The 2020 Orange Five Celebrates 20 Years With a Longer, Slacker Overhaul

Mar 29, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

With 20 years of history, the Orange Five is one of mountain biking's most storied platforms. Although its shape would still be familiar to those who were around when it was first released, it's anything but long in the tooth as Orange's ethos of evolution not revolution have kept this workhorse on top of mountain bike trends.


The Five remains Orange's do-it-all trail bike for 2020 but it has undergone a similar rejig to the Alpine 6 to create a supposedly better ride. The headline here is an increase of rear travel by 5mm up to 145mm. The rear shock is now metric and the curve has been slightly tweaked for more progression. Orange have also reduced the anti-squat slightly to give the bike a more sprightly feel when you put the pedals down.

More travel, a metric shock and a refined curve, a lot of Orange's changes have centered around the shock

The tinkerers down at Orange have also rejigged the geometry on the Five. The head angle has now slackened a degree to 65, while the BB is 5mm lower, chain stays have increased by 7mm, and the reach has increased by 10mm (size L). While the head tubes on the large and X-large bikes have been shortened as a result of rider feedback.

Downtube bottle bosses help keep weight off your back.

Much like its stable mate the Alpine 6, Orange have made sizing revisions to the Five too. The XS has been dropped from the range while they’ve added a XXL at the other end of the scale and shortened the seat tube on the XL.

Finally, Orange has worked on the smaller details. A cable routing overhaul is easier on the eye and keeps those big loops to a minimum. All the CNC parts on the frame, upper and lower shock mounts, dropouts and bearing housings have all seen revisions.

2020 Orange Five Details
• Intended use: trail
• Brand new monocoque 6061-T6 aluminium frame built in Britain
• Five year frame warranty
• Single Pivot suspension design
• Reworked longer and slacker geometry plus revised suspension curve
• 150mm front/145mm rear travel​
• Boost 148 rear hub spacing
• Four spec levels
• Prices from: £3,900 ($5,130.74USD)
orangebikes.co.uk/


The Five will be available in four model specifications from today:

Five Pro starting at £3,900

Five RS starting at £4,850

Five Factory (above) starting at £5,700.

Five XTR at £6,700.

The Factory spec has great options from head to toe.

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.

