Audience favorite in transformation
Orbea Rise Review

The Orbea Rise remains one of the most sought-after EMTBs on the market. Now with larger batteries and a more powerful motor, it’s edging closer to a full-power EMTB than ever before. We put the LT version with 160 mm of travel through its paces: Does this bike still have what it takes to be a crowd favorite?

Youtube Video

Keeping up with the barrage of new releases in the E-MTB industry can be a daunting task. While Canyon and Cube have recently ventured into the light EMTB realm for the first time, Orbea is repositioning its Rise to lean decidedly more towards the Full Power EMTB category.

For the first time, the Spanish manufacturer has equipped the EP801 RS motor with the full 85 Newton meters of torque that the hardware is capable of delivering. In addition, the bike can now be equipped with a battery capacity of up to 840 watt-hours. It seems that Orbea wants to eliminate the previous limitations that the old Rise model had.

In line with this, the new LT version with 160 mm of travel at the fork also broadens its range of application. The Long Travel version is tailored for aggressive trail riding. But can it truly handle such rough usage? We have detailed information about the SL-version in a separate article.

Orbea Rise LT Review
One of the most popular e-MTBs on the market is getting more travel. The Orbea Rise LT now sports 160 mm of travel on the fork and a full 85 Nm of torque.
Orbea Rise Review
With that, the Rise has come of age. The LT version now also has to prove itself on bike park trails like the ones here at Geißkopf.
Orbea Rise Experience
Is the fun being smothered by suspension travel, or does Orbea manage to maintain its reputation as a crowd favorite with the new Rise?

Quick Facts about the Orbea Rise

  • Models: 2 LT models with 160/150 mm of travel; 2 SL models with 140 mm of travel.
  • Wheel Size: 29 inches
  • Prices: From €8,000 to €12,000 (currently, only carbon versions are available)
  • Motor: Shimano EP801 RS (Hardware as per EP801; however, the software is provided by Orbea and not by Shimano)
  • Battery: 420 watt-hours (standard), upgrade to 630 watt-hours for an additional €199 right off the assembly line. Optional range extender with 210 watt-hours available for €499. Battery is integrated into the frame.
  • Weight: From 16.4 kilograms (SL version) to 19.85 kilograms (top model of the LT version with 630Wh battery - verified weight)
  • Special Feature: Short chainstays, custom paint options, customizable specs, dropper post with significant travel, lightweight
EMTB Test at Bikepark Geißkopf
The Orbea Rise wasn't shy about going airborne during our test runs.

Shimano's EP801 RS - now with a full 85 Nm of torque

Until now, the Orbea has always been limited to 60 Nm of torque. While nearly all manufacturers for their light eMTBs have relied on motors from TQ, Fazua, and more recently the Bosch SX, the previous Orbea Rise was already equipped with a Shimano EP8 motor, but with modified software.

This was then given the designation “RS” and was based on the full power hardware but with a software “detuning” to 60 instead of the possible 85 Nm. The reduced torque allowed for a tour-worthy range, even with comparatively small batteries.

Like its predecessor, the latest EP801 RS motor comes with software from Orbea, not Shimano. But now, for the first time, you can unleash the motor to a full 85 Nm of torque. With this, the Orbea Rise is playing in the same league as the full power eMTBs.

Shimano EP801 RS Motor
The hardware comes from Shimano with its EP8 motor. The software for the motor and battery management is provided by Orbea. Such a combination is unique in the market.

Two software profiles between fun and frugality

In the Shimano E-Tube app, you can choose between two general software profiles. However, don’t confuse these profiles with the support levels. Each profile contains the well-known Shimano support levels from ECO to Boost.

One profile is optimized for range, while the second profile focuses on dynamic power delivery and maximum power. In the Boost mode, this second profile can now also be set to a maximum torque of 85 NM. Riders who appreciated the old approach of reduced torque in the RS motor will be pleased to know that they can program the new motor that way in the app, offering much more versatility than before.

Pairing the bike with the app is feasible but not foolproof. First, it takes quite a while to pair a bike. Second, the bike needs to be paired again every time, as it doesn’t maintain a permanent connection to the app. This is a bit of a nuisance since the app is the only way to switch between both profiles and can’t be done using a button combination. However, adjusting the support levels in the app is intuitive.

Uphill Flow Trail Geißkopf
With a full 85Nm of torque, the Orbea Rise is now ready to tackle the legendary uphill flow.
Uphill Flow Trail Geisskopf
In steep, technical climbs, it's absolutely crucial that the motor delivers its full power. Otherwise, you can kiss the fun goodbye.

