Review: Orange Stage 6 RS

Oct 29, 2018
by Alex Evans  
Orange's distinct monocoque single pivot silhouette has become one of mountain biking's design staples since we first cast eyes on their radical looking Patriot in 1999. It's testimony to the original design that after nearly 20 years little has changed with Orange's overall look. Despite a few forays into multi-pivot designs (like the ST4), Orange has always gone back to their winning formula of one pivot. That said, their range has seen a vast overhaul in recent years, adding a strong and impressive array of 29ers for pretty much all disciplines at the more extreme end of our sport.

The Stage range of bikes come in three flavors starting with their shortest 4-inch travel rig that's most at home on XC trails, the 5-inch travel bike that's a bit burlier and blurs the boundaries between
Orange Stage 6 RS

Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
Travel: 150mm rear / 160mm front
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: alloy
Head angle: 65.5º
Chainstay length: 450mm
Sizes: M, L, XL
Weight: 31.52 lb (14.3 kg) - size large, w/o pedals, w/o tubes
Price: £5860 (with upgrades)
Frame only: £2000
More info: www.orangebikes.co.uk
XC, all-mountain and enduro, and the 6-inch travel Stage 6 that sits comfortably at the top of the lineup as a full-on enduro race rig. All three 29er models have 27.5" counterparts: the Four, Five and Alpine 6.

The Stage 6 comes in three spec levels; the lowest Pro model, followed by the RS (on test, with upgrades) and finally the top-end Factory bike. All three bikes feature the same 150mm of travel and 6061 T6 aluminum frame, but their component specs differ. Orange give you the option to customize your chosen bike's spec on their website, stating now much each upgrade is going to cost. Our Stage 6 was upgraded with a Fox Factory fork and shock at a total cost of £550, Stans Flow X3 rims laced to Hope Pro 4 hubs costing £150, and Fox's Transfer dropper that added £160 to the price of the build. The rest of the bike is kitted out with components you'd expect at this price: SRAM's Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Guide RE brakes and Maxxis, Burgtec and Renthal kit.


bigquotesOrange's longest travel 29er is a super-predictable high-speed blast to ride that accelerates like a rocket and handles with consistent poise. It's an incredibly rewarding bike to thrash, but will set you back a fair amount of cash for the privilege.Alex Evans







In blue the bike is a looker.


Construction and Features

The Stage 6 is Orange's top-of-the-line, enduro-winning, trail munching weapon of destruction. Orange claims that it's optimized for racing and flat out riding on any terrain across the globe. After a quick glance over the spec sheets and geometry charts, it's easy to understand why they're making such bold claims. The simple-looking but well-designed frame shouts aggressive speed, and from the side the monocoque front triangle that's paired with a twin-tubed swing arm has a utilitarian presence. The main pivot's bearings are protected by a dust cap that's incorporated with the main pivot's securing bolt.

The rear axle uses 12 x 148mm Boost spacing, but the Maxle system means you can remove the rear wheel without the need for tools. Up front, Fox's Float Factory 36 deploys the standard Boost 15 x 110mm QR and wheel removal is also tool-less. With progressive but not extreme geometry that's slack enough and long enough in most of the right places, Orange's large size was spot on for my 5-foot 11-inch frame. Orange has used a 73mm threaded BB and has also specced ISCG-05 chain guide mounts, so no complaints about press-fit bottom brackets here. The rear brake is attached using standard IS mounts.

The bike's gear, brake and dropper cables are routed internally through the frame, but there are no external mounts or bosses should you wish to run them externally. One big bone of contention with all of Orange's current full suspension monocoque bikes is the distinct lack of water bottle cage mounting bosses - those of you who think this feature should be standard on all bikes will be sadly disappointed. On the flip side, Orange offers a 5-year warranty with the bike and it's designed and built in the UK rather than somewhere away from the company's country of origin.


The tyre clearance on Orange s Stage 6 is ample for any big-treadded rubber.
The tire clearance on Orange's Stage 6 is ample for any big-treaded rubber.
Fox s Float X2 has a great range of useable adjustment.
Alas, there is no space for a bottle on this bike.


The Cane Creek headset did start to make some creaking noises after a few rides - a problem we ve experienced with this headset before.
Orange uses a 1.5-inch headstock on the Stage 6.
The internal cable routing makes the cables bulge outwards from their exit point to the bars more than I would have liked.
The internal cable routing makes the cables bulge outwards from their exit point to the bars more than I would have liked.


Geometry & Sizing


On paper, the Stage's geometry meets most of the figures people are looking for in a fairly modern, but by no means extreme bike. The large size bike we've had on test has a relatively normal reach number at 462mm. The medium bike runs a 444mm reach, while the extra large extends to 479mm. The chainstay length remains the same 450mm across all sizes and is paired to a 795mm front center for the large, creating a total wheelbase figure of 1245mm, 1223mm for the small and 1266mm for the XL.

Other notable figures include a now-normalised 65.5-degree head angle, a moderate 74.5-degree seat tube angle, and a corner railing -35mm BB drop.


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Suspension Design

Orange use a single pivot design across their entire range of full suspension bikes, tuning the bike's kinematics with subtle alterations in pivot location and shock angle. The Stage's anti-squat figure uncompressed is around 138% while the bike is in its easiest gear. The anti-squat rate doesn't drop off dramatically through the bike's travel and finishes up at 121% at bottom out, once again in the bike's easiest gear. This means that the bike should resist pedalling forces throughout its travel but also means, in theory at least, that the suspension isn't as supple as another bike with a lower anti-squat number. At 30% sag (approximately 45mm of travel), the bike's anti-squat is 133%.

The bike's pivot placement is relatively high in relation to the chainring which means that suspension and pedalling forces are less isolated from interference with each other compared to a bike where the main pivot is directly in line with the top of the chainring. This does also mean the Orange has an ever-so-slightly rearward axle path for the first 60mm of its travel.

The simple single pivot should help to keep maintenance costs down.
The simple single pivot should help keep maintenance costs down.

The bike's leverage ratio is virtually flat (linear) throughout its travel, which means an air shock with volume spacers should suit the bike's suspension best. The rear suspension on our test model is competently handled by Fox's fantastic Factory Float X2 rear shock that has impressive levels of adjustability which equate to real-life, tangible changes in performance. This frame and shock setup combined left me with no complaints about how the suspension performed.

2018 Orange Stage 6 Leverage Ratio. Credit Orange Bikes.
2018 Orange Stage 6 Anit-Squat. Credit Orange Bikes.



Specifications

Specifications
Price $6850
Travel 150mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2
Fork Fox Factory 36 GRIP2 160mm
Headset Cane Creek 49
Cassette SRAM XG-1275 10-50T
Crankarms SRAM Descendant Carbon Eagle 32t
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle 12 speed
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar M35
Brakes SRAM Guide RE
Hubs Hope Pro 4
Rim Stans Flow MK3
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 / DHRII 2.4
Seat SDG Radar
Seatpost Fox Factory Transfer, 150mm
















Test Bike Setup

After spending some solid time riding the bike on varied terrain and experimenting with a few different suspension setups, I ended up with the Fox 36 Float Factory FIT GRIP2 fork inflated to 97psi, a full 16 psi higher than Fox's recommended settings. I found that Fox's recommended settings were way too soft for my personal taste and made the fork sit far too deep into their travel at sag.

The fork was supplied with one 10cc orange volume reducer spacer and, from fully open, I added 8 clicks of high-speed compression and 13 clicks of low-speed compression. I also tuned in 9 clicks of rebound from fully open. The forks are now sitting at 30mm of sag which equates to 18% of their travel.[Note: Alex's preferred fork settings tend to be much firmer than what's typical, likely due to his very hard charging riding style. -- Ed.]

