And when you’re not subjecting it to ultra-steep, high-speed riding, the Occam LT is a blast. Especially in more rolling, varied terrain, its combination of excellent pedalling efficiency, fairly quick handling, and good suspension performance means that it’s really easy to build and maintain speed, even when you don’t have a ton of pitch to let gravity do the work. For a 150mm-travel bike, the Occam LT is also great at pumping and building speed that way — the slightly firmer than average suspension performance and probably also the more moderate wheelbase really go a long way there. It’s the blend of those handling characteristics plus just a bit more suspension travel than most similar-handling bikes, and the extra forgiveness and margin for error that affords, that really set the Occam LT apart.
I’ve only ridden the LT version of the Occam, but my hunch is that the differences in build spec between it and the standard Occam are going to make a bigger difference in how the bikes feel than the extra 10 mm of travel at each end, and minor geometry tweaks that result from the taller fork. The standard Occam builds all come with lighter suspension parts (e.g. Fox 34s and DPS rear shocks instead of the 36 / DHX combo on our test bike), smaller brakes, and faster-rolling, less-grippy tires. That should make for a bike that’s even quicker under power and more sprightly feeling than the Occam LT that I’ve been testing, but also make it less cushy and forgiving on the way back down.
And speaking of the build, the spec on the Occam LT M10 that I’ve been riding is excellent. I’m a big fan of the Shimano XT drivetrain, and while I’ve griped about wandering bite point issues on Shimano’s brakes a number of times, this particular pair has been solid, at least so far. The Fox 36 Factory and DHX Factory suspension is also super nice, and while a coil shock might sound like a slightly surprising spec choice given the intentions of the Occam LT, it worked very well, and unlike the version that Noah Bodman tested for us, the stock tune felt on the money. The stock 500 lb spring did feel a touch firm for me, at 170 lb, and after a bit, I swapped in a 475 lb one which suited me better. My only real gripes are that I wouldn’t mind a longer dropper post (though as I mentioned before, you can swap in a 170 mm model through Orbea’s customization program) and I happened to not get along with the stock Fizik seat. That last one’s 100% personal preference, though, so your mileage may vary.