About a year ago, Dustin at Shimano helped me give away a mind-boggling road bike to help Team Fatty raise money for our fight against cancer.
A dream bike’s dream bike. Easily worth around $10,000.
And then, after the contest, Dustin did me another huge favor: he helped me get the exact same bike for myself.
And now, after having ridden this bike for a year, I have no problem whatsoever saying that I am totally, hopelessly elatedly in love with both the Orbea Orca and the incredible — yes, I mean incredible — Di2 shifting group.
And I’m giddy that I get to announce that — in the name of our fight against cancer — we are going to once again have a contest to win this bike.
But this time, it’s the new 2011 version:
That’ right. You can win the beautiful, strong, light (I’ll talk about each of these adjectives in a minute) 2011 Orbea Orca, outfitted with the most incredible set of components imaginable, all by joining Team Fatty in our fight against cancer. Read on to find out how, or just head on over to my LiveStrong Challenge Page to enter now.
And that’s not the only reason you should enter. Because — get this — thanks to my good friends at Twin Six, I’m also giving away a trip for two to Austin to join me and the rest of Team Fatty for the Ride for the Roses.
But first, I’m going to tell you about why I love my own Orbea Orca with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
What I Love About the Orca
I don’t even know how many times people have stopped me to just ogle my Orbea Orca (check out some photos here).
It’s just a gorgeous bike. Sculpted without getting wacky. Functional and elegant.
It’s a joy to look at, frankly.
But it’s not simply a looker. The front end is unlike anything i have ever experienced on a bike. never realized how stiff a bike’s front end could be until I rode the Orca for the first time.
And I have never been so fast on the road as I am on this bike. I am a faster climber. Part of that’s because this bike is easy to build at under 16 pounds. More importantly, though, power transfer with the Orca is amazing.
And on the descents, I am faster than ever before. This bike makes me feel stable and confident.
Of course, these things are all true for the 2010 edition of the bike, which is what I own. For 2011 — the bike we’ll be giving away with this contest — the Orca keeps the stiffness I love, but gains smoothness. It’s more aerodynamic, and the winner will get a special version of the frame with internal routing.
Oh, and did I mention it’s going to be beautiful? Cuz it is.
What I Love About Shimano Di2
Electronic shifting. People who haven’t tried it are often quick to dismiss it. After all, non-electrong shifting works just fine, right? So why would you need or want the Shimano Di2 group?
People who have actually ridden and lived with the Di2 group, on the other hand, don’t ask that question. Here are some of my takeaways from my experience with riding with Dura-Ace Di2:
- Shifting is practically effortless. A quick tap of the right buttons — which are placed so as to feel perfectly natural to those of us who are used to traditional shifting — makes the gear change. Perfectly. Every time. Ever since messing up my left wrist a few years ago, going to the big ring with old shifters hurts. And for anyone, if you don’t make the shift throw correctly, you’re likely to drop your chain. I have never ever dropped the chain with Di2. Perfect shifts every time.
- Shifting is so fast and perfect. I can go up and down the cassette at crazy speeds with Di2, and I can move from the small to big ring (and back again) in no time at all. And I can do it no matter what the gradient is or how much stress I’m putting on the pedals. Shifting is in service to me, instead of the other way around.
- Shifting is maintenance-free. You’d think that electronic shifting would require more hassle on my part, but the reverse has been true. I have had to do no maintenance of the Di2 system. Cable stretch is not a problem. The derailleurs never get out of alignment — they shift as crisply and perfectly now as on day 1. It’s just amazing.
- Auto-trim is awesome. When you shift — front or rear — the front derailleur makes instant, tiny adjustments to keep the chain perfectly aligned. It’s brilliant.
- The battery lasts for months. I was initially worried that I’d have to charge the battery every couple of rides. Or at least once a week. But even with several rides per week, I only have to charge the battery every few months. I wish my phone would go that long between charges.
- I love the R2D2 sound. When you shift, you get a cool “bwwwrp-zzp” sound as the motors move the derailleurs. I love this sound so much I sometimes shift just to hear it. Really.
I should also mention that I also love the Shimano Dura-Ace Carbon Tubeless wheels. So light. So fast. And since I only have to inflate them to 80psi, the comfort on the road — not to mention handling — is just off the charts.
Honestly, this bike is just perfect. It’s like nothing I’ve ever owned.
And now, if you help out Team Fatty as we raise money for the fight against cancer, you have a chance at winning one for yourself.
Specifically — and I’m going to go with bold for the rest of this paragraph — you will get a 2011 Orbea Orca, outfitted with the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group, Dura-Ace Wheels, and an a full complement of PRO components. A bike which would retail for between $10,000 and $12,000.
How You Can Win
Oh, you think you’d like to have this bike? Well, of course you would. Well, to win it, you’re going to need to do a little cancer fighting with me. Here are the ways you can donate.
- By Donating at my Austin LiveStrong Challenge Page: For every $5 you donate at my LiveStrong Challenge page, you get another row on my spreadsheet. That DOES NOT mean that if you want to donate $50, you’ve got to do ten $5.00 donations. I’m awesome at Excel and will be able to give you the correct number of chances automatically, based on how much you donate. Click here to donate now .
- By Raising Money at Your OWN Team Fatty LiveStrong Challenge Page: If you’re a member of Team Fatty, now’s a great time to donate money to your own LiveStrong Challenge, as well as to get others to donate to it. For every $5 you raise between the beginning of the year to the end of the contest, you get another chance at this bike.
The contest ends Friday, October 1, at Midnight, MDT. At that point I will choose a winner at random from my spreadsheet, using random.org to pick the lucky person. I will then fire off an email to the winner. Once I get acknowledgement, I’ll announce it on my blog, and you can begin collecting envious looks.
You Can Also Win a Trip to Austin to Join Team Fatty for the Ride for the Roses
As if winning a $10,000 bike isn’t enough, I now have another grand prize with this contest. Some lucky person who donates at my LiveStrong Challenge page will win a trip for two to the Ride for the Roses. You will be treated at the “yellow jersey” level, getting:
- Airfare (within the US) for the two of you
- 3-night hotel stay
- Sunday ride front starting line position
- Ride for the roses jacket and jersey
- Access to the Sunday hospitality tent
And you’ll — most importantly — get to hang out with the rest of Team Fatty at this event.
How am I able to give away this prize? Simple: my good friends at Twin Six are giving up their hard-earned spots. They say that they got to go last year and now they want to give that opportunity to someone else.
Honestly, these are the nicest guys in the world.
With an amazing bike and an amazing trip as grand prizes, this is a huge contest. And a couple of lucky people are going to get these incredible prizes.
But, chances are, you won’t win. And that’s totally fine. Because — whether you win or not — you will have contributed money to LiveStrong, and you’ll have helped in the fight against cancer. And that matters.
So, head to my LiveStrong Challenge page and donate. Or join Team Fatty and start raising money on your own LiveStrong Challenge page. Either way is a great way to win, and a meaningful way to help in the fight against cancer.