Orbea Alma 29er 29er Hardtail

4.6/5 (20 Reviews)

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Product Description

Are you ready to join the 29er revolution? Now is the time to take a look at a new generation of 29er – Orbea’s carbon Alma. Orbea has created the lightest, fastest, most technologically advanced carbon 29er ever. A mix of 80% T700 and 20% M30s high modulus carbon is molded into a frame that is laterally rigid with its oversized downtube with integrated fender. And the Four Point rear end, with its unique parallelogram design and integrated, molded-in dropouts is vertically compliant. Get all the advantages of 29-inch wheels – more stability on downhills, better cornering, more traction – without the weight.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Earthpig a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2013

Strengths:    Light, fast, dialed handling, beautiful design

Weaknesses:    Funky sizing/geometry, Gore Ride-on cables mandatory, front ring/crankset spacing

Bottom Line:   
This is a review for the 2011 Alma carbon hardtail frame. Picked up this frame on closeout sale for $685 from Speedgoat so, first, it was a relative bargain for a carbon frame. Ridiculously light out of the box. Built it up with a 2x10 XT drivetrain, XT brakes and an older XT wheelset. Had to swap on a 38/26 front ring combo (had intended to use 40/28) because the 40t would have contacted the chainstay under any load. I haven't weighed it (only have 5 rides on it), but I would guess it's in the low-mid 20's. Fast both up and down. Odd sizing/geometry - the front end is way up there relative to the saddle and at a comfortable ETT, there's barely any standover. I ended up having to flip my stem and use a flat bar to obtain a comfortable riding position. Other than that, I really have no complaints. Can't wait to do a couple of races on it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 weeks

Price Paid:    $685.00

Purchased At:   Speedgoat

Similar Products Used:   Other 29'er hardtail frames I've owned - Niner One 9, Scott Scale 29, Vassago Bandersnatch, On-One ScandAL, On-One Inbred, Salsa El Mariachi

Bike Setup:   2x10 XT drivetrain, XT brakes, XT crankset, XT wheelset

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tim a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2013

Strengths:    Handles very well in tight situations you would usually be slower on a 29 in. Great rear wheel clearance for mud and leave shedding. It is a work of art, the bike is beautiful. It is light never measure exact weight.

Weaknesses:    Paint is thin (i guess for weight?) but it scrapes off very easily. I put helicopter tape on the down tube and you cant even see it. One thing that is wonky but not bad, is the way they set up the cable routing, I ignored a few of the holds that just don't fit nicely.

Bottom Line:   
This is for just the 2012 frame not the whole bike build from Orbea. I ride central East Coast (Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia) and this 29er handles great for the tight woodsy switch backs, rocky rooty down hills and climbs you find in the east coast. I rode a Fuji Tahoe before this and it had a lot more stretched out of a feeling and handled completely how people explain 29ers negatively. But the Orbea is different with its geometry and the setup I am running everything's set back and handles well in tight situations, fast downhills, and uphills. The lack of bridges on the chain stays is awesome, I did a 100 mile race in the rain with my thick 2.2 Bronson's and the mud shed away from the bike. If you ride and get leaves stuck allot, that doesn't happen at all with the Orbea (besides the ones that get stuck on my front derailleur).

4 Chilis for price because as I got it for close out for 500, Its original price is $749 which seems high to me in comparison to other frames in the range
4 Chilis for Overal Rating becuase wonky routing and thin paint, which is not that bad i just feel 5 Chilis should be perfect

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Douthat State Park

Duration Product Used:   200miles+

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   speedgoat.com

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by eduardo

Date Reviewed: December 6, 2012

Strengths:    great bicycle, light weight, good handle, really fast bike.

Weaknesses:    none.

Bottom Line:   
i have had this bike for about four moths and i just love it, it worth every single dollar i have paid for it. i use to ride a trek mamba 29er and from that bike to this one is a big diference but not only the price.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Owen

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012

Strengths:    Looks good when it is new.

Weaknesses:    Clearcoat bubbles, warranty is terrible.

