2017 Orbea Loki 27+ H20 Bike - USD773.49
There are times when a joker makes you feel uncomfortable. With the Orbea Loki, you’ll be confident and secure. That’s because the 27+ wheels allow you to take this rig places that skinnier tired bikes would fear to tread.
27+, is a big new standard. It takes the diameter of a 27.5 or 650b rim, and widens the rim bed to 40mm. Then is paired to an extra-wide tire. Here, Orbea chooses 3.0”. The extra air volume increases comfort, grip, float all at once. You can drop the tire pressure down below 10psi and still have confidence that the rim is protected, while you reap the benefits of amazing traction.
At the heart of 27+ wheels are Boost standard hubs. In back, this is a 148x12mm thru-axle. The extra width at the hub flanges (3mm each side) means a stronger wheel and the extra width at the hub means better tire clearance at the bottom bracket. Q-factor is the same. Up front, a wider 110x15mm thru-axle is used. Here, too, the extra width (5mm each side) strengthens the wheel and the wider fork is laterally stiffer.
The frame is constructed out of hydroformed aluminum. This shaping method is popular because it's a great way to manipulate frame tubes. As always, the shaping helps tune the ride, allowing for some vertical compliance in the rear and increasing lateral stiffness in the main triangle.
And if you want to liven the bike further and drop weight you can swap out your plus rims for 29er wheels with 2.2” tires. This swapping they call Double Duty. Less float, less weight, and easier high-speed rolling. Pro tip for the stock Maxxis Chronicle all-condition tires. The 27.5” wheels come tubed, but the tires are tubeless-ready, and switching to tubeless will save you a bunch of rotating weight, making you faster, and making the ride even more fun.
Think of it this way, the Loki gives you more of a trail ride rather than a cross-country ride, even though it’s a hardtail. A bit slower steering perhaps, but better for high-speed descending. And with the low bottom bracket, you will have an easy time controlling your line regardless of speed or gradient.
You can see how it goes beyond norms with the 120mm travel fork, the low bottom bracket, and slack head angle. 120mm of travel on a hardtail is unusual in the United States, but it’s not uncommon to see it in the United Kingdom, where even 140mm travel hardtails are found. You can take on bigger bumps with more confidence. And the low frame provides not only generous standover clearance, but makes the seatstays more compliant by making the stay angles more acute. The longer unsupported seatpost also results in more compliance at the saddle. The chainstays are a short, stiff 430mm. And then, you add on the wide tires. Yes, the big wheels means it can tackle things that might seem beyond a normal hardtail’s brief. But the tires also mean being able to easily scamper up rocky, loose stuff that you’d have to carefully pick your way through on a narrower-tired bike.
The bike is designed for fun. It’s a great first bike for newbies letting them go farther than they could on a cross-country rig. It’s a toy bike for folks with a fairly full quiver-it can handle packed snow and sand, mud, and it’s a hoot for goofing off with friends.