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Reviews > Orbea Rallon 2016 Review

Zona Zero EWS Ainsa
Review of the updated 2016 Orbea Rallon mountain bike.

Orbea Rallon 2016 | TESTED!

This September I received the new, 2016 Orbea Rallon to test. The new bike has some updates over the Rallon V4 we reviewed last year, with Orbea taking feedback from a cross-section of mountain bikers and also updating to the latest frame standards. Since September Antonio and I have been putting the miles on our bikes and seeing if there are any changes to report over the 2015 model. I have raced the Enduro World Series in Ainsa on this bike along with racking up two solid months of Backcountry Pyrenees mountain bike holidays so it´s definitely had a good testing.

The bike we are testing is the top level Rallon X-team which comes equipped with BOS suspension, XT brakes and Mavic rims. Read on for a quick review of the new Orbea Rallon.

Orbea Rallon 2016 Review | Geometry Changes

One comment I had on the previous Rallon was that I put it in the “lower” suspension setting and left it there. It wasn´t a negative comment, it was just that for me the bike felt best there. It was very low but I preferred the head angle. With the new bike Orbea have kept the BB heights the same as the old bike but slackened out the head angle by 0.5º. This means that in the HIGHER setting on the 2016 bike the head angle is the same as the LOWER setting on the 2014 bike. This works very well for me, now I find myself using both settings, with the bike normally in the higher of the two settings but with the option to switch to LOWER for longer, faster descents. It really makes having the suspension change option make much more sense.

A little longer and a little slacker

The other change is the longer top tube. It is only 5mm longer but you can feel it as soon as you sit on the bike. I don´t want to believe that 5mm makes much difference but no matter how sceptical I make myself I keep feeling a difference on the trail. I guess it´s a combination of factors, including the head angle change but the bike definitely feels more stable. Like on the previous bike you definitely feel the length a bit in the tighter corners but the bike is so stable you can really lean it over into the corners with confidence and hop it a bit in the tightest of tight switchbacks. To put it into perspective, I love the bike most in corners where this stability makes it so much fun.

Orbea Rallon 2016 Review | BOOST 148?

The new Orbea Rallon has a 148×12 boost rear hub. We all hate new standards don´t we and I can´t believe that the bike industry is doing this to us but it´s coming and we might as well get used to it. For me it is hugely frustrating as I have a fantastic set of Mavic wheels which won´t fit. I am trying to work out a way to adapt these so watch this space.

Boost 148 FTW, who would have guessed?!

HOWEVER, can I feel a difference in stiffness? The honest answer is yes, the bike is stiffer. And we get more mud clearance without loosing those fantastic short chain stays which isn´t something to be sniffed at. If I had the option of choosing 142 or 148 for this bike what would I do? Well if you asked me that before I rode the new Orbea Rallon I would have chosen 142mm but now I have to admit that the advantages of 148mm definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

Orbea Rallon Review | More Progressive Suspension Curve?

Basically on the 2016 Orbea Rallon the shock ramps up more through the stroke than on the old bike. This means that it is more resistant to bottoming out. In my previous review I stated that you needed to be careful setting up the rear suspension, this change basically means that now it´s a lot easier. I really like the feel of the new bike, you can set it a bit softer so you get a more supple feel but you rarely get bottoming out now. To get the same feel on the old model you had to use a lot of high speed compression damping, now you can use a bit less and get a similar result. The ultimate feel… it´s not that different but it´s definitely a lot easier to arrive at the sweet spot now.

Orbea Rallon 2016 Review | Small Details

The 2016 Orbea Rallon has some small changes to the frame to tidy up a few things. The front derailleur mount is now removable to tidy things up if you´re running 1 x 11, the cable routing is even tidier, all the torque settings are laser etched on the bolts and the look of the frame has been tidied up slightly. The new turquoise colour is really pretty too, less “look at me” than the old yellow one which I loved too!

Orbea Rallon 2016 Review | Cut to the Chase

I´m not going to go through all the components individually, I´ll try and do individual reviews of some of the finishing kit later this winter. So, to cut to the chase, is it better or worse? The truth is that it´s very slightly better. It´s not a paradigm shift like the first bike but it´s slightly better. It´s faster, the suspension works slightly better and the two suspension options are more usable. There are little details on the frame which have been tidied up and the whole package looks better. It´s another WIN from Orbea!

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3 Replies a “Orbea Rallon 2016 Review”

  1. Like the new blog format Doug, what are you using? Looks really professional and keeps the interest. Good review too 🙂 Hope to maybe get out with you guys again next year.

  2. Thanks Jim. I wrote the template myself, any comments on how it works are fantastic because I´m definitely not a web designer 🙂

  3. David Johnson Says:
    December 1st, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I just love the quality and content of your photos and the way everything scrolls up revealing more. Really inspiring all round. Back country looks fantastic. Will keep looking out for more…..

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