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Orange Five 29 | Stable Mate

Already a mainstay of general duty riding, the Orange Five has been given a fresh set of wheels that could well see it retain its pivotal role as a simple, understandable, reliable performer amongst those who are not so very bothered about the bullshit end of the business…

From Dirt Issue 134 – April 2013 

Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Andy Lloyd.

But that is missing the point massively. That being that the Orange Five 29 is an acutely fine tuned bike. Welded in northern workshops (as we’re reminded many, many times), the numbers that make up this bike haven’t simply just happened. But this is different surely? Well not really, see it still relies on basic engineering skills incorporated into good angles, light weight and, on this occasion, a well–matched set of dampers. It retains an excellent pivot position too.

The Five 29 is different however in that it’s a much larger bike than its 26 stable mate in terms of wheelbase. Suspension travel on this bike yields 147mm, the fork 140mm, with wheels that will roll over rough ground far more efficiently than 26” creating a bike that’s poised for being thrown into terrain that can ask pretty serious questions of the rider. It was seen as a long travel trail wrecking machine ages before it left the office.

This particular bike has been taken out the comfort of UK winter conditions, where on most days suspension settings mean not so much as a riders ability to stay upright. Out in the hills north of Nice (south of France…) the high–speed technical rock offers a challenging environment for most 160mm big hitting enduro bikes, and it might just have been way out of its depth, remembering that this bike isn’t even 150mm.>>

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