Orbea’s new Orca OMR brings pro-race tech to the masses

Lightweight, aerodynamics and comfort for the latest addition to Orbea’s Orca line-up

Orbea Orca OMR

Last year, Orbea debuted its racing flagship, the Orca OMX, and it’s arguably one of the front-runners of the current trend towards lightweight and aerodynamic race machines. Now Orbea has added comfort and affordability to the mix with the new Orca OMR.

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Whereas aero frame profiles and lightweight race bikes used to be distinct from one another, the Orca OMX sought to combine both qualities in one machine, much like the new Trek Emonda, BMC Teammachine and our Bike of the Year for 2020, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO.

With the new OMR, Orbea has taken the wind-cheating frame shape of the premium OMX but tweaked a couple of key areas, including the seatpost and handlebar, to improve comfort. There’s also clearance for 35mm tyres.

Orbea says the OMR offers a more compliant ride that’s better for a wider range of riders, rather than those focused purely on performance.

That’s reflected in the pricing, too. Bikes range from £1,799 for the Shimano Tiagra-equipped M40 to £4,199 for the M21e Team with SRAM Force eTap AXS.

Seven things you need to know about the new Orbea Orca OMR

  1. It’s design is based on the pro-racing Orca OMX bike
  2. It shares the same racing geometry across the range
  3. You can also set it up as a more comfortable bike with an endurance-biased cockpit
  4. Models equipped with a power meter start at just £3,299
  5. Every model has fully integrated cable routing throughout
  6. It’ll take up to a 35mm tyre
  7. Claimed weight of 960g on the 47cm, 1,050g on the 53cm, and 1,100g on the 60cm

The numbers

The new OMR improves vibration damping and compliance over the previous OMR frame by 5 per cent, and by 10 per cent over the top-tier OMX machine, as a result of updated tube profiles and moving to a round 27.2mm seatpost.

“We looked at introducing suspension-type elements into the design to improve comfort and compliance, but we found that just adds weight,” Orbea designer Joseba Arizaga told BikeRadar.

Orbea Orca OMR
The all-new Orbea OMR is designed to appeal to racers and endurance riders alike.
Orbea

“The simpler option was to allow for bigger tyres. That means the rider can choose to add comfort when needed by using bigger tyres and not be penalised on weight [in the frame design].”

As Orbea’s second-tier frame, the OMR gains a little weight over the flagship OMX.

Orbea has been more upfront than most brands, however, revealing claimed frame weights for a range of key sizes: 960g on the 47cm, 1,050g on the 53cm, and 1,100g on the 60cm (complete with paint and fittings), rather than just the lightest configuration. The OMX has a claimed weight of 833g.

Orbea Orca OMR geometry

The OMR shares the same aggressive racing geometry as the flagship OMX bike. That, according to Orbea, means a shorter wheelbase to make the bike more responsive, shorter chainstays for better acceleration, size-specific fork offset so the bike handles the same way, be it a 47cm or a 60cm, and a longer and lower riding position for a more aggressive fit and better aerodynamics.

If all of this puts you off, thinking that a bike this race-ready isn’t quite for you, Orbea has created two options for the OC handlebar: the standard bar keeps the OMR slammed and racy, or you can opt for the new OC rise bar.

This features 20mm of rise, much like Specialized’s Hover bar found on the Roubaix, and has a 5mm reduction in reach when compared to a standard compact drop bar.

The first three models in the range come with the OC riser bar as standard, while it’s also an option through Orbea’s MyO custom programme for the rest of the range.

We like the idea of one frameset with two options for position setup, making for a bike you can grow with as you become a fitter and faster rider, or the reverse if you want a more upright position over time.

 47cm 49cm 51cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 60cm
Seat tube (centre to top) 440 460 480 500 520 540 570
Effective top tube 510 523 535 548 560 576 590
Head tube 105 113 130 148 168 186 213
Chainstays 408 408 408 408 408 408 408
BB drop 72 72 72 70 70 70 70
BB height 264 264 264 266 266 266 266
Wheelbase 972 976 980 981 991 1,002 1,016
Head angle 71 71.5 72.2 72.8 73 73.2 73.2
Seat angle 74.5 74 73.7 73.5 73.5 73.2 73.2
Offset 48 48 48 43 43 43 43
Standover 726 740 758 779 799 818 845
Reach 370 375 380 385 391 398 404
Stack 506 515 533 552 572 590 616
Fork length 370 370 370 370 370 370 370

Top-class details

The OMR’s details follow the premium OMX closely. Up front it shares the same ‘Freeflow’ fork design (though with increased tyre clearance to 35mm).

The idea behind Freeflow is to combine an aero-profile fork leg shape with a broad stance, which in turn clears the air flow coming from the forward rotation of a spinning wheel/tyre – this, according to Orbea, can be a significant source of drag.

The OMR also features Orbea’s ICR+ internal cable routing design from the OMX. This routes the cables from the bars on the underside of the OC stem (of which there are two levels: the base model 1 and high-grade 2) into a removable cable cover that channels the cables down through the head tube and into the frame.

