £2500
Boardman Elite SLR9.0S - £2200

Both are discounted 2013 models, the Orca with the much bigger discount. I've been measured for both, although the shop selling the Boardman had a much more detailed sizing system. I've sat on both, they both "feel" right. I've ridden the Boardman on a turbo, and will be test riding the Orca tomorrow. Which will be important, but its only going to be a short ride.

Assuming the test ride goes OK, my heart says the Orca is the one. But, I'm not a racer, and reviews (and looks) say this is a racing bike. I'm primarily a sportif guy, but looking to have a go at TTs (maybe racing) next year. I'm not after an "endurance" bike, but I do need something that can serve me for the occasional 75mile+ ride.

The Boardman seems the sensible choice, plus the more detailed fitting session gives me confidence.

So, does anyone out there have experience of either of these bikes? How are they for ride quality and ascending? I know they can both go quick!
Weekend: Orbea Orca SLi2, Specialiazed Toupe, Shimano RS81s & Conti GP4000s
Week: Boardman CX Team, Selle Italia C2 & Conti Gatorskin Hardshells
Twitter: @pete8uk, Strava: 1277229

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simona75
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby simona75 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 09:54 am

I've got an Orca and I'm always puzzled about where its reuptation for it being aggressive or uncomfortable. I've done numerous 200km plus rides on mine and have never felt discomfort. If its fitted correctly and you have a good saddle you will be fine.

Stevie_gee
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby Stevie_gee » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:06 am

Where is the boardman available for 2200 notes??

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Bar Shaker
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby Bar Shaker » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:08 am

I've done a few 75 mile sportifs on my SLR, with no adverse effects but the geometry is race orientated and it doesn't apologise for that. Only you will know if your body fits it.

The biggest thing you will notice comfort wise is that there is zero flex in the frame. People sometimes describe their carbon bikes as 'forgiving' or 'comfortable' meaning the rear triangles flex and soak up the road surface defects. The Boardman does not. It is quite harsh to ride and transmits every road defect to your body. You don't get any buzz but you do feel all of the jolts.

It also looks a bit quirky with the big square down tube, massive BB structure and boxy chainstays. The SLR frame (the whole SLR range share the same frame) was CAD designed using Finite Element Analysis to make sure material is where it needs to be and not where it it doesn't need to be. The frame is that shape because that is what it needs to be. I like that design ethos. You will find out why it is like it is when you come to your first hill. I have never ridden anything that converts power into pace/climb like the SLR and it was this characteristic that sealed the deal for me.

The handling of the SLR is rock solid too. It corners at any speed your brain will let you try and always feels on rails. Flat out descents are a joy rather than terrifying.

I haven't ridden the Orbea so can't give a comparison but I think my SLR was worth every penny of full retail price, so the 9.0S at £2200 would be a no brainer.
Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
Boardman FS Pro

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pete8uk
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby pete8uk » Thu Nov 07, 2013 17:54 pm

Thanks both for your replies, especially Bar Shaker for taking the time to write in such detail.

I had a chance to ride the Orca today, which has not helped resolve my dilemma. I was expecting to find it uncomfortable (both geometry wise and ride smoothness), but it wasn't. I didn't feel out of place on it at all. In short, as Simona suggested, it didn't live up to its reputation of being very aggressive. In a good way!

So, now I'm "stuck" between two seemingly good options. The Orbea is a truly striking bike, but the Boardman isnt bad looking either. Both seem to fit, but I have the extra confidence of a full bike fit with the Boardman.

I don't think there's a wrong choice here, but I still need to choose...time to think!

PS: my understanding is that Boardman is clearing their 2013 bikes at between 10-20% off for most models. So, any of thier dealers "should" have this deal. In my case its Velosport in Putney (excellent bike fit service BTW)
Weekend: Orbea Orca SLi2, Specialiazed Toupe, Shimano RS81s & Conti GP4000s
Week: Boardman CX Team, Selle Italia C2 & Conti Gatorskin Hardshells
Twitter: @pete8uk, Strava: 1277229

kairey
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby kairey » Fri Nov 08, 2013 21:25 pm

I have had the SLi2 for 4 months now picked it up in a 25% off sale at our local bike shop in Marbella.

They are very popular bikes here in Spain and I would personally highly recommend it, although I cannot quantify it against the Boardman.

As a an older rider (49) coming back to cycling after a 25 year absence I can honestly say that, as you have found it is not an uncomfortable bike and I am doing around 300km a week on it with rides up to 120 plus. Only thing I have changed is to put on my Zonda wheels...

