Video Review: Orbea Terra Carbon Gravel Bike (M20i-D) – Long Term Review

The Orbea Terra M20i-D carbon gravel bike arrived on the doorstep of Gravel Cyclist HQ in May of 2017. Since that time, the Terra has been ridden and raced at the 2017 Dirty Kanza 200. In between, it has racked up a ton of training miles aboard multiple wheelsets in 650b and 700c, along with multiple tyre combinations. This comprehensive review also features a good amount of drone footage.

Thank you to American Classic, Shimano Road, Schwalbe, WTB, Panaracer, Full Speed Ahead (FSA), and Orange Seal Cycling for wheels, tyres, sealant and components that were an integral part of this review.

Thanks for watching!

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  1. Avatar Marcus

    Thanks for your interesting review.
    This bike was high on my short list but I was a little bit surprised to get a delivery date in late March 18 on the Spanish website. The video does not make my decision easier to look somewhere else.

    • JOM JOM

      Hi Marcus. A long wait list is a good, and bad problem. Hopefully, you end up purchasing a bike that meets your needs.

  2. Avatar Alex Curtis

    Thanks, JOM. I’ve been waiting for this review. Great info. How would you compare it to the Niner RLT RDO frameset?

    • JOM JOM

      Alex, I really don’t want to spoil the Niner review, but I can provide some private feedback… is your email address correct?

      • Avatar Alex Curtis

        I totally understand. Forgot that the RLT was still “in the works”. Yes, my email is correct. That would be great. Thank you.

      • Avatar Marcus

        Hi JOM, do you mind sending me you insights as well? Niner is one of my “somewhere elses”…

      • Avatar David

        Hi JOM,

        just wanted to order the Niner RLT Rdo frame but saw your review of the Terra and i can can get a sweet deal on the 2019 model so i would like to ask you to send me your opinion on the these two on my email. Just not sure about the Terra since the M size stack is quite lower compared to Niner size L. I like a little higher stack for comfort on longer rides.

        Thank You!!!

        • JOM JOM

          Hello David,

          Honestly, both are great bikes and I generally do not compare bikes side by side. I like the readers / viewers to compare for themselves as this issue is so subjective. The Terra does have a little more tyre clearance versus the Niner, but if stack height is a consideration for you, perhaps the Niner is the way to go. I will say this, the Niner is the most comfy carbon bike I’ve ridden to date – whatever carbon tech is inside that frame / seatpost works well to help cush the ride on rough stuff.

          I hope this helps!


          • Avatar David

            Hi JOM!

            Thank You for fast reply. Will go with the Niner since i want something comfy for longer rides.

            Take care

  3. Avatar Tom

    Thanks for another great review. If you could only have one bike would it be the Terra, the Lynskey GR 250/260 or the Lynskey Pro GR and why?

    • JOM JOM

      Tom, I cannot answer your question properly as there is no way I would ever have just one bike. I would have two – one carbon and one titanium. Titanium for a ride / race where I’m expecting rough terrain / conditions and carbon for lighter weight – thinking mountains where every gram helps, at least psychologically 🙂

      I will be releasing details of a new bike soon, one of my personal rigs that I’ve built for performance and low weight. There will be a video… watch this space.

      • Avatar Tom

        Teaser! I can’t wait!

        Of course, you’re right about mutiple bikes. I still haven’t sold the carbon ‘cross bike that the Ti bike was supposed to replace.

        Can you convince my wife? I’m at something like N+6, and she’s not happy!

        • JOM JOM

          I have no wife and I’m at N+ you don’t want to know 🙂

      • Avatar Alex Curtis

        I often forget about the “dual bike” aspect, based on conditions. I’m in eastern Kansas so we have about everything in terms of conditions and road conditions thrown at us throughout the year (as you well know, JOM!). I’d love to have a carbon bike, however, since I’m sort of stuck at “N” and not “N+1” for my inventory, I’d probably be more likely to buy a titanium bike if I ever decide to upgrade my Niner RLT Steel.

  4. Avatar Steve f LAGG

    What I love about your bike and component reviews is the “real world”
    testing and unbiased opinions, you actually ride the beasts!
    Unfortunately I’m one of the lower socially disadvantaged types, (povo), who can’t afford or justify these bejeweled trinkets in my stable, so I build up things like my Giant Revolt 0 out of spare bits I have lying around, then ride the hell outta it for fun…….
    Maybe I’ll send you a review of that? Please don’t laugh, too much!

    • JOM JOM

      Steve, I would LOVE to feature your bike – no joke. A budget rig, especially based around the Giant Revolt would be well received.

  5. Avatar Alistair

    The 650b setup looks the goods!

    Got me wondering if that wheel/tyre combo will fit on my ’16 Lynskey Cooper CX? Would make for a fun ride I reckon…

    • JOM JOM

      Give it shot and see! Good luck!

