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Sunday, August 24, 2008
Orbea Alma Team Carbon Mountain Bike
Image: Courtesy of Orbea Bicycles

Orbea Alma Team Carbon Mountain Bike

Julien Absalon, riding a specially prepared Orbea Alma Team SL2.5r Carbon Mountain Bike from Spain's Orbea Bicycles, won a gold medal for France at the Beijing Olympics yesterday in the Mountain Bike X-Country event. Orbea's production version of the race winning Beijing mountain bike is called the Alma Team.

The Orbea Alma Team mountain bike is very light, weighing just 9.9 kg (21.8 lbs), with a front suspension and a fixed rear. The Alma Team's frame is made of carbon fiber and the front forks are Rock Shox's Reba Team. The Orbea Alma Team has a Truvativ Noir crankset mated to a Shimano HG 93 chain and an SRAM 990 Cog. Gear changes are performed using an SRAM X.0 rear derailleur, an SRAM X.9 front derailleur. with XRAM Trigger X.0 shift levers. The steering headset is a 1 1/8 Semiintegarted ALU, and the handlebars are Zeus Flat Carbon.

For braking, the Alma Team model has Avid Ultimate hydraulic brakes and brake levers. For the contact patch on the Alma Team, Orbea has chosen Hutchinson Python Tubeless Light Tires, and has mounted these on Fulcrum Zero rims. For seating, the Orbea Alma Team has a Selle Italia SLR XC Gel Flow seat. For those who are interested in purchasing a close replica of the Beijing race winning bike, the Orbea Alma Team retails in the United States at a cost of approximately $6000.00.

As a point of interest, Orbea says that Julien Absalon's Alma Team SL2.5r Beijing Olympics model had a specially designed frame for the Bejing circuit, and the Avid hydraulic brakes and discs were from Orbea's Black Box programme. The front forks were upgraded to a professional Rock Shox (SID) WC series, which are scheduled to appear on the 2009 Orbea Mountain Bike series, and give an additional weight reduction of 40 g to the standard Alma Team model.  The Beijing SL2.5r model also had a Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbon seat with titanium rails that weighed only 125 g. Based upon Absalon's Beijing success, Orbea could bring out a version of the Beijing Alma Team SL2.5r for purchase.

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