Welcome to our in-depth Orbea Wild review, where we will take a deep dive into all its features. With balanced geometry and a dialed suspension design, this bike excels just about everywhere. The Bosch Performance Line CX drivesystem offers a fast, reliable, and quiet ride, integrated seamlessly for a clean look. Climbing steep trails becomes effortless with the Wild’s geometry and powerful Bosch race motor. On descents, its precise handling shines, thanks to the suspension design and frame stiffness. Stick around to see if the Orbea Wild is the right eMTB for you.
Bosch Performance line CX Race review
Let’s start off our Orbea Wild Review with the Bosch Performance Line CX drivesystem. The Bosch system is climbing closer and closer to the top of my list when it comes to ebikes. Combined with Orbea’s neat and tidy integration on the Wild, you’ve easily got yourself what I’d call the best eMTB drivesystem available to date. It’s fast, reliable, relatively quiet, and super clean.
Let’s kick things off by talking about the Bosch drive, specifically the Race edition found exclusively on my M-LTD Wild. The Race edition offers the same features as the regular Performance Line CX motor with a couple of upgrades. First, it’s a tiny bit lighter, not that it can really be felt on a nearly 50lb bike. Second, it offers more assistance in the “race” mode than a regular bosch motor. In all the other modes, it behaves the same. In the “race” mode, you’ll notice the assistance kicks in quicker and lasts longer after you stop pedaling. It’s great for tackling rough uphill terrain where pedaling might not be recommended. You can give it a few pedal strokes, get off the gas, and let the motor carry you up the feature. It can be quite a bit to handle, though. There’s quite an aggressive kick when it comes on. Even though the bike’s geometry is dialed, it can lead to the front end feeling light and washy. It’s especially noticeable on steep inclines. The front wheel almost hovers above the ground. That said, the Bosch race motor lets you climb steeper pitches than most other ebikes, so maybe it’s the actual grade of the hill making the front end light rather than the motor being too punchy. I don’t really know how to test that either. Overall it’s one of the fastest drive systems I’ve had a chance to ride. I easily pass all my buddies on the climbs.
My M-LTD Wild comes with a smaller, lighter 625Wh battery instead of a longer-lasting 750Wh battery. While, personally, I’d probably opt for the bigger battery, I’m pleased with how long the battery lasts. I’ve been doing a fair amount of early spring adventure riding on the Wild. The type of riding where you climb stupid ridge lines and peaks in search of the best descents that aren’t under 5 feet of snow. It’s a tough style of riding, with the vertical gain per mile being pretty ridiculous. I recorded one of these rides to get some stats on battery life. The ride was 15 miles with 4200’ of vertical gain. The ride took just under 2 hours, meaning I spent plenty of time in the higher power modes. After it was all said and done, I still had 15% battery life. The Bosch app estimated I still had 4 miles of range in eMTB mode — not too shabby.
With the wireless controller, lack of handlebar display, and tidy top-tube battery and mode indicator, the Wild is easily the cleanest eBike I’ve ridden. My only complaint is that the wireless controller is very sensitive. Any minor contact and you’re likely to switch power modes accidentally. Still, I’d take it over a wired controller every day of the week.
Orbea Wild Review – Uphill
Starting off our Orbea Wild review with climbing. Climbing on the Wild is an experience you’ll want to have at least once in your life. The type of terrain it unlocks is pretty silly. You can climb the steepest trails and blast through some uphill tech as if riding downhill. The combination of the drivesystem, suspension platform, and geometry makes it such an impressive machine.
Starting with the Wild’s geometry, the theme here is balance. The bike is very balanced in almost every regard. The weight distribution between the wheels is split evenly between the front and back. The Seat tube feels just right, and the head tube angle is right where you’d want it on a big bike like this. The rear center is proportional to the front, at least in my Size XL. It would be nice to see size-specific chainstays, however. That’s becoming increasingly popular these days. Orbea has done a top-notch job of designing this frame. There’s not a single number that stands out as being questionable both on paper or out on the trail. All of this leads to a bike that’s easy to control on the climbs. It would have to be too. Any bike with bad geometry paired with the Bosch race motor is going to give you a hard time. Even with the Wild’s excellent body position, the bike can get away from you on occasion when the trail gets really steep.
The suspension platform contributes to the Wild’s climbing performance as well. It sits a little higher in the travel. The benefits here are twofold. First, your weight is going to stay centered over the bike instead of hanging off the back. Second, there’s an efficiency gain when you’re not bobbing up and down with every pedal stroke. There are bikes that offer more traction and comfort, though. The Wild isn’t as glued to the ground as more active bikes. Still, it does a perfectly acceptable job, and I’d argue the benefits of the more efficient design could be worth the tradeoff.
Orbea Wild Review – Downhill
I will start this with a bit of a correction in my initial impressions from my day out riding the wild in Spain. I called the bike “deep, bottomless, and plush.” After spending significantly more time on the bike, especially in rougher terrain, I have to take back the part about the bike being very plush. It’s still deep, bottomless, capable, and aggressive. I just don’t think I’d use the word “plush” anymore. It’s more on the supportive side of things. Anyway, let’s get into it.
