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2012 Orbea Orca Silver, Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro or Focus Izalco Pro 4.0?

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

2012 Orbea Orca Silver, Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro or Focus Izalco Pro 4.0?

Old 03-09-12, 08:04 PM
  #1  
dwhitlow
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2012 Orbea Orca Silver, Specialized Tarmac SL4 Pro or Focus Izalco Pro 4.0?

Hey everyone,
I'm interested in one of the three bikes listed in the title. For the Specialized and Orbea bikes, I'm most interested in the Ultegra Di2 versions. The Focus doesn't have a Ui2 build yet, but I may buy the upgrade kit for Ui2 if I go that route. Is anybody riding any of these yet? I'm having a hard time finding rider reviews, especially for the Orbea. I've seen a couple for the SL4 and have ridden that one. I have test rides for the other two scheduled for this weekend.

Just curious what others have been seeing as far as these go. Anybody here got any time in on any of these? If so, what do you think?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-09-12, 09:21 PM
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Mansram01
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Have an Orbea. Love it. Great ride. And now they come with a lifetime warranty (this wasn't always the case). I rode the Tarmac too and that's also a great ride but I still prefer the Orbea. I tend do a lot of climbing and the Orca seems to do particularly well. Just my feedback.
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Old 03-09-12, 09:21 PM
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Can't comment on the Focus... No experience there.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:26 PM
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billyb0b115
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I have a Specialized now and am looking to get an Orbea within the next year or so. 90% of the cyclist that I bike with have Orca's and love it.

You don't see many people ride Orbeas (I don't see many in my town when I do rides). It'll be unique and awesome to have. Especially when everyone's checking out your bike.
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Old 03-10-12, 07:45 AM
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Took delivery of my Orca Silver Force last night. Looks great. Hopefully it rides as well as it looks.
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Old 03-10-12, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kls1891 View Post
Took delivery of my Orca Silver Force last night. Looks great. Hopefully it rides as well as it looks.
Congrats on the new bike, KLS. Glad to hear there are a couple people here that seem to be enjoying their Orbeas.

I went and test rode an Orbea Silver this afternoon and really liked it. Rides a lot lighter than it looks (beefy tubes) and handled great. I think after taking a closer look at the Focus, I'm ruling that one out. I also rode a Scott Foil 20 this morning and liked it enough, but the Orbea really felt better.

At this point, I think I'm down to the Orbea and the Tarmac SL4 Pro. Both with Ultegra Di2. The Orbea comes out a little more expensive based on how my LBS's have priced them, but they're not far enough apart to not consider either of them.

Only other concern is fit. The Orbea I rode today was a 55, the Tarmac I rode was a 56. The Tarmac fit nearly perfect with little adjustment needed. The Orbea at 55cm felt just a hair tight as far as the cockpit reach went, but it had some fairly shallow-reach bars. I'm debating sizing up and doing a 57 if I go with the Orbea. I'll have to review geometries again before I order.

Thanks for the info. Would love to hear your first real ride report KLS.
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Old 03-10-12, 07:31 PM
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Tarmac SL4. I presonally think it rides better and handles better than any bike Ive ridden. Im comparing it to my R3, 2009 Madone 5.2, and A weiler Imperiale(ive been lucky) but not having ridden an orbea i cant comment to that, but the SL4 is just an amazing bike.
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Old 03-11-12, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by darb85 View Post
Tarmac SL4. I presonally think it rides better and handles better than any bike Ive ridden. Im comparing it to my R3, 2009 Madone 5.2, and A weiler Imperiale(ive been lucky) but not having ridden an orbea i cant comment to that, but the SL4 is just an amazing bike.
Interesting feedback darb85, I just pulled the trigger on the SL4 Pro with Ui2 this morning. At the end of the day, the Orbea still was going to be more money, and I've had really good support from my local Specialized dealer. Throw in the fact that the SL4 fit with no compromises right out of the gate, and it just seemed like a safer bet for me. Both the SL4 and the Orbea rode great, and I don't think I could go to wrong with either, but there were a couple more pluses in the Tarmac column. Super excited now to get my bike hopefully this week. Can't wait!
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Old 03-11-12, 02:35 PM
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Focus makes really good bikes, I was blown away when I first tried one, definitely worth a ride.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:23 AM
  #10  
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Me too. I'm considering both the Tarmac and Orbea Silver with Ultegra Di2. I'm leaning toward the Orbea because you can spec it on-line and see the total price. I'd like to upgrade the wheels and that isn't an option with Specialized (unless a dealer will do it for you.) I read one review of the Orcbea Silver and they mentioned some integration problems. They liked the Gold better, but that's an extra $1500 for like components.

http://university.tri-sports.com/201...bea-orca-sli2/
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Old 04-16-12, 01:03 PM
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I have the '12 Orca silver, chose it over the gold because I didn't think 1000 dollars more for 130g weight savings was worth it. I've ridden both and I can't say I can tell a difference, plus I didn't like the colored accent pieces over the black silver ones on the silver models. I went with the white on carbon and was going to to Ui2 but decided to go back to mech. Dura Ace and love the new 7900, switched from an 09 orca with 7800.
My friend has a '12 SL4 pro, and its a beautiful bike, I've ridden it as well and what I notice is that thing is major stiff...you feel everything. You can tell its a race bike but its just a bit too stiff for me. (no jokes please lol)

