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2013 Dirt 100: Orange 322

2013 Dirt 100: Orange 322

Orange 322

With this 322 Orange have finally put themselves back where they belong; at the top of the downhill game. In recent years Orange’s downhill offering has suffered where others have prospered; technology has jumped leaps and bounds and the desire for the practicality of an Orange has slumped somewhat, but now we can safely say that the problem has been addressed with the firm’s most radical change in design to date.

The ‘hole in the down-tube’ design has been toyed with for a great number of prototypes and Orange’s riders have played a large part in its development. Certainly not hasty to release this model, Orange have been patient and now we are seeing the fruits of their intensive labours. The huge change in pivot location has allowed the bike’s designers to play with the progression of the suspension through its full motion, leading to a tune that smooths out all the small bumps yet ramps up near the end of its travel allowing it to cope just as easily with big hits.

A step back into the limelight is imminent for Orange and justifiably so; the brand’s trademarks are still present (stiffest and most reliable frames available), but with performance to rival all others.

Price: Frame £2399.99
Complete (as shown) £4999.99

Orange Bikes 01422 311 113


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  1. Bib 4 Tuna

    I guess comparing a Porsche 911 to a 322 isnt a millions miles off. Both coming from a design perspective that really shouldnt be relevant any more, but after years of refinement, they’ve got it to work! Well done Orange.

    1. Hancock

      I dunno, the 222 was more or less ‘right’ from the get go, and update have made the basic design ‘more right’.

      The 911 was lethal to begin with, all wrong from every aspect, but they’ve kept engineering until it works, because zis iz germany and ve shall not admit defeat!

  2. zak

    Good thing about this bike is it makes a bloody great boat anchor

  3. Simo

    Absolutely rubbish Orange are not offering a race spec bike for the people that cant afford the world cup spec. Been a loyal customer of Orange bikes for 3 bikes in a row, but could not stretch to 5k for a bike, so went for a demo 8 with lifetime warranty for 2k less and very happy with decision

    1. joe

      yea the bike cost this much because its hand built in Britain not some abroad country like Taiwan.
      And it last longer you don’t have to change the baring’s every 3 months and if you did buy a bike which was 3 grand it would not have as good parts on it like the clutch system on the saint meck or the fox 40’s and the fox shock. its a great bike i had a 2012 demo before this bike and i hated it cost up to six grand then then i had a sponsor of orange and had this bike it is so good in the corners fun and fast and the best bike yet to jump on so much fun to ride and this is why it costs so much and why its in the dirt top 100

  4. Tomo

    I love Orange bikes they are fast, well built and reliable but it is hard to get around the fact that you can get a Yt tues ltd and a Yt wicket ltd with all the right kit for the same money as a 322. Surely it couldn’t be too hard for Orange to do direct sales as a large portion of its customer base must be within the UK

    1. Oz

      Yeah and completely undercut all of the Orange retailers in the world…great idea genius. I wonder why Orange didn’t think of that. I know, because they actually support local bike shops and retailers by not selling direct. They support the supply chain and how the bicycle industry functions and see the benefits of this to the end user. And last of all, they are not trying to make a quick buck.

      I know technology is moving on but some people prefer simple designs that are easy to maintain. Best of luck to Orange with the 322.

      1. Tomo

        Ok if you are obviously so intelligent answer me this if direct sales take off in a big way and Orange sales dropped in local bike stores how long do you think bike shops would continue to support Orange? I think it’s funny how you imply how companies like Yt are only after making a quick buck when Orange have been tweaking the same design for years and r&d costs must be minimal

  5. Rodney

    True dat!

  6. Tomo

    I own an orange five now and a 224 before that and have many riding partners than own Orange bikes but none of them are talking of buying Orange next time around surely supporting your customer base is more important than bike shops only time will tell if people will continue to dig deep to fund the supply chain that continues to push prices up at a ridiculous rate as they have in the past few years

  7. Ross Finnie

    Am I the only one who has visions of how much of a ball-ache it’s gonna be when that forward shock mount clogs up with all the crap flying off the front wheel?

    1. jack deacon

      use a mudgaurd and you wont have that problem then :)

  8. bigregrets18

    im doing a lot of research on both the trek session 88 and orange 322 2013 models. although the trek looks nicer in my opinion, the orange comes with all the components i would choose and i believe the after sales are brilliant. i purchased a scott all mountain bike 1 year ago and both front and rear shocks have failed n cost me 2-3 times within the year…joke. Whats everyones opinion on both the trek n orange?


Next up in Dirt 100

2013 Dirt 100: YT Tues 2.0