Review of the Orbea Rise M20 eMTB
Super light electric mountain bikes are getting more powerful making them harder to ignore year after year. There is no better example of this fact than the Orbea Rise electric mountain bikes. With the Shimano EP 8 RS motor offering 60 nm of torque and weights 10 to 15 pounds lighter than their full-power counterparts, the Rise eMTBs are worth taking a look at. Today, we give you a full review on the Orbea Rise M20, part of Orbea's minimal battery, lightweight, high performance series for cross country and all-mountain riders who want to flow singletrack all day.
Based in Spain, Orbea is the manufacturer of some of the best electric mountain bikes in the world. They like to stress kinematics, and rider experience through customization, and they also developed what are probably the best lightweight eMTBs in the world right now. I am talking of course about the Orbea rise series. Let's find out if eMTBs can still be amazing when someone went all "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" on your motor's torque.
What makes these super-light electric mountain bikes so different from the other lightweight electric mountain bikes on the market today is that they offer almost as much power as a full-powered MTB.
One of the great things about these bikes is how customizable they are. If you're planning on taking advantage of this feature it is best to talk with an electric bike expert so that they can tell you how this might delay or change your bike. Give one of our eBike Specialists a call to discuss.
- The Shimano EP8 RS is essentially a nerfed version of the Shimano EP8 developed by Orbea and Shimano specifically for Orbea bikes. It's going to offer 60-newton meters of torque and 250 watts. That’s a lot of power from a lightweight bike.
- That's going to pair nicely with a 360-watt hour battery. Despite the smaller battery size, you can actually expect one and a half times the range of a typical eMTB because of the weight savings on this bike and the less powerful motor. If you're not convinced, they do offer a 252-watt hour battery pack that you can extend your range with.
- The Shimano EP8 RS motor is going to partner with the Shimano SLX drivetrain. It's 12 speeds on there and a 10 to 51 tooth cassette. You definitely want to see a wide gear ratio on a bike with a less powerful motor.
- The groupset is going to be rounded out with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes as well. They're going to be the M6100s on 180-millimeter rotors front and rear, but you can upgrade that front rotor to a 203-millimeter rotor.
- The suspension is upgradeable too. The standard set-up is a 140-millimeter bike, which is an excellent cross-country setup and on a bike of this weight, you could definitely get away with all-mountain usage as well.
- You've got an entire arsenal of Maxxis tires to choose from. The bike comes standard with Maxxis Dissector tires that are going to be 2.4 inches wide on 29er wheels. You can upgrade to 2.6 inch wide tires on Maxxis minions.
- Your geometry continues to ride that beautiful line between cross country and all-mountain. It's a 76.5-degree seat tube angle and a 65.5-degree headtube angle.
I’ve got to tell you, these bikes are extremely fun. When I took this bike out for a spin, the things I was most focused on were how Shimano EP 8 RS motor functions and also whether or not I was able to get as much range as Orbea claims.
- The maneuverability is just incredible. A lot of people say, "oh I’m gonna upgrade to a 38,” but I'd say if this is what you're doing stock components are gonna be just fine.
- Climbings aren't so much harder they're just a little slower. You do feel it pull up a little bit, because of the weight difference. So you got to just get that balance down.
- I was out all day and the battery didn’t flinch.
- It's so light. I usually hesitate to really try and pull. But because of the lightness, I feel like if I get a little off-balance in the air it's very easy to handle.
- I never felt like I didn't have enough power either, and we were doing some pretty steep climbs. The Rise really closes that gap between full-powered, heavier eMTBs and lightweight eMTBs. With the weight difference on this lightweight bike, I really felt like the 60-newton meters of torque didn't make a difference at all between my full-powered eMTB and the Orbea Rise. It just felt like being on an eMTB.
There is just no comparable bike on the market. Full-powered eMTBs are generally going to be a lot heavier, whereas other super-light bikes from other companies just aren't going to offer the same amount of power and range as the Orbea Rise series.
- I didn't have any issues on our approximately 15-20 mile ride with range. I still had plenty of battery left when we got back. If you have concerns about not having enough battery, you might want to look at the Hydro series from Rise which features a 550-watt hour battery.
- In terms of the M20 within the lineup, that is essentially going to be the entry-level of the M bikes, which means it's going to be at a reasonable price point.
- The Orbea Rise improves on a lot of areas of owning an eMTB that you don't even really think about until you use a super light bike, like getting the bike off your rack on your car, an easier transition in riding style from an acoustic bike to an eMTB, and just keeping you in the feeling that you're having a more natural experience that isn't over-influenced by a motor.
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