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Orange Segment Factory - Review

Aug 8, 2016
by Olly Forster  




There's no escaping the unmistakable silhouette of an Orange full-suspension bike. From their iconic monocoque down tube and swingarm, to that tried and trusted single pivot suspension layout. This is a tried and trusted design which has seen more refinement over the years than many linkage systems which trump it on complexity and intricacy. Although these hallmarks of an Orange are the first to spring to mind, we should not forget that these bikes are still handmade in Halifax, England and despite their somewhat simplistic demeanor, have one of the most loyal followings out there.

Yet the question begs to be asked: "Why" - at least by those on the periphery with little experience of Orange and their bikes. And, given their apparent simplistic design, compared to others in the marketplace, "Why do they still garner so much respect?"

Segment Details:
• Intended use: Trail riding
• Rear-wheel travel: 110mm
• Wheel size: 29"
• 6061-T6 monocoque/Reynolds custom butted alloy tubes
• 12x148mm Boost rear
• Five-year frame warranty
• New lightweight frame handbuilt in Britain
• Fox 34 Factory 120mm Kashima fork
• Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory shock
• Wheels: Hope Pro II Evo/Easton Arc 27 tubeless
• SRAM X01 drivetrain and Guide RS brakes
• Weight: 28.14lb / 12.76kg (tubeless & w/o pedals)
• MSRP: £4600 GBP
• Frame only: £1600 GBP (with shock)
orangebikes.co.uk
Like all things of a material nature, the beauty and desirability of something is in the eye of the beholder, but for those who have owned and ridden an Orange, that connection is seemingly far greater and one that needs to be experienced firsthand, to understand what all the fuss is about.


2016 Orange Segment Factory Review. Photo Olly Forster
One of the last companies to still manufacture on home soil.
2016 Orange Segment Factory Review. Photo Olly Forster
One of the most iconic head badges in the business...


The 2016 Orange Segment is a bike that does an especially good job at defying categorization, at least at face value. With cross country travel and trail bike geometry, it really is a unique beast and on many levels. With three complete builds in the range, as well as a frame only option, ranging from the Segment Pro with Fox's 'Performance' dampers and a Shimano drivetrain and brake setup, to the Segment RS; a full RockShox affair with SRAM's X01 drivetrain and a nicely finished with a Renthal cockpit.

Due to stock issues, the Segment RS (which was our chosen test bike), was at the time unavailable. So, we instead opted for the top spec Segment Factory, which at £4600 (GBP), boasts a spec that's hard to fault. From the well-chosen pairing of a Maxxis DHF front to High Roller II rear tires, to the Fox Factory dampers dripping in Kashima, Race Face carbon bars and cranks, an MRP X1 guide, RockShox Reverb dropper, SRAM's X01 drivetrain and Guide RS brakes. The list goes on, but ultimately, this bike is rock and roll out-of-the-box. But what stands out, at least from an aesthetics standing, is the color coordinated and matching Hope Tech Pro 4 hubs, seat post collar, and headset - similarly manufactured in the UK (and only an hour or so west of Orange's Halifax HQ). Add to that, the option to choose what color frame you want for a small surcharge and you're approaching an off-the-shelf bike that feels more like a custom build. This might sound very trivial to some of you, but having such an option adds a unique level customization, which similarly follows through with the spec, which can also be tailored and tweaked before ordering.


Frame Details

Residing as the second iteration of the Segment, the new frame boasts a number of dynamic upgrades over its predecessor. Granted, the frame itself looks remarkably similar, as most Oranges do to the untrained eye, but much has been honed and improved, including the use of a thinner sheeting in the monocoque portion of the main frame and swingram, dropping a substantial 400g in weight.


Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
Less is most certainly more when it comes to Orange.
Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
Handmade full-suspension bikes which ooze attention to detail.


To stiffen things up - an essential element for all wagon wheelers, given their huge hoops - the engineers at Orange not only welcomed the new Boost standard, but also added an additional 6mm to the width of the swingarm pivot. Now let's just talk about that pivot very quickly as there's only one - which for anyone who puts in the miles and hates the prospect of bearing changes, is something to smile about. On top of that, tire clearance has also been increased to handle more aggressive rubber to better reflect the Segment's geometry and subsequent ride characteristic. Addressing the Segment's abilities has also seen a refined shock curve for 2016, which now has more progression than the previous model.


Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
The Factory model is dripping in parts which make it look...
Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
...anything like an out-of-the-box bike.


Geometry

For many of their fans, the geometry of an Orange is at the forefront of why these bikes continue to gain recognition from riders of all walks. Progressive perhaps, but realistically on the money. Orange's home-grown manufacturing and choosing a material to work with which doesn't control or bind their strategy (like carbon), allows them to react to changes in the marketplace and do so quickly without the need to confuse their customers.


2016 Orange Segment Factory Review.


2016 Orange Segment Factory Review.


At 5-foot, 9-inches, and with a penchant for roomy bikes, I opted for a size large. With 455mm of reach, a 50mm stem, monstrous 800mm-wide bars, and a DH length 1187mm wheelbase, the Segment promised control and confidence - enough to offset the less than aggressive suspension travel. The 68-degree head angle fits in nicely, as do the 447mm chainstays. The Segment is all about superb balance and well, as I've already said; this machine defies categorization.