New, cleaner graphics finish off the overhaul



138 Comments

  • + 100
 could you put a few more welds on that frame please
  • + 1
 LOL
  • + 23
 So this is like the opposite of the Pole CNC method I suppose?
  • + 6
 Ha...i bet the welders union is a company sponsor of Orange. Guaranteed
  • + 16
 Orange bikes are made from sheet metal, so it takes a good few welds to turn it into a bike. Actually it is weird that Pole is getting so much attention for machining a frame even though Empire did so earlier (they also did casting and 3d printing of frames), whereas I think the production process of Orange really is unique.
  • + 3
 @vinay: sheet metal? Interesting
  • - 21
flag SnowshoeRider4Life (Mar 29, 2019 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 could the welds be any more crooked?
  • + 6
 @Svinyard: Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic and ductile metal in the boron group.
  • + 18
 That fire extinguisher has sexier lines.
  • - 1
 @yupstate: horrendous!
  • + 1
 Massive aluminium box section single pivots are sooooo 2020, I’m pretty sure it’s in an ironic way, but irony in 2020 is so much harder to detect
  • + 4
 @vinay: And let's not forget the UK cast magnesium Kirk frames from back in 1991.
  • + 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: I think they appear more crooked because of the polyhedron shapes in the frame. That said they are not necessarily the pleasing welds we have seen on pinkbike.
  • + 2
 Since this bike does not follow Pinkbike's 29er agenda, they omitted the wheel size on the article.
  • + 2
 @endurocat: The 29" models are called Stage.
  • + 5
 @Svinyard: Ive seen the welders at work, they are pretty damm skilled. The orange factory is awesome.
  • + 0
 @vinay: I'm talking about the 5 not the Stage.
Read first.
  • + 1
 @endurocat: I do read, I just don't get what your point is. It is an Orange Five so it obviously runs 27.5" wheels. What was your point about 29" wheels then?
  • + 2
 @vinay: Nobody mentions Empire because they have gone out of business. And frankly weren't setting sales charts alight before that.
  • + 1
 @carlitouk:
They were also sold in Norway under the Brand name Diamant.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Ah, sheet metal. That explains the looks. Big Grin
  • + 35
 Looks like a filing cabinet, or a gate, agricultural, blind welders, last century's seat angle, outdated single pivot, skeletons in biscuit tins, too expensive for an aluminium frame, 90s called etc etc, have I missed anything?
  • + 32
 Yes, the love from people with a British flag next to their username.
  • + 13
 @yupstate: Maybe because their design works well for British conditions?
  • + 31
 There it is
  • + 2
 @HarrySimpson I think you hit all the reasons why I wouldn't buy an Orange. Wink Although, the front triangle is very sexy.
  • - 1
 @gtill9000: There what is?
  • + 32
 @HarrySimpson: "British Conditions" - is there a particular kind of rainy, mucky weather there that doesn't exist in other rainy, mucky places?
  • + 5
 @jayacheess: I think he means steep horrible disgusting muddy two min forest tracks. Canadian bikes work well over here too.
  • + 30
 @jayacheess: Probably not but as it's muddy for 3/4 of the year here the single pivot and one set of bearings make sense. Don't understand the hate for Orange, they're doing their own unique thing, why change and be the same as every other made in Taiwan brand out there?
  • + 5
 @HarrySimpson: To be clear, I think it's great that they're not bowing to pressure and continue to do their own thing. I do wonder what else they might be able to do from an aesthetics standpoint with their production techniques, though.
  • - 2
 @HarrySimpson: Err because although not as unique, taiwanese frames are stronger (hydroforming), cheaper and use more up to date manufacturing techniques?
  • + 12
 I love orange bikes. Bit rough round the edges but propper. Like an old royal enfield. Not the most refined or the fastest or the most tech but Orange bikes will never dissapoint someone who who wants an Orange. I hope they look the same in 30 years time.
  • + 4
 They still make nice bikes and the simple single pivot design is reliable and low maintenance (I had a Patriot several years ago), but competition is so strong now. For the same money there are a lot of amazing looking (and performing) bikes to choose from.
  • + 3
 @jayacheess: With the way Californian brands design their pivots you would think so. I think the root cause is that we ride all year because there's no ski season and we're all too lazy to do cleaning or maintenance.
  • + 5
 @HarrySimpson: With bottle mounts under the down tube?...
  • + 5
 @Allen82: I agree, not the best place to store a bottle.
  • + 4
 Yes, you missed the same usual BS speech year after year, justifying the move of the main pivot's location 3mm higher, claiming astronomical improvements in AS/AR/LR/ploughiness/jumpability/braking/whatever. FFS, IT'S A FRICKIN SINGLE PIVOT. Half the benefits they claim come from the shock.
  • - 2
 @HarrySimpson: made in UK does not mean quality just as made in Taiwan does not mean crap. Stop being a chauvinist.
  • + 3
 @HarrySimpson: The made in Taiwan is worse than made in the USA/UK/Canada is a load of rubbish. See ENVE for details.

I loved my old Orange, but the made in the UK argument is a rubbish one.
  • + 1
 Making bikes in the uk is becoming cheaper due to the increased tariffs elsewhere so I wouldn't be surprised to see more stuff being made in the UK.


@AD4M Oranges are not particularly weaker than Taiwanese bikes nor are they particularly stronger, you are ill informed to think hydro-forming is the be all and end all and makes everything lighter, it certainly has it's advantages but orange would not have stuck to this method for all the tubes if they did't believe it was the most suitable to their application. they are certainly on par with the weight of a Santa cruz due to lack of bearings and also relatively light and well refined front and rear triangles.