Up to 840 watt-hours are possible in the battery.

Every Orbea Rise comes with two battery options. The standard factory-installed battery is a 420Wh with 21700 cells. For just a €200 surcharge, you can get a factory-installed 630Wh battery. The extra weight amounts to 920 grams. Our tip: The larger battery is definitely worth it. With the 630 watt-hours, according to our experience, you can manage approximately 1700 meters of vertical climb on full assist mode.

For those who need more, you can also connect the Range Extender with an additional 210 watt-hours. This allows you to even break the 2000 vertical meters mark on full assist mode. According to Orbea, in Eco Mode you can achieve roughly twice the elevation gain compared to Boost Mode. Of course, this always heavily depends on who rides where and how. But the general capacities are quite impressive.

Orbea Rise
With the 630 watt-hour battery, long rides are totally doable. You can tackle approximately 1700 vertical meters on boost mode with the large battery.

It’s a bummer that the battery level indicator on the handlebars is very digital. The corresponding LED stays green for a long time and then abruptly switches to red. At that point, you only have a few more vertical meters before the motor goes into limp mode.

A point that always sparks heated debate is battery removal. Orbea opts for a non-removable battery integrated into the downtube. Should the battery fail, it can be replaced by removing the motor. But for regular charging, the bike needs to be near an outlet.

Charging Port Orbea Rise
The charging port is sealed not only by a spring but also with an additional small peg, providing excellent protection for the electronics against moisture.
Orbea Rise Frame
The battery is securely integrated into the downtube. It can only be removed by taking out the motor.

Battery Options at a Glance:

Battery Price Weight
420 Wh Installed as standard in every bike 1960 Gramm
630 Wh 199 € surcharge compared to the 420 2880 Gramm
210 Wh (Range Extender) €499 if purchased with the new bike 1037 Gramm

19.85 kg with 160 mm travel and a 630 Wh battery - impressive

The definition of a Light EMTB is as murky as a kitchen sponge. Some pin the category on torque, others on power. We believe a Light EMTB has to meet one essential criterion: It has to be light! And the scales really took us by surprise with the new Rise.

With burly Double Down rear tires (weighing in at approximately 200 – 300 grams heavier than an EXO+ casing) and a beefy 630Wh battery, the scales stop at 19.85 kilograms for the Orbea Rise LT in the LT M Team version.

Orbea Rise Weight
We always weigh each test bike without pedals to ensure a comparable value.
Orbea Rise weight
At an impressive 19.85 kilograms, the Orbea is the lightest e-MTB with 160mm of travel, 85Nm of torque, and a 630Wh battery we've ever put on the scales.

This bike shaves off some serious weight compared to Cannondale’s Moterra SL. Equipped with a 420Wh battery, the Orbea Rise smashes the 18-kilo mark, making it lighter than the Santa Cruz Heckler SL. Compared to full-power behemoths like the Cube Stereo Hybrid One55, opting for a bit less battery capacity saves roughly 3kg.

When you plug in the range extender, even with the extra capacity, you’re still saving 2kg. One must consider, though, that the Cube comes in at a significantly lower price point. Nevertheless, Orbea manages to achieve a very competitive weight without any compromises on components, a feat unmatched by any other manufacturer at the moment, given the bike’s battery, travel, and motor.

Weight Travel Motor Battery Maximum Torque Price
Specialized Turbo Levo SL 17,6 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Specialized SL 1.2 320 Wh 50 NM 14.000 €
Mondraker Neat 17,99 Kilo 160 / 150 mm TQ HPR 50 360 Wh 50 NM 11.999 €
Santa Cruz Heckler SL 19,3 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Fazua Ride 60 430 Wh 60 NM 10.999 €
Focus Jam² SL 19,7 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Fazua Ride 60 430 Wh 60 NM 6.999 €
Orbea Rise LT M Team 19,85 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Shimano EP801 RS 630 Wh 85 NM 11.199 €
Cannondale Moterra SL 19,9 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Shimano EP801 600 Wh 85 NM 9.999 €
Cube Stereo Hybrid One55 22,7 Kilo 160 / 150 mm Bosch CX 750 Wh 85 NM 6.999 €
Liteville 301 CE 22,7 Kilo 170 / 170 mm Shimano EP801 725 Wh 85 NM 10.399 €

The fiercest rivals of the Orbea Rise

Recently, Cannondale introduced the Moterra SL, which features a similar concept with full motor power and a weight under 20 kilograms. The Moterra SL is equipped with mullet wheels and a 600Wh battery. However, it lacks the ability to connect a range extender. In this respect, the Orbea is not only more flexible, but also slightly lighter despite having a marginally larger battery and a heavier Double Down rear tire.