Suspension

Today's market is packed to the rafters with a host of suspension designs and systems, all boasting latest and greatest kinematics and performance attributes to exceed your wildest expectations. But, when you peel back the layers, many of those designs are essentially a single pivot with a linkage bolted in to deliver the desired spring curve. So, what happens when you remove said linkage from the single pivot suspension and want to keep the desired ride feel? Orange have played with both linkages and pivot locations over the years and in doing so have refined their design - it might look the same, but it isn't.


2016 Orange Segment Factory Review. Photo Olly Forster
It might look dated, but when you scratch the surface, you're looking at years of refinement and one of the most effective designs out there.


At Orange, they found that the downtube shock position is the most critical for delivering the desired ride feel and curve, and that moving it in a given direction can produce a spring curve similar to that derived from a linkage-driven single pivot system. This does come at a cost and within Orange's iconic frame design, it means that refinements and upgrades can seem a tad on the unexciting side to the untrained eye. For 2016, the Segment received some minor tweaks to the spring curve, most notably an increase in ramp-up at the end of the stroke. When you only have 110mm to play with, you need to make sure it's there when you need it and considering how capable this bike is, you will need it.




Specifications
Specifications
Price $4600
Travel 100mm
Rear Shock Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory Kashima
Fork Fox 34 Factory 120mm Kashima
Headset Hope 4F 49mm Headtube Tapered Steerer Black
Cassette SRAM XG-1195 11spd
Crankarms Race Face SixC Direct Mount 30t
Chainguide MRP 1X Guide
Bottom Bracket Race Face External BB
Pedals None
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Carbon 11spd
Chain SRAM
Front Derailleur None
Shifter Pods SRAM GX1 11spd
Handlebar Race Face SixC Riser 35 Bar Bore 800mm
Stem Race Face Atlas M35
Grips 2016 Strange Lock-On
Brakes SRAM Guide RS 200mm/180mm
Wheelset Hope Pro II Evo Black + Easton Arc 27
Hubs Hope Pro II Evo Black
Rim Easton Arc 27
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Exo TR/High Roller II Exo TR
Seat SDG Bel-Air 2.0 Strange Edition
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth Connectamajig

2016 Orange Segment Factory Review. Photo Olly Forster






Setup

From the outset, there wasn't much I wanted to change or mess around with, especially with such a top-spec bike. I did, however, play with the tires. The Segment arrived at the end of winter/ start of spring and here in the UK, the weather can be anything but consistent. While I'm a huge fan of the Maxxis DHF front to HR II rear combo, a 3C Shorty and Minion SS soon joined the fold. These four tires allowed me to easily optimize the Segment through the months that followed and were swapped around accordingly.


Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
Big wheels equal big fun and this sentiment was rarely lost on the Segment which thrived when pushed hard and ridden with precision.


Setting up the Fox suspension couldn't be easier and thanks to some of the best damping circuits we've seen from Fox in years, doing little to upset proceedings and provided ample grip and support from the get-go. With 25% sag on the front with four volume spacers and around 30% in the rear with one large volume spacer, the Segment found its happy place. I cut the handlebar to 780mm wide and slammed the 125mm travel Reverb all the way down, which was right on the limit for my 30" inside leg. Opting for clipless pedals over flats for most of the test period, I found that they offered more control and coupled with the ample stand-over on offer, allowed the Segment to be easily thrown around.


Climbing

At just over 28lbs, the Segment is an accomplished climber and easily destroyed long, soul destroying fire road climbs. It did, however, feel slightly stretched for me and my 5-foot, 9-inch" frame, so I would have preferred a marginally steeper seat angle to add a touch more weight to the front and decrease the seated reach. I could have fitted a 40mm stem to offset this, but I prefer the feel of a 50mm stem and that would have thrown out how dialed this thing feels going downhill. Reaching down to crank up the damping with the Fox Float DPS EVOL shock's lever was handy, but it really only became a necessity if I needed to get out of the saddle and stomp up especially steep inclines. On technical singletrack climbs, the Segment's balance came into play and rewarded smooth and calculated pedaling while remaining seated.

Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
The Segment is great in corners, both up and down, preferring smoothness and good line choice over a stylish flick and excessive braking.


Descending

Pointing the Segment downhill was naturally where the fun kicked in. The superb balance between the front and rear wheels, coupled with the great geometry and the grip on offer from the 29 x 2.3" Maxxis rubber was an eye-opening experience, allowing me to remain relaxed and ready to react. Those elements combined would have me grinning from ear to ear and remarkably surprised that another rock-strewn descent was cleaned and I survived unscathed. But this is where the Segment can quickly get you into trouble. You have to be vigilant of where you place the wheels. Charging hard on a bike like this is easy, but dealing with the consequences of poor judgement, quickly reminds you that you only have 120mm of travel in the front, and 110mm in the rear. With the right volume spacer in the rear, it felt great, but perhaps a 130-140mm travel fork could unlock even more of what this bike can do and where it can go.


Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.
If you relish connecting with the terrain you're riding and enjoy the buzz of pushing your limits, the Orange Segment has a lot to offer.


While the lack of travel would occasionally detract from big gaps and super steep, rutted out trails, it added to many other situations, and that's what makes the Segment so unique and rewarding to ride. It's a bike that wants to be ridden and not aimlessly pointed at anything and everything in front of you. Being smooth and selective with your lines can get really addictive and on a fast bike like this, the Segment comes alive, prompting you to push harder and explore further. Finding that limit will, of course, depend on your skills and indeed, your better judgement. In the right hands, its limits are way beyond the norm of bikes with similar travel, but it's a bike that can, within reason, be anything you want it to be, defying categorization and blazing its own trail.