At the end of the day Oranges are not for everyone but the single pivot does provide a very fun platform, though not the prettiest in most peoples eyes!
  • + 2
 @Denning76: I wasn't doubting Taiwanese manufacturers, they're probably the best in the world at what they.
  • + 1
 @Riwajc: I wasn't saying being made in the UK makes it better than being made anywhere else. My point was Orange get sh*t for doing their own thing instead of copying the generic stuff being produced by the big boys in Taiwan.
  • + 1
 *What they do.
  • + 1
 @HarrySimpson you just copied my comment about the 6!!
  • + 1
 @Scotj009 Of course hydroforming is not the be all and end all to alloy frame construction, but it does provide a better strength to weight ratio through optimised tube wall thickness compared to folded alloy sheeting, which means it is stronger for the same weight, plus hydroforming results in fewer welds, meaning less stress concentrations present (welds are bad, cracks generally originate from welds on a frame). It is evident that hydroformed tubing is much stronger.

Orange bikes are many things, but light and refined? Not even close Big Grin
  • + 1
 @AD4M: you clearly need to go and find yourself a nomad and a alpine and compare them because light you will find they are.

Refined, yes in there own field but you clearly do not understand the word refined.
  • + 2
 @Scotj009: Well enlighten me, because Orange bikes are not refined in their engineering, manufacturing methods, or even style (iconic, yes, but not refined). They're certainly for a refined taste though Big Grin

Not once did I question the weight of their bikes in my comments, rather their manufacturing methods. But I thought I would just entertain the thought for a laugh. But you just keep changing the subject to the weight of their bikes, indicating that you're clutching at straws in defending their bikes and attacking my comments instead of having a reasoned disscussion only seems to reinforce that.

