Spring time is all about attraction. You know...bird, bees and all that. From it's appealing name to it's aggressive looks, there is a lot about the Orca to be attracted to. Truth be told, if it has two wheels, we probably love it anyway but this family of road and race worthy bicycles has knocked our socks off.
The three we tested were the Orca Bronze M30, the Orca M50 (still handmade in the Basque region of Spain) and the women's specific Orca Dama.
All three bikes shared one obvious feature straight away. Rideability. They are so user friendly, they practically ride themselves. Even with race-ready geometry, the men's frames are comfortable for both short spins and long hauls without sacrificing road feel or responsiveness.
Not to be left out, the Orca Dama is everything its counterparts are and more. It has similar semi-agressive geometry to the race ready M50, but comes adorned with a gentler fork angle for increased handling and a softer road feel for shorter torso riders.
Both the Shimano 105 and Ultegra group sets work flawlessly for effortless shifting. The improved ergonomic shifters are perfect for smaller hands and shifting becomes intuitive.
The bikes are ready to ride right off the showroom floor, but respond exceptionally well to upgrades. We tested all three bikes in their stock condition as well as with upgraded wheel-sets. The M50 shined with a demo set of Zipp 202's. It was just enough weight savings to turn an already lively bike into a rocket. The M30 was outfitted with a set of Zipp 404's. If you've ever wondered what deep dish carbon wheels would do for your ride, consider this; it feels like someone is actually giving you a gentle push down the road. No kidding. A lightweight wheel set is the best cost to benefit upgrade for most riders and the Orca M30 responded impressively to the addition.
The Orca family of bicycles range in price from a very realistic $1,749 to a soaring $10,499. The models we tested were well priced at $2,799 for the Bronze M30 with Ultegra, $3,899 for the Spanish made M50 with Ultegra and $2,099 for the women's specific Orca B Dama M70 that comes equipped with Shimano 105. There are upgrades and alternatives available for each bike, including Campagnolo and electronic gruppos.
Come out and take a spin on one of these Spanish beauties. Even if you are loyal to your current bike or brand, at the very least you'll have the opportunity to try the latest offerings from this passionate manufacturer and we guarantee you'll end the ride with a smile on your face.