Component Check:


• Fox Float 34 forks and DPS shock: The Fox dampers did a superb job of unlocking the Segment's true potential, maximizing all the available travel, providing excellent balance and delivering smooth and controlled action throughout the test period.

• Hope Pro 4 hubs: Hope's new Pro 4 hubs are not for those who like to glide through the forest silently, but it's noisy freehubs for the win every time in my book. It's great to see a smattering of Hope parts on the Factory option, which only adds to the custom build feel of this top-spec bike.

• SRAM/ RaceFace/ MRP drivetrain: SRAM's X01 drivetrain is a personal favourite and never missed a beat, although the GX shifter felt stiff from the get-go. Race Face's CIXC cranks added to the bling factor and are incredibly stiff. MRP's X1 guide was an intelligent addition and finished things off nicely.

• Race Face cockpit: You know a bike means business when it has 800mm wide bars and a 50mm stem as stock. The Atlas stem and SixC 35mm carbon bars were way too stiff, lacking the compliance of other options on the market.
Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.

Orange Bike Segment - Pinkbike Review. Photo Ben Winder.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThere's a lot to be said for bikes which can unlock the fun in front of you and take you on a memorable adventure, even when you're on familiar terrain - and that's exactly what the Orange Segment does. From big days getting lost in the woods, to trying to beat your PBs on your local loop after work, the Segment rewards a rider who relishes the challenge of riding the trail well, rather than simply smashing through it. But, that's not to say it can't handle the rough with the smooth. Far from it. For a bike with only 110mm of travel, it will quickly have you fooled that it has more to give. Would I change anything? Not really, but I would definitely add some bottle cage tabs to that downtube, and let's not shy away from that price. Regardless of spec, this is an expensive bike, but for those who value things which have been lovingly fabricated and done so on home soil, Orange certainly tick all the boxes and then some. - Olly Forster


Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images.







MENTIONS: @orangebikes, @SramMedia, @foxracingshox, @raceface




163 Comments

  • 150 36
 Runs 25-30% sag and then complains it needs more travel..... [facepalm] - IMO this instantly discredited the whole review and i stopped reading as they clearly dont get the bike or how to set up a short travel bike, another 160mm enduro bro out of his depth, no offence intended, but try 20% sag or even a smidge less and ride it hard! Let the tyres do the gripping and suspension take out the big hits, as for the smaller bumps.... man up!

As a side note, great to see orange getting some good publicity, rock solid bikes!
  • 10 9
 Bingo! Spot on mate!
  • 106 6
 Yeah it was the bit where he said "At 5-foot, 9-inches, and with a penchant for roomy bikes, I opted for a size large" then later on says "It did, however, feel rather stretched for me and my 5-foot, 9-inch" frame". seems to me then that just basically went for the wrong size!
  • 45 4
 I am not sure about the Segment but certainly with the Transition Smuggler (identical travel or thereabouts) it has been designed to run more than 30% sag. The suspension is setup is set very progressive to prevent bottoming - it seems to work for the Smuggler as I have not seen a bad review of one.

Do you have any experience with short travel bikes of this type or are you just going on what you think would be best because internet?
  • 12 0
 @Racer951:Agreed. Same with the Process 111. Run at 30%+. Very progressive tune. Proper sag keep traction. The rest of the travel just keeps the edge off. Finesse and good riding takes you the rest of the way. And yes, depending the trail, these bikes are not always the right tool; more travel is sometimes a nice thing.
  • 67 30
 Complain? Facepalm? Are you looking in the mirror @ctd07? I don't think there's a word of complaint about suspension in there. 30% sag, 1 large volume spacer and it was a rocket. What more do you want? To be fair, apart from the price and the lack of a cage mount, which is kinda subjective, this bike is so much fun. You obviously couldn't wait to comment like the rest of the "experts" on here who should really read things more than once, take in what they've read and think before they rattle out their 'opinions' but then you're all having fun I guess, which is what matters. I'd rather ride bikes...
  • 7 0
 @Racer951: 35% sag on my smuggler works great for most everything.
  • 7 0
 @bigtim: I think if you read what he says he is saying the bike is stretched during seated climbs but feels good standing DH so he would like a steeper seat angle to change this.

Bikes need to feel good seated and standing, a balance some dont manage to achieve as they use slack seat angles.
  • 30 24
 Only stretched while climbing @bigtim... And just a little. You didn't really read it either did you. MUST COMMENT!!! But if you read it again, I also say that it felt amazing going downhill as I like "roomy bikes". As a tester, choosing the best size for your tastes and relaying that to the audience on here is part of the job and the medium felt too small for my tastes. The large was perhaps on the upper edge, but it was still one of the better fitting bikes I've ridden.
  • 85 17
 @ollyforster: any self respecting journalist doesn't retaliate against their readers' trolling comments.
  • 34 2
 @rtclark: Most of these comments don't sound like trolling, just contrarian and reactionary blusters from folks that haven't taken time to read and consider what they've read.

I dig that Olly has chosen to comment in return -- it shows that he wants his reviews to be properly understood.

