Today, we’re talking 2023 Orbea Rise. So it’s been a while since I’ve ridden the Orbea Rise. Since the last time I’ve ridden it, they have made some adjustments and updates to make it even lighter and more like your everyday pedal bike. They’ve added the option for a bigger battery that used to only be available in the alloy builds. Today we’re seeing if those changes make a difference. 

So we’re going to hit the trails on the new 2023 Orbea rise and see how many laps we can fit in the shortest time possible. I’m a dad with a day job and a mortgage, and my time for riding bikes has become more and more limited. That’s one of my favorite things about eBikes—they let me go for a solid ride in a shorter amount of time. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do today.

2023 Orbea rise Updates

So here’s what’s new with the 2023 version of the Orbea Rise. First of all, they’ve somehow made one of the lightest eMTBs even lighter. The new Rise is about 1lb lighter than the previous generation — solidifying its top spot in the power to weight ratio. Next up, the new Rise uses the updated Shimano EP801 RS drivesystem and the new Shimano controller. The new controller is small and sleek with battery life and assist mode indicator lights. With the lights on the controller there’s no more need for a handlebar mounted display, cleaning up the cockpit significantly. Also cleaning up the cockpit is the headset cable routing.

And here’s the update Im the most excited about. Orbea has updated the battery options for the new Rise across all models — carbon and aluminum. Now you can get the larger 540Wh battery in the carbon frame. Or, if you prefer the lighter bike and aren’t concerned with range, the 360Wh battery is still an option. Speaking of options, the Rise is part of the Orbea MyO program which lets you pick and choose all the details of your bike from the paint colors down to the tires.

A couple of other updates include the lighter and stiffer rear shock linkage, the in frame multi-tool, and a faster smart charger. These updates are all nice touches. Now let’s talk about how they affect the bike out on the trail.

Ride Impressions

I’m not going to spend a ton of time here. I’ve reviewed this bike multiple times. I’ll leave links below if you want the full in-depth story. Today, I’ll give you the high-level crash course review and then talk about the updates.

The Rise is still one of my favorite lightweight eMTBs to date. It ticks almost every box for me when it comes to this category of ebikes. It’s one of the lightest on the market, especially when you consider the drive’s output. Most of the other bikes that come in lighter than a Rise have a little less peak torque at 50Nm, instead of the Rise’s 60Nm. Then if you factor in the larger 540Wh battery capacity, the Rise easily becomes the lightest eMTB for its power and range. It has all the other lightweight eMTBs, even some that weigh more than the Rise, beat by 100 or more watt-hours. Its weight, power, and range aren’t the only reasons I like it — the ride quality is top-shelf as well. It offers a quick, nimble, and lively character that’s tough to find in the ebike world. 

I like to describe the Rise as a chameleon bike. It sits right on the border of the trail and all-mountain categories and, depending on how you build it, can go either way. My test bike came equipped with a Dissector/Rekon tire combo. With these tires, the Rise is a bit more “trail.” It rolls quickly and keeps the weight down. With more aggressive tires, bigger rotors, and the Fox Float X, the bike seems to fall more in line with other all-mountain bikes. It’s plenty capable of riding some of the rougher trails around.

With no handlebar display, a tiny controller, and a sleek frame, it’s tough to tell that the rise is an eMTB. That goes a long way in keeping the “e” part of the bike from being too intrusive. It’s very stealthy. Another box checked.

green electric mountain bike

Buying advice

Is the 2023 Orbea Rise the right ebike for you?

I have two major groups of people in mind when it comes to the Rise. The first is the gateway eMTB-ers. These are the folks who are hesitant to try e-biking because they’ve heard ebikes are heavy and cumbersome. The Rise is the perfect eMTB for these folks, and the 2023 version has made some improvements to make this an even easier recommendation. It’s lighter and less intrusive than ever before. 

Beyond first-time eMTB buyers, the second group of folks who will like the Rise are the more active and engaged riders. These riders will find the Rise easier to maneuver and manage. It’s easier to get in the air, muscle it through a corner, and navigate tight and twisty sections of the trail. This is the reason I always have a blast every time I get on a Rise. This type of rider will appreciate the Rise and can make the most of it across a wide variety of terrain. 

So, if you have another eMTB and are itching for something new or are looking to purchase your first, I’d happily recommend the Rise as the longstanding contender for the king of lightweight eMTBs. It’s pretty much impossible to beat.

Should you upgrade from an older generation Rise?

Now for the folks who already own a Rise and are wondering if they should upgrade. Let’s talk about the new updates. Do the updates make it significantly different? I’d argue that this is still the same bike for the most part. All of the updates, except for one, fall in the “nice to have but not 100% necessary” category for me. The new controller is nice, but the old one worked just fine; the integrated tool is very nice, and the lighter frame is as well. But none of those make a huge impact on the ride experience of the bike. The biggest improvement I see is the 540Wh battery available in all frames now. That’s the one that would have me looking to swap out for a model year 23 Rise.

While 540 isn’t as big as the batteries we’re seeing on full-size eMTBs, you have to keep in mind the overall system is lighter and more efficient. The bike draws less power from the battery. With the big battery, the Rise is one of the longest-lasting bikes on the market. It’s perfect for huge rides. Orbea claims the RS system essentially makes your battery 1.5x bigger when compared to a full-power system. Meaning the 540Wh battery is closer to an 810Wh battery on a heavyweight bike — that’s some serious range.

So should you upgrade from your old Rise? In my mind, it’s going to depend on one variable. Do you find yourself limited by the range of your smaller 360Wh battery? If so, I’d easily recommend upgrading — it’s worth every penny in my mind.

Thats going to do it for our 2023 Orbea Rise review. We’ll see you next time.


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