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Trail and Enduro Bikes

2017 Orange Five

Luxury numbers - the new 2017 Orange Five

The new Orange Five follows the same sort of changes that its longer travel stablemate the Alpine has undergone for 2017.

Words: Ieuan Williams     Photos: S.Jones

Aesthetically the bike is much softer on the edges but as we were to find out an already rapid bike is now sharper on the hoof when whipped into action. The new grey colour scheme makes the biking one of the most striking on the market.

Orange have been hard at work on scales the past few months and have fasted the Five to a point where it’s leaned out 300g, not massive but steps forward. Crucially however are the new geometry numbers. Now in a Boost configuration like its bigger brother the Alpine, there is now extra width on the pivot point, 6mm, and this teamed up with the new mounting position give that all important progressive feel that Orange bikes of the past have seemed to be lacking a fraction. This makes for a stiffer chassis and more supple damping.

Changes to the bottom bracket height have been dramatic on the Five having a massive 8mm drop from last years model so it now comes in at a -20 drop from the axle axis. This with the new shorter rear stays and the new progressive shock curve makes this a quite different beast from bikes past. And we loved every single five of the last decade.

Geometry wise here is what Orange have come up with:

The bikes see a small price increase for 2017 with the Five ranging from £2,700 to £5,100

Specification

There are four builds, the lowest price build coming in at £2,700. And at this point with the new Five having a 150mm fork the damping on the low specification has a SRAM unit, a RockShox Yari 150mm Boost Diffusion fork in this instance and paired with a standard RockShox Monarch R rear damper. Gearing and braking has been taken care of by Shimano with the Deore anchors and SLX 11 speed gearing. Wheels are Alex MD25 rims laced on Formula hubs keep the bike rolling with a RaceFace Ride crank and seatpost then the RaceFace Chester finishing kit topping the build off with a 40mm stem and a 780mm bar.

The champagne build sees Orange favouring a Fox 36 Factory HSC/LSC 150mm Boost fork up front and a Fox Float X2 rear damper with the two position compression lever. To keep the Five rolling in a straight line there is a set of RaceFace ARC rims laced onto the always reliable Hope Pro4 hubs, with Maxxis rubber all round on these bikes for a quality touch.

SRAM takes care of the groupset on this model with the faultless Guide Ultimate brakes and a new X01 Eagle drivetrain, X01 carbon crank to a 12 speed gear setup running 10 to 50 tooth range at the rear. A Reverb post rounds out the Sram parts on this bike and lets you have a smooth transition from ascending to descending. Race Face have stepped into the cockpit on this model providing an Atlas 35mm stem and the 6C 800mm carbon bars. This really is a race ready build.

 

First ride impressions

The climb at Bike Park Wales has never been a monster but it is not something you would like to do all day long on a bike that could not climb. The new Five has a good position, damper resistance that keeps you forward and lightweight. Its crisp and direct, and why it has been such a popular trail center bike for over a decade.

Turning the nose down the hill and the geo’ changes all come into light. Taking the Five down some fast switch back turns it’s soon apparent that the lowering of the bottom bracket has made a huge difference to the cornering characteristics letting you just sit the bike in and hold a good line with ease.

Comparing the Five to the Alpine it has a more playful lively feel to the ride. At times on a UK trail the alpine almost feels too much bike, long, low and 160mm travel a bike more at home in the mountains than hills. The smaller Orange, the 140mm Five just seems to be at home picking its way through rock and root with just enough suspension travel to get you out of trouble when it is needed most. Just enough, but not too much.

The silent ride on Five is impressive too but overall it’s the fun, precise ride of the Orange Five that sparkles. For us, it’s the pistol in the pack compared to the big gunning Alpine but still…..matched with the deadly paint job it makes it one of our favourite pieces of artillery for the year ahead.

orangebikes.co.uk

Is this bike for you? Check out our buyer’s guides to TRAIL and ENDURO bikes.

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