For 2020, the Orbea WILD FS has been redesigned from scratch and no longer resembles its predecessor in any way. That’s no bad thing! Can the new WILD FS M-LTD with its new motor, new frame and completely new concept deliver the goods?
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
For the new WILD FS M-LTD, Orbea have made a lot of changes compared to its predecessor. The rather rudimentary and bulky aluminium frame has been replaced by an elegant full-carbon model. This is fitted with Bosch’s new Performance CX motor and 625 Wh battery. The colour scheme of the € 8,999 bike can be customised with Orbea’s MyO online configurator at no extra charge. However, the configurator is very limited in terms of spec: besides the dual-battery option for an additional 500 Wh capacity and the length of the dropper post, you can also choose the suspension.
Components, weight and technical details of the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD
While we were perfectly happy with the 160 mm FOX 36 GRIP2 fork, we recommend using the configurator to “downgrade” from the standard coil shock to the FOX FLOAT X2 air shock, which is, in fact, a huge upgrade. But more on that later. The rest of the componentry is top-notch, featuring Shimano XTR brakes and an XTR drivetrain. The 29″ wheels of the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD come shod with MAXXIS Minion tires, though we would have liked to see the sturdier Doubledown casing on the rear at least.
Orbea WILD FS M-LTD
Motor Bosch Perfomance Line CX 75Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Fork FOX 36 GRIP2 Factory 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory 160 mm
Seatpost OC2 Dropper 125 – 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 4-piston 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem Race Face Aeffect R 55 mm
Handlebar Race Face Next R 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX1501 SPLINE 29"
Size M L XL
Weight 22.5 kg
Perm. total weight 133 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 110 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no
Bosch DualBattery option
custom paint option
Geometry and size of the Orbea
The Orbea WILD proves that maximum trail performance doesn’t always require radical geometry. Instead, it offers balanced handling with relatively long 455 mm chainstays. It’s only the 76° seat tube angle that nears the more extreme geometry figures of the test field.
|Seat tube||406 mm||444 mm||483 mm|
|Top tube||585 mm||612 mm||645 mm|
|Head tube||100 mm||110 mm||125 mm|
|Chainstays||455 mm||455 mm||455 mm|
|BB Height||345 mm||345 mm||345 mm|
|BB Drop||30 mm||30 mm||30 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,203 mm||1,232 mm||1,268 mm|
|Reach||430 mm||455 mm||485 mm|
|Stack||621 mm||630 mm||644 mm|
The Orbea WILD FS M-LTD on the trail
On flat terrain, the pedalling position on the 22.5 kg Orbea WILD FS is somewhat uncomfortable. The steep seat angle and the Fizik Taiga saddle, which pushes you even further forward, puts a lot of weight on your hands. Thus, we can’t recommend the bike for longer rides, even if the optional dual battery capacity of 1125 Wh makes it tempting. But the front of the bike sticks to the ground when the climbing gets steep and technical. Together with the Bosch motor’s sensitive but powerful eMTB mode, loose gravel climbs and nasty ledges don’t fazethe WILD FS M-LTD. However, the low bottom bracket means you’ll have to time your pedalling carefully on rough trails to avoid getting caught up on roots or rocks.
Do we need extreme geometries? Apart from a steep seat tube angle, the Orbea WILD FS is anything but radical, yet still incredibly fast.
Admittedly, we didn’t get along well with the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD on the descents at first. We tried countless set-ups with different coil weights on the FOX DHX2 coil shock and none of them performed very well. But fortunately, we also had the chance to fit the € 100 cheaper air shock that Orbea offer in the configurator. With the air shock, the performance of the bike improved radically, offering more progression and yet also responding sensitively.With this shock, there is no trail too rough and no gap too big for the Orbea WILD FS. The handling is composed and defined and the Orbea begs you to stay off the brakes and on the gas. The performance of the suspension and the 2.6″ MAXXIS Minion tires feels very precise while generating a lot of grip, no matter the terrain. However, the bike could be even more capable with sturdier tires allowing you to run lower air pressures. On slower, rougher trails, the WILD FS remains stable and precise, if not quite as agile as the Canyon or FOCUS. Experienced riders in particular, are sure to have a ton of fun and be amazed by the handling and the reserves of the aggressive Orbea WILD FS on technical terrain.
Tuning tip: select the FOX FLOAT X2 air shock “downgrade” in the configurator | swap the rear tire for the Doubledown casing version
The performance of the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD is unsurpassed on both the climbs and descents: provided you deliberately “downgrade” to the FOX FLOAT X2 air shock. Experienced (enduro) riders will have the time of their life on the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD. With its superior handling in technical terrain and clever details, the Orbea was a prime candidate for the Best in Test victory. However its somewhat uncomfortable and aggressive pedalling position, its limited versatility and the imperfect integration of the motor prevented it from taking the crown.
- outstanding climbing and descending capabilities
- great looks
- custom colour scheme
- coil shock
- speed sensor and charging socket
- puncture-prone rear tire
- aggressive pedalling position limit its long-distance suitability
You can find out more about the Orbea WILD FS M-LTD at orbea.com.
The test field
You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!
All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann