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Orbea Ordu Ltd M201 triathlon bike review

Orbea’s new aero racer, the Ordu Lts M201, promises both more user friendliness for tri and more speed – is it too good to be true? Jamie Wilkins takes it for a test ride

Key information

Our score

Price

£5,599

Contact

www.orbea.com

The most important ingredient – in our minds – in the new Orbea Ordu Ltd isn’t the wind tunnel time, the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computing power, the high modulus carbon fibre or even the input from professional athletes. No, it’s rationale.

Before this bike, Orbea’s aero range was both confused and confusingly named: the Ordu M-Ltd was a TT-focused bike that wasn’t UCI-legal without a fork swap yet too extreme for all but pro triathletes, whereas the Ordu M10-Ltd was a totally different bike aimed at amateur triathletes that just wasn’t particularly dazzling. Now Orbea have figured it out and demoted the Ordu to the entry-level role to which it’s well suited, leaving headroom for this, the all-new Ordu Ltd. And the smart rationale was to make it both tri-friendly and UCI-legal, thereby justifying lots of R&D effort to also make it faster than a greased weasel.

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The Ordu Ltd has loads of tri-specific features such as extra mounting bosses on the top tube and the back of the seat tube, and the reversible seat clamp that allows you to get right forward over the BB to open your hip angle and save your legs for the run. Also, to that end, the Ordu Ltd comes with shorter cranks than normal for each frame size – 170mm on this size L test bike. The saddle is an excellent, tri-focused Prologo Tgale PAS.

Better still, the practicalities are matched by the advanced aero features. Most noticeable is the widely bowed Freeflow fork, which is shaped to minimise turbulence between the air moving past the fork legs and the forward-moving spokes. Harder to spot are the kinks and flats in the tube profiles, which are claimed to control airflow at higher yaw angles. The Ordu Ltd is designed for Tri Rig’s new Omega X brakes, with integrated shapes for optimum aero while retaining the ease of adjustment of regular caliper placement.

HITS THE SWEET SPOT

The Orbea Ordu Ltd M20i looks to us like the sweet spot in the range. It saves £1,200 on the Dura-Ace Di2 version but you can’t tell the difference from the ride, and we’d take this Ultegra Di2 bike over the identically priced M10 with mechanical Dura-Ace (tested in issue 316) any day. It’s just a shame that Orbea use Vision brake levers instead of Shimano’s with base bar Di2 shifters, sacrificing the ability to shift when climbing, cornering and near transition, which is arguably one of the best things about Di2 on a tri bike.

Otherwise, this is a brilliant machine. It’s stiff when climbing and handles precisely, inspiring the confidence to take roundabouts without breaking position. It’s quite light at 8.72kg, is easy to adjust and the brakes are strong and stay off the rims. 

Best of all, though, the Ordu is fast. On successive mid-week time trials that we use for practice, we beat our overall PB (20:50, thanks). 

Average speeds on training rides were consistently high, too. The Vision wheels (here with the optional deeper 81mm rear) deserve a lot of credit. They’re stable, stiff and quick, if not quite on the pace of more expensive and deeper options, such as the Zipp 808 NSWs that we also tried on it. 

Verdict:  Ready-to-race out of the box and a very well-crafted bike 94%

 
 

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