Based in the basque hills, the Orbea factory is perfectly placed for testing new bikes.
  • a different ben

    That’s all well and good mate, but how do they pronounce ‘Orbea’?

    • Laurens

      Ohr-bay-yah, rather than or-bee

    • Chillfmm

      or-be-a with “be” like it is pronounced in best.

      • Chillfmm

        or-be-a with “be” like it is pronounced in “best” an “a” like it is pronounced in “a”petizer.

  • ed

    wanted one bad after watching mayo win alp d’huez in 2003 – the orange & blue frame was cool

  • Sean parker

    so are bikes actually manufactured there? There seems to be a lot of assembly, spraying and building going on but are the frames manufactured there?

    • David Everett

      Frames are no longer built in the factory, all are built in the same factories that many other major manufacturers use. Though it was nice to see a proper paint shop in operation and staff that paid attention to the little details on a bike.

      • Annie.

        Spraying without facemask!

  • Neil

    Shoddy gets the worst jobs.

    • I know, right?!

      • David Everett

        I do this only to please the readers, it’s a tough one I know.

  • David

    I love my blue orb and I am even happier with it seeing how the company operates.

  • pitchersdave

    Great article and pictures Dave and especially enlightening and enjoyable as I’ve been riding an Orca for three years now. I first encountered the brand when cycling in Mallorca in 2011 and was chatting to a couple of Spanish guys riding Orcas, who were very passionate about the brand and , of course, their bikes. I admit that I was immediately taken by the look and I took a bit of a gamble by just buying one without testing. No regrets and after three summers, still no bike envy and when I do inevitably upgrade, first port of call will be Orbea again, especially as they now do the custom frames. Fantastic bike, fast and comfortable too and garners many favourable comments as even in the UK where I am based, Orbea is not a brand one sees that often.

  • Anon N + 1

    Northeast Spain? More like north-central. Mallabia is about midway between Girona on the Mediterranean and A Coruna on the Atlantic.

  • Annie.

    Orbea? Never again! I used to admire the brand, but read our very emotional personal experience, the reason why I now warn anybody from getting him- or herself one of their frames. That’s what happened to my partner (long version above, short below):

    The Orbea Alma used to be
    my dreambike: I loved the brand, loved the design, loved every little
    detail. So even though I knew it was not the lightest frame, and not
    the stiffest, on the market, furthermore at quite a high price, I got
    myself an Orbea Alma in the Carbon version: It was only available in
    a shop quite far from here, but it seemed worth the effort – and
    cost.

    And I was happy about my
    decision. Until I discovered those many hairlines around the
    connection between head tube and top tube (they were few at first and
    suddenly, more and more appeared). I didn’t feel safe on the bike
    anymore: There was no apparent reason for them being there: I hadnt’
    fallen, the bike hadn’t fallen, there was no dent or something, only
    those fine lines all around the “seam” between two tubes. As I
    couldn’t see underneath, to me it seemed as if the head tube could
    come off anytime while riding!

    I took the bike apart and
    brought the frame all the way to my bike dealer: I was way within my
    2-years of legal warranty, but also, Orbea promises lifelong warranty
    for its frames, so I felt double-secure: Those apparent manufacturing
    errors should make them provide me with a new frame without any
    doubt. – That’s what I thought. I loved my bike and wanted it back as
    soon as possible!

    First: I didn’t hear
    anything about the frame for months. I couldn’t ride my mountainbike.
    I waited, tried to be patient. When I finally asked my bike dealer
    about it, he said he hadn’t any news. Repeat that several times over
    months. Then suddenly he told me they wouldn’t do anything about it:
    “They know the issue, but they won’t do anything about it.” – So
    no new frame for me?!

    He told me to come and get
    my frame, so I did: I had already missed a big part of the season and
    wanted to get back into business. But as you can imagine, it didn’t
    feel right. Also, it makes me so angry and I got even angrier over
    time: I bought a Carbon frame at a high price and I was told it was a
    good product. I was told I had a lifelong warranty on it. Nothing of
    that seemed to be true and I feeled tricked.

    Even more so when I wanted
    to put on a different tyre: So far, I had ridden with narrower racing
    tyres, but opted for normal ones most people ride as they are better
    suited for a long mud ride I planned. It didn’t work!

    – Also, I found out that
    the rear was asymetrically built so I couldn’t even fit in even a
    narrow (!) mudtyre as it was scraping the paint on one side. Also,
    with complaining about that incredible major defect, I was told there
    were no way I’d get a new frame.

    Short version:

    The amazing Alma was my
    first Orbea. Unfortunately, it’ll be my very last, too: Not long
    after I bought it, I discovered those many hairlines around the
    connection between head tube and top tube (they were few at first and
    suddenly, more and more appeared). Also, when I wanted to put in
    normal MTB tires instead of the rather
    low-profile and very narrow racing ones, I had to find out that the
    frame wasn’t built properly: The rear was asymetric resulting in the
    tyre touching the chainstay at one side and harming the colouring. My
    dealer tried to send it in, but after waiting many months I was told
    there wouldn’t be any replacement (even though I was still way within
    warranty time AND there’s lifetime warranty on the frame). So, please
    understand, that neither me nor anyone around me – friends, cycle
    bunch, race compagnons… – will ever touch an Orbea again: They’re
    high-priced and customer service is horrible; at least that’s my very
    harsh experience.

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