Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Igor Karni
Orbea’s rich history in Spain can be traced all the way back to 1840 when it was founded as a handgun and tubing manufacturer. As far as its presence in the cycling industry is concerned, its historical timeline can be cut back to 1920 and 2016 up to the present – with the first two years mentioned being the times when it started manufacturing bikes and e-bikes respectively.
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It was named after one of its founders, namely Casimiro Orbea, which is a Basque word that means “ground” or “lot”. It started in Eibar, Basque Country but has since moved its headquarters to Mallabia.
Orbea E-bikes Review: Model Lines
There are currently 9 models in the entire Orbea e-bike catalog. Having been known for its performance bikes, that it has more eMTBs in that total is pretty much already in the cards. 5 out of those 9 can be categorized as such, not counting the single Gain road e-bike.
Overall, most of its models fit in the above-average mid-range category. And we’re not just using price as a gauge for this. It’s not hard to see once you see the solid components in most of the models.
Their motors are all Class 1, meaning you’d have to pedal first for them to kick in, which is preferred by most e-bike riders. The brand knows how to deliver adequate power (and specs) without going overboard – all while keeping weight down.
Lastly, a number of its models offer high customizability.
Orbea Commuter Model Line
The Katu-E is the only model that can be deemed as a pure commuter e-bike. The addition of a relatively spacious front rack (that could fit an adult-sized Corgi) readily makes a good option for people who need to do everyday errands or have to haul their work equipment during the daily commute. You can even add a rear rack for more storage.
The mid-step aluminum frame lends to comfort when mounting and dismounting. It’s sturdier than most and is designed to make up for the reduced comfort due to the absence of front suspension. The mid-rise handlebars make it closer to the comfort provided by cruisers.
Considering its low-cost price tag, the Bosch Performance Line motor is definitely a welcome surprise. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s pedal assist, but more than 60 Nm of torque you can get from the motor is more than sufficient for conquering even the steepest inclines.
The maximum 60 miles (95 km) of range from the battery is equally laudable. The fatter tires add to stability and provide aid on bumpier roads. The model uses Shimano hydraulic disc brakes that are just as powerful and reliable.
It comes complete with the bells and whistles of a commuter. The extra sturdy double-leg kickstand is another plus, especially as it helps support the e-bike with the added weight at the front factored in. It comes with fenders, front and rear lights, and reflective tires for additional safety at night.
On the whole, the price-to-quality ratio of this e-bike is tough to beat – a quality it shares with most models in Orbea’s catalog.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Orbea Katu-E model line here.
Orbea Mountain Model Line
The Rise is undoubtedly one of the best that Orbea has to offer in the eMTB market. It’s only right to consider it as the best representative model in the Mountian category and a true reflection of Orbea’s e-bike design philosophies.
One quality that immediately is the super light weight of the model that only tops at 44 pounds (20 kg). That definitely makes it more manageable and allows it to earn its categorization as a Trail e-MTB. It should be noted that the brand has this same focus on keeping weight down in their other models.
It uses a comparatively powerful Shimano motor with the same 60 Nm of torque as in most models. The battery is capacious, though, guaranteeing at least 95 miles (150 km) on one charge. The e-bike also comes with great hydraulic disc brakes made by the same manufacturer.
The included Shimano drivetrain imparts much-needed versatility, thanks to the width of the tooth spread. It accommodates plenty of different riding styles and keeps the ride smooth regardless of the terrain.
Motor assistance can also be narrowed down to two straightforward profiles, which can be chosen in the display panel. The first one actively saves power while the other profile is more of the normal assist mode that provides the most torque.
It performs the best when going downhill thanks to its 29” wheels and overall geometry that encourages a dynamic riding style. Still, it’s certainly one of the most versatile e-MTBs available in the market. It’s almost specced perfectly and can handle most trails.
Other notable perks include the adjustable seatpost, locking grips, the display panel which includes pedal cadence, better weight distribution, and excellent crank arms that keep the chain secure. It’s these details that underscore how much attention Orbea pays in continuing to improve its models – and hence, the e-MTB experience.
You’d have to dive into the materials used in most of the e-MTB’s components to see where the quality lies, especially in the lines’ latest incarnations. For one, most of the models now integrate more rust-resistant bearings. The brand also continues to introduce improvements to its models’ respective designs and geometries over time as well as in how they are integrating their batteries into the frames.
