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Orbea Rise sub-36 pound eMTB revealed

More bike and less E for a more transparent magic carpet ride

News

The light eMTB landscape

eMTB’s are taking off for sure as every manufacturer is starting to offer a bike or a line of bikes with pedal assist. But 90% of the bikes are in the 50 lb weight class even with carbon and top-end components. This leaves an opportunity for a lightweight eMTB, first explored by the Lapierre E-Zesty and the Specialized Levo SL.

These bikes have opened up a whole new dimension of riding experiences where the pedal-assist can be a more transparent, less dominant force in the riding equation. A 35 lb Trail or All Mountain bike is really very close in weight to non-assisted bikes that are typically in the 30-36 lb range. Thus the old ’20 lb penalty’ may no longer be a requirement when choosing to ride an eMTB.

The eMTB just starts to ride like a bike and it can be ridden with or without the motor turned on. But when the 3500 foot steep climb comes, those are tackled with enthusiasm as well. It increases the rider’s riding options and adventure bubble, exploring new terrain, and tackling loops that may not have a good return on climbing investment otherwise. This is the market the Orbea Rise aims to address.

The Rise approach

Orbea aimed to bring fluidity to an ebike, where power, distance, interface, and weight are addressed as a single, cohesive system. They worked with Shimano to develop their own version of the EP8 motor. And Orbea developed proprietary electronics and batteries while Shimano configured their EP8 motor to work perfectly running specific RS firmware.

Instead of 85nm of battery consuming torque, the ​maximum torque ​of the EP8 RS motor is 60Nm, with a power map designed to match the rider’s pedaling effort. The rider is allowed to participate in the pedaling and climbing effort. The overboosted behavior common in many ebikes is replaced with a motor that intently listens to the rider’s torque output and responds accordingly. It’s a more physically demanding experience for the rider but a bit more rewarding as well as efforts are quickly matched with configurable options.

RS RANGE

Lightweight and long-range usually don’t do well together but many efficiencies can be gained by careful engineering. And the silver bullet is modular batteries where the main battery is small and light but it has the ability to accept an external helper battery. The Rise features a modular battery solution that ​provides up to 612wh​, combining a very light and compact 360wh main battery integrated into the down tube with a patent-pending 252Wh range extender.

This is a concept Mtbr fully endorses as we feel that battery should be modular and configurable like water supply for a ride. One should not be required to carry one gallon of water on each ride since most of that water will get wasted often and it harms the quality of the ride. Batteries should be the same way where a base option is available but modular batteries can be added or carried to deliver range for bigger adventures.

The RS concept provides a great day on the trails because the lighter bike, lower power consumption, and of course, the pedal-friendly weight and assistance extend battery life by a factor of over 1.5x (by Orbea’s calculations). This means the 360Wh RS Battery of the Rise delivers ride times and ranges similar to a 540Wh battery in a typical eBike. We suspect this is comparing the Rise to existing 504wh equipped batteries using the existing Shimano E8000 motor.

The 2.2Kg ​main battery ​might be one of the lightest and slimmest examples out there. Housed in a strong and reliable alloy case, this energy bank is based on the newest 21700 cell that provides a higher rate of charge/discharge and ultimately much better battery life and heat management.

Orbea’s RS ​Range Extender ​gives you an additional 252Wh (70%) of exploration. Adding the RS Range Extender gives ride times comparable to a 900Wh battery on a regular ebike. According to Orbea, that’s 8 hours and over 4,000m of climbing in Eco mode. Orbea has charts and calculations for their elevation estimates and they definitely lean towards leaner riders who are able to contribute and participate with significant wattage of pedal power. A beginner rider, maybe 50 lbs overweight is never going to climb 4000 meters or 13,000 feet on any ebike under 1000 wh of battery.

RS INTERFACE

One of the reasons the Specialized Levo is so successful is it doesn’t look like and ebike and it doesn’t have a lot of electronic gizmos. The Orbea Rise takes the same approach with an uncluttered machine that is sleek, but doesn’t lack expandability. The simplest configuration consists of a discreet rocker switch near the left brake ​lever to control assistance level and a small, inline junction box with two tiny LEDs that provide support mode info and smartly broadcasts wireless data.

The bike’s ​power button ​is located at the bottom of the seat tube, with all wiring guided internally. The ​charge point ​is located on the side of the seat tube. A well-designed sealed cap protects it from mud and water
and includes a secure closure that also locks the Range Extender cable once it’s connected.

Additionally, Orbea integrated the Garmin world into the RS ecosystem, giving you all the info you need on your Garmin, watch, or cycling computer.

RS WEIGHT

The RS system, motor, battery, and electronics are significantly lighter than other ebikes – a result of the RS system’s unique power delivery. The new bike tops in at ​16.2 kg on the M LTD spec ​and ​17.5 kg on the M Team configuration.

Manuals (if you know how), quick direction changes, and playful handling characteristics are not normally associated with eBike become part of the domain again.

The Rise was given the same ultralight frame construction as Occam and Rallon, making it ​one of the lightest eMTB frames in the market ​with 2.3 kg or 5.07 lbs (with shock, no motor)

Geometry

Head angle is 66 degrees mated to a 77 degree seat angle for a very nice, progressive middle ground Trail bike offering. On a Medium bike, the reach measurement is 450mm so it’s nice and aggressive. It’s a long bike and although 50 lb bikes can be a little difficult to turn with this reach, the 36 lb weight will play nicely with this bike’s maneuverability.

The chainstay is at 442mm with good tire clearance for the 140/140mm travel bike.

Pricing

Sounds good so far right but what about the price? It comes in four models and it’s not cheap but reasonable in our view.
LTD – $10,499
Team – $9,499
Rise M10 – $7,999
Rise M20 – $6,499

Not cheap for sure but the Rise is priced quite a bit lower than the Specialized Levo SL at $13,525 (with $450 extender battery included). All the Rise models have carbon frames so we are curious what the Rise M20 weighs.

More information: https://www.orbea.com


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.



Comments:

  • stiingya says:

    Coo! BUT… I’m going to keep dreaming about someone bringing a 150/170 Or whatever long travel probably mullet version to market that’s also 36lbs. Then your talking… I would be all over a long travel E-Enduro to self shuttle right now! I just don’t think it’s worth it if the bike is 50lbs. That defeats the purpose IMO. And I’m totally on board with the motor only “helping” like this set up and not just “‘doing it for me” like some ebikes seem to be trying for. At this stage in my life for a 140 bike “acoustic” is good enough! 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong, I can still see a bike like this in my future. WAY back when I was riding with my first nephew I remember telling him how some day I’d be riding an electric bike when I was old so I could still keep up with him. (he was 5 at the time) He’s 17 now and unless the climb is technical he’ll drop me and have to wait at the top already. That’s not a huge deal, it’s pretty normal to have different fitness levels between different riders and it doesn’t ruin the ride YET. But in another 10-15 years I’ll have no issue buying something like this so I can still keep up and ride with the kido’s…

  • Loll says:

    Nukeproof, Vitus, Calibre, motobeacan/bikesdirect…please make a copy of this and sell it for $4,999. Doesn’t matter if it comes in cheap components that normal people will swap out in a heartbeat, it will sell like crazy.

    All kidding aside, finally a much need competition to Levo SL. Rotwild in Europe also has a light emtb with full size motor. This is what consumer like me wants. Now the more companies that makes something like this, the cheaper they will get. I dont want anything to do with a 50 pound e bike.

  • NC says:

    So the main battery can be replaced when it wears out, right? I was looking at the Levo Sl but this one may be more interesting.

  • Joe Cox says:

    Your listed pricing doesn’t even come close to the prices listed on Orbea’s website. Least expensive build on their website is $9500.

  • Maria F says:

    Looks like a good bike except their Canadian pricing is a joke (USD $9499 to CAD $14,999). Many bike companies use close to the average exchange rate, or even less (approx 1.3) but Orbea is using (1.58)? Orbea is making over $2,500 CAD extra over the exchange rate per bike (basis the Rise M-Team bike). Due to this, I will wait for other bike manufacturers to jump on the lightweight EMTB bandwagon and come up with even a better bike than Orbea. Too bad Orbea, this could have maybe been a winner, but not with your huge inflated CAD pricing…

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