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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have just finished 3 days of riding my 2018 Rallon and I'm ready to give some feedback on how the bike performs for me.

A little info: I'm 200 pounds full kit...water, protection, tools....and so on.
The trails I've ridden these 3 days are typical SW USA...dry loose scree and kibble over hard with jagged sharp rocks always being present. Really loose with the past rains this summer that filter extra small rocks into the path that's normally semi smooth.

My stats: 5'10.5" 32.5" cycling inseam with longish wingspan. 190 pounds

Trails-Las Vegas: Bears Best / SW Ridge 44.3 miles 4,700 vertical feet climbed

Wheel & Tire Setup: Easton ARC 30's internal with DT 350 hubs
Front: Maxxis DHF 2.5 WT 24psi Rear: Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 exo 26psi

Front Suspension:Fox 36 Performance 79psi with 3 tokens , Rebound 8 turns out from full Damped

Rear Suspension: Fox DPX2 Factory 220psi with stock internals, Always ran in the open position. 5 clicks rebound from full damped and LSC 4 clicks from closed.

So the bike is absolutely beautiful and build quality is top notch. Paint and finnish show no issues whatsoever with the complete bike looking very refined.

I rode the bike in the Low setting the entire 3 day's...65.5 HA and 76 SA
I have yet to ride the bike in the Lower setting 65 HA 75.5 SA

The Frame is compliant and the rear triangle has a nice stiffness to it and I never felt any squirm or flex when changing direction and the deflection I've felt on a few frames in the past...Evil Following and Ibis Mojo 3 isn't existent. The fact that this Large Frame weighs less than most 120-130mm trail frames is a real testament to the Orbea engineer team.

1- Pedal efficiency: I rode the Rallon always in the open mode the entire test as that gives me the best idea of how the suspension performs under power as well as how active the linkage is through bumps and hits as well as punching up features like repeated step ups and rock faces carrying momentum. Bottom bracket height is perfect and it's been awhile since I could say I had zero issues with pedal strikes or the need to ratchet excesively up features. I'd say the Rallon is a great "Lazy climber" 76 degree SA bike in that it's much more effective to seddle in the saddle and grind out your climbs spinning. The suspension is very active and although it has a bit less efficency than my SB5.5, DW link or VPP bikes I've ridden it wasn't to bad overall. The bike kept great traction in the rear and had that hovercraft feeling where as long as you applied the power when needed to get up and over obstacles while climbing the rear end wouldn't lose traction and clean the climb every time. The bike had the ideal amount of anti squat and the front end was rode nice and high in it's travel without the wandery front end that many slack bikes exhibit. I rarely climbed out of the saddle but when I did balance felt really good because the top tube and cockpit allowed me to move freely without getting hung up.

2- Acceleration: The one thing I felt was the Rallon didn't have was the same level of acceleration as my Yeti SB5.5 The bikes kinematics aren't overly progressive nor linear but rather neutral. Stiff and racey on the power is my Yeti SB5.5 where as are a bike like the specialized Enduro feels mushy and overly plush unless your in a pedal mode on the shock. I'm sure if I would have flipped the lever on the Rallon to Trail it would firm up the platform and lay down the power much better but I ran the bike open always how it should be. Overall not bad but when your not bombing down a descent and you happen to be responsible for creating your own speed the bike is above average.

3- Playfulness: The bottom line is all these new school LT 29'ers are getting longer and slacker regarding wheelbase and front center and for good reason...stability. That being said the size Large Rallon has a 1218mm WB but it feels much tighter and more maneuverable than the numbers. The chain stays are damn near perfect at 435mm and the bike feels really nicely balanced. I would say it's middle of the pack regarding playfulness where as if your a highly skilled rider this bike will be easy to throw around and maneuver but it's also not going to be as easy to boost and roost as say a 2017 E29. I happen to like the idea that your own trail speed will dictate in lending to make the Rallon playful for you....if pushed hard the bike will Pop and skip any way you like. I don't put a ton of effort into that style of riding unless it's true flow trail stuff.

