This article compares the differences between the Cervelo R5 and Orbea Orca.
The comparison covers the model lineups, specifications, and retail pricing. It compares the carbon fiber technology ( vs Orbea Monocoque (TorayCa) Carbon) and frameset technologies on each bike.
The objective is to provide you with a clearer understanding of Cervelo R5 vs Orbea Orca before making the purchasing decision.
|Cervelo R5||Orbea Orca|
|Type of bike||Lightweight, all-rounder||Lightweight, all-rounder|
|Frame material||Cervelo carbon||OMX (T1100) carbon|
OMR (T800) carbon
|Frame sizes||48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61||47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 60|
|Groupset||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc||Hydraulic disc|
|Price (USD)||$9,000 to $13,000||$3,599 to $11,599|
The Cervélo R5 is an all-rounder road race bike. The Cervélo R5 sits at the top with the best components and is ridden by Jonas Vingegaard to win the 2022 and 2023 Tour de France.
Cervélo R5 and R-Series (discontinued in 2022) share the same carbon fiber material. Cervélo calls the carbon tubing design, the Squoval Max, a reference to the combination of Square and Oval tube shapes to achieve a balance between weight, stiffness, and aerodynamic benefits according to their CFD analysis.
The Cervélo R5 is disc-only with an integrated cockpit. It’s also available in a frameset only.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||Reserve 34/37||$13,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Reserve 34/37||$13,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Reserve 34/37||$9,000|
|Cervelo R5||Carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Reserve 34/37||$9,000|
The latest Orbea Orca was launched in mid-July 2023, during the last week of the Tour de France.
Compared to its predecessor, the 2024 Orbea Orca is a lot lighter (832g previously vs 750g for a size 53 frame). This is achieved using a traditional-looking, round tube frame without the dropped seat stays seen on the majority of road bikes today. At 6.7kg for the top-of-the-line M11eLTD PWR model with SRAM Red AXS, it’s among the lightest, disc brake road bikes available today, alongside the likes of Cannondale Supersix Evo LAB71 and Cervelo R5.
Like many other Orbea models, the Orbea Orca offers a lot of customization options for the riders, thanks to the MyO configurator. There are 11 models available with either Shimano or SRAM electronic shifting groupsets. The models with PWR indicate it comes with a power meter, the LTD models use the highest grade OMX carbon.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Orbea Orca M11eLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$11,599|
|Orbea Orca M10iLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$11,599|
|Orbea Orca M21eLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$7,999|
|Orbea Orca M20iLTD||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$6,999|
|Orbea Orca M31eLTD||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M31iLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M21eTEAM PWR||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$6,899|
|Orbea Orca M21iTEAM||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M31eTEAM||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Oquo RP35PRO (alloy)||$4,699|
|Orbea Orca M35i||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$4,599|
|Orbea Orca M30i||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP35PRO (alloy)||$3,599|
Orbea Orca vs others
Cervelo vs Orbea carbon fiber
Cervelo doesn’t publicly release information about the types of carbon fiber used on their road bikes.
From my observation of the current Cervelo bikes lineups, there are at least two carbon fiber grades used.
- Highest grade. Cervelo R5 and S5 could be using the highest carbon fiber grade of all the models. These are pure race bikes used by the pros and would likely have the best carbon fiber available at Cervelo.
- Mid-grade. Cervelo Caledonia and Soloist could be using a mid-level carbon and heavier fiber grade of all the models. These are endurance bikes that prioritize comfort over stiffness. So it’s not a surprise to see a lower-grade carbon fiber being used here.
Orbea Monocoque (TorayCa) Carbon
Orbea uses carbon fiber from TorayCa in their bikes. It’s one of the handful of bike manufacturers that uses a monocoque carbon fiber construction, resulting in a lighter and stiffer frameset. The two most prominent types of carbon used in Orbea’s bike frames are OMX (T1100K) and OMR (T800) carbon.
- OMX (Orbea Monocoque X) carbon is Orbea’s top-grade carbon fiber, with the ultimate blend of stiffness, lightness, and strength. Monocoque refers to a type of construction technique where the external skin supports the structural load, which, when applied to bike frames, results in a balance of strength and weight. Due to its high manufacturing cost, OMX carbon is typically reserved for Orbea’s top-tier models.
- OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race) is the standard carbon composite used by Orbea. While OMR doesn’t match the absolute performance capabilities of OMX, it offers a fantastic performance-to-value ratio. This makes it a great choice for riders looking for top-notch performance without the premium price tag of the top-grade OMX carbon.
Frameset technologies and innovations
Cervelo R5 and Orbea Orca framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.
Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.
Unlike other road bike brands, there is minimal information about the technologies used in the Cervélo R5 frameset. The most obvious, and talked-about feature is the Squoval tube shapes.
Squoval stands for square-oval tube shapes. They are a unique design feature that combines the benefits of both square and oval tubes to produce frames that are stiff, light, and aero.
According to Cervélo, the seat tube doesn’t undergo much stress compared to the down and top tubes. Hence, the Cervélo engineers designed a smaller, thinner, and lighter seat tube. On the other hand, the down and top tubes are beefed up to be stiff, and strong while using as little material as possible. This led to the square-oval design seen on the R5.
|Monocoque Carbon Construction||Monocoque carbon construction is a process that uses the most advanced carbon technology to create the most sophisticated bike frames possible. Monocoque means that the frame is made of a single piece of carbon fiber, rather than multiple pieces joined together. This ensures that the frame is lighter, stiffer, and stronger, as there are no weak points or excess material. |
Orbea has two grades of carbon fibers; OMX (Orbea Monocoque X-Light) and OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race). Orbea also uses a bladder molding technique with EPS (expanded polystyrene) forms and PU (polyurethane) inserts to prevent wrinkles and gaps in the carbon layers, which can compromise the quality and durability of the frame.
|ICR Plus||This stands for Internal Cable Routing, which is a system that routes all the cables neatly through the bar, stem, and headset for a clean look and improved aerodynamics. ICR also makes it easier to maintain and service the bike compare to other bike brands’ solutions.|
|Powerspine||Powerspine is a frame design technology that enhances the stiffness and power transmission of the bike. The Powerspine is the lower spine of the frame that handles the large majority of torsional and lateral loads. This means that the frame is stiff in the right places, which results in direct power transfer to the rear wheel and more efficient pedaling. |
The Powerspine also contributes to the lightness and aerodynamics of the Orca, as it eliminates unnecessary material and reduces drag.