First Look: Orbea’s New XC Race Hardtail – Alma

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The Alma d’Orbea is a bike that has been part of their lineup for over a decade. Having been last updated in 2017, the Alma was in need of an overhaul, especially in the run-up to what would have been an Olympic year. The Alma gets a major overhaul during this go-around, with a number of new features aimed at making the bike more comfortable, quieter and faster.

Orbea now offers three different frame constructions in the Alma range. The top-of-the-line OMX, OMR and a hydroformed aluminum option. The new OMX frame uses a blend of high modulus fibers in a single layer that allows Orbea to adjust weight and stiffness for each size. This weight is 830 g for an average size. The OMR frame is also carbon and uses a more standard layer and weighs 1,100g. The hydroformed aluminum frame uses tubes of varying thickness and shape for a net weight of 1650g in medium size.

Frame details
The Alma uses a 27.2 seatpost as Orbea believes it gives the right stiffness to weight ratio for this bike. The bike’s carbon layer is matched to what they believe is the optimal stiffness-to-weight ratio for a bike in this class. There is a new internal cable routing system designed for cable and electronic shifting systems. Cable guides use a dual-compound expanding wedge system that locks cables in place to reduce wear or rattling.

On OMX and OMR frames, there is a Blocklock headset feature that prevents the handlebars from turning too far where they or a fork could hit and damage the frame. The Acros Blocklock allows 164-degree steering and was designed to reduce stack height and improve cockpit integration on the carbon monohull models of the Alma.

Chain retention is available through a chain safety system designed specifically for the Alma. The guide tightens around the shell of the BB and provides a top roll for added security and can be easily removed for those who don’t want the small weight penalty.

The Alma also uses flat-mount brakes and uses the same OC headset / spacer / stem design found on the Oiz. The stem system also has an optional computer mount compatible with most major brands of computers.

The bike uses a universal derailleur hanger, PF92 bottom bracket (carbon models), accommodates 2.4 “tires and comes with a lifetime warranty. Some models feature a dropper post. 27.2mm OC 2 and all frames can accommodate two water bottles.

Spirit Fork
Orbea’s Spirit fork is designed for those looking for the lightest weight and the most simplicity. The fork is tuned to work as a system with the Alma, but is compatible with most bikes with a tapered head tube. It is also available in Orbea’s “MyO” program for cyclists who also wish to refine their color selection.

The fork weighs 500g including parts and has a full internal or external brake housing to allow for a clean look or easy fork swaps. It uses a 160 post-mount for the brake and has a unique rubber fork end protector to keep the fork secure. The height of the axle at the crown is 501 mm to reproduce a fork at a sag of 20%.

Geometry and kinematics
The Alma has a 68-degree head angle, 74.5-degree seat angle, and a 426mm reach for an average size. The bases are 430mm in all sizes.

New graphic customization and construction options
The new Alma OMX offers several new graphics options as well as a fourth Matte / Gloss finish option. There are also dozens of color combinations available using their “MyO” program.

Paint schemes and options are plentiful with Alma.

There are a total of ten different building options between the three frame levels. Additionally, at each level of frame the OMX, OMR, and Hydroformed Alloy have different versions to choose from.

The available sizes are S-XL. Prices start at US $ 1,099 for the Alma H30 and go up to US $ 7,999 for the Alma M-LTD.

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