Orange - The Return of the Patriot

The Patriot makes a return to the Orange Mountain Bikes lineup for 2012. Taking up a position between the Alpine 160 and 224, the new bike delivers 180mm of balanced single pivot suspension. The original was responsible for much of our direction in design, the 2012 bike more than lives up to the name…

The monocoque down tube profile develops stiffness and reduces weight. The top tube adopts similar technology, allowing a front end that is lighter and stronger than a hydroformed equivalent.

The 1.5″ headtube houses a tapered fork with an external bearing bottom cup and zero-stack top. The best option for strength and weight, but also future proofing frame design and allowing compatibility with angle-adjust headsets.

The 30.9mm seat tube diameter adds height adjustable seat post compatability, with guides keeping cabling tidy.

Maintenance free 32mm pivot assembly keeps the bike out of the workshop and on the trail.


Maxle rear as standard, the frame is super stiff with accurate tracking for surefooted confidence.

Standard ISCG tabs allow easy chain device installation.

Low pivot placement keeps the suspension super active but controlled and efficient. Small bump sensitivity with enough climbing poise to earn your turns. The same position as the Five, it rides light but takes the hits.

A Super slack 65.5° head-angle lets you rip through the rough stuff, with a planted BB height keeping you in the centre of the bike. The ride characteristics of the old packaged with the best of the new.

Coming July 1st…
The 2012 Patriot will be available from July 1st as a complete build or frame only package. The standard bike retails at £2999.99 with a Fox Van RC shock, Marzocchi 66 RCV 180mm fork, Hope hubs, Avid Elixir brakes, Truvativ finishing kit and a RaceFace/Shimano transmission. The usual array of upgrade options will be offered including the Cane Creek Double Barrel, Hope Tech V2 brakes, RockShox Reverb seat post, Gammut chain device and new for 2012, the Renthal Fatboy bar and Duo stem.

The Patriot is a hard riding big-mountain machine built for slamming into turns and boosting off lips. Ready to winch you to the top it’s capable of technical climbing, but the Patriot is all about the gravity fuelled good times. A downhill bike too big and slow but six inches not capable enough? The Patriot is the perfect midpoint. See it as a UK downhill bike, a lightweight freeride bike or something to pedal around the Alps. The Patriot is bred tough whatever the tag line, the only limits are your nerves…

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  1. GDH

    Is the term “UK downhill Bike” even relevant any more? Last time I checked the UK was producing some of the fastest riders in the world all of whom choose to race on proper DH rigs. Why these jack of all trades / master of none bikes get labelled as being suited to the UK Downhill is beyond me. If they are so well suited to our racing then why are none of the people standing on the BDS podium riding them?

  2. thoughts of spell checker

    Thank Christ it doesn’t look like a trek!

    Although that star graphic at the back has to go.

    As for 65.5 man alive thats slacker than a slack thing in slack place and they say it climbs?

  3. Christy

    Good to see Orange bringing the Patriot back. Such nice bikes and I’ve always loved riding them; always wondered how an old one would ride with a few more modern angles. Guess now I’ll get to find out! Just a shame though, anyone else think it looks like a Trek?

  4. Christy

    … sorry :)

  5. Morgan

    @GDH
    In all honesty, the top 5 BDS riders could probably be getting on the podium on 150mm bikes. It’s just that they’re used to 200mm travel. And because DHers (the paying public type) are suckers for marketing, they all believe they need 200mm for the UK. Ouside of Scotland, I don’t think 200mm is really needed for the UK. The same applies for these silly slack head angles that people are insistant on having: this isn’t the Alps guys!

  6. Anoobis

    GDH – Personally when I think of stereotypical UK DH I think of Forest of Dean and similar with their 1-2 minute tracks. When I think of euro DH I think of 20 minute long steep stuff.

    UK DH Racing – yeah you need a proper rig but if you’re not racing then I don’t see the need of much more than 180mm. I think that it’s not just the stereotypical weekend warrior who only rides trail centres that is over biked.
    Thats my view from gloucestershire. maybe northern stuff is a fair bit different?

  7. the bear

    UK DH bike probably refers to tracks in england and most in scotland that arent as long as those on the continent. another marketing term thrown about i suspect! I Still would preffer my glory 00 at fort bill though! Horses for courses, personally i wouldnt have this jack of all trades as my only bike, mainly due to such bikes always being a compromise. If you have only one bike though i can see the attraction, i just wounldnt expect it to be quick pedaling up hill as well as going down. A 65.5 HA i know from my glory aint suited to long climbs. Nice bike though, similar intended use to a marin quake i would have thought?

