Orbea Alma 29er 29er Hardtail

4.6/5 (15 Reviews)


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 (15 Reviews Total)

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: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: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 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.

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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)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 29ersRreal a Cross Country Rider from Aurora, Ontario Canada

Date Reviewed: September 1, 2008

Strengths:    benchmark for speed and handling, cuts through technical single track like a knife, light weight, all combine to make riding serious fun! Probably can convince any 26er diehard of the 29er benefits for cross country riding. Best suited to more advanced riders I think

Weaknesses:    I haven't encountered any, just won't take it again to Whistler downhills - lycra and rigid bikes are definitely the wrong equipment! Can anyone say, should have his head examined...

Bottom Line:   
This is the bike that got me back into mountain biking after an absence of a few years dedicated mainly to road and some cross. I've ridden since 1986 and many different types of bikes. This bike gives me a smile on every trail and the speed uphill is unmatched. IT makes me a better rider and I feel that the bike is pushing me to do more and more - how can you beat that.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Canmore Orange loop

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Fisher SuperCaliber 29er suspension, many 26er bikes incl. Ellsworth Truth, Rocky Element TO, AMP Research, Klein & Cannondale

Bike Setup:   American Classic wheels,Bontrager X-Lite Switchblade fork, XTR cranks, AC-70 post, Orbea SL stem/bars, Juicy 5, Stans NoTubes tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Slater Fletcher a Racer from California

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2008

Strengths:    Sick-light and responsive! Looks like candy and handles great in tight corners and downhill unlike most comments about the 29 handling. If you are looking for a race machine this is your bike and mine is just under 22lbs and again very responsive but like others noted you need to get use to the speed into and around corners. Mine also has the option for V-brakes which is nice to have the option if you want to go that route and make it even lighter.

Weaknesses:    Only one size - Stoked it fits me at 5'10" but you need to consider this. It is a beautiful race machine but fragile as any carbon mountain bike would be as far as scratches or chips to the coating. May also just be me but I managed to break FOUR derailleur hangers in the first four months of owning this bike?? Not the “best” in mud as there is a small amount of clearance in the rear wheel (I am running 2.1) but again for cross country trails or racing it fits the part perfect. I have been on all day rides on/off of the trail too and it is comfy as my old Epic.

Bottom Line:   
If you want a bike to take some HUGE drops or ride in the mud and put away wet this is not your bike. It is a race machine built around a light light setup responsive and aggressive geometry to get the job done fast when needed. Oh, and it is SO much fun to ride ;-)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   ebay -frame only

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Specialized Epic and rode the Epic and Alma for about two months on the same trails. Like the Epic but I love the Alma

Bike Setup:   Reba w/ lockout, American Classic, stands, Thompson Masterpiece, F99 stem, Magura Marta SL, all XTR setup, Crossmax on the front and WTR Nano on the back

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan from Seattle, WA. USA

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2007

Strengths:    Super LIGHT and out climbs the 26 inch bikes. I was in a race and found myself passing people up a MUDDY wet trail...and I felt like I wasn't working!!! With my build I'm at 20.7 LBS.

Weaknesses:    No rear suspension... It's also much faster than a 26" bike so you find that you're going to fast or to hot into corners. I think that's a good thing (once you figure out the speed).

Bottom Line:   
Don't buy the CRAP from the 26 inch crowd (even though I'm keeping my moots ybb 26" bike) that the bike is too big or to slow. I race the expert mountain bike category and finished 3rd in my first race with the bike (did the last 2 miles with a flat tire). This is my first year in the Expert category and I don't road race either (sand baggers!). Last year I raced sport and moved up this year hoping to just stay in the top 10. This bike seems to be more than I hoped for. The only issue I have been working on is the bike is so much faster that I have to make changes in how I fly into the corners. You can't get that kind of speed on a 26" bike. I seems to be about 6-8 miles faster going into turns and the 29" bikes do handle differently (which does not make them a lesser bike... just different). I DO NOT REGRET GOING TO A 29er! BTW I'm 5'9 so that puts me at the bottom of the range for users.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   ANY TRAIL

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   From Team rider for Orbea

Similar Products Used:   None...just ordered a Mooto-X YBB 29er... get it next week.

