« Back to main site


Downhill Bikes

Orange 324 RS

Simple, light, reliable flying machine. The Orange 324 has it all

So often dismissed as being out of date and bashed out of a north England workshop the single pivot Orange downhill bike always resolutely hammers home the fact that good angles, with uncomplicated suspension and a well tuned damper to match, still has a huge place in downhill. That’s without going into the delicate balance of flex and stiffness to give the bike and rider the best chance when hitting heavy traffic.

“It is still accomplishing high positions, winning events, it remains the easy to maintain, simple to set-up bike”

The bike has to be considered against its modern day rivals and in that respect its the ease of understanding of what the bike is doing, the cornering poise, the ability to weight and unweight the bike in an instant and without the complexity of linkages, odd wheel path’s or system stiction – yes it’s still rife amongst some manufacturers – that stands this bike apart. The 324 has many other strong points too including fully advanced geometry.



The finish of Orange bikes is not as polished as most far eastern constructed bikes but as a tool that spends most of its life amongst rock, mud and dust many people will not care so much for the cosmetics but more the performance. It is still accomplishing high positions, winning events, it remains the easy to maintain, simple to set-up bike.

The 324 is a fast bike and that’s what matters most to a lot of riders. It’s sad to think that one day the people of Halifax might well succumb to peer pressure and take a different more complex route that ultimately might not actually find a higher position. Carbon and linkages might well be part of the Orange future but only time will tell…only time will tell.

For now just take a look at this custom build with some of the best of what Britain can offer. It’s a full Hope build from cranks to brakes and wheels and all this still comes in at a weight that many companies would be proud of – at 35.14lb its less than a pound heavier than a seven thousand pound Trek Session. If in the future Orange get to similar levels of finish as the Trek bike it would indeed be a major advance for this small company. Let’s just hope they don’t lose the incredible ride characteristic in whatever they might do with what has been and still is one of the benchmark bikes of the decade.

Check out Dirt’s long-term review of the Orange 324 RS here.


Jay Tolan. General Manager. Orange.

We began with modifying the 322, internal code name 323 which was basically a 322 with 27.5 wheels and a split rear swingarm.  This was all done in a bit of a rush as the team needed bikes quickly.  Once they were racing and providing feedback this gave us more time to develop the new bike, internal code name 324.

As guinea pigs, the team rode the 323’s on thinner gage aluminium.  This would give us a full season of a race team on lighter frames so we could see how they held up.

The changes the team wanted for the next bikes was an 83mm BB shell, 150mm dropouts, a shorter back end and a bit more ramp up on the shock curve. They also had their own geometry measurements for each individual rider.  No problem.  We got on with it.

“As guinea pigs, the team rode the 323’s on thinner gage aluminium”

We knew there was a new shock coming from Fox.  The DHX2.  The tolerances were tight for it to fit through the down tube shock mount.  In fact, they were too tight.  Did it matter..?  We were speccing Rock Shox and the team were running X-Fusion.  We decided that if this was going to be sold on the market then it needed to take a DHX2 shock.  This meant not only redesigning a wider shock mount, but both parts of the down tube too.

The team’s frames were made and they’re the same as what you can buy today.  Even with the thinner gage ali which shaved off a couple of hundred grams.

Trail and Enduro Bikes

Whyte G Works 160

Whyte's best ever 160mm enduro mountainbike puts the British company near the top

Whyte G Works 160
Trail and Enduro Bikes

Canyon Strive CF 8.0 Race

Adjustable 130-160mm enduro mountainbike at unbeatable price, the Canyon Strive CF 8.0 Race reviewed

Canyon Strive CF 8.0 Race
Trail and Enduro Bikes

Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL

One of the lightest 180mm enduro mountainbikes ever made, the Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL

Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL
Trail and Enduro Bikes

Kona Process 153DL

The 2016 Kona Process 153DL is very simply one of the finest bikes Kona have ever made

Kona Process 153DL
Powered by
Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.