Again I don't know about the Boardman but the Orbea's have a lifetime frame warranty, look great, I love mine in white and blue!

After all this it's a personal choice based on your comfort and feel!

On a side note never seen a Boardman here on the road or a MTB, yet see others such as Planet X etc...

KEVIN

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pete8uk
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby pete8uk » Sun Dec 01, 2013 23:17 pm

Ok, so I made my choice: I went for the Orca.... and lovin it so far!

Just decided to go with my instinct, there was no real negative to the Boardman (except possibly the recent announcement of the 2014 range, making the one I was looking at look, well, not as good!)

Anyway, the Orca, no problems so far. It felt comfortable on my longest ride to date of 50 miles, cruises nicely on the flat, but wants to sprint. Can't really judge it for hill climbing, as my winter fitness levels don't really give it a fair go! Oh, and as expected, the Di2 is great. They say you either love it or hate it, and I'm definitely the former.

If anyone is reading this in the future and considering an Orca Silver, reply to this, I'll be happy to give my thoughts on mine after some more miles.
Weekend: Orbea Orca SLi2, Specialiazed Toupe, Shimano RS81s & Conti GP4000s
Week: Boardman CX Team, Selle Italia C2 & Conti Gatorskin Hardshells
Twitter: @pete8uk, Strava: 1277229

Look565wong
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby Look565wong » Mon Dec 02, 2013 09:37 am

Hi Pete8uk,

Any chance of some photos of your new bike? Would be great to see more Orbea on the forum! :D

Thanks in advance.

Happy that you found yourself a nice steed!

Cheers

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pete8uk
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby pete8uk » Mon Dec 02, 2013 17:04 pm

Sure, I don't need much of an invitation to show off my new bike!

Not the best photos ever taken, but this bike looks good even with smart phone camera, a poor background and a cloudy British sky :D
Weekend: Orbea Orca SLi2, Specialiazed Toupe, Shimano RS81s & Conti GP4000s
Week: Boardman CX Team, Selle Italia C2 & Conti Gatorskin Hardshells
Twitter: @pete8uk, Strava: 1277229

kairey
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby kairey » Sun Jan 26, 2014 20:01 pm

Still loving mine, its difficult to know why some people don't like Di2?

Now have over 8,000 KMs on it and never needed a single adjustment, changes are still flawless throughout the range. A properly adjusted cable change is just as good when set perfectly but I always had the odd mis-change needing a second click to get it in or it would jump 2 gears. No big deal you get used to it but my Di2 is spot on each and evert time.

Some pictures of mine attached, apologies for our lovely weather :D

KEVIN

534877_10151501771486556_1292495983_n.jpg[/attachment
[attachment=1]1466201_10151747176211556_38080115_n.jpg

1476557_10151760544956556_50831409_n.jpg

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pete8uk
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby pete8uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 13:23 pm

Now that's a good looking bike, I really like it with the blue (I think I still prefer mine, but only just :-) )

I've now done nearly 1,000km through the British winter, and the Di2, and the whole bike, hasn't had any issues. And I love the smoothness of the Di2, no regrets (so far) that I made the switch.

Just hope I get to ride it some day in conditions like in your photos!
Weekend: Orbea Orca SLi2, Specialiazed Toupe, Shimano RS81s & Conti GP4000s
Week: Boardman CX Team, Selle Italia C2 & Conti Gatorskin Hardshells
Twitter: @pete8uk, Strava: 1277229

dwanes
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Re: Orbea Orca SLi2 vs Boardman SLR9.0S

Postby dwanes » Mon Jan 27, 2014 15:43 pm

kairey wrote:Still loving mine, its difficult to know why some people don't like Di2?

Now have over 8,000 KMs on it and never needed a single adjustment, changes are still flawless throughout the range. A properly adjusted cable change is just as good when set perfectly but I always had the odd mis-change needing a second click to get it in or it would jump 2 gears. No big deal you get used to it but my Di2 is spot on each and evert time.

Some pictures of mine attached, apologies for our lovely weather :D

KEVIN

534877_10151501771486556_1292495983_n.jpg[/attachment
[attachment=1]1466201_10151747176211556_38080115_n.jpg

1476557_10151760544956556_50831409_n.jpg


You should try cycling 8,000 kms on the cow sh*t covered lanes around the North of britain in winter. Bet you wouldnt be saying the same thing. :roll:


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