Looking back a few months it seems I described the Orange Alpine as one which delivers a superbly confident ride into choppy terrain, one that allows for grip to be sniffed out and for downslopes to be hit with precision. What I don’t get is why so many people think that these Halifax made bikes lack the things that some of the pretty bikes have.
Yes, the Orange range can at times be slightly rough around the edges in finish but when ridden head to head with many pretentious and wildly showy bikes on the market the Alpine will ruck them off the park with control, a feel for grip like no other and a simplicity that makes nearly every Orange bike understandable to ride and accurate. Paint or performance?
“the Alpine will ruck them off the park with control, a feel for grip like no other”
Yet it’s not perfect. Our test bike came fitted with a Monarch Plus Debonair which was some way off the correct tune as fitted to the Giant Reign, it was slightly overweight compared to many new 160mm bikes and the finish not as polished as what we’ve come to expect with the frames from the east. The Monarch even when fitted with three or four volume spacers lacks the poise of the Fox Float, the Alpine needs to start losing weight and get down to thirty pounds and the boys in Halifax need to steady their hands on the welds. And here it is – 29.14lb – the factory Alpine 160.
Available in Pro, RS or Factory build kits the Alpine begins at £3000 for the Pro and goes up to £4900 for this the Factory. The latter gets the unbeatable Fox 36 fork and stiff Race Face Six C crank along with Hope/Easton wheelset. It’s these small details which put it slightly higher in price than many other 160mm bikes on the market but which ultimately makes the difference.