Most cyclists start their biking journey on comparatively easy machines. Some riders get their arms on BMX bikes as youngsters, others spend their highschool and school years commuting on street or hybrid bikes.
There are many people within the mountains who develop up with full-suspension rigs that may deal with essentially the most demanding trails, however even then, there may be a lot nuance to bicycle suspension that it’s powerful for riders to essentially dial the right bike for his or her particular wants after launching full-tilt into mountain biking.
Orbea is among the many high bike manufacturers that provide a stacked assortment of mountain bikes starting from entry-level hardtails, to XC race bikes, and as much as long-travel downhill crushers.
Whereas high-end bikes are all the time one thing to salivate over, discovering the bike with one of the best suspension options for a specific rider requires a bit extra of an understanding what totally different journey quantities appear like, and the way they perform.
We’ll undergo totally different Orbea fashions and their totally different quantities of journey to focus on the place every bike, and suspension type, would thrive or battle.
XC and Downcountry suspension
Cross Nation mountain bikes and their newer, barely longer-travel “downcountry” brethren are sometimes characterised by frames constructed with effectivity in thoughts paired with quick journey suspension.
Most cross nation race bikes make the most of entrance and rear suspension starting from round 80mm as much as 120mm on the upper finish. Downcountry bikes are among the many newer and extra controversial bike kinds hitting the market not too long ago. They incorporate suspensions with barely extra journey than pure XC bikes and an total bundle that attracts from XC bike design, however with a bit extra emphasis on consolation and functionality in additional technical terrain.
Nonetheless, the main focus right here is extra on effectivity, weight and quickness, the place path bikes and people with much more journey prioritize power, sturdiness, and getting sufficient journey to cushion large hits. Many of those bikes see journey round 115 to 130.
The Orbea Oiz is an ideal instance of this lower-travel suspension. The Oiz is a race bike widespread on the world tour circuit, however often comes with 120mm of journey. That usually makes it one of many longer-travel bikes on the world tour XC stage.
However in follow, longer journey XC bikes just like the Oiz nonetheless can carry out extraordinarily effectively given their lightness. In a extra technical XC race course, barely longer journey may even be most popular to assist easy out chunk. Whether or not a pure XC race bike or downcountry mannequin, riders can count on related issues from bikes starting from the 80mm to 120mm journey vary.
First, these bikes shall be nice climbers. Since there may be not a lot journey to maneuver by, pedal strokes are rather more environment friendly. Much less journey additionally means shocks and forks themselves are considerably lighter than their longer-travel counterparts, which interprets to extra velocity, particularly over much less technical terrain.
The issue with a majority of these bikes is that when terrain does develop into technical, riders are likely to really feel much more of the path radiating by the suspension and bike and into their our bodies.
After some time within the saddle, they’ll start to really feel a bit unforgiving.
However for these on a majority of these rigs, that peak effectivity is precisely the purpose. Many ultra-endurance riders and folk who spend upwards of six to eight hours on a mountain bike will go for one thing extra within the downcountry class to supply a bit bit extra consolation, with out sacrificing an excessive amount of effectivity.
Path bike suspension
When riders hear phrases like enjoyable, snappy, and playful, most people will often be referring to a path bike. These bikes often have suspension with journey starting from 130mm to 150mm and geometry that makes them playful and confidence-inspiring whereas going downhill and hitting options like jumps and drops.
Path bikes are likely to weigh greater than XC and downcountry fashions, however they sometimes have a wider tire clearance, and beefier shocks and forks for extra aggressive driving and bigger path options.
Orbea’s Occam fashions match firmly into this class, however additionally they present how tiered suspension brackets based mostly solely upon journey don’t inform the entire story.
For instance, the Occam SL provides 140mm entrance and rear journey, whereas the Occam LT provides a beefed up suspensions with 150mm within the rear and 160 up entrance. Orbea nonetheless payments the bike as a “path” mannequin, nevertheless it undoubtedly sits on the far finish of that designations. Different components like geometry additionally play an necessary function in how a motorcycle handles on the path. That results in crossover among the many totally different tiers.
On every mannequin although, longer journey suspension discovered on path bikes cushions blows from massive roots and rocks, however doesn’t compress a lot that riders really feel extraordinarily slowed down whereas pedaling uphill. These bikes are supposed to sit within the candy spot between descending and ascending that makes each as comfy and easy as doable.
Enduro bike suspension
Enduro bikes are designed particularly to go downhill over technical terrain with ease but additionally supply a steady sufficient platform and agency sufficient suspension to permit riders to go uphill, a minimum of in shorter bursts, comfortably.
These bikes take their identify from enduro racing, through which race officers time riders on downhill segments. Whereas riders nonetheless should traverse and climb between these segments, these sections of the path will not be timed, so it doesn’t actually matter how briskly riders climb. Subsequently, downhill options take precedence.
Orbea’s Rallon suits into this class. Billed as an enduro or park bike, the Rallon packs 170mm of journey up entrance, with 167 within the again, it additionally is available in a 29/27.5 inch wheel mullet choice.
These bikes are extraordinarily versatile and well-liked for many who have entry to downhill parks or path programs with enjoyable, technical descents, however who nonetheless use their bikes for path driving.
Whereas descending, bikes with this degree of journey really feel extraordinarily effectively planted on the bottom. Longer journey helps maintain the wheels glued to the bottom, permitting riders to really feel grip and confidence whereas velocity down a mountain.
Going up, nevertheless, they’ll are likely to really feel sluggish and have a tell-tale bounce or flex that zaps power and effectivity. Of us with these bikes sometimes received’t take pleasure in climbing over longer durations of time, however these downhills often make any ascent value it.
Downhill bikes keep true to their identify. Their designs beg to level downhill over extraordinarily technical terrain, large jumps or drops, however completely don’t not truthful effectively when climbing, or, actually, when pedaling on something even remotely flat.
For riders who stay adjoining to a lift-assisted bike park, or do all of their driving at one, these bikes make for a quick, enjoyable, and comfy machine to cost downhill. THe excessive ranges of journey imply that even bigger rocks, rocks and different path obstacles really feel extra like pebbles beneath the tires.
Earlier than deciding on the proper bike, riders ought to spend a great deal of time contemplating how, the place, and why they experience. All too typically, riders are likely to go for bikes that match their aspirations, moderately than their precise capacity or native atmosphere. Having the proper bike for the terrain in a specific neighborhood or that matches or enhances a raiders capacity could make driving rather more enjoyable.
Likewise, the unsuitable bike can leech the enjoyment out of driving.