Bottom Line:   
Liked the bike for a while, then the clearcoat started bubbling. Orbea said to send it back so they could look at it. 9 weeks later I finally got my frame back with absolutely nothing done.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Chay N. Whip a Racer

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012

Strengths:    Climbing, Fit, Component Kit

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
So, while on Value Rating I am a bit low its because at the $6k price it would be a challenging price point, however I got a phenomenal deal. Climbs well, front end stays down and solid on the steepest of climbs. Component spec is great, the wheel set Fulcrum Red Power XL's are a bit heavy but they sure seem bombproof. Can't say enough about the XT brakes, great one finger stopping power and once I worked the air horn noise out they are great. It is my first 29r, but has been a great introduction to big wheeling.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sourdough Trail

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Similar Products Used:   All 26ers
Fisher Mt. Tam, Rocky Element Race, Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   All XT, Red Power XL's, Geax AKA tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by AndrewD1022 a Cross Country Rider from Lakeland

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2011

Strengths:    The frame geometry is perfect for a 29er. Rather than feeling on top of the bike, you feel like you are riding lower/in the bike. The component set that I received was awesome.

Weaknesses:    The bike was a bit expensive for my budget, but for the price it was a good set-up. I have not had any complaints as of yet. Also, seems like people do not like the obnoxious ORBEA stickers all over the bike. I could not care less about this.

Bottom Line:   
I couldn't be happier for my first 29er. With the customizations I did and the overall price of everything, I am confident I picked the perfect bike. It rides fast and smooth over the rooted trails I ride. Also, does an excellent job of climbing.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Florida

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   LeRoy's Bikeworks

Similar Products Used:   Rockhopper LTD 29er. Gary Fisher Paragon.

Bike Setup:   Stock. Plus, XT Crankset, XT Brakes, Tubeless, 1x10 and clipless

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ryguy135 a Racer from Derby, Ks

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2011

Strengths:    Light, stiff, GREAT geometry, rides better than any other hardtail, climbs amazingly, what's not to like?

Weaknesses:    Clearcoat easily damaged but that's mostly cosmetic

Bottom Line:   
AMAZING bike. Didn't realize how much I liked it until I demoed some top of the line Gary Fishers and Trek's spec'ed out much better than my Alma and walked away loving my bike better than any of them. Rides nearly as smooth as the GF Superfly 100, handles much better than the Superfly, and climbs much better than the Top Fuel 9.9. Geometry is spot on running a Reba at 80. Did 100 too but prefer to be as low up front as possible. I'm 6'0" and it fits great, albeit with a 130 mm stem that's more a personal preference than anything. At my nearest training trail there's a 300 ft. hill that averages a 25% grade that's brutal on you. I was worried as between the bigger wheels from my old 26er and a higher lower gear than on my old bike how it would do. Never even dropped into the lowest gear. Couldn't be happier with this bike. And they're pretty rare too so I get plenty of people asking about it too. Love it!!

And yes, someone sold it to me used for $200 frame only. Nice!!! Still, it's well worth $2000 to me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Thunderbird State park OK

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Used

Similar Products Used:   GF Superfly Elite, Trek Top Fuel 9.9, GF Superfly 100, Salsa Spearfish

Bike Setup:   2008 Alma, XT/

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by IowaCoug a Cross Country Rider from Johnston, IA

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2011

Strengths:    Short chainstay = stiff ride, racing geometry feels great, components, Orbea service

Weaknesses:    larger sizing (small feels like a medium due to high standover)...yes I'm a shorter dude on a 29er, paint chips fairly easily.

Bottom Line:   
Love this bike so far. This thing is fast and I love the geometry as it feels like I'm in the cockpit, not over it. The stand over sizing is big (not much different than their medium), but the top tube is perfect. I was skeptical of buying a $2k+ bike w/ a RockShox Recon Gold TK fork as you would think it would have a Reba or Fox, but the Recon Gold is just as light as the Reba and so far has performed suprisingly well, even in Moab/Fruita recently. Wheelset is solid, but slightly heavy for a "race" bike. Paint has chipped kind of easily though, where my previous bikes didn't have this problem.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Rasmussen's LBS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by suvacrew a Racer from Lafayette, CA USA

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2010

Strengths:    Stiff (frame), light, rocket ship, great climber.

Weaknesses:    Be prepared to see it get chipped up from falls and rocks...lower bottom bracket. Limited sizes. Need better fork options besides the Reba and the copious flex that it allows.

