Mike has been looking at purchasing a new bike and has narrowed his choices down to an Orbea, Felt or Specialized. He also wants any information we have on Orbea’s and our opinion on them. We choose our favorite from the three and fill him in on the Orbea
I’m looking to purchase a new bike. A local bike shop here in my town has some really good deals on Orbea’s last year’s model and 05’s. I’ve pretty much narrowed down my choices to either a Felt, Specialized, and Orbea. Can you tell me a little more about Orbea bikes? I’m looking at spending about $2000.
We are actually working on an Orbea review at the moment, but we are waiting to see the new 2008 range which has just been released and we want to take time to do a full review. We will do a “quickie” review for Mike and look at the Felt and Specialized.
Orbea are made in Mallabia in the Basque Country in the North of Spain and started the business in 1840 and now are one of the leading bike manufacturers in Europe. They are very famous for sponsoring the Basque Euskaltel professional cycle team and that experience comes through in their frame designs.
To get a cheaper Orbea bike you could look at previous year’s bikes, as you say ’05 bike should be at a very good price, make sure that it’s not 8 speed, or if it is 9 speed and can’t be upgraded to 10 without spending lots of money.
Orbea’s 2008 range has everything from Triathlon, cyclo cross, racing, sport, fitness and a very good range of Carbon frame based bikes. We will look at ’07 bike as you want to spend around $2,000 and we need to see what is available in that price range.
The Onix frame uses monocoque carbon technology, the same as the team use. The Onix TDF has Shimano Ultegra components and Mavic Kysrium wheels, all at a little over 2,000 USD. Then for around the same price there is the Onix TDE, the same frame but with SRAM’s Rival group set and Mavic Aksium wheels. Both bikes are very ridable and carbon, the choice would be between Shimano and SRAM.
The Aqua uses double butted 7005 series alloy for the main tubes and Zeus carbon seat stays and front forks. In your price range you could have Shimano Ultegra and Mavic Aksium wheels, the Aqua is a nice mix of alloy and carbon to give you the best of two worlds.
The Vuelta is the cheapest we could find at $1,500, alloy main frame tubes with Zeus carbon forks and seat stays, but with the more reasonably priced Shimano 105 components along with the Mavic Aksium wheel set. The Vuelta is a great bike at a great price if you are looking for a bargain.
Our favorite is the all carbon Orbea Onix with the Shimano Ultegra group set, you could race o this bike, its comfortable and handles well in any situation, if it’s an Orbea you want then this is the one for around $2,000.
The Felt F3C is a full carbon monocoque frame and fork with the FSA chain set Alex aero wheels and a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105 equipment. The Felt frame is well balanced and built, but the equipment on the Orbea Onix is better, it’s a close battle, but the Onix wins.
You can afford the Specialized Allez Expert which is an Alloy frame with carbon forks and seat stays, the equipment is Shimano Ultegra and it comes with the Shimano R600 wheel set, lots of bits of carbon and vibration dampening. Very nice bike and just gets the vote over the Orbea.
If you hunt around you can find the Specialized Tarmac Expert for under $2,000, just! It has a full carbon frame and forks along with a Shimano Ultegra group and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. Great carbon frame and the trustworthiness of Shimano Ultegra and Mavic, if you can get this bike at 2,000 dollars then you are getting a very rideable bargain that should do anything you want up or down hills.
Looking at all these bikes for around $2,000 we think they are all very good and bikes to be proud of. The Specialized Tarmac Expert gets our overall vote for value for money and it looks very nice in the red finish. After that it has to be the Orbea Onix, it has that European flare for design and finish quality. To get a good deal on a Felt bike you have to spend a little more, so forget them and go for the Specialized or the Orbea.
I hope we have pushed you in the right direction?