Orbea Vibe Reviews

RickyBikes

Member
Region
USA
The Orbea Vibe is a Class-1 pedal-assist (up to 20mph) commuter bike from Spain. The first thing that sticks out is the clean, sharply integrated look of the bike. It’s minimalist and beautiful; it looks more like a traditional bicycle than an eBike. When searching Orbea’s website, there are really five Vibe models each distinguished by which accessories you prefer: the standard H30 and the H30 EQ, the slightly upgraded H10, H10 EQ, and H10 MUD. These are all available in high-step or mid-step frames. The Vibe is meant to be personalized, so each model is available in four frame sizes, in addition, the H10’s are available in five colors, and the H30’s in four colors. They range in price from $2,899.00 to $3,699.00 depending on the model.

It’s a fantastic minimalist design and the clean integration can’t be overstated. This is a great option for people who want an active experience, something fast and efficient, an ebike that’s fun to pedal but will still help you manage wind and small hills. If you’re a cyclist looking to get into eBikes, this is a nice transition bike.






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar eBikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:


Pros – things that stand out as good:
  • The best part about this bike is how beautiful and minimalistic it is. It looks like a normal bicycle. This can deter potential theft, but it needs to be noted that there isn’t a key required, it’s just a button to start. The looks are beautiful and the fact that it’s so light (only 34 pounds – light compared to most eBikes) makes riding without any power fairly easy. This is a fantastic transition bike for cyclists wanting to break into the eBike world.
  • The Vibe series uses a 36W, 250v EbikeMotion X35 Plus motor from MAHLE, capable of putting out 40Nm of torque. I like the H30 and H10 models choice of upgraded components. The 10-speed H30 uses a Shimano Deore derailleur, which is a step up from the Shimano Alivio and is nice for a mid-market bike. The 12-speed H10 uses the new Shimano XT Shadow Plus Derailleur, a step above the Shimano Deore. Both bikes are going to be using some good-quality German hydraulic brakes with motor inhibitors from Magura, and allow for riders to really be able to take on hills within their cities.
  • Bottle cage bosses on the down tube is an excellent feature. Considering the small battery, it’s great that riders are able to purchase an expanded energy pack. The expanded battery pack is in bottle style and provides an additional 208Wh. This can allow you to improve your range by roughly 70%.
  • I appreciate safety considerations above all when riding a commuter-style eBike. The fantastic integration of this bike allows for a sharp looking headlight and taillight to come standard. They turn on when you turn the bike on, and are only turned off if you manually do so. If you purchase an EQ model, an additional headlight is provided, which is going to provide more function for evening commuters. The white reflective striping on the side of the huge tires is also great for a commuter.
  • The tires are large; they offer more air volume. The carbon fork dampens vibration, and the Brooks saddle is comfortable for commutes. It would increase the cost, but the bumps could be softened by adding a 31.6 mm suspension seat post and shockstop stem.

Cons – things that seem like trade-offs or negatives:
  • The battery is relatively small (36 volt, 7Ah) and offers minimal motor support. This is a sleek bike that is designed to be a step-up from a traditional bicycle, so I won’t list this as a con, rather it’s just a tradeoff. The price is in that mid-market range, so if you’re expecting power for price, this is something to be aware of. This is a class-1 pedal assist bike only; its motor activates a shutoff once you’ve achieved maximum speed.
  • The simple and clean the interface is fantastic, but the lack of added display might be confusing for some riders. Once you’ve used it, it makes sense, but for some this might be a tradeoff. Riders press the circular button for one second to turn the bike on. The system does a diagnostic check on itself and then shows the battery level with corresponding color. White - more than 75%, green - between 50% to 75%, orange - between 25% to 50%, and red - 0% to 25% and blinking faster if 15% or 10%. When you’re ready to change assist levels, just one short click will blink green for pedal assist 1, orange for pedal assist assist 2, and red for pedal assist 3.
  • There’s an option to use a smartphone app. In theory this is great, but something I think leaves a bit to be desired in practice. Unless you use the app, you won’t know how far you’ve gone or how fast you’re going. The controller will only indicate pedal-assist levels and estimated battery levels. I would prefer a digital percentage readout on a display versus the color-coded controller system. The real drawback is that the app must be used with Bluetooth enabled, which will drain your phone’s battery. Even if the Vibe had a USB port, it has relatively small battery capacity to be powering alternate devices.
  • Be gentle with the battery when charging because it’s not removable. Riders will want to bring it near an outlet each time they charge it. This can be difficult if one is commuting and parks their bike outside, or if riders live in places with extreme heat or extreme cold and prefer their battery in a more neutral environment.
  • When purchasing the bike online, know your frame size in accordance to your height. Luckily, Orbea’s website offers a handy sizing guide. I say this because the long seat post won’t drop down much, if at all, should you get the wrong size.
  • This bike is currently available for online purchase only. It’s worth noting that depending on the frame, the website lists bikes being unavailable until September 2021 and in some cases November 2021. Considering the assembly required with shipped bikes, riders who haven’t put eBikes together may want to be aware of that before they purchase. Often local shops will help for a small fee. Regarding manuals, the controller’s manual is mostly pictures; there are no words. Once you use it, it’s less confusing, but setting it up can be difficult.

As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Orbea Vibe, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
EbikeMotion X35 Plus motor from MAHLE. 36v, 250w, 40Nm of torque!
Ah, the hub-drive motor by Mahle. No, thank you. I ride a Mahle mid-drive motor called Specialized SL 1.1 ;) 48V, 240 W, 35 Nm.
As fine Shimano equipped e-MTB Orbea makes as they totally missed the train with their e-road and e-super lightweight bikes :)

1625089791663.png
 
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bouncy_rig

New Member
Region
USA
City
Colorado Springs
I have now ridden 800 Miles in the past 3 months on the Orbea Gain M20 all I can say is this is a fun bike. Handles very well. Brakes are top of the line.
 

Dave the panda

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
I have now ridden 800 Miles in the past 3 months on the Orbea Gain M20 all I can say is this is a fun bike. Handles very well. Brakes are top of the line.
It s loverly bike I have done over 5000 miles on mine in a year
No issues apart from replacing the usual parts that wear out chain cassette etc
Love it
 

ngg

Member
Region
Europe
The Orbea Vibe is a Class-1 pedal-assist (up to 20mph) commuter bike from Spain. The first thing that sticks out is the clean, sharply integrated look of the bike. It’s minimalist and beautiful; it looks more like a traditional bicycle than an eBike. When searching Orbea’s website, there are really five Vibe models each distinguished by which accessories you prefer: the standard H30 and the H30 EQ, the slightly upgraded H10, H10 EQ, and H10 MUD. These are all available in high-step or mid-step frames. The Vibe is meant to be personalized, so each model is available in four frame sizes, in addition, the H10’s are available in five colors, and the H30’s in four colors. They range in price from $2,899.00 to $3,699.00 depending on the model.

It’s a fantastic minimalist design and the clean integration can’t be overstated. This is a great option for people who want an active experience, something fast and efficient, an ebike that’s fun to pedal but will still help you manage wind and small hills. If you’re a cyclist looking to get into eBikes, this is a nice transition bike.






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar eBikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:


Pros – things that stand out as good:
  • The best part about this bike is how beautiful and minimalistic it is. It looks like a normal bicycle. This can deter potential theft, but it needs to be noted that there isn’t a key required, it’s just a button to start. The looks are beautiful and the fact that it’s so light (only 34 pounds – light compared to most eBikes) makes riding without any power fairly easy. This is a fantastic transition bike for cyclists wanting to break into the eBike world.
  • The Vibe series uses a 36W, 250v EbikeMotion X35 Plus motor from MAHLE, capable of putting out 40Nm of torque. I like the H30 and H10 models choice of upgraded components. The 10-speed H30 uses a Shimano Deore derailleur, which is a step up from the Shimano Alivio and is nice for a mid-market bike. The 12-speed H10 uses the new Shimano XT Shadow Plus Derailleur, a step above the Shimano Deore. Both bikes are going to be using some good-quality German hydraulic brakes with motor inhibitors from Magura, and allow for riders to really be able to take on hills within their cities.
  • Bottle cage bosses on the down tube is an excellent feature. Considering the small battery, it’s great that riders are able to purchase an expanded energy pack. The expanded battery pack is in bottle style and provides an additional 208Wh. This can allow you to improve your range by roughly 70%.
  • I appreciate safety considerations above all when riding a commuter-style eBike. The fantastic integration of this bike allows for a sharp looking headlight and taillight to come standard. They turn on when you turn the bike on, and are only turned off if you manually do so. If you purchase an EQ model, an additional headlight is provided, which is going to provide more function for evening commuters. The white reflective striping on the side of the huge tires is also great for a commuter.
  • The tires are large; they offer more air volume. The carbon fork dampens vibration, and the Brooks saddle is comfortable for commutes. It would increase the cost, but the bumps could be softened by adding a 31.6 mm suspension seat post and shockstop stem.

