EMTB or MTB? The Orbea Rise M-Team makes this a pointless question. Thanks to its outstanding handling, modular battery concept and successful motor integration, the Orbea Rise can easily shred with its non-motorised competitors downhill while leaving them behind in a cloud of dust uphill. Too good to be true? We tested the Rise and tell you how it compares to the other analogue and motorised mountain bikes in the test.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

Orbea Rise M-Team | Shimano EP8 RS/360 Wh | 150/140 mm (f/r)
18.46 kg (Size L) | € 9,338 | Manufacturer-website

Who said that a great mountain bike can’t have a motor? Needless to say, it takes a lot more than just bolting an electric motor onto a good mountain bike frame. Although the Orbea Rise is based on its analogue counterpart the Occam, both visually and technically, the Spanish brand has put a lot of effort into developing an entirely new eMTB. At the heart of the Rise sits a Shimano EP8 RS motor, which Orbea have tweaked for a more natural ride feel as well as reducing the maximum torque to 60 Nm. The motor draws its power from an internal, fully integrated 360 Wh battery. For particularly long rides, you can increase the range with an optional 252 Wh range extender stored in the bottle cage which costs an extra € 499 and weighs 1.5 kg – but can be comfortably stored in the bottle cage. Shimano’s modular display and remote concept allow several configurations, from minimalist setups without a display or remote, to more elaborate configurations with either a remote or display or a mix of both. In addition, the companion app lets you customise the support levels and characteristics of the motor. In typical Orbea fashion, the paint finish of the Rise can be customised via the MyO configurator. Here you can choose from countless colour schemes and give the carbon frame a very unique look.

A mini configurator for your dream spec? The Orbea Rise and the MyO program

The MyO configurator lets you choose not only the look of your Rise but also some of the components. The FOX Factory suspension of our € 9,388 test bike consists of a FOX 36 GRIP2 fork and DPX2 shock controlling 150/140 mm travel respectively. Shimano supply the four-piston XTR brakes, which Orbea pair with 200/180 mm Galfer rotors instead of Shimano’s XTR FREEZA discs. We deliberately decided against the € 800 carbon wheel upgrade because, depending on the area of application, terrain, rider weight and tire casing, carbon rims could actually be a risky and very costly downgrade. The Rise rolls on a 29” Race Face Turbine R30 alloy wheelset and MAXXIS Minion tires in the puncture prone EXO casing. Unfortunately, there are no heavy-duty tires available in the configurator which would make a lot of sense given the extra weight of eMTBs. Race Face also supply the stiff 780 mm carbon handlebars. Shimano’s I-SPEC standard ensures good cockpit ergonomics while a Shimano remote controls the 175 mm FOX Transfer dropper post. A 12-speed Shimano XTR drivetrain ensures super smooth, fast and accurate gear shifts despite the additional forces of the electric motor.

While the modular battery concept and handling of the Rise are phenomenal, the loud clunking noise of the EP8 RS motor isn’t!

Tick the right box
In the MyO configurator you can choose between a 150 mm travel FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 or 140 mm FOX 34 Factory FIT4 fork. Our recommendation: don’t save a few grams on such a crucial component and choose the 36er, because it delivers outstanding downhill performance.
Style for miles
Pick your look. Choosing from countless colour schemes and decal combinations, you can design your very unique Rise – you can even match the fork and rear end decals to suit. Nice!
Same motor, different feel
Contrary to what the “RS” sticker suggests, the Orbea has the same Shimano EP8 motor as the MERIDA. However, Orbea have tweaked the software to reduce maximum torque to 60 Nm to ensure a more natural ride feel and achieve large range despite the small battery.

Orbea Rise M-Team

€ 9,338


Motor Shimano EP8 RS 60 Nm
Battery Orbea RS Internal 360 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork FOX 36 Factory 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX DPX2 Factory 140 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 175 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem Race Face Turbine R 50 mm
Handlebar Race Face Next 35 780 mm
Wheelset Race Face Turbine R30 29"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF EXO 3C MaxxTerra/DHRII EXO Dual 2.5/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 18.46 kg

Specific Features

Optional RS Range-extender(252 Wh, € 499)

The 12-speed Shimano XTR drivetrain ensures fast, reliable and accurate shifting even with the motor under full load.
Water or juice
The optional range extender boosts the battery capacity to a total of 612 Wh. While this allows you to take your Rise on epic rides, you’ll have to leave your water bottle behind.
On the limit
In the MyO configurator, the MAXXIS Minion tire combination with EXO casing is the most downhill friendly. To unlock the full potential of the Rise and protect your rims from impacts, we recommend using more robust DoubleDown tires, especially at the rear.
Chain slap despite the protector?
Downhill, even the smallest hit is followed by a distinctive metallic clunking noise. While this might sound like the chain, the noise actually comes from inside the Shimano EP8 motor.

