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Orbea Rise M10 Review: A Lightweight E-Bike

“You’re cheating!”

“Motorcycles…sweet!”

“Honestly, my “issue” with e-bikes will be with the cheaters. You know the types. I’ve already seen some of the souped up e-bikes for sale that will hit 40 mph. It’s going to be up to the e-bike riders to help police this so they and we don’t lose trail access because of a few bad apples.”

“Earn your downhill, slacker.”

These are just a few comments from my local Facebook Mountain Bike group. You might have witnessed the never-ending e-bike controversy online or in bike shops, but whether or not you agree with the use of e-bikes on the trail, they are here to stay.

Fortunately, bike companies like Orbea, Specialized, and Pivot brought their A-game when designing e-bikes. Known for their back-breaking weight, planted feeling on the downhill, and ability to get you uphill in record time, e-mountain bikes (eMTB) evolved into super lightweight, nimble bikes.

Orbea introduced the Rise e-MTB with several different models to choose from. I chose the M10.

orbea rise e bike review

So, out of all the models offered, what makes the M10 stand out? It offers a similar Shimano EP8 motor that is featured on several e-MTBs on the market.

The main difference between the EP8 motor and the EP8-RS motor featured on the Rise is that Orbea limited the torque to 60Nm (newton-meter) instead of the traditional 85Nm. According to an Orbea Press Release:

 “This isn´t just an EP8 with limited torque but rather a totally new control system designed to give the quietest, most natural feeling assistance possible with no lag or drag. The EP8-RS is optimized in the 75-95rpm cadence range so that just as you are pedaling harder the Rise responds instantly with more power, and this is one of the reasons it feels so alive and natural.”

By doing this, Orbea created a ride that feels more like a regular bike than a traditional heavy eMTB. It still requires a little bit more effort from your legs but provides you enough power to tackle any climb.


Review in a Nutshell

Pros:

  • Super lightweight 
  • Perfect amount of travel for any type of trail
  • Ability to customize when ordering from Orbea
  • Full-size Shimano motor with smooth power transitions to make the ride feel natural
  • Extremely nimble
  • Shimano E-Steps app allows you to customize the feel of the motor

Cons:

  • Small rotors
  • Battery display costs extra

Price & Where to Buy:


Battery Life and Shimano EP8-RS Motor

One of the main selling points of the Rise M10 is its smaller battery. Putting a 360kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery in the downtube allowed Orbea to make the Rise M10 the ultimate lightweight e-MTB shredder.

Topping out at 38.5 pounds (without pedals), the Rise M10 is one of the lightest eMTBs on the market. For comparison, the Specialized Levo Turbo weighs ten pounds more.

The battery is designed to allow the rider three options for power. You can either ride in eco mode, trail mode, or boost mode. I find myself staying in trail mode 90% of the time unless there is a punchy climb and then I’ll kick it into boost.

Depending on which mode you ride in, the battery can last anywhere from an hour to three hours. Another option if you’re looking to shred longer is the range extender.

Orbea designed a 252kWh external battery that weighs only three pounds and fits perfectly into a bottle cage. With the range extender, you now have a full-size battery for half the weight of a regular eMTB. 

Orbea paired the smaller battery with the Shimano EP8-RS motor. Designed by Orbea and Shimano, the motor is an ultralight machine that packs in 60Nm of torque, which allows you endless customization through the Shimano E-Steps app.

power button on the orbea rise

The design of this motor allows you to decide how much you want to work. If I’m solely doing cross-country and want to get a good workout in, I will throw it in eco mode with little assistance.

If I plan to lap a downhill trail, I typically switch it between trail and boost mode to be as efficient as possible and not create unnecessary fatigue so I’m ready to give my all on the downhill. Just know that boost mode drains the battery significantly faster than trail and eco mode.

The one thing I do not like about the Rise M10 is the fact that Orbea didn’t include a battery display. They wanted the bike to look sleek and uncomplicated, so they included a battery indicator with a few colored dots that tell you which mode you’re in. The battery indicator only shows a green light for 20%-100% charge and a red light to show 20% or less battery.

power indicator

This makes me uneasy when I’m out on a ride and I do not know exactly how much battery life I have left. The only way to check is to log into the Shimano E-Steps app which isn’t always the easiest to connect to the bike, especially if you’re in the mountains without cell phone service.

If you want the physical display, it can cost you around $100. I’ve reached out to fellow Rise M10 owners on Facebook and Reddit and several people just “learn” how far they can go in each mode. While this might work for some people, it doesn’t work for my OCD brain.  

Do I really need an eMTB?

When I first got the Rise, I wasn’t sure I would use it as much as my regular mountain bike. It was an investment, to say the least, and I was hesitant to purchase it when I already had an amazing bike that I loved.

Within the first month of owning the Rise, I put over 100 miles on it. It was an efficient way to get outside, ride my bike, and be home at a decent time to play with my toddler. Mind you, I was seven months pregnant with my second baby when I bought this bike, and let’s just say it allowed me to continue to ride during my difficult pregnancy.

Just remember that you do not NEED an excuse to buy an eMTB. You do not NEED to have medical issues, joint pain, asthma, or anything to justify riding an eMTB. The pressure to always “earn your turn” in the mountain biking community is so toxic.

