They say: “Big wheel piste-basher”
Need to Know
- Long travel 29er concept
- 160mm travel
- Built to take on the toughest alpine tracks
What began with a cup of strong Yorkshire tea, and a discussion about the boundaries of travel for 29ers, ended up with the bike you see here; the Strange 29. Never one to shy away from an experiment, Orange’s small size and production facilities make it well-placed to play around with ideas such as this. Not only can these mules be used for field-testing, but they can also be used to gauge interest before committing to full-scale production.
The idea for this Strange 29er really caught the imagination of Orange’s designer, Steve Wade. Well-known as an alpine shredder, Steve has recently gone through the conversion from 29er sceptic to dedicated big-wheel believer, and so the challenge of creating this prototype quickly became a personal crusade.
One of the bike’s most obvious features is the pierced down tube. It’s a development of an idea used on the 322 downhill bike to alter the angle of the shock and add progression to the suspension. For the Strange 29, Orange figured out a way to simplify manufacture and cut costs without affecting function; a development that could help make the bike viable for production.
With a 65º head angle, 1,209mm wheelbase and 30mm bottom bracket drop, the Strange 29 is begging to be unleashed down the nearest downhill track. The 35lb weight means it could do with a chairlift to get to the top, but even if we have to pedal it, we’re still going to be first in the queue to have a go.