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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I'm trying to find out if there is an Orbea that is in the "plush" category as my neck and shoulder would probalby appreciate it. I was comparing the geometries between the different models and they all look almost the same. Bicycling magazine lists the Onix in the plush category but the geometry is basically the same as the Orca. Thanks for your comments
 

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I'm not sure you're going to find that here. The Orbea Carbon frames are gorgeous and ride well, but I would not go as far as to describe them as "plush." They are racers, stiffer and stiffest, with even the onix a respectably road machine. I lift shoulder and back regularly to keep the strength there for climbing and such, and after a good 50+ miles on the road, you will feel it, even with good carbon bars.

As per usual, head to your LBS and ride them. True with any bike, but even more true with Orbea's odd sizing, ride it, make sure it feels good before dropping several grand on a bike. You will regret it otherwise.
 

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I agree with WhyRun; I'm not aware of them making a specifically "plush" bike. If I were looking for such a bike, I'd look elsewhere. I like the Specialized Roubaix, but there are plenty of others out there.
 

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I guess I'd ask what your current rig is, what you think it rides like, and why you are perhaps worried about "plush".

I bought a 2006 Onix a few years back. I came to it from an admittedly horrible Schwinn full aluminum frame bike. The end result was much more efficiency with respect to getting power from the cranks to the road and much less fatigue while riding. And my Onix has deeper section rims than the old Schwinn did. The Onix has stiffer rims, is much more responsive to pedal strokes and more comfortable for long rides.

So, if the Onix is "plush" it's in a good way for me. Stiff in all the right areas but compliant enough that I can ride it for hours without any of the fatigue.

One last word about geometry. It may look the same but I'm guessing the Orca has a bigger drop (saddle to bar top) and differences in the fork rake/head tube angle that make it respond and ride much differnent than an Onix. Not to mention all the other cool aspects of the Orca.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your comments. My current road bike is a 2003 Orbea, aluminum frame. It has more of a race geometry. I got a bike fit and made some mods to it which helped make it more comfortable. I tend to develop tension in my neck and shoulders during the rides so I'm trying to find an Orbea that may be gentler. I test rode, in the parking lot of the LBS, an Orca and felt very similar, as far as position, to the one I have now. But it's really hard to tell just by a short ride on the parking lot. That's why I was looking for some feedback based on the experience of people in this forum.
Cheers.
 

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I'm not sure you want to be making many modifications just to make the bike work. You should find a bike that will more or less work off the shelf, as it will always be more comfortable than one you have to significantly modify.
Are you kidding me ?

P.S. The Orca is NOT a gentle bike. I wish you luck on your search.
I don't agree with this either.

You may want to take a look at your cockpit rather than the frame for neck and shoulder pain, a full carbon stem and bar might be a solution, you may also check the width of your bars and the stem length. Oddly enough, building a stroong caore will help alleviate pressure on your arms-shoulder while you spin.
 

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so your proposition is squeeze yourself onto a bike that doesn't fit you because you like the brand? not every bike will have a size that fits every rider.

oddly enough? core training should be the basis of basically any physical training you do. that should be an obvious statement. i personally lift 2/3 times a week upper body and ride 4 four. that doesn't change the bike. if it doesn't fit, don't buy it because you like the brand. and spending hundreds on a carbon bar may not be the silver bullet either.

the solution is simple, go talk to a few LBS, get sized, maybe get sized twice, talk about your issues and get some opinions. don't squeeze yourself on the wrong bike. and definitely don't drop 5k on an orca before making sure its the right thing...
 

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i guess i should have clarified my rather lazy statement previously. my point about off the shelf was more that, if the geometry is wrong for you, you will not be comfortable in the long haul. i'd hope you move the seat, post, bars, hoods for comfort, but if the geometry doesn't fit your needs, you will never get the "perfect" fit. and if you already have health issues, why push the envelope further?
 

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Neck and shoulder issues aren't a matter of ride level as much as they are fit. My Orbea Opal is stiff as hell but my setup doesn't kill my neck or shoulders. Get your bike setup so you don't have too much reach or too much drop and your neck and shoulders should be fine regardless of how stiff the frame is.
 

