WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO CONVERT IT?
The Orbea Rise is a great bike, no doubt. But maybe for some of you converting this already very capable bike into a ride with more travel front and back, a 27.5 inch rear wheel and a slacker head tube angle is a job worth considering.
I have successfully converted my 2022 Rise M10 into a Mullet bike and simply want to share my experience with you. Maybe you can draw some inspiration out of this article in case your’re also thinking about converting your Rise.
One of my goals was not to mess around with the bikes’ geometry too much and to keep the expenses reasonable.
Here is a rough explanation of how the following changes interact with each other. The numbers are based on the parts used for this project (#parts-list).
EFFECTS ON GEOMETRY
Front suspension: As a rule of thumb adding 10mm of front travel will slacken the head (and seat) tube angle by roughly 0.5°. But this won’t be the final result since we will also install a smaller rear wheel and a longer shock.
Rear suspension: We will be adding rear travel which requires a shock with more stroke. Which means that the shock length will be longer too. Combined with offset bushings the “new” eye-to-eye distance of the shock will raise the rear by 10mm.
Rear wheel: Swapping the 29″ for a 27.5″ lowers the rear axle height by roughly 15mm. In combination with the longer shock the rear end will be about 5mm lower than stock. This will also slacken the head angle by another 0.5°.
Bottom bracket height will be slightly lower than stock.
Head angle: Will result in 64.5° – one degree slacker than stock!
Reach will get shorter: at least 10mm on frame size M.
Stack will get slightly higher.
A quick overview of the three major changes (and the forth one):
- Replace the shock
- dimensions: 216x63mm (e.g. DVO Topaz T3 Air)
- replace stock rear bushing with an offset bushing (2mm)
- Replace the rear wheel
- install a 27.5″ wheel
- Increase the fork travel
- by replacing the air spring
- Shorten the chain
- by two links
SHOCK & BUSHINGS
The original shock that measures 210mm x 55mm. We need to replace it by a shock with the following specs to meet our needs:
shock length x stroke = 216mm x 63mm (8.5″ x 2.5″).
Effect of changing the stroke:
More stroke translates into more travel. The leverage ratio of the Orbea Rise is roughly 2,55 : 1 – meaning 8mm more stroke adds a bit more than 20mm of travel. Finally this results in 162mm of rear travel compared to the stock 140mm. Some shocks (like the DVO Topaz) allows to easily reduce stroke with travel spacers, which I use.
Effect of changing the shock length
Increasing the shock length will raise the rear since it “pushes” the linkage downwards. We want this effect since it compensates for the smaller rear wheel to keep the rear higher. In our case it would raise the rear for 2,55 x 6mm = 15mm. BUT: this is only theory. The linkage of the Rise is not designed for it.
There should be a gap between the the seatstays and the linkage. See pictures:
The solution: Fit a shock with 216x63mm and use it with a 2mm offset bushing.
That way we can reduce the effective shock length by 2mm. This solves the above mentioned problem and leaves enough room at the pivot between the linkage and seatstays:
offsetbushings.com offers great bushings for your Rise. You only need to measure the width of the original rear bushing when ordering, cause Orbea uses two different ones throughout production (either 15.7mm or 16.5mm).
You can opt for a DVO Topaz Air T3 shock – it has great tuning options, a reasonable price tag and fits into the frame in size medium nicely. And its stroke can be reduced easily with stroke reducers. I’ve also seen riders posting pictures of their Rises with coil sprung shocks as well – like the Fox DHX2 for example. But be aware that not all shocks may fit your frame or frame size.
But back to offset bushings. You only need to install one offset bushing (the rear one with 15.7 respectively 16.5mm).
Installation is pretty straight forward and can be done without special tools:
- put the offset bushing into the freezer (to shrink it a bit which makes fitting easier – 30 minutes should be enough).
- Remove the original mounting hardware including the DU bushing from the rear shock eyelet.
- Install the DU bushing which came with your offset bushing into the shock’s eyelet. Pushing it against a plane surface like a desk will do the trick.
- get the cold offset bushing and push it into the DU bushing (they’re pressfit – the cold temperature shrunk the material a bit, so it’s easier to install).
- install the spacers that came with your offset bushings.
INCREASE THE TRAVEL OF THE FORK
This paragraph is dedicated to increasing the travel of a Fox 36. This is by far the most challenging part of this project. But if you’ve ever done a lower leg service on a modern fork you should be fine. As for any kind of work proper preparation is key for a great result.
The Fox 36 comes either with a GRIP (or GRIP2) damper cartridge, or with the FIT4. We only want to change the air spring and will not touch the damper side internals at all, but oil amount and type of oil differs between GRIP or FIT forks. I strongly recommend visiting ridefox.com to find information specific to your product by searching with your 4-digit product code, serial number or on newer forks by scanning the QR code on the fork crown.
I will cover the conversion from 150 to 160mm for a Fox 36 GRIP2 fork here, but not in full detail because there is enough official information from Fox to get the job done. But this can help you navigate through the information jungle:
First off: Make sure you use the correct oil chart for your forks’ production year – in this case 2021. Note that the 5wt Oil is Teflon infused (contains PTFE).
