Orange five 2014 model review-650b

Mar 9, 2014 at 8:20
by tim abbiss  

Well I've had this bike a few months now and thought I'd write a review, this is my 13th bike in 2 years for various reasons (relocation to Dorset , no need for a dh bike etc etc)

So the spec, this one is a fully loaded five with the best bits I could afford
Orange five frame
Pike fork
XTR brakes with ice tech rotors
Hope pro 2 evo hubs on Stan's rims rolling on a Hans damf front and nobby nic rear 650b
Renthal carbon bars and integra stem, hope grips
SRAM X11 drive train , carbon cranks
Hope pedals
Reverb dropper with Fizik gobi seat on ti rails

So my last bike was an alpine, and what a bike it was. It had a BOS Deville fork formula brakes DSP dueler shock , it was awesome but a bit portly and short in a 16". I decided to move to a five as I wanted to try the new wheel size etc but wanted the fun aspect and confidence the Alpine gave at getting loose downhill and on the jumps and drops etc.
So I brought this bad boy and started to get to grips with it, first impression was that I'd made a mistake Frown the bike didn't handle well at all and blowed through its travel on 4-5 ft drops and didn't grip like my alpine. I had a idea this was down to the float CTD fitted, so tried upping the pressure, all this did was make it sit too high in its travel and pitch up in corners, to say I was gutted is an understatement as the bike climbed very well and was quick on the flat and road sections etc. Due to this I decided to sack off the float and replace it with a ccdb coil, I know it's a BIG weight increase but it was last chance saloon of either try it or sell the bike. I'm glad I tried it because it has transformed the bike, the weight is not that noticeable when your on the bike and it still climbs stellar and on the road I'm still averaging 15-16mph it flys. However the true improvement is now whenever the trail has a berm , jump, drop or points down !! It's unbelievable, quicker than my alpine without a doubt and it gets low and grips awesome in the berms, the confidence this bike gives is amazing i can hit anything I would my alpine just only quicker it seems and on the climbs it's gone. I never ever thought there would be a one bike to match all my needs and as I stated earlier I thought it was going to get sold and replaced with a Capra or keep it for 10 months and buy a new 650 alpine next year. No way will I be doin that now this bike is so versatile it does everything I need and I kinda like the way it resembles a filing cabinet Smile It's on uplift down the dean next week so I'll keep you posted with a vid or 2 of how it performs, something tells me it's gonna make some dh bikes look very stupid


  • + 1
 Out of interest was the original ctd tuned to the bike? I had a similar problem with an off the shelf rp23 I fitted to my five - popped a large volume reducer in and it seems to have sorted the problem.
  • + 1
 I was going to try the volume reducer but after reading and talking to other five riders I decided to just get out of it, I'm really glad I did. My mate Ross also sold his float and put a dhx air on, it was better but he then swapped to a ccdb coil and also loves it. It really does transform the bike and gives it loads more confidence and plow through ability on the rear, even if it does weigh a shite load lol.
  • + 1
 Ah right fair enough, so tempted to whack a coil on mine after hearing so many people rave about it, I think I'd regret as soon as I got out for a long Peaks ride though
  • + 1
 You'd be surprised buddy, there's relatively bugger all bob. You can hardly tell the difference on Xc
  • + 1
 I just switched from float to DBA CS, and the difference is astonishing. Didn't like the way the 5 handled on jumps and drops with the Float, can't explain exactly why, just never felt right. I'm also running An RS Pike.
  • + 2
 yeah I know what you mean buddy, i just though it felt unbalanced - almost skittish twitchy / nervous when you hit things like a short travel xc bike. Really happy i swapped the shock out as it rips now
  • + 1
 Sounds like an awesome ride, thinking of upgrading from my trance x. What size pike did you fit, 150 or 160 mm?
  • + 1
 150 buddy, suits it fine
  • + 1
 Cool! So tempted to upgrade after your review!
  • + 1
 They are very very good ride buddy,a bit more fun than the trance I would say (I used to own one also) because they are more burly. I've taken this on uplift etc and it's fine but they can be a bit more heavy than the trance and are awful with the wrong shock as the single pivot blows through it's travel
  • + 1
 The trance has done me well, put a 140mm fork on the front which helped, been to the alps etc with it. Just feels like I need more bike now, doing big drops and jumps, so initially thought of the Alpine, but read it was a bit of a heavy climber, but great downhill, so I guess the five is the one! Was also thing yt capra, but they are pretty much sold out! Keep it british I say ;-)
  • + 1
 Haha yeah I agree, my builds actually for sale if your interested as I hardly ride it. It's like new
  • + 1
 Thats a shame, sounds like you only recently built it up! What are you after for it? Have no great cash flow at the moment though sadly, was thinking I might have to buy a frame and build up slowly....
  • + 1
 Ahh ok dude after 3.5k being honest lol
  • + 1
 Good read mate, was helpful when deciding which bike to buy! thanks.
  • + 1
 Glad to of helped matey - enjoy it bro
  • + 1
 Good read that pal!
  • + 1
 Cheers fella, forgot to mention the fork buddy. It made the bike feel confident on the front but didn't match that shock at all, not as plush as the BOS but much more versatile

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