Product Review: Orbea Rise

Disclaimer: I suck at mountain biking. I'm an avid skier, so summer for me was always disappointing. I tried hiking, but I found it to be super boring. Every summer, I missed being able to take in the views while going dangerously fast down the mountain. When my husband Raph and OMG's Mike suggested we take up mountain biking, I was incredibly hesitant. After all, I had not ridden a bike since I was a kid (and it was in Florida, aka the flattest state known to man).

Adding to my hesitation was the fact that a have a cardiac arrhythmia (that's doctor talk for my heart beats too fast). Although I'm an active person, I still have my limitations. Skiing is rarely a problem for me since taking a chairlift up removes the most physical part. When thinking about trying mountain biking, I had the concern of how I would handle the uphill parts. Luckily for me, this is where the Orbea Rise came to the rescue.

In an effort to convert me to the world of mountain biking, Mike lent us some bikes to take to Elk Meadows. I had fun on the flat parts and the downhill portions, so I was ready to commit. However, I thought I was going to die on the uphill. We got maybe halfway up, and I needed to stop at a bench to let my heart recover. Once I could breathe, I immediately called OMG. True story, Mike answered and was worried I was dying. I told him I was fine and to not sell the Rise he had in stock in my size. I gave him his bike back, and I walked out with my new shiny e-bike.

The Orbea Rise has made me feel like a regular person. In fact, I actually enjoy the uphill treks more than the downhill speed! During last summer when I was learning how to go downhill without crashing, we would frequently visit ski resorts to take the service roads uphill. I could put the Rise in full power mode, and I ripped up the mountain with little impact to my heart. Honestly, it's the most "normal" I have felt in my life. I could reach the top of peaks that the summer chairlifts don't go to and places I couldn't physically hike to. It has opened up a whole new world for me and has finally made summer recreating accessible. 

I can now take green downhill runs without falling, which was a scary accomplishment for me as someone who isn't confident on a bike. My favorite memory (so far) on my Rise actually has nothing to do with the mountains. We took a long weekend trip to Palisade to enjoy the warm weather and the wineries. We spent an entire day going from winery to winery on our bikes, and having the electric assist kept me from dying in the 90 degree heat. Sure it might not have been the adrenaline-fueled adventure most people want on their bike, but it showed me just how versatile this bike could be. I also got a ton of compliments on how cool my bike looked when it was parked next to the pavement-princess rentals that were abundant there. 

Overall, the Orbea Rise is *meant* to be the most seamless e-bike you can take on the mountain with it's lightweight feel (for an e-bike) and adjustable assist levels. These features make the Rise an appealing option for someone who wants an e-bike with minimal limitations on the downhill portion. For me though, the Rise has been the best equipment for accessibility. I hope other people who have similar limitations to me while see the Rise as a potential aid to them, or perhaps a true mountain biker will see it as an option for one bike to do it all!


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