  8. CR

    Sick bike. Keep it simple Orange.

  9. Matt

    To be fair its not really a Jack of all trades bike, the Alpine 160 is a better fit for that genre. Its an (expensive) blunt object for hacking about the woods on with occasional races and trips to Europe, if you want a bike to ride up hills well this probably isn’t it. I’m in the market for a blunt object and I want one.

  10. ENLSN

    Damn i was saving for one of these but i thought they were coming out next year! I’v gone and spent more than half my funds on a crosser while i waited…oh bugger!

  11. oi you

    i’ve been riding a lot of demo bikes recently trying to decide where to put my money and every orange i’ve been on feels like some kind of glorified hardtail compared to specializeds, treks, lapierre, mondraker etc etc. yet still they get rave reviews from all the mags. does anyone in real life actually think that oranges single pivot suspension works as well as a good linkage bike? i spent a tonne of money on a 224 world cup and it felt crap compared to mates bikes like demo 8′s, TR450′s, morewoods and i was left feeling a bit gutted. now i’m exercising my right to try before i buy and not paying any attention to press reviews.

  12. phil

    I’m sure Orange have been bugging my phoneline, that’s got everything I wanted upgrading on my old patriot!

  13. GDH

    @Morgan. Do you really think the top riders in the UK would willingly ride 8″ DH bikes if they knew they would be faster on a 6″ or &’ inch bike? The fact remains they all choose to race on 8″ bikes and for aspiring racers what more convincing do you need when it comes to choosing a bike for yourself. I dont think its the kinds who buy the 8″ bikes who are being spun the marketing story, they are just looking at what the winning riders use. Its the people who are being sold 6″ and 7″ “downhill bikes” that are being fed the marketing story.

    Sure there are plenty of people that want to cruise down the super D at their local trail centre, and there is nothing wrong with that. But then call the bike what it is, and call it a “gravity bike” or a “super D” bike or whatever you think fits the bill. But I dont think marketing mid travel bikes as “UK downhill bikes” does the downhill scene in the UK any justice at all. Its just a marketing term companies use to try sell mid travel bikes to aspiring downhillers.

    Not to take anything away from this bike. Im sure its great at what it does, and would be more then comfortable being ridden down a hill. My point is simply that the term “UK downhill bike” isn’t exactly relevant given that hardly anyone is winning downhill races on these supposed perfect race machines for our country.

  14. oi you

    oh and i think the term “UK downhill bike” is very relevant considering 90% of the trails in the UK are like bowling greens compared to alpine and north american stuff. i think a lot more fast UK riders would compete on shorter travel bikes if they weren’t being employed to help sell 200mm monster trucks and the rest of the ‘average’ riders would do the same if they were honest with themselves about the kind of riding they do and the terrain they ride and not trying to be “full moto” on tracks which very rarely justify it

  15. booboy

    saw one at fort bill, felt pretty light on a sneaky lift, definitely stand out bike of the weekend for me, very good looking and well specced bike in the flesh.

    small point but i just dont get why the 160 has a split swingarm – the patriot/5 are way prettier…..

  16. Olly

    Just a minor thing, but why are there holes in the front of the swingarm when the cables/hoses go down the outside?

  17. thoughts of spell checker

    @oi you think you should probably get out more and find some new uk trails.

    90% are you taking the michael fish????

  18. schlagsahne

    had been riding my 224 a whil ago until somehow the head tube decided to rip off the main frame. Wasnt that funny going at 65 km/h. (im 65 kg…!). so, no thanks orange ill buy something else.

  19. oi you

    @spell checker i’ve ridden hundreds of trails all over the world i don’t think being ‘out more’ is my problem. we just don’t have the altitude in this country for monster truck bikes with only the best race tracks being rough enough to justify them. even then you’re only riding for a couple of minutes at a time. i’ve ridden the best trails in this country on all kinds of bikes and i’m more than happy to go flat out on a 160-180mm travel “mini downhil” or “UK downhill” bike. my main confusion here is that so many people still find orange bikes relevant when other companies have suspension designs that actually seem to work.

  20. RHS

    Whingers…..shhhusshhh.

  21. Bikeactive

    @Oi you. I get to ride lots of bikes form lots of different brands and the one that stands out over the last few years is the Orange Alpine 160. Amazing bike, and grippier than a lot of multi link bikes.I’m sure Mr Jones and the rest of the Dirt crew would agree.

  22. jonzo

    Here we go!

  23. CM

    I went from hardtails straight onto multi link bikes having had several designs in past (vpp, fsr, etc). I never tried an orange single pivot design until very recently. I’ve now had both the Alpine and Five which have amazing suspension which tracks superbly in my opinion.

  24. Arthurfarta

    When all bikes looked liked Treks, there was much less arguing.

    Opinions are not facts, so try not to get your knickers in a twist.
    Some people like Oranges, some don’t. I go through stages of what I like. Who really cares.
    At least I always enjoy riding… So for once my opinion is fact.

  25. Iain

    No shock shuttle anymore? The older patriots had them (08?) and surely I thought that it would be something to put in later designs as well.

  26. Podium

    I had to sell my Sunday WC and race a 140mm bike due to finances, 3rd at the First SDA, finished up runner-up in the series behind Chris Coates (who isn’t slow on a bike!). Only race I chickened out of was Glencoe where I resurrected my 2003 M1 to tackle the crazy steep bog & rock action.

    Yes can go fast on a wee bike but it just feels more fun on a proper bike!
    200mm all the way I say.

  27. cam

    Overbiked…??? since when was having fun riding bikes about logic and necessity..? there`s enough of that dross in day to day life..
    if riding a 14 inch travel monster around XC trails puts a big grin on your face then it`s not “overbiked”…
    if riding yer mum`s shopping bike down a cliff face is what does it for you then it`s not “underbiked”….
    Whatever makes you enjoy your time out on the dirt is the right bike for you… Simple …

    Nice looking bike though… but i won`t be selling my Alpine … it`s a banger!

  28. droppin-neutron

    Wasn’t it in Australia at the World Champs that a lot of the pro’s were titting about with shorter travel bikes cos the track was so flat, and who won that again, with how much travel??

    Regardless of how steep the track, if its downhill your DH bike will carry more speed, same as a 160 bike just feels faster to ride downhill at a trail centre than a 140 bike. ‘UK DH bike’ is a made up name i reckon – im definitely quicker downhill on my DH bike than on my 160mm ‘trail’ bike.

    To me this looks like a great bike for people who love riding downhill quick, and don’t mind taking their time to get to the top.

  29. bacon

    I think some people need to re-read the article…

    “A downhill bike too big and slow but six inches not capable enough? The Patriot is the perfect midpoint. See it as a UK downhill bike, a lightweight freeride bike or something to pedal around the Alps.”

    I suspect the fact downhill has a lower case ‘D’ supports that the new Patriot is for the average rider, rather than Downhill racer.

    Looks great, I would be very tempted if I actually needed more suspension travel!

  30. TimBud

    Why does it have a double ring upfront?

  31. chaz

    well said cam

  32. p.addy

    why do people whittle about the sillest of things

  33. droppin-neutron

    Im just glad they made this – it looks great

  34. jim

    that gdh dudes got it in one!

  35. Dirty Dee

    If only it was 0.5 degree slacker and the chainstay was 3mm shorter, it would ride like a dream. But there’s no way I would ride it with THOSE angles /sarcasm

  36. simon s

    ive been drinking beer and none off this makes sense,to much bullshit get out and ride.

  37. pledge4

    lol @ oi you, not ridden many downhill tracks in the uk or downhill bikes then?! our top boys (which we have more than any other country) will ride anything which will make them faster regardless of who pays them. rebranded tyres for example and remember when m1′s where rebranded by other manufactures as the riders insisted having the best. you probably were not riding then alas. no idea!

  38. og-de-norcal

    looks like a Bullit

  39. schlagsahne

    also… the orange is just as good as the shock which is mounted in it.

  40. droppin-neutron

    og-de-norcal – does a bit

  41. zak

    Looks like a perfect anchor for a 20 ft fishing boat

  42. jonzo

    I love my Oranges… they’re greeaaat!

  43. Stu

    This bike is a good choice if you want one bike that is capable of riding most trails. The fact is that the bike is only as good as the person riding it. I’m a weekend rider and have 200mm which is more forgiving when i get sketchy!!!!

  44. ed@dirt

    my tuppence…i reckon that a load of people forget that not everyone races, and at the end of the day i think more riders are interested in having maximum fun rather than maximum speed. I think sensation of speed is one of the key things for enjoyment, and it’s actually harder to get that on a full on DH bike. You have to be really pushing a DH bike (to the levels where if you crash you’re highly likely to do yourself some serious harm), whereas you can get the same, if not better sensation of speed at a lower (and safer) speed on a shorter travel bike. I think it’s at about those ’50/50′ moments that give you a real adrenaline kick, and the less travel you’ve got the more those situations seem to occur.
    My DH bike is undoubtedly quicker on most DH tracks than my ‘mini DH’ bike, but i wouldn’t say it’s as much fun. And like i said aren’t most people after fun? I’d also say that my mini DH bike is quicker on certain tracks, i think mainly cos the lower bottom bracket height that the shorter travel allows means that it rails corners like no longer travel bike could. If it had a little bit longer wheelbase and a slightly slacker head angle to improve stability a bit more then i think it would be faster on even more tracks…but then would that reduce the fun factor? Probably.
    I think the proof is in the pudding though…Jones has recently been doing a whole load of timed testing to find out the ultimate enduro race bike and he was surprised by the results. He could have sworn he was quicker on the shorter travel bike, but he wasn’t. That’s sensation of speed for you! He also said the shorter travel bike was more fun to ride and when i asked him if he wasn’t racing which bike would he ride he said ‘the shorter one of course’.
    Was that more than a tuppence?

  45. ed@dirt

    oh…forgot to say…short conclusion…i reckon a load of riders would love this Patriot.

  46. Dr Kenneth Noisewater

    Well I was going to get a Spesh Enduro………..Hmmm, interesting!

  47. Hugo

    Just a little note, bikes such as the new 224 (pierced downtube), the frame is designed around the shock, ie what is considered to be the suspension curve as designated by Fox and cane creek, so you can do this with a lot of links, or you can put the pivots and the shock in a position in the frame that matches up with the shock specs.

  48. jonzo

    @ed… I remember having an altercation with Jonesy on here when he reckoned he was faster down the Pleney on a Zesty than on a “big name DH bike”. At the time said he was going to back it up with times in the mag but never did. He must’ve just been having more fun on the Zesty?

  49. ed@dirt

    jonzo…most likely! Especially cos it was the Zesty again this time.

  50. Dan

    I dont know what ‘UK downhill’ you pussys have been riding but if a DH track is better in anyway on a shorter travel bike it just means the tracks a piece of crap

    PS iirc MBUK coined the term ‘UK Downhill bikes’, need I say more?

  51. TimBud

    Lol, you read MBUK… Your argument is invalid :)

  52. Dan

    EdH has hit the nail on the head. It’s all about fun and it’s all about personal preference. Most UK trails are actually more fun on a hardtail than a flabby full susser. I made the mistake of taking an SX Trail to Coed Llandegla once – that place could be ridden on a cyclo cross bike…

    I’ve recently found myself in the incredibly lucky position of being able to choose pretty much whatever bike I wanted and I ended up opting for a lightweight six-inch bike because that’s what will suit MY real life riding best – a bit of everything from XC to DH shuttles to Alpine jaunts. I was really umming and ahhing about something this big and active but on balance I just decided that my fun would only be spoiled by lugging something so heavy, bouncy and slack around.

    The Dirt-mag reading, 30ft-jumping, Alpine-dreaming fantasist in me loves this bike. But in real-life I’m a chicken-run taking, nine-to-five working, city-living weekend warrior and 180mm of suspension just isn’t necessary for me 90 per cent of the time. Keep it real innit.

  53. james

    Didnt the ‘UK downhill bike’ term come about a good few years ago? before 200mm travel was the norm, Things have moved on since then, trail centres are getting more technical with black runs thrown in, most riders want to try a bit of everything, surely with the current market this should have been tagged a UK Freeride bike? If they are going to call it a downhill bike then just stick with one ring,a chainguide and triple clamp forks?

    PS I am ‘Overbiked’ I use 7.5 inch travel at the welsh trail centres and love it.

  54. Steve

    To me, the term “UK downhill” means no chairlift, and short (2 minute) runs. That means pedalling to the top to have another go. I also take it to refer to the hundreds of miles of tight and twisty home-made off-piste runs dug out by locals around the UK, which are not best suited to triple clamp forks. I do not see it as referring to World Cup standard Downhill (capital D) racing carried out in the UK. I guess as someone who would never, ever, buy a full on DH rig (I can’t be relying on uplift services, and I hate pushing), I probably am the target audience.

  55. drippihippy

    trouser arouser!

  56. saan

    anyone know the weight for frame only?

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