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.