Bottom Line:   
You want to save some time on your XC race, climb like a mtn goat and claim a podium step? You owe it to yourself to at least try the Alma 29er. The 2011 version is supposed to be an improvement over an already great bike.
Laterally stiff and vertically compliant wit the 4 point rear triangles. I feel no fatigue after long marathon rides, it's an efficient riding position. Great to drag through switchbacks with confidence
Not meant for the huck and roll jumps..it's purely XC but can venture into some rougher terrain for limited distances.
No one will snag your slot on a sprint with this rig.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tamarancho

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $4200.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Scott Spark, SC LT2, GF HiFi 29er

Bike Setup:   XTR, Spinergy Xyclone 29s, Hope 2 piece rotors, Rampage 29er + Small Black 8, Zeus carbon peripherals, WTB Devo.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Morals a Cross Country Rider from Round Rock, TX

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2010

Strengths:    Light as balls. Looks unreal.

Weaknesses:    Unsure, but thinking probably none.

Bottom Line:   
I have only ridden it a single time, yet I feel compelled to write a first impression review. The thing looks sick. It's superlight (esp. when I swap out these heavy ass tires), and it was only made in one size. That means you ain't gonna see a ton of them. Call me vain, but I like that. It seemed to beg for input and to be ridden hard. Granted, I only rode it on some pretty tame stuff last night for its maiden voyage, but I have ridden it a million times on my YBB. The bike feels "in command" and amazingly responsive compared to how I thought it would feel. The handling was SLIGHTLY muted compared to the 26, but duh....plan better when taking a line. I'm going to review it again after 6 months or so of ownership. So far, so sick! I ALMOST feel bad for getting it for 1760 shipped....ok, no I don't!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cameron Park - Waco, TX

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1760.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   First 29er Experience

Bike Setup:   SRAM X-9 shifters/der., SRAM Noir Carbon Cranks, Juicy 7 brakes, (soon to be) Green King BB, Crossmax, Zeus bars and seatpost, Rocket V carbon weave saddle, Zeus carbon bars, Black Oury grips, hahahaha, I love this bike. Heavy, slow Hutchinson Toro Tires - gotta go!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dougkast a Cross Country Rider from Taos, NM

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2010

Strengths:    Amazing climbing bike. With this bike I could climb steeper stuff then other bikes. Raced some high mountain races in New Mexico and Colorado and it felt great. Stock stem and handlebars had to be changed because it wasn't so great on the down hill at first. Once I changed out much better. Still doesn't ride down hill as good as my wifes gary fisher superfly 29er. But it climbs better. They might have raised the head tube just a tad too high and that would help the down hill.

Weaknesses:    Fast corner down hills. Not because it was a 29er but because of the geometry. Got better when I changed some parts out but still could use some adjustment

Bottom Line:   
Great racing machine, geometry gave me a bit of a numb back compared to other bikes but overall a solid bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wasatch Crest Trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Ebay Used

Similar Products Used:   Gary fisher superfly 29er, Seven ti single speed 29er,

Bike Setup:   FSA cranks xo shifters formula rx brakes bontrager tubless ready wheels and rims (never buy bontrager wheels or rims)took these off my wifes fisher

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by yeticc a Cross Country Rider from Colorado

Date Reviewed: May 3, 2009

Strengths:    2009 Orbea Alma Carbon 29er
Great geometry,very fast rolling 29er. If you are a racer and don't mind carbon, this Alma is amazing. Incredibly fast on climbs, very stable, rolls over everything. Build the bike as light as you can. Mine weighs in at 22.80 pounds and it flies! You will leave your friends and other racers in the dust. My friend asked me the other day if there was a motor on the bike, pretty funny comment.

Weaknesses:    None really except that it is carbon and if you don't like riding a carbon mountain bike, get one of the other Orbea 29ers that are not carbon. Also, it only comes in medium, size 18.

Bottom Line:   
A great bike that loves to be ridden! I will warn you, if you test ride one, pull out the checkbook and get ready to write the check, it is worth every penny!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dear Creek Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $5000.00

Purchased At:   Canyon Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Salsa 29er, Intense Spyder 29er

Bike Setup:   Full XTR, Thomson seatpost and stem. Orbea carbon handlebars, No Stans rims with I9 hubs and Hutch Python Tubeless tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Professed a Cross Country Rider from nsw

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2009

Strengths:    Light, massively stiff where required, some vertical give, clever downtube design, sexy, light

Weaknesses:    only avaiilable in one size - too big for anyone of average arms and legs legth smaller than about 5'8". some imperfections in finish coat, clearance at rear for big bag ( 2.4 + ) tyres. Fox F29 doesnt fit perfectly - can damage frame with damping dials if not modified or if you fall.

