- The entry model in the Orbea Rise line of light weight full suspension electric trail bikes. Featuring the Shimano EP8-RS Rider Synergy mid-drive motor that's custom tuned for efficiency, offering 60nm of peak torque and 250 watts nominal output. Available in four frame sizes, three color choices, and many hardware upgrade paths using MyO configuration ordering.
- Fully integrated battery pack utilizes 21700 battery cells from Panasonic that offer high energy density, reduced weight, and more charge cycles. Optional range extender battery is shaped like a water bottle for easy mounting and use. Boost hub spacing with 15mm and 12mm thru-axles offer improved stiffness. Stock 29er wheels can switch or mix with 650b and plus sized tires.
- Dual piston 180mm hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano. 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain with wide 10-51 tooth cassette. Marzocchi suspension fork and Fox rear suspension offer 140mm travel with compression and rebound adjust. 40mm dropper seat post, fast 4 amp battery charger, highly adjustable Shimano SC-E7000 display panel and smartphone app.
- Heavier than the M series carbon fiber frames, in part because the H series comes with a higher capacity battery pack (540wh vs. 360wh). Charging port is directly in the path of the left crank arm, the power button is low on the frame, the menu change button is on the Shimano display vs. the easy to reach button pad. Main battery is not easily removed which adds weight, can make charging more difficult, may limit travel and and subject the battery to varied temperatures.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Orbea products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Orbea electric bike forums.
- The Orbea Rise platform has become a top seller for many shops that I spoke with when preparing for this review. It weighs less than many competing full suspension trail ebikes I cover, but is not as light as the Specialized Turbo Levo SL and Turbo Kenevo SL in this aluminum alloy configuration. This is due in large part to the higher capacity battery pack. If you opt for one of the carbon fiber M models, the pack is lower capacity 360 watt hours vs. 540 watt hours for the H models. Compared to the Specialized SL models, the Orbea Rise motor offers higher peak torque output of 60nm vs. 35nm.
- The stock Shimano EP8 motor was custom tuned by Orbea and renamed EP8-RS, which stands for Rider Synergy. This configuration reduces the peak torque output from 85nm to 60nm, which improves range and allows for a lower capacity main battery pack. The main battery pack is not easily removable, you have to drop the bottom bracket. This may limit travel options, and require the bike to be parked close to a charging outlet vs. filling separately. Orbea does sell 250 watt hour range extender battery packs that are shaped like a water bottle and mount in a bottle cage that mounts to the downtube.
- Many of the stock components can be upgraded individually through the Orbea MyO website (or shops) including the suspension fork, brake calipers and rotors, seatpost, saddle, and display. In its stock configuration, this electric mountain bike comes in four frame sizes and three color choices. Power delivery is smooth and natural thanks to an advanced pedal assist sensor (measuring rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque), but there is no shift detection. Motor performance is adjustable through the Shimano E-Tube smartphone app with two profile settings. Profile 1 is weaker and designed to extend range while Profile 2 offers full power and up to 60nm of torque. In either setting, the bike tends to be efficient and capable of excellent range, as is the case for most mid-drives.
- The two variations of the Rise platform include M models such as M20, M10, M-Team, and M-LTD, which stands for high modulus carbon and H models such as the H30 H15 and H10, which stands for hydroformed aluminum alloy. The Rise H30 is the base trim level with the least expensive components.
- It’s nice to have so many choices with the Rise electric bikes. There are seven trim levels: four are carbon fiber M models and three are aluminum alloy H models. If you want to do custom colors, you need to pay extra for one of the M models. There’s a lot of choice here, but most of it boils down to components… and you can incrementally upgrade with the MyO program. Once you figure it all out, the choices are great, even if they do encourage higher spending.
- The bike looks beautiful, especially with the fully integrated main battery pack. All cables and wires are internally routed, the slap guard is extra long to protect the paint, and there are additional clear stickers to protect from cable rub.
- I was surprised to see two different tires on the entry-model of the Rise series. The front Maxxis Dissector has deep knobs that are spaced farther apart so they can really dig in and help you steer. The rear Maxxis Rekon has a denser pattern that can provide greater surface area and more traction for climbing and braking.
- Even though some reviewers have upgraded the brakes straight away, opting for quad piston caliper and larger 200mm front rotor… I feel that the stock 180mm with dual piston calipers worked fine, especially since the bike is fairly light. I think some reviewers were leaning more towards all mountain vs. cross country and trail riding, which calls for beefier brakes.
- Great air shocks from Fox and their child brand Marzocchi. Both are lightweight, offer adjustable compression and rebound, and have black anodized stanchions that look nice. The Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork has 34mm stanchions, runs Boost hub spacing, and uses a stiff 15mm axle with quick release.
- It seems like many electric mountain bikes are moving towards 29er wheels these days, but this bike could be setup with 27.5 650b wheels if you wanted. The Boost hub spacing and frame design can also accommodate plus sized tires such as 2.6″ to 3.0″ and you could run a mullet setup with 27.5″ in the rear and 29″ up front, like a motocross bike! It’s nice to have options.