4- Turns and Berms: With the Rallon having an ideal wheel base and bottom bracket height as well as having the 44mm fork offset the turning capability of the Orbea is the second best I've ever ridden with only my Yeti SB6c feel in like the better turn and burn bike and again that SB6 has 27.5 wheels. Due to the short seat tube and roomy top tub your able to get your dropper down and have so much room to lean and space the bike no matter if the turn's relatively flat or banked. The tires hook up so well and that makes a huge difference but with the Rallon chassis balanced perfectly with it's Geo it makes the bike the real switchblade you've dreamt of. Slow speed switch backs climbing or descending are a little trickier and take a bit more body english and steering input to perform but I wouldn't say thats much different from the other 29'ers I've ridden.

5- Jumping and Drop absorption: I really didn't have a chance to jump the bike much during the test and I'm not overly concerned because usually adding a bit more air and messing with the compression and rebound will make the bike as capable as needed. Just the fact that cockpit and attack position balance is so good on the Rallon means that the bike will be a really good jumper. As far as drops I was able to confidently say the bike is really solid and composed on the numerous 2' to 4' drops I hit over the 3 days of testing. Many of the drops were to flat and the suspension just soaked everything up without any drama. The front end always held it's landing and never once did I feel the chassis was out of shape even when the landing had baby heads or was blown out. I used 85-90% travel and I was intentionally trying to land rear wheel first on some landings just to feel bottom out resistence. The Rallon is a big boy bike and I don't have quite the skills that some may have so feel assured this bike can handle anything.

6- Descending: The Rallon is 110% an out an out confidence inspiring platform where you'll always feel that your in control and just let the Rallon do it's thing....let the brakes go and the bike will plow even the Gnarliest line choice. I rode the bike in the higher 65.5 HA setting and it felt great. Never once did I feel to far over the front end and the fork held whatever direction I steered the bike. Even when you'd slither through a rock garden that wanted to kick you towards the front end if you got a bit hung up the stiff frame would allow the suspension to work for you and keep you from getting jolted around. The Rollover of the 29'er wheels really shines in these moments. The rear suspension stayed active and repeated hits didn't make it shudder. The faster you took a section of Chunder and Chunk the more you realize Orbea absolutely nailed the suspension on this bike. I'd say the Rallon and Evil Wreckoning are a dead heat for the best descending 29'er I've ridden with only the Yeti SB6 being just a bit better but not having the same rollover as the Wagon Wheels.

10 point rating system

1- Pedal Efficiency: 7.5 considering it's 6" trail bike
2- Acceleration: 7.0 *I'm running a heavy aluminum wheel set.
3- Playfulness: 7.5
4- Turns and Berms: 9.5
5- Jump & Drop: 8.5
6- Descending: 9
Bonus Intangibles: Frame quality and overall Finnish: 9

Side Notes: I ran a water bottle each ride in my carbon cage. The Camelback Podium bottle fits snugly and securely but is pretty damn tight with the DPX2 shock.

I'm running a 2,000 Gram + wheel set on this bike. I have no doubt that the bike will accelerate better with less rotating mass just like any bike would. Either DT EX1501 wheels or a good set of Carbon hoops will really makes this bike a rocket on the flatter terrain where quick power bursts will allow the bike to spool up to speed quickly.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice detailed review, thank you for that. I saw that you rode the Wreckoning, demo maybe? Anyhow, what are your thoughts between the two? I did not know the rallon had that steep a STA, that is really sweet.
I rode the Wreckoning at the Hurricane MTB Festival for 1 day in March. Took the bike down Zen trail which is a really fun trail with plenty of challenges and then I also rented it again when I was up in Bellingham at the end of June and rode it at Galbraith.

Just my quick thought's on the bike was that it feels big and somewhat cumbersome....I rode a 32 pound build and it felt like a 32 pound bike whereas my SB5.5 is a 30.5 pound bike but feels snappy like a 28 pound bike. The Rallon also rides more nimble than it's weight.

The Wrecker was amazing for pumping terrain and the bike devoured all the square edged hits on Zen and was awesome for the steep chutes in Galbraith.

I was dissapointed with it's pedaling performance and I didn't like the way it climbed seated nor did I like the way it climbed with the shock open. It seemed to do better when I was out of the saddle but that was only when I had to burst up a quick climb that took me laying down the power in a small cog.

