Orange's New Switch 6 Mullet Bike - Eurobike 2019

Sep 4, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

With all their production in house and the ability to churn out prototypes at a frightening pace, Orange will generally turn up to trade shows with something shiny and new to display. Last year at Eurobike they were able to devise a 29-inch downhill prototype that rapidly became reality as the 329 and this year they've taken on the mullet craze with the Switch 6.

White is returning to the Orange colour pallette. They're also introducing a range of matte colours and a new sterling silver.

The mullet concept is tried and tested ground now with Enduro World Series and World Cup victories already claimed by the mixed wheel size bikes. The 29-inch business-in-the-front means the bike rolls over the ground well while the 27.5-inch party-in-the-back keeps the bike maneuverable and the chainstays short. Orange were more than happy enough to jump on board and unveiled this new bike at Eurobike.

The Alpine based rear end means the chainstays are 3mm shorter than on the Stage 29er.

The 145mm travel Switch 6 is apparently based on two of Orange's most popular frames - the Alpine 6 for the rear triangle and the Stage 6 for the front triangle. The result is a bike that looks to be cast in their traditional mold but with a bang-on-trend outlook.

Combining a smaller rear wheel with the Stage 6's front triangle has made for some pretty interesting numbers too. Firstly, the bike has been slackened off and now has a claimed head angle of 64°, a full 1.5° slacker than the Stage. It's also claimed to be 5mm lower in the bottom bracket, 1.5° steeper in the seat tube angle and the reach has grown by about 20mm in all sizes, making for a pretty radical bike.
The geo cheat-sheet for the new bike.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Orange have stuck with the single pivot for the new bike.

Further details of this bike are due to be revealed later this month.

Like most Orange bikes, the Switch 6 will be handmade in their Halifax factory and aluminum only. It looks to be close to production-ready and we were told there's already a demo fleet ready to go too. Full details including pricing and availability are expected to be revealed at the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, on September 13.


94 Comments

  • 62 0
 People are gonna lose their minds if Orange ever actually design a completely new bike..
  • 8 0
 They tried it once, many moons ago in ye olde days of 26"
  • 5 0
 @fatduke: the Blood? such a shame those bikes didn't have tapered head tubes
  • 22 6
 Love the way they've devoted a whole article to it, literally could have popped up a pick of any other Orange ever and no one would know the difference
  • 13 5
 welds will still be fucked up tho
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: they were meant to be one of the best bikes out at the time.

I've had a Five and currently running the first version of the alpine 6. Unfortunately there's not much about the oranges I can get excited over.
  • 3 0
 I forgot what it was called, but they had a 100mm travel bike with some kind of linkage and a vertical shock. It was called ST4 if I recall correctly. Very different from the typical Orange model. I love the looks of these modern Orange bikes and I trust it should be good fun.
  • 3 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: as I sit at my table laying down sweet aluminum welds for military X parts ....... I agree 100%
  • 3 2
 @vinay: "modern" bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
  • 2 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: By modern I mean the newer Orange frames like what I think started with the Orange Four. Open rear triangle, slight curve in the tubes. I really like them like that.
  • 4 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: you can scoff at them all you want but they work, i had a 2010 orange 5 that i sold to purchase a santa cruz blur LTc because of all the reviewers gushing over them.
biggest mistake i ever made the blur rode like total dogshit compared to the orange. ive never bothered with multilink bikes since.
  • 26 2
 Exciting developments at orange...
  • 18 4
 The bike must be amazing.They haven't changed their bike since the start it seems.Must try
  • 15 11
 I used to look down on the can crusher single pivots, over the much more refined riding multipivots ive had in the past. I bought an orange because i wanted to lower my maintenance costs, time and effort.
Thing is, orange have been making these a long time and the geometry is so spot on the money, that it more than makes up for the more agricultural suspension feel.
A Maestro bike feels more planted, more grip, more plush, but it only applies if you're riding your bike while thinking about critiquing it. If you're just pushing your bike down the trail as fast as it'll go, its a fantastic riding bike and thats all that matters. (Also, a lot of the clever stuff like anti bob climbing can be done shock-side these days)

They are the Porsche of bikes. It works as a daily driver, but can still play with the super-cars.

Love my five29. Will most likely get a stage frame if i ever break it. The only think i would change would be increasing the size of the two pivot bearings, They're fine, but for the cost a couple of grams, you could have them last forever and never need changing. I would also put a (nice chunky) ball bearing in the swing arm shock mount (rather than a bush), for longevity and plushness.
  • 62 8
 @OllyR: They are not the Porsche of bikes.