The most important thing is that you’re smiling and having fun when you’re on the bike. Some of my favorite rides have been on my Rise M10 and I do not regret getting an eMTB even if it means I’ll be shamed by fellow mountain bikers in my community. 

biking while pregnant

So, who is this bike for?

This bike is for any rider that wants extra assistance without sacrificing the feel of a regular mountain bike. It has enough torque to still get your heart rate up but is light enough to hit jumps and drops like you would on your regular trail bike.

If you’re someone who wants to hit 5,000 feet of vert and 30 miles with little assistance, this is not the bike for you. Because of the smaller battery, riding in boost mode drains its juice extremely fast. I was only able to do 12 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing in boost mode before draining the battery.

Other things to keep in mind about battery life are temperature, rider weight, and settings. Colder temps will drain the battery significantly faster than warmer temps, so riding during winter can mean shorter rides, especially if you want to ride in boost mode. 

Before deciding which eMTB is right for you, it is important to consider what and where you want to ride. I live in Colorado and climbing 3,000-5,000 feet is common.

If I want to do a longer ride with lots of vert, I can only do it in eco mode. The range extender is an excellent option for the longer days in the saddle, but it still isn’t going to give you the same amount of time in boost mode that a full-size eMTB would.

Climbing and Descending

Climbing on the Rise is like floating on a fluffy little cloud. It’s smooth, controlled, and has enough torque to get me up the nasty punchy climbs in the mountains.

I’ve ridden this bike on all different trails and I will say that it takes some getting used to when it comes to technical climbing. Once you get the hang of climbing rocky steep sections, you realize how lightweight the front end of this bike is.

It allows you to easily pop the front wheel up and over any obstacle while the smooth EP8-RS motor gently guides the rear end up the trail. Paired with the super smooth motor, Orbea put Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain to make shifting smooth and effortless.

cockpit

One thing to note about the Rise is that the bike performs better when the rider uses a higher cadence. The motor can feel sluggish if you’re pedaling below 70rpm. Another drawback about the Rise is the stock tires leave something to be desired.

Orbea puts a 2.4 Maxxis Disscetor on the front wheel and a 2.4 Maxxis Rekon tire on the rear. Although they are super light it is not the ideal tire for my riding conditions. I like something with a little more grip like the 2.5 Maxxis Minion DHF on the front and 2.4 Maxxis Minion DHR on the rear. I will sacrifice weight for the extra traction. 

I was super impressed when descending on the Rise M10. It is extremely nimble and handles like a regular mountain bike. I can ride any trail on the Rise M10 that I ride on my long travel bike and feel confident hitting any feature.

My biggest gripe with the Rise when it comes to descending is the rotors. Orbea specked this bike to have a 180mm rotor on the front and back and the bike is begging for bigger rotors.

Because the bike is heavier, I definitely thought they would have put a 220mm rotor up front and a 200mm in the rear. I do not feel as confident in the brakes when riding gnarly trails.

I find myself being a little more cautious on steep terrain because the smaller rotors can get hot much faster making the performance of the brakes subpar. With that being said, the Rise M10 is a super fun all-trail bike that can handle just about anything you throw at it. 

riding the orbea rise

Specs and Sizing

The Rise M10 is a carbon steed that comes specked with a 140mm Fox FLOAT X Factory shock and a 150mm Fox 26 Float factory fork. This is the perfect combination for just about any trail.

It comes with a Shimano XT drivetrain and the 12-speed cassette makes climbing even easier. The Shimano XT 4-piston brakes work like a dream, but the 180mm rotors leave something to be desired on steep techy downhill trails.

It comes with a Fizik Taiga saddle that does not agree with my sit-bones so I immediately put my favorite women’s specific saddle on it.

The M10 comes with a charger that easily plugs in and completes a full charge in about 5 hours. A few things to remember when owning an eMTB is to always plug the charger into the bike FIRST and then into the outlet second.

This protects the battery from an electrical shortage and will prolong the battery life. It is also important to store your bike inside if you live in a colder climate. The cold can do major damage to the battery and reduce its life.

If the temperature outside drops below freezing, bring your eMTB inside. With that being said, you can ABSOLUTELY rip the Rise M10 in cold weather. This is simply for storage of the bike. 

I am about 5’8 and ride a large Rise M10. I could definitely fit on a medium, but I like the feel of a larger bike. Orbea sizing guide is as follows:

HEIGHT ( CM )HEIGHT ( IN )SIZE
150-16559.1″-65.0″S
160-17563.0″-68.9″M
170-18566.9″-72.8″L
180-19870.9″-78.0″XL

Bottom-Line

This bike rips. It is a shredding machine and is light enough to make the ride feel effortless.

If you’re looking to add an eMTB to your collection, the Rise M10 should be a contender. With a few upgrades to the brakes, tires, and saddle, this bike will allow you to do just about anything.

This bike is perfect for hitting the trails while still putting in a little effort. If you plan to have full assistance all the time, this bike might not be for you.

With its hefty price tag, it is important to consider what your riding goals are. If you’re questioning whether or not you’ll actually ride the Rise M10, you will.

This bike is perfect for adventuring, recovery rides, and just a good time on the bike. You will not regret your decision to add this shred machine to your collection.

orbea rise on the bike rack

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About The Reviewer

colorado springs mountain biking

Malorie Gage has been mountain biking, road, gravel cycling for many years. She lives in Colorado where she’s raising two tiny humans and balancing biking and motherhood.

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