New Bikes: Orbea Terra
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Orbea's aluminium gravel offering is a really good ride... except for one thing.
Orbea Terra H30 D1X
Size ridden: Large
Frame: Hydroformed triple butted aluminium
Wheel size: 700 x 40c
Derailleur: Shimano RX 812 GS
Cranks: Shimano GRX RX 600, 40 T
Cassette: Shimano SLX m7000 11-40T, 11 speed
We predominately used the Orbea Terra on gravel and dirt roads, with some tarmac to get to and for these places. Overall it was very comfortable. It puts the rider in a good neutral position and seems like a good ‘Goldilocks’ setting on most aspects of the bike. The components all worked well, except those Kenda tyres. They are heavy and slow rolling on the road and provide little to no grip off-road. Ditch these and it would be a good bike … except…
… except for one thing. The front wheel is severely tucked in underneath the bars. The result of this is not better handling, although it is not bad in this regard, but the smashing of the wheel into your foot whenever you try and steer. There is an argument this is rider error, but we don’t buy into this. None of our other bikes do this, but they do all have a slacker head angle. This approach of tucking the front underneath, with a very upright head angle is to the detriment of what would otherwise be an excellent, and excellent value, machine. It was rideable like this, and in a straight or mildly curving line, it is excellent. Fun, easily manoeuvred, and confidence building, it would be recommended. Up to the this point you turn, and the wheel hits your foot (damaging my new shoes, I might add). It is alarming when it happens, especially so when navigating tricky offroad sections, and it means you cannot go where you want to go, instead, you are dictated to by this poor geometry.
We sincerely hope all those that own an Orbea Terra do not suffer from this foot/wheel overlap. But it is certainly enough to take it from our list of recommended gravel bikes. It would be interesting to know if all Orbea bikes have this issue.