Trail and Enduro Bikes


The Orange Alpine 160 has been a firm favourite here at Dirt for as many years as we can remember. For 2017, we see Orange giving this frame yet another makeover and with this comes a slight change in name to Alpine 6.

Fear not though, Orange rarely, if ever, change or revise their designs needlessly and after running a 2016 Alpine as a long-term test bike for a year we are in a strong position to analyse the refinements of this latest evolution.

We’re looking at a very well regarded, UK designed long travel bike with the Alpine, a machine capable of anything from uplifting technical DH tracks, enduro racing to big mountain multi-day trips. The Alpine, as its name suggests, can handle itself in most terrain and the spec choices needs to match this attitude too…

So what’s changed for 2017? Well, Orange has dug deep and looked at every detail of the frame, chopping weight out and taking a good look at the latest hub, wheel and tyre standards as well as the transmission choices which are now available.

‘When it comes to uplift sessions on longer travel enduro bikes it’s the bike most of us would reach out to’

The rear travel of this frame remains at 160mm and is now matched to a 170mm fork (with a 110mm Boost hub spacing) and rolling on 27.5”/650B wheels – the most popular choice for bikes with this amount of travel. Orange have slackened the head angle by a further half a degree (now at 64.5 degrees). Out back the swingarm is now lighter, more compact and better looking too. The chainstay length now 9mm shorter and has the rear axle spacing of 148mm ‘Boost’ as standard. A significant change is to the main pivot point, which is now repositioned further up the down tube – settling on a single chainring set up and basing the suspension design around this. The rear triangle being more compact means there is more mud clearance around an upper chain guide too – a definite bonus. With the shock now effectively lowered in the main frame, the ramp-up effect of the suspension action is improved – another small but important revision. This 2017 version of the Alpine is now more active over small bumps yet inspires confidence on really rough and technical tracks. A whole bundle of small changes here, but they all add up for a significant improvement on what was already a very accomplished design.

With four frames sizes available, Orange have retained their existing combination of a roomy fit and long wheelbase, even after reducing the length of the chainstays. The out-of-the-box fit is spot on and unlike many bikes, the stock stem lengths are ideal and don’t need changing.

You can go to town with options on an Orange bike, with colours and decal choices adding a touch to the price but giving that individual look. With this Factory model the spec is all top drawer and hard to pick holes in – Fox 36/X2 Factory combo, SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12, Guide Ultimate brakes and Hope for hubs and headset. All are favourites of ours, with many being Dirt 100 choices.

“Bulletproof, silent and simple”

The Alpine 6 is an incredibly capable bike. In fact when it comes to uplift sessions on longer travel enduro bikes it’s the bike most of us would reach out to. It’s a bulletproof choice, silent and simple when heading into tricky encounters. It is low, long and slack but still a bike that gets from A to B on flatter grounds pretty efficiently. There are better choices when it comes to climbing, and the new 29ers from Orange – the Stage 5 and 6 – will undoubtedly add that extra grip and momentum for added efficiency when going up. The Alpine 6 though has its eyes firmly on the next descent.




Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
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