The Orbea Rise H30 is the lightest eBike in our test by a good 10 pounds. The lightweight approach is its defining characteristic. It stands out from the rest of the pack in how it handles out on the trail. What it lacks in power it makes up for in agility. So is it the right value ebike for you? Stick around to find out.
Orbea Rise H30 Geo and Details
The Rise H30 is one balanced machine on paper. It rolls on 140mm of travel both front and back as well as two 29” wheels—No mullets here. The geometry is on the steeper, trail side of the spectrum with a 66 or 65.5° head tube angle. The reach is a healthy 500mm in size XL with the wheelbase coming in at 1255mm. Orbea has done a great job of keeping the chainstays rather short for a 29” ebike. At 445mm, they’re only 5mm longer than the pedal version (Occam) of this bike. The Rise’s component selection matches the travel and geometry’s intentions rather closely. The tires are lighter weight and less aggressive as are the brakes, fork, and shock.
The Rise uses a throttled-back version of the ever-ubiquitous Shimano EP8. The RS motor is limited to 60NM of peak torque, down from 85NM. The lower power motor allows for more efficient battery usage, a more natural ride quality, and a lighter weight spec. The RS version is less torquey than the full-blown EP8. It prefers a higher cadence and more closely matches rider input. All of the above, lead to the Rise being the perfect ebike for those looking to stick as closely as possible to a pedal bike experience.
The Rise H runs on a full-size 540Wh battery, whereas its carbon brother uses a smaller 360Wh battery. It adds a little weight, but it also makes the Rise H one of the longest-lasting ebikes on the market. Usually, more range equals more weight, but that’s not the case here. The increased range comes from more efficient use of the motor. Although the Rise is going to pull a bit more power from your personal motor than a full-power ebike would. Your mileage will vary based on how many pre-ride burritos you’ve eaten.
The H series Rise also comes stock with the upgraded Shimano display, whereas the carbon version has the ultra-minimal inline display that can be tricky to use. Personally, I think Shimano has the display and controller dialed, even if it’s not quite as sleek as bikes like the Reign E and Instinct Powerplay.
Orbea Rise h30 Review
Most of the bikes in our value showdown have been excellent climbers. They all bring something unique to the table too. The Reign is the king of traction, the Instinct packs a big punch in terms of power, and the Rise offers the best agility in the test. A lot of this comes down to the geometry, but I think a large portion of the bike’s handling prowess comes from the fact that it’s a hell of a lot lighter than the other bikes in the test. I’m not much of a weight weenie myself, but 10 pounds is a hugely noticeable difference.
The Rise’s geometry is some of the steepest and climb-friendly in the test. It has the quickest and most responsive handling because of this. It’s easy to pilot this bike through technical sections of the trail. Where the Reign E would simply plow up and over all the bumps, the Rise’s approach is different. It’s much more suited for zig-zagging through rough and bumpy sections looking for the smoothest lines. While the Reign’s “plowability” is great on open bits of trail, the Rise’s agility becomes rather apparent and helpful in tighter sections—places where you simply can’t go full gas through all the bumps.
The Rise’s suspension is firmer and more efficient than some of the other bikes in the test. It’s great for pedaling efficiency, but it can come at the cost of traction. The firm suspension paired with a Rekon rear tire, I’ve found that the traction can be lacking in really loose parts of the trail. The toned-down and smoother motor help mitigate the back wheel breaking loose, but I’d love to see a grippier rear tire.
The throttled-back EP8 RS provides enough power to hang with the big bikes for the most part. In the technical and tight sections of the climb, it’s plenty powerful to keep up. In fact, because the power comes on smoother, it does a bit better at offering control over the bike. It’s only on the wide-open and ultra-steep sections that the full-power motor will pull away from the Rise.
Overall it’s an excellent climber, offering a natural feel and a ton of maneuverability when compared to most ebikes.
