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ORBEA OCCAM LTD

The 2020 Orbea Occam M-LTD is an all around trail/light enduro mountain bike, with 140mm of rear travel.  The frame uses a Fox DPX2 rear shock, and out of the box you’ll find a .2 volume reducer already installed in the shock.  However, inside the box you’ll find a .4 volume reducer for aggressive riders (like myself) that might want a more progressive suspension feel.  I’ve never heard of a manufacturer including extra reducers with a stock bike, and that speaks quite a bit to the attention to detail seen throughout this bike.

The fork on the Occam that I’m riding is a Fox 36 Grip 2 unit with 150mm of travel.  I haven’t checked the volume reducers yet, and after a couple of rides, it feels so good that I’m not going to need to add or remove any reducers.  

BUILD SPECIFICATIONS

Moving through the parts spec, it’s mostly a Shimano/Fox set up. The drivetrain is primarily the same Shimano XTR M9100 that I have on my Ibis Ripmo 2, Ibis Mojo HD5, and Ibis Ripley v4. The cranks, however, are Race Face Next SL units at 170mm, which is another nice attention to detail. Large and XL sized bikes appear to use 175mm cranks. The chainring is a little 32t unit, which is the same I have on my Ibis 29ers. These cranks are a lot lighter than my usual XTR units, but they aren’t as stiff, and I’d like to swap them out for the aluminum XTR cranks before I have any mistakes and smash these into rocks. I’m finding I prefer metal parts more and more as I’m less concerned about speed and am instead am simply sending it more! As I mentioned earlier, the attention to detail on this bike is excellent. The chainstay anti-chainslap protection is very well done.

SHOP: OCCAM M-LTD | THE OCCAM LINEUP

SPECIFICATIONS
Frame Orbea Occam OMR 2020 140mm travel 29" C-Boost 12x148
Fork Fox 36 Float Factory 150 Grip2 RC2 QR15x110 Kashima
Rear Shock Fox DPX2 Factory 3-Position Adjust Evol Kashima custom tune 210x50mm
Headset Acros Alloy 1-1/8 - 1-1/2" Integrated
Shifters Shimano XTR M9100
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M9100 SGS Shadow Plus
Crankset Race Face Next-R 32t
Bottom Bracket Race Face
Chain Shimano CN-9100
Cassette Shimano XTR M9100 10-51t 12-Speed
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120 Hydraulic Disc
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC-1200 Spline 30c TLR 15/110mm CL
Tires Maxxis Rekon 2.40" FB 60 TPI Dual Exo TR
Handlebar Race Face Next R 35 20mm Rise 780mm
Stem Race Face Turbine 35mm interface
Grips Orbea
Seatpost Crank brothers Highline
Seatclamp Orbea
Saddle Fizik Taiga Kium rail
Intended Use Trail, All-mountain
Weight 29.1 lbs (size medium)

WHEELS AND TIRES

The wheelset on the bike is a really high end build- the DT Swiss XMC-1200 carbon fiber wheels.  While this is a very light wheelset, and is plenty stiff, it only has 36 points of engagement.  I’ll be swapping these over to my Industry 9 hydra equipped wheels for 690 points of engagement AND some aluminum rims.  Weight will increase by a few grams, but I won’t need to worry about smashing the carbon rims. As I’ve gotten more and more “huck happy,” I’ve found aluminum rims to be a better set up for my personal style.  Typical riders (if you aren’t an aging BMXer/wanna be freerider) who are chasing Strava KOMs would probably be very happy with these wheels. I landed very sideways a couple times while filming a Patreon tutorial and these XMC-1200 wheels survived just fine.

The tires felt very appropriate for the nature of this bike.  A Maxxis High Roller II 29×2.5 front matched to the Rekon 29×2.4 rear was fast rolling but still predictable in rough and off camber situations.  In hard packed jump trails the tires were also really good. I look forward to more time on this combo!

THE COCKPIT

The cockpit was pretty good!  The Race Face 35mmm bars were much more compliant than the first gen 35mm units I rode back in 2014 and 2015.  I did cut them down from the stock 780mm width to ~755mm. The Race Face grips were really nice! A bit thinner than my usual PNW Loam grips, but very comfortable. 

The stock Fizik saddle was very comfortable, but it was also very slick.  I’m used to WTB saddles, and recently got a Chromag Trailmaster saddle.  The Fizik was so slippery that I would often slide off the back of the saddle on steeper climbs.  I remedied this by lowering the nose more than I usually would. It’s better, but still doesn’t have the same grip as the WTB or Chromag units.  Even the Fabric saddle on the Intense Tazer is gripper than this one.  I’m using Kitsbow Origin shorts, so perhaps that would be less of an issue with other brands of shorts, but I’ve never had to worry about a saddle being too slippery in the past. 

DROPPER POST

The Crank Brothers dropper post worked just fine, and the feel and actuation was flawless.  I can’t find fault in it minus one small detail- at 5’8”, 174cm, I have plenty of space to go to a deeper drop post.  I normally use 170mm and 200mm posts from PNW Components. I’ll be swapping over soon here to get that extra space for our local steep and jump infested trails.

HOW DOES IT RIDE?

