Building on their 29" wheeled bike range, Orange has added the Stage 6 Evo to their catalogue as their go-to aggressive trail bike. In true Orange fashion, the bike uses a single pivot layout that they have refined over decades of trials - adjustments are nowhere to be found.
Orange's unique look is immediately recognized, but deciphering the subtleties between each model can be puzzling. Touting 140 mm of rear wheel travel, this Stage 6 Evo is a combination of the regular Stage 6 with 10 mm more travel and the zippy 120 mm Stage Evo. The geometry follows closely to the enduro focused Stage 6, but Orange says it remains well balanced and "hair-raisingly fast".
Stage 6 Evo Details
• Aluminum frame
• Travel: 140 mm / 150 mm fork
• 29" wheels
• Offset pivot and asymmetrical chainstay heights
• 64-degree head angle
• 76-degree seat tube angle
• 467 mm chainstays
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Price: £6,400 GBP
Fans of the iconic single pivot bikes will be excited to hear that the 6061-T6 aluminum frame is still built in Britain and has a 5-year warranty with a limited lifetime crash replacement policy. Thinner cross-sectional, custom formed monocoque tubing contributes to a claimed 20% more longitudinal stiffness and a 15% increase in overall strength. Orange has offset the chainstay heights to ride asymmetrically and moved the pivot shaft inboard further on the drive side to free up space for the chainring. They also say that a neutral pivot position allows for progressive suspension kinematics and a more rigid frame allows for smoother shock actuation.
You'll find standard equipment like Boost hub spacing, internal cable routing, UDH capability, and now a top tube accessory mount under the top tube. Water bottle capacity is located under the downtube. There are also ISCG tabs under the BB should you want to invest in chainring protection and security.Geometry
Whether or not Orange believes that short riders are better suited to 27.5" wheels, the Stage 6 Evo is only available in MD, LG, and XL sizes. However, some of their 27.5" wheeled bikes drop down to size SM, like the Alpine series. They say the geometry is well balanced, but the chainstay number jumps off the page with a staggering 467 mm length on all three sizes. The reach numbers don't stray too far from one another at less than a 20 mm gap between them, starting at 468 mm for the size medium and topping out at 505 for the XL.
With a head angle of 64º and a seat tube angle of 76º, those numbers aren't wildly progressive, but are a common ground that should bode well for diverse regions. Stack heights are on the higher side at 630 mm for the MD and LG (640 for the XL) due to a -40 mm BB drop, keeping in mind that the head tubes are average heights of 110 mm for the smaller size and 120 for the XL. This should allow taller riders to feel "in the bike" more without the need to raise their bar height, ultimately leading to chipping away at the reach number.
For the moment, only the premium SE model is available ringing in at £6,400, but Orange will announce more options in the near future. The build kit is spec'd with parts that are less standard than typical Fox or SRAM componentry. Staying close to home, you'll find a short 35 mm length Hope Tech stem and 3 E4 brakes with 203 and 180 mm floating rotors, 35 mm clamp diameter Renthal FatBars, and from just a hop across the water; Ohlins Swedish gold in the form of an air sprung RXF 36 M.2 fork and TTX1 Air.
To carry through the Orange's no fuss ethos, standard equipment like Shimano's SLX drivetrain bits are mated to Race Face Aeffect cranks and Stan's burlier Flow MK4 wrapped in Maxxis Minon DHF/DHR II Exo tires. Topping it off, the Ox Blood Red painted frame is finished with Strange grips, Orange's pseudonym, and a SDG Bel Air III saddle on a 150 mm Tellis dropper post.
To use a sports car analogy, Santa Cruz are Ferrari, Yeti are Lamborghini, Specialized are Porsche. And Orange are like Caterham, or Morgan. They're not trying to be the same thing as the 'big boys'. In it's way the product is competitive, but it's also traditional, idiosyncratic and a little bit obnoxious. In that sense you either get it, or you don't. And if you don't get it then I don't think Caterham/Morgan/Orange really care. They'll continue to do their thing and you can take it or leave it.
In the same way nobody cross-shops a new Morgan and a new Ferrari, I don't think many/any are cross-shopping Santa Cruz and Orange. Maybe 3/5/8 years ago they did, but not any more. By buying a brand new Orange, same as brand new Caterham or Morgan, you are making something of a statement.
Laziest design team in the world,
Looks the same as all the others on the surface, but actually due to many years of tweeking the same car/frame a really finely balanced thing that works very very well
Something you can comfortably daily-drive, but that still hassle the full fat super cars on a track.
