Orange Bikes The Orange 322
has been a work in progress for a year or so now. Always a favourite with privateers for their simplicity, they’ve been experimenting with varying designs for years as part of their Strange offshoot, their R&D department. Moving away from earlier linkage driven styles to keep their famed simplicity, the 322 features a far more progressive spring curve which helps the bike to sit higher in the travel and keep better small bump sensitivity. Although tweaks have taken place as a result of feedback from their World Cup riders, the spring curve and head angle of 63 degrees remains unchanged. Take note of the zip-tie guides now running on both sides of the swingarm for gear and brake cables to save riders running them through the swingarm (a bugbear with racers on the old frame), and the much lower pivot position, which takes it more in line with that of the successful Five.
Also new to the 2013 product line is the 29” wheeled Gyro with 110mm travel which sits loosely upon a Five chassis. This was originally released earlier this year in the Black & Gold spec to a limited run of fifty bikes. Now it’s a full production bike and sits in the range with three levels; S, Pro & SE. The bike shown here may look polished but is actually a new powdercoat finish called Sterling Silver and looks mighty impressive.
Beyond the Gyro is the purple Strange prototype, as yet un-named. How does a 140mm 29” trail bike with a Five-matching, 66 degree head angle sound? Also in the works is a 650B model, of which only two are currently in existence, and one of which will shortly be seen underneath Joe Barnes for Enduro racing.
Sun RingleSun Ringle’s Pro SL
wheelset is now available in 26”, 650B and 29”. It features bladed spokes and a rim that uses the patented NoTubes bead standard for increased reliability when running tubeless. This is the same design implemented by NoTubes in their own rims and allows riders to run less pressure with lower rolling resistance and an increased resistance to burping. Sun were keen to point out that when buying their wheelset a rider gets everything they may need in the box; a full suite of adaptors to fit all forks, tubeless rim strips and plenty of sealant.
ManitouManitou’s Dorado DH fork (right)
has been around for a while but the current version has seen incremental tweaks and refinements over the past couple of years: 180-203mm on the 26” fork and 175mm on the 29”. We think the all black colour scheme looks pretty sick, but what do Pinkbike readers think? This 650B Marvel (left)
was also on display with 80mm/100mm/120mm travel and TPC damping.
aluminium bars are the same as previous years, but now are available with custom graphics. It’s a wrap that’s laid over the bar before being dipped in the acid bath for anodising. This means that rather than a painted finish it’s a lot more scratch resistant. The second bar we’re pretty excited about - a 780mm uni-directional carbon downhill item which comes in at 220g and surpasses their already highly regarded aluminium bar in fatigue testing.
are a small US based company putting out some cool products which are beautifully finished and aim to solve small problems. The two products which caught our eye the most on their stand were mounts for both Garmin and Go-Pro. Any rider who has used a Garmin for a reasonable period of time will have at some point had to run back up the trail to fetch it, especially after a little wear sets in. This intricately machined mount feels far sharper and sturdier. The same goes for the Go-Pro mount which replaces the standard bar mount and provides a far stronger solution to the OEM unit which can occasionally snap. A side effect is that footage is noticeably more stable with shake virtually eliminated thanks to the increased stiffness from the aluminium component.
Carbon Demo has seen plenty of coverage but everyone loves Carbon, and these bikes just looked too good not to show…
…especially this TLD incarnation.
Carbon is of course the buzzword but there were also some new aluminium versions on display too. To reduce the cost and increase the differential between carbon and aluminium they’ve swapped out the link (shown on the blue & white frame above) for an aluminium unit while the carbon retains it in magnesium.
we showed you several of the Five Ten flat shoes, today we have the Cyclone SPD boot. It’s a high top shoe based loosely on the Hellcat (the plain black version of the Minnaar signature). Stealth rubber as expected is mated to solid ankle support thanks to a high Velcro cuff. Our expectations is that this will hold your heel in place better than on the standard Hellcat where there can be a tendency for your heel to creep on the upstroke if you’re using it for all mountain riding.
were a force to be reckoned with many years ago and the argument could certainly be made that they kick started the trend for short stems and wide bars with their Shorty stem and DoubleWide bars. O’Neal and Azonic have been part of the same family for a while and 2013 sees a clear division between them with O’Neal dealing exclusively with software and Azonic solely hardware. These are their existing components but a lot of time and effort is going into developing a whole new line up which we’ll be keeping everyone up to date on over the coming year.