The 2020 Orange Alpine 6 is Totally Overhauled - But Looks Exactly the Same

Mar 20, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Photos: Andy Lloyd

Orange hit on a bit of a snag with the new Alpine 6. How do they appease a legion of fans who don't want it to be changed, but update it to keep in line with modern trends and developments? Well, they've untied the Gordian knot of their own making with the most intensive prototyping program they have ever run to create the new Alpine 6.

There are obviously no changes as far as the single-pivot suspension design is concerned.

While it sticks with a classic Orange silhouette, every tube on this bike is totally new, apart from the seat tube. This has allowed Orange to make a bike with more travel, a revised suspension curve and new geometry. Check it out in action in the edit below:


The new Alpine six grows to 165mm of rear travel with the introduction of a 230mm metric shock. There's also a revised shock tune to go with it that Orange claim will, "be more progressive to retain a bottomless feel and improve small bump smoothness". Up front, a 170mm fork keeps things under control.

04-08.03.19. Orange Bikes Punta Ala Launch PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
The bottle bosses are new for the 2020 model, but definitely in the line of fire for mud (or worse).

04-08.03.19. Orange Bikes Punta Ala Launch PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Reworked cable routing now works for “British” or “American/Euro” brake set ups.
A cleaner graphical update comes along with the revised chassis.

04-08.03.19. Orange Bikes Punta Ala Launch PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
Made in Halifax

The geometry of the Alpine has also been under the microscope and is claimed to result in more "agility, stability and confidence at speed". As always, it's a case of evolution not revolution for Orange, but they're hoping some incremental changes will add up to big performance benefits. The head angle is now half a degree slacker than its predecessor, the BB is 5mm lower and they’ve added 6mm to the reach (Size L). In addition, Orange have added 11mm to the chainstays, which will help centralize the rider's weight on the bike.

The model pictured here is the second from top-spec Factory, which comes with Fox suspension and seatpost, a SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain and Hope brakes. It retails at £5,800.
2020 Orange Alpine 6 Details

• Intended use: enduro
• Brand new monocoque 6061-T6 aluminium frame built in Britain
• Five year frame warranty
• Single Pivot suspension design
• Reworked longer and slacker geometry
• 170mm front/165mm rear travel​
• Boost 148 rear hub spacing
• Four spec levels
• Prices from: £4,000 ($5,275.12USD)
orangebikes.co.uk/


The Alpine 6 will be available in four model specifications from today:

Alpine 6 Pro starting at £4,000

Alpine 6 RS starting at £4,950

Alpine 6 Factory (above) starting at £5,800.

Alpine 6 XTR at £6,500.

Each of these bikes is available in a choice of 10 colours. Orange and black are always free, with the other eight costing an additional £100. There are also three decal options to choose from.

As usual, all other upgrade options are also available. Please see the Orange website for details.

04-08.03.19. Orange Bikes Punta Ala Launch PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography



153 Comments

  • 194 2
 Kinda like a Land Rover Defender. English, a bit weird and behind on the tech but classic and with a fan base.
  • 37 0
 How many reverse gears does this bike have?
  • 10 1
 Great analogy!
  • 8 1
 @endlessblockades: how many does a defender have? Is it more than one?
  • 11 1
 Nailed it! I will always LOVE Orange for their Steve Peat days!!!!!! Ohhh EARTHED, you are taking me back!
  • 5 0
 @jaame: I guess 2 if you also count reverse in low ratio
  • 2 0
 @jaame: I don’t know but my older brother had a few old Land Rovers that had like 3 reverse gears. 60s era rigs. Beautiful machines. A couple of them had to get a Chevy straight 6 when the original mill expired. I’m no expert- I know old American cars and my beloved ‘70 Fiat 124 Sport Spider - may she rust in peace.
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: You learn something new every day. Thanks for the education!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: 1 but high and low ratio so 2 in a way
  • 2 0
 don't forget boxy
  • 1 0
 @nick1957: Every vehicle with a 2 speed transfer case has 2 effective reverse gears. I'm not a rover expert but I've never heard of one that had 2 reverse gears in the transmission.
  • 1 0
 @drunknride: yep what I said.
  • 59 2
 something something welds earthworms stack of dimes carbon plastic pollution self-applied handjobs and a skeleton. Did I miss anything? Oh the filing cabinet.
  • 17 4
 ya cracked enve's
  • 11 9
 And the seat angle - massive fail
  • 8 5
 @sewer-rat: The actual STA is steeper than most other modern bikes, So the saddle will end up moreless in the same position with dropper up.
  • 6 0
 Water bottle Mount??
  • 9 0
 C'mon, the "sounds like a skeleton jerking it into a biscuit tin" analogy is hilarious. I still giggle sometimes when I hear a random godawful mechanical noise.
  • 2 2
 @ondrejaugustin: NO! No, it very much isn't, having ridden trail bike with steep seat tubes and felt the benefit on steep climbs, I have no idea Orange keep missing this one. Its only half a degree steeper than my 2015 Giant, which had geometry that was 5 years out of date when it was released
  • 1 2
 @ondrejaugustin: new Bronson =75.3, process =76, Capra 75
Reach and head angle were made more modern, they had the chance to push the envelope further and didn’t , they kept it exactly the same as the previous model
  • 2 1
 @sewer-rat @ctd07 : no, he's actually right. 74 deg on a straight ST starting at or very close to the BB will end up steeper in real life with the seat up than a 75-76 theoretical angle (measured at god knows which height) with a bent ST and an actual angle of 66 deg.