They also age well. Whats cooler, the latest plastic fantastic, or a well worn classic.
They're more like Ferrari prices than Audi!
Unno = Mclaren
Antidote = Bugatti
I have to agree with @rich-2000 But more on the lines you see them more often than you think.
Specialized = Toyota
Trek = Honda
Giant = General Motors
Santa Cruz = Lexus
Scott = Acura
Yeti = Infinity
Unno = Lamborghini
Antidote = Ferrari
Anything home made and extremely limited = bugatti
But how do they ride? Sure, pros can make anything go fast. Are normals better on a Horst link though?
I'm not a car guy, but look up the lotus Elise - that's the car equivalent of how oranges ride.
But of course
Like you I love the fact it was made locally and I'm sure the modern ones will ride a lot better than mine does.
If anything Trek = Chevy and commencal = Honda.
AHH no, Giants are reliable
That's an easy one. Subaru is Surly.
Well, anyway, whether you ride a Santa Cruz or an Orange, please don't be a douchebag....
(They were once good, Bearings go all the time then they snap in my experience as an NP owner)
We have seen a few Megas snap in the same place on the frame v model up here.
I am old and only ride gently!
My poor TR275 only snapped off a wee jump up Greens after a around 2 years of thrashing around Dallas, the Mast, Greens, Torridon, Laggan, Golspie, Balblair, High Burnside Malaga etc.
If you ever ride up here, you will know its all gentle, rolling trails
I would love another rear end to rebuild her up as a woodland small travel thrash machine again.
Only bike I have ever snapped!
Other than that I’m definitely with you. And yes, they’re fast!
You got unlucky with yours, my TR275 has been great. Sounds like you damaged it somewhere else and the small jump was the final straw.
The weld on the rear stay snapped on my TR275, it's a common failure point on that frame.
Plenty of snapped ones around here. The latest ones seem more reliable.
It was a small jump, probably only 20ft or so out and 6ft down. Lucky it was my first ride back post a massive injury or it could have been much worse if I wasn't just pootling around.
Water bottle is under down tube
Accessory mount is under top tube
There is a mullet bike - the switch 6 - very similar to this - which has a 447 chainstay
Like many of the UK steel hardtail fabricators, pricing is geting rediculous...
Still like orange bikes, just not enough to buy one myself.
I'd happily spec up and put together my own bike with an Orange frame though.
We all already know that carbon frames can be made pretty cheaply...not junkyard ones, but no name brands that have shown to work well (Trifox, iCan, etc.) Not commenting on the socio-political stuff...just that they can be made cheaply.
You might have other reasons (like suspension preferences, warranty, you like the color, whatever)...I'm not sure cost should be one of them on a bike like this.
So: why should a hand built locally sourced AL frameset be less desirable than it's carbon counterpart?
As for the pricing of full builds, I agree that it largely depends on how much they sell. I thought CRC is able to sell their components cheaper than the local bike shop can buy them from the importer (or maybe even from Shimano directly)! So yeah, it may indeed be cheaper to buy the frame and get the components separately. Heck, I'd say most people buying a frame like this already have a bike so they can probably swap most components and only buy new stuff if it happens to be incompatible.
I imagine running a one man frame building business it is unbelievably hard to make enough money to pull out a wage that reflects the effort and time put in, let alone have enough money left over to keep the business moving forward.
Orange are an entirely different prospect to an operation like BTR though.
But i am all for longer chainstays with the trend of longer front centers.It only makes sense.
Its hard to have fun,when the front end starts to push and washout due to poor weight distribution.
Sure,manuals are a bit harder,but still doable.
But most of it will applied through the hands,wich are weaker than our legs.
In general,a more balanced rear/front centers,allow for a more relaxed stance on the bike,with less arm fatigue.
Obviously,you can go too far,and then you would have ride too far behind the bb,which too,isn't desirable.
I have one with a 435mm rear and there's loads of room still.
I’d love to see them do something different in the bb area like making the pivot and bb a single, cool looking forged or machined piece. I kind of dislike the bb dangling look and also how the swingarm pivot is just welded to the downtube. But I like how they’re all about form follows function and there’s probably good reason they’ve kept it as is.
- Looks like a filing cabinet
- Sounds like a skeleton having a wank in a tin
- 1980s design
- What, no Horst link?
- looks the same as my Five for 1998
: Who's there?
: Banana who?
- Knock, knock
: Who's there?
: Banana who?
- Knock, knock
: Who's there?
: Banana who?
- Knock, knock
: Who's there?