Watch the official Fox tutorial on how to change fork travel – but ignore their oil volume recommendations since they don’t apply to the Fox 36 2021 GRIP fork (see chart above instead):
Could be that it will be necessary to shorten the chain by two links. To verify just check the chain tension when on the smallest sprocket on your cassette.
Shimano 12 speed chains are “directional” – their logo should face away from the bike.
Swap the rear wheel for a proper 27.5 inch wheel with a 12×148 axle. More details in the #parts-list
Parts for a Fox 36 2021 and newer with GRIP cartridge
Air spring kit (includes 8mm crush washer and retaining ring): 820-02-572-KIT
Crush washer 13mm (damper side): 241-01-011
– Fox Oil: 5 wt Teflon induced: 025-03-023
– Fox Oil: 20 wt gold: 025-03-072
– Slick Honey or R.S.P. Slick Kick
216x63mm (8.5×2.5″). For example:
optional: stroke reducer 5mm: DVO 1561059
15.7 x 8mm respectively 16.5 x 8mm (you need to measure your width.
available at offsetbushings.com
Get a proper 27.5″ rear wheel with 12x148mm and a Shimano Micro Spline freehub body. For reference: the stock Turbine R30 on the M10 have an inner width of 30mm.
Shimano recommends to replace it once opened:
Some words about the weight: with 2.4″ Schwalbe Tires with Super Trail casing (Magic Mary / Big Betty) and 60ml sealant in each tire, the converted Rise weighs 19.0kg without pedals.
Talking about costs: I managed to keep the budget under € 700 by buying online and not bothering bike shops and their mechanics. The highest expenses are the shock and the rear wheel for sure. But in relation to the pricetag of the bike itself it is an affordable way to costumize your Rise for even more aggressive riding.
The numbers stated throughout the article are theoretical and may differ in real world scenarios. It is also worth having a look at Orbea’s Blue Paper before starting this project (it’s worth mentioning that the maximum axle – crown distance will be exceeded by 10mm after the job is done). Use grease for the shock mounting bolts according to the Blue Paper – take great care when mounting the one going directly into the frame (you don’t want to ruin the thread of your carbon frame).
Hopefully you got a bit of an insight on this fun little project. Maybe it inspired you to customize your Rise as well.
Let me know what you think about it and feel free to leave a comment.
How does it ride?
Since this can be quite subjective, a bit of background information about myself might be helpful, so here we go: with becoming a proud father last summer time management has become an even bigger topic to deal with. Meaning that whole days out in a bike park away from home would be a big deal. Thankfully we have some decent trails about 15km away from home. Wanting to pack as many decents into a timeframe of max. two hours I decided to sell my YT Tues and my YT Capra in order to free some money for an eBike.
Coming from 27.5 inch bikes I was skeptical about 29ers at first. But after some research on the internet I decided to give the Rise a shot – bought it and convert it into a mullet right away.
And it rides fantastic, just the way I like it. My bike buddies say I am a playful rider, and they must be right. I love to flick the back end into corners, to take off at rocks or bumps of different sizes and to work the bike underneath me. All easy on this bike. Of course it’s not the same as a riding a YT Capra, but I feel faster on the Rise. It’s so confidence inspiring.
Riding the FOX 36 with only two tokens I was bottoming out a couple of times on a jump with a sketchy, rather flat landing, which made this horrible clonking sound (like in the old 98er Marzocchi bomber days, haha). After adding a third volume spacer that issue was fixed.
The DVO Topaz instead is a beast of a shock right out of the box. Having put three volume spacers in the positive air chamber gives me enough progression. And one spacer in the negative chamber for more mid stroke support. Weighing 78kg with riding gear I ride with 185 psi in the air spring and 185 psi in the bladder. I have a 5mm stroke reducer installed to get 150mm of rear travel. Sag is about 28%. I mostly ride with the compression lever in the open position (standard tune) – works fine for my style of riding.
The Rise climbs like a goat – wait, isn’t there a bike out there called “the goat”? Yes, the Capra. Having owned one of the earlier models I can say that the Rise climbs even better – because it has a motor, and it is called rise. It is like comparing apples with bananas, I know… I just like silly word plays. Seriously, the only thing I noticed is hitting the pedals on rocks way more often when going uphill rather than downhill. Guess I need to improve my uphill riding skills…
With the range extender and rather heavy rolling tires (Magic Mary and Big Betty) with 1.5 bar air pressure riding on soft soil I managed 1650 meters difference in altitude on 33 km within 2h riding time – how awesome is that?
One thing about the extra battery: it gets drained first, which is great! After three laps I just put it into my backpack and rode the next four laps with the main battery. The extra battery sits quite low and is mounted ultra stable.
Some words about the maximum assistance speed: with the smaller wheel it decreases by nearly five percent. My local Orbea dealer said that Orbea doesn’t offer a correction of the wheel circumference regarding the assistance speed limit, since the EP8 RS is only used in 29ers. I can live with it.
I am falling in love with this bike more and more. It has noticable less weight compared to a “full fat” eBike, it is versatile (29er for touring or trail riding and mullet for bigger hits with more travel and stability) and it is a game changer regarding the amount of laps possible in a short amount of time.
See you on the shredlines – Phil