Cons – things that seem like trade-offs or negatives:
  • The battery is relatively small (36 volt, 7Ah) and offers minimal motor support. This is a sleek bike that is designed to be a step-up from a traditional bicycle, so I won’t list this as a con, rather it’s just a tradeoff. The price is in that mid-market range, so if you’re expecting power for price, this is something to be aware of. This is a class-1 pedal assist bike only; its motor activates a shutoff once you’ve achieved maximum speed.
  • The simple and clean the interface is fantastic, but the lack of added display might be confusing for some riders. Once you’ve used it, it makes sense, but for some this might be a tradeoff. Riders press the circular button for one second to turn the bike on. The system does a diagnostic check on itself and then shows the battery level with corresponding color. White - more than 75%, green - between 50% to 75%, orange - between 25% to 50%, and red - 0% to 25% and blinking faster if 15% or 10%. When you’re ready to change assist levels, just one short click will blink green for pedal assist 1, orange for pedal assist assist 2, and red for pedal assist 3.
  • There’s an option to use a smartphone app. In theory this is great, but something I think leaves a bit to be desired in practice. Unless you use the app, you won’t know how far you’ve gone or how fast you’re going. The controller will only indicate pedal-assist levels and estimated battery levels. I would prefer a digital percentage readout on a display versus the color-coded controller system. The real drawback is that the app must be used with Bluetooth enabled, which will drain your phone’s battery. Even if the Vibe had a USB port, it has relatively small battery capacity to be powering alternate devices.
  • Be gentle with the battery when charging because it’s not removable. Riders will want to bring it near an outlet each time they charge it. This can be difficult if one is commuting and parks their bike outside, or if riders live in places with extreme heat or extreme cold and prefer their battery in a more neutral environment.
  • When purchasing the bike online, know your frame size in accordance to your height. Luckily, Orbea’s website offers a handy sizing guide. I say this because the long seat post won’t drop down much, if at all, should you get the wrong size.
  • This bike is currently available for online purchase only. It’s worth noting that depending on the frame, the website lists bikes being unavailable until September 2021 and in some cases November 2021. Considering the assembly required with shipped bikes, riders who haven’t put eBikes together may want to be aware of that before they purchase. Often local shops will help for a small fee. Regarding manuals, the controller’s manual is mostly pictures; there are no words. Once you use it, it’s less confusing, but setting it up can be difficult.

As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Orbea Vibe, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.
It is a very complicated review for a very simple machine.

In the last 3 months I have driven 1,000 km on the Vibe MID H30. MID version because my legs are 3 cm shorter than the standard leg length (85 cm), for a total height of 180 cm. So I was able to ride an L-sized bike, which I otherwise wouldn’t be able to with a regular Vibe H30. The seat angle to the BB is good for strong pedaling, and the handlebar is close enough for a more upright position and a more relaxed back.

Vibe looks and Vibe rides like a regular bike. When I need help uphill I turn on the engine. There is no need to look at different lights and their blinking. Simply, any change you feel as a vibration (like smartphones). Just relax and drive. All commands are within reach of the thumb and forefinger. Even the brakes work with one finger.

I wanted a bike, not a scooter, so I chose a hub-drive engine. The engine is very gentle and adapts to the driver. On a fairly hilly terrain, my battery lasts about 70 km. This is the eBike world. Everything beyond that is the world of scooters.

On the bike itself, I did a few washes and lubrication of the chain. And nothing more.

Vibe is, as I said, a very simple machine, which is made very sophisticated. First hand experience.
 

ngg

Member
Region
Europe
I also have one minor complaint about Vibe. When it already delivers flat pedals with the Vibe bike, then Orbea could put some better quality pedals. In fact, the pedals are not as bad for pedaling as they are inaccurately made, so they are audible. It could be better with a € 2,500 bike, or simply deliver a bike without a pedal.

BTW: Stefan, I’m using the words “less” and “more,” which is absolutely different from the term “looks like” that you used. Thus, turning pedals mounted on a classic BB is a drastically different experience compared to turning pedals mounted on a motor shaft. And that's it, a matter of taste. But, the taste is not discussed.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I also have one minor complaint about Vibe. When it already delivers flat pedals with the Vibe bike, then Orbea could put some better quality pedals. In fact, the pedals are not as bad for pedaling as they are inaccurately made, so they are audible. It could be better with a € 2,500 bike, or simply deliver a bike without a pedal.
This is how it is done in the market. The most expensive bikes and e-bikes come without pedals because the aware rider would use their own preferred pedals anyway (it is as if you were offered with shoes that you wouldn't like). A bit less expensive bikes and e-bikes come with generic pedals, as it is assumed you need to be able to ride the bike until you have installed your own pedals. For instance, some people cannot live without "clipless" pedals and cleated shoes. Some (as I) cannot ride without large platform pedals with traction pins -- and matching shoes. The pedal replacement is the first thing the aware cyclist does to their bike.
BTW: Stefan, I’m using the words “less” and “more,” which is absolutely different from the term “looks like” that you used. Thus, turning pedals mounted on a classic BB is a drastically different experience compared to turning pedals mounted on a motor shaft. And that's it, a matter of taste. But, the taste is not discussed.
It is very disputable, as the power distribution from the mid-drive motor is perceived as far more natural than it is from a hub-drive motor. I have owned as many as four e-bikes, three mid-drives and one hub-drive and my experience is totally different from yours.

