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.

Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 160/160 mm (f/r) | 22.50 kg (size L) | € 8,999 | manfacturer website

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 The rather rudimentary and bulky aluminium frame has been replaced by an elegant full-carbon model.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.

Going backwards
Instead of relying on a well-hidden sensor in the dropout like its predecessor, Orbea opted for a spoke magnet and sensor attached to the chainstay for the new WILD FS: incomprehensible!
Long range
The optional dual-battery system offers up to 1125 Wh capacity.
Super silent
Orbea spared no effort in making the WILD FS as quiet as possible. No matter how soft and effective the chainstay protector, there’s no avoiding the annoying clacking of the Bosch motor though.

Orbea WILD FS M-LTD

€ 8,999

Specifications

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"

Technical Data

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

Specific Features

Bosch DualBattery option
custom paint option


Not our first choice
You have a choice between the FOX DHX2 coil shock and the FOX FLOAT X2 air shock in the configurator. After extensive testing it’s clear that the more affordable air shock works a lot better on the WILD FS!
Punctures are inevitable
The EXO+ casing offers only slightly better puncture protection than the lightweight EXO casing, if at all. With the descending capabilities the WILD FS has, we would have liked a heavier tire with the Doubledown casing on the rear wheel, at the very least.
Usually
Usually, we’d be big fans of the tidy cable routing and the position of the charging socket. But in combination, it takes a lot of patience to connect the Orbea to an outlet.
Great placement, poor finish
The Kiox mount on the Orbea offers three possible positions to attach the display. But the plastic it is made of is too soft and twists when you press the buttons.
The ideal fit
Even if the configurator doesn’t give you a lot of options for the spec, you can still select the appropriate dropper post length for your size – thumbs up!

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.

Size M L XL
Seat tube 406 mm 444 mm 483 mm
Top tube 585 mm 612 mm 645 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 76.0° 76.0° 76.0°
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
Helmet Bell Sixer MIPS Fasthouse | Glasses Oakley Sutro | Backpack AMPLIFI E-Track | Sweatshirt Deus Ex Machina Moto X Knit | Knee pads Fox Enduro Sleeve

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

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

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.

Tops

  • outstanding climbing and descending capabilities
  • great looks
  • custom colour scheme

Flops

  • 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

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann