Harry Heath flies on his new Orange Prototype
The dust that was thrown up in Mont Sainte Anne last week is probably still floating to the ground but our man Harry Heath is still high. High on the results sheet and on life, Bazza banged out his best ever World Cup result with 12th in Mont Sainte Anne. There was a lot of talk in the pits about the big name riders running new bikes with bigger wheels, Specialized had their new Demo 8 under Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin and the Santa Cruz boys painted up their prototype V10’s from the UK National Champs to race in Quebec.
Under the radar, in a quiet industrial estate in Halifax the guys at Orange have been tinkering with something new. The Dirt Team has always been closely linked to the development of new bikes, they did it with Norco and now they are on it with Orange. Team manager Ben Reid along with Harry and Jacob have been putting their ideas to Orange and with the facility to basically build whatever they want the time came to run the big wheels.
All the riders know how to ride flat out and their recent edits on the Five and Alpine 160 as well as Harry’s Point and Shoot video on his old DH bike are testament to that. Getting all that speed into a downhill bike is a different challenge altogether, luckily the guys at Orange have it under control.
So after many weeks of calculating, testing, recalculating and more testing the guys have pulled out a Strange prototype for Harry to ride. The first test was Mont Sainte Anne, beating his best World Cup result by 6 places from La Bresse in 2011 is a pretty good start to a new bikes’ life.
Orange have built two different sizes for the new bike, one Medium aimed at Jacob and a Long for Harry.
Effective toptube: 594mm (16mm longer than 26″)
Wheelbase: 1228mm (20mm longer than 26″)
BB height: 345mm ( lower than 26″ waiting for a figure on just how much)
Head Angle: 63º (unchanged)
Just got off the blower to Sim at Orange and right now they are going to see how it goes with Harry and Jacob’s frames. The new rear end is a development of the new Alpine 160 rear end and this again is an experiment to see how it performs. It’s a stiffer rear end that the current 322 frame and could well make production if things go well.
Keep an eye out for a test soon as we are hoping to ride one in September.
More prototype bikes in the links below: