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Road Gear

Orbea Orca Aero drops drag

Orbea claims the new Orca bike will save you 15 watts at 40kph, and if you can manage 50kph, you'll save an additional 13 watts on the new aero road bike.

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The 2022 Orbea Orca Aero has been totally refreshed, using lessons learned from designing the Ordu time trial bike.

The Spanish bike brand determined that a horizontal top tube and chainstays would optimize aero low-drag performance, while accomodating wider wheels and tires — up to 30mm — as well as shaping the frame to smooth airflow across tube junctions.

Designing the bike as a unit, with considerations for components, Orbea claims that wind-induced drag was decreased by a further two percent by accounting for the stem and handlebars, as well as the seatpost. The bold claim of dropping 15 watts of drag at 40kph and a whopping 28w at 50kph was made, when comparing against the previous version of the bike.

Also read: Cervélo R5 raises seatstays, drops weight, gets wider

The seat tube on the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero has been shaped to decrease aerodynamic drag, but to also offer a smooth ride. (Photo: Orbea)
The wind-cheating seat tube on the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero. (Photo: Orbea)
The rear edge of the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero allows for up to a 30mm tire. It shapes airflow to decrease drag. (Photo: Orbea)
Orbea says you’ll be faster with the bottle cage and under-the-down-tube Cargo Foil in place. (Photo: Orbea)

Notable on the new Orca are the downtube-mounted bottle cages. The bottle mounted to the inside of the main triangle was designed for low aero drag — which looks to be similar to BMC’s solution — and the “Cargo Foil” on the underside of the downtube can be used to store tire repair kits or other ride essentials. The Orbea Orca does offer standard bottle mounts, and using the Cargo Foil is not a must.

2022 Orbea Orca geometry.

Orbea’s OMX carbon was used to maintain a high stiffness-to-weight ratio — more carbon results in more weight — which allowed for less carbon and likely a stiffer ride feel. Orbea maintains that the new Orca is one of the stiffest and “most efficient” bikes available; a specific layup schedule is used for each of the seven sizes available. To offer a stiff but fun-to-ride bike, the Ordu’s geometry has a relatively shorter wheelbase which comes from shorter chain stays, a size-specific fork offset, and a lower stack and bigger bottom bracket drop.

In keeping with current aerodynamic trends, the Orca allows for wider wheels, which should also allow for a smoother ride when using wider tires — up to 30mm — which should also decrease rolling resistance.

The integrated stem on the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero comes in seven lengths, and features internal cable routing and an integrated computer mount. (Photo: Orbea)
Lessons learned while designing the Ordu time trial bike were applied when designing the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero.
The tall, flattened section on the 2022 Orbea Orca Aero is UCI compliant. And it looks fast, too. (Photo: Orbea)

An aluminum — not carbon — stem is available in seven sizes from 70mm to 130, and features a -10 degree rise, and internally routed cabling, as well as a faceplate designed for a tilt-adjustable computer mount. The five-degree flared aero handlebars that have been designed to integrate with the stem allow for up to 15 degrees of rotation, and a range of width and reach.

The 2022 Orbea Orca Aero is available in seven sizes, six component-group builds, three stock color combinations  (and also a custom color option), and pricing that ranges from $4,499 to $9,999.

Orca Aero M10iLTD, Shimano Dura-Ace R9200, $9,999

2022 Orbea M10i LTD (Photo: Orbea)

Orca Aero M11eLTD, SRAM Red eTap AXS, $8,999

2022 Orbea Orca Aero M11e LTD (Photo: Orbea)

Orca Aero M21eLTD, SRAM Force eTap AXS, $6,299

2022 Orbea Orca Aero M21e LTD (Photo: Orbea)

Orca Aero M20iLTD, Shimano Ultegra, Di2 R8150, $6,299

2022 Orbea Orca Aero M20i LTD (Photo: Orbea)

Orca Aero M31eLTD PWR, SRAM Rival eTap AXS, $5,299

2022 Orbea Orca Aero M31e LTD PWR (Photo: Orbea)

Orca Aero M20LTD, Shimano Ultegra R8000, $4,499

2022 Orbea Orca Aero M20i LTD (Photo: Orbea)