I settled on running 170 psi in the Float X2, with the high-speed compression damping set 9 clicks on from fully open, low-speed compression damping
GT Fury 2019
Alex Evans
Location: Bath, United Kingdom
Age: 31
Height: 178 cm
Inseam: 82 cm
Weight: 77 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
7 clicks on from fully open, and the rebound at 11 and 10 clicks on from fully open for the high- and low-speed settings respectively. These settings put the bike's sag at 15mm of shaft stroke, or 26% of the bike's travel.

I found the fork and shock both incredibly easy to set up, and had better luck achieving the exact feel I was looking for compared to Fox's lower end DPX2 and FIT4 models, thanks to the increased amounts of user adjustability. Although some may argue that if there's more to adjust, it's easier to get it wrong, you can feel the incremental adjustment changes enough to understand how your adjustments are affecting the bike's handling.

I've been riding this bike on a mix of trails across the south west of the UK and South Wales. Conditions have spanned from bone dry dust to dirty slop, mega-steep loam and big jumpy motorways to hero dirt and waymarked trail center loops.



27.07.18. Orange Stage 6 Test Pinkbike Rider Alex Evans PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
On climbs, the Stage's suspension doesn't bob too much if you're pedalling smoothly. Hack along a tarmac road, however, and you'll get unwanted suspension movement.


Climbing

Let's face it, you're not going to be winning any XC-biased events with this bike. And that's not a bad thing. The geometry is DH-focussed, and why shouldn't it be? This is a bike that's designed to go downhill, and do it quickly, with the advantage of being light enough and comfy enough to pedal back to the trailhead for another run of the good stuff. The 29-inch wheels are as much as an advantage going uphill as they are on the downs, and the age-old clichés of '29-inch wheels make trails smoother' still stands true (at least for the most part).

The big wheels aren't the only element of the bike that makes it easier to propel against gravity - SRAM's 50-tooth Eagle cassette that's mated to the 32-tooth chainring helps this bike climb for as long as your body permits, and I'm yet to find an ascent where I wish I had more gears. Even the lower-end NX-equipped model still has Eagle gearing which is a real win. The long 450mm chainstays help to centralize your weight, which has a noticeable effect on combatting front wheel lift when climbs get very steep. I do think the seat angle could be steeper, though, and I ended up adjusting my seat angle to nose down and as forward as possible on the rails. After that, the seat angle didn't hinder the bike on the climbs, and I found ascending to be a real non-event; probably one of the highest levels of praise you could give to a bike designed to go down.

The X2 shock's climb lever works efficiently and does a good job of virtually eliminating all pedal bob. The lever's efficiency is most noticeable when your legs are spinning away on flatter, higher cadence climbs - with the lever set to the open position, the rear shock did bob into and out of its sag point, but flick the lever to closed and the bike becomes suitably firm to make good progress. On more technical or rougher climbs, I tended to leave the climb lever in the open position so that the suspension could absorb the bumps and give me more traction. In these scenarios, I found the climb function to hinder progress rather than improve the ride.

A common complaint about Orange's suspension design is that it suffers from pedal kickback under suspension compression. To be perfectly honest, I didn't notice this enough to make it a deal-breaking issue. Sure, if you're in first gear and are pedalling hard, the suspension's compliance is reduced, but not in a such a perceptively encumbering way that the bike climbs slower than a Horst link design or VPP-style bike.



27.07.18. Orange Stage 6 Test Pinkbike Rider Alex Evans PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The Orange loves to party.


Descending

This bike is one fun loving animal. It accelerates like a bat out hell, holds lines straight, even through disgusting choppy ground, and has enough mid-stroke and bottom out resistance to provide an excellently precise and speedy cornering experience without reaching the end of its travel too hastily on big, harsh hits. The suspension is composed and supple enough to absorb bumps you weren't necessarily planning on hitting, and the geometry helps make the bike rewarding to ride at speed while retaining plenty of pop and fizz when the trail slows down and tightens up.

Thanks to the relatively high single pivot, the Orange loves to be pumped and worked hard. Ridden like this, you'll get the most from the bike and I was surprised at the amount of speed you can generate on flatter sections of trail. The accelerating forces you can make from the bike and terrain could be in part created by the bike's small amount of chain growth as it compresses through its travel and in part thanks to its supportive suspension. It's much easier to generate speed on a bike that isn't wallowing around and absorbing all of your effort.

I've heard people talking about other Orange bikes with kickback that's pronounced enough to be felt through the pedals, blowing feet off and interrupting the suspension's movement, but in my experience, the Orange doesn't suffer from ride-ruining kickback, and the small amount that is there can only really be felt if you're riding unsympathetically. For example, if you hit a compression that has additional bumps the bike needs to absorb, it can feel reluctant to smooth them out. This normally results in the wheels making a dull thudding sound as they comply with the ground's form, but there are no dramatic foot-flying-off-pedals or kickback-induced moments.

27.07.18. Orange Stage 6 Test Pinkbike Rider Alex Evans PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The bike is really confident in the air and took off with simple predictability time after time.

On tight, technical sections the bike's shock and fork helps it stay higher in its travel compared to inherently less supportive competitors. This makes it much easier to turn quickly and maneuver where you want it to go - less of your energy is sapped up by compressing into its travel. The lengthy chainstays don't seem to affect the bike's impressive agility, either. The centering effect of the longer rear end means you don't need to pitch your body fore and aft as much to get the bike to move where you want it.

When hitting higher speeds I felt like the bike was stable and managed to absorb holes and compressions in its path no matter how aggressively they were taken. Once again, the fork and shock's fantastic damping coupled with the bikes inherent predictability kept position-correcting and energy-sapping body movements to an absolute minimum. Okay, so I'll admit this isn't the smoothest riding bike out there and trail chatter isn't ironed out totally, but that feedback is a welcome reminder that you're riding your bike on awesome trails rather than hooning it down a tarmac road. I wasn't left yearning for more suppleness or better suspension, and the bike performed precisely as you'd expect it should.

Under braking through rough or steep sections, the suspension wasn't as compliant, but this didn't result in the bike becoming unwieldy. It was perfectly manageable with technique - drop your heels, look where you want to go and get on with it. Admittedly, this is an inherent problem with the single pivot design, but the Stage's brake jack isn't bad enough to leave me thinking the bike should have a floating brake arm (remember these?) or make me want to stop riding.

This is one fantastic bike to ride no matter where you're going or how hard you're riding. It's just as comfortable cruising as it is hammering down the trail pushing your limits. The predictability of how the bike is going to react means that you can get away with being a bit wild or careless with your line choices without being punished or losing too much speed. The bike loves to accelerate and rewards involved and active riders with brisk increases of pace that are easy to manage and enjoy. You don't need to be in with a chance of getting on the EWS podium to have fun, and riders of all abilities will be able to get a buzz with the Stage between their legs.





A British bike in a British setting.
Orange Stage 6 RS
Scott Ransom 900 Tuned

How does it compare?

With even more long travel 29ers becoming available, you're now spoiled for choice by some fantastically performing, race-winning bikes. Compare the Stage 6 to Scott's 29er flagship enduro racer and you'll notice some differences. The Scott uses a Horst Link suspension system that's bolted to a proprietary shock and fork, it has 20mm of extra rear-wheel travel and is considerably more expensive. Geometry-wise, the Ransom (in the low setting) runs a slacker 64.5-degree head angle, steeper 75-degree seat angle, longer wheelbase (by 4mm), shorter chainstays (438mm) and a slightly longer 466mm reach. So, while the size-for-size top trumps comparison favors the Ransom's more extreme geometry, the Orange doesn't suffer on the trail from its more conservative figures.