Besides, it is not the matter of the motor location but how good have manufacturers designed their lightweight e-bikes to achieve their goal. Both Orbea and Specialized successfully made their goal, only the motor arrangement is different. To make it more funny, both X35 and SL 1.1 motors come from Mahle.

1630665410209.png

Interestingly similar e-bikes of similar weight.

ngg: You didn't have a chance to ride an SL e-bike, did you.
 

Yayabike

Member
Region
Europe
Nothing is wrong. Just less a bike and more a scooter.
A bit unfair to compare the specialized light ebike with Orbea one, the first cost probably 50% more. Of cpurse abike at 3000-4000 euro is likely to be better.
Most people would agree on the fact that specialized make very good bikes/ebike but the price is stellar too, i would even say that it is overpriced for most people.
In a sense specialized is like Tesla, Orbea is more like Nissan ....



I got my H10 mid vibe for 2099 euros last September, due to the penury induced by the Covid pandemic i had to go for the Mid frame -- but indeed i m very happy with it , recently i got an injury i could not have used the regular "male" frame --. I also could not get the equipped version which i regret but i found a nice rear carrier that fits perfectly, i will get mudguard next winter. I was able to order the bikestand from orbea and it fits very well.
Since i had to return it for some days for service i had to go back to my city bike, a decent scott with hydraulic brakes and decent features, one striking difference was how much better the Vibe was to handle our broken bumpy roads, it is not suspended but the fork is good and the tyres very larges. I also love to be sure to have always lights, even is these lights are there to be seen. Moreover The reflective circle placed on the wheel are very nice too.

Now to see you can get very good lights for little money : i truly love my olight, it is rechargeable with usb c, it fits on a garmin support, it is powerful and last forever and the build quality is very high.

Of course you don't get 80nm of torque like on the decathlon EST 900, it is not a motor bike.

Unless you are below 40 you won t climb 10% grade slope at 25, but 15-18 km/h.

The Vibe from Orbea has very few shortcomings :

- Yes the assistance is not very strong but it is enough for a city/commuter bike even in a very hilly area like the franch riviera.
- The battery is small but you can ride very often with no assitance at all.
- The battery is not removable, this is the only big problem when the battery needs to be serviced. My local Oreba reseller told me that removing the battery is quite long because of the cable management. I recently got a firmware error and the bike had to be serviced. Orbea did it nicely but it still took 2 weeks and the bike had to be returned to one of their workshop. Note that i never removed my batteries because my ebike sleeps at home. She will never sleep in a bike park or anywhere outside.
- The lack of display is indeed an asset, the Iwoc controller perfectly works, it provides enough data about the battery level. If you want to track your trip you can use an old style speed counter (decathlon sell a wireless one using a sensor located on the wheel axe for like 20 euros) or a garmin-like device, i got a garmin edge second hand for like 100 euros but i usually don't use it when i commute. Last you can aslo use a gps watch (like a forerunner).
I remember the mess with my haibike, where is this stupid display ? (it was removable), OMG I lost it ? I forgot it in the shop ?. The iwoc is perfect, need a boost ? click up 1-2-3 times.
- The Mahle phone application is a total disaster, this is true. Note that this is not Orbea fault. So I only use it to check the exact battery level, of course a decent application would be a bonus but honestly i don t need it i have many way to track my trips if I want : Other phone application, my watch, my garmin edge, the decathlon mini counter.
Still if Mahle could deliver an application showing the speed, the engine current power, the battery level level I would probably use it, but well it sort of sucks : you need a phone carrier and you need to click (good luck when you are sweating), you need to remove the phone if you stop even 3mn to buy bread or anything. Indeed i m happy since i don't need my phone and so i cannot loose/forget it. Instead i only use the application in a house when i recharge the battery. You can use the Vibe like a regualr bike, unlock it , ride it and use the Iwoc which is barely visible.


Now about non Iwoc versions ... I tried the race model before buying the vibe and i was totally convinced. But without the Iwoc it is very dangerous because the contoller is on the frame. This mean that you have to look down to operate it and this is really dangerous. So even if you go for a race model get the Iwoc controller. The button on the frame is fully functionnal but it is dangerous to use it.

The only thing i changed are the pedals, i added moutain bike pedals flat on a side and with locker on the other (moutain bike style not road style) and with reflectors.
My understanding is that Orbea designed its vibe for commuters, city ridder that don't use special shoes.
 
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Yayabike

Member
Region
Europe
Complementary note :


Vado SL 4.0 Step-Through without equipment is sold 3700.

The Orbea Vibe mid is a 2100.


So just 1600 euros more or 75% more.

Another way to see the difference would be to consider that you can get a decathlon EST 520 (with broose motor and high torque) + an Orb'ea Vibe mid H10 for the price os the Vado (indeed that would be 3900 so 200 euros more).
 
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