Let’s dive into the suspension platform. It’s very true to Orbea’s roots. It’s firm and supportive. And while it’s not the plushest eBike I’ve ridden, it still has a bit of “ebike effect” to it. What I mean by that is it rides deeper than a non ebike would. For example, it feels more plush and stable than the Rallon, even though the bikes are pretty similar. Still, the suspension is on the firm and supportive side of the spectrum. It’s great for a well-balanced ride quality. I think this goes a long way in making the Wild feel active and lively, even on mellow terrain. In fact, that’s one of the standout qualities of the bike for me. Even though it’s a big, burly ebike, it never feels cumbersome or sluggish — you never feel like you’re over-biked. Big ebikes can tend to feel numb, but the Wild never does. When you find yourself in terrain that does require a big bike, the Wild feels right at home. It handles big impacts very well. The suspension feels bottomless, absorbing big compressions with a great deal of composure. From jumps to drops and G-outs, the Wild never clangs through its travel. It feels like one of those giant bean bags catching you gently.
The suspension design compliments the geometry well. They both offer a balanced ride quality and quick, precise handling. In fact, the Wild has some of the best handling of any full-size ebike I’ve ridden. It doesn’t understeer and push through corners like many heavyweights do. It doesn’t resist changes in direction or fight you when you try to get off the ground. It corners, unweights, and bunnyhops very well. In addition to the geometry, I think the frame itself contributes to the quick handling. Orbea has foregone a port or door to quickly and easily remove the battery. While you give up the ability to swap batteries without removing the motor, you gain a great deal of stiffness by not cutting a hole in your downtube. Orbea claims the new Wild is 51% stiffer than its predecessor. This stiffness is a bit of a double-edged sword, I think. First, it does make the handling pretty incredible. The bike goes exactly where you point it without any vagueness of wandering — that’s why it’s so nice in the corners. I also think it’s one of the reasons the bike feels a little rougher off the top. It leads to you feeling a bit more of the trail through the bike. Either way, the Wild is responsive, lively, and engaging.
Overall on the descents, the Wild is incredibly lively, especially when you consider how capable it is. What it gives up in plush, gooey comfort, it gains agility and maneuverability across a huge variety of terrain.
Orbea Wild vs Ibis Oso
The Wild and Oso are pretty similar on paper. They both use the Bosch Smart System and have comparable geometry and travel numbers. The suspension feel between the two bikes differs quite a bit, though. The Oso feels softer and quieter throughout. However, it comes at a bit of a cost to the fun factor. The Wild feels sharper and more precise when it comes to handling characteristics. A good way to sum it up would be to say that the Oso feels plush while the Wild feels sporty. The frame stiffness might also come into play here with the Wild not having a hole in the downtube. The Wild certainly wins on drivesystem integration. The Oso’s setup is one of the clunkiest I’ve seen lately, and the Wild is easily the cleanest.
Orbea Wild vs Yeti 160E
Again the Wild and 160E bikes are similar when it comes to the frame, geometry, travel, and wheel size details. And the suspension platforms between the two feel pretty similar as well. The biggest difference between the two is the drive system. The Yeti uses the Shimano EP8, which despite its rattly tune, performs pretty well on the trail — it’s reliable and durable. I prefer the smoother nature of the Bosch system as well as the lack of rattle, but both systems get the job done just fine. The Yeti 160E adds a bit of versatility in the form of a flip-chip. The Yeti’s flip-chip lets you dial in the progression, ranging from 25-35%. It’s a nice touch that greatly impacts ride quality. Overall the Wild is still the sportier of the two bikes, with the Yeti being a bit more comfortable.
Who is the Orbea Wild for?
The Wild strikes me as the big, burly ebike that doesn’t penalize you for having a little extra cushion. It’s very well-rounded and sporty, given its travel numbers and power. I’d like to argue that it’s more “all-mountain” than it is “enduro.” Very much like its analog brother, the Rallon, it offers exceptional handling and rides a bit lighter and more nimble than it looks on paper.
All of that said, it’s pretty easy to recommend the Wild to almost anyone looking for a full-size eMTB. It rewards the average Joe who’s looking for a big ebike with the most positive and responsive handling for general trail riding. It doesn’t penalize slower speeds, tighter, or easier trails like other big eMTBs do. The weight of the bike seems to disappear, allowing for a very natural ride quality regardless of the trail. On the other hand, it rewards an aggressive rider looking to push the limits in rough terrain. However, that rider should expect to bring a lot of control and strength when things get rowdy. The bike itself isn’t the most forgiving when the trails get rough and chattery. If you’ve got the skill and strength to ride the bike aggressively, you’d be hard pressed to find a faster, more capable descending ebike—especially one that feels as lively as this. Throw in the Bosch race motor, and you’ll be flying like a bat out of hell.
Well there you have it with our Orbea Wild Review. We have demos in-store as well as floor bikes available. Visit us today to get your Wild.