Orbea is a Spanish bike manufacturer based in the Basque town of Mallabia. Part of Mondragón Cooperative Corporation, Orbea is Spain’s largest bike manufacturer and currently operates in over 65 countries across the world.
Originally based in Eibar, Orbea grew steadily during the middle of the 20th century, producing up to 50,000 bikes in a year at times. This increased profile was helped by its pro cycling team featuring in the Tour de France from 1934.
Yet, despite the company’s success as a manufacturer and pro cycling team, it faced severe financial uncertainty, and nearly bankruptcy, in 1969 due to an economic crisis. To keep the company afloat and ensure the future of its more than 1,000-strong workforce, the business was transferred to the employees and it became part of the Modragón Cooperative Group in 1971.
A few years later, Orbea moved into its current headquarters in Mallabia and reignited its ambition to sponsor a professional cycling team. It would sponsor Pedro Delgado’s Orbea-Gin MG team as he won La Vuelta a España for the first of two times in his career. Later in the 1980s, Orbea started producing mountain bikes and launched a professional mountain biking team.
In the decades that followed, Orbea began to internationalize its products, first exporting to France and then other major markets including the USA, Italy, the UK, Belgium, Germany and Australia. The company now sells bikes in more than 60 countries. On top of that, its range has expanded to take in road, mountain bike, gravel, triathlon, and urban bikes.
1971 - Orbea joins the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation
Arguably the most important moment in the history of Orbea, the move to join the cooperative ensured that the company’s 131-year history, as well as the workers’ livelihoods, was in safe hands for years to come.
1989 - Orbea's first mountain bike
After more than half a century building road bikes, Orbea entered the world of mountain biking in 1989, and hasn't looked back. Today, more than 75% of sales come from mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes.
2009 - E-bike journey begins
Orbea launched its first electric bike in 2009, an urban model known as the Eline. It then produced a first electric-assisted road bike with the Gain's low-profile hub motor in 2017, with the model going carbon fibre in 2019. In 2022, Orbea strengthened its commitment to e-bikes by partnering with Shimano to create the OOLab R&D programme.
"The Basque Country has an innate passion for cycling, a perpetual love of the sport from edge to edge. It is a paradise for a cyclist to take on the road, but also a land of cycling champions and legends, who suffer to conquer the peaks. Each Orbea retains something of our environment, the Basque Country, our mountains, our temperament, our spirit and our momentum."
Road - The flagship road bike is the Orca, whose name comes from the first two letters of the brand, and carbon. This is also available in an aero-focused version, while the Avant is the endurance bike for more relaxed rides.
Mountain - There are no fewer than six lines of mountain bikes, the Oiz being the flagship XC racer, with the Alma offering another option, while the Laufey and Occam cater to the downhill trail riders. There is an Enduro model in the Rallon and a leisure bike in the Onna.
Gravel - The Terra is Orbea's gravel offering, available in aluminium and carbon versions, striking a balance between adventure capability and speed.
Triathlon - The Ordu is the flagship triathlon bike, previously ridden to victory at the Ironman World Championships and further refined in recent years.
Urban - The Carpe is a nippy city bike, while the Vector is the more versatile flat-bar offering.
E-bikes - The Gain is Orbea's prized electric-assisted discreet-motor road bike, while the mountain bikers have bikes for enduro -the Wild - for downhill - the Rise - plus a couple of hardtail options in the Urrun and Keram. There Mountain biking is where the focus of the OOLab lies, and the Wild is an Enduro bike, while the Rise is a trail bike. There are also no fewer than five urban e-bikes, covering commuting, city riding, and touring.
More than 50% of Orbea's bikes are personalised. Thanks to the MyO system, customers can choose bespoke colour-schemes for their frames that are hand-painted in the Basque Country, as well as picking the components for the build as a whole.
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Orbea's Orca and Orca Aero will be used by Lotto Dstny through the 2024 season
Flanders is famous for its brutally steep cobbled climbs which make for some of the most exciting bike racing of the season every year. To tackle such climbs all at once not only means being very fit, but also having the right equipment, and Ollie is no stranger to choosing the best tech possible! He takes you through the bike and equipment which helped him take on the Flandrien Challenge.
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