How to find the juiciest fruit
Here is our handy guide to the 2018 Orange mountain bikes range. Orange has always had a cult following in the UK with a loyal fanbase.
Orange mountain bikes in 2018
Orange have all modern mountain bike bases covered. Except one. They don’t do a cross-country race bike. Indeed they haven’t really had an out and out XC steed in their line-up for several years. If you’re looking for a mountain bike for cross-country. look elsewhere.
Orange all all about regular trail riding and enduro. It’s this relatively tight remit that wins them their fans. Sure they have a full-on downhill race bike (the Orange 324) and they have a few short-forked hardtails (the Orange Clockwork bikes) but the heart and soul of Orange is their dedication to real world riding and normal enthusiast mountain bikers.
The fact that their full suspension bikes are made in Halifax UK gets them a lot of plus points from folk too.
This straightforwardness does actually make choosing a particular Orange mountain bike over another Orange mountain bike very difficult! This here guide you’re currently reading will help illuminate and guide your decision.
What kind of mountain bike are you after?
You probably already know what style you want to have mountain bike. Hardtail, full suspension or e-bike? If you still do not know what kind of mountain bike you want, then visit our feature What to look for in a mountain bike. Then come back.
What kind of mountain biking are you into?
As we’ve already mentioned, Orange have you covered if you’re into trail riding. They also have bikes that will be suited to enduro riding and racing.
Perhaps the best way to approach shortlisting Orange bikes is to pick a wheel size and then pick how much suspension travel (or fork travel if hardtail) you want. And that’s it.
Orange hardtail mountain bikes
Orange bikes themselves break their hardtail range down into two types of hardtail: Trail hardtails and Hardcore hardtails.
Essentially the Trail hardtails have suspension forks with 100mm to 130mm of travel, and the Hardcore hardtails have forks from 130mm to 150mm travel.
The Orange Clockwork is one of the oldest names in the Orange history. The 2018 Orange Clockwork is actually four different Orange Clockworks!
The £1,200 Orange Clockwork 109 is a 29in wheel aluminium frame hardtail with 100mm travel fork.
The £1,200 Orange Clockwork 127 is a 27.5in wheel aluminium frame hardtail with a 120mm travel fork.
The £1,650 Orange Clockwork 129 S is a 29in wheel aluminium frame hardtail with a 120mm travel fork.
The £1,650 Orange Clockwork 137 is 1 27.5in wheel aluminium frame hardtail with a 130mm travel fork.
The £999 Orange Zest is a trail hardtail designed purely for smaller riders. It’s only available in 13in frame size and comes with 26in wheels and a 100mm travel fork.
Moving on to what Orange call Hardcore hardtails (another term for them would be enduro hardtails), we have two fundamental bike models: the Orange P7 and the Orange Crush.
The Orange P7 is another model name that’s been around for a long time. The new P7 comes in either wheel size (29in or 27.5in) with prices starting from £1,800. The 27.5in wheel P7 comes with 150mm travel fork and a typically Orange slack 65° head angle and a relatively low BB height of 301mm.
The 29in wheel Orange P7 29 comes with a 130mm travel fork and a slightly steepened 66.5° head angle and a 310mm BB height. As ever, all the Orange P7 models are based around a steel tubed frameset.
The quintessential UK hardcore hardtail known as the Orange Crush begins at £1,550 and is only available with 27.5in wheels. Essentially an aluminium framed version of the P7. Same geometry. Stiffer ride feel. Lower price. Slightly lighter weight.
To celebrate their 30 years of bike production, Orange also now do the Orange T7 and Orange T9. These are limited edition and expensive titanium versions of the aforementioned P7/Crush models. How expensive? £5,900 of expensive. And you’ll have to hunt around to find one as they’re ain’t many being made.
Orange full suspension mountain bikes
If you think an Orange you think of a single-pivot full suspension bike. Very probably the Orange Five. The Five has one of the most genuinely iconic profiles in all of modern day mountain biking. As it happens, all Orange full suspension models are single pivot designs.
Single pivots are still much maligned and misunderstood by many a keyboard warrior or bikeshop tyre kicker. Orange haven’t stuck with single pivot because they can’t do anything else. They don’t want to do anything else. There are still way more pros than cons when it comes to single pivot layouts.
Orange split their full sussers into two camps: trail bikes and enduro bikes. The line between the two disciplines is blurred. Let’s just say that the trail bikes have an eye on all-day epic rides and the enduro bikes are purely above racing stages (or Strava segments, let’s be honest).
Do you want a trail bike with 110-120mm of travel or one with 135-140mm of travel?
Do you want a trail bike with 27.5in wheels or one with 29in wheels?
The Orange Four is the 120mm travel trail bike with 27.5in wheels. Prices start from £2,900. Why is it called the Orange Four you ask? Well, when it first came out it had 100mm (4in) of rear travel.
The Orange Stage 4 is the 29in wheel version of the bike above. Sporting 110mm of rear travel and paried with a 120mm travel fork up front. Builds from £3,600.
The Orange Five begins from £3,000 and is the bread-and-butter bike for Orange. 140mm travel trial bike with 27.5in wheels. This has traditionally been the big seller. Although we’re seeing a drift towards the bigger wheel version (see below) of late.
As we just mentioned, the new Orange Stage 5 29er is rapidly catching up with the 27.5 Orange Five when it comes to the bike-of-choice for hardcore UK trail riders. Sporting nigh-on the same amount of travel (135mm versus 140mm) the Stage 5 adds big wheeling speed to the famed Orange Five/5 feel.
Right then, on to the big bikes. The Orange bikes intended to take a beating and racing rough-housing. The full suspension enduro bikes.
There’s only two enduro bikes. One with 27.5in wheels and one with 29in wheels.
The Orange Alpine 6 is the 27.5in wheel enduro bike. 160mm rear travel, 170mm fork travel. Available in typically uncompromising builds starting from £3,200.
The Orange Stage 6 is the 29er enduro bike and arguably the fastest all-round Orange mountain bike thus far. 150mm of rear wheel travel. Running a 160mm travel suspension fork.
And that’s that.
Well, not quite.
There are a couple of Orange mountain bikes still to mention. The Orange Alpine 6 E and the Orange 324.
The Orange Alpine E is the enduro e-bike. Starting from £6,200. As the name implies, it’s the pedal-assist version of the Orange Alpine 6.
The Orange 324 is the full-bore downhill race bike. Orange have strong pedigree on the international downhill racing scene and the 190mm rear travel Orange 324 continues to impress on the track. Complete builds begin at £4,200.