So how does this $6800 wonder bike ride?  Well, it’s pretty dang good! It’s kind of between the two Ibis bikes that I’ve spent a lot of time on: the Ripmo and the Ripley.  On the trail, it felt like I was higher above the ground and with a slightly shorter front center than on either of those bikes, and I could also jump a little easier.  The complete bike weighs 29.1lbs (with Shimano XT flat pedals), which is nearly 4 pounds lighter than my personal Ripmo 2. The geometry of the Occam complemented the light weight very well!  I’ve found that light bikes do better to jump and float over the trail instead of simply monster trucking over all the roots and rocks. This is a really fun way of riding.  

SUSPENSION AND BALANCE

The suspension feel is really good.  I never noticed any sort of pedal bob, but did notice predictable, solid traction.  Where the suspension really shines, for me, is when it’s time to get airborne. It’s really easy to get this bike into the air.  The single pivot/split pivot system has a very fun and poppy feel. 

The chain stays on the Occam are a little longer than the Ripley, but not much.  It wheelied plenty easy, and had a nice balanced overall feel.  

HOW DOES IT STACK UP TO THE COMPETITION?

While the bike feels between the Ripley and the Ripmo, the geometry charts show that it is actually much more similar to the Ripley.  The Ripley is specced with a 34 130 fork, which is a unit that, personally, I would rather not ride. I find the 34 forks way too flexy for my 170lbs.  The 36 forks are much more stout and simply suit my style better. With the 36 150 fork, the Occam is about a full degree slacker than the stock Ripley, though a 36 140 on the Ripley would likely be a similar head angle.  Reach and front center measurements are very similar. BB height is almost identical between the two bikes, so the feeling of being higher on the Occam likely comes from the taller fork and differing axle path.  

COMPARE: OCCAM | RIPLEY | RIPMO

Geometry and Size Guide

Suggested Rider Height
Frame Size Small Medium Large Extra Large
Rider Height 59.1"-65"
150-165 cm
63"-68.9"
160-175 cm
66.9"-72.8"
170-185 cm
70.9"-78.0"
180-198 cm

2020 Orbea Occam
Size Small Medium Large Extra Large
A: Seat Tube Length 381 419 457 508
B: Effective Top Tube 565 592 619 649
C: Stack 604 613 627 646
D: Reach 425 450 474 500
E: BB Height 336 336 336 336
F: BB Drop 35 35 35 35
G: Head Tube Length 95 105 120 140
H: Head Tube Angle 66 ° 66 ° 66 ° 66 °
I: Seat Tube Angle 77 ° 77 ° 77 ° 77 °
K: Chainstay Length 440 440 440 440
L: Wheelbase 1165 1194 1224 1259
Crank Arm Length 170 mm 170 mm 175 mm 175 mm
Stem Length 45 mm 45 mm 55 mm 55 mm
Handlebar Width 780 mm 780 mm 780 mm 780 mm
2020 Orbea Occam
Size Small Medium Large Extra Large
A: Seat Tube Length 15.0 16.5 18.0 20.0
B: Effective Top Tube 22.2 23.3 24.4 25.6
C: Stack 23.8 24.1 24.7 25.4
D: Reach 16.7 17.7 18.7 19.7
E: BB Height 13.2 13.2 13.2 13.2
F: BB Drop 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4
G: Head Tube Length 3.7 4.1 4.7 5.5
H: Head Tube Angle 66.0 ° 66.0 ° 66.0 ° 66.0 °
I: Seat Tube Angle 77.0 ° 77.0 ° 77.0 ° 77.0 °
K: Chainstay Length 17.3 17.3 17.3 17.3
L: Wheelbase 45.9 47.0 48.2 49.6
Crank Arm Length 170 mm 170 mm 175 mm 175 mm
Stem Length 45 mm 45 mm 55 mm 55 mm
Handlebar Width 780 mm 780 mm 780 mm 780 mm

PROS

  • Impressive build kit and value
  • Light, nimble, and poppy ride
  • Great trail bike that balances climbing and descending capabilities
  • Modern geometry without being too aggressive

CONS

  • It's generalist nature means there are bikes that are better at either climbing or descending
  • Saddle was slippery, but that could be due to my short's material
  • Hubs have only 36pts of engagement, but can upgrade to a 54t star ratchet

THE FINAL TAKE

THE OCCAM IN THIS STOCK CONFIGURATION WOULD BE SO GOOD FOR SO MANY AMERICAN TRAIL CENTERS.  THE SLIGHTLY SHORTER TRAVEL (140/150) MEANS THAT FLATTER AND LESS TECHNICAL TRAILS WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE TOO EASY OR BORING.  RIDER INPUTS, LIKE PUMPS OR LEANING INTO TURNS, ARE TRANSLATED QUICKLY TO EXTRA SPEED. I ALSO THINK THIS WOULD BE A GREAT ENDURO RACE BIKE FOR MOST OF THE USA.  IN COUNTRIES THAT USE GNARLIER TRAILS FOR ENDURO RACING, THE RALLON WOULD BE A BETTER FIT, BUT THE OCCAM IS A SOLID, FUN, LIGHTWEIGHT RIPPER OF A BIKE!

-JEFF KENDALL-WEED

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