I bought an Orbea XLR8R frame 4 months ago. They don't make this frame in the 2004 model and replaced it with the carbon frame. I researched long and hard on the Orbea frames and history. I wrote and received emails from several pro riders who race Orbea frames all with very positive comments. I could find nothing bad about them, and I must say with having trained on mine for 4 months now it's the best bike I have ridden. It's fast, climbs great, handles great, and has an excellent ride. Go for it!!!
The Orbeas are absoulutely beautiful. Just saw the 2004 Lobular Carbon and it is amazing in the Euskaltel Team colors. The ride is great. I have yet to see an Orbea that I didn't like. Great colors, design, ride, and craftsmanship. Remember, that none of the Orbeas use decals. All the graphics and details are painted.
To the fellow above, ride the M1, M-2, M-3, or M-4 to get an idea of what the Mitis Carbon feels like. You will really notice a difference. It is $250.00 more.
For those of you with the Orbeas (the Lobulars in paticular). Do they look okay in the sloping geometry? I know Orbea is huge on the sloping thing but I never really liked the way it looked. I always get a feminine impression from them (you know, male bikes are notorious for having the standard top tubes, female bikes for the sloping).
I'll admit that I've raced for Orbea for the last year and a half; but I have been very impressed with their bikes: both mountain and road. Strong and reasonably light (my XLR8R is about 16.8 lbs), they are well balanced bikes. Here are my impressions: they're road frames seem to be a nice compromise between agressive sloping and standard geometry. I can easily fit a HUGE water bottle on my seattube and never have it hit the top tube as I extract it, and that is on a 54cm frame. Also, the geometry seems very race oriented. I'm not saying that a rec. rider wouldn't enjoy their bikes (I can't keep my dad away from mine) but they turn real quick- which I LOVE- and climb even quicker. I'm selling mine right now, been riden for 4 months, and getting a Mitis with full 10 speed DA and AMclassic wheels.
I recently got an Orbea Lobular (Columbus aluminum series 6000) and Zeus carbon rear triangle with the Ultegra components, FSA headseat integrated, American Classic sprint 350 wheels with 9 speed Dura Ace casette 11-23 and other goodies. I have to tell you that the bikes feels great, minimal flexing, responds quick and absorbs 85% of the bad road vibration, a big difference compare to my 2.8 Aluminum Cannondale. The bike weighed in at 16.12 lbs without pedals when done at bike shop scale. The paint job is awsome and very precise. No decals, all names or logos are painted. Carbon pieces are top notch and bike is warranty for life(frame only).