Sorry Pinkers, it's time to throw away your Orange jokes... well, some of them anyway. For the first time in a long time, the new Orange bike is not a basic single pivot but instead a linkage driven one. Released today, the Switch 7 is designed to be the brand's flagship enduro bike, and will be raced in the EWS this year. Let's get into the details.The Basics
At its core, this is an Orange through and through. The bike's silhouette is intentionally left Orange-y despite the new linkage and, as with most of the brand's line up, it will be made in the Halifax factory from the same aluminium sheets by the same craftsmen. In fact, if you didn't notice the new shock orientation, you may not have realised this was any different to Orange's usual formula. Times are changing in Yorkshire though, for this bike, as with the Alpine Evo before it
, Orange used FEA analysis and 3D modelling to identify any potential issues with its usual techniques and to rejig each structure to perform better.
Enduro RacingFrame material:
170mm front and rearWheelsize:
29" front, 27.5" rearSuspension deisgn:
Linkage driven single pivotSizes:
S, M, L, XLPrice:
£7400 GBP | €8400 EUR | $8800.00 USDMore info: orangebikes.com
Even though the brand went back to the drawing board on suspension, this bike picks up from the Switch 6 when it comes to its characteristics, albeit with an improved burl factor. Like the Switch6, this is a mixed wheel bike but it now has 170m of travel front and rear.The Linkage
With that out of the way, let's get on to what's new about this bike. So often, we end up describing a new Orange as looking the same as the previous model but with some key changes hidden under the hood. Well, not anymore.
This new bike uses what Orange is calling the Strange Linkage. Strange is Orange's version of BlackBox and has previously been used to prototype everything from grips to a 29er downhill bike
. For this project, the Strange link was all about increasing the progression of the frame. Orange says, "Through the rear shock’s travel, the leverage ratio falls from 2.85 to 2.10. Looking at shock force, this means the real working progression is 36%."
This isn't the first time Orange has used a linkage, its Blood
trail bikes and 225 downhill bike are the proof we've seen of that, but it's apparently something Orange are always testing, despite favouring their tried and true single pivot. For most of its bikes, Orange will stick with the single pivot for its playful characteristics but this is a bike that needs a bit more progressive for riders whose aim is to hit 10 minute race stages all summer.
Orange hasn't gone with the high pivot trendsetters on this bike and instead, potentially with their tongue in cheek, say, "this race machine also benefits from our lowest pivot position to minimise pedal kickback, and drivetrain induced interference, leaving the rider to do the job at hand." Not content with just one link, Orange has also developed a pair of dog bone links (sold separately) that increase the bikes BB height by 5mm with only a half-degree steepening of the head angle at the request of its race team.
Switching to a linkage driven single pivot means also means that the centre of the bike is lower and there's room for a bottle in the front triangle. GeometryBuilds
The Switch 7 will be available in one build for the time being and only in British Racing Green. It comes specced with Ohlins suspension, Shimano XT 12 speed drivetrain and brakes, Stans Flow Wheels and and a Minion DHF/DHR combo for tires. It will retail for £7400 GBP | €8400 EUR | $8800.00 USD. More info, here