This bike keeps its 74 deg STA regardless of seat height while bent STs end up steeper for shorter riders and slacker for taller guys with literally one single seat height that gives the claimed angle.
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: yeah it doesnt come from the bb though, so no
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: Yeah, upon a second look it's not as close as I thought... I still think at high seat extension it won't be slacker than a Capra or Process. Looks like Bronson has a similar layout to this, but steeper so I agree on this one.
  • 2 0
 @sspiff: I like that one and "sounds like a bag of wrenches falling down a garbage chute"
  • 1 0
 @ondrejaugustin: the whole seat angle things bullshit. Give a bike a steep seat angle and it will make it better at steep punchy climbs and worse at everything else and as this is a bike that’s going to be spent mainly winching fireroads is much rather are more chilled all day seating position and get more runs in. Overly long super slack bikes didn’t work and now this is there new way of selling bikes. Orange are bang on with their geo except they have way too long seat tubes that rule me out of buying one. Riding them on many different occasions though even own a crush though that doesn’t really count. The last alpine was it bit shit but the four is one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden and the stage 6 is ridiculously fast on wide fast tracks.
  • 56 5
 Downtube mounted bottle is ridiculous
  • 19 2
 It's pretty useless for bottles, but quite handy for fixing a pump or tools to the frame.
  • 22 57
flag bok-CZ (Mar 20, 2019 at 13:55) (Below Threshold)
 Bottle mount is always ridiculous, doesn't matter where if it's on a bike
  • 17 0
 Grit aides in digestion....
  • 12 0
 @gravitysucks53:
And the layer of sheep sh@t promotes regular bowel movement
  • 3 0
 but imagine all that fine fecal you'll be sipping on!
  • 2 0
 There's bottles with a lid, they work ok, but it's still not a good idea. My Banshee has the same great feature...
  • 2 0
 Makes you quench your thirst without even touching the bottle.
  • 32 0
 How is there not one single mention of wheel size in the copy? I'm blown away that some manufacturers don't clearly call that out in a bike's description as this is typically the starting point for a customer's bike decision. Lots of times I'll have to look through an entire parts spec to find wheel size. Cripes!!
  • 25 1
 What would you do if it was 26"??!
  • 25 2
 @schofell84:I might actually like Orange bikes
  • 5 1
 The stage range are all 29, the alpine, five and four are 27.5
  • 6 0
 @sewer-rat: they should write that on the box!
  • 6 3
 @jaame: If you want me to take a dump in a box, and mark it 29” I will... I've got spare time.
  • 3 1
 @speed10: I see what you did there. Tommy boy Nice.
  • 2 0
 I've noticed this with travel too. The BIGGEST WRITING should say the wheel size and the travel. It's frustrating when it doesn't. Or when a site has all their bikes listed by name without any other details so you have to click through to every bike to find the right one.
  • 4 0
 I was making a reference to an episode of Friends from years back, when Ross got Rachel pregnant even when using a condom.
"Yeah man, condoms are only like 99% effective."
"WHAT? THEY SHOULD WRITE THAT ON THE BOX!"
  • 40 6
 Pump the breaks there fellas it’s barely even 2019
  • 74 0
 brakes* - you new here?
  • 33 2
 They’ve just released the 2025 model, it’s the same just in yellow
  • 9 2
 Would love to be Orange's engineer - finalises design for next 30 years... kicks back... gets paid
  • 26 2
 Yesterday's technology at tomorrow's prices. Catchy
  • 1 1
 I can't see why anyone who wants this isn't getting a Curtis XR650.
  • 25 4
 The most modern filing cabinet offering to date.
  • 20 4
 10/10; would file. Finally, a bike for accountants to ride with our dentist friends!
  • 21 0
 How are looking at 2020 bikes already????
  • 10 2
 Because everyone already knows what next year's Orange bike will be, and next decade's... Wink
  • 2 0
 Would it be the silly ridiculous prices???
  • 20 2
 That bike isn't orange.
  • 15 10
 That statement isn't very amusing or original.
  • 9 0
 We need @IamTheDogEzra to weight in here about the bike's color.
  • 2 1
 @southoftheborder: grey and grey and more grey
  • 1 0
 @freestyIAM: dogs actually have rods and two types of cones for color detection, so actually not gray, just less defined color. It's a popular misconception, though, so I forgive you.
  • 3 0
 @southoftheborder: It's light black.
  • 1 0
 @IamTheDogEzra: Thanks, I was starting to doubt my eyes.
  • 15 3
 I'm a huge sucker for the way Orange Bikes look. I would love to own a 324 or 327 if they weren't so difficult to get in Canada or so expensive.
  • 13 1
 I don't usually look twice at an Orange bike, but damn.. That new one is hot. love the colour and the graphics
  • 9 1
 After a couple of my friends experiences with Orange bikes there’s no way I’d ever own one. One of them spent £6500 on a fully kitted out 324 only to find the shock mounts were misaligned causing the shock to bend, after contacting much back and forth with Orange they reluctantly agreed to send a new frame, on the receipt of the frame he found it had the same issue with misaligned shock mounts, orange said this wasn’t possible and was my friends fault and in the end was stuck with a faulty frame.
  • 13 4
 Looks like they built it in a shed. On a rainy day. After a few sherbets.
  • 11 2
 They did.
  • 3 2
 By some burly brits with half naked lady posters pinned to the wall. Delicious.
  • 18 9
 $5K+, it's not even carbon, and still single pivot from the 90's, should 90's pricing!
  • 13 5
 Yeah it'd be cool if Orange were a "ride your f*cking bike!" brand and the price reflected that, but instead they're regressive hipster boutique nonsense.
  • 10 0
 I get it. But to be fair, there are also $5K+ aluminum bikes today using Horst Link 4-bar suspension design. That was also used on 90's bikes. Early 90's even.
  • 1 0
 @tmargeson: There's nothing wrong with horst link though, or linkage-driven single-pivot. Look at Commencal's racing success and they're ALL on single pivots of some sort. XC bikes tend to be Horst or linkage driven single pivot as well, because it's inherently lighter with only one linkage.

