The Orbea Occam Carbon can be thought of as a cross between their World Cup-proven cross country race machine, the Alma, and their all-mountain capable enduro bike, the Rallon. It looks the part, and in fact it borrows technology, style, and design concepts from both. The carbon fiber Occam even fills a performance gap between the two. However, as its own bike, it?s made to compete with the best of the new breed of super trail bikes on the market. To underscore that point, the Occam weighs in at less than five pounds, yet it has a comfortable and capable 4.84? (123mm) of rear wheel travel.Orbea molds the Occam front triangle and swingarm as one piece with their Silver grade carbon fiber. This results in structures with uninterrupted fibers and no joints, and this is part of why Orbea can build the Occam so light, even though it?s intended for racing and hard trail riding. The Silver carbon offers a just-right blend of light weight, impact resistance, and toughness. The Occam came to fruition thanks to Orbea?s Advanced Dynamics modeling and research. One key element was that they designed the bike with the rider in mind, and their modeling and testing always included a virtual rider to exert forces on the frame the way you would as you ride the bike over all types of terrain. The design process was completed with mountains of feedback from riders aboard functional prototypes. The final result is a bike that?s perfect for marathon racing. By saying that, we?d like to point out that marathon racing embodies all that we see as good in the Occam. It responds to furious pedaling efforts with sheer acceleration. Twists of the bars send steering input to the front wheel without hesitation. It climbs with near-hardtail-like efficiency without the strength-sapping effect of absorbing bumps with your legs and back. The bike does this for you, even as you pedal. Is the Occam faster than the Alma over the duration of a six hour race? Perhaps marginally because of the greater level of control and traction afforded by the full suspension design. Will you be faster over the same distance aboard the Occam? Considerably so. While the Occam looks similar to the Rallon at a glance, the differences between the two are real. Aside from the material and travel differences, the Occam rear suspension employs a different layout. Like the Rallon, the Occam uses a single pivot for the swingarm, located on the seat tube a bit above the bottom bracket shell. In a different twist, the pivot with the seatstay is concentric with the rear axle. This pivot location allows the left seatstay to function like the brake floaters that downhillers have used for years. The advantage here is that your rear suspension is free to cycle through its travel range while you're hard on the brakes. This is most evident on rough-braking whoops or tree roots just before a turn. Your rear suspension can still follow the ground effectively while you exert a powerful braking force. And the m
Strengths: I am writing for Orbea Occam 2012. Great design, fast climber, lots of travel while descend for an XC bike and great control.
Weaknesses: Paint easily chipped and releasing rear tyre is quite complicated.
My first XC bike and love it. I usually ride around my house in Bogor and most of the track is ascending so this bike really suite me.
If you want to find a bike which is out of the pattern (esp. in Indonesia, Polygon, United, Giant & Spez are major brands) you should look for this bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Montpellier France
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2009
Strengths: Serious/clean/simple design, superb finish (carbon and aluminum parts), not heavy, nimble.
Weaknesses: wide rear part (shoes rub on it), slight lack of stiffness on the rear part, frame could be lighter
I wanted more travel than the 100mm I had on the BMC, but not 140 because I want to stay fast ... I think I nailed it with the Occam: I was skeptical about this but the additional 15 mm at the back and 20 at the front make a massive difference on big hits and comfort. The occam maintains a fairly steep fork angle (about 70.5 I think) and it really shows; it is as responsive and nimble as the BMC was, and it is pleasure to blast through singles with it.
The frame design and built is absolutely superb: the glossy carbon is really awesome (too much maybe), and the forged rear arm is a piece of art for those who are into mechanical design. Tons of clearance under the bottom bracket, and a low but long top tube makes for a comfy but efficient ride.
I took a big step in choosing a single pivot design (compared to the VPS of the BMC). I was afraid of bob, pedal kickback and brake jacking ... none of that here, the ride is smooth and very controlled, and when you push on the pedals it goes ballistic! No bob, but a slight flex on the rear end which I noticed when blasting on the road. Still stiffer than all VPS bikes I have ridden so far.
All in one, a superb bike with a life time warranty on the frame. The frame could have been lighter (2.7 kilos with shock instead of the 2.5 advertised), but it feels a lot lighter. I will update this review in a couple of months.
Bike Setup: Fox, Thomson, Crossmax ST, SRAM X9, XT crank, Oro K24, etc
a Cross Country Rider
from British Columbia
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2008
Strengths: Stiff, Tons of Travel for the downs, Climbs great, light, fast
Weaknesses: Creaks from time to time
I have only had the bike for a month or so but have loved it so far. When the rear is on semi lock out the bike climbs close to my old hardtail. Take off the Semi lock out for the down hills and it takes the bumps like a pro.
I always have the Talas on the 100 mm setting for climbing and then put it back to the 140 for the downs which is super easy on the fly.
The fork works great and with 4.75 inch's front and back the bike is super plush.
The only thing that I don't like is on some of the up hills when you take any wieght off the front it creaks from time to time.
When I bought the bike it was between it and the Carbon Rush which is almost the same bike. An employee from the shop advised me that the back end uses bearings vs the Cannondale which uses bushings. I was also advised that the rear end of the Orbea was more stiff as the rear Triangle was designed different. Also the bottom bracket on the Cannondale was lower then the Orbea which also put me off of it. The Cannondale would weigh close to a pound less however due to the above differences I went with the Orbea and I am very happy.