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so your proposition is squeeze yourself onto a bike that doesn't fit you because you like the brand? not every bike will have a size that fits every rider.
No I did not say that, I think the title and the question was about ride quality not the geometry. I have many bikes with different geometries, my fitting is exactly the same, I am religious about fiting my bikes, some of theme are not the same size frame too (trad vs sloped). The ride qualities are different.

Keep on lifting those weights for your core...
 

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Lots of bad advice in this thread... :idea:

First off, while everyone here is proud of their Orbeas and how awesome they are (who wouldn't feel that way about any multi-thousand dollar purchase?!) they are not necessarily the hardcore razor's edge race bikes people here (WhyRun) would like to imagine. Hell, Euskatel was riding the Orcas in the Tour of Flanders and that's what they'll be on for Paris-Roubaix as well (these are races over harsh cobblestone roads, if you don't know).

Contrary to some people's belief, a stiffer bike does not mean a less forgiving bike. For instance, compared to my 2006 Opal, my 09 Orca is significantly stiffer (duh) but it also rides much smoother, though admittedly that's a qualitative statement. I've found the '09 Orca to actually ride impressively smoothly over harsher roads while still being a fast bike. Frankly I think WhyRun is off base with his view of the Orca, even Orbea's engineers and marketing folks talk about how the bike was designed to be stiffer while more compliant and comfortable. Obviously everyone is different and will respond different to bikes, because I'm fine doing hard 120 mi training rides on mine.

If you'd like a plusher Orbea (i.e. a softer riding one), take a look at the 2006 Orca, it was meant as 'flagship' bike designed for comfort and sport and less of a racer (pro teams were riding the Opal then, which was 30% stiffer as claimed by Orbea).

If it's a problem with fit (reach to the bars and neck pain), besides working on core and flexibility, consider getting a shorter stem with higher rise. That will bring you back and allow you to sit more up right. None of the Orbea models are "slammed" racer geometries, though. It's also a truly stupid statement to think you can necessarily buy a bike off the rack and have it fit. Almost any rider / bike combo will require some tweaking. You can do plenty by just adding spacers, and a new stem.

For all the really crappy advice that's been thrown out in this thread, I will say the recommendation for a Specialized Roubaix is a smart one. If you do look at it, consider the Expert or higher, it uses a totally different frame, based on the Tarmac SL2, that feels light years ahead of the lesser Roubaixs.
 

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By the way, when I talked about fitting was just that, stem, forck top angle and height and seat angle and position front back and so on.

I also agree that I do not consider any of the Orbeas to be stiff racing bikes, they can be raced but do not fit in the stiffest of categories and this is just correct if you are going to ride a col after 100km on hills. You want just that in a bike. I mostly work on flats and the last two Orca I have had where, dare I say, spagetti. My Onyx and old Orca had a really soft stear, super comfy but not the greatest sprinter or descender.

I ride a 595 ultra, a Ridley damocles and a BMC in the past, super stiff and except for the Look, not very comfy on long rides.

I got team offer between an Opal and a Orca and choose the Opal, however it looks like I may go with an Orca after all just because of availability and the 09 version being stiffer.

It's gonna be crazy on the Arenberg on Sunday.
 

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spastook said:
Neck and shoulder issues aren't a matter of ride level as much as they are fit. My Orbea Opal is stiff as hell but my setup doesn't kill my neck or shoulders. Get your bike setup so you don't have too much reach or too much drop and your neck and shoulders should be fine regardless of how stiff the frame is.
+1. I have had 3 cervical fusions, and four shoulder surgeries, (with a fifth set for May 6th). It is all about the fit. I have a 2007 Orca, and love it, but if it was not carefully adjusted to fit me, it would kill my shoulder and neck. I had a Wobble-Naught fitting last January, and it was revolutionary for me. It looked like a more aggressive setup, but it really made it possible for me to keep riding. Find a frame you like that fits, then fine-tune the position until it does not abuse your shoulder. I have had a lot more trouble in getting a fit that works for my shoulder than my neck. Good luck with it.
 

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A set of carbon clincher wheels made my 07 Orca's ride much smoother on chip seal based roads. 180LB rider on Michelin Pro2 tires.
 
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