The Rise continues to beat the other bikes in this test when it comes to downhill agility as well—they just can’t hang. It simply unweights, changes lines, and gets airborne better. It’s the ultimate ebike for the active bike rider who isn’t content to hang on in passenger mode.
The Rise’s geometry combined with its lightweight chassis keeps it in the agile category. I have recently started saying that ebikes tend to ride as if they have 10-20mm more travel than their pedal bike counterparts. The Rise is the bike that pokes a hole in that assessment. It rides like the 140mm trail bike it is. It certainly doesn’t ride like it has 160mm. It has the quickest handling and the most active feel to it. It’s not the bike for dropping your heels and smashing through every bump in sight. Instead, it’s happier to zig and zag or just pop over every rock and root. If you’re an active rider who values maneuverability, you’ll fit right in with the Rise.
The suspension platform on the Rise is far more firm than it is plush. I wouldn’t call it harsh or chattery, but it doesn’t have that deep feeling that comes with a lot of heavy ebikes. It probably has something to do with the sprung-to-unsprung ratios, but the Rise feels more like a pedal bike than it does a gooey ebike. The firm suspension platform lends itself to bunnyhopping, pumping, and jumping. It’s a fun bike to ride and if done right, you can generate a lot of free speed out on the trail. The suspension isn’t there to rob all your speed and keep your wheels stuck to the ground. It can tend to skip around when things get really rough. I’d argue that other bikes are a better choice if you’re trying to push the pace in challenging terrain. If you’re looking to maximize the fun you can have, then the Rise is for you.
If you’ve been hesitant to ride an ebike because of how big, bulky and cumbersome they look, then I’d say you should give the Rise a try. I think it rides closer to a pedal bike than it does an ebike. And, if you’re an ebike lover, don’t write off the Rise. it’s almost guaranteed to be a more playful and fun version of what you’re used to.
Overall I like the Rise for its pedal-bike ride quality that other heavy ebikes just can’t offer. It’s a well-rounded trail bike that’s going to shine in a wide variety of terrain. It’s fun, playful, and lively. Just don’t plan on going full-bore through world cup rock gardens.
Orbea Rise H30 Value Score
The Rise H30 offers a ton of bang for your buck. It was tough to decide if this or the Reign E+ was going to take the top honors. The Reign just barely edges out the Rise when it comes to value. If only for the fact that it’s $200 cheaper. None of the components on the Rise H30 are blingy, but they are all good enough and durable enough to last for a long time. As a rule, I don’t think ebikes should come with two-piston brakes. I know Orbea did this for weight and intended application reasons, but I’m going to pick four-piston stoppers on an ebike all day. I’d also love to see some more aggressive tires on this thing. The Rekon just doesn’t cut it when things get loose—especially when you consider the higher average speeds ebikes tend to hold.
Who is it for?
I like the Rise for three different user groups. The first rider I have in mind is the new-to-ebikes rider. Maybe you’re a little hesitant to ride an ebike. You’re curious about what they can do and the terrain they can open up, but you don’t want a heavy, clunky, and cumbersome bike. The Rise is going to be as close to your pedal bike as possible while still offering the “e-benefits.” It provides enough power without many of the cons that come with full-power ebikes.
The second group of riders who I think will enjoy the Rise, are the folks who sometimes ride with other ebikers and sometimes ride with pedal bikers. The Rise has enough power to hang with the big dogs, but it’s also not so powerful that trying to ride slower with your pedal bike buddies is impossible. It’s a bit of a chameleon in that regard. As a bonus, if your kids on a pedal bike are faster than you, get this thing to bridge the gap.
The last group of riders who would be a good fit with the Rise is the active and playful riders. The Rise isn’t only good for ebike newbies. I spend a large portion of my bike time on an ebike and I still love the Rise for the agility it provides. I like to hop around, change lines and goof off when I’m riding a bike. The Rise facilitates that style of riding.
The Bottom Line
The Orbea Rise H30 is the most acoustic-feeling electric bike.