Orange's New Bike Has a Built in Filing Cabinet - Sea Otter 2023

Apr 23, 2023 at 9:52
by Mike Kazimer  

Sorry Orange, that headline basically wrote itself. The British brand's bikes have long been the subject of plenty of good natured ribbing due to their distinctive looks, and the addition of a storage compartment in the downtube only makes things easier. It also makes it easier to store tools and food, a move I fully support. Orange's acronym for the compartment is SAFE, for Store Accessories, Food & Equipment.

Joking aside, the new bike has 160mm of travel front and rear, and a mixed wheel setup. The shock now uses a trunnion mount, which allows for a shorter overall shock length, a move that freed up some valuable water bottle space inside the front triangle – there's room for a full size bottle under the top tube.



The seat tube length has been shortened to provide room for long travel dropper posts, and the bike uses a universal derailleur hanger. As for the suspension design, it still uses Orange's signature single pivot configuration, but Orange says the kinematics have been altered to increase the amount of progression (although it will still be fairly linear compared to a linkage-driven design).

There will be four sizes, all with a 64-degree head angle, a 76-degree seat angle, and fairly long 450mm chainstays. The seat tube length has been shortened to provide more room for long-travel dropper posts.


Orange had another bike on display, a full 29” version of their Switch 7 with 165mm of rear travel and a 170mm fork. There's no storage compartment to be seen on this one, but there is an accessory / bottle cage mount on the underside of the top tube, and there's a depression in the top of the down tube for more bottle clearance.

Just like the mixed-wheel Switch 7, the new bike uses Orange's 'Strange Link' suspension layout to increase the level of progression.


There are three sizes, all with a slack 63-degree head angle, 76-degree seat angle, and very long 468mm chainstays.

We reviewed Orange's DH bike last summer, but it's been far too long since we had one of their trail bikes in for review – we're working on getting one of the new models in sooner than later to see how all of this British 'uniqueness' works out on the trail. Personally, I'm most intrigued by the long chainstays on the Switch – the reach and chainstay numbers are nearly identical on the size medium, and I'd really like to see how that handles.

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Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,666 articles

  • 215 6
 It's bad enough people thinking you're on an ebike when you're on an ebike, but if they do so when you're not, that's a whole other world of hurt. Ironically it's their best looking bike.
  • 17 11
 Scott Spark, is that you?
  • 61 2
 Next trend is gonna be the Shame Box: a false filling cabinet with a hidden motor inside, for ebikers who wanna ride without being judged all the time.
  • 14 1
 It's good though when they think you are just because of your climbing speed
  • 10 0
 @danstonQ: people mistake my frame bag for a motor all the time. They must think I'm super unfit.
  • 61 3
 One would think with that many linear feet of welding, they would get better at it.
  • 32 0
 I like to think everyone who overtakes me is on an ebike. This makes it easier.
  • 4 6
 they look better in person. like GG bikes.
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: that's what I call my phone
  • 8 7
 @Muckal: I was out with a guy on a new Spark last week, looking like an Eeb or not it’s a bloody beautiful thing, most unlike this new Orange!
  • 4 10
flag nickfranko (Apr 23, 2023 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 Couldn't even full clean up those welds, either. Apparently they've never heard of a grinder
  • 6 15
flag Tmntnshit (Apr 23, 2023 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 @danstonQ: loud and proud! I dont mind being judged. It just lets me know who the posers that hate having more fun are..
  • 5 0
 @nickfranko: There's not a weld anywhere on either of the bikes above that needs grinding...
  • 5 0
 If I take my Rallón to town, every street expert knows for sure it's a bike with a battery. That's all they know now. They get really puzzled or incredulous when I tell them it isn't.
  • 9 56
flag heavyp (Apr 23, 2023 at 16:21) (Below Threshold)
 @orangebikes I’d be suing Pinkbike for defamation, we all know people love a laugh and joke in the comments about Orange bikes never really changing or being noisy (it’s because they have never ridden one and enjoyed how amazingly they actually are) but comments are swept under the carpet anyways but for millions of people to come here and see the title with filing cabinet in it I think it’s more damaging than good, clearly someone at sea otter drank to many hipster IPA’s and thought they were funny.