Onward.
  • 8 1
 20% sag... sounds to me like you're the one out of his depth(this is, in no way, an XC whippet.) Bike have changed since the 90s, 25% is bare minimum on anything not meant for competing in Rio, with modern shock curves & air springs.

You'll actually find even WC level XC guys are running more than 20%, just with more compression damping, or a handlebar remote to toggle it.
  • 1 3
 @bigtim: Yes. I'm 6 foot and Ive been doing lots of size testing. The bike is huge for him. I can barely ride a 630tt eff.without feeling stretched to much. Maybe bikes fit ok before, when we rode shorter TT.
  • 5 1
 @cbourdrez: really? I am 4 inches shorter than you and ride a 625 ett bike and find it very comfortable.

ETT is a poor way to size a frame though as saddle height and postition make a huge difference, you can also have a frame with a huge ETT and small reach due to slack seat angle's (as he mentions)

E.g. the Evil bikes have very slack seat angles so the higher you run your saddle to longer the ETT - tall riders end up riding over the back wheel when seated and the bike may still be on the short side when standing.
  • 15 16
 @ollyforster: There should be a Pinkbike version of Godwin's Law concerning any variation on the phrase "I'd rather ride bikes..."

Congratulations on criticizing the readers on your website for being "experts" and having "opinions" (are they not actually opinions? Are you actually a writer?), while you're above them because you just like to ride.
  • 1 2
 ss
  • 4 1
 I'm always amazed at how some people behind their computer know what's best to do for the rider on the other side. Be it a review like here or some WC bike set ups. The people riding the review obviously have a tiny bit of experience with bikes, let alone WC riders and there is probably a good f*ucking reason why they set up the bike that way.
  • 15 4
 @ollyforster:

I read the entire article and got the same impressions with your sizing. Sounded to me like you picked too big of a bike, and now get your point after you clarified.

Did it ever occur to you that you may have not written that very clearly, since more than one person came to the same results?
  • 10 5
 @ollyforster: I think ya need some protection to shield your thin skin from some of the comments.

As a "journalist" you can't expect everyone to agree with everything you say. Either ignore it, or use it as a lesson to improve your writing skills if you believe people are not understanding what you were trying to say.

As mentioned, don't feed the trolls!
  • 4 2
 @ollyforster: I would love to know the weight of the frame and shock only. This is one of the nicest looking 29er frames I've seen in a while. Thanks for an excellent thorough review.
  • 3 1
 Have a 100mm 26" trail bike. 20% sag n plenty of high speed compression on the db in-line and send it big. These numerics is why I don't read many reviews unless I really like it.
  • 4 2
 @bat-fastard: Thankyou, I have a giant trance, I run 22% front and rear with its 140mm travel. Any softer and it handles crap and uses more travel than id like. I also have plenty of experience with short travel, owning a 115mm travel bike in Queenstown and the uk and hitting up all the local dh spots with it, could keep up with most of the locals back then and ran about 18-22% sag depending. I'm also 5'9" and prefer a medium frame when it comes to modern geometry, a large feels ungainly for me
  • 1 1
 @rtclark: There are rules for how you have to treat trolls? Half don't ride more than a couple times a year. But I'll bite. Where can I find this troll treating rule book?
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: I agree yes the seat angle, good point. Certain bikes feel good doing different trails i.e. up vs down etc.
Long tt/bikes are great and fun. Long Low and Slack!
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: exactly!
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: transition double I take to morzine for the jumpy stuff. At 5'8 it's a short. Find it far more fun on the smoother stuff than the big bike. Have always liked orange bikes but this doesn't reflect how good they really are..
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: Spot on man...I regularly run my Pyga OneTen 29er at 35 to 40% Sag on big trail days and its still kinda bottomless on anything but the hardest hits. Paired with a 140Pike its a trail destroyer.
  • 1 2
 @ctd07 : Don't bother providing 'advice', if you can't be bothered to finish reading the review and have no idea how to setup the bike as it was intended.
  • 14 2
 Call them what you want - barn gates, filing cabinets etc etc (they're all as unfunny as each other) but the proof is in the pudding. These frame designs just simply work. My 2013 Five was and still is the best bike I've ever ridden. And they're still made in England. I'd have another Orange in a heartbeat, and thats coming from currently riding a Bronson.
  • 18 3
 Would've expected a full Hope spec for the top of the line model.....
  • 8 46
flag unconvinced (Aug 8, 2016 at 1:59) (Below Threshold)
 Ha. Wouldn't have expeced any hope stuff on a top of the line spec!
  • 17 1
 @unconvinced: considering Hope an Orange are 2 UK brands with heritage..........
  • 14 5
 This thing is super rad, and gawd do I want to try it but... Frame is 2100$ USD, fairly steep for a simple single pivot with average 29er trail Geo. There are many other bikes on the market similar in geometry to this with linkages for the same price. And by the way I am by no means am a single pivot hater, I ride a devinci Wilson and have owned a heckler for years and they rip just like any other bike, but the regular consensus is that single pivots are out dated and perform badly which is sad because even though simple, they really are fun. The only way I could see this thing selling if it had a slacker head angle, longer wheel base ect and a sub $1900 frame price to separate it from the crowd and to turn up the 'rad' factor that orange is known for... Think of Phil at will schralping a corner to pieces rad...
  • 28 13
 Very true on the price point. However, turn up to any UK trail centre and you'll see hundreds of these rolling around the blue runs mounted by overweight, loaded pen-pushers.
  • 69 13
 This is nothing to you ibis, it's my general reflection over certain phrases used in the comments here. Quite frankly the more different bikes I ride and the more I learn the particular riding skills, fitness, bike setup, the more I grow alergic of the statements like "single pivots are outdated", "good climber", though nothing gets more on my nerves than the term "playful bike". Bike does almost nothing, we do the job. There's nothing wrong with being a sht rider and owning a 10k bike, but I hate it when someone bashes any bike of today for some stupid detail like brake jack, or pedal bob, when he obviously comes nowhere close to the situation where such small flaw stops him from achieving any goal inhis riding. Once you get an ok geo, well setup suspenion of ok quality, good brakes, well setup cockpit and finally some quality rubber, then you are off for top 50 on EWS, if not better. But where is that whiny btch instead? On the internet, whining over some bike tech thing as if it would hinder him from doing manuals, cornering like A Brayton, looking far ahead, having good psychique, whipping, scrubbing, jumping 30ft senders.

I just rode a hardtail with Suntour XCR fork and 11-32 cassette and Alivio gearing, that bike was evidently worse than my carbon 160 superbike. But then I rode NS Snabb 160 bike for half price of my carbon superbike and it was very very similar. I could not respect myself if I said that this bike held me back...

The difference in suspension system between Bronson and Orange Five does stopping anyone from achieving anything, it is instead about the lack of training and lack of deliberate practice.
  • 39 3
 There's so much ill informed opinion about single pivot suspension. But if you were to ride an Orange next to an equivalent Kona Process or Yeti Switch Infinity you'd notice that the Orange bobs much less than the Kona and about the same as the Yeti, all three bikes stiffen a fair bit under braking but the Orange is no worse than the other two. All three have similar linkage rates, basically linear. The Kona has the least kickback because it's the worst pedaller, the complicated bits on the Yeti give it less kickback than the Orange. But that's the single-pivot's only actual downside and it isn't a big one, especially on a short travel bike. But it is a marketing disadvantage! Just a view from a non-Orange owner, Banshee rider, engineering geek and hater of marketing bs...
  • 8 0
 @threehats: Agree with that, many people judge a bike based on looks and its percieved complexity - A more elaborate design equalling higher level of performance.

Single pivots designed correctly can attain almost identical performance to many multi link bikes with the exception of braking and being able to manupulate A/S throughout the travel - which many multi link bikes dont do to any effective degree anyway.

The truth as Waki says is that for the majority of rider a small adjustment to riding style can see you adapt to most bikes and their characteristics. Geometry still ranks number 1 for me on how a bike performs and Orange do that well usually but the Segment seems a bit dated in that aspect while the rest of the orange range is longer and slacker.

I am amazed at the hate that Orange bikes can get though with the 'back in the dark ages' comments - The owner of my local bike shop describes them as absolute s@ite yet I dont think he has actually ridden a bike for several years, he ranted about his linkage driven single pivot commencal being amazing though which was hilarious.
  • 7 0
 @Racer951: yep totally agree. Take a comparison of a new(ish) breed of trail hardtail vs a trail dual sus. If what we are led to believe of how superior in every way the latest suspension bikes are then the hardtail in comparison would be reserved for flat ground commuting at the very best! A hardtail with good geometry and a capable fork/parts spec is a weapon in skilled hands on all but the absolute steepest rock infested tracks and in some situations is faster. I know ive been spanked by some hardtail riders all too frequently! Now bring that back to the comparison of multi linkage bikes to well designed single pivots and the difference, if there is one at all, is very marginal and is more than covered by the riders lack of ability. Personally i like the feel of a single pivot in the way of being able to "push" the bike into the ground through the activation of the suspension through the pedals. Most fun ride ive had was an old santacruz bullet. Was "bullet "proof too with only one pivot!! :-)
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

I agree that it's MOSTLY the rider that makes the difference and these cliche terms are tossed around, BUT I certainly notice these things from bike to bike. My switch from 26 to 29 isn't apples to apples, however, and the fact that I'm considerably less tired throughout the ride is what I expected. What I didnt expect was that the bike is actually more playful with the super short stays. It corners very well, but will never corner like a 26. The roll over is night and day. Not to make this 26 vs 29 as my two 26 inch bikes are quite different in feel as well. Yes, I can do basically the same skills on each bike but they are tangibly different.
  • 8 9
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah you make sense and all, BUT is time for my favorite game ever!

lets spot the angry Orange rider.

Orange bikes are overrated, simplistic, and outdated. they get away with overhyping their heritage of being made in the u.k.
  • 7 0
 @WAKIdesigns: well said Waki. My own thinking is that most bikes are limited by the human that rides them.
  • 5 4
 @mayha49: I expressed "it's about the rider" cliche from my own experience because I got humbled by how much work goes into nailing a skill.

Now differences are absolutely tangible and we don't need to go as far as wheelsize. However you mentioned chainstay length and it gives me a good opportunity to touch on the subject of taking sht out of context like comparing a single pivot with let's say a FSR bike and saying one thing is better than the other. Well, I rode an old Stumpy 29 Evo once and that bike was very manouverable as compared to let's say 275 Jekyll. Everything matters, everything, the feel of the bike is a compound effect of many factors. Playfulness? Put a slightly lighter tyres in your bike and take one click off rebound, there you go, bike feels 2 kilos lighter. It's poppy, it gets eager to lift off, slides in corners. Voulais! Big Grin now take some "playful" 5" bike like Fuel EX or Habit or Following and ply 2-ply tyres on it, as you theoretically should if going to ride in the bikepark, and hello! You got yourself a freight train.