I opted for the orca golds monolink seat post and saddle. I just bought the frame and did a custom build by the way, I also used the s-works carbon crank instead of the DA crank and saved a few grams there. went with my old vuka sprint bars, zipp sl stem and firecrest 404s on gp4000s

here are some pics,















either way you wont go wrong with the sl4 or the orca silver. I'm an Orca guy so I stuck with it, although I did consider the venge pro for a hot second.
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Old 04-16-12, 01:04 PM
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yeah I was looking for another reason to post pics...lol
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Old 04-16-12, 01:42 PM
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That Orca does look sweet. What was the total build weight? The frame looks chunky and stiff.
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Old 04-16-12, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikeedgar View Post
Me too. I'm considering both the Tarmac and Orbea Silver with Ultegra Di2. I'm leaning toward the Orbea because you can spec it on-line and see the total price. I'd like to upgrade the wheels and that isn't an option with Specialized (unless a dealer will do it for you.) I read one review of the Orcbea Silver and they mentioned some integration problems. They liked the Gold better, but that's an extra $1500 for like components.

http://university.tri-sports.com/201...bea-orca-sli2/
I don't know if this was for the 11 or the '12 bikes but they make a di2 specific frame now. I was going to order this because Im considering the upgrade later on my dura ace but I doubt it now, i really like the mechanical feel. Di2 is nice but its only a luxury not a necessity.

So this integration issue may be a non issue now.
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Old 04-16-12, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
yeah I was looking for another reason to post pics...lol
wow, sweeeet bike..so all good!
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Old 04-16-12, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by plpete View Post
That Orca does look sweet. What was the total build weight? The frame looks chunky and stiff.
with the clinchers. 15.65lbs.
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Old 04-16-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
yeah I was looking for another reason to post pics...lol

damn that's a sexy lookin bike bro!!!!
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Old 04-16-12, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
damn that's a sexy lookin bike bro!!!!
Successful thread jack
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Old 04-17-12, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
Successful thread jack
Hot Orbea!! Nice new pics!
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Old 04-20-12, 10:15 AM
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DDFred - Thanks for the post. I called Orbea and got some clarification/confirmation. The Gold GLi2 has internal cable routing, while the Silver SLi2 is still external. The Silver has a softer ride and the Gold is more responsive. Gold saves about 6 ounces of weight.

So, I guess it is all a matter of preference and money. If the SLi2 had the internal cable routing, it would be an easy choice. Coming off a Roubaix, I've gotten used to a comfy ride and I'm able to hold my own on hills. Furthermore, I could save the 6 ounces by just going to a lighter wheel and still have some cash left over.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:29 PM
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Note that the Tarmac 56 is actually a 56.5. So the 57 isn't as much of a stretch as it might appear.
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Old 05-25-12, 04:49 PM
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bar tape

I usually don't like white, but damn, hot bike.

What bar tape is that? (I see some lettering, but my eyes suck and I can't make it out) It looks comfy... Lookin to change out this crappy microtex tape for something that's actually comfortable.

Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
I have the '12 Orca silver, chose it over the gold because I didn't think 1000 dollars more for 130g weight savings was worth it. I've ridden both and I can't say I can tell a difference, plus I didn't like the colored accent pieces over the black silver ones on the silver models. I went with the white on carbon and was going to to Ui2 but decided to go back to mech. Dura Ace and love the new 7900, switched from an 09 orca with 7800.
My friend has a '12 SL4 pro, and its a beautiful bike, I've ridden it as well and what I notice is that thing is major stiff...you feel everything. You can tell its a race bike but its just a bit too stiff for me. (no jokes please lol)

I opted for the orca golds monolink seat post and saddle. I just bought the frame and did a custom build by the way, I also used the s-works carbon crank instead of the DA crank and saved a few grams there. went with my old vuka sprint bars, zipp sl stem and firecrest 404s on gp4000s

here are some pics,
either way you wont go wrong with the sl4 or the orca silver. I'm an Orca guy so I stuck with it, although I did consider the venge pro for a hot second.

Last edited by period3; 05-25-12 at 04:50 PM. Reason: deleted pics in quoted text
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Old 05-25-12, 05:06 PM
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Very nice bike DDFred. I love white/black bikes, my BMC has a similar color scheme.
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Old 05-25-12, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by period3 View Post
I usually don't like white, but damn, hot bike.

What bar tape is that? (I see some lettering, but my eyes suck and I can't make it out) It looks comfy... Lookin to change out this crappy microtex tape for something that's actually comfortable.
that arundel gecko tape...its nice...I like it.
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Old 05-25-12, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikeedgar View Post
DDFred - Thanks for the post. I called Orbea and got some clarification/confirmation. The Gold GLi2 has internal cable routing, while the Silver SLi2 is still external. The Silver has a softer ride and the Gold is more responsive. Gold saves about 6 ounces of weight.

So, I guess it is all a matter of preference and money. If the SLi2 had the internal cable routing, it would be an easy choice. Coming off a Roubaix, I've gotten used to a comfy ride and I'm able to hold my own on hills. Furthermore, I could save the 6 ounces by just going to a lighter wheel and still have some cash left over.
btw, ive ridden both and I gotta say the weight isn't worth the stiffness...its nice to have a little bit of compliance when putting in long miles. FWIW I think the silvers look better...I don't care for the colored anodized pieces...I have a friend who has the gold (that weighs more than mine and it has red and the same wheels) and it doesn't look near as good as mine.
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