Simple and effective, the Five from Orange is still the bike of choice for many UK trail riders.
ORANGE FIVE RS
An Orange Five has often been the weapon of choice for many British trail riders, and this latest 27.5” wheeled version is definitely the best ever. There’s nothing revolutionary going on, it’s more a case of evolution, but it’s very much still on the ball. Some might consider the single pivot design to be too simple and archaic, but we think it easily holds its own against any other design. It just works, and crucially it carries on working. This is a bike that you can have a whole pile of fun on, then simply chuck it in the shed, safe in the knowledge that it’ll be working fine the next time you take it out. Oh, and if you’re wondering why we rate this version above the 29’er, it’s because we feel there’s a little bit too much flex at the rear of the 29’er.
ORANGE 01422 311 113
Kona’s range of Process bikes has proved immensely popular – and for good reason.
KONA PROCESS 111 DL
A 29” wheeled bike with just 111mm of travel in the Dirt 100? Yep that’s right, and what a bike it is. Those figures might have you thinking that this is some kind of whippet XC race weapon, but it’s not by any stretch of the imagination. Instead it is low, slack and solid, and as one person so aptly described it, ‘a whole puddle of trouble’. This bike really is pushing the boundaries of what we’ve come to expect from a short travel 29’er, and you only have to look at some of the photos in issue 141 of Dirt to see what it’s capable of. It shares many design characteristics with the longer travel Process bikes, and what a great design that is proving to be. Short travel has never been so much fun.
KONA EUROPE +41 229 608 300
The Spider 29 from Intense is ridiculously fast. Enough said.
INTENSE SPIDER 29 COMP
With travel adjustable from 115mm up to just 130mm this 29’er Intense Spider is about as short travel as we tend to go, but despite being on the edge of our spectrum it is one of our favourite frames. It is just super fast. You might be thinking that any short travel bike like this will be fast, and yes they are if you are pedalling on a technically-void track, but where this one differs is that it’s built with the kind of geometry that we love, the kind of geometry that lets you carry on going fast when the trail gets more technical. Sadly we’ve found bikes of this nature to be a rare breed, but they’re a type that we love, especially if that majority of your riding isn’t super rough.
EXTRA UK 01933 672 170
All photos in this feature by Andy Lloyd – www.alpictures.co.uk
Catch more Dirt 100 product roundups through the links below: