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Seizing the Diem - A day in the Spanish hills on the 2024 Orbea Diem

Seizing the Diem - A day in the Spanish hills on the 2024 Orbea Diem

By Ben Mowbray |

Surely there's no better way to test the new 2024 Orbea Diem than on its home turf? Setting off from a hearty Spanish lunch in the countryside, Rob (our Orbea Account Manger) and I took a pair of new Orbea Diem 10 models out into the sunny hills between Arretxinaga and Etxebarria. 


The all new 2024 Orbea Diem

I've spent the last week at the Orbea factory and HQ in Mallabia, Spain. Business aside, taking a sneak peek at upcoming releases and getting some rides in was top of the agenda. 

The Orbea Diem is a brand new model range for the 2024 model year, building on Orbea's already very popular Vibe range and furthering their commitment to increase their market share in the Urban, Hybrid and Leisure sector. 

In true Orbea fashion they've once again achieved it with style, class and impeccable engineering prowess. 


The 2024 Orbea Diem in focus

The new Orbea Diem is the first bike to be launched under Orbea's updated urban market strategy, built on 3 key points - "unique, high-performance, high-quality products" achieved through "clean and minimal design and clever integrations".

Given they've been doing these things so well in the Road and MTB sector for many years, there's no reason why they can't excel here too.

2024 Orbea Diem 30 with Front luggage rack

The Orbea Diem model range is broken down into 3 distinct models;

The entry level Orbea Diem 30 models features Shimano Cues 9 speed gearing, the Shimano EP6 motor and a 540Wh battery.

The next model up, the Orbea Diem 20 offers riders an integrated hub gear system in the form of a Shimano Nexus unit and nearly maintenance free Gates carbon belt drive, the same EP6 motor but their biggest 630Wh battery. 

The final model in the range is the Orbea Diem 10. Offering the very latest in drivetrain technology, the Orbea Diem 10 model has Enviolo's constant velocity hub and a fully automated gear shift which can be adjusted using the accompanying Enviolo AUTOMATiQ app to set it to the riders preferred cadence. It also has the ever-so slightly lighter EP8 motor, 630Wh battery and a dropper post!


A Diem in the hills

Setting off on a brand new pair of Orbea Diem 10 models, we headed out first onto the glass smooth tarmac of the road which winds up and down the valleys connecting Arretxinaga and Etxebarria. My first thought was not of the bike, but that the UK could learn a thing or two about road maintenance from this part of the Basque country! The roads in the northern regions of Spain are a cyclists paradise. 

The Orbea Diem 10 is fitted with the new Enviolo fully automatic gear shift. A strange sensation for someone who's never ridden one, I was surprised at just how well it worked.

2024 Orbea Diem Enviolo Hub Gears

More surprising was the way it rode. The Orbea Diem 10 is far from the heaviest of the electric hybrids we have on offer, but its not quite as light as the Orbea Vibe. That's to be expected though - with the full power version of the Shimano EP8 motor pumping out 85Nm and a 630Wh battery its bound to be a bit heavier however being much lighter than most 85Nm bikes (like our Cube Touring Hybrid and Kathmandu models, or the Haibike Trekking models) it absolutely flies along if you really get into the pedals. It's also not so heavy that its offensive on the legs when pedalling above the 15.5mph cut off and it handles like a dream. 

We rode them for a little under 10 miles and during the course of our ride found ourselves on an unmade gravel track through farmland, where it never felt out of its depth. It's ebike specific 50c Vittoria e-Randonneur tyres held the constantly shifting ground with ease and the steering stayed positive yet light and point-able.

2024 Orbea Diem 20 offroad
The Orbea Diem really is a bike you can "seize the day" on. Its incredibly versatile and can swap from tarmac to gravel, fire road and forest tracks and back to tarmac with absolute ease. Although we didn't have anything to carry with us on the day, the front and rear luggage options offer ample and flexible cargo capacity.

While riding through a tiny little Spanish village (which I later found out had a population of just 70 people), Rob and I discussed just how easy it would be to cover a 10-15 mile commute in an hour without breaking much of a sweat on an Orbea Diem, even given the unbelievably hilly nature of the Basque territory where elevation levels switched between 500m, drops to sea level and back up to over 600m in less than a mile of riding. (Its worth noting that in the UK, anything over 600m is called a "mountain"!). 