So I do suggest you stick to your own little bubble, as this subject appears to be out of your depth.
  • + 1
 @HarrySimpson:
I agree.
One spring ride and you get some weird canine parasite or something equally yucky. ????
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: We have this special wet rain here on the UK. Doesn’t happen anywhere else intbe world. I blame global warming.
  • + 0
 Taiwanese are the best frame builders in the world right now. The expertises went with the industry.
  • + 1
 @llarrggee: you really mean climate change, right!
  • + 1
 @AD4M: do yourself a favour and read about refinement, you do not understand the word
  • + 2
 @AD4M: a more modern manufacturing process does not inherently make it better for all things than an "outmoded" one. Additive manufacturing is significantly more modern than CNC for example, but the cost/production volume conundrum means that CNC ain't going anywhere soon. Sheet bending and welding is different/better but not worse than hydroforming in certain applications and hydroforming better/different than the later in others.
  • + 16
 I've got nothing against the design and the geo looks great but considering they're made in house and aluminum, they should have gone long, low and slack three years ago. The one thing they have over other brands is speed of adoption of new trends.
  • + 3
 Ironically they did go HAM on the long low slack thing several years ago, then they had to walk back on it because customers didn't like it. Damned if you do...
  • + 2
 Yeah for the mass market the long low and slack doesn't necessarily. They do have probably one of the quickest prototype to production opportunities going, though they do want to avoid just changing them every year almost for the sake of it.
  • - 1
 I think thats not their market to be honest. You can follow trends and then you'll be like one of many. Because lets be real. Its a very simple bike (in features). I cannot be certain of course but I'm willing to believe they've found the right combination of numbers combined with that single pivot. Now it stands out. Does its own thing. And has its own market sort of. People who buy this wouldn't even be considering a Nicolai
  • + 10
 I don’t understand why these companies start naming bikes a year early in April. It makes 0 sense! I mean we are 3 months into 2019 and we already have the “2020” model available. Does it make you feel like Marty McFly? Oh wow you’re sooo cool because your bike is 8 months ahead of its time...
  • + 8
 Looks good. I ride an orange and love it. Its not plastic, needs minimum looking after, its made just down the road, if it looks tired send it back they respray it. Yes they look a bit agricultural but its iconic british bike design that pays local craftsmen local wages.
Best of all it rides better than most other things for 90% of my riding. If you ride one you either get it or not.
  • + 9
 Frankly, as someone who spends a fair amount of time with a tig torch in my hand at work, the welds look good. Aluminum requires a lot of heat, to weld long welds in thin sheet is challenging.
  • + 5
 Over the years I alternate between multi-pivot bike frames and single pivot frames. Seems like I get all excited about a multi-link frame and own it until it’s irreversibley creaky and clapped out. Then I buy a single pivot and enjoy the quiet low-maintenance frame for a few years. After that I switch back to multi-link until things start creaking again... I’ve been riding a lot of rain conditions this winter. A single pivot sounds nice right about now.
  • + 9
 Still got a soft spot for single pivots....
  • + 6
 Oh yeah, me too...
  • + 4
 I never had a soft spot 4 single pivots but I like the inhouse manufacturing mind set
  • + 5
 @vhdh666: Oh yeah, soft spot for inhouse manufacturing too. Two soft spots...
  • + 2
 @vinay: word
  • + 2
 Me too. I admittedly haven't ridden a ton of different bikes, but from what I've experienced, they all work. They're all a bit different, but they work, so why not go with the option that's the most reliable and easiest to maintain!
  • + 5
 I've always loved these bikes, there's something about the utilitarian look that's much more appealing to me than the swoopy carbon look that unfortunately so many aluminum bikes are emulating as well. Single pivots are awesome, my first full-susser was a Cannondale Prophet, loved the simplicity and low maintenance of that bike compared to modern multi-pivot designs with twelve tiny bearings to wear out. Keep doing your thing, Orange!
  • + 5
 The Cult..Dam good band. For every shitty Rush song over played on the radio every fucking day, there should be 10 Cult songs played to make you forget they just played Tom Fucking Sawyer yet again.
  • + 4
 If ya got a soft spot for single pivot bikes the Foes makes this look like a shop class project. Having put a good ride in on a Foes, single pivots work great, if you ain't smashing the pedals up the hill it feels fine just toodling along. On the down, they work just as good as anything else I've ridden, a little desirable brake squat, solid feeling connection with rear wheel and if the shock/ratio is in the ball park a down right great ride.
  • + 1
 Pedaling up hill due to the chain growth it kind of supports itself from your pedaling though doesnt it...
  • + 2
 Bottle cage bolts, at long last! (would be better within the triangle from a bottle point of view, although I guess down there it keeps the weight central and low) Uprate the little pivot bearings to big ones for longevity and put a bearing in the swingarm end mount for the shock (it rotates too much for a bush imo), and ill consider updating my five29
  • + 2
 ''My bike has more pivots so is obviously better than this thing that doesn't work despite working great for 20 years'' - Most Americans on Pinkbike
  • + 2
 I’ve had loads of Oranges over the last 20 years as well as Whytes,SantaCruz,Trek,Cannondale etc.. the bikes with multi pivots needed regular maintenance and attention whilst the Orange just kept on keeping on. That’s before you get to the fact that it rides great for your average trail guy?? Mind you I’m not gapping roads at the EWS??
  • + 2
 There is nothing wrong with a single pivot. These bikes wouldn’t be around this long if they sucked. Fact is they’re good simple bikes that are fun to ride. They’re is however something very wrong with 28.99mm BB bearings.
  • + 4
 So the whole article and comments and nobody wants to comment on the fact that this bike is....like....orange?
  • + 3
 Brexit inspired welds ...oh the sweet sound of the rocks hitting metal, ting ting. Much better than carbon...clunk clunk....crack.....crack!
  • + 7
 If they were Brexit inspired they would never get built, Orange would just spend 2.5 years thinking about it.
  • + 1
 I’m not too convinced by the bottle mounts underneath the down tube. I think I’d rather not have the bottle mounts at all.

Other than that it looks lovely. Will we be seeing a new Four next week?
  • + 4
 HOLY SHIT, its 2020 already?!
  • + 2
 My house needs a new front door. My door install guy is getting frustrated with my inability to decide on which model front door to get. My decision has just been made!
  • + 1
 I really love that video. Rowan Sorrell is probably the best Orange ambassador, also making a point about not littering. Only issue maybe would be the coffee. No matter wherever they are, they are Brits. They should be drinking tea.
  • + 2
 fk them audio foleys of the wheels are so bad, theirs is one part where the rear wheel is not spinning but there is an audio Foley that says the opposite
  • + 2
 Much prefer the alpine style swing arm the ones in the 5s 4s etc look like a school metal work project.
  • + 1
 The 4 has the same style swingarm as the Alpine...?
  • + 0
 Looks like it was welded by a blind spider monkey on meth. Loves me a top quality aluminum bike, but this ain't it. Orange needs to talk to Commencal or someoine french about how to build a decent looking bike.
  • - 2
 Yes it's hand welded in Halifax but come on its a complete rip off. I grew up less than ten miles from their factory and would love to support local business but I just can't bring myself to buy Orange when you look at the shore spec they give you at a top price.
  • + 1
 Would definately like to try one of these but the last one i saw was about 4 years ago, rare around these parts.
  • + 1
 Who performed the cover of the Cult’s, She Sells Sanctuary, used in this video? I didn’t see it in the credits.
  • + 1
 I replied to an earlier question about this. Here's what I found...