Plow through rough terrain with conviction and speed and you'll notice the Ransom's suspension is more supple and keener to absorb bumps compared to Orange's single pivot design. On the larger compressions, bottom outs or turns the bikes are evenly matched when it comes to the amount of support they offer, almost certainly thanks to Orange's Float X2 shock and Factory 36 fork and Scott's own inbuilt volume adjuster and damping tune on their Nude TR EVOL unit.

Although when you really start to haul, Scott's marginally bigger bike is more stable, but the chassis is let down by their proprietary fork. Orange's Fox Factory suspension is noticeably better in pretty much all riding scenarios bar climbing, where Scott's TwinLoc system has a clear upper hand.

Both bikes excel with a slightly different style of riding - the Orange worked best when I was actively engaged with the terrain, finding bumps to pump, holes to jump and turns to push around. The Ransom, however, performed best when I went with the plow approach to riding. Letting the bike do the work beneath you didn't result in a loss of speed or control and its ability to munch bumps without breaking a sweat was impressive.

With that in mind, the Orange certainly feels more highly strung compared to the Ransom's bump neutralizing suspension. They're on a par with each other for how fast you can ride and how much fun you can have, but certainly not with how much they cost.


The Descendant carbon cranks performed well.
The Descendant carbon cranks performed well.
Fox s Transfer dropper post performed faultlessly.
Fox's Transfer dropper post proved to be very reliable.


Technical Report

Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT(F) & DHR II 2.4 WT (R) tyres: With a widely-loved tread pattern, the DHF & DHR combo is one of the perfect go-to partnerships of rubber for budding racers and weekend warriors alike. The front tire's knobs do a fantastic job of providing excellent cornering control and have a predictable breakaway point. The rear DHR has beefed up lateral knobs that aid with braking performance while still having shoulder knobs that are good for cornering. These tires work well in a host of conditions but reach their limits when the ground is exceptionally gloopy or muddy. The tire's carcasses are lightweight, which you'll praise on the climbs and does help to keep the headline weight figure of the bike down, but you're more susceptible to punctures and rips. Plus, the tire isn't as solid, and there's much less to push against when you're riding flat out. If you're a hardcore rider looking for more support and protection, you'll probably want to upgrade the tires to the DoubleDown or DH models.

SRAM Guide RE Brakes: Unlike the Guide R brakes specced on quite a few hardcore trail and enduro bikes, the Guide RE takes the caliper from the DH-orientated Code and mates it to a Guide lever. This means there's loads more power on tap compared to a standard Guide setup and I was grateful Orange have chosen to spec the slightly heavier brake to not compromise performance. Although there's only lever reach adjustment, I was never left wishing I had more stopping power or more adjustment.

Burgtec Stem, Renthal Bars & Orange Strange Saddle: It's great to see branded parts specced on a bike and the performance of Renthal's bars or Burgtec's stem aren't ever in question. The Strange saddle that's made by SDG is comfy enough but would probably be on my personal list of immediate upgrades - although it might work for some peoples' asses perfectly well. The inclusion of these parts do come at a price, however, and it would be interesting to see if Orange could or would reduce the price of their bikes if they got into the aftermarket component business.

The Guide RE brakes use Code calipers matched to Guide levers - a combination the offers plenty of stopping power.
The Guide RE brakes use Code calipers matched to Guide levers - a combination the offers plenty of stopping power.
It s hard to fault SRAM s Eagle drive train when it s set up well.
It's hard to fault SRAM's Eagle drive train when it's set up well.

Stan's Flow Mk3 wheels & Hope Pro 4 Hubs: These are an upgraded item from the stock Stage 6 RS and cost an additional £150 over the Race Face ARC 30. The internal 29mm rim width works well with the 2.5 and 2.4-inch WT Maxxis tyres and I had to push hard in the turns to get the tires to feel like they were beginning to pop off the rims. I still didn't feel confident enough in the setup to reduce my tire pressures lower than I normally run, but the additional support the wider rim gave was welcome. Despite this, I have managed to ding both the front and rear rims - an irregular occurrence these days. The dings could hint at softer than average rim construction, but the wheels have stayed true and have been maintenance free. The Hope Pro 4 hubs have worked without complaint. I am still unsure whether this is a worthwhile £150 upgrade, but the renowned quality of the Hope hubs alone could sway me to think it is.

Fox Factory Transfer 150mm Kashima Dropper Post: I find the less you've got to say about this type of component the better. The post has performed faultlessly and isn't showing signs of faltering any time soon. One thing I will say about the post is that it has quite a high fully compressed stack height - the stanchion doesn't compress fully into the post's body. This could be an issue for riders with shorter legs or those who need the height on the climbs but want the post to be slammed while descending.

SRAM's Eagle drivetrain: Although the groupset is a hotch-potch of SRAM parts, I've only got praise for how well it has performed. Eagle can be difficult to set up (the sweet spot of shifting performance is very narrow, especially the B-tension screw), but these issues are outweighed by access to the additional gears that make climbing a much more bearable experience.


The Fox Factory 36 fork are nothing short of fantastic.
The Fox Factory 36 fork is nothing short of fantastic.
The Minion DHF front tyre provides excellent grip but the thin carcass is a bit of a let down when you really start motoring.
The Minion DHF front tyre (pictured) and DHR II provided excellent grip, but their thin carcasses were a bit of a let-down when you really started motoring.


27.07.18. Orange Stage 6 Test Pinkbike Rider Alex Evans PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography


Pros

+ Loves to be ridden hard and fast.
+ The bike is consistently predictable no matter how wild you get.
+ A great range of top-tier components really help the bike shine.
+ Designed and manufactured in the UK.
Cons

- It is quite expensive.
- Some of the available upgrades probably aren't worth the cash, so choose wisely.
- The distinctive 'Orange' look can divide opinion.


Is this the bike for you?

Whether you're a weekend warrior, budding racer or total pinner, the Stage 6 is going to make you smile out on the trail. The fantastic Fox dampers really help make this bike feel predictable, balanced and easy to set up. If you've got a decent wedge of cash to spend, the Orange should be on your short list.





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesI felt at home right away on the Stage 6. The bike's inherently stable characteristics meant that I could ride quickly from the get-go. Once I'd made a bond with the bike and honed my setup it really felt like it was possible to have fun, ride fast and get wild without being punished or surprised. The Stage's eagerness to accelerate and thrive off rider input means the bike can flip between just cruising to warp speed in the blink of an eye. It would be great if Orange gave consumers the option to spec heavier weight tires on the bike considering they already offer deep customization, because the rest of the bike and its geometry is absolutely dialled.Alex Evans









261 Comments

  • + 226
 A noisey filing cabinet of bike. The rear swing arm sounds like a skeleton masturbating in a biscuit tin*