- Excellent weight distribution with motor and battery positioned low and center. I appreciate the bottle cage mount for fluids or optional range extender.
- Nice locking grips, upgraded crank arms with plastic protector caps, narrow wide chainring and plastic guide really secures the chain! Good attention to details.
- Excellent drivetrain! I love the trigger shifters, which offer two-way action on the high lever. You get a wide 10 to 51 tooth spread on the 12 speed cassette, and the Shimano SLX derailleur comes with a clutch to reduce chain bounce. It all performed great and could support a wide range of terrain and ride styles.
- This model came with a Shimano display panel, and it offers lots of interesting readouts such as pedal cadence! The motor offers high pedal cadence support, over 120 RPM, which means it won’t drop power as you downshift for hills etc.
- It’s interesting that the display panel settings menu lets you choose two profiles (Profile 1 is lower power efficiency, Profile 2 is more standard and offers high torque). I definitely prefer Profile 2, but you can further refine the assist characteristics using the the optional Shimano E-Tube App. The app also provides over the air updates to bike firmware.
- I realize it takes extra time, money, and planning to customize a drive system the way that Orbea has done here. They could have just used the stock Shimano EP8, but their RS “Rider Synergy” configuration, fully integrated battery, and bottle shaped range extender match the lightweight “sporty” ride.
- One of the ways they were able to build lightweight bikes but still have high capacity batteries is that they used the newer 21700 battery cell format. These have high energy density, so they take less space and weight for the same energy, and they tend to have a longer overall lifespan.
- The warranty for Orbea products sounds pretty good. You get the standard two year comprehensive that big drive systems like Shimano tend to offer, as well as lifetime on the frame if you register. I believe this is only for the original owner, but it’s still very good! Orbea is a cooperative from Spain with a positive history of supporting workers and community.
- I appreciate that the dropper seat post does not have fixed positions, it’s infinitely adjustable so you can dial it in on the fly. The frame itself is very approachable for a high-step full suspension 29er. Notice the sloped and angled top tube. This point was mentioned by Karen from the New Wheel in their video review.
- The MyO (my Orbea) customization options for the bike are pretty neat, and if you get one of the M carbon fiber models you can even pick the paint color yourself vs. the three fixed colorways.
- Even in this starting trim level, as the H30 aluminum alloy frame with more basic components, the bike costs a lot. The MSRP is $5,699 USD without any MyO upgrades or range extender. I believe the optional range extender bottle battery pack adds another $599 for an additional 250 watt hours. You could easily spend $625 more on suspension, brake, and saddle upgrades before getting to the more premium H15 or H10 alloy models. All of this said, it’s nice to have choices, and the Rise M20, M10, M-TEAM, and M-LTD carbon fiber models weigh even less with more component upgrades.
- If you feel like the bike just isn’t that powerful, make sure you’re not riding in the weaker Profile 1 setting. You can do this by holding the circle button on the base of the display panel to enter the settings menu. Then, navigate down to the “Assist customize” menu, and select Profile 2.
- It took me a while to figure out the different trim levels and battery setups for this ebike, and I was surprised that the H series was 46lbs vs. 40lbs as reported by other reviewers for the M series carbon fiber. In short, it was heavier than I expected for a “light ebike” with range extender options. I think my expectations were a little miss-set to be honest. I believe that most of the weight difference has to do with the higher capacity 504wh battery vs. 360wh on the M series.
- The charging port is located low on the frame, on the left side, directly in the path of the crank arm. I suspect they put it here to be easily reached by the range extender battery pack (just like Specialized did on their Turbo SL models) but this is a trail bike with no kickstand. I’ve been taught to lay bikes down on the left side to protect the derailleur. Now it feels like I have to choose between protecting the charge port and cord vs. protecting the derailleur, especially since the battery isn’t removable for charging.
- The power button is also positioned low on the frame, on top of the downtube but very close to the seat tube. I feel like water, mud, and dirt could reach this area more easily and then settle on top of the button. I also feel like it requires more reaching to activate the bike here vs. having an extra button on the handlebar-mounted button pad ring. Why not also have a menu button on this ring vs. the lower edge of the display panel that is also not easy to reach while pedaling? I feel like buttons are spread across the bike unnecessarily, and this is inconvenient and distracting when riding.
- The display panel has a bunch of great readouts, including pedal cadence, but the battery infographic is pretty basic. You get five bars, with each representing a 20% step, it’s not as precise as battery percentage. The display is also pretty small, so reading it while riding isn’t that convenient.
- This is a very minor gripe, but the bike does not come with pedals. I would like to have some lightweight platform pedals come stock to make demo rides easier… especially for the base H30 model.
- This is a personal thing, but I didn’t love the saddle. It’s pretty hard and sloped, which doesn’t fit my body anatomy very well. Straight out of the gate I’d replace it and the pedals.
- I didn’t notice this while riding, but many have reported that the Shimano EP8 motor can knock at times. I believe this has to do with the weight of the momentum of internal gearing and clutch system. It doesn’t sound like a deal killer.