Orbea overhauls Occam for 2012 - First look
By Zach White in Boulder, Colorado | Monday, September 26, 2011 8.00am
The revamped Orbea Occam replaces the previous design with one very similar to its big brother, the Rallon Zach White/BikeRadar.com
Orbea’s Occam has been redesigned for 2012, losing the familiar elevated chainstays for a design much more akin to it’s big brother, the Rallon.
The new Occam is available in both aluminum and carbon, and offered in nine different builds with the usual “My Orbea” customization options. The 123mm-travel frame is being marketed as both “all-mountain” and “trail” by Orbea, and will be available in October.
Essentially a lighter, shorter-travel version of the single-pivot Rallon, the Occam’s biggest design difference lies in its concentric rear axle. According to Orbea’s product engineer Xabier Narbaiza, opting for the concentric rear end over the rear pivot points used on their Rallon reduces weight, offers a better platform for a direct-mount disc brake caliper, and better-lends itself to joining the aluminum seatstays to the carbon chainstays on the carbon frame. At a width of 200mm, Orbea’s 9mm/X12-compatible, concentric design is a bit narrower than the competition, but otherwise looks the same as what’s already out there.
A concentric rear axle joins alloy seatstays with carbon chainstays
Speaking of what’s already being used by other manufacturers, Narbaiza answered the obvious patent question by stating “the general patent for DW and Trek have been around since 1890, and should be available to consumers without any royalty fees tacked on.”
Both the carbon and aluminum Occams come with a low, 327mm bottom bracket height, relatively short 420mm chainstays, and a relatively long top tube (612mm on a size medium). Head and seat tube angles vary between 67.5/68.5-degrees and 73.5/74.5-degrees, respectively, depending on whether the frame comes in the “all-mountain” package with a 140mm fork or a “Trail” package with a 120mm fork.
Assymetrical chainstays are found on both the carbon and aluminum Occam
In both the carbon and alloy Occam, Orbea uses dual 28mm sealed bearings in the main pivot, and sealed bearings throughout the rest of the pivots, including shock mount. Both frames also get internal front derailleur cable routing, and clean external routing for all other housing. And opting to keep things symmetrical and simple, there are no cable stops for the rear derailleur housing, only housing guides.
The carbon Occam is made with Orbea’s Silver Technology-level composite (short of the alloy seatstays), features a THT 1 1/8-1 1/2” tapered head tube, and is weighs in at a claimed 2.2kg. with shock for a size medium.
Orbea’s aluminum version of the Occam is only available with an 1 1/8” head tube, and weighs in at a claimed 2.6kg for a size medium. According to Narbaiza, Orbea opted with the non-tapered head tube on the alloy version to save money, which he stated to ultimately save the consumer approximately €60.
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A THT (tapered head tube) is only available on the carbon Occam
Actual ride time at Orbea’s press camp in Formigal was limited to half an hour, so impressions were made swiftly. Over two quick laps down fire road, some singletrack, and back up paved road, the Occam felt to be a lightweight and efficient pedaler, but distractingly flexible in the front triangle. According to Narbaiza, the test bikes were pre-production, and they may add rigidity to the frames before official production begins.
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