*copyright singletrack forum
  • + 33
 Like being chased down the trail by a bag of spanners
  • + 13
 That swing arm description! Now I know what I'm going as for the Halloween party - thanks!
  • + 28
 Any one who reads singletrack forum is an absolute turd and usually has ideas of grandure while sat upon their latest spec bike that they bought with the proceeds from selling jizz.
  • + 9
 I have an 05 Strange Five, prototype of the Alpine 160. If you look at the two bikes together and squint your eyes they look the same. Noisy is an understatement. Mine sounds like a runaway cat with tin cans tied to its tail!
  • + 0
 Well I run an Alpine, 224 Evo and 324. 224 Evo had a permanet bell installed in the rear end but the oder two aren't as loud as any creaking Specialized.But I guess you got to love single pivots.
  • + 7
 How are these bikes still a thing?
  • + 14
 Having owned at least 4 Oranges I always described the noise as dropping a box of wrenches down a trash chute.
  • + 9
 I’d love to see a comparison between the Orange, a Prophet, a Heckler, and a Bullit.
Maybe even an old Weyless XP?
  • + 3
 I totally agree I had one for 12months and have just sold it. I've got a giant reign advanced coming now. Never again will buy a single pivot bike
  • + 9
 Sounds about right for the British Leyland of Bicycles ... :-/
  • + 5
 Outdatedness will always be vintagely ugly
  • + 1
 I remember my old '02 patriot lt, totally sick bike but used to always get weird looks from people like there was something majorly wrong with my bike as, combined with the alloy mrp double bash plates of the time, it made a horrendous racket clanging and rattling down the hill. Top performing bike though, would by my old one back in a heartbeat
  • + 1
 @bluumax: paperclips. A bag of paperclips. Standards are slipping.
  • + 1
 @garygrimm: add a '98 Marin B17 and you have a real line-up!
  • + 1
 I'm wondering why people say that the Oranges are ''noisy''? It doesn't have any chain slap since the chain runs under the chainstay not around it , so shouldn't it be more silent?
  • + 126
 Ugly, heavy, expensive, backward. Choose four.
  • + 8
 Mate that killed me haha
  • + 3
 All the f*cking upvotes! LOL
  • + 72
 Blah blah, something about welds, blah blah lack of water bottle, blah blah single pivot and brake squat. They are what they are, a bloody quick bike well suited for the UK (even if it does resemble a filing cabinet)
  • + 23
 Yeah they're absolutely CRACKING bikes Smile
  • + 3
 Why dont use a hip back instead of a water bottle?
Way more storage for phone, Keys, bar and water ans you dont feel it at all.
  • + 4
 I'm with you on the filing cabinet and welds mugshot.
  • + 10
 @NotNamed: maybe bikes that dont fit a normal water bottle could see their designers to shape their own water bottles to fit their shapes. Shouldnt be so complicated to fit a 0.5 liter bottle behind the headtube and another 0,5 to fit at the bottom bracket. Way to go engineers!!!
  • + 2
 @bluumax: yeah they have experienced issues with that new rear end
  • - 7
flag easyslorider (Oct 29, 2018 at 2:55) (Below Threshold)
 Ugly af
  • + 0
 In the picture that holds the text about riding the orange stage 6, the kid of heading photo for that second section so to speak. The front and back wheels look out of line. Is that the back end flexing, or perhaps just the lens used to capture the image?
  • + 3
 @NotNamed: Unlike in hip pack, the frame mounted water bottle doesn't hurt your back if you crash... I learned it the hard way. Smile
  • + 19
 Always wondered how my old Santa Cruz Bullit would ride with modern geometry and top end dampers. Seems like the answer is “pretty good!”
  • + 3
 @sewer-rat: hahahahaha. They've experienced issues with every rear end.
  • + 0
 @bluumax: yeah but I believe even more so with this style opposed to the old one, especially on the drop outs, seen a few fours and alpines crack there , saying that the same can be said for other brands
  • + 0
 @jaame: I think it's a combination of viewing angle and the front wheel being turned ever so slightly.
  • - 6
flag RedRedRe (Oct 29, 2018 at 6:52) (Below Threshold)
 Wonder how many people have ridden one or even seen one in person? I have ridden a couple of the newer bikes. The frame does not feel lively or responsive. More like driving a pickup truck than a sports sedan. The rear is outdated- i am not looking at questionable graphs- it is either too soft of too hard. Assuming you ride the bike up and down. Why dont spec a cane creek shock? Maybe it can do the miracle.
Finishing is not what you expect from a bike in this price range.
  • + 5
 Those welds! That swing arm! Well, one thing it doesn't look like is a session, or any other bike made in the last 10 years. (Although it does kinda look like a Stanta Cruz Jeckyl). Something to be said for that, I think.
  • + 1
 @bluumax: cracked mine it was a 2 week turn around replacement.
  • + 3
 @bikeinbih: In what way does a hip back with a hydration pack hurt your back?
Seriously interested.
  • + 2
 @NotNamed: I'd guess it's when you go OTB and land on ya back, when ever I see a hip pack my back gives out phantom pains at the thought of my back being pivots around 1 vertebra and waking my sciatica up.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: I use one of my long rides but when I am doing a quick hour loop I don't take anything with me just a bottle on my bike. what I prefer though.
  • + 0
 @TheR: Santa Cruz super 8
  • + 0
 @sarah-maude: I smashed shit in a single oivot
  • + 7
 @RedRedRe: I’ve ridden one and the only thing outdated on that bike is the seat tube height. I think the XL has a 21 inch seat tube which makes it absolutely unusable on anything remotely steep. You’re talking absolute rubbish on the suspension. If you can’t set up a almost linear single pivot properly then that’s on you because they’re the easiest bikes in the world to set up.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Keys, Wallet, Phone!
  • + 57
 Looks like a combine harvester
  • + 6
 I nearly spat tea over my monitor! So true
  • + 11
 @CHRISSYWADDLE: That sounds so british Smile
  • + 4
 Paint this Orange red and call it Frank.
  • - 4
flag SonofBovril (Oct 29, 2018 at 6:43) (Below Threshold)
 There will always be those people that would rather ride a vintage rather than a more modern, advanced design, performance be damned...
  • + 4
 looks like a gate
  • + 1
 hmmmm the combines ive seen in the last decade are actually quite futuristic looking.
  • + 2
 @jaycubzz: then the combines got uglier. even uglier than a gate
  • + 55
 My LBS has blue Oranges and orange Whytes.
  • + 16
 I have a whyte orange and an orange whyte Smile
  • - 3
 WT(F)
  • + 2
 @AdamOdh: I also have an Orange whyte
  • + 0
 No White YT? I'll take an Orange Whyte please...
  • + 38
 Sorry, down vote me if you want, but I have just never liked the looks of these bikes. Ride great? sure! But they are ugly to me. big bulky welds and that horrible plate that moves forward and back with the shock makes me want to die. Props for being a UK made brand. Probably a local favorite. But ugly.
  • + 15
 Its kind of a look you like or not all i think. However i was a bit surprised when i saw the price. That thing is almost 7000 dollars. Thats a lot of money for an aluminium bike. I dont question how good the bike is. Im sure its really good. But is that price justified? Go to any main bike manufacturer. Trek. Specialized you name it. And youre going home with a really good carbon bike for that money. (Environmental reasons aside). Why would i say i dont want a Trek or a specialized, or a Santa Cruz. Instead ill go with this? See my point? This doesnt have to be good. is has to be THAT good.
  • + 4
 They are only renown because they are a UK based brand... They have upgraded the geometry which is good, but it remains mainly a bike from the past. I'm sure it performs OK, but I don't think it's up to the latest modern bikes performance wise
  • + 4
 Basically a Foes from the 90's
  • - 4
flag RedRedRe (Oct 29, 2018 at 6:54) (Below Threshold)
 I think they look great but ride awful. A little bit like all english bikes. I don’t know what it is. The three speeds where great.
  • + 1
 @SonofBovril: Foes are much cool.
  • + 0
 *cooler
  • + 3
 Santa Cruz heckler @SonofBovril:
  • + 3
 Range Rovers, Jaguars and Aston Martins are also shit but made in/from the UK so people love them.
  • - 1
 @RecklessJack: yep! And they aren't that good..
  • + 0
 Nobody want to say something about the price? 6800 usd for an aluminum frame bike?
  • + 0
 @santacruz-ing: Range Rovers and Jags are Indian these days. Not sure who owns aston martin at the moment
  • - 1
 Fugly
  • + 38
 The most important question hasn't been answered - how many files can it hold?
  • + 38
 I would love to see an Orange bike NOT reviewed by a British reviewer...
  • + 5
 Me too (and I speak as a Brit). Similarly I'd like to see Litevilles reviewed by non-Germans Smile
  • + 0
 seth bike hacks lol
  • + 16
 "Doesn't have a water bottle?... that's okay, because it's built in the UK. Isn't the smoothest bike out there?... that's okay you get to really FEEL the trail. Pedal kickback under compression?... that's okay, it's not a TON of kickback. Not convinced yet? It costs an arm an a leg too." Shoot. I'm sold. Sounds like a helluva bike.
  • + 18
 Thank god for that suspension movement video. I couldn't wrap my head around how the single pivot suspension works.
  • + 14
 Road a few oranges over the summer and I felt at home right away on all of them. Usually takes me abit of time to gain confidence in the bike but not on a orange. You can just hit send straight away. Awesome bikes everyone should try one and I am definitely considering one for my next bike.
  • + 14
 Brits go Bananas over Oranges.
  • + 10
 I don’t mind the single pivot, and I dig the aluminum frame, but a 31lbs++ bike for this much money is just... taking the easy road. There needs to be a reason why made in Britain is better. If the whole simple is beautiful thing is going to appeal to the mainstream at least make it 28lbs for the competitive advantage for a single pivot bike.
  • + 9
 Yea if its over 30lb it should come with a pinion gearbox.

