Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Product Review: 2011 Orbea Rallon

Where to start?!? I guess the main reason I got the Orbea Rallon 10 was because of the peer pressure from my die-hard mountain bike friends who insisted that a 6 inch travel trail bike was an absolute necessity. I honestly get enough thrill from riding my dirt bike which has over 10 inches of travel and I was more concerned with getting the latest and greatest race bike but alas I gave in. Although I normally doubt just about anything those guys tell me, they were right and this might have been one of the greatest bicycle acquisitions to date. Check out the link above for all the technical details and read below for a few quick reasons Orbea deserves a big round of applause!

The new Shimano XTR Trail 3×10 crankset is the most efficient drivetrain I have ever used. The Dyna-Sys provides such a smooth combination of gear options that make riding so much fun. The triple consists of a 42-32-24 chainring combo and I’m running an 11-36T cassette in the rear. I’m also excited to be running the new XTR Trail Pedal that is not only extremely light for a platform pedal, but so easy to clip in and out of when on unstable terrain.

Continuing on with Shimano’s newest products is the XTR Trail Braking System that has over 125% more braking power than the previous model. When you’re shredding down the trail at Mach 10 on a big bike, you need A LOT of stopping power…trust me! The IceTech aluminum-core rotors are new and minimize the loss of brake power from overheating. My favorite part are the small dimples on the levers that have great grip and such a precise feel. I also added a set of ESI Grips which are by far the most comfortable MTB grips on the planet.

The Fox TALAS RLC 150 fork is one of a kind. This is my first experience with a thru-axel fork and so far, no complaints. It has the ability to adjust the travel from 150mm to 120mm for more efficient climbing with a better angle and less bob. It makes going uphill so easy and you truly can feel such a difference. When wide open and using all 6 inches of goodness, the suspension is like magic. It has a perfect feel and will roll over just about anything even without much momentum. I’ve only bottomed it out once but that was the driver’s fault…apparently you cannot just roll over 2 foot tall rocks. I definitely christened the bike that day after doing a handstand over the bars!

FOX has never seized to impress me with their infamous RP23 rear shock. The 3 different settings of adjustability right at your fingertips is so useful and the ProPedal makes climbing and riding not so technical trail extremely enjoyable.

Ladies!!! I battled saddle issues for years until I began using the Specialized BG products. If you ever have problems and need to try something different, go demo one, I promise it will change your life :) Nothing against any other brand but this is such a personal preference piece of equipment and when you find what works, you’ve gotta stick with it.

On a big bike, tire selection is key as well. This year I am proud to be running a roundup of great tires from Maxxis. I’ve chosen the 2.35 Minon DHF for the front with it’s more block type shape and a 2.25 Ardent in the rear for it’s low rolling resistance and killer cornering!

Is this a bike I’ll take to the race course? Probably not. Is this a full-on downhill shredder? Unfortunately no. However, this is the perfect bike to take on a casual ride with friends on all types of trail. It’s comfortable, it climbs fantastically and if you drop the seat post it will rail the descents. If you’re in the market, the 2011 Orbea Rallon is the All Mountain bike for you!

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