First Look: The 2023 Orbea Wild is a race-ready eMTB

Orbea has updated the Wild, its race-winning eMTB. The new version seems to be more performance-oriented than ever. By getting rid of the door that allowed the battery to be easily removed or replaced, Orbea claims to have increased the stiffness of the front triangle by 52% while reducing frame weight by around 900g. Obviously it will be more difficult to swap the batteries or charge them off the bike, but you have a mechanic for that, right?

The geometry has also been changed – it is longer, slacker and taller.

The Bosch motor has been updated, with a minimal remote on the bar and a controller on the top tube. You can get it with a 625 or 750 Wh battery and Bosch’s standard CX motor or the new Race version for even less weight and extra overshoot.

Orbea Wild 23 Details
• Fully internal battery (no door)
• Frame 52% stiffer and 900 g lighter than its predecessor
• 160 mm rear travel, 160 or 170 mm fork
• 29 inch wheels only
• Bosch CX motor (including Race version), 625 or 750 Wh battery
• 77.5° seat angle, 64° head angle
• 20.9 kg (46 lb) total weight claimed
• Price: $5,699 to $11,999
• orbea.com


Motor and Battery

The Bosch motor seems like the only option if you want a race-ready e-bike. The latest Performance CX motor provides peak power and good range with the 750 Wh battery. If you order from Orbea, you can choose the 625 Wh or 750 Wh battery depending on cost, weight and range requirements. The smaller battery sits lower in the frame, giving the lowest possible center of gravity.

The battery charge indicator and mode selector are on the top tube, with a small remote on the handlebars for quick mode changes.

Only the top model comes with the Race version of the Bosch motor, which is 150g lighter and has an extended overrun feature, which means the motor continues to run a bit longer after the motor has stopped. pedaling. The idea is to help you get up and over trail obstacles where you need to stop pedaling. Hopefully the unsolicited power doesn’t send you sideways on an alpine switchback.


Frame details

The main update for the new bike is the intact downtube and the elimination of the door in the tube that provided access to the battery. This means that removing the battery involves first removing the motor with Allen keys, but the benefit of this approach is that Orbea was able to increase frame stiffness while saving around 900g compared to the old bike . In fact, the bare carbon frame (without shock, motor, battery or wiring) is said to weigh just 2675g, just 70g more than the equivalent Rallon enduro bike. This helps Orbea achieve a complete bike weight of under 21 kg (46.3 lbs), which is very impressive for a full-power e-bike.

There is also an alloy version, but it is unclear how much it weighs.

Like many modern bikes, cables run through the headset. According to Orbea, this is to “reduce visual distractions, noise and cable movement while ensuring cable entry and exit points are fully sealed”.

As for the added maintenance hassle, Orbea says that “thanks to the design of this system, it’s easier than ever to change a cable, stem or handlebar. The only time extra work would be required would be to change the headset bearings, and to make sure this doesn’t happen very often, the top bearing is stainless steel to provide the longest life.”

The headset, along with the stem, also acts as a steer limiter to prevent the fork or controls from hitting the frame in a crash (much like Trek’s Knock Block). A bumper on the downtube acts as a fail-safe or an alternative if you choose to use a different stem.

On the suspension side, the kinematics are similar to the old bike, except the lever curve is a bit less progressive. Orbea says there is still plenty of ramp to complete a coil shock, although all models come with air.


Geometry

The geometry has been changed for more speed and stability. The 448mm chainstay is 7mm shorter, there’s 25mm more reach (size M), the head angle is 1.5° slacker and the seat tube is 1mm steeper, 5°. This adds up to a 44mm longer wheelbase. The bottom bracket is 5mm taller for extra pedal clearance and the head tube is 20mm longer for a taller front end, which together with the shorter rear end should make lifting easier of the front wheel. The longer, slacker and higher front end should make it much more stable at high speeds.


Models and specifications

There are four carbon and three aluminum models. Specifications are customizable on the Orbea website using their MyO (“My Orbea”) program. High-end models get Orbea’s new Oquo wheels.


Orbea says the new Wild will arrive in early 2023, but it’s already possible to reserve a bike through Orbea’s Rider Connect service.

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