Orbea has released a freshened up version of its top-end and biggest selling mountain bike, the XC-race focused, 100mm travel Oiz and slightly more trail-friendly Oiz TR.
These new for 2021 frames are constructed from Orbea’s latest OMX carbon fibre, shaving weight from one of the lighter cross-country frames already out there. This new frame material features on the top three models of both the race-focused Oiz and the trail-focused Oiz TR.
Both bikes share the same frameset, but the TR has a shock with a longer stroke, as well as longer 120mm forks.
The 29in-wheeled Oiz has been around for a decade or so now, with numerous iterations, and this latest version is a gradual evolution of the previous generation that we saw for model year 2019.
It is the use of OMX carbon in the top-end models that takes the limelight for 2021, with Orbea claiming a 250g weight reduction on this frameset, dropping it to a claimed 1,740g for a size Medium, including shock.
The sheets of carbon are laser cut and tuned to each frame size, reducing carbon sheet overlap and thus overall weight.
The layup of the carbon is adjusted for frame sizes too, to make sure the bike’s stiffness is appropriate for differing rider weights.
This weight reduction not only comes from a refined carbon layup that puts larger pieces of carbon just where they’re needed, cutting excess material, but also from shortening the chainstays by 5mm to 430mm and opting for the Flat Mount brake caliper mounting standard – first seen on road bikes but gradually making its way over to the lighter end of the mountain bike spectrum too.
Orbea’s OMR carbon (a slightly lower grade, lower modulus carbon fibre) and Hydro aluminium Oiz models still remain, with only marginal updates to the kit and colourways for 2021 and the frame geometries remain the same. Orbea claims that a Medium OMR frame and shock comes in at 2,080g.
The aluminium frames use a high-polish finish, meaning welds are smoothed out to give a similar look to a monocoque frame and to reduce stress risers at critical points.
Continuing the trend for ‘downcountry’ bikes, Orbea fills this niche with the Oiz TR (and has for a number of years). Orbea says the Oiz TR is designed for trail and marathon riders who want the same XC bike feel that the Oiz gives, especially on the climbs, as well as a bit more capability on the descents.
The TR uses a shock with a slightly longer stroke length (but same eye-to-eye length) to give 120mm of travel. It’s then paired with a 120mm fork and components that will take a bit more of a beating.
What is ‘downcountry’?
With the continued niche-ification of the bike world, it wasn’t going to be long before a new term emerged for the burgeoning world of ‘rad’ cross-country bikes – and we have our colleagues over at PinkBike to thank for popularising the ‘downcountry’ term.
It basically means a bike that’s got roots in XC, but has been tuned for more capability on increasingly technical terrain.
This means longer travel forks, burlier tyres and bigger brakes plugged in to a frame that’s either the same as a brand’s XC bike or one that’s a had a few tweaks here and there (such as a longer stroke shock to give extra travel).
They’re ideal for long rides where pedalling efficiency is a benefit but where riders might still encounter steep descents and rowdy trails.
2021 Orbea Oiz suspension
The suspension is set out to be efficient, with a leverage curve that allows you to run lower levels of sag for a firmer pedalling feel. However, the progressive/regressive leverage curve then backs off, allowing for the natural ramp-up of the air shock to allow full travel.
Orbea says it wanted it to feel snappy when you push on the pedals. At the same time, it says it’s tweaked the position of the brake caliper to keep the suspension active under braking for better control.
With the seatstays flexing in an area just above the rear axle, Orbea says that it’s able to save around 100g over a version of the frame with pivots, while maintaining stiffness.
2021 Orbea Oiz frame details
Alongside the addition of the OMX carbon fibre, Orbea continues to make nicely integrated framesets with numerous smart touches.
Orbea’s Squidlock system is a double lever set-up below the bars that toggles the fork and shock between Open, Trail and Climb modes – it’s located right by the thumb and allows for single position jumps between the suspension’s settings.
The cables for the rear shock run inside the top tube to the shock’s mounting point and the shock’s compression dial nestles within the top tube for a very clean look.
Higher end models feature the brand’s Fibrelink upper linkage, similar to that of a carbon linkage, to reduce weight and improve stiffness. Less expensive models get an alloy linkage.
Cables are routed internally, with clamping points at either end of the down tube to minimise rattle.
Additionally, there are ribbed chainstay protectors and a chainguide to keep the drivetrain quiet and safe, while marathon racers will appreciate the dual bottle cage mounts. Universal derailleur hangers should keep life easy on the road, too.
Finally, the cockpits also get a makeover, with a semi-integrated OC component line, whereby stem spacers, the stem and a computer mount all merge together to give an almost one-piece look.
2021 Orbea Oiz geometry
Geometry differs between the OMX and OMR/Hydro frames, thanks to the OMX having a 5mm shorter rear end.
There are also geometry differences between the associated ‘normal’ and TR versions of the Oiz thanks to the longer fork.
The headline figures for the more racy version are the 69-degree head angle, 456mm reach (Large), 430mm chainstays (435mm on the OMR/Hydro), 327mm bottom bracket height and 75-degree seat angle.
For the TR version, remove a degree from the head and seat angle and 10mm from the reach.
As you may have seen on other Orbea models, the opportunity to adjust specs at the point of purchase is offered, and, on pricier bikes, the paint job too.
There’s often a cost to adjust the spec (brakes, wheels, seatposts etc), but the paint jobs are a no cost option (though you’ll have to wait longer for your bike).
New for 2021 is the addition of marble, terrazo, geometric camouflage and matt/gloss detailed graphics for the head tube and rear dropout area.
2021 Orbea Oiz models
There are 15 Oiz models available, if you include the three material options, as well as ‘normal’ and TR builds.
The XC versions of the bikes get Fox 32 SC forks, while the TR bikes get a 34 SC fork or a non-SC 32 lower down the scale.
The Hydro aluminium bikes are only available with TR builds.
The top-end Oiz M-LTD comes in at £7,699 / $8,999 / €8,599, with the OMX frameset, Factory level suspension (a DPS shock and 32 StepCast fork), SRAM AXS Eagle XX1 drivetrain and DT Swiss XCR-1200 Spline carbon wheels.
The M-Team model (photographed here) costs an RRP of £6,299 / $7,499 / €6,999. It has the OMX frame, a Shimano XTR drivetrain and XCR1501 carbon wheels.
The entry-level carbon bike, the Oiz M30, costs £3,299 / $3,799 / €3,599. It has Performance level suspension, largely a Shimano Deore groupset and DT Swiss X-1900 wheels.
At the most affordable end, the Oiz H30 bike features the Hydro frameset. It has a 120mm Fox 32 Rhythm fork and Performance level DPS shock. Gears come courtesy of Shimano’s Deore range, while the wheels are Orbea’s own alloy model. It comes in at £2,199 / $2,599 / €2,399.
We’ll bring you a review of the Orbea Oiz M-Team very soon.