I look forward to you winning the case and sponsoring Loic, Jackson and Amoury and being 1/2/3 on the World Cup podiums in 2024 haha
  • 69 3
 @heavyp, did you read the article? We're excited to get one of these in for review - the geo numbers look super intriguing. The bike world would be a boring place without companies like Orange, just like how it'd be a boring place if we weren't allowed to make a joke every once in a while. And I don't drink.
  • 1 0
 @tremeer023: This gets us into the question of what you call bike packing on an e-bike. BiEke packing? Bike PEaking? Of course if you routinely do 200km+ days like Matthew Fairbrother, your typical bike battery isn't going to help much. I like Bike PEaking though.
  • 14 0
 @heavyp: bet you’re fun at parties.

Orange made the mistake here, they should have leaned in and called it the Filing Cabinet. Would seem unlikely a Frenchie would ride one either way.
  • 3 6
 @mikekazimer: only snorts adderall, no drinking though good clean chap
  • 11 3
 @heavyp: claim-culture, lawyer-up type thinking. No place for that in our sport. Move along man, we don’t need this kind of negativity
  • 18 2
 @mikekazimer: Sorry everyone it was also tongue in cheek comment from myself that didn't go down to well. My apologies
  • 1 1
 @scary1: I never comment but I was coming here to agree!! Being a CWB aluminum welder myself.
  • 6 0
 @scary1: "One would think with that many linear feet of welding, they would get better at it."

>>> Best Orange comment ever! Smile
  • 1 1
 @heavyp: lmao you sound like a dumbass
  • 69 5
 If the noise this adds is anything like filling the SWAT hole does to my SJ evo, we're going to need to think of something even more rattly than a skeleton jerking off in a biscuit tin.
  • 7 0
 I stuffed a tube (kinda lengthwise) in with all the other stuff in my swat box and haven't heard a sound since.
  • 10 1
 I have my swat pouches packed pretty tight, and I put a sock around the one full of tools and a tube. Keeps it pretty silent for me!
  • 55 0
 @Wildeman21: a sock for your tube you say ( ಠ◡ಠ )
  • 4 0
 If they put a slit in the plastic cover it becomes a money box
  • 4 0
 Mine did rattle until I packed it better.
  • 50 0
 I think given the access under there it will make it easier to add anti rattle foam to the cables, so probably a quieter Orange.

Anyway, British skeletons don’t “jerk off”, they “wank”.
  • 1 0
 My bike came with a couple of Velcro bags for your stuff so it wouldn't rattle. I have a bottle of sealant, zip ties, tire levers, and a pump in one. No rattling at all.
  • 5 0
 Man, if only there were things you could put in there that would help in an emergency scenario.
  • 2 0
 Is it the things inside rattling or the SWAT box door?

the things:
repack them

the door:
put something like Slapper Tape around the frame opening to avoid movement of the door.
The door was only fitting properly for less then a year on my Enduro, now it´s too worn to fit without rattling
  • 4 0
 I like to fill dead space with small rags to help mute any noises. If you get a flat, break a chain, what have you, a small piece of cloth is nice to have to wipe up a bit.
  • 3 1
 @lewiscraik: only if they have a boner
  • 2 3
 @razor: Unlike many other mammals, male humans don't have a bone in their dick so for a (human) skeleton it wouldn't matter really. Skeletons brushing their teeth in a biscuit tin, now that'd be noisy.
  • 5 0
 exactly what I was thinking, they should have marketed this as the Orange Echo Chamber.
  • 38 5
 Holy moly, they made it even uglier!
  • 12 0
 Even ugly bikes need love!
  • 30 8
 I don’t get the hate for the looks, I really like the look of the Orange bikes, clean and simple lines.
I know the shape has remained fairly similar for May years but would definitely like one
  • 29 4
 Well of course you don’t, you’re British!
  • 12 10
 @blissindex: pictures never do them justice we actually see them in real life and in person they’re a proper work of art. Incredible skill and design to build a bike like that and we’ve all owned or riding one at some point so we know how good they are.
  • 1 0
 I'm not British and I like the looks of them too, even though I haven't ridden any. Was subscribed to Dirt Magazine and didn't care for Pinkbike until Dirt went out of print. It gives you a different approach at judging a book by the cover. Looking back to these older Pinkbike articles, it appeared like the Pinkbike editors were riding the bikes with the long stems as supplied by the manufacturer whereas at Dirt they replaced the stem by a short one before they even bothered to get the wheels spinning.
  • 5 0
 American here... hate the looks, but the one time I rode an Orange I had a blast. Was the most intuitive feeling suspension, right from the get go, that I've ever had the opportunity to try.
  • 20 0
 I know one thing these guys are just as committed to ugly as they are quality.
  • 15 3
 I mean, it takes real commitment to makes bikes this ugly so consistently. It’s gotta be an integral part of their design philosophy.
  • 15 1
 So I actually had a chance to demo a switch 7 the other day. Got to ride it back to back with some very high end and interesting bikes including the Deviate Claymore. Well...I was very surprised. Turned out to be THE best enduro bike I have ever ridden/owned/demoed. The Deviate was crap in comparison. The Switch seemed to plow through the rough but stay poppy on the jumps and tool the big hit in a perfectly controlled manner. It was somehow relatively light and climbed well too. Don't get me wrong, it was ugly as sin, but man I just can't quite get the performance of that thing out of my head. Luckily the price is enough to prevent me from putting performance over aesthetics and getting one. 3.4k for an alloy frame is hard to justify.
  • 4 1
 You can find them on discount atm