At best they are a land rover defender: Old, inefficient, slow and clunky, but with a simple design, a loyal fan base and a certain rustic charm.
  • 3 0
 Maybe the bike designer left the house and now they are just producing.
  • 4 1
 @OllyR: A single pivot bike will pedal as good or as bad as a multi-pivot one. You aren't more dependent on shock anti-bob than with a different design (you can be of course, but it's not about being single or multi-pivot).
  • 8 2
 @Altron5000: That's pathetic, have you ridden one?
  • 3 0
 @OllyR: I was going to say the were the Porsche of bikes, but only cause you can't tell one model from the next!

I've always fancied an Orange but not for any good reason. Just want one.
I've only ever had single pivot bikes too; never ridden any linkage bikes.
  • 5 0
 @You apparently have never owned a Porsche or a top end bike. Orange bikes are OK, that’s about it. They are maybe the Datsun or Chevy of bikes, but the Porsche???? LOL, not even close. I’ve seen HS vocational students that can weld better than Orange welders, and there is nothing amazing performance wise regarding their designs or builds. That’s reality. ????
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: That description of yours of an Orange hit the nail on the proverbial head!!!
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: I have. Orange bikes are OK, nothing special at all. A generic middle of the road bike in their class, that is reality! ????????????
  • 1 0
 @OllyR: The Five29 is a great bike. I changed mine a couple of years ago for a Stage6. Honestly the Stage6 is a better bike than the Five29.
  • 2 0
 @Burp19: They seem to be pretty light. Their DH bike is the lightest around, including carbon bikes. They also seem pretty stiff, from only having one pivot and a sturdy rear triangle. I like their pivot location, which makes them pedal great. From all that put together, if the geometry is good that's it, a perfect bike for any level of riding that will stand the test of time and need no upgrading. Their only shortcomings are a lack of progressivity and a bit of chain growth, but they are inherent to the design and not that significative.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: Yes David I have, it reminded me a lot of my old Santa Cruz Heckler, which was a great bike back in the day.

More importantly: have you driven a land rover defender?!
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: Ok whatever, if that's your perception that's what it is. I have actually ridden neither, but I miss my Prophet. There was nothing wrong with it, I'd be happy with a current (geometry/wheel size) version of it.
  • 8 3
 Bike industry: hey are you going to design something new?
Orange bikes: we put on a new fork and painted it a different colour.
Bike industry: palms face.
Orange bikes: but it’s a new bike.
Bike industry: slowly gets up and walks a way.
  • 3 3
 Yes, the bike industry has to constantly present something new, which also means that all they do is flawed. Flawed products must necessarily be presented, to constantly fuel a need to upgrade. This is not unique to the bike industry. It's the essence of consumerism. I applaud the brands that simply get it right and stick with what works.
  • 1 3
 It must also be said that many new designs are worse than the previous ones but that seems to be the way the market works. One has to create the illusion of improvement.
  • 1 2
 That said, Orange has indeed been refining and changing their product, even if they always stuck with the same basic design, which is also their trademark.
  • 4 0
 You either like Orange’s bikes or you don’t, it’s about personal preference and just because you don’t like them, that doesn’t automatically make them c##p either.
I’ve owned two Fives and currently own an Alpine 6 and a 324. It goes without saying that I love ‘em even though I’m nowhere near good enough to get the very, very best of out them. But, I have a lot of fun trying and at the end of the day, biking is all about having fun ????
  • 7 0
 Mullets are so hot right now.
  • 8 0
 Theo Von is to blame.
  • 3 0
 @Radley-Shreddington: Rats are a thing in the bike community, it seems. Long live the Rat and long live the Rat King!
  • 3 0
 @FrEeZa: Gang Gang, Jib Jib.
  • 1 1
 I feel they are almost out of fashion again.
  • 2 0
 @FrEeZa: the road to the strap goes through the Rat!
  • 3 0
 "27.5-inch party-in-the-back keeps the bike maneuverable and the chainstays short" These chainstays are on the long side even for a 29" long travel bike. This bike could have both more travel and shorter chainstays, and I think it should.
  • 1 0
 Same length as the phoenix 29!
  • 2 0
 Yeah 447mm Chainstay length is very long even if it had been 29/29.
  • 3 0
 maybe they just threw a 27.5 wheel in a 29er frame and called it a day lol
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: Most likely. It does display how far the show marketing types and BS artists will go to hype something that literally does not deserve to be hyped or covered as something “special” in any way.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: No. Their 29" has a super long chainstay. This one is sized between the 29er and the 27.5".
  • 2 0
 A curious Orange ! It would appear to have identical geometry to the newly released Stage 6 ? Every figure is the same except the chain stay length ?? Orange may need to check those figures. singletrackworld.com/2019/09/2020-orange-stage-6-exclusive-first-ride-review
  • 1 0
 I was thinking that. I'm guessing they use the same front end and different rear which would have to change some figures other than just CS, especially as its re-using the Alpine rear.
  • 4 0
 Are they going to update the Stage 6? I don't want a mullet bike, but I prefer the reach numbers on this. 29" both ends.
  • 2 1
 Yes they are - details of 2020 Stage 6 included in my comment further down ;-)
  • 1 0
 @steel4real: Thanks for that friend! I appreciate it.
  • 1 0
 @Vudu74: Here in case you missed it ..https://singletrackworld.com/2019/09/2020-orange-stage-6-exclusive-first-ride-review .. the comments seem to shuffle depending on popularity !
  • 4 0
 Foes has been doing this for years .
  • 1 0
 I just realized that this bike would be a perfect match with Ceramicspeed telescopic shaft drivetrain (In terms of rear end geometry) Smile
That would make a neo/retro frankenbike for sure!
  • 3 0
 “Keeps the chainstays short”
Lol! 447mm ?!? Short? There are 29ers out there with 430mm chainstays.
  • 3 1
 “and the ability to churn out prototypes at a frightening pace“