Technology is the order of the Diem

Not content with being a rocket ship in a svelte dress, the new Orbea Diem packs an impressive amount of technology into the whole model range. 

The Orbea Diem has all of the usual refinements of a modern electric hybrid bike. A pannier rack, built in lights, a side stand and mudguards all make the cut but its not just their being there which counts - its the way they appear on the bike. 

Take the lights. They're not just lights. Hidden in the stem assembly, the front daytime running light has multiple modes and the extra high beam light built into the handlebars is separately selectable. The rear light, neatly integrated into the rear mudguard does a lovely little light show as it turns on and doubles as a brake light when you slow down. They're also made by Supernova, a leading brand in top end lighting solutions. 

2024 Orbea Diem Front DRL and main headlight

The mudguards are made by Orbea specifically for this model and match the fork and rear stay profile perfectly while allowing for a marginally wider tyre if desired. They're also made from lightweight alloy - no "plastic fantastic" here... 

Even the rear rack is understatedly clever. Designed to accept the MIK luggage attachment, there are countless options available to click on and off in just a few seconds. 

2024 Orbea Diem Rear MIK Luggage Rack

These Hybrid/Leisure standard items aside, the Diem goes even further. 

Utilising the SP Connect twist fit connection, a mobile phone can be easily attached to the provided mount on the centre of the bars. From here, you can access the Shimano ETube Project app, maps, Strava and more. Cases are just £29.99. Protect your phone, expand your horizon. 

2024 Orbea Diem SP Connect Phone Holder

Planning a longer ride and worried about Google Maps, Strava, Komoot or TrailForks zapping your phone battery dry? Your Orbea Diem has you covered. Hiding inside the stem is a USB-C output where you can charge your phone on the go directly from the Diem's internal 540 or 630Wh battery!  


Designing the Orbea Diem

Great care and consideration was taken when developing the Orbea Diem concept. Diligently crafting something around the specific needs of the most demanding urban and leisure cyclist, Orbea have crafted a bike which quietly takes care of some of the most overlooked parts of modern cycling.

The design brief called for a bike which offers a geometry fitting of the urban cyclist, taking into account the need for clear forward vision and so it offers a relatively upright seating position.

Added to this, the diamond shape of the rear seat and chain stay area isn't just cosmetic. Working with the fully carbon front fork, it's designed and tuned to remove the harsh vibrations and buzz of riding on poor surfaces and gravel paths. 

2024 Orbea Diem Alloy Frame

While ensuring that the rider is kept comfortable and relaxed, the rest of the bike works to create an agile, reactive, but ultimately safe riding experience. 

Furthering the thought processes on urban use, as much as the componentry as possible has been seamlessly integrated into the bike rather than attached to it to deter and minimise component theft when left unattended. 


My final thoughts on the 2024 Orbea Diem

The new 2024 Orbea Diem is a little marvel in a market saturated with bikes being designed to grab the attention of urban and leisure riders. An incredibly well thought out machine with enough punch to propel any rider up a mountain with the battery capacity to back it, its still light and manoeuvrable enough to dodge cars, pedestrians and wayward pets around the city. 

Although the very top end Orbea Diem 10 might be more bike than the majority will want or need, the Diem 30 and 20 are going to have lots of its competitors taking a look at the scales and reconsidering what's possible in this weight class and at its £3,499 starting point.  


Take a look at the 2024 Orbea Diem in action 


We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our friends at Orbea HQ in Spain and their representatives here in the UK for their time and outstanding hospitality which made this review possible.

Their continued support of E-Bikeshop with their products, aftercare and everything which happens behind the scenes is what makes it possible for us to continue providing their exceptional quality bikes to our customers in the UK and beyond. 

If you'd like to show your support for Spain's top bike manufacturer and help progress a wholly cooperatively owned business still hand building and painting their beautifully crafted frames, you can buy a new 2024 Orbea Diem today. 

Ben Mowbray at E-Bikeshop.co.uk
About Ben Mowbray

Previously an automotive engineer with a specialism in electronics and electrical fault diagnosis, Ben maintains a keen interest in renewable and sustainable energy for transport and a love for forward-thinking "next-gen" tech combined with a passion for Sales and Customer Service. Ben joined e-Bikeshop as Sales Manager in 2020 from the lithium battery industry.