I demo'd a stage 6 a couple years ago and that was a really good bike as well. They ride well.

The construction of them is amazing as well, you can see how cleverly it's folded and constructed and how much thought has gone into it all. They are nice even if they're a bit ugly from some/many angles
  • 3 0
 @tom666: Got the stage6 and it totally shreds potatoes. Love it.
  • 1 0
 @Facepalm66: I bet this new one above rides great. 160 front and rear with mullet wheels sounds great.

Filing cabinet and bottle in the front triangle is great too. It's just not a big looker
  • 2 1
 @tom666: The stage 6 of a couple of years ago didn't have amazing construction, it looked good but they had a chronic cracking problem (including mine). And not just in one place like with traditional oranges, both triangles have issues on that model. Great bikes to ride but they just didn't get it right (and they didn't change the design at all for the warranty replacements either, which is pretty shitty)
  • 2 0
 @Facepalm66: it has a built in grater??
  • 2 1
 @Northwind: I've had the latest version of the Stage 6 (before it went Evo) for 3 years and mine hasn't cracked yet so I'm not sure how chronic the problem really was.
You may have just been unlucky.
  • 12 3
 Maybe all that space should be taken up by an actual suspension linkage and not a "bb crack viewing port"
  • 2 0
 Isn't the Switch 7 below exactly that?
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: You mean the one that doesn't have the crack viewing port???
  • 1 0
 @darkstar66: I mean the Switch 7 below.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: Yeah I got you, the strange link, my point is every bike in the catalogue should probably have a proper linkage
  • 1 0
 @darkstar66: It's good to also have a non-linkage version because it's lighter, leaves space for other things, and it's not so bad really. Do you have frequent bottoming-out experiences with a non-linkage Orange?
  • 1 2
 @DavidGuerra: I owned a stage 5 for a while, spent a week tweaking the shock, either blew through its travel or felt harsh no real middle ground. Lot of money for a shit ride really
  • 1 0
 @darkstar66: I had a great time with my Prophet that I installed a longer stroke shock on (stuck in high BB position), that I also filled with grease or whatever it was for more progressivity. Only problem was the high BB and that I ended up cracking it. But it was really smooth, and using a lot of the travel due to the low progressivity was a good thing.
  • 19 10
 I actually think it looks great
  • 1 0
 I think the 29r Switch 7 above is one of the best looking frames they have produced to date. I'll bet the silver one with storage looks better in the flesh.
  • 6 0
 an orange full sus with a bottle in the front triangle? it must be a mistake
  • 4 1
 Speaking of mistakes... They didn't route the cables through the headset :o
  • 4 1
 I don't mind the looks. But I don't get why orange persist with this construction technique. It doesn't appear to offer any advantage and elevates the risks of material failures. They could easily do things another way, or another frame material, and continue to have their own thing going on.
  • 5 0
 Your wrong on that one. The folded and welded/fabricated construction IS what makes an Orange and Orange, and they absolutely cannot 'easily do things another way' because they dont have the manufacturing equipment, or experience, or desire to do so. Changing their whole operation to tubular or composite construction would just be coping everyone else for no reason.
  • 1 0
 @snotrag: okay but what's better about it? (I'm coming from a place where an orange from my youth is more a steel hardtail than it is a patriot.).