Cannondale Moterra SL
The Cannondale Moterra SL was a game-changer in Spring 2024. As an ultralight Full Power E-MTB, it also tips the scales at under 20 kilograms with a 600Wh battery.
Santa Cruz Heckler SL
One of the fiercest contenders for sure: The Santa Cruz Heckler SL equipped with Fazua's Ride 60 motor. The main drawback: There's still no range extender available for the system with a 430 Wh battery.
Specialized Turbo Levo SL
The Lightweight Icon. Weighing in at 17.6 kilograms with the compact 320Wh battery, the Turbo Levo SL is a figure that impresses not only on the scales but especially on the trails.

We’ve not only put the strongest competitors, like the Santa Cruz Heckler or the Cannondale Moterra SL, through rigorous tests, but also offer the ability in our comparison tool to stack up geometry or components side-by-side in a head-to-head comparison.

Exciting Details on the Orbea Rise

Not just on the frame, but with its specs, the Orbea Rise shows details that indicate a true passion behind this bike. An integrated mini-tool, well-protected chainstays, and ample tire clearance at the rear wheel leave an impressively cohesive impression. DT Swiss specific e-MTB hubs and wide carbon rims complete this feeling. The Rise is not a quick shot from the hip but a bike where every detail is meticulously thought out. In the online configurator, there’s also the option to tailor the components to personal preferences.

Cable Routing Orbea Rise
The cables for the dropper post and brakes are routed through the headset by Orbea, creating a clean and clutter-free cockpit.
MiniTool Orbea
It might look inconspicuous, but hidden here, in the pivot axle of the linkage lever, Orbea tucks away a mini-tool.
Mini Tool Orbea
The tool is magnetically secured inside the frame and includes the essential hex keys along with a T25 Torx wrench. Unfortunately, a chain breaker is missing.
Chainstay Protector
Now a standard feature on most bikes: ample rubber guards to protect the chainstay and to reduce noise.
Tire Clearance Orbea Rise
In the rear triangle, there's ample room to swap out the 2.4 tire for a 2.5 or even a 2.6 rubber.
DT Swiss Hybrid 350 Hubs
Orbea equips their bikes with hubs from DT Swiss' E-Bike portfolio, designed to withstand the increased stress from the motor.
OQUO Carbon Rims
The beefy carbon rims from Orbea's own brand OQUO not only absorbed a harsh rim strike in the bike park with ease during our test.

Does the Orbea Rise Deliver Uphill Flow?

To settle the question, we even hit up the legendary Uphill-Flow Trail at Geißkopf. It became apparent that the Shimano EP801 kicks in full power even at low cadences. This has been a gripe we’ve had with the Bosch CX models when tackling tough trails.

The power delivery remains smooth in the saddle, without any harsh jerks or judder. However, the motor tends to push on a bit after strong pedal strokes are stopped. That’s a plus when you’re climbing and reach a section where you might need to miss a pedal stroke. With the short 165mm cranks, this seldom poses a problem. It’s not so cool when it catches you off guard.

On the ascents, the new Rise no longer has to hide behind Full Power E-MTBs, but rather, it’s in the same league with them. That is, provided you configure the motor accordingly. If you’d rather not, you can still climb in energy-saving mode. This offers more freedom than its predecessor, which imposed factory settings. In short: the new Rise can do Uphill-Flow! However, you must be willing to put up with the noticeable motor noise under load, which the Shimano motor produces. Quieter options are only offered by Fazua and TQ motors.

EMTB Uphill Test
Riding joy - uphill and downhill. Full Power EMTBs hit the market with this promise. Anyone who has tackled the Uphill Flow Trail at Geißkopf will notice: the promise catches on.
EMTB Uphill Test
The Powerturn. Stefan Schlie rips it beautifully, yet the attempt reveals: With the EP 801 RS, genuine E-MTB maneuvers are feasible.

Shimano's Di2 Drivetrain – Nice, but Technically Inferior

When it comes to the general climbing capabilities of the bike, it’s noticeable that Shimano’s Di2 drivetrain struggles with shifting under load. A loud crunching sound is standard fare. Shifting through too many gears at once can risk the chain dropping to the smallest cog or even slipping between the frame and cassette.

