Orange Mountain Bikes have a cult following in the UK, but are relatively unknown in the US market. A new distributor, Aventuron, is looking to change that.
I have always had a soft spot for the brand since many of the mountain bike magazines (remember those) I used to read back in the day were from the UK. They’d have pictures of Steve Peat and Greg Minnaar riding the iconic single-pivot frames. You can spot an Orange from a mile away with their elevated swingarm and monocoque front triangle.
Jeff and I took a couple of their trail bikes – the Segment and Five – out for a quick spin at the Cyclofest in Charlotte.
The Orange Segment is a short-travel 29er trail bike, while the Five is a mid-travel 27.5″ trail bike. That’s by no means the limit of their line though, as Orange offers everything from hardtails to DH bikes. All of their frames are built in Britain – the majority are aluminum, although they do make a steel hardtail.
Four complete build levels are offered across the range, including on the Segment and the Five. The base “S” builds start around $3,800, and the prices go up from there to the “Factory” build, which tops out at over $7,000. Apart from the lack of a dropper post on the S builds, the bikes are ready to be thrown into rough terrain. Of course as you move up through the builds, you get nicer suspension and components. The Factory builds come equipped with Kashima-coated Fox suspension and SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrains.
Key stats for the Orange Segment:
- 120mm front travel / 110mm rear travel
- 68 degree head tube angle
- 447mm chainstays
- 455mm reach on size large
Key stats for the Orange Five:
- 150mm front travel / 140mm rear travel
- 66 degree head tube angle
- 426mm chainstays
- 333mm BB height
- 457mm reach on size large
Since the day was winding down, Jeff and I didn’t get a long ride in on the bikes – just a short loop on some windy singletrack followed by a few runs down the slalom course. I rode the Segment, while Jeff took out the Five. Even from my brief time on the bike, I could tell the Segment is a bruiser. What it lacks in travel it makes up for with a sturdy build and long wheelbase. The flip side to that was the extra effort required to get the bike airborne. If you prefer to stay low to the ground and monster truck through everything in sight, the Segment does that nicely. However, if you want a nimble bike you can hop around the trail on, you better start doing some pushups.
We’ll be getting in our own Orange Five for some long-term testing this fall, so be on the lookout for a full review in the coming months.