Getting less tired on long rides? How much less tired? Buy Evil Wreckoning, going for a long ride toss in lighter wheels and tyres. Going for shredding? Put on regular ones. Good training program does hell of a lot for endurance and speed.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't get your comment. @ibishreddin was saying that the bike is awesome and that people's general comments about single pivots are misplaced. His comment is that the bike is great but might sell better if it tweaked the geo a bit and dropped the price. He didn't say anything about rider skills vs bike price/quality.
  • 3 1
 @alexsin: I commented on the general use of a phrase "single pivot is an outdated design" which many people use. I know that ibisheddin praised the bike.
  • 2 0
 @threehats: while you're spot on with the analysis, I'm calling you out for saying it's just a marketing disadvantage while choosing to ride a kinematically-superior banshee!
  • 1 0
 my guess is, if single pivot looked better, it would sell better. Looks are subjective but there maybe some truth to it. It might work great but it looks similar to a bike I can buy at a super market. Not same but similar. Your comment about the snabb is right on. For combination of performance, price and looks it's hard to beat. I am biased though as a snabb E owner/pilot.
  • 1 1
 @matthewjam3s: that's the same for most brands and truer for S.Cruz than any other brand I can think of. Most expensive bike riders are office jockies, myself included,
  • 4 2
 @fercho25: can I play?
Swiss folk are overrated,simplistic and outdated.they get away with overfilling their banks with monies from Germany and u.k?
What did I score?tup
  • 1 3
 ^^^^^ found it!
  • 1 1
 @fercho25: Grrrrrrr - here I am!!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: @WAKIdesigns: "its all about the rider" chris akrigg can ride pretty much any bike, better then most, if not all on here?

skills! they matter!
  • 1 1
 @lesz42: yep thats it mate. Skills! Theres this local kid, Alex, about 20 i reckon and he rides a hardtail and is fkn amazing to watch. Doesn't race. Just loves to ride. Im always stoaked to see his car in the carpark at the trails. Can guarantee that he would spank most of US on whatever bike we choose to ride, songle pivot or multi linkage. Point is that it aint the bike its the rider
........anyone remember when a certain MR PEAT used to spank on an orange against others on intense's??
  • 7 0
 Looks good to me, although sounds like you need a size smaller olly, if it felt stretched and you slammed the dropper. I'm 193cm and the large looks like it'll fit me? I prefer a stem slightly longer on this type of bike though, maybe 70mm? I still get down fine and it helps a little with the ups
  • 11 22
flag ollyforster Plus (Aug 8, 2016 at 7:08) (Below Threshold)
 Tried the medium and it was too small @russthedog - if you read it again, it was only stretched (and mildly at that) when climbing. Descending, the proportions were awesome. I prefer roomier bikes. You world too if you had the opportunity to spend time testing different sizes and different bikes. Guaranteed! There's no going back to 2013's geometry for me. Remember, it takes 2-3 years to bring a bike to market and tooling costs means a 2-3 year product cycle. So a lot of the bikes out there were designed a long time ago. Read into that what you will...
  • 6 1
 @ollyforster: I don't think I would. I've ridden different bikes with different geos and one thing I've realized is geometry is a very personal affair. Now I know this is going to be super shocking for some, but I personally think a lot of the trail and enduro bikes have gone maybe too long, too low, and too slack! Now I love a long, low, and slack bike as much as the next person, but when you're riding in Colorado with rocks and technical climbs everywhere, the ground-scraping bottom brackets mean lots of pedal strikes that you have to go out of your way to compensate for with technique. Of course I can clear technical climbs still, but it's a lot more difficult and I walk some stuff I didn't on my last bike, even after going from 175mm cranks to 170. Doesn't this defeat the purpose? How well a bike climbs shouldn't just mean how little it bobs. As for head angle, 67 degrees does seem to be about the sweet spot for a bike that does a ton of climbing yet still wants to rip the descents (mine is 66.5 currently). Anything less and you really have to kiss your stem and work extra hard on those steep bits. I sometimes miss a steeper head angle when I'm climbing 2k+ feet in one hill. I never felt like I was going over the bars with 67 or 68 degree head angles. I love my bike, but don't think I could go any slacker than that. It's already a chore on steep uphills. My current bike also has a shorter wheelbase and shorter reach than a lot of the bikes in its category, yet I can still ride it just as fast as my riding buddies on their super long sleds. I don't have issues getting around switchbacks or tight corners without skidding like they do either. Not to mention, the bike overall is a riot to ride. It's super quick and nimble. It doesn't feel like a chore to maneuver it at all. It's just super responsive. Given the right technique and skill I can ride this just as fast as any other "super stable at speed" ultra long wheelbase bike and have way more fun doing it. I am also on a 50mm stem and 750mm bar. I tried all the way up to 785mm but it just felt stupid wide and uncomfortable. I decided on 750 after lots of trial and error with bar width. It's something I love ripping on, even though it bucks the super wide bar trend. This is what I've learned. If I was in the market for a new bike, I think I'd still decide on what I did today, except for the fact that I may not have an option soon with where the market is going. I actually do rule out bikes that have stupid low BB heights. 13.2 inches already feels too low at times.
  • 5 17
flag mhoshal (Aug 8, 2016 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 @ollyforster: if it wasn't that bad why did you even mention it in the review? And then you defend the bike when you clearly state it didn't fit you properly. How much is Orange paying you??? Give an unbiased review buddy don't suck oranges dick like a fairy
  • 2 0
 @BaeckerX1: ...finally...somebody says it like it is!!
  • 1 0
 @ollyforster: I've tried lots of sizes. I prefer a longer front centre. If I felt too stretched then I would say its too big. Simples.
  • 12 4
 If Orange could just smoothen out the welds on their bikes it would already look a hell of a lot more modern and worthy of its price tag. The best way to describe those welds would be "agricultural".
  • 4 10
flag boardinbob (Aug 8, 2016 at 7:56) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. That looks like a pre-production model. The welds are so bad. Needs to look way neater given the money they charge
  • 7 3
 @boardinbob: @boardinbob: have you ever welded Reynolds?have you ever tried welding?have you ever feckin welded anything?have you watched Guy Martin try to weld this stuff and fail?feckin stupid thing to say.
  • 7 5
 @Earthmotherfu: You're a very angry man.

