Building on their 29" wheeled bike range, Orange has added the Stage 6 Evo to their catalogue as their go-to aggressive trail bike. In true Orange fashion, the bike uses a single pivot layout that they have refined over decades of trials - adjustments are nowhere to be found.
Orange's unique look is immediately recognized, but deciphering the subtleties between each model can be puzzling. Touting 140 mm of rear wheel travel, this Stage 6 Evo is a combination of the regular Stage 6 with 10 mm more travel and the zippy 120 mm Stage Evo. The geometry follows closely to the enduro focused Stage 6, but Orange says it remains well balanced and "hair-raisingly fast".
Stage 6 Evo Details
• Aluminum frame
• Travel: 140 mm / 150 mm fork
• 29" wheels
• Offset pivot and asymmetrical chainstay heights
• 64-degree head angle
• 76-degree seat tube angle
• 467 mm chainstays
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Price: £6,400 GBP
Fans of the iconic single pivot bikes will be excited to hear that the 6061-T6 aluminum frame is still built in Britain and has a 5-year warranty with a limited lifetime crash replacement policy. Thinner cross-sectional, custom formed monocoque tubing contributes to a claimed 20% more longitudinal stiffness and a 15% increase in overall strength. Orange has offset the chainstay heights to ride asymmetrically and moved the pivot shaft inboard further on the drive side to free up space for the chainring. They also say that a neutral pivot position allows for progressive suspension kinematics and a more rigid frame allows for smoother shock actuation.
You'll find standard equipment like Boost hub spacing, internal cable routing, UDH capability, and now a top tube accessory mount under the top tube. Water bottle capacity is located under the downtube. There are also ISCG tabs under the BB should you want to invest in chainring protection and security.Geometry
Whether or not Orange believes that short riders are better suited to 27.5" wheels, the Stage 6 Evo is only available in MD, LG, and XL sizes. However, some of their 27.5" wheeled bikes drop down to size SM, like the Alpine series. They say the geometry is well balanced, but the chainstay number jumps off the page with a staggering 467 mm length on all three sizes. The reach numbers don't stray too far from one another at less than a 20 mm gap between them, starting at 468 mm for the size medium and topping out at 505 for the XL.
With a head angle of 64º and a seat tube angle of 76º, those numbers aren't wildly progressive, but are a common ground that should bode well for diverse regions. Stack heights are on the higher side at 630 mm for the MD and LG (640 for the XL) due to a -40 mm BB drop, keeping in mind that the head tubes are average heights of 110 mm for the smaller size and 120 for the XL. This should allow taller riders to feel "in the bike" more without the need to raise their bar height, ultimately leading to chipping away at the reach number.
For the moment, only the premium SE model is available ringing in at £6,400, but Orange will announce more options in the near future. The build kit is spec'd with parts that are less standard than typical Fox or SRAM componentry. Staying close to home, you'll find a short 35 mm length Hope Tech stem and 3 E4 brakes with 203 and 180 mm floating rotors, 35 mm clamp diameter Renthal FatBars, and from just a hop across the water; Ohlins Swedish gold in the form of an air sprung RXF 36 M.2 fork and TTX1 Air.
To carry through the Orange's no fuss ethos, standard equipment like Shimano's SLX drivetrain bits are mated to Race Face Aeffect cranks and Stan's burlier Flow MK4 wrapped in Maxxis Minon DHF/DHR II Exo tires. Topping it off, the Ox Blood Red painted frame is finished with Strange grips, Orange's pseudonym, and a SDG Bel Air III saddle on a 150 mm Tellis dropper post.