To me the bike is to far weighted to being a gravity bike that takes a ton of effort to get to the top and I never felt comfy trying to grind out climbs. The stated STA for the Evil must not be correct because it felt Slack and I had to slide the saddle almost completley forward.

The Orbea is in my opinion at least 15% better a climbing bike than the Wrecker and having the steep 76 degree STA makes that percentage even greater because you never feel like your really hitting that threshold of feeling overly tired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for the review. I really appreciate it. Are you planning on trying it out with a coil or are you happy with the dpx2? Do you think this will replace your 5.5 as the 1 quiver bike?
The Rallon could definitely be a 1 Quiver bike but I still prefer the SB5.5 as it's a better overall bike. I will also put a DHX Coil on my Rallon and switch between the 2 shocks depending on type of riding I'm doing, I still love the feel of an Airshock.

I bought the Rallon to keep at my apartment in South America and Orbea has a big presence in Colombia so I'm covered with any service I may need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The DPX2 is a much better shock than the previous Float X and after my 3 rides I have it feeling good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would you say the X2 is also much better than the dpX2? Or is the jump from dpx2 to X2 not as significant as float x to dpX2? Thanks again skinny
I'd say the X2 will still be a considerable jump up in performance from the DPX2

I think the main advantage of the DPX2 compared to the old Float X it replaces is the extra compression adjustment and the new internal changes which make the DPX2 more resistant to blowing through the travel and better mid stroke feel.

The X2 takes everything a step further as the 2018 model also has had a host of improvements which should result in a more aggressive tune and the four separate circuits to tune....HSR, LSR, HSC and LSC
 

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I'd say the X2 will still be a considerable jump up in performance from the DPX2

I think the main advantage of the DPX2 compared to the old Float X it replaces is the extra compression adjustment and the new internal changes which make the DPX2 more resistant to blowing through the travel and better mid stroke feel.

The X2 takes everything a step further as the 2018 model also has had a host of improvements which should result in a more aggressive tune and the four separate circuits to tune....HSR, LSR, HSC and LSC
Man thanks! I feel like your review needs to be somewhere more visible. Just curious, using your same 10 point rating system, how would you rate the 5.5?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Man thanks! I feel like your review needs to be somewhere more visible. Just curious, using your same 10 point rating system, how would you rate the 5.5?
Yeti SB5.5 Size Large Fox 36 160mm RC2 and Push 11-6 Coil with 450 pound spring

10 point rating system

1- Pedal Efficiency: 9.5 considering it's 5.5" trail bike
2- Acceleration: 8.5
3- Playfulness: 8.0
4- Turns and Berms: 8.5
5- Jump & Drop: 8.0
6- Descending: 8.5
Bonus Intangibles: Frame quality and overall Finnish: 8.0

2018 Orbea Rallon Overall rating: 58 points out of 70
2017 Yeti SB5.5 Overall rating: 59 points out of 70
2017 Evil Wreckoning Overall rating: 55.5 points out of 70
2017 Spec. Enduro 29 Overall rating: 56.5 points out of 70
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wooo how interesting! Orbea's bonus intangibles is higher than the yeti! Too bad the only 2 orbea dealers in my area only hold their road bikes so I can't see a rallon in person.
The Orbea Frame build and fit is outstanding. The paint quality and all the linkage points are nice and clean without any evidence of shortcuts taken. The yeti paint and sticker durability while good is just not as top notch as Santa Cruz, Devinci or Rocky Mountain.

I will keep updating my thoughts as I get even more saddle time with how the Rallon holds up so everyone can be informed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
2017 Evil Wreckoning Size Large
160mm RS Lyrik and RS Monarch Plus
2 full days Demo in St. George / Hurricane UT and Bellingham, WA.

10 point rating system

1- Pedal Efficiency: 6.5 considering it's 161mm travel bike
2- Acceleration: 7.0
3- Playfulness: 8.0
4- Turns and Berms: 9.0
5- Jump & Drop: 9.0
6- Descending: 9.0
Bonus Intangibles: Frame quality and overall Finnish: 7.0
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
2017 Specialized Enduro 29 Size Large
160mm Ohlins RFX36 Ohlins Air 165mm
Ridden numerous days over the course of winter 2016/2017 as my friend own this bike

10 point rating system

1- Pedal Efficiency: 7.0 considering it's 165mm travel bike
2- Acceleration: 7.5
3- Playfulness: 8.5
4- Turns and Berms: 8.5
5- Jump & Drop: 8.0
6- Descending: 8.5
Bonus Intangibles: Frame quality and overall Finnish: 8.5
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
What's it all mean regarding the 4 Long Travel 29'ers I've Ridden ?