: Banana who?
- Knock, knock
: Who's there?
: Orange who?
- Orange you glad people have been making the same bad jokes about how shite your bikes look since 1988?
So many beautiful Oranges frames marred by horrific component selections.
Does it descend well compared to modern bikes from other brands? "Oh, but this has character!"
How about components, are those pretty trick of the price? "How do you feel about middling suspension, 150mm droppers and SLX drivetrain?"
But the price, certainly that is reasonable....? "Look, man. It is what it is and it comes in red."
I like their integrity, and actually their bikes have become kind of sexy, like an ugly hidden princess that progressively reveals her beauty with age and maturity. Orange are the MILF of mountain bikes
Glad to see this! I have always thought Orange looked mighty with the shaping and simplicity after seeing them at world cups in the states years ago. I always had a soft spot in my heart for one but never had any local resources to check one out to buy. Single pivies are a tough beast you really have to have a good shock tune for them to feel right "everywhere" on the trail.
Ever since seeing Peaty and talking to him while drooling on his Orange at Mt. St. Anne in 04 i think..kind of still like to have one.
That is partly why Orange appear to have a range of very similar but subtley different frames - because they can, with minimum development cost and time.
(Not an armchair) Engineer.
Coming clean - previous Orange owner, got a Stage Evo on order and a little bit of patriotism as they are just on the road. For the sake of all the comparisons on here, its replacing a current gen SC Hightower too!!
Yabbut—— the tube is still a straight run from HT to BB, with very minimal tapering, etc.
Doesn’t look like the extra facets have any functional features incorporated- in fact they’re still using an additional, applied gusset at the best tube junction.
Let's say that in italian it can be called "putrella".
Toyota= Specialized. Dependable and kinda boring. Makes the okayest bikes on the market.
Honda= Trek. Used to be dependable, all of their models kinda look the same.
Hyundai = YT. Wish.com version of lexus.
Lexus= Evil. A luxury brand within reach of the upper-middle class.
Kia= Marin. Affordable, some of their products are kind of decent.
Subaru= Yeti. Pretty cool, but being the favorite choice of rich hipsters is wearing out their image.
Acura= Ibis. Entry level luxury with a sporty side.
Mitsubishi= Intense. Was competitive once, not currently enjoying much success.
Jaguar= Schwinn... was a top dog until the early 2000's.
Suzuki= Diamondback, the Release is basically the Samurai of MTB. It's not great but it's surprisingly good for what it is.
Nissan= Giant. Gets a bad reputation from its low end products,but makes some legit high end stuff. Wants to be Toyota
GMC= Kona. Hasn't led the pack in years but has a solid fan base.
Volvo= Scott. Really hit and miss with the innovations and reliability. Your mom has/wants one.
Tesla= Santa Cruz. The brand everyone loves to hate but would probably own one if they could.
Shelby American- Revel. Taking an existing platform (Canfield) and making it beautiful.
Jeep= Commencal. Is capable of way more than most owners will ever use it for.
Pontiac= Transition. if a brand could have a Mullet.... \m/ (>.)
Mini= Grim Doughnut. Wildly impractical but Levey still loves it.
Dodge=Cannondale. Doin their own thing. Sometimes its cool, but mostly it's just weird.
Mazda = GT. Everyone wanted one of these in the 90's.
I know I missed some here. Let me know what they are:
Based on your Trek description I would almost go with Subaru for them. Every Subaru looks like a stretched and scaled version of their other cars
Price is still too high. Blah blah blah UK manufacturing. Make a good Asian version of this, sell the UK frames as works models and offer some customization (reach, chainstay length, headtube length, color, bosses).
Until then, Commencal is the hot ticket for sturdy aluminum full suspension bikes.
I would love to buy a Taiwanese Orange frame for the price of a Commencal, but none of the factories would be tooled to make them AFAIK.
And it would trim a lot off the price of Orange bikes to be built there.
Somehow GG does affordable(ish) US carbon frames, but Orange can’t seem to be bothered looking for ways to keep their cost competitive.
Have you looked up how they are made? It's not like any other bike brand.
I get they’re unique. I get they’re well built. But so is a US made Guerilla Gravity. And those are carbon.
This is a no-linkage single pivot, with the same basic design/layout as their bikes from 20 years ago. The price is $8.5k USD for an SLX drivetrain, base level wheels, and Ohlins suspension. I don't know if desirable or fancy are terms that readily apply
I'm glad you love your bike. Shred on!