As orange are built for muddy UK winters, surely a gearbox would be how this brand can evolve and still keep the gate/filo looks!
  • + 8
 Eh you wont feel a 2-3% system-weight difference... Only maybe heavier wheels but not frame weight.

Good geo and suspension make up for that.
  • + 31
 @NotNamed: You only feel the weight on the internet.
  • + 3
 @NotNamed: 31 to 29 lb is almost 10%, but I agree its more down to wheels than to frane weight what is relevant ...
  • + 11
 if "simple is beautiful" then why is the bike so ugly?
  • + 2
 @Richt2000: Effigear gearbox would suit this frame better, and avoid a chain tensioner.
  • + 15
 Did the text say made in Britain is better ?
Cuz' IMO it's not that this bike is better or not, it's expensive simply because it's not made oversea.
Taxes, health insurance, decent salary for the employees, etc, this is what makes this price.
I mean, this may be the actual "real" price of an aluminium bike. It's not that this one is expensive, it's the bikes made oversea that are way too cheap. Make a carbon frame in Europe and you have a Unno, now that's the real price of a carbon bike made in Europe. We're all spoiled kid because oil allows an unfair concurrency from oversea, then when we realise the "real price" of things, what we would all have to pay if we could only buy a bike made locally, we think it's expensive, but it's not.
  • + 9
 @blackthorne : Made in Britain may not necessarily give you a better product, but there is something nice about having it actually being produced near where it is being designed. Doesn't really matter where it is really. So that goes for Polygon as well as Orange. It is funny actually seeing Americans lament the shift of their production to the far east (like Intense bikes) and be really proud of the products that are actually still being produced in their homeland. I think it is really cool how many great yet reasonably affordable components and frames are still being produced in Europe, the UK and Germany in particular. These builders at Orange deserve a sustainable wage and if it works out that this should be the price of the bike, then so be it. I don't view bikes from Orange as bikes one would ride for only two or three years and then sell off. These should last you a good while so the price of the bikes shouldn't be that much of an issue. This is the kind of bike you save up for. Then when you have it you just ride the hell out of it and don't worry about the latest linkages and whatnot.
  • + 1
 @Will-narayan: Wellllllll...except for the Hope HB160. That's made from carbon in the UK at £5500. Which is, I think, pretty exceptional given the price of an equivalent Santa Cruz or whatever boutique Taiwanese built brand you might want to mention.
  • + 10
 I ride an Alpine 6, which I absolutely love and it's an awesome bike. I've a couple of mates who own Stage 6's and they rave about them being fast, planted and massive fun to ride. Looks wise, Orange's bikes aren't everyone's cup of tea, but when it comes to flat out fun and reliability, especially in UK riding conditions, Orange bikes are still hard to beat.
  • + 8
 I do love Orange sticking to their guns and not going down the plasticy black stuff route. However, I do think they need to employ someone who can actually weld. Their welding looks really messy and it would actually put me off buying one. In this day and age there is no excuse for it.
  • + 8
 "Thanks to the relatively high single pivot, the Orange loves to be pumped and worked hard."

Please elaborate more on this one. I see no connection between high pivot and pumping, please enlight me.
  • + 2
 from what I've gleaned from riding various single pivot bikes, the higher the pivot the more poppy it is. My old five (2014) model was / is far less poppy than my Empire MX6EVO which also has the high single pivot. This makes for a much more playful and poppy ride, you really feel the bike when pumping if that makes sense as it feels more active, so much in fact that you tend to run the rebound slower than on other designs.
  • + 0
 @sewer-rat: Interesting. Would this make something like a DMR Bolt (Long) or any single pivot which rotates around the bb for that matter make unpoppy? I would have expected a high pivot to react well to pedaling action and be supple over obstacles, but I too see no relation to how well it pumps. That said, I'm genuinely interested. I do know for the DMR that people really like the frame with the Vector shock (with a lot of low speed compression damping) and really don't like it with the more simple air shock.
  • + 0
 I don't see a correlation neither, but the author makes other correlation on unrelated topics. The section related to kickback (just look at the video starting from the second compression and yes, the bike has kickback with its 32t chainring, about as much as my Ralleon with a 28t) and the bike not being slower on climbs than VPPs or Horst Link... I assume he makes a correlation Kickback/antisquat. Kickback and antisquat are both bound to the pivot location but that's about it. It's not like all bikes with x% antisquat get the same y° of kickback. It's a big misunderstanding.
BTW I'm happy for him he does not need something smaller than a 32t with Eagle. But for me, with Maxxis DD tyres on long and mostly very steep climbs this is too much and I am better with a 28t. On such a bike that would give simply too much kickback.
  • + 2
 @EnduroManiac: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Fabien Barel had his Kona bikes set up (he used some custom links) with a lot of pedal kickback so that if the suspension compressed due to a big impact and he kept his legs steady, that it actually provided some propulsion. Now I don't have that much experience with riding full suspension bikes but would this amount of kickback (as we have here for the Orange) already give you this advantage? Now of course kickback would be less in a heavier gear (as the chainline would be closer to the pivot) but yeah I was curious whether this effect would be what the author experiences as making it a nice bike for pumping.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I remember my old Bullit well (and my alpine and five), ahh good times but that too did not feel as good as my MX6EVO or VX8 downhill bike they just feel more poppy and less flexy in the turns (granted thats the stiffness of the rear end and not the pivot point but it certainly helps in regards to confidence and feel). I dunno if its actually me getting used to them over the years (I've ridden SP for over 7 years now) but I am certainly more confident on the empire than its predecessors , the fact that it (the mx6) accelerates like a scalded cat also has to be privvy to that pivot point or just clever design, I dunno just far quicker. I used to run a coil on my five as I couldn't get it to feel right compared to my alpine (would always pitch in turns an on drops and just felt skittish), the MX6 however just feels more confidence inspiring and boisterous (with a standard Monach), and I really like that. As for pumping on flow trails it wants to get airborne due to the speed and nature of the bike but if you keep it on the ground it pumps really well and changes direction better than most other bikes I've ridden also.