All these conclusions are with the bikes fork and rear shock ridden in the open position. The Enduro 29 really benefits from a firm trail setting on the rear shock when climbing and pedaling Flow/Singletrack. The Yeti is the one bike that never feels like you need the lever flipped.


10 point rating system

............................(Rallon)..(SB5.5)..(Wreck)..(E29)
1- Pedal Efficiency:..(7.5) ......(9.5).....(6.5) ....(7.0)
2- Acceleration:.......(7.0).......(8.5).....(7.0).....(7.5)
3- Playfulness:........(7.5).......(8.0)......(8.0).....(8.5)
4- Turns and Berms.(9.5)......(8.5)......(9.0).....(8.5)
5- Jump & Drop:.....(8.5).......(8.0)......(9.0).....(8.0)
6- Descending:.......(9.0).......(8.5)......(9.0).....(8.5)
7- Bonus Intangible.(9.0).....(8.0)......(7.0)......(8.5)

Total out of 70pts:...(58).......(59)......(55.5)....(56.5)

Orbea Rallon is an above average pedaling bike "seated climbing is very good" with great Descending capabilities and stability. Stiff rear end and long WB keeps the bike from never feeling nervous or sketchy.

Yeti SB5.5 is an amazing pedal effecient bike that sets PR's with its well rounded attributes. Snappy acceleration and a race firm suspension feel make it lightning fast. another 1/2 degree slacker HTA would make it even better.

Evil Wreckoning is a Gravity devouring monster that's also Poppy and Playful but a real chore on the flats and steeper climbs. The steeper and Gnarlier the terrain the better the bike is for you. Feels a bit clunky when not pointed down.

The now Older 2017 Enduro 29 is a Playful and nimble bike that only suffers from it's pillowy soft pedaling performance but is otherwise solid in every regard. The 2018 edition will make it and even better descending bike with Geo Tweaks.
 

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What's it all mean regarding the 4 Long Travel 29'ers I've Ridden ? 10 point rating system:

............................(Rallon)..(SB5.5)..(Wreck)..(E29)
1- Pedal Efficiency:..(7.5) ......(9.5).....(6.5) ....(7.0)
2- Acceleration:.......(7.0).......(8.5).....(7.0).....(7.5)
3- Playfulness:........(7.5).......(8.0)......(8.0).....(8.5)
4- Turns and Berms.(9.5)......(8.5)......(9.0).....(8.5)
5- Jump & Drop:.....(8.5).......(8.0)......(9.0).....(8.0)
6- Descending:.......(9.0).......(8.5)......(9.0).....(8.5)
7- Bonus Intangible.(9.0).....(8.0)......(7.0)......(8.5)

Total out of 70pts:...(58).......(59)......(55.5)....(56.5)
@Skinny: awesome posts and detailed reviews! This is the kind of stuff that I've been hunting for.

I'm an Evil Following (v1) owner, and have loved my ride the last 2 years... but been wanting more squish for gnarlier terrain & square ledges (and admittedly a softer ride for an aging back!). I can have only one bike, so trying to get my head around which compromises to make for my ideal quiver-killer.

Since I love the ride of my Evil, I've been eyeing the Wreck - and there are *many* in the Evil camp who swear it's also an efficient climber (on par w/ the 5.5, which I felt hard to believe!), especially when you put an 11.6 on it. However, I've also heard others say it feels sluggish until you're hammering at high speeds. I'm not a downhill (or even Enduro) guy and need to earn my turns... and there's lots of steep climbs here on the CO Front Range (and even my trips out to Moab, etc), so I don't want a dog!

The 5.5 & Rallon have been my two top contenders vs the Wreck, and the (v5) Rallon is super-hard to find reviews on - especially *versus* the other two bikes!