Yes, I've done plenty of welding. Not for a few years, and I'm not coded, but I still have plenty of welding experience.

Bottom line is that looks cheap and nasty, especially for the money they're asking.
  • 5 1
 f*ck "modern", there are dozens of modern bikes on the market that all look the same. I like this industrial design, personally I think it's the best looking bike made by Orange that I've seen, it reminds me Nicolai bikes from Germany.
  • 2 0
 @boardinbob: no that's not the bottom line..it's nowhere near the bottom line at all.these are skilled welders paid top money,and I've yet to see anyone weld this stuff better.post a picture up of someone hand welding Reynolds better.my money's on the fact you won't be able to.
  • 1 1
 @Earthmotherfu:

Here you go: s2.thcdn.com/productimg/600/600/11259485-1184372616253660.jpg

Infinitely neater and more professional than that abomination up there ^
  • 2 0
 @boardinbob: mass prod. Machine weld.show me an artisan hand weld please.
You can keep the Taiwanese halfords crap.
  • 1 2
 @Earthmotherfu:

So in summary "hand welded" = £3k for something that looks like it was made by a kid in 4th year tech

MEGALOLZ
  • 3 1
 @boardinbob: what's with all the school refs?what I'm saying to all the misguided people on here,that is the real deal artisan/craftsman call it what you like proper hand welding.bike tarts won't/don't appreciate it,because they don't f*cking understand it?it's beauty is in it's craftsmanship,it's there to do a job?the welders who fabricated the fuel tanks on the shuttles wouldn't have gave a shit if the wendywoos/gok WANs of the design team came round and said it wasn't pretty enough.they were the best at the job,everything bang on plumb/square and gas tight.
Go buy a tranny or a spesh if you want pretty boy stuff.(don't get a tranny for f*ck sakes,they can't even get the shock mounts lined up straight) orange true every frame by hand with a lump hammerSalute
  • 1 0
 @Earthmotherfu: I just think it looks cheap for the outlay. In principle for UK conditions the bike is perfect (single pivot so low maintenance) but it looks far too Heath Robinson for my liking.
  • 9 0
 Ive ridden one and thought it was ace ...better than the banshee phamton ...not as playful as the smuggler but seemed to be more stable through the rough stuff
  • 6 0
 In three lines you've told me more about this bike in comparison to other bikes on the market than anyone else here including the reviewer. To me, as a potential buyer with a shortlist, its comparitive words such as yours that help me make a decision. Thanks!
  • 9 2
 Most people who hate Oranges seem to care more about what their bike looks like rather than what it rides like. MINNAAR, PEAT, FAIRCLOGH Have all raced an Orange to victory at some point HONDA's RN01 was also a single pivot with welds similar to an Orange
  • 9 1
 Bike bottles seem to be a much bigger thing in the US than in Europe, interesting. In Europe almost everyone uses hydration backpacks for mtb.
  • 7 1
 I cant stand no bottle mount, but in Australia its hot a lot so they're very useful. Packs get too hot, plus I find the change in weight distrib annoying
  • 7 0
 @russthedog: fill your camelback with ice bro, chilled water for at least 2hrs, and keeps your body cool too
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: haha good idea!
  • 1 0
 @russthedog: or get a cheap emergency heat blanket and cut it up to the size of your hydration bladder, heat seal the seams with a hot iron and put the bladder in that, it'll keep your water at the temp that it was when you filled your pack
  • 1 0
 @wavetrance: I don't mind the water temp, more the pack just makes you hot
  • 1 0
 @russthedog: You mean that a packs has worse insulation than a bottle? What kind of bottle is that?
Btw you can get extra thermal insulation, USWE from Sweden sells insulated packs and hoses, they keep your water colder in summer and warmer in winter.