There was a pretty good review on it here

www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/bikes/mountain-bikes/full-suspension/product/review-empire-cycles-mx6-evo-15-custom-build-49455
  • + 0
 I think it has to do with the relatively high and consistent anti-squat typical of a high single pivot (without idler)
  • + 3
 I think "poppy" here simply means a lot of kickback. Kickback makes suspension harder to compress, ergo, it sucks less of the force you put through your legs. Just like it is easier to pump a hardtail vs. full suspension. But this only means that you have a bike with bad suspension design. When I read that an 160mm bike is poppy that simply means it has a lot of kickback, this is reviewers way to say some kind of truth and not offend bike company Wink
Btw, antisuquat and kickback are very related to each other in a single pivot design.
  • + 0
 Doesn't everyone like to be pumped and worked hard?
  • - 3
 @lkubica: Yeah, 1x drivetrains finally make choosing a pivot point for a single pivot pretty straightforward and Orange still manages to completely blow it.
  • + 7
 Sexy!
Ugly!
But my water bottle
Single pivot sucks
Better than 4 bar
Reviewer should have compared to [X]
#26aintdead
Looks like a Session
Looks like a Jeffsy
Already tiresome Randy throwback

Did I get them all?
  • + 7
 Here brother, just relax...
  • + 6
 @kiwikonadude: weirdly enough I am drunk in your homeland right now and very relaxed! But make the rain stop please
  • + 3
 @caltife: LOL, no rain here ;-) Enjoy NZ and make sure you get to Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington and The Old Ghost Road. YOLO!
  • + 2
 @kiwikonadude: cheers man, lovely country you've got going here, I'm just acclimatised to drought dust is all. Wanaka tomorrow, Queenstown after that, Ghost Road if time permits!
  • + 14
 you forgot: "Can I have your googles?!?!?"
  • + 1
 Don't forget: "This kind of money and no carbon?"
  • + 3
 you missed the masturbating skeleton I'm afraid.
  • + 9
 Just because it's hand built doesn't necessarily mean it's better
  • + 5
 Still riding my 1999 Orange P7, it's the dogs, never ever gone wrong on me. Don't talk to me about the pile of sh*te Trek I got as a follow up, thank god I kept the old dog. Next bike will be an Orange, built to last, enough said.
  • + 8
 That's a very ugly bike. Almost as ugly as Kurt Sorge's rampage bike...almost.
  • + 4
 Sat here looking at my Stage 5, the welds look perfectly fine to me. I love the industrial look of the bike and I like the thought that some guy was probably welding it up whilst drinking a mug of tea and probably has gravy on his chips. I've had a number of multi pivot bikes and I can honestly say that I am more happy riding a single pivot - I don't need a degree in engineering to understand how to get the best out of it and with a top end shock I really don't notice the negative traits everyone always mentions. All bikes have strengths and weaknesses the simple design of a single pivot is easy for me to understand and adapt my riding to. Each to their own!
  • + 4
 A bit fugly yeah but I tried numerous bikes including an SB6, Nomad, Bronson, Hightower, Primer but kept on coming back to the Stage 5...just feels right and I can't see that many welds when I'm sat on it! I've got an XL Factory Stage 5 which weighs in pretty much bang-on 31lbs with XTR trail pedals....only the £3k more expensive factory Primer was noticeably lighter!?
  • + 6
 Where all the 'I've never actual ridden a recent single pivot but they are still shit because I drink the cool aid' people at
  • + 4
 "Rode a hsp orange 6 and it rode like dog diarrhea" person checking in
  • + 0
 I’ve got a 2017 Kona Operator and yeah, it’s not as good on the rear brake in the rough at higher speeds as my dual link enduro bike is. Luckily the Operator is a long(ish) bike and fairly slack so it provides stability in a different way. Tapping the brakes and changing lines isn’t it’s strong suit, pick a line and stick with it is where it’s at. Compared to other DH bikes, it pedals for shiat (Trek, Specialized and Intense that I’ve personally ridden).

Would I judge all single pivots based on my Kona? Probably. Would it stop me from buying another single pivot without a demo/rental option? Trail bike, yes and DH no.
  • + 7
 I would really like to support a UK company but £2k for an aluminium, single pivot frame?! No thanks.
  • + 8
 old ass Santa Cruz bullit? is that you?
  • + 7
 Plenty of clearance for big treaded rubber? Even though the tyres almost buzz the seat tube upon full compression...
  • + 3
 I like Orange bikes, no idea why, never ridden one, but have always liked the look of them. Yes they are agricultural etc but they have an identity. If you de-badged every bike on the market everyone would know which one the Orange is, the rest have small individual details that only the bike geek would be able to differentiate.
  • + 3
 I'm amazed at the divisiveness the Orange silhouette stirs among the MTB community. As an owner of a 324 and Stage 5, I have strangers yelling at my bike screaming how ugly she is in the Highland lift line. They are beautiful, they ride amazing, check the results: undefeated 2018 FNRL! full punt
  • + 5
 Every time I think of replacing the 14 suspension bearings in my Spez I wish I had a good old mono-pivot . Then again I don't live in a snot muddy UK...
  • + 4
 The whole article is written in a way to unjustly portray the Orange better than it is. Especially the comparison with the Ransom. The only pro for the Orange is that it is cheaper. Great advantage for a 6k Bike...
  • + 4
 He said the Orange was more responsive and easier to pump terrain, thus faster. Many would see those as advantages.
  • + 3
 Orange's are definitely a love it or hate it look. I personally like them and would totally entertain the idea of buying one... but they have got to get their prices under control. Nothing wrong with an alloy bike but these things are literally just sheet metal bent and bashed into place with simple jigs. They would probably sell more than they think if the prices were more in line with other manufacturers.
  • - 3
 Calls it "love it or hate it" level of polarization. Proceeds to "like them".
  • + 1
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: sorry the words changed slightly. Sweat over semantics all you like.
  • + 5
 Did a blind person weld this bike?

Im also here to see the all the Brits just pine over this shitty bike.
  • + 2
 As always with single pivot there's one crucial thing: a good quality damper tuned just for that bike. Without it singe pivot just won't ride good.