Even though the Free Shift feature, which allows shifting while coasting, and the Semi-Automatic (Auto Shift) are neat, it must be stated clearly: This drivetrain is inferior to SRAM’s Transmission drivetrains in terms of precision and function. It’s surprising to see Shimano being outperformed here.

The classic, mechanical Shimano drivetrain found on the Orbea Rise M10 might even be the better choice, as it offers fewer opportunities for misshifts. Moreover, the mechanical components are a bit more robust. Particularly, the electronic Di2 shifter does not give the impression in our test that it would survive a hard season of use.

Shimano XT Di2 Drivetrain
Shimano's electronic Di2 shifting system didn't entirely win us over in our test. It has some neat features, but SRAM's drivetrains just perform better.
Shimano XT Di2 Drivetrain
The Di2 shifter provides a solid tactile response. However, the buttons tend to produce a subtle buzz on tarmac and don't convey an overly sturdy feel.

Hammertime - it's amazing what goes down on the descents.

We didn’t just test the bike on tame trails in the Altmühltal, but also seriously shredded in the Bikepark Geißkopf. It became clear within the first few meters on the trail: The combo of a first-class suspension, beefy tires, and powerful XTR brakes inspires a lot of confidence. The generous adjustability of the dropper post with 250 mm travel also contributes to secure handling on rough terrain.

With the soft rubber compound on the front tire and solid Double Down puncture protection in the rear, you’ll dare to really hammer through rocky sections. The carbon rims from Orbea’s own brand have survived more than just a rim shot.

Fox Transfer
250mm of travel in size L frame. You can't get more adjustability than this. This is also made possible by the frame's shortened seat tube.
Shimano XTR Brake
Orbea opts for a 200mm rotor on the rear wheel. Paired with Shimano's XTR 4-piston brake, it provides ample stopping power in any situation.
Maxxis Double Down Tires
Our test bike didn't skimp on tires. Within the Orbea configurator, you can choose from a variety of tire options. We opted for a beefy Double Down casing to ensure puncture protection.

The suspension system displays a sporty character. When pushing through berms, the bike doesn’t sag excessively into its travel but rather offers a strong resistance. Aggressive riders will adore this. Comfort-oriented e-mountain bikers should ride with the Fox suspension components’ compression settings nearly fully open. Otherwise, the feedback from the suspension could become tiring relatively quickly.

Contrary to the main frame, the rear triangle is not extremely stiff. This allows the rear wheel some degree of autonomy in line choice. This particularly makes riding in rocky terrain a bit more pleasant.

Field Test: Orbea Rise
The suspension remains high in the travel even when carving through the berms, allowing for an active ride on the bike.
Field Test: Orbea Rise
In choppy trail sections, the rear suspension's pliability is a real asset. Here, the rear wheel picks its own line.

Geometry surprises with short chainstays

With a 480 mm reach in size L and a slack 64-degree head angle, the geometry is built for blasting down trails. The harder you push the bike, the more it comes alive. It thrives on fast straights and open corners. If you prefer a nimbler feel, you can adjust the bike’s geometry with a flip-chip to be a bit steeper.

Especially when you want to pop the front wheel, the short 440 mm chainstays really shine. They allow initiating a manual or bunny hop much easier than with other eMTBs. Other manufacturers can only achieve such short chainstays with a smaller 27.5-inch rear wheel. Orbea does it with a 29-inch rear wheel, and for that, they truly deserve a round of applause.

SIZE XXS XS S M L XL XXL
Sizing of Manufacturer
-
-
S
M
L
XL
-
Wheelsize
-
-
29
29
29
29
-
Stack
-
-
619
623
633
642
-
Reach
-
-
430
455
480
505
-
Top Tube Length
-
-
570
614
620
647
-
Seat Tube Length
-
-
405
415
430
460
-
Seat Tube Angle
-
-
77
77
77
77
-
Head Tube Length
-
-
95
100
110
120
-
Head Tube Angle
-
-
64
64
64
64
-
Bottom Bracket Drop
-
-
34
34
34
34
-
Bottom Bracket Height (absolut)
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Chainstay Length
-
-
440
440
440
440
-
Wheelbase
-
-
1203
1230
1259
1287
-
Standover Height
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Descending was a surprise. Although the hardware of the EP801 RS is identical to that of the EP801, we hardly noticed the typical transmission noise during the descent on this bike. Perhaps it’s because the motor was really brand new. Or perhaps the collaboration with Orbea has found a way to suppress the annoying noise below the threshold of perception. Either way, the Shimano EP801 RS is significantly quieter on the downhill than what we’re accustomed to from other Shimano or Bosch motors.

