The new Orca OMX is a big departure from the brand’s Orca OMR. Out has gone the traditional two-triangle frame shape, slender round tubes and rim-braked options in favour of aero-optimised tube profiles, dropped rear stays, disc-brake only design and integrated features throughout.
What hasn’t been compromised is the weight. At just 833g for the frame and 370g for the fork, the basis of the OMX is a light one. My complete 57cm test bike weighed just 7.5kg.
Bike of the Year 2020
The Orbea Orca OMX M10i LTD D is part of our annual Bike of the Year test.
Head to our Bike of the Year hub for the full list of winners, categories and shortlisted bikes, as well as the latest reviews – or read our behind-the-scenes feature on how we tested Bike of the Year 2020.
The bike has aero-optimised tube profiles, dropped rear stays, a disc-brake only design and integrated features throughout David Caudery / Immediate Media
It rolls on Mavic’s latest iteration of the Cosmic carbon, specifically designed to be a tubeless wheelset. In real-world terms that’s a good thing because tyre pressures stayed constant with no leaks.
The latest Yksion tubeless tyres impress, too, feeling supple and offering great grip. The aero-shaped rim feels controlled in crosswinds and the lightness of the wheel build enhances the OMX’s climbing feel.
The OMX does look, at first glance, very similar to a raft of new bikes for 2020. I’m talking the Cannondale SuperSix EVO, BMC Teammachine, Specialized Tarmac and Focus Izalco Max to name a few, with the emphasis on aero and dropped seatstays.
The OMX does have a few features that set it apart, however.
The OC ICR stem integrates all of the cables and hoses very neatly. David Caudery / Immediate Media
I love the way in which Orbea has achieved the clean, integrated lines. The OC ICR stem takes a complex problem – namely integrating cables and hydraulic hoses internally through the front end of the bike – and creates a solution that not only looks neat but is also relatively simple to put together compared to some.
The seat clamp’s another smart piece of design. Rather than routing the bolt from the top or underneath, making it fiddly to get a torque wrench in place, Orbea has simply put the bolt through the junction between top and seat tubes – easy to access and simple to use.
It has also been generous when it comes to tyre clearance, because most riders will ride on different qualities of surface and have different needs, so although this OMX comes with tubeless 25c tyres, it can handle up to a 32c, which opens up plenty of options for this racing lightweight.
Tubeless 25c Mavic Yksion Pro UST tyres were fitted, but it can handle up to a 32c. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Orbea Orca OMX M10i LTD D ride impressions
On the road, the weight of the OMX translates into a flighty, light ride. On climbs, the wide 11-30 cassette gives a generous amount of range; the OMX is a bike that revels in steep slopes and positively encourages you to get out of the saddle and spin.
The Di2 drivetrain is as accurate as ever and, when the road turns back downwards, I was glad Orbea had smartly specced a 160mm rotor on the front and a 140 on the rear. It’s the ideal combination for bigger sizes and my preferred option.
The OMX handles rather impressively, too, and is a close match to Cannondale’s sublime SuperSix EVO and its cheaper stablemate, the CAAD13. That’s not all. As an all-rounder it’s a highly accomplished rival to Pinarello’s very expensive F12 Disc.
The 11-30 cassette gives a generous amount of range for climbing. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The bike blends a snap in its steering response with resolute stiffness when you’re sprinting, but none of this comes at the expense of ride quality. Yes, the OMX is firmer than an endurance bike such as Giant’s Defy or the Specialized Roubaix – both of which have a similar frame shape – but that firmness doesn’t come with discomfort.
The OMX merely communicates much more of the road surface, which gives you confidence, particularly on descents, to feel where the limit of the bike’s traction lies.
Overall, the OMX is a stunning machine. It’s light, fast, has sharp handling and is firm yet compliantly comfortable.
It’s everything a modern superbike should be, and with the well-thought-out details, it’s also one of the easiest superbikes to live with.
The Selle Italia SLR Boost Carbon Keramic saddle. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Orbea Orca OMX M10i LTD D geometry
Sizes (* tested): 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57*, 60cm
Seat angle: 73.2 degrees
Head angle: 73.2 degrees
Seat tube: 54cm
Top tube: 57.61cm
Head tube: 18.62cm
Fork offset: 4.3cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7cm
Bottom bracket height: 26.6cm
With thanks to…
BikeRadar would like to thank 100%, Q36.5, Lazer, Garmin and Facom for their support during our Bike of the Year test.