It's quite interesting to see over they years that the influence of braking and high cadence to suspension performance has just magically disappeared ;>
  • + 6
 Designed and manufactured in the UK isn't actually a good thing TBH lol
  • + 4
 Freaking laughed. What I think when I see, "designed, and manufactured in the U.K.": "It's really good, possibly the best, but it has a fatal flaw"
  • + 3
 True us brits and the French suck at making stuff. (apart from hope) good ideas yes but actually knocking stuff out err nope.
  • + 6
 @Kramz: It's just added character! And theirs is probably the only ebike I'd consider buying because they probably collaborated with Lucas Electric and the motor doesn't work at all.
  • + 0
 @markg1150: formula 1 is almost entirely British... so I’d have to agree! Wink
  • + 7
 @ZappBrannigan: Hence the moniker "Lucas, Prince of Darkness"!
  • + 3
 @jddallager: just don’t let out the magic smoke!
  • + 1
 Uhm....Hope?
  • - 1
 @carfreak2000: Hope is nothing fancy and not as great as the hype makes out. They are over price for a mid range shiny product.
  • + 4
 I don't get all the hub-bub about the water bottle cage-- sure, maybe on a road bike. I haven't used a water bottle on a MTB since Vbrakes were a new thing on the market
  • + 5
 This bike is actually very expensive when calculated from a price per pivot standpoint.
  • + 2
 Anyone old enough to remember British Leyland? I guess those designers had to find work elsewhere.
This is an embarrassment, classic rose tinted thinking, it's the equivalent of a leaf-sprung Land Rover and it's time to move on.
  • + 6
 the least exciting suspension test video Smile
  • + 4
 I dunno, there's a LOT of chain growth going on in that video!
  • + 4
 The ride could be exciting if you bottom out that suspension. Tire looks like it contacts the seat tube.
  • + 0
 @bcmrider:
A few of my old oranges certainly did
  • + 4
 nice to see someone with proper flat pedal position! I'd love to learn more about those shoes. Oh, and thank you for the great review. This sounds like a bike I'd love.
  • + 2
 very interesting footwear.
  • + 2
 I like these bikes. But I’m a bit of an oddball anyway. The frames are made from formed and welded sheet aluminum. Real craftsmanship required to build these things. Single pivots I’m fine with. Linear suspension and only two bearings to eff with. 31.5 lbs??? You’re as strong as the bike you ride. Give me an ugly duckling that’s reliable and you can thrash the shit of, ride it hard and put it away wet any day of the week!!
  • + 3
 I’m surprised orange isn’t making pivot locations even higher and adding an islet pulley. Seems like it would put there bike right within the development of a new kinematic trend without compromising their aesthetic.
  • + 1
 "Idler" (typo)
  • + 2
 I have just sold mine 12 months old. What a pile of shit the worst bike I have ever had. You need ear plugs to ride it. I've bought a bike with suspension that works now a giant reign advanced. Buy a orange if you want a bike that looks the bollocks but rides like shit. The swing arm cracked but that was the least of its issues. They have a good warrenty service tho.
  • + 2
 What other issues did you have?, I've heard that the meant to be like a tank because I'm considering buying one.
  • + 3
 Nice reviews, but my only criticism of the article is that many of the riding points are layed out and then repeated, sometimes 3 or 4 times. Things like brake jack - just 1 paragraph would suffice
  • + 1
 “It’s quite expensive” yes it’s not cheap but did you totally miss the price tag on every other high end bike? Other bikes costing similar will have a lot more home brand parts than this and not be made in the UK, seems harsh to mark it down on price when there’s bikes with similar spec costing thousands more.
  • + 6
 All bikes are too expensive. Doesn't make it wrong to complain about this one being slightly less expensive than the other ones.
  • + 1
 @NRogers27: i agree but seems unfair to add it as a con on this bike but not other more expensive bikes
  • + 3
 Really hard to go on Aventuron and see this for $7000 and it's twin low spec DB Atroz for 10% of that.

aventuron.com/products/diamondback-atroz-2
  • + 1
 Handbuilt, specs...no where near an apples to oranges comparison though
  • + 5
 please keep these away from the colonies.
  • + 2
 spittin' image of the old skool Santa Cruz SuperLite's and Hecklers or the Diamondback Atroz series... Those DB's a pretty nice if you get the top version. the entry level model is uber cheap
  • + 3
 5 year warranty?? Isn’t that just accepting that the aluminum will fatigue and break outside of that?

How does the frame do with side loading of the shock?
  • + 1
 Dear Pinkbike...

you enthusiastically report, review and swoon over EVERY annual re-release of plastic bicycle on the market...Santa Cruz can barely sneeze without it being news here. EACH and every incantation of every hideously over coloured new bike and its 29-er counterpart is meticulously tested at nausium. So please do us a solid and review the Liteville 601 mk 4 ( it has been out since 2017)
  • + 4
 Stunning bike but they gave lost some of their UK market over the last few years thanks to their pricing and failure rate.
  • + 1
 It will always baffle me how pinkbike commenters lose their shit when a big brand releases a $10k CAD bike with carbon frame because it's "Overpriced", yet when Orange releases a $9k CAD Alloy single pivot bike nobody bats an eye at the price.
  • + 3
 I think you need to read these comments more carefully.
  • + 1
 One of the last single pivot brands. Even Cannnondale went with their version of the Horst link for their new Habit. I ride an old school Cannondale Prophet so I'm used to a single pivot. I do find it far better looking than the Orange line but as long as they ride well it doesn't matter. I can't really see what the bike looks like when shredding trails anyway.
  • + 4
 Orange has really stepped up its game in the last few years
  • + 1
 Weren't pedal/bash strikes an issue? I've never ridden anything with a 35mm bb drop, but considering how frequently I scrape I scrape stuff on a bike with a 12mm bb drop it seems odd.
  • + 2
 35mm BB drop is not unusual for a 29er. It's low but not silly-low and as the reviews states, there's a lot of support from the suspension compared to some bikes.
  • + 1
 Oh, forgot to say I own one and don't bash the pedals THAT much (but I do a bit).
  • + 2
 @chakaping: totally spaced out this morning thinking this was a 27.5" bike lol.
  • + 1
 @dangerousdave: That would be pretty slammed!
  • + 2
 I used to have a 5 and got rod of it as I got fed up with the rear suspension locking up under breaking. Looks like they still havent fixed that
  • - 4
flag jimmythehat (Oct 29, 2018 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 This is where you change your riding style to suit, it teaches you to be a better rider as you shouldn't be breaking in those areas, other designs hide bad technique but don't make you faster.......no offence.
  • + 4
 @jimmythehat: bollocks . no offence !
  • + 15
 @jimmythehat: Following this logic a rigid bike would be even better as suspension just hides bad technique.
  • - 2
 @Konyp: True, a hardtail rider will smash you
  • - 2
 @howsyourdad: What are you basing your comment on? I've had many types of suspension designs including Orange and this is my conclusion.
  • + 7
 @jimmythehat: well I guess orange bikes are fine as long as you don't have roots or breaking bumps before every corners. Otherwise it's pretty much like having a hard tail.

And stop giving people the shitty excuse of "less pivots is better for bad weather". If orange cared about mud riding resistance they would put bigger bearings and the entire bike wouldn't be designed as a giant mud trap. And none of these excuses justify the ugly welds...
  • - 3
 @zede: Sounds like you're braking too much to me
  • + 3
 @jimmythehat: Yeah by that logic we should all go back to riding hardtails
  • - 3
 @zede: brake jack only happens when the rear is locked up. If the rear wheel is still rotating but the brake is slowing it down the suspension is still active. To be going fast round corners you don’t want to be locked up before them especially on roots or rocks!!
  • + 5
 @mikelee: I'm more replying to his comment that "you should not brake in these areas". No matter what suspension design your bike use, braking will affect the movement of the suspension. The problem with single pivot is that as soon as you brake the suspension stiffens a lot, so the wheel start bouncing instead of tracking te ground and when the wheel bounces it locks up and there you go: ultimate brake jack.
I've never tried an orange, but single pivots require different braking technique and more brake control than other designs. Hence the comparison with hardtails. If your local trails are muddy and soft, I guess it's not as big of a problem as if you trails are full of roots and braking bumps.


