A REVIEW BY THE EVERYDAY BEARDED MTB MAN
What is your definition of wild?
For some, it may be the act of letting your eMTB take you into the wilderness, to new heights and new trails you never imagined you could conquer. For others, it might be a style of riding, getting sideways at full speed on demanding descents. I enjoyed both of these experiences, and more, whilst testing the new Orbea Wild FS.
There are nine new versions of the WILD FS line up and five off the shelf WILD FS-H 2020 models, the H10, H15, H20, H25, H30. Regardless of all those choices, each 2020 Orbea Wild FS-H is built up with the same Alloy mainframe, they all roll on 29 x 2.6in wheels and tyres, and they all run the latest generation 4 Bosch motor, with internal battery.
The only real difference between the five are the increase in front shock and rim quality. But even the lower end of the selection, the H30, has some very tasty fixtures. Lots of people who have reviewed the top spec models have moaned about the rear shock set up so we’ll be taking a look at the other end of the spectrum, the H25 to be precise.
Right so lets get to it, I took the H25 out for a test at some local trails. I wanted to see it perform on the uphills, technical terrain and the downhills. So I knew just the place, we headed to the outskirts of an MOD Tank training grounds in Bordon, Hampshire. What better place to test the bike than the same place the MOD test their toys too.
This tasty little area has some fun single track routes, jumps, burms, gully runs and flat out pin it sections along with climbs from easy to stupidly steep. What was very surprising is the Orbea ate it up. It was only the operator that let it down, on occasions.
After getting to know this bike and that the new Bosch Perfomance Line CX motor would eat up anything, it was time to see how it handled.
Ph: Mile Wellstead
Motor BOSCH Performance CX Cruise
Battery BOSCH Powertube 625Wh
Display BOSCH Performance Purion
Fork RockShox 35 Gold e-MTB 160mm
Rear Shock Fox Float DPS Evol LV
Seatpost OC2 Dropper 31.6mm
Brakes Shimano MT501 Hydraulic Disc
Crankset Etherteen Plus Alu 160mm
Stem Race Face Aeffect 35mm
Handlebar Race Face Aeffect 35 20mm Rise
Wheelset Orbea Tryp 30c Disc Tubeless ready 29″
Orbea WIld fs-h25 2020
No matter how steep the trail, how many obstacles in my way, how technical the climb or the descent the new Orbea handled it. What was great about the bike on these terrains is that it felt balanced and easy to manoeuvre. Yet planted in the corners and flew over the rooted areas.
Now for the negatives, I am really having to be picky on this one, but there are some down sides to this model.
Orbea have gone with the cheaper Sun Race CSMZ80 11-51t 12-Speed Metalic E-bike cassette and unfortunately its combination with the Shimano XT M8100 SGS Shadow P Rear derailleur isn’t the best. When changing gear under pressure it is clunky and slow. Even when just riding along on flat ground it occasionally doesn’t like changing gear smoothly.
Next is the fact that Orbea have gone through all the effort of making the new Wild FS bikes look so good and have used such modern design on them. But then have gone with the ancient wheel spoke magnet rather than an integrated system we find on most 2020 EMTB’s. I think this is one of those small details that would of just really rounded this bike off. Then my final issue is the battery and the battery cover. This is by far the most annoying system going. its fiddly and time consuming and again same as the wheel magnet if they had gone with a different system it would of finished this bike perfectly.
Despite the points above, I still love this bike. It truly does love going up hill and the same can be said for going down. The big 29inch wheels mean you can straight line rough terrain but the nimbleness of the while bike means you can still throw it around to have fun. The bike loves being in the air as much as it loves tearing up roost! I am super stoked on this bike and can see past the few small ergonomic issues as they can either be upgraded or in the case of the battery access, you can just use the charging port hidden on the bike rather than wrestle with the battery each time.
I can only imagine how the more expensive models would improve the experience. Dropping some weight and improving some of the components would make an already decent bike a top end trail beater. But still this model and the other lower end models are very capable trail bikes and are perfect for a riders first EMTB.