Bottom Line:   
having owned it for a year i am still in love. it doesnt get cleaned as carefully and the coating has been chipped and the carbon crushed in some spots ( layup is a bit soft around headtube) but the ride is still utterly sensational. steering and handling with a standard offset fork is nimble but very stable. keep your stem short for best effect. its the fastest MTB i have ever owned - increadibly stiff under power - feels like a road bike on tarmac and a softail on the dirt.
if you love speed and grip and dont ride technical trails all the time you will love this bike. build the wheels as light as you can for your weight and you will always be waiting for your riding buddies at the top of every hill.

build spec out of the box is a bit crook and overpriced by Orbea so best buy the frame and build it up yourself with the good stuff ( XO, Fox and handbuilt wheels) if you can afford it. the only thing that gets near it is a superfly which has a slightly lower head tube for better fit i rekon and comes in 3 sizes to suit more people. superfly ride is also a bit harsher. come on orbea, how about a small size for a change...?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Similar Products Used:   niner SIR, ellsworth truth, various cannondales over years etc.

Bike Setup:   custom build - fox F29 rlc, xtr, xo, bike 29 "ridiculitis" wheelset (custom spec ) easton EC controls, schwalbe racing ralphs etc...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jcmtbfreak a Cross Country Rider from Kansas

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2009

Strengths:    LIGHT!! The XTR shifting...once I got used to it. Light?

Weaknesses:    Tires, seat...makes you vastly aware if you aren't in shape

Bottom Line:   
I just rode this bike yesterday at the Hills of Hell race in Lawton, OK. The fork on my 930 blew up last week. Some friends and I tried to cobble together a replacement fork, but I couldn't get it to hold air correctly, resulting with it sagging about 50%. Rode by a friend of mine on the way to the start line, he asked about it, I explained. He was like, "no way, you arent riding that. Come with me, we are putting you on my Orbea." (Don't feel too sorry for him, he was riding his full XTR litespeed) What can I say, I have nice friends!
The bike was fast. Much faster than my legs could take it at present. It begged to be ridden hard and fast, but I couldn't deliver to that on the uphills. If I had the legs, it would have jumped out from underneath me. The crossmax wheelset is amazing. While I don't have fitness yet, I am a upper sport to lower expert level technical rider. Point it downhill and rip. Even though the pythons were NOT at all the right tire for the rocky, gravel covered course, they climbed well, but kept wanting to wash out in corners. I still was able to pass people every downhill. It was so stable. If I wanted to change lines in the middle of a section, I could. I would have loved to have gone back and ridden the course again with something more aggressive up front.
I'm 6'2" with somewhere around a 34 or 35 inch inseam and while the bike fit me well, I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone taller than me.
Overall, OUTSTANDING bike. I will never own one like this...but it was an eye-opening ride. Made me sad I wasn't in shape so I could have fully utilized it's potential. For anyone wanting to race, this is your 29er. It pedaled as well if not better than almost any 26er I've ridden. Its a $5k bike, I don't care what it comes with...value, horrible. Overall rating though, DEFINITELY 5 chilis!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   A lot of random test rides

Bike Setup:   98' Trek 930 Full X-9

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by landmckay a Racer from Scottsdale,Az,USA

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2009

Strengths:    rolls fast-very fast, holds line, carbon fiber blunts hits, geometry recreates feeling of riding my road bike off-road, climbs as well as any soft tail or FS bike,

Weaknesses:    bottom bracket is at least 1-2 inches lower than I'm accustomed on Moots so crank arm can hit on rocks and while pedaling through corners which makes me be more aware of the possibility of popping me out of my pedals. Not a deal breaker but it makes me look for where my pedal comes down to avoid the foot being exploded off the pedal and loosing momentum on climbs.

Bottom Line:   
I got this bike for the Arizona Mountain Bike series that started Jan 17/09. After road racing last year, I decided to come back to mtnbike racing. I got this frame since everyone says how much faster 29er's are compared to 26er's. Well, after 20 years on a 26er, I raced this bike to a 1st place finish in Cat 2 and can say YES IT'S TRUE-29er's are faster. I was able to re-created the same geometry as on my road bike so if you fit this Orbeas single size, you will not be disappointed. My only problem with this bike is getting kicked up to Cat 1 racing and then having to spend more time training and suffering.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Fetish Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Moots YBB

Bike Setup:   Fox 29er shock, XTR front and rear derailler, Reynolds carbon wheel set with Stans specific liner for Reynolds carbon rims, Avid Elixer CR, Time pedals, Moots stem and bar (MOOTS bar flipped which reads SLOOW)

Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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