Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
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.
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.
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.
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.