Like I say I don't hate it....just a little bit of research brings out the mention of cracks and that puts me off ever buying one. Seems like they crack a lot and its probably not unrelated to all the folds and extra welds that result from this approach.
  • 3 1
 @Pabsm80: Triangles are the strongest shape, putting folds into sheet metal creates very strong structure too.
This and the simple design are what make them stiff, forgiving and lightweight all-in-one.
  • 5 0
 I like the looks of the typical Orange, I really do. Nothing wrong with it, on the opposite. That aluminium pouch, however, is as unsightly as a bovine udder.
  • 10 5
 Geometry might be from 2023 but that thing looks like 2003.
  • 6 1
 And I friggin love it for that.
  • 4 0
 "Lookit that wanker! Wearin' FOUR hats! Johnny Two Hats is gonna go mental when he sees that."
  • 7 2
 Love it, looks awesome, rides awesome.
  • 2 0
 Interestingly enough, the Orange rep actually said that they made a full 29er version of the Switch 7 because the factory racing team prefers a full 29er over a mullet. Full 29 not so dead after all, is it.
  • 1 0
 Seems a few EWS racers are going back to full 29 for speed, but slightly shorter on the reach for quicker handling riding semi-blind.
  • 5 1
 Is that an Intense prototype?
  • 1 0
 Not sure how I feel about the new one, made some space for a water bottle and added a "safe" but could have steepened the seat angle a little, something they're missing on all their bikes.
  • 2 0
 I mean if you're into it fine, but you better look after those main pivot bearings as any play is going to load that trunnion mounted shock horrendously.
  • 2 1
 "The seat tube length has been shortened to provide room for long travel dropper posts..." I know what you mean, but actually making something shorter to accommodate something longer makes no sense.
  • 4 1
 ...When Herb let Homer loose on the R & D
  • 10 9
 The fact that people care more about the silhouette of a bike than they do about the performance is like a snapshot of the issues we face as humans today
  • 7 1
 Guess what you, you can easily decide if you like the looks of a bike, by seeing pictures. You can however not determine how it rides. Also somehow other companies manage to build amazing riding bikes that actually look good. No connections to issues of humanity!
  • 4 0
 If only it were possible for a bike to be both at the same time.
  • 3 2
 Holy crap the additional volume of steel and welds? They’d be better off attaching a legit Sesame Street plastic lunchbox. That would be pretty rad too.
  • 2 0
 Aluminium, but yep
  • 2 0
 Yes, please, tell us more about the "Strange Link."
Could also call it the "stash pot."
  • 2 0
 Looks like the "strange link" is just a linkage driven single pivot, but a high pivot. Apparently it's going to be on their longer travel bikes (150-160mm+).