Bike Setup:   SRAM X.O. Group. Avid juicy Carbon disc. FSA Carbon cranks. 2007 XTR hubs with stans ZTR 355 29er rims with Sapim CX-ray spokes about 1470 grams for the wheelset (SUPER LIGHT BUILD). Ritchey WCS stem and Bar. Reba Air fork with pop-lock. Kenda Karma 1.9 tires (running tubeless). SRAM hollow pin chain. Time ATAC Carbon/Titanium pedals. FSA Carbon seatpost. Selle Italia seat....I think that's it...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by PATRICK TWEEDY a Cross Country Rider from BELLEVILLE,IL

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2006

Strengths:    LITE WEIGHT,CLIMBING,DESENDING AND HANDLING ARE EXCELLENT.LOOKS LIKE A WORK OF ART.

Weaknesses:    AVID BRAKES SQUEAK.HANDLEBAR SLIGHTLY NARROW.

Bottom Line:   
THE GUYS THAT I RIDE WITH ARE ALL GOING FROM SHORT TRAVEL FULL SUSPENTION BIKES TO 5" TRAVEL ALL MOUNTAIN BIKES.I ALMOST DID TOO BUT HAVE READ A LOT OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT 29ers.I WAS AFRAID TO BACK TO A HARD TAIL AFTER CLOSE TO
TEN YEARS ON FULL SUSPENTION.WELL,I WANT TO TELL YOU I WAS
BLOWN AWAY BY THIS BIKE.ON LONG SMOOTH SECTIONS IT REMINDS
ME A LITTLE OF A ROAD BIKE BECAUSE OF THE LARGE WHEELS.THERE IS NO FLEX IN THE FRAME COMPARED TO A F.S.BIKE
SO IT FEELS REALLY SOLID.CLIMBING LONG LOOSE ROCKY HILLS
WAS THE BEST I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED ON A MTB.THE REAR 29" TIRE GETS GREAT TRACTION AND COMBINED WITH THE LITE WEIGHT
IT CLIMBS BETTER THAN MY GIANT NRS.THE LIGHT WEIGHT AND BIG WHEELS MAKE DESCENDING A BLAST ALSO.A FRIEND TRIED IT OUT AND SAID THIS WILL BE HIS NEXT BIKE.LONG TRAVEL F.S.BIKES ARE VERY COOL FOR VERY ROUGH TERRAIN AND DOWNHILL BUT FOR CROSS COUNTRY THIS BIKE IS PERFECT FOR ME.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CASTLEWOOD PARK

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3100.00

Purchased At:   MESA CYCLES ST.LOUIS

Similar Products Used:   99 SPECIALIZED FSR,02 GIANT NRS AIR,05 TURNER FLUX

Bike Setup:   STOCK SO FAR,WITH FULL XO KIT AND EGG BEATER PEDALS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan a Racer from Seattle, Wa. USA

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2006

Strengths:    SUPER LIGHT

Weaknesses:    Still looking.... Oh, It's too much fun!

Bottom Line:   
LOVE IT! Used it in a CAT 3 race (cyclocross) and it was pouring down rain and if it wasn't for my total excitement and 2 speed laps on the course I'd have killed them. I did go from 17th at the start to first place thru the first lap. But, I was having sooooo much fun on the course prior to the race I had a Pre-Mature Bike-u-lation!!! :~) This weekend I plan to temper my excitement and save it for the race! I did love how when the rear slid out on the corners, i just leaned to the outside and the rear wheel stood up and stop the slide. That would have been a sliding crash on my Cyclocross bike OR my MT. Bike. It was weird that worked....I was like hmmm, "Wow, that was nice".

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Devils Gultch

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   I have a Moots YBB (Full XTR), Litespeed Lookout Mountain (full XTR)and Litespeed Unicoi (Full XTR)

Bike Setup:   Reba shock, Full X.O. kit, K-Force Cranks, American Classic Wheels 29er (1535 grams), Time ATAC carbon Ti pedals, Kenda Karma tires, K-force Lite seatpost, Avid Juicy Carbon Disc brakes, Richie WCS stem (120 grams) Salsa Carbon bar, I've got the bike down to 22.3 lbs. and still looking for more ways for the bike to lose weight.

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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