Orbea pretty much made sure that it had a solid offering for other e-MTB sub-categories as evidenced by the dedicated Enduro and Hardtail models it has to offer. The specs of these e-bikes are, more or less, within the same spectrum as the Rise – although the components may not be similar.
What’s sure is that they offer the rider the most ideal experience for their preferred riding style. This is only compounded by the high customizability of most of the models.
The Kemen SUV is a sportier variant of the Kemen Line. It’s arguably the closest that Orbea has gotten to offering a hybrid e-bike. Orbea prefers to include it as an e-MTB, but it’s really more of an urban hybrid offering considering the inclusion of a rear rack and fenders.
The sporty handlebars and front suspension, as well as the fatter tires, allow you to traverse light to moderate rough roads comfortably with it. Summed up, it’s more of a highly specced urban e-bike that can smoothly get you through rougher road conditions.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Orbea MTB model line here.
Orbea City Model Line
The Vibe is the sole Orbea city offering. Understandably, its specs are slightly lower compared to its sportier counterparts in the catalog. Much like most Orbea models, it manages to keep its weight low, with the latest H10 in the line topping only at 35 pounds (16 kg).
The 250W motor is made by Ebikemotion and offers as much as 40 Nm of torque but the same 60-mile (95 km) range as in other models. As you can see, Orbea really knows how to offer just the right amount of these essential specs to the rider – especially one that will only be using the e-bike for navigating through urban landscapes.
The Kendra 29” tires are just as adequate for city riding and actually offer significant puncture protection. They come with reflective strips to heighten safety during night rides. It’s well-complemented by the Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes which are one of the most powerful options available to urban riders.
It’s similar to the Rise as far as its amenability to personalization goes. It hovers slightly above other city e-bikes in the market when we look at its performance-oriented specs, but it definitely sets a great example of what e-bikes under this category should aim for.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Orbea Vibe model line here.
Orbea Cruiser Model Line
The only model that can be considered a pure cruiser is the Optima. The low step-thru frame and its geometry that encourages an upright sitting position give it away. Still, it’s more well-specced than other cruisers in the market, despite costing just as much as those in the mid-range umbrella.
The rear hub Ebikemotion X35 motor provides adequate power for hard inclines, and the fact that it’s very quiet is another plus. It’s easy to get the hang of. The battery, on the other hand, only provides 30 miles (50 km) of riding range; however, you can add another one to extend it.
It’s slightly weightier than the other urban options, but 44 pounds (20 kg) is still highly manageable for an e-bike. It manages to strike a noteworthy balance between its weight and the power delivered by the motor, which is probably its most standout quality.
There’s no front suspension, but it makes up for this by including all the necessary accessories. It comes with a rear rack, fenders, front lights, and kickstand.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Orbea Optima model line here.
What Do Most E-Bike Riders Think of Orbea?
The brand on the whole is regarded very favorably. Their recent models do justice to their reputation as a company that has over 100 years of experience designing and innovating bikes. Another plus is that they’re not as pricey as other brands out there – even the ones that have far less mileage than Orbea.
Given its longevity, it’s not surprising that it has since gained quite a reputation in the cycling and bike racing world. This is only proven by the fact that it almost always enjoys a prominent spot in every Tour de France competition and has won many races over the years.
Read also: Check out world’s best travel destinations by electric bike.
It’s safe to say that it has laid a solid foundation for its reputation throughout that time and will remain beloved among bike and e-bike riders alike.
Does the Company Offer a Manufacturer’s Warranty?
A lifetime warranty covers the frame. There’s also a two-year comprehensive warranty that covers all Orbea products, including e-bikes and their components. The product must be in good, working condition, though, and any part that was fitted that wasn’t manufactured by Orbea isn’t covered.
Is There a Trial Run that Riders Can Avail Of?
As of the moment, there is no mention of the possibility to do this on the brand’s main website.
What Countries Does Orbea Ship To?
Orbea has numerous dealers and retailers worldwide. Shipping and delivery are available in the US, most parts of Europe, and other dealers around the globe.
Take a look at this short video presenting the Orbea Vibe electric bike: