The Orbea Occam M-LTD looks almost too good to be true. Balanced geometry meets high-end componentry, custom paint jobs and a very low weight. Is the Occam the dream of every trail rider or does the bike have a catch?
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
You want it, you got it! That’s Orbea’s motto when it comes to the finish of the Occam. Thanks to the MyO configurator, you can get this bike in almost any colour combination you can think of. The flagship model of the Occam that we reviewed costs € 7,499. It is fitted with the best componentry available and this too can be customised to an extent in Orbea’s online configurator. We wholeheartedly recommend upgrading to the 150 mm FOX 36 Factory fork, as specced on our test bike, and to exchange the tires for a MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHR combination – unfortunately, our bike didn’t come with these. Instead of the light and stiff carbon DT Swiss XMC1200 wheels, we would choose to go with an aluminium wheelset instead. Doing so will save you a whopping € 1,000 and make the bike much better value for money. We’d consider swapping out the Crankbrothers Highline dropper post too. Unfortunately, ours broke after only two rides. Finally, we also struggled to warm to the overly thin and hard Race Face grips. However, on a more positive note, we were impressed with the chain guide on the main pivot and the massive chainstay protector. As with the Rallon, Orbea have designed the Occam with an asymmetrical brace for increased stiffness. As a result, you can only get to the water bottle from the non-drive side of the bike.
Orbea Occam M-LTD
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory GRIP2
Rear Shock FOX DPX2 Factory
Seatpost Crank Brothers Highline 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR / Race Face Next-R 32/10-51
Stem Race Face Turbine 50
Handlebar Race Face Next R 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC1200
Tires MAXXIS High Roller 2/Rekon EXO 2,5/2,4
Size S M L XL
Weight 12,5 kg
Travel (f/r) 150/140 mm
Geometry of the Orbea Occam M-LTD
On paper, the geometry of the Orbea Occam is pretty much perfect for a modern trail bike. The reach is nice and long at 474 mm, the 440 mm chainstays aren’t too short and the 35 mm bottom bracket drop keeps the centre of gravity low. Together with the 76.5° seat tube angle and 65.5° head angle, it makes for a balanced looking package.
On the climbs, the stiff Occam plays to its strengths, but it comes at the cost of grip on the descents.
The Occam M-LTD on test
Weighing in 12.5 kg, the Occam is the second lightest bike on test and together with the fast-rolling MAXXIS Rekon tire on the rear and the light wheels, the bike accelerates willingly. Thanks to the steep seat tube angle, the riding position is central and upright but remains comfortable. The suspension hardly bobs when you pedal, sparing you the effort of having to reach for the climb switch. Even on the climbs, the bike feels remarkably stiff and responsive. When you drop the saddle for the descent, the Orbea retains this direct and firm character.
Instead of hitting rock gardens at full speed, the Occam prefers a more defensive style by riding around or jumping over obstacles!
The stiff frame, combined with the stiff wheels and cockpit as well as the low profile tires and poorly damped grips all mean that the Occam doesn’t spoil you with excessive comfort, nor indulge you with lots of traction. Small bumps easily throw the bike off and you often have to make corrections to keep it on track – this bike requires you to stay alert and keep your body engaged at all times. You can generate a lot of speed on flowing, shaped trails where the Occam’s handling is willing and precise. However, the bike’s stiffness doesn’t motivate you to choose the direct, rough line. Instead, you’ll be trying to jump over or ride around obstacles. The former is easy thanks to poppy the suspension. However, if you can’t avoid hitting a big bump, the suspension does a good job of absorbing impacts and has enough progression to prevent bottoming out harshly.
Tuning tip: choose different tires and a different dropper post in the configurator | consider aluminium wheels for more comfort and grip | swap the grips
How does the Orbea Occam compare to the competition?
In many respects, the Orbea Occam and the SCOTT Genius are very similar. Both are super stiff, light and fly like missiles up the climbs. However, the riding position on the Orbea is more comfortable. Descending, you’re also better integrated with the Orbea and feel more confident in steep terrain. However, compared to bikes like the Ibis or Nukeproof, both the SCOTT and the Orbea will be left behind on the descents.
Conclusion of the Orbea Occam M-LTD
The Orbea Occam is an efficient and spritely trail bike for all-day epics. The riding position is comfortable, it’s very efficient and the customisation options are brilliant. Going downhill, the Occam is held back by its overly stiff frame and nervous handling despite its promising geometry. Lighter and stiffer isn’t always better!
- comfortable and efficient climber
- custom paintwork at no extra charge
- high-end spec at a fair price
- stiff and nervous on the descents
- dropper post, grips and rear tire are a flop
- water bottle only accessible from the left
For more information head to orbea.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
All bikes in review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR 9.0 SL (Click for review) | Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo AXS (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290 (Click for review) | Norco Optic C1 (Click for review) | Radon Slide Trail 10 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Hightower CC X01 Reserve (Click for review) | Scott Genius 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper SRAM AXS 29 (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 X01 AXS Project ONE (Click for review) | Yeti SB130 TLR (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY CF PRO (Click for review)
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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Finlay Anderson, Markus Frühmann, Jonas Müssig