Simple single pivots though... That's just medieval.
  • 9 3
 Well maybe they should spend less time developing crap updates like the bottle mounts under the down tube (why a British brand would do this is beyond me) and more time sorting out their build quality. Snapping frames, cracked swing arms and drop outs. Bikes wielded together wonky , telling customers that seat tubes being 10mm out of line is ‘within tollerance’ then when the customer kicks off enough and returns their frame Orange repair it with a scaffolding tube, a fat man and a hammer. I will never, ever buy one again following my last hateful experience with these clowns
  • 6 0
 "Don't fix it if it ain't broke"
Predictably, Orange get stick for their designs (still using single pivot ang going nowhere near carbon), but if you're a fan, as I am, you'll appreciate what they do well.
I've had my Alpine 6 for nearly 18 months, best bike I've ridden and owned, hands down. Climbs more than adequately and is massive fun when you point her down hill. Intrigued about how the refinements have improved the handling, but not in the market for a new one as I'm more than happy with mine.
  • 5 0
 Agree 100%. Have a Stage 4 and it too is the best all round bike I have ever owned. Coming from a new Santa Cruz Blur that developed play at the shock mount that SC blamed on Fox, and the new Specialized Epic that blew through 3 Brains.

And whoever says the bikes are loud haven't ridden a new one yet.
  • 2 1
 Also have a Alpine 6 but with the current pricing and what looks to be minor improvements I think I'll be skipping on orange and looking at Whyte or Bird.
  • 6 1
 Brilliant marketing video- did Sir David give this the nod? Smile If their frame designers are as competent as their marketing department I'd be thrilled to give it a demo. However, 4000 pounds for the base alu model??? No thanks Orange!
  • 7 0
 Seems like "Aircraft Primer" green is the color of the year for bikes. Megatower, now Orange...who's next?
  • 7 0
 Sweet bike. I love single pivots. So playful.
  • 5 0
 Can someone explain how British/American routing couldn’t be done before?
  • 7 1
 How can a UK company put a bottle mount on the down tube?
  • 4 2
 I think it's a fantastic looking bike
Proudly made in the United Kingdom rather than made in Taiwan .
There employing people in there own country instead of making China and Taiwan a bigger monopoly than it already does .
The labour is much more expensive and so are there overheads .
There a much smaller outfit then people think and turn over a lot less bikes than similar brands so have less buying power on components.
There trying hard in a difficult market to compete so I don't understand some of the venom used above .
No one is forcing you do buy it .
Good god the polygon\marin monstrosity didn't get as much flack and I won't ride that with yours .
As for the intolerance issues raised above I would like to see evidence of this .I simply don't believe it .
Guy Martin's video might of got some people up in arms when the builder he belted the swingarm but the factory has moved the design imo is exceptional and I just don't get all the hatred .
Yes my mega 290 rides better than my stage 6 but the older stage 6 didn't have fused with Wrong loctite pivot bots or bearings that grinded if it was wet outside or paint that flaked off if you coughed near it .
The stage 6 still looks like it rolled out the showroom and the mega is already looking twice it's age .

Brake jack .it's single pivot so it's managable but improve your technique and you hardly notice it .
  • 1 2
 Happily send you photos! I’m entitled to my opinion, as a former customer who owned 5 Oranges. The way they handled my issue was frankly appalling, the way they handled my friends issue with his stage five, again appalling. His rear tyre hits the seat tube! Toldnits a characteristic of the bike and that he should fill the air can with tokens...which changes the characteristic of the suspension set up. I applaud them for what they stand by, but I’m afraid being British made counts for nothing of the QC benefits of building in house are not adhered too. Simple as that.
  • 6 2
 Still looks like a five bar gate
  • 5 2
 How much did orange bikes pay for this add?? Is this a gold level promotion.
  • 3 0
 "When you're feeling under pressure, do something different. Roll up your sleeves, or ride an Orange"
  • 6 4
 i cannot still believe orange is still making bikes with ele chain stays. the late 90s and early 00s called, they want their chainstays back.
  • 2 0
 They haven’t got the technology for anything else! They have to use elevated chainstays as they won’t be able to produce curved enough stays/tubes for anything else.
  • 5 1
 so this is how a santa cruz bullit looks like with updated geometry
  • 4 0
 Best mtb marketing video I've ever seen
  • 2 0
 I know what type of bike I should be riding but I’m always attracted to ones that just look more fun to ride. That video made this orange look really fun.
  • 2 2
 Orange claim will, "be more progressive to retain a bottomless feel and improve small bump smoothnes - i.e includes some rubber bands in the shock??