@jimmythehat: yeah, I brake too much, I'm not gwin, and neither are you.
  • + 7
 Anti-rise values that cause brake induced suspension stiffening isn't exclusively a single pivot trait. I've ridden some multi-linked bikes that leave a lot to be desired.
  • + 0
 @jclnv: brake induced suspension stiffening is happening in all suspension designs as far as I know ? But what changes is to which level it stiffens, I found my reign to be similar to the enduro of a friend, but my patrol felt softer even thought it's also a Horst link.
  • + 5
 @jimmythehat:
> @Konyp: True, a hardtail rider will smash you

Yes, this is why all the top DH and enduro guys do so much training on rigid bikes.
/s
  • + 1
 @zede: It's not just the independence of the caliper is it? Instant center location plays a part IME.

Thing is, if you have a lot of pedal kickback and brake induced suspension stiffening, things can feel pretty shit IMO.
  • + 0
 @mikelee: All single pivot suspensions partially lock up when brakes are applied .
If you own a single pivot bike you learn to deal with this. As in careful brake modulation. Which is learned through experience on riding a single pivot bike.
Thank god I have VPP and Horste link suspensions.
  • + 0
 @zede: These bikes aren't for your average rider
  • + 1
 I’m a owner of a stage 6. It’s the first orange I’ve owned after plenty of others, it’s definitely the most fun I’ve had on a bike.
This is the longest stint I’ve ever had without considering a new bike.
  • + 1
 This is an excellent review @alexcgevans - it's such a fast bike, eh? Especially on flatter trails. Not as plush as some, but every bike is a compromise. You don't happen to know what settings/tokens you're using on the X2?
  • + 3
 Are oranges called oranges because oranges are orange, or is orange called orange because oranges are orange?
  • + 2
 In that picture of the seatpost...does it look like that top tube gusset is stuck to the seat tube with blueberry Hubba Bubba?
  • + 1
 I think Orange bikes with the rear end like this one, the Four and Alpine have are so much nicer than the models with the solid swingarm like the Five, Segment and Stage Five.
  • + 3
 Even though I do think this open swingarm does look pretty, I still believe the closed swingarm still suits the Five really well. Maybe just because it is so much of a classic.

Not sure if there has been any other brand out there which has supported so many legends in gravity mtb. Peaty, Minnaar, Tracey Hannah, Bryceland, Fairclough... Sure Cannondale, BeOne (B1) and Sunn have also placed their stamp on the sport. But considering Orange has been around for this long and in the mean time may have supported some less high profile WC but still well performing teams (Dirt magazine, MTB Cut with Cathro) there really is something legendary about that big closed swingarm.
  • + 3
 You know how people say it's hard to buy a bad bike these days? That's because of Oranges availability in other countries
  • + 5
 Needs more welds
  • + 0
 Like said COnovicerider: `It looks like an Orange`....... and?
Seriously, who would dare to buy that thing nowadays?
Not me.

Give us a spotlight and a test of a british bike that produces excitment: a review about the Stanton Switch9er for instance!!!.... Smile
  • + 4
 Halifax's finest.
  • + 1
 My orange five just to brake jack under heavy braking like a mother and stand up I can't imagine this design has changed much
  • + 2
 If you squint it looks like a 1999 Patriot... If you don`t squint it still looks like a 1999 Patriot....
  • + 3
 oh looks it’s not a “made in china boutique” review
  • + 1
 My 2014 Heckler R vs everything else.Still have not replaced the bearings or shock bolts and this thing gets ridden like I stole it.
  • + 1
 I have no less then 10 filing cabinets around my office and not one looks like this bike. Maybe UK filing cabinets are drastically different?
  • + 3
 $6850 for a single pivot! Tariff must be kicking in!
  • + 2
 UGLY was repeated 11 times in the comment section, 12 with this post.

Free BI for orange Smile
  • + 1
 12 uglies and 4 fuglies
  • + 1
 I'm pretty sure the RS stands for Rockshox... It's not exactly a Stage 6 RS any more if you've upgraded the suspension to Fox...
  • + 3
 Doesn't stand for Rockshox. That's just the model level.
  • + 2
 @vanillapodfan:
I'm 99% sure it does as all of their RS models feature rockshox suspension and always have
  • + 1
 @vanillapodfan: I'm pretty sure that you are correct too. I'm certain that the reviewer missed that he'd upgraded the rear shock. The RS comes with Rockshox forks, rear shock and Reverb dropper, plus SRAM drivetrain.
  • + 1
 @sam264: I'm pretty sure that you are correct too. I'm certain that the reviewer missed that he'd upgraded the rear shock. The RS comes with Rockshox forks, rear shock and Reverb dropper, plus SRAM drivetrain. Ignore my comment above, I replied to the wrong person.
  • + 0
 Not sure why anyone would buy a single pivot bike these days. There are a lot of alternatives out there that work so much better. I guess if made in the UK makes you happy. I like a bike that rides well instead.
  • + 3
 At least they've updated the suspension design...
  • + 2
 No water bottle mount...I’m oooooooooooot
  • + 0
 That chain growth! Single pivot bikes scare me. I had one back in my grom days that snapped chains and mech like no tomorrow.
  • - 2
 When you have to go as far as a Scott Ransom to find a bike you can compare it semi favorably against, you know you're reaching. To make it seem better than something you have to compare it to a bike with proprietary suspension that isn't really at the top of anyone's list.
  • + 6
 Ransom was his last bike article he posted here so it's fresh in his mind still, hence the comparison.
  • + 0
 Wait hold up, wouldn’t you need an idler pulley because of the high pivot design? I feel like it wouldn’t be very efficient.
  • + 2
 Orange just a bloody good bike.
  • + 1
 Almost $7000 for a single pivot aluminum bike!?!?! The flake in the paint must be real gold and marketing is huffing it.
  • + 2
 $6,850.00!!!!!! IT'S A SINGLE PIVOT!!!
  • + 0
 And GX components, FFS!
  • + 1
 Claims to be orange, but is blue
  • + 1
 One of the more detailed reviews! Thank you
  • + 2
 never
  • + 1
 Back wheel gets uber close to Seat-tube at bottom out buzz buzz!
  • + 0
 Well i guess if there was one bike the fugly orange fork looked at home on...nope still bad.
  • + 0
 Is it just me or is every bike company trying out Yeti's blue and yellow/orange combo at the moment?
  • + 1
 Looks like a diy project gone bad
  • + 1
 It looks like something made in the nineties...
  • + 1
 £2k for an aluminium frame - nuts
  • + 1
 So is it an orange or blue bike?
  • + 2
 It looks like an Orange.
  • + 2
 Juicy!
  • + 1
 No room for a bottle? Oranges should be good for squeezing liquids in.
  • + 1
 Probably rides great but I can’t help not liking the look
  • + 0
 Geometry in the database for comparison...
geometrygeeks.bike/bike/orange-stage-6-2017-2
  • + 1
 What is that jersey? @alexcgevans
  • + 0
 I think a "CON" would be it's heavy as hell...
  • + 0
 Orange? More like a lemon
  • - 1
 @alexcgevans you should compare this bike against Marin Alpine trail 29er. Both AL, 150R/160F 29ers very similar geo.
  • - 1
 @alexcgevans you should compare this bike against Marin Alpine trail 29er. Both AL, 150R/160F 29ers very similar geo.
  • + 0
 Use your namesake color instead of ripping off Yeti!
  • - 1
 Just put a deposit down on a V3 Bronson, XO1 Build, exactly the same price.
  • + 0
 Just seen the bronson at £6500 and the alpine at £5700, where you getting your bronson from?
  • - 2
 On the last picture is it just me or the shock should be bottoming out on a simple berm like that? Seems like the x2 haven't been set up properly
  • + 0
 Stans mk3 rims are up there with Roval on the Rockwell scale
  • + 0
 missing a place to put my h20.
  • - 2
 Still fugly
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