To get my 'quiver-of-one' bike somewhere in-between, my thoughts were either to (1) beef-up something like a 5.5 (add coils, wide-wheels/tires, etc), or (2) build a Rallon/Wreck/etc undergunned (skinnier wheels/tires, reduced shock, etc).

But, from the sounds of your reviews, the 5.5 is already designed to be more a middle-path bike, and prob already better suited for what I want to do.

Any thoughts about how a coil (prob 11.6) makes the 5.5 on decending vs. the Rallon/Wreck? Also been thinking about a coil fork (ACS-3, etc) as well...

EDIT: I just noticed that your review of the 5.5 was *with* a Push 11.6 - D'oh! Still, wld love your thoughts on what it added to the 5.5!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great review!!

One technical question:
Does a 2.5" wide Maxxis DHF fit into the rear end with enough space for mud?
I need tyre clearance in my area where I ride.
Thanks
I'll get a photo of clearance with the Aggressor 2.3" currently mounted on my 30mm internal rim. This should give you somewhat of an Idea of how much space is available. Maxxis tires tend to not measure a bit narrower than Schwalbe, WTB and others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Skinny: awesome posts and detailed reviews! This is the kind of stuff that I've been hunting for.

I'm an Evil Following (v1) owner, and have loved my ride the last 2 years... but been wanting more squish for gnarlier terrain & square ledges (and admittedly a softer ride for an aging back!). I can have only one bike, so trying to get my head around which compromises to make for my ideal quiver-killer.

Since I love the ride of my Evil, I've been eyeing the Wreck - and there are *many* in the Evil camp who swear it's also an efficient climber (on par w/ the 5.5, which I felt hard to believe!), especially when you put an 11.6 on it. However, I've also heard others say it feels sluggish until you're hammering at high speeds. I'm not a downhill (or even Enduro) guy and need to earn my turns... and there's lots of steep climbs here on the CO Front Range (and even my trips out to Moab, etc), so I don't want a dog!

The 5.5 & Rallon have been my two top contenders vs the Wreck, and the (v5) Rallon is super-hard to find reviews on - especially *versus* the other two bikes!

To get my 'quiver-of-one' bike somewhere in-between, my thoughts were either to (1) beef-up something like a 5.5 (add coils, wide-wheels/tires, etc), or (2) build a Rallon/Wreck/etc undergunned (skinnier wheels/tires, reduced shock, etc).

But, from the sounds of your reviews, the 5.5 is already designed to be more a middle-path bike, and prob already better suited for what I want to do.

Any thoughts about how a coil (prob 11.6) makes the 5.5 on decending vs. the Rallon/Wreck? Also been thinking about a coil fork (ACS-3, etc) as well...

EDIT: I just noticed that your review of the 5.5 was *with* a Push 11.6 - D'oh! Still, wld love your thoughts on what it added to the 5.5!
I don't really think the travel numbers of the SB5.5 hold it back much if any compared to the Rallon and the wreckoning. The differences really come down to head tube angle 66.5 Yeti and 65.5-65 ish for the other 2 bikes as well as the longer Wheelbase. Another 15-30 mm really help calm the bike down and keep it more forgiving.

Now the trade offs of the difference in Geo is neither the Orbea nor the Evil accel quite as much as the Yeti on your average all around trail ride where you'll be mixing in plenty of climbing, flowy flat Singletrack and technical descents.

Adding the 11-6 has made my 5.5 much better through the first 2/3 of the travel and traction is so good. The idea for me is to keep the wheels glued to the trail and absorbing all the little contours while not skipping or stuttering around like the Float X did. Obviously when you want to be playful on the bike it's very capable and I use my second tuned circuit push set up for me which firms up the shock so it becomes much more poppy.

Small bump performance and mid stroke support are outstanding and as long as you get your correct spring rate to get your Sag between settled between 28% - 32% you'll be dialed. Push springs come in 25# increments.

I'm sure if you went with the DHX2 or another brand Coil you'd also get great results.

I still believe an Airshock is a great choice for the SB5.5 and now that the 2018 models are coming with the DPX2 I'd say it'll be better than the previous Float X in almost every aspect. I'm really impressed with the DPX2 on my Orbea.
 
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