Lower, slacker , longer, blah blah

Still ugly as f*ck, made of girders and single pivot susceptible to brake jack.

I'm out
  • 4 0
 Looks like a combine harvester
  • 3 0
 Never owned or ridden one but always liked the look of these. That Wasabi colour is really nice.
  • 2 0
 any bike without a proper bottle cage mount is a waste of time. packs are annoying to carry and drinking mud is even more so.
  • 1 1
 No offense to Orange lovers... but for 4k starting - who the hell would buy a single pivot these days?

The fully loaded sack tickling *i>insert any Alu four/faux bar brand/i>* is under that, with cash to spare for gear, local trail memberships, responsible investing, etc.
  • 3 0
 I'm curious about the self-cleaning option on the bike in the video...
  • 2 0
 The cable routing for the swingarm on my stage 5 was horrendous. Glad to see they've made some changes.
  • 4 0
 I'd ride it
  • 3 0
 Can it be fitted with Lucas lighting?
  • 2 0
 It's finally happened. Chainstays have hit peak shortness and are now becoming longer. Tall people rejoice.
  • 2 0
 450mm chainstays are the new Boost!
  • 3 0
 I think she's sexy as fuck!
  • 3 0
 Looks like a .....Orange!
  • 3 0
 My dream bike right there !
  • 1 0
 What I don’t understand is, why not having fun with some new suspension designs, when you have all the machines and skill to make it happen??
  • 2 1
 Other than the water bottle mount - I think it looks awesome, I'm definitely going to get my Stage 5 re-sprayed in Wasabi Green when it snaps!
  • 6 4
 How about 'Handbuilt in "Great" Britain'?

MBGA!!
  • 2 0
 Me: *looks at thumbnail*
"Another article about the new Santa Cruz?"
  • 2 0
 Great paint job one bike with speed and style.
  • 2 1
 Orange, orange... Whats happened? Your frames in the early 2000's are beautiful...
  • 3 0
 I like it.
  • 2 0
 I actually really like the colour and also the bright yellow in the video!
  • 1 0
 Foocking doope video, outhentic frame, I like how it look, however not willing to buy
  • 2 0
 That last pic is just how I imagine the typical Orange owner
  • 2 0
 I want one, simply because they look so durable!
  • 2 0
 Single pivot shootout time!
  • 2 0
 totally new but looks about the same..... isnt that Orange bikes thing??
  • 2 0
 Brake jack and giardia, mmm, tasty.
  • 2 0
 Can that video get VOD though? That was awesome!
  • 4 3
 “Looks exactly the same” True since their first bike
  • 6 0
 Not at all. The top tube is a lot more curved. Either way, it is a beauty!
  • 1 0
 That bottle cage location Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I dig!
  • 2 1
 Mmmmm, I love the taste of cow patties on my water bottle ????
  • 1 0
 Nice - hearing aid colour!
  • 1 0
 MegaOrange
  • 1 1
 :Let's see a Diamondback vs Orange review!
  • 1 2
 You know when you bring your ugly friend out with you so you look comparatively better? ...
  • 1 1
 Sweet lord carbon pricing for alloy bikes design which pre dates Athertons
  • 1 0
 oooh looking good
  • 1 1
 Orange R+D meetings must be some of the shortest meetings in the world.
  • 1 1
 Aluminum? ---said in sarcastic tone
  • 1 0
 And pronounced incorrectly Wink
  • 2 0
 @nordland071285: hahaha, al u min i ummmmm
  • 8 8
 1996 just called...
  • 12 3
 "We found your seat tube angle"
  • 1 4
 People buy these? How do these off brands no one seems to want stay in business.
  • 2 0
 They sell loads over here.
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