ICR+, Orbea tells us, will be implemented throughout the whole Orbea road range soon.

Both the OCR 1 and OCR 2 bikes also come with integrated out-front computer mounts, making for a very clean-looking machine.

The seatpost clamps into place with Orbea’s hidden clamp, which debuted on the OMX. We particularly liked this design because the horizontal clamp and bolt make for easy access, whatever hex tool you use. Lots of hidden clamps can be an ergonomic nightmare when on top or underneath the seat/top tube junction.

In another nod to user-friendly ownership, Orbea has adopted Mavic’s Speed Release standard for thru-axles.

This hybrid between a standard thru-axle and a quick-release uses a threaded insert in one dropout and a slotted dropout on the other side.

Orbea Orca OMR
The Orca OMR follows the launch of the flagship OMX last year.
Orbea

The thread is a double-lead too, so that means it’ll tighten or undo in five turns, rather than the usual ten, and then slides out part-way (the axle has a rubber ring and the hub has a slot acting as a stop).

As a result, for roadside puncture repairs you don’t have to fully remove the axle – most welcome if you’ve ever had to handle or put down a grease-coated axle, only to contaminate it with grit and grime.

On test soon… with added customisation

We’ve selected Orbea’s £3,299 Orca OMR M25 Team with Shimano Ultegra and Vision’s 40 carbon tubeless-ready wheelset to test, with a couple of options to personalise the build.

The great thing about Orbea’s range is its MyO custom programme. Via the brand’s website, this allows you to select the model you want and choose options from key components through to custom paint and personalised graphics, depending on the bike. It’s available on models from £2,999 and above.

As an example, if you’d prefer the more endurance-based riding position, click the OC Rise handlebar option, then Orbea builds your bike to your needs and ships to your local dealer.

On our M25 Team you can choose from a range of chainring sizes (53/39t, 52/26t, 50/34t) and cassettes (11-28t, 11-30t), five saddle options, four tyre options and two wheel options.

We chose a power meter option (FSA’s Powerbox Alloy chainset) which raised the price to £3,699.

It’s rare to find a bike at this price with a power meter out of the box (and with the right spec you can drop the price of a power meter-equipped bike to £3,299).

Unfortunately, shipping delays mean our test bike is arriving pretty much as you’re reading this, so we’ll follow up with a full test of the new OMR as soon as we get it unboxed and ready to ride.

The 2021 Orbea Orca OMR range

Orbea has split the new OMR range into two: the standard OMR bike, which comes with the endurance-biased OC Rise bar as standard, and then Team models, which are specced with the race-focused cockpit for a more aggressive position.

Orbea Orca M40

Orbea Orca M40
Orbea Orca M40 with Shimano Tiagra.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano Tiagra
  • Wheels: Orbea Ready 19 rim on Shimano RS470 hubs
  • MyO options: Available on bar, wheels, tyres, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £1,799 / $2,199 / €1,999

Orbea Orca M30

Orbea Orca M30
Orbea Orca M30 with Shimano 105.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Orbea Ready 19 rim on Shimano RS470 hubs
  • MyO options: Available on bar, wheels, cassette, chainset (including power meter options), tyres, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £1,999 / $2,399 / €2,199

Orbea Orca M20

Orbea Orca M20
Orbea Orca M20 with Shimano Ultegra.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Orbea Ready 19 rim on Shimano RS470 hubs
  • MyO options: Available on bar, wheels, cassette, chainset (including power meter options), tyres, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £2,399 / $2,899 / €2,699

Orbea Orca M20 Team

Orbea Orca M20 Team
Orbea Orca M20 Team with Shimano Ultegra.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 700 DB
  • MyO options: Available on custom colour/finish, bar, wheels, cassette, chainset (including power meter options), tyres, thru-axles, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £2,699 / $3,499 / €3,299

Orbea Orca M25 Team

Orbea Orca M25 Team
Orbea Orca M25 Team with Shimano Ultegra.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Vision 40 SC carbon
  • MyO options: Available on custom colour/finish, bar, wheels, cassette, chainset (including power meter options), tyres, thru-axles, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £3,399 / $3,999 / €3,799

Orbea Orca M20i Team

Orbea Orca M20i Team
Orbea Orca M20i Team with Shimano Ultegra Di2.
Orbea
  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 700 DB
  • MyO options: Available on custom colour/finish, bar, wheels, cassette, chainset (including power meter options), tyres, thru-axles, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £3,899 / $4,499 / €4,299

Orbea Orca M21e Team

Orbea Orca M21e Team
Orbea Orca M21e Team with SRAM Force eTap AXS.
Orbea
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  • Frame: OMR Carbon
  • Fork: Freeflow carbon with ICS+ routing
  • Gears: SRAM Force eTap AXS
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 700 DB
  • MyO options: Available on custom colour/finish, bar, wheels, cassette, chainrings, tyres, thru-axles, seatpost and saddle
  • Price: £3,899 / $4,499 / €4,299