Strange as they’ve been producing the same bike for decades
  • 1 0
 I've tackled the "brake jack" and related characteristics in this recent review of the outgoing Stage 6, might be useful reading for some of those who haven't ridden one...
unduro.co.uk/mtb/review-orange-stage-6
  • 2 0
 Finally Orange is on the proper seat angle program! Orange hold a special place in my heart so I could be looking at my next bike.
  • 2 1
 QUESTION to Pinkbike SINGLE PIVOT haters - where are you when Evil release a new bike? They are just single pivots with a bit of linkage to add a bit of compliance before the shock and tweak the motion ratio...
  • 3 1
 Mullet Filing cabinet with big drawers for 29" spares and little drawers for 27.5" spares, anyone? Only £7899.
  • 3 0
 Came to the comments just to see everyone's take on the welds
  • 2 0
 there sure are a lot of them?
  • 1 0
 I’ve seen HS vocational students practicing welding in an intro class that weld better than this. And I’m not joking!
  • 1 0
 Not sure about single pivot bike to climb, but I do miss my single pivot DH machine. There something about how it absorb hit that I love.
  • 1 0
 I run a 160mm disc on the back of my Alpine, Brake jack is minimal, but I think its a characteristic I like in single pivot suspension
  • 1 0
 I realize that Canadians and Minnesotans are proud of their hockey-hair, but can we come up with a better name for mixed wheel size bikes, instead of "mullet bikes"?
  • 3 0
 It hasn't got 97 pivots so it must be crap
  • 2 0
 this should have the box one prime 9 rather than that eagle stuff!
  • 1 0
 I've been running a similar set up all year, 29er fork with 29er 2.6, orange four 27.5 in the back. Mint!
  • 1 1
 When is Orange going to change that rear triangle? It is SO ugly, it ruins the look of their bikes. Frown
Is rear triangle even the right phrase for that? LOL.
  • 1 0
 Aggressive geos but that seat tube length is pita.
  • 2 1
 Real sausage fest at Eurobike huh?
  • 2 1
 Sounds like you’d like to attend. No judging of course...
  • 5 0
 Username checks out
  • 1 0
 @speed10: haha, good catch.
  • 1 0
 Business in the front, party in the back
  • 1 0
 I think it is time for a revamp with this bike.
  • 1 0
 Shootout between this and a Foes Mixer..
  • 1 0
 Looks great but it's so damn long.
  • 1 0
 The guy in the back ground sums up orange.
  • 1 0
 I want that geometry
  • 7 9
 Why is everyone jumping on this hype of 29/27.5 its nonsense! Plus orange bikes are Fugly and the break jack is horrendous!
  • 10 0
 Because they don't want a tyre up their butt.
  • 7 0
 Well the 29’er hype train has left the station and now they need something new to trick you into panic buying a new bike... I’m sticking to 27.5.
  • 2 0
 Makes sense on long travel bikes in smaller frame sizes. Allows for lots of rear wheel travel without getting kicked by the rear tyre on steep bits.
  • 5 1
 How to combat brake jack........don't brake so hard.
  • 2 2
 MEH.
  • 1 1
 No dw link?
  • 1 2
 worst aspects of everything in one bike lol
  • 7 9
 Mullets are stupid and ugly.
  • 1 1
 isn't a mullet.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: more like the baldy man with curtains lol
  • 1 0
 @nicky82: the skullet.
  • 1 0
 So why are so many behind ridden successfully at DH and EWS ?!!
  • 1 0
 @Murfdog: because they are being ridden. people that are winning would still win on normal bikes.
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