The geometry of the Orbea Rise M-Team

Not only the silhouette but also the suspension and geometry of the Orbea Rise are based on Orbea’s popular analogue trail bike, the Occam. However, the engineers had to stretch the chainstays to 445 mm to make room for the motor in the bottom bracket area. The long rear end is complemented by a very spacious front end with 474 mm reach and 627 mm stack in size L. At 76.5°, the seat angle of the Rise is relatively steep, positioning the rider centrally above the motor. On long rides in flat terrain, the position feels front-heavy, putting pressure on your hands. However, the Rise really comes to life when the trail gets steeper. In all support levels, the EP8 RS motor can be modulated intuitively with the sheer pedal pressure and cadence, which in combination with the quiet motor, ensures a very natural riding experience.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 381 mm 419 mm 457 mm 508 mm
Top tube 565 mm 592 mm 619 mm 649 mm
Head tube 95 mm 105 mm 120 mm 140 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 76.5° 76.5° 76.5° 76.5°
Chainstays 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Drop 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm
Wheelbase 1,180 mm 1,205 mm 1,229 mm 1,225 mm
Reach 425 mm 450 mm 474 mm 500 mm
Stack 604 mm 613 mm 627 mm 646 mm
Helmet Giro Manifest Spherical | Glasses 100% Glendale | Shirt ION Tee SS Scrub Amp
Shorts ION Bikeshorts Scrub Amp | Kneepads Sweet Protection Bearsuit Light
Shoes Ride Concepts Men`s Transition

Drifting uphill? The Rise unlocks previously unknown dimensions of riding fun

While your mates on analogue bikes are fighting their way up the mountain on boring fire roads, you’ll be having a blast shredding your way up the mountain on fun singletracks. Drifting into a corner and manualling out of it? Uphill? Hell yeah, screams the Rise! The Levo SL, which offers noticeably less motor power, can’t do that and And while the Merida eONE-SIXTY delivers even more power, it’s still not as fun as the Rise uphill. Even without motor assistance, the Rise pedals smoothly with the EP8 exhibiting no noticeable pedalling resistance.

Sluggish, heavy, boring… The Orbea Rise shatters all preconceptions of eMTBs, proving to be incredibly fun and capable!

Tuning-tips: bundle the cables in the cockpit and support them on the right hand cableport with tape | rear tire with more robust casing (e.g. MAXXIS DoubleDown) | 200 mm brake rotor at the rear (unfortunately not available in Orbea’s MyO configurator)

Fast uphill, even faster downhill? The Orbea Rise M-Team downhill

When you shred your way back down into the valley, you’d never think you’re schlepping around a motor and battery. Except for one detail! Like all bikes with a Shimano motor, the Rise has a noise issue: even on small impacts, the otherwise silent EP8 drive makes a metallic clunking noise. What a shame! Like the Canyon Spectral, which doesn’t have a motor at all, the Orbea Rise is irredeemably addicted to speed, a habit it gleefully feeds with its smooth and composed character. On the trail, the Orbea feels super stable and allows you to build up speed by pumping, despite weighing 18.46 kg. This is partly due to the stiff suspension which, like the Levo SL, allows you to catch air with the gentlest pull on the bars. Compared to the Rise, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY literally sticks to the ground. Nonetheless, the suspension of the Rise still manages to generate enough traction even on slippery roots and stays composed on hard landings. Mountain bike beginners and moderate riders should take a closer look at the Levo SL, which is a tad easier to handle. Particularly in open corners, you’ll have to ride the Orbea actively to keep weight on the front wheel and keep it tracking. Get it right and the Rise is unstoppable, smoking both its analogue and motorised competitors on flowing trails as well as rough and demanding enduro stages, where it’s just as impressive as the super-fast Nukeproof Reactor.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The Orbea Rise shatters all preconceptions of eMTBs, combining the outstanding downhill capabilities of the best and fastest analogue mountain bikes with maximum fun uphill! The Rise is truly unique, whether it’s the elegant custom finish or the modular motor/battery system that facilitates the outstanding performance of the bike. The only downer is the loud clunking noise that comes from inside the EP8 motor when riding downhill. “Haters gonna hate!” Fair enough but like it or not, the Orbea Rise M-Team is not only one of the best eMTBs currently available on the market but, thanks to its huge range of application and excellent price-performance ratio, also better than most analogue mountain bikes in our big group test. That means it secures our coveted Best Buy tip!


  • almost impeccable integration of the drive and battery concept
  • fun uphill and capable downhill
  • customisable look/configurator


  • noise downhill
  • requires (experienced) riders with an active riding style
  • even with the minimalistic display setup, the cockpit looks untidy

Find more information here: orbea.com

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Neuron CF SLX 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 29 LTD (Click for review) | Canyon Stoic 4 (Click for review) | FOCUS THRON 6.9 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290C (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | RAAW Jibb XTR Build (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz 5010 X01 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 (Click for review) | Yeti SB115 TURQ3 (Click for review) | YT IZZO BLAZE 29 (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: various