Field Test: Orbea Rise
The motor clatter on descents is noticeably quieter than what you'd expect from Shimano motors. On the trail, it was virtually imperceptible during our test.

Our takeaways after testing the Orbea Rise

  • Take the beefier 630Wh, for a €199 upcharge that's a fair deal for increased range.
  • Software: Take advantage of the customization options provided by the app. We've set up the Boost support level as a real power house in the sportier mode and trimmed the Eco support for maximum energy savings. This way, you can fully enjoy the diversity of the new Rise.
  • Model Selection: Grab the M10 model. It's definitely a steal for €2500 less, as you can easily forego the Shimano Di2 drivetrain. The suspension, frame, and motor remain the same.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Editor's Choice Award goes to...

With our platforms emtb-test.com, bike-test.com, and kids-bike-test.com, we’ve rated over 5000 bikes according to uniform criteria. In doing so, we’re not just analyzing the industry’s status quo but also tracking the technical evolution of the mountain biking industry.

In our research, it becomes abundantly clear that while there is an abundance of mountain bikes on the market, only a few models truly push the boundaries of what’s technically possible. These exceptional models are precisely what we aim to honor with our Editor’s Choice Award. Orbea, with the new Rise, refuses to settle for the current state of technology and is set to initiate a trend that will fully manifest its impact in a year or two.

The new Rise LT merges a remarkable combination of specs with a 630 watt-hour battery, 160mm of travel, and a full 85Nm of torque, all at a weight of 19.85kg. There is no other bike out there like it. This makes it clear: Full-Power EMTBs will become lighter in the future.

Furthermore, all Rise models are highly customizable, from the paint job, battery options, to the specific components. Here too, the Spaniards with their MyO solution are a good step ahead of most competitors. Our extensive field test has shown us that the Orbea Rise LT, with its impressive specs, is not just eye-candy on paper. It stands out notably on the trail from other bikes, and for this reason, we’re bestowing the Rise with our Editor’s Choice Award—the first EMTB ever to receive it.

Ride Better Bikes Editor's Choice Award
The new Orbea Rise is a standout ride. It melds ample suspension travel, a hefty 630 Wh battery, and burly tires with an astonishing sub-20 kg weight. This bike has earned our Editors Choice Award as the first-ever e-MTB to do so.
Ride Better Bikes Editor's Choice Award
With our Editors' Choice Award, we honor bikes that stand out from the market crowd and signify a special milestone in technical development.
Ludwig Döhl
Ludwig Döhl is excited to present the first Editors' Choice Award in the EMTB category. Until now, EMTBs have always come with significant compromises. The Rise demonstrates that it pays off to question the current status quo and elevate it to a new level.

Conclusion on the Orbea Rise LT

No other EMTB with 85 Nm of torque manages to combine 160 mm of travel with a 630 Wh battery at a weight of 19.85 kg. The additional option for the 210 watt-hour Range Extender enables long rides. Here, Orbea pulls off a real feat.

The geometry and equipment details such as the well-thought-out tire selection or the dropper post with 250 mm travel show that Orbea knows what’s truly important. And with that, Orbea has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. However, there is a slight downside with the top model: the Shimano Di2 shifting system, despite its nice features, hasn’t entirely convinced us.

All Orbea Rise Models at a Glance

The Orbea Rise is available in 4 spec levels starting at 8,000 Euros. Additionally, each version of the Rise comes with either a 420Wh or 630Wh battery. We took a closer look at all the options. With the arrow symbol Compare bikes directly, you can pull each model into comparison with any other bike from our extensive market overview.

About the author

Ludwig

... hat mehr als 100.000 Kilometer im Sattel von über 1000 unterschiedlichen Mountainbikes verbracht. Die Quintessenz aus vielen Stunden auf dem Trail: Mountainbikes sind geil, wenn sie zu den persönlichen Vorlieben passen! Mit dieser Erkenntnis hat er bike-test.com gegründet, um Bikern zu helfen, ein ganz persönliches Traumbike zu finden.

Recommended for you

Cube Stereo Hybrid One55 Review

Cube knows value for money. But can the Bavarians also deliver ride joy? The Cube Stere...

Conway Ryvon LT Review

The Conway RYVON LT weighs a featherlight 19 kilograms, boasts 170 mm of travel, and fe...

Enduro E-MTB Buyer’s Guide

Enduro e-bikes take it all on. Technical uphills, gnarly downhills, and huge jumps: The...

Visiting Magura

Magura develops, manufactures, assembles, and distributes its brakes in Bad Urach. This...