All of these designs offer decidedly more "degrees of freedom" and opportunity to engineer very specific attributes related to anti-squat, brake jack, wheel path, variable leverage ratios, etc. And winning bikes seem to select this complexity. They just do. Are they more complex than a simple lever single pivot? Yup. Big time. But that complexity does deliver ever-improving performance, beyond what geometry updates can deliver.
Case in point: Look at the current 2020 Specialized Enduro. At it's core, its a 4-bar horst, but the actual suspension kinematics and wheel path are fine tuned by a complex shock linkage that actually drives the rocker link. As a result, its been a "benchmark" bike for 2+ years for at least 4 major mountain bike periodicals. Its a super slack, 170mm bike that is better downhill than many DH bikes from 5-7 years ago, and better climbing dynamics than many 140-150mm trail bikes from 5 years ago. Is it complex? Yep. But is it better, year over year than even Enduro's of years past? Absolutely - big time.
Same with some of these fancy, new, high-pivots. Man, I just rode my buddies Fordbidden Dreadnaught a few weeks ago. The thing is a MONSTER. The wheel stays glued to the ground on super gnarly trails, unlike anything I've ever felt. This Orange will never be able to offer that ride dynamic. Not possible.
So yes, there is a great deal to be gained from increasing complexity and/or innovation. As for flex, get your head out of your a$$. Firstly, a certain amount of flex or compliance can be a good thing. Ever ridden super rigid carbon hoops? 2nd, unless you are a world-caliber racer, I don't wanna hear it. I see a lot of local professional racers who seem to shred their "flexy" four-bar and other design types.
No, that's not what I'm saying. They do offer something, but I dispute your claim that they are superior. They aren't. Mountain bikes are all about trade-offs. I don't expect an Orange to have the downhill performance of an high pivot bike, but there is a weight and drag penalty trade-off. VPP (overall, including other names you mentioned which I consider VPP as well) and linkage backed (meaning shock linkage, not seatstays linkage) single pivot bikes are good bikes, but there really isn't an established superiority over a well executed non-linkage single pivot bike. A rear wheel pivot always has to be somewhere, whether it's virtual or physical. Yes, ideally there would be a linkage in here, connecting the rear swingarm to the shock as on an Evil bike, but it's not really crucial, it's just a matter of progressivity and progressivity involves a trade-off as well, the more progressivity you have the less usable your travel is. Besides, progressivity is tunable through the shock as well. So the only aspect that I concede to be a relative weakness in this bike, the lack of progressivity, may not be a weakness at all. It can actually be considered a weight-saving measure that does not have an adverse affect on performance. Hence I absolutely dispute your labeling this bike as inferior to anything.
I feel strongly that a bike with (somewhat) independently tunable axle path, pedal kickback, variable leverage ratio (linear vs. progressive during different parts of the suspension curve), brake jack, anti-squat, anti-rise, dynamic chainstay length, etc. is going to provide a basis on which objectively "superior" suspension performance is delivered for any given application. No bike will ever be a 10/10 in each category, but design and innovation allows us to inch closer and closer.
Orange is not going to excel across several of these domains. Specifically: axle path, pedal kickback, variable/dynamic leverage ratio, brake jack and dynamic chainstay length. Because of Orange's ultra-simple suspension design, these particular aspects are either entirely or partially unavailable to engineer without major tradeoff.
That’s wrong on several points. Pedal kickback depends on the position of the pivot. Axle path (obviously) depends on the position of the pivot. Anti-squat depends on the position of the pivot. These are choices that have to be made regardless of the suspension system, and that always involve a trade-off. And what here is a physical pivot, in non-single pivot bikes is a virtual pivot, but the choices are the same and the trade-offs are the same. The single pivot bike simply offers a visual, immediate representation of these options, which is the physical location of the pivot. Other systems can’t escape from this, they still must provide a virtual pivot point that is in the same place that a physical pivot point would be on a single pivot bike. It’s the same thing. And that determines everything, the trade-off between anti-squat and pedal kickback for instance, I mean, it’s not a trade-off because one is associated with the other, if you get more anti-squat you get more pedal kickback. No matter the suspension system, it’s a choice and a trade-off, depending on where you make the wheel rotate around. Then, the leverage ratio, I addressed it already, the dynamic chainstay length, I don’t know what you mean (do you?), and the brake jack is indeed one the things that can be considered a drawback in this bike, but it's also slight and very possibly unnoticeable. One solution is, don't brake. But it's mostly on very vertical trails where you have to be hanging on the brakes a lot that this might show itself more, and I probably wouldn't be buying this bike if I was going to be riding a lot of such trails. Such trails are also a waste of pedal power, too much braking, and would be considered downhill trails, and this isn’t a downhill bike. Though Orange didn’t do bad at all in DH in the hands of Steve Peat.
