Orbea says the Wild FS is a bike that can cover a broad range of riding, from all-day trail rides to hitting gnarly enduro tracks. With a Bosch motor that puts out up to 340 per cent of your pedal input, there’s plenty of power to carry tougher components and heavier/stronger materials up the hills and forego a drop in pedalling efficiency in the name of better suspension performance.
Meanwhile, 29in wheels and 160mm of travel front and rear should be enough to get you in and out of pretty much any situation.
(Update 03/12/19) As of early December 2019, Orbea are offering the Wild FS in carbon, carbon/alloy and alloy versions, expanding the range to allow lower price points. There are now three bikes with a full carbon frame, one with a mixed carbon and alloy chassis, and three full alloy frames. Prices start at £4,299. We’ve included details of the full range at the bottom of this article.
Orbea chose the latest Bosch motor because it says that it’s the least intrusive motor in terms of ride feel, yet still has plenty of power to help on technical terrain.
The ability to run a range of different battery options is also a bonus. Orbea has built a piggyback system that allows you to strap a second battery on to the down tube, extending the range.
Shimano’s XTR groupset adorns the top M-LTD model.Orbea
Orbea uses its ‘OMR’ carbon in the carbon frame’s construction, including in the swing link (a 150g saving over an alloy link). Oversizing the pivots, for stiffness, and reinforcing the rear end leads to a claimed frame weight of 3.5kg, only 0.5kg more than the Rallon.
As with pretty much every e-bike around, the battery is slung inside the underside of the down tube. The carbon and mixed-material bikes get a carbon cover for the battery, while the alloy bikes have a cheaper polymer cover.
As the down tube, effectively, has a hole cut in the bottom, Orbea has added the two horizontal struts above the motor to boost the frame’s stiffness. Without these, the tubing would need a considerable amount more carbon to maintain the performance characteristics required.
The shock is nestled vertically between the frame’s stiffness-boosting struts.Orbea
The design aspect of the bike that Orbea battled with was shock position. While early prototypes used a horizontal shock position, similar to that of the Rallon, its desire to have low-standover and piggyback batteries meant that it had to shift to a vertically mounted shock.
Brand identity is important, and keeping a cohesive design language across a range is certainly positive, however, Orbea felt the performance advantages of this layout outweighed its branding in this case.
Orbea Wild FS suspension
The 160mm rear wheel travel is controlled by Orbea’s Eccentric Boost suspension layout, whereby the rear pivot is located around the rear axle and the shock is driven by a swing link.
The latest Bosch Performance CX motor impressed.Orbea
Orbea has made the Wild FS very progressive through its stroke. This is because it says that a heavier e-bike needs this extra progression to prevent harsh bottom-outs. As such, it’s designed 34 per cent progressiveness into its stroke – substantially more than the 20 per cent found on the Rallon.
When it comes to pedalling, there’s 110 to 120 per cent anti-squat, depending on sag and gear choice, while the brake calliper’s relocation from the chain to the seatstay means the rear suspension extends a touch under braking, rather than squatting.
Fox’s Float X2 is packaged deep in the frame.Orbea
Orbea will offer a number of shocks for the Wild FS. The top two bikes get a choice of either the coil Fox DHX2 or a Float X2 air shock. In total three air shocks and one coil will be offered via the MyO Lite componentry swap service.
Given the ability to swap components at the point of purchase (with a charge where applicable), Orbea is offering the option to spec the suspension just how you’d like it.
Orbea Wild FS frame and kit details
The bikes come with a 625Wh battery, however, Bosch’s batteries also come in 400Wh and 500Wh options. These can be fitted into the frame, or attached to the top of the down tube, and linked into the system to give a wide range of capacities (at extra cost, of course); 500, 625, 900, 1,000, 1,025 and 1,125Wh are all possible, depending on your combinations.
The bike comes as standard with a Bosch 625Wh battery.Orbea
The down tube has been kept fairly straight all the way to the head tube to help with structural rigidity. As such, there are frame bumpers and an Acros Block Lock 164-degree headset to prevent the fork rotating and damaging the head tube.
The motor is protected by a, apparently very strong, polymer injection moulded guard, vented to aid the motor’s temperature regulation. The battery has a carbon protector that integrates nicely with the base of the down tube. Furthermore, the internal cable routing is kept quiet and protected by a plastic sheath inside the down tube. This can be moved out of the way for easy maintenance, however.
Internally routed cables are hidden under this sheath.
The charge port for the system has a rubber cover, while there’s also a small ridge nearby which protects it further from mud flung off the rear wheel.
The battery itself is held in by a lock, the key for which sits neatly in a steerer tube-located holder. All the bikes come with a 160mm crank to maximise pedal clearance.
Handily. the battery key is stored on the bike in the steerer tube.
The M-LTD, M-TEAM and M10 models also qualify for Orbea’s MyO program. This allows you to select various colours for different areas of the frame, and logos, at purchase. The range of colours and finishes of the various areas means there are over a million individual options for how the bike could look.
Orbea doesn’t charge for this service, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks for delivery. As with most of its bikes, there’s also the option to swap various components at purchase for different versions, dependent on your preference and budget.
There’s tough protection for the Bosch motor.Orbea
Riding since the age of 13, Technical Editor Tom has ridden hundreds of bikes over the past few years, from aero race bikes to EWS-ready enduro rigs, with a fair few others in between. Most likely found in the woods practicing his scandi-flicks.