Compare-O Bottom Line: Orbea Rallon’s brings punk rock attitude to the enduro party

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

Photo by Tyler Frasca.

“This bike lives on the ragged edge of traction,” said one rider. “It loves to oversteer in a loose, rowdy, drift-your-brains-out style that makes you feel like a kid again. If you like to get the rear end loose, you will love this bike.”

Besides its unique suspension and wheelset, overall, the Rallon was outfitted quite nicely, with a Shimano XTR 2×10 drivetrain, Rock Shox Reverb dropper post and Formula T1 brakes. But in order to help put the Rallon on a diet from its 30-pound curb weight, one rider recommended swapping over to a 1x drivetrain.

Who is this Bike For?

One of the test riders summarized whom he thought the Orbea Rallon would well suit:

“Someone with either A) nose piercings B) plentiful tattoos C) a few screws loose in their head D) a drum kit in their garage or E) all of the above. This bike is perfect for those rowdy, raucous all-mountain shredders and full-on enduro racers who live to get sideways and send it like UPS,” he went on. “It doesn’t feel like the most refined bike in the test, but you can take that refinement and stuff it. The Orbea is full on Euro trash punk rock…are you?”

The Final Word

If we were going to buy an enduro-specific race rig, the Orbea Rallon would be on our shortest of short lists. Not only does it feature an extremely effective and unique suspension system, but it also delivers exceptional handling acumen thanks to super-short 16.5-inch chainstays and a slacked out head tube angle. This combination gives the Rallon 26er-like cornering sharpness, and high-speed stability on par with 29ers.

The Rallon is about as much bike as you can get without it being considered a full-on downhill rig. For how capable it is downhill, it still climbs well, making it a true, all-aluminum, all-mountain standout in a sea of carbon fiber.

Besides sporting a somewhat low bottom bracket that invites pedal strikes, perhaps the only downside of the Rallon is that it looks and rides with so much attitude that it might scare more prudent people away. Screw ‘em. This ain’t their bike. For those who long for a bike that brings back the fun playfulness of a childhood BMX bike combined with 160mm of innovative and capable suspension design to tackle nearly any trail with comfort, the Orbea Rallon is a winner.

The Good
  • World class suspension design and spec
  • Highly tunable
  • Burly all-aluminum chassis
  • Unique looks
  • 160mm front and rear travel
  • Capable climber
  • One of the best enduro-specific race bikes in the test
The Bad
  • Low bottom bracket causes pedal strikes
  • Low profile rear tire might slide out too easy for some
  • High tuneability might scare away the ‘set-and-forget’ crowd

Orbea Rallon X-Team Key Specs
  • MRSP: $6999 US
  • Weight: 30 lbs. (size medium)
  • Wheel size: 27.5-inches
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Color: White on Black, Florescent Yellow on Black
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork: BOS Deville 160mm
  • Rear Travel: 160mm rear
  • Rear Shock: BOS Kirk
  • Headset: Orbit ZS 1 ½ semi integrated
  • Handlebar: Race Face SixC
  • Stem: Race Face Atlas
  • Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper
  • Brakes: Formula T1
  • Shifters: Shimano XTR 2×10
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR
  • Cassette: Shimano XT 11-36 cassette
  • Crankset: Race Face SixC 24×36 with bashguard
  • Wheels: Mavic Crossmax Enduro LTD
  • Tires: Mavic Charge 2.4 front, Mavic Roam XL 2.2
  • Bottom bracket type: Traditional threaded
  • ISCG Tabs: Yes
  • Chainguide: No
  • Head tube angle: 66/66.5 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 74.5/75 degrees
  • Chainstay length: 420mm (16.5 inches)
  • Bottom bracket height: 345/338mm (13.3/13.8 inches)

For more information visit

This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.

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  • tyrebyter says:

    Are those the same formula brakes you guys trashed in the GT Sensor review? Why such different impressions.

  • Paul says:

    In the “bad” list you forgot to mention it’s $7000… for an aluminum framed bike! That’s a tough pill to swallow.

    • Brian Q says:

      This is one of the few times I think you can safely say: Someone has to pay for the extensive R&D.

      Plus it comes in 4 levels if your are more budget minded, and don’t mind riding Fox and XT.

  • r1Gel says:

    Have to agree with Daniel’s FB comment. This bike’s performance boils down to its fork and shock. Take those away and what do you have left? It’d be interesting to know how the Fox-equipped Rallons perform.

  • hellbelly says:

    I demoed this bike today and was completely blown away. It laid to waste every bike I have demoed over the last six months. It smokes down hill and technical rides like nothing else while still being able to claw up climbs. I am now seriously considering purchasing this frame. Regarding Daniel’s comment above, I thought the suspension felt great, but I don’t think that was all that was happening. The Rallon has a unique geometry (long top tube, short chainstays, steep seat angle, slack head angle and really low bb height) that is just that notch above than other similar bikes. Plus, I like the feel of the DB Air even better (weight diff of 4.5 ounces…BFD), which is what I will run on it paired with a Pike SA 160.

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