Orbea's Orca gets the aerodynamic treatment

Earlier this year we visited Basque bicycle brand Orbea and learnt a lot about its history and motivations, and took the latest Orca, the company's flagship race bike, for a spin around the local hills. And boy were we impressed. But now there's an all new bike, the Orca Aero, and it joins the hotly contested aero bike class with the likes of the Trek Madone and Specialized Venge.

Orbea has shaped every tube and surface of the new Orca Aero to minimise drag as much as possible. There are kammtail shaped main tubes, rounded leading edges with the tails chopped off, as favoured by quite a few bike brands, and a new wider fork called the Freeflow that is claimed to reduce drag by 4 watts compared to the regular Orca fork. The seat post is also aero shaped and the seat clamp is hidden inside the top of the top tube for more aero gains.

There are more aero developments. The integrated handlebar sits flush in the stepped head tube, with aero shaped collars providing stack adjustment without impairing aerodynamics. A new aero seatpost is reversible providing two setback options for greater fit potential. Cable routing has been revised with an eye on compatibility with all currently available groupsets and reducing drag. A port on the top tube can be adapted for mechanical, electronic and wireless.

The new Orca Aero makes use of the direct mount brake standard, which provides better aerodynamics, partly by allowing the fork crown height to be reduced, and also ups tyre clearance to 28mm, so you can have some comfort with your aero gains. Comfort isn't a word mentioned in the Orbea product release, but stiffness certainly is. The head tube, downtube, bottom bracket and chainstays have been developed to create a "stiff spine" that provides optimal power transfer.

Launched just in time for the Tour de France, the new bike is currently being raced by the Cofidis team so if you're are tuning into the race, keep an eye on the boys in red to catch a glimpse of the new bike.

Alongside a range of six complete builds, Orbea is offering the new Orca Aero through its MyO customisation programme. Much like Trek's Project One, it allows you to completely customise the bike, from the paint finish to the component specification.

We've built a few custom Orbea bikes since bringing the company onboard earlier this year, such as this cracking example below in the Build Gallery .

For more Orbea, perfectly fitted by Bespoke, get in touch with us here.