Let's use your own example: Pivot location. As you've said, axle path, pedal feedback, anti-squat, leverage ratio are going to be highly dependent on pivot location. With this bike design, you get 1 pivot location and zero additional degrees of freedom between the pivot, bottom bracket, and rear axle. So now you have to pick a location, and that location is going to be a tradeoff between axle path, pedal feedback, anti-squat, and levaerage rate. With other bike designs, you have MORE ability to independently optimize each.
Case in point (again): the 2020 Specialized Enduro with its very complicated "6-bar" suspension. At its core, it is a horst link bike. Yet the axle position, independent chainstay and seat stay, as well as the complex linkage and rocker link allows you to engineer a bike that has a rearward axle path for the first 30% of suspension travel (lengthening the effective chainstay, and moving the axle "back and out of the way") that then switches to a forward axle path (shortening the effective chainstay and reducing pedal kickback) for the final 70% of suspension travel. Further, by fine tuning the 3-arms which link the shock to the rocker link, it delivers a suspension curve that switches between linear and progressive at different parts of the stroke. Brake jack is reduced by decoupling (somewhat) the axle position and brake mount from the movement of the chainstay and rocker link, which allows the bike to remain more reactive under braking.
Do you see what I mean? The Orange cannot offer this level of sophistication and fine tuning. You effectively get to make 1 choice with the Orange: Where is the pivot, and where is the axle? Everything else is a function of where you mounted the shock to the lever arm. That's it.
Thanks for the insight. I’m headed out to the garage to weld the ABP and the rocker link solid. What a waste of bearings.
Right, in simplest terms it is a single pivot as well. The ABP and Linkage driven shock make them totally different.
At this point, there is really nothing left to say. He ended is last message by talking about "flex" again, as if modern bike designers haven't accounted for flex as part of their suspension engineering process.
How about an instant downvote for the usual "gate" comments Orange get and commend them for giving riders an option other that the usual offered by the big brands!
Reach decreases, stack increases = same size bike.
If yes, then damn son, the door will definitely be closing while you wheel that sucker out of the garage!
Now the important bit.
The Orange Switch (MX) has 145mm and 447mm CS (210/55) SA 76.
The Stage 6 has 150mm and 469mm CS (210/55) (same front triangle as the Switch) SA 76.
Stage 6 Evo has 140mm and 467mm CS (210/55) SA76.
The Alpine 6 has 165mm and 441mm CS (230/65) but the seat angle is 72/74 deg.
The Switch/Stage/Evo have straight seat tubes, the Alpine doesn't. I think Orange have run out of space to fit a bigger shock or get a modern seat angle (edit-they could get the seat angle by starting the seat tube say 5mm behind the BB and running it through the point where it meets the top of the CS). They can't increase the travel without increasing the CS and shortening the stroke. There going to have to change something if they want their Enduro bikes to keep up and I don't think people are going to accept the solution on the 329 (hole in the downtube/slack seat angle) to get the big travel on an Enduro.
The last part of your comment is very interesting, they are obviously missing a long-travel 29er now and the Stage 6 could always have done with a bit more.
Concure ref Stage 6 always needing a bit more travel.
Both take themselves very seriously.
Trek=Ford; massive number of total units sold annually, most pretty standard run of the mill stuff. Occasionally pulls out all the stops to make something insane (ford GT, super lite)
Specialized=Chevy; also ginormous and also sells lots on “non-enthusiasts” models. Creates some insane performances bargains from time to time.
Scott= Audi, Unnecessarily complex engineering solutions to problems nobody had. High price, euro vibes.
Transition=Mazda. Smaller company that makes fun to drive/ride products at reasonable prices. Pushing to go more “upmarket” but still not too serious about it.
Maybe the trails near their HQ are straight, fast, and boring.
This looks nice. Maybe it's because the colour reminds me of my old VPFree. Maybe because it's Billy basic. Maybe because the team riders have been shredding them well and putting in some good results.
But... I watched the video of how orange frames are made and that is enough to put anyone off forever!
I would not own this machine, but welcome its presence in the market to give consumers more options and foster competition.
No point in starting out with negative bias.
They’re actually pretty nice to ride (or at least the older ones were). Not ridden a new Orange in several years.
That combined with how many break, and the amount of bearings they seemed to go through, means that I'd never consider one.
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