FIRST LOOK: 2013 Orbea Ordu Gold

 Aug 26, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

Brakes + Front End
The cable routing is a cinch, and compatible with both cabled and electronic drivetrains.

I'm a big believer in the idea just mentioned, that aerodynamics can be improved without compromising on usability or ease of adjustment. This philosophy suggests that a standard bolt-on brake can be the best choice in the modern tri bike world, when it's done right. And I (quite brashly) believe that TriRig Omega is perhaps the best execution of that philosophy currently on the market. Of course, I'm biased, since that's my product. But the philosophy behind it is shared by many, as mentioned in the preceding paragraph. As we look at the 2013 Orbea Ordu, we see that while it uses a hidden rear brake, the new TRP v-brake that has become popular on many new bikes, it has smartly retained a traditional brake mount up front, meaning it is compatible with the TriRig Omega, or any standard brake you'd want to put on it.

In my opinion, Orbea nailed it. They added integration where it works, and left things alone where integration wasn't needed. The front brake is a great example. Brakes behind the fork crown look silly, and most everyone who has taken the time to do the testing finds that you can build a faster total package with a fork that's tucked neatly into the down tube and head tube, eliminating little gaps for the wind to vortex. This is a brilliant decision on Orbea's part, and Again, my biased opinion will tell you that the Omega is the best choice, but there are certainly other options out there too - the new Magura hydraulic brakes are a great aero choice, produce very good numbers in the wind tunnel, and are reported to work very well. In my opinion, there's no reason to use a standard road caliper, given the two options just discussed. Obviously, I think the Omega is a rock star of a brake. But don't take my word for it - ask around, and you shouldn't find it too difficult to get some feedback from consumers around the web. But there are other options around - TRP has been making centerpull aero brakes for years (even if they don't quite match the performance of the Omega), and the aforementioned Magura is another great centerpull option.

The point is, there is absolutely no reason to muck up your bike with a nasty sidepull cable housing. Front brakes have reached the point where they are both aerodynamic and easy to wrench. The Ordu Gold takes full advantage of this fact, and indicates a continuation of the trend away from integrated front brakes. This is a trend that I'm very happy to see, and hope it continues going forward.

Fork and Stem Cluster

The front end cluster is wrapped tightly around the front wheel.

The remainder of the Ordu Gold's front end cluster consists of a bayonet-style fork attached to a variable-angle stem, a dropped down tube that hugs the back of the front wheel, and a raised top tube that hides behind the frontal profile of the stem. That's a lot of equipment smashed into a single sentence, and is actually easier to describe with a picture - so have a look at the photograph adjacent. Let's start with the stem, which Orbea calls the Monolink. It's an adjustable angle stem, similar to what was on the 2011 Felt DA. However, it fits even better with the shape of the Ordu Gold than any adjustable-angle stem previously released. And it's built to allow both VERY low setups, as well as moderate-to-high ones. At its lowest setting, it puts the center of the stem clamp about 25mm below the top of the head tube. That's super low, and I'm really glad to see Orbea accommodate aggressive riders.

Another big plus is that every Ordu sold comes with ALL FOUR stem lengths that Orbea makes for the system - from 75mm to 110mm. However, there's also a nuance of fit geometry here, and it's perhaps the trickiest part of using this bike. Ordinarily, the range of 75mm to 110mm would be ideal for tri bike geometry, which should be centered somewhere around 90mm. But you have to keep in mind that on the Ordu Gold, these stem lengths have to be added to the length from the head tube out to the pivot point of the stem in order to get the effective stem length. That distance from the head tube to the pivot is probably close to 30mm. So the effective stem lengths are more like 105mm to 140mm, which is on the rather long side. However, it's entirely warranted, due to the fact that only a few riders will use the stem at zero degrees (flat). Most riders will be tilting the stem up or down by some amount, which shortens the amount of reach that the stem adds. In these scenarios, a longer stem is needed. What a brilliant system, and my hat is off to Orbea for doing is in such a thorough way, making life really easy for the end user.

A whole heap of exposed carbon makes this one beautiful paint job.

Add that to the fact that all this easy-access adjustability comes in a very slick package. The stem's entire frontal profile creates a shadow in which the top tube sits. That keeps the drag very low. Normally this would come at the price of a higher standover height, but Orbea uses a very gentle slope to reduce that height once you're back at the seatpost.

The bayonet fork is an area where Orbea has invested quite a bit of cash. Following a theme we're starting to see more of from various manufacturers, there are two different versions. One is a 3:1 UCI-compliant fork, the other a 4:1 triathlon-only version that tests faster in the tunnel. Both feature the bayonet, which Orbea is calling a nosecone, and they both contribute to a very good high-yaw performance.

Hit the jump for more details on the rest of the bike, and my conclusions.

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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