soundcloud.com/summer-herlevi/she-sells-sanctuary-the-cult-cover
  • + 1
 @KevinBoyer: cool, thanks
  • + 2
 Does anybody know who is doing that cover of The Cult? Really nice.
  • + 2
 Here you go funkybaj. Took some digging, but finally found it.

soundcloud.com/summer-herlevi/she-sells-sanctuary-the-cult-cover
  • + 1
 @KevinBoyer: Awesome, great find, thanks. I'd spent a few hours searching around without finding anything.
  • + 1
 Being picky but 150mm / 160mm would have been perfect. Still want one though.
  • + 2
 So now the 5 is closer to 6inch of travel than the 6 is ???
  • + 3
 They still have the Four with five inch travel.
  • + 8
 @vinay: Good. I'm glad that clears thins up. Next from Orange - the 3 - a hardtail.
  • + 1
 It's been that way since they added the bend in the top tube
  • + 2
 The hardtail is the 7 haha @nouseforaname:
  • + 1
 The 6 is nearer to 7 now, so how long till they rename it the alpine 7, this the six and introduce a new model featuring reduced travel for extra pedalling efficiency and snappier handling. They'll name it the FIVE.
  • + 2
 @vinay: have you ever heard of inflation? 5 inches today are worth the same 4 inches were 20 years ago.
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: Oh no, please allow this thing to evolve. At least wait until the Orange Four has more travel than the Santa Cruz V10. It should happen in the next decade or the decade after that.
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: that aint what she says.
  • + 1
 @watchtower: Ehrm... how old is she? Just want to be sure it is all legal.
  • + 1
 But kept is at 74* cause then they can release a "new" model in a couple years with a proper 76*... Smile
  • + 2
 Longer, slacker, lower.... the beginner bike
  • + 1
 April 1st came a bit early! I must admit, i laughed quite a bit.
  • + 1
 Nice Vid! I want a door to the coast with free coffee and beer...
  • + 1
 Say what you want about the tubing, but those dropouts are gorgeous.
  • + 1
 The swing arm looks like it’s from the Trek VRX.
  • + 1
 Finally understand what BREXIT is all about Wink
  • + 5
 Perhaps you can explain it to the rest of us.
  • + 2
 Lovely
  • + 1
 "I changed by not changing......at all....." Pearl Jam
  • + 1
 I hope that after the Alpine and the Five, the Four gets the same updates.
  • + 1
 Its a bike, whats not to like!?
  • + 1
 As a nurse it's weird to see Pinkbike talking about a Ventillator
  • + 1
 20 years of British engineered filing efficiency.
  • + 1
 Another company jumpin on the wagon hahaha #geolution
  • + 1
 Orange dh bikes were lower and slacker than anything around at the time of the 224. They’ve always been long and slack compared to bikes of the same time.
  • + 2
 K.I.S.S
  • + 1
 Forget the bike... Where can I get a door like that?
  • + 0
 I swear I think Orange uses Photoshop to design their bikes. Same template and just click, drag and color.
  • + 1
 I'd ride one
  • + 0
 Move on... nothin to see here...
  • + 0
 Shoulda stayed in Shropshire monners!
  • + 0
 Looks like a Sess..... Orange.
  • + 1
 Wheel size?
  • + 1
 Nice vid!
  • + 0
 Not sure about this edit. by the end I was like 'MEH' !
  • + 0
 God save the Queen
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