    • Avatar Tom

      Alistair, I also have a 2016 Lynskey Cooper CX, which I love, with the Lynskey Endurance fork, and the Lynskey folks tell me it will take a 2×27.5-inch MTB tire. I once borrowed some Stan’s Valor 650b wheels to test. They were shod with Bruce Gordon Rock & Road tires which measured 45mm and had about 2-3mm of clearance on each side, front and back. Those tires also had the exact same rollout/circumference as my 25mm road tires. Putting them on the bike felt like putting on a larger cassette.

      My primary wheelset is the Stan’s Iron Cross. I prefer the 700c for most of the gravel roads I ride because, to me, they just roll better and faster. But…I tested those 650b wheels on an MTB trail, and they were sooooo much fun. They make the bike much more nimble.

      One of the greatest qualities of the Cooper CX is its sweet spot geometry, between a full-on European cross bike and an endurance bike. Switching out the wheels really takes advantage of this frame’s full potential. I’m not much of a trail rider, but I’m going to get some 650b wheels because they are so much fun off-road on this bike. You should get some too. I mean, you can never have enough wheels, right?

      • Avatar Alistair

        Thanks for your info Tom. Definitely has piqued my interest! Might have to take some measurements and get a set of 650b’s 🙂

  6. Avatar durant greenwood

    Ridley X-Trail Ultegra is a great bike at $2800. But Di2 is great and will be upgrading at some point on the GG bike.

  7. Avatar Heffe

    Great review! Which do you prefer – this bike or the Parlee Chebacco that you reviewed a while back?

    • JOM JOM

      Sorry Heffe, I don’t like to make comparisons between bikes. I let the viewers figure that out for themselves 🙂

  8. Avatar Behmer

    Hello from Colorado 🙂 I am looking to upgrade to a carbon gravel bike and am really impressed with the Santa Cruz Stigmata and the Open UPPER (the UPPER has a larger range of tire sizes which is very nice) What other brands and models do you suggest I consider before I make my purchase?

    • JOM JOM

      You could check out the Upper’s sister bike, the 3T Exploro and the Trail Donkey by Rodeo Labs. I haven’t ridden any of these frames so I cannot comment on how they ride.

      • Avatar Zach

        I was wondering if you could also send me your private feedback on the ride quality of the Orbea Terra vs. the RLT RDO.

        I currently own a RLT RDO and have owned several Orbeas (mainly Orcas, not the Terra), and can provide some feedback. One caveat – the RLT RDO I bought used was too small for me and I misguidedly corrected with an overlong stem. I’m going to sell it and either get the correct sized RLT RDO (probably at a higher price than I originally bought) or an Orbea Terra.

        RLT RDO is very stiff at the bottom bracket, no loss in power or flex when you turn it up a notch. The RLT RDO on 30mm slick tires has more ability to soak up bumps than the Orbea Orca on 23mm tires, but not as much so as I would expect given the difference in the goals of the bikes. RLT RDO has a pretty stiff fork. Interestingly the Orca feels more stable when loaded down with frame / saddle / handlebar bags (I’m crazy and I sometimes tour on the Orca). The RLT RDO did not feel nearly as stable when loaded as I would have hoped. Unloaded, the RLT RDO feels stable on the flats at decently high speed, but doesn’t feel as great descending fast on steep smooth road descents as does the Orca, which in these setting you can feel is a carefully engineered race bike that can take high speed descents and corners like a motorcycle. Again, it could all be due to the size issues. Anyone want a 53 RLT RDO in excellent condition? Haha.

  9. Avatar larry brenize

    Jom I just listened to this video. I know you don’t like to compare bikes against each other as to how they ride. Can I at least ask this question. Since I don’t know a lot about gravel bikes yet and have only ridden the Raleigh Tamland 1 and the Raleigh Roker which is very close to the Roker Sport you built up. Can you at least maybe what is different in the geometry of the Orbea Terra and the Roker Sport?

  10. Avatar larry brenize


  11. Avatar Roger

    JOM- How tall are you? I noticed you were riding the Small. Was that a correct fit. I just bought one in Medium, and I think it may be too tall for me and I am considering returning, but wanted to get your feedback before I do.

    • JOM JOM

      Roger, about 5’10” to 5’11”, 32″ inseam. I base my measurements on top tube and head tube length. I can always raise a saddle, throw a saddle back or run a longer stem. It’s easy to make a smaller bike bigger, but not the other way around. My method of fitting isn’t for everyone.

  12. Avatar Roger

    JOM, thank you writing back. I am 5’10” with a 30″ inseam and I have the same philosophy with respect to sizing for the very same reasons. I just bought the wrong size (Medium) I think. Orbea I think just have tall seat tubes and standover generally. I am riding Raleigh Willard 3 now and it fits PERFECT! When I put the Orbea Medium and Small measurements against the Raleigh, it’s clear that there’s an in between size that I need that Orbea just doesn’t make, at least in this model. Darn it! I need to send this bike now (I have absolutely no clearance over the TT).

    Anyway, thanks for writing back and for all the great content you and the team put up!!


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