2022 Orbea Rallon Review | BLISTER


We Are One Arrival

David: This is the best comparison here — both bikes corner exceptionally well, and are notably lively and energetic instead of being stable and planted. Despite having a little more suspension travel, the Rallon actually pedals a touch more efficiently and the Arrival has slightly better small-bump sensitivity, though neither of those differences is all that great. The Arrival is also biased toward slightly more forward body positioning and aggressive weighting of the front wheel, whereas the Rallon is a little more neutral in that regard, but the two remind me of each other quite a bit — high praise for the Rallon since the Arrival was my personal favorite bike that I reviewed last year.

Guerrilla Gravity Smash

David: The Rallon does have significantly more suspension travel than the Smash, but it’s still not a bad comparison — both are impressively versatile bikes that are really good options for riders looking to cover a lot of different bases with one bike. The Rallon is a bit more stable at speed (though bumping the Smash up to a 160mm-travel fork closes the gap a little), but the Smash is a little more plush and planted in terms of its suspension performance on smaller, more chattery impacts; when you really start hitting things harder, the extra 15 mm rear / 20 mm front travel of the Rallon is readily apparent. There’s also not much gap between the two in terms of pedaling efficiency. The Rallon is a little more lively feeling and is biased slightly more toward higher speeds and more aggressive riding (whereas the Smash is slightly more versatile as a true do-it-all Trail bike) but they’ve got enough in common to at least be worth thinking about cross-shopping for some folks.

Orbea Occam LT

David: Orbea says that the Occam LT is “NOT a mini-Rallon” and they’re right to draw a clear distinction between the two — the Occam LT is much more of an all-rounder Trail bike and the Rallon is far more stable, planted, capable in burly terrain, and so on. That said, there is a real family resemblance — both pedal exceptionally well for their travel range, favor a more firm, supportive suspension setup, and feel similar in terms of their fit, preferred body positioning, and overall ride quality. So if you like the sound of the Rallon but think it’s likely to be overkill for your riding, the Occam LT is worth considering — just bear in mind that it’s a significant step toward being quicker handling / less stable, by a bigger margin than the 10 mm difference in rear travel might suggest.

Santa Cruz Megatower

David: The new V2 Megatower is a whole lot different than the Rallon — the Megatower being more stable and planted, significantly less efficient under power, less nimble in tighter spots, and less versatile as an all-arounder Trail bike, but more composed and confidence-inspiring when charging hard in steep, rough terrain. The Rallon is arguably more similar to the V1 Megatower, but it feels like a more cohesive, well-rounded version of that bike — the original Megatower couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to be a long-travel Trail bike or a game-on Enduro race one, whereas the Rallon feels very coherent as a relatively efficient, nimble Enduro bike.

Privateer 161

David: The Rallon and the 161 are similar in that they’re both extremely efficient pedaling Enduro bikes that favor a relatively firm, lively suspension setup, but are significantly different in other respects. The 161 is much more game-on and needs an aggressive approach to start to come alive, and is a bit more stable at speed and when pushing very hard. The Rallon’s small-bump sensitivity is better, it’s way lighter (and more expensive), and it feels like a much more versatile all-rounder that would still be up to the task of racing the EWS; the 161 feels like it was designed to be an Enduro race bike, period.

Cannondale Jekyll

David: Similar story to the 161, but the Jekyll is a little more stable and has slightly better small-bump sensitivity than the Privateer. The Rallon is quite a bit sharper handling and quicker feeling, and pedals a little more efficiently than the Jekyll (though both are notably good on that front).

Rocky Mountain Altitude

David: Pretty different. Both the Rallon and the Altitude are on the quicker-handling, more nimble end of the spectrum when it comes to modern Enduro bikes, but they go about it rather differently. The Rallon pedals a lot more efficiently, and its suspension is firmer and more supportive; the Altitude is more plush and planted, with significantly better small-bump sensitivity. The Altitude’s suspension performance makes it a little more forgiving of mistakes and bad line choices, but the Rallon feels sharper handling and more precise, which, for me, made it the easier bike to really push hard and go fast on.

SCOR 4060 LT

David: Both are notably quick handling for a 160mm travel Enduro bike, but that’s about it — they go about things very differently. The 4060 LT is cushier and more plush, its suspension doesn’t feel as lively and supportive, it pedals less efficiently, and it’s biased more toward a forward stance that puts a bunch of weight on the front wheel and makes the back end easier to slash around. Put differently, the SCOR is much more of a playful, freeride-oriented bike, whereas the Rallon does indeed feel like it’s got more of a “focus on fast,” as Orbea puts it.

Norco Range

David: Complete polar opposites, at least as far as 160+ mm travel Enduro bikes are concerned. The Range is exceedingly stable, super planted and glued to the ground, and is the least-efficient pedaling bike here by some margin. Both bikes are very good at what they do but live at the opposite ends of the spectrum of what a modern Enduro bike can be.

Forbidden Dreadnought

David: Super different. The Rallon is quicker handling, more precise, and corners better than the Dreadnought; the Forbidden is more stable and more composed straightlining through rough sections but is more of a handful in a lot of other situations. The Rallon also pedals a bit more efficiently.

Nicolai G1

David: In some ways, the G1 feels a bit like a bigger, burlier version of the Rallon — it’s longer, slacker, has more suspension travel, and so on — and is consequently more stable, more composed going really fast in rough terrain, and is slower-handling and less nimble. But they’re similar in that they both pedal extremely well for how much suspension travel they have and favor somewhat firmer, more supportive suspension setups over being super planted and glued to the ground (though the Rallon does so to a greater degree). Both also corner especially well, though the G1 is biased a bit more specifically toward higher speeds, whereas the Rallon doesn’t take as much speed to come alive.

Banshee Titan

Zack: These two are quite a bit different across the board. Both bikes pedal very well and do a nice job of staying high in their travel, but the Titan has 15 mm less reach and 12 mm longer chainstays than the Rallon when comparing Large sizes. The higher stack of the Titan helps the bike feel confident in steeps, and the longer chainstays make a big difference in feeling very stable over rough terrain at speed. The Rallon outdoes the Titan in corners and on flatter trails where carrying speed is key. For true bike smashing on rough and fast trails, the Titan inspires more confidence, but the Rallon is the more well-rounded and overall faster machine on most trails.

YT Capra

David: Pretty different. The Capra isn’t as efficient, lively, or energetic as the Rallon, and is more stable and planted at the expense of some handling sharpness and agility. The Capra is especially forgiving when trying to push hard and go fast in steeper, rougher terrain, but isn’t nearly as precise as the Rallon, and isn’t as versatile as a Trail bike in more varied, rolling terrain.

Guerrilla Gravity Gnarvana

David: The Gnarvana and the YT Capra remind me of each other quite a bit, so the Gnarvana is also quite different from the Rallon. To reiterate, the Gnarvana is a little more stable, a bit less sharp handling, is not as efficient under power, and is more cushy and planted feeling than the Rallon.