I Increased the Rear Travel and Progression on my Orbea Rise with a Linkage Swap [Review]

The Cascade Components Rise link transforms an Orbea Rise, giving it an extra 10mm of rear suspension travel and increasing progressivity for a fresh ride feel.

I’ve owned an Orbea Rise electric trail bike for a couple of years now, and like a lot of Rise owners I wanted to get a little bit more performance out of my bike. Luckily Cascade Components recently released an aftermarket linkage for the Rise designed to increase rear travel and progressivity and I’ve been testing it over the past couple of months.

Cascade Components Rise linkage specs

Cascade Components Rise linkage

Cascade Components offers aftermarket linkages that are specifically designed for popular mountain bike models to boost progression with an active off the top feel that doesn’t sacrifice bottom-out resistance while also increasing travel slightly on your rear shock. The Rise linkage is not size-specific link; one link fits all frame sizes. 

The Cascade Components Rise linkage is intended for carbon and alloy models released between 2020-2022. The linkage is set to increase travel from 140mm to 150mm utilizing the same 210×55 shock that is on the bike with no need for extra shock hardware or spacers. The progression increases from 20% to 27% compared to the stock link while keeping the same stock geometry. The linkeage comes with Enduro MAX bearings which are also an upgrade to the stock link bearings. The link is available in anodized black or raw silver and weighs 330g. 

About the Orbea Rise

Orbea shook the electric mountain bike market with their Rise line of bikes. Their lightest build sits under forty pounds with a 140mm Fox 34 fork and 140mm Fox DPS reach shock while a more aggressive build comes with a 150mm Fox 36 fork and a 140mm Fox Float X piggyback shock. 

Orbea Rise owners flocked to the online mountain bike forums asking how they could make their bikes even more capable, going as far as throwing a coil shock on the rear even though the bike wasn’t really designed for one.

I’m lucky to have a variety of trail systems located within an hour of home. A big enduro bike would be nice to have but overkill for most of my riding. For me, 150mm/150mm of travel front and rear, ±10mm, is the sweet spot for the riding that I do. 

I have owned the Hydro Orbea Rise for two years now and have been eagerly waiting for a Cascade Components linkage to get just a bit more performance out of my bike. Cascade Components released this linkage at just the right time for me.


Does the Cascade Components Rise linkage make a difference? The answer is Yes! It definitely changes the way the bike rides and feels.

The first thing I noticed was how much stiffer the rear felt. With the original stock link, the rear triangle on the Rise had noticeable flex. This Cascade link made the rear feel precise and a bit more predictable, especially on tight turns. I honestly wasn’t expecting this and it was a huge plus. 

On descents the linkage came to life. The small bump compliance is pronounced and the support at the end of the stroke ramp up on bigger jumps is noticeable. I was able to carry speed better on flowy trails while staying higher on the travel.

On sections with high-speed compressions the link allowed the bike to stay composed and in control. This is where I noticed the bike sits more on the mid-stroke rather than on the deeper end of the stroke, with an almost bottomless feel through the travel even during brake bumps. I am not doing huge jumps often but noticed less harsh bottom outs, and each landing seemed more controlled than with the stock link, especially on jumps to flat. I do like to hit every small jump I can get and notice a bit more pop on those.

Climbing on the Orbea Rise with the Cascade Components linkage felt basically the same as with the stock link.

Cascade Components linkage installation

Installing the Orbea Rise Linkage is recommended to be done by a bike shop but can be done by a professional bike tinker like myself. It is definitely a level three out of five in my opinion, and you will need specific tools to get the job done.

I roughly documented my process through photos to show how easy — or hard depending on your perspective — the process can be. As this was my first time doing any linkage swap on any bike, I took my sweet time while repeating the video that Cascade Components provides on their website. I struggled a bit but stuck with it and got it done.

This linkage was announced for the 2020-2022 Orbea Rise carbon and alloy frames, and early reports from alloy frame owners indicated minimal rubbing on the rear triangle arms where the link actuates. A DIY trick was suggested where a Dremel could be used to shave away a couple of millimeters to avoid any sort of rubbing. I took this tedious extra step with no issues. Luckily enough, Cascade Components acted quickly and adjusted their CNC machines to have future batches of links fit alloy frames with no rubbing. They even offered customers an exchange.

Who is this for?

The Cascade Components Link is a good choice for a few different types of riders. It is meant for those riders who progressed their skill level and now need to squeeze a bit more performance out of their Rise. It’s also for folks who just really want to dial in their shock.

For those who are currently working on their skills and need another confidence boosting component that will get them to the landing more confidently, a Cascade Components Link could make sense. And heavier riders looking for that extra support without losing small bump compliance should look into this link upgrade.

Of course it’s also for riders who don’t want to get another bike and would rather keep their capable, do-it-all bike like the Orbea Rise for years to come. To sum it up, this link is for those who want to turn their Orbea Rise into a more aggressive trail bike, almost an enduro-ish bike. 

Pros and cons of the Cascade Components Rise linkage


  • Improved small bump compliance over stock link
  • Increase progressivity from stock link 
  • Bottomless travel feel
  • Oversized Enduro bearings


  • Lots of shock adjusting to dial in 
  • Not very easy to install by a home mechanic
  • Had to shave material off with Dremel (Fixed issue with current batch of links)

Bottom line

If you’re on the fence about getting one, just know that you’ll want to do a lot of experimenting with air pressure adjustments, volume reducers, and shock settings. If you are more of a set it and forget it type of rider, then this linkage might cause you more headaches than anything. A lot of patience is required, especially if you will be attempting to install it yourself at home.