Moreover in hot temperatures no bottle would be big enough for me.
  • 1 1
 @Extremmist: no i mean that a pack on your back makes you hot, whereas a water bottle doesnt. Im not talking about the water temp at all
  • 8 4
 This whole article reads overly subjective, like he went into it already believing Orange could do no wrong, with zero data behind his claims of linkages being unnecessary and performance being all about shock placement. One after the other, he roots out potential criticism with the usual flip side (ugly/pretty, expensive/custom, simple/unecessary) etc. the result is in biased "journalism", as if you were trying to shape public opinion clearly in favor of the orange brand.
  • 1 1
 That's exactly how it read to me too.
  • 3 0
 Great British brand with legions of buyers in the UK. Not too sure people over here will pay the premium regardless of the heritage. In the early nineties Orange was the bike to have - shiny aluminum tubes and XT or XTR. Around the same time in a race in Kent a guy in front of me got off in front of me and carried his XTR bike through a large muddy puddle. That was devotion...!!
  • 2 15
flag mhoshal (Aug 8, 2016 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 For me it's that shitty single pivot design. Like bell bottom pants they were cool once but that day is long come and gone!!!
  • 7 0
 If you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding.
  • 4 0
 no dark sarcasm in the comments section
  • 4 1
 We don't need no education on single pivot design.
  • 3 1
 Hey, journos! Leave those pinkbikers alone!
  • 8 1
 want.
  • 3 1
 Hard as Nails!! these bikes are bomb proof! easy to maintain, brilliant ride, may look industrial, but have stood the test of time, in uk conditions these will outlast any other brand, iconic British brand, just like a Landrover!
  • 9 4
 I FINK ITS RUBISH CUZ ITS SINGUL PIVERT AND COSTS LOTS OV MUNNY
  • 1 0
 I have been riding orange bike for the last 16 years and the proof is in a lot of years of riding! But there will be a time where they need to push the boundaries and go carbon yes the single pivot works but they need to watch they dont get left behind this industry is moving so fast in materials and design with there skills and pedigree they should look to the future! ...
  • 6 3
 Looks identical to the swingarm on my 1999 Trek VRX, that I owned 17 years ago
  • 9 7
 I want to like Orange, they seem to get a great deal of respect here in PB, but I can't get past that 90's chainstay and those welds!! from the same era.
  • 4 3
 the welds are strong. I have never heard of an Orange frame breaking on a weld.
  • 4 6
 @madmon: always someone out there that will reply out of context and neg vote just because they can. Of course they don't break there's more metal there than anywhere else on the bike, no denying it's hand welded but perhaps they shouldn't let Curious George do it. Function should be more important than appearance but when it come to selling bikes both play a big part. I can't stop thinking that they should rename the bike "Scar Face"
  • 3 2
 @teschenbrenner: curious George? Wise up man. If 99% of welders could do a job like that the world would be a better place. Ill-informed.
  • 7 2
 I love Orange bikes
  • 5 2
 Not a 29 fan at all....but as every orange before it, a beautifully crafted frame! Gorgeous welds and just a doll!
  • 5 2
 for 5K this bike is a bargain. solid gold in the right hands. I absolutley wanti wanti
  • 4 0
 Orange ya' glad it doesn't look like another Session?
  • 5 2
 I want to like this, but price and 1x fascism rule it out. It's Liteville 301 money
  • 1 2
 Good point. Liteville make beautiful machines, this is the kind of opposition I see Orange up against, not "mainstream" bikes such as Santa Cruz etc. Orange, Nicolai, Liteville, Kingdom, Bird.
  • 8 5
 Ok now that orange actually looks nice
  • 7 4
 I want to like Orange bikes, but the chainstays are all so horribly ugly.
  • 6 5
 Lol they can't even lay a straight weld!! I've seen better welds on dumsters
  • 1 0
 @mhoshal: if you think that's bad, you should see my Intense M6 - I swear the welder was drunk!
  • 3 1
 Makes you wonder why the Heckler is DC'd. I like the ugly, para-military look of the Orange bike though.
  • 3 1
 No dig against the reviewer, but he doesn't seem like the right guy to evaluate this bike.
  • 1 0
 just curious as to how much more refining they can do to a single pivot? It should be pretty dialled after almost 20yrs of development.
  • 2 0
 Orange you glad I didn't say boos... Wait
  • 8 5
 Release date 2014?
  • 8 8
 What do people who own one of these drive, a "refined and developed Austin A30"? It looks like it was made with a hammer and a welding torch. Oh, wait.....
  • 24 1
 Rather than by 15 year olds and a load of glue? Wink
  • 2 0
 He should be able to run 25% sag and not blow through travel.
  • 1 0
 Personally not a fan of Orange bikes. If I'm splashing out £1000's I want it to look good too
  • 3 2
 The bike equivalent of the Terminator T800
  • 4 0
 The T-1000s may have some nice tricks, but at the end of the day, we know who wins.
  • 3 1
 @somismtb sick bike
  • 1 0
 The (classic Orange) rear is so ugly it's almost good looking. Weird.
  • 6 5
 USSR.
  • 9 7
 Yep, those welds look a bit rough Smile
  • 2 2
 Never saw oranges in Europe bike parks
  • 1 0
 Good job orange ????
  • 3 3
 Looks like Stevie Wonder did the welding job.
  • 2 2
 Looks like a.....orange
  • 4 0
 Like a banana
  • 6 1
 @ibishreddin: man to early, R.I.P Harambe the gorilla
  • 6 7
 Too expensive for what it is.
  • 3 4
 Good luck
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