FIRST LOOK: 2013 Orbea Ordu Gold

 Aug 26, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

Orbea's new Ordu Gold

Orbea has just launched the brand-spankin'-new 2013 Ordu Gold. For fans of the Spanish bike maker, the first words that come to mind are probably "it's about time!" The previous Ordu is nearly six years old, which is incredibly long in the tooth as far as tri bikes go. During that time, there has been an enormous amount of speculation as to when the successor would arrive. Time and again, rumors came that the new bike was just around the corner, but time and again, those rumors proved to be wrong.

By now, the speculators had all but given up hope. It's telling that not a single spy shot of the new bike was leaked prior to launch. Contrast with Specialized, Cervelo, and Trek, whose latest offerings were ALL leaked in one form or another prior to their launch. In some cases, the leaks were planned, in others they weren't. But Orbea was able to coast in under the radar, because after such a long wait, no one was expecting anything from them at this particular moment in time. But it's here, at last. Orbea knows that there's been a long wait for the bike - and they're not hiding from it. In fact, the tagline for the bike is "developed slowly to go fast." It's cheeky, self-deprecating, and I love it. The new bike is keeping the Ordu name, and adding the "Gold" suffix to indicate that it uses Orbea's top-end carbon materials and layup schedule. Orbea chose to launch the bike at the Stage 7 TT at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and we were there covering this thing from tip to tail.

A Brand New Beast

I'll admit that when I've been very skeptical about Orbea's next TT bike. The original Ordu wasn't the most exciting bike on the market, and it didn't have a very science-driven message. It had diamond-shaped tubes, and a pretty hefty frontal area. Sure, it earned some fantastic palmares, carrying Crowie to two Ironman Hawaii world titles. But it didn't get my blood boiling, if you know what I mean.

But this time around, Orbea has absolutely struck Gold. I really like this bike.

Orbea went back to the drawing board, took time to understand what today's triathlon consumer wants, and over the last six years, really went to work on satisfying those demands. There's a lot to discuss about this bike, including not only its specifications and details, but also my take on what they mean for the consumer and how the complete package fits into the existing landscape of tri bikes. Time's a wasting, so let's get started!

Aero Philosophy

The Ordu Gold is sleek, aggressive, and easy to adjust.

As more and more frame manufacturers claim their bikes deserve a "super" prefix, it's becoming important from a marketing perspective for them to develop a compelling story of why that is true. Orbea has done a great job with the new Ordu Gold. The tube cross-sections still retain a slightly diamond-esque profile, but have been revised significantly, and have been designed with CFD guidance and wind tunnel validation. Orbea hasn't released any numbers comparing the bike to its competitors, only a general comparison to the previous Ordu. Interestingly, the new bike retains an aesthetic continuity with the old bike, while completely revamping almost every component of that bike's design.

But telling the story of a super bike has to go beyond the mere wind tunnel data. When Specialized launched the new Shiv, they built up a good story of a bike that married cutting-edge aero features with traditional (easy) bike building. When Cervelo launched the P5, the story was similar. What interests me the most about this progression is that the Shiv and the P5 proved you could build an incredibly slippery machine without resorting to integrated brakes, bayonet forks, or impossibly-complex cable routing. All of these features are notoriously difficult to wrench, even if they are very pretty. That is, a traditional bolt-on brakes and 1.125-inch steerer tubes don't have to be a liability. The brakes, in particular, are a feature I want to talk about in a bit of depth.

Tags » frames,  orbea,  ordu
  • The new Orbea Ordu Gold is available in two colors, five component spec's, and with tons of saddle and wheel options via the company's MyO program.
  • The new Ordu has an incredibly aggressive, modern profile, while maintaining eminent adjustability and ease of use.
  • The front end cluster uses an adjustable-angle stem to fit the aerobars without requiring rebuilding or recabling.
  • The cables fit neatly into an integrated unit on the top tube that will fit mechanical or electronic groupsets, routing them through a user-replaceable internal liner out to their ports on the underside of the frame.
  • All the cables can be tucked fairly neatly into the bars, and should stay pretty hidden once a BTA bottle is in place.
  • The front wheel tucks neatly into the downtube, which has a concave cutout to keep the gap close.
  • A white and black paint scheme both look great, and both feature some exposed nude carbon.
  • Ultegra Di2 provides next-gen shifting at last-gen pricing.
  • Ultegra's components are a little bulkier than Di2 7970, but they work flawlessly.
  • An integrated Di2 mount on the non-drive chainstay makes it easy to keep the battery out of the wind, but new internal options from Shimano's Di2 E-tube system will allow charging even when using hidden batteries.
  • A single-bolt seatpost wedge uses a T25 torx head. That's a bit out of the ordinary, but at least it's the same size Zipp is using for all their Torx stem bolts. Looks like riders need one more tool in the saddle bag.
  • I am HUGE fan of nude carbon paint jobs, and the Ordu Gold doesn't disappoint.
  • The frontal profile is definitely sleek, but this picture would be vastly improved by the presence of an Omega, in my rather biased opinion.
  • The Orbea Ordu Gols, at ease.
  • Another shot of the fantastic-looking Orbea Ordu Gold.
  • The bike allows you to use any aerobar you like, because the stems are built around a 31.8mm round clamp standard.
  • The Monolink-compatible seatpost can use Selle Italia Monolink saddles, or standard saddles via an adapter
  • The diamond-esque tube shapes are definitely rounder than the last generation, and to feature a slightly truncated airfoil shape for improved stiffness.
  • The rear triangle sits low, and is tucked nicely into the rear wheel.
  • Orbea has done a very neat job of routing the Ultegra Di2 cables, although this system doesn't have the brake lever shifters that will become available later this year.
  • The Ultegra Di2 TT shifters are much like the
  • No Ultegra Di2 brake lever shifters yet, but those are coming soon, and will be plug-and-play compatible if you buy a bike today and then the brake lever shifters later.
  • The white paint scheme on the Ordu Gold is just as beautiful as the black, with some nude carbon poking out from the white bits.
  • The cable guide has just a bit of clearance over the head tube, and integrates nicely into the shape of the bike.
  • A front wheel cutout helps tuck the dropped down tube as close as possible to the front tire.
  • The BB86 frame is a departure for Orbea, who have been using BB30 more often as of late. Orbea and Shimano claim that this improves overall frame rigidity and lowers overall system weight.
  • The diamond-esque tube cross sections are rounded at the front, have some sharp corners on the side, and are truncated at the back.
  • Sharp turns on the seat stays increase the travel length of the frame members, and introduce a little bit of shock absorption according to Orbea.
  • The Orbea Ordu Gold - it's a beautiful bike.
  • One last shot of the 2013 Orbea Ordu Gold. It's available to order now, and ships in just a couple weeks.

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