I'm more curious about Forbidden's new 4 bar high pivot and why it wasn't on show at Sea Otter.
  • 1 0
 They’re calling it the “strange”? Does it come with a disclaimer that you should put things in the strange’s down tube hole?
  • 5 3
 Aaaaaaaaaaaand they made it even Fuglier
  • 1 0
 We need a new wheel size. The amount of inventions and accessories is out of control. :-)
  • 2 1
 Beauty is but a light switch away....oh wait damn no light switch in the woods
  • 1 0
 Night riding
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: and only night riding!
  • 2 0
 Room for a bottle, storage and a UDH, good stuff Orange.
  • 1 0
 More is better: Guy in the back with the hat stack. Less is more: Linkage bearings on the Orange
  • 2 0
 Looks like a fitness simulator
  • 2 0
 File your receipt in there for when you take it back for a refund.
  • 1 0
 Now with Universal Hanger. Just imagine an Orage with Sram Transmission and Flight Attendant..
  • 1 0
 All the shame of an e-bike with none of the pedal assistance. What's not to love?
  • 9 7
 Biscuit tin surely
  • 9 8
 Just get the cables in the headset so I can hate this even more.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the new UK tax system: Electronic filing.
  • 4 4
 It looks like they raided the scrap bin and gave the local technical college kids their first shot at welding
  • 18 21
 Pinkbike’s constant jokes about Orange are getting weary. “Oh, here comes another filing cabinet” - it’s an established and long lived company that doesn’t need the weight of Mountainbike’s biggest site consistently commenting on its looks like the leaders of a high school clique.
  • 14 1
 I think Orange missed a trick by not calling it the filing cabinet themselves!
  • 5 0
 @lewiscraik: I think the SAFE is just as good though. Better than SWAT.
  • 7 9
 Agreed. If I was Orange I wouldn’t let pinkbike near my bikes. It’s not going to get a fair review and it’s just going to get savaged in the comments by people who’ve never even seen an Orange let alone ride one.
  • 15 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I disagree. I trust Pinkbike to review it fairly. The fact the company makes filing cabinets and also makes bikes that look a bit like filing cabinets is funny and deserves to be chuckled at - particularly when they building a storage box in one of the bikes that looks a bike like a filing cabinet...
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Surely they'd be better getting a review done-up from a local office furniture company, no?
  • 3 3
 @tom666: I didn't realise they actually DID make filing cabinets as well! The jokes are all fair game then and I am sure orange dont give a flip about the comments.
I also think pinkbike will review it fairly, like they did with the dh bike recently.
(But I still think they should quit this manufacturing technique for a bike and make something more like a Curtis)
  • 2 1
 @tom666: they’ve already proven they can’t be trusted from the DH bike review they did a couple of months ago. Expect more of the same with an identical comments section. I just wouldn’t let pinkbike review my products and stick with the less unbiased UK pages where their bikes are always well respected.
  • 3 0
 I think Mike's clearly having fun and Orange don't take themselves super-seriously anyway.
Sounds like Mike is actually excited to try one - and I think he (or whoever) will fairly review it. I predict now they will say something like "surprisingly light, brilliant fun but can be a bit of a handful sometimes".
  • 1 0
 You can't distract me from the trunnion shock that easily...
  • 2 1
 I'm afraid that is gonna kill many shocks real quick with all the torsion going thru it...
  • 1 0
 home alone........ sounds like a tool chest falling down the stairs!
  • 3 2
 Hate it. Looks like an e-bike
  • 1 0
 Move along everyone, no Cable Tourism to see here.
  • 1 0
 In my country we would say that it is "uglier than hitting your mother".
  • 1 0
 I didn't think they were going to make them uglier
  • 2 1
 Orange bikes are like British teeth.
  • 1 0
 That's not a filing cabinet it's a 'pedal-stal'
  • 1 0
 That's was my thought for the next bike, to be food friendly. lol
  • 1 0
 I think i was just sick in my mourth a little bit (and i ride an Orange)
  • 2 1
 wtf iz tis
  • 1 1
 Needs high pivot/idler pulley and shock inside the drawer.
  • 2 1
 Zoinks, that’s rough.
  • 1 1
 The geometry reminds me of the old Santa Cruz Bullitt.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Best article title ever!
  • 1 1
 Do people actually buy these bikes?
  • 1 2
 I was expecting Henry to and author after reading headline.
  • 3 4
 How is Orange still in business
  • 1 1
 The normal bikes- the ones that don't look like someone's had a breakdown- mostly work really well, that's why. They've had more reliability issues recently which has got to be hurting- I just don't really trust my Stage 6, I'd not take it out for a fortnight in the alps like I would with my rocketmax or even my old Remedy... But it rides bloody well.

Big wheels and big travel suits the single pivot really well I think, with short travel we want efficiency and suchlike, with big f*ck-off enduro bikes we're happier with blunt force. The original five 29 was, like, the second good long travel 29er anyone ever made frinstance (but no bugger bought it, because anyone that wanted a big rock-smasher bought an Alpine without trying it and anyone that would have bought a Five rode it and went, this is way too much bike for me, and got a Five)
  • 1 0
 Because the bikes ride really well, especially on the sort of trails we have in the UK. When trails are muddy 8 months of the year, being able to swap your frame bearings in 20 minutes is handy too.
  • 1 2
  • 1 3
 That is gopping.
  • 3 6
 Kill it with fire!
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