Martin Maes races a modified e-bike in the Fort William World Cup Downhill

We’re gearing up for the first round of the World Cup Downhill circuit, and quite a few brands are unveiling new downhill bikes for the occasion. Among them is (sort of) Orbea, with an unusual one-off version piloted by Martin Maes. This downhill rig is an Orbea Wild eMTB, with no motor or battery, and a modified linkage to provide 200mm of rear wheel travel.
As you can see in the photos above, the rocker link on Maes’ bike is considerably longer than the stock option, and the seatstays appear to be slightly different. The standard bike uses carbon struts, while the DH version has aluminum members.
They have changed the frame, but we are assured that there is no foul play involved and in fact no motor is fitted to the bike. Apparently the reason for using the Wild as the base frame for this custom road bike was due to the packaging limitations on the Rallon platform – if you want to pack more travel into a bike, it makes sense to put it on the one with more space.

I would venture to guess that they have fabricated some sort of anchor that screws into the Bosch motor housing, allowing them to use a typical bottom bracket and crank setup. Perhaps there is some opportunity to tune the chassis weight, with the extra volume the frame inherently contains.

Apart from the changes to the clutch and motor/battery, the bike appears to be stock. There’s a gold-on-gold Fox 40 mounted up front, a mix-and-match Shimano drivetrain, Saint brakes and a Fox DHX2 with mounts for a telemetry setup.

No word yet from Orbea on this unique build, but we’ll be sure to update if we hear anything. Good luck to Martin on board this unique beast.