Trail and Enduro Bikes


Orange was ahead of the game in many ways with a long travel 29er, the 5 Alpine, a few years back. When it rolled through the doors here at Dirt, there were few bikes that compared directly with this ambitious machine.


This was at a time (late 2013) when the choice of suitable forks, wider rims and chunky rubber was limited for the larger 29 inch wheel. Orange soon turned their attention to the blossoming 27.5” wheel size, refining the ever-popular 5 and Alpine models around this new standard and launching the Segment to join their full-suspension range. Slack, low and rapid, the Segment was aimed at those wanting a short travel, playful 29er with a serious fork up front. It sat well up against the Kona Process 111 and Transition Smuggler, bikes we have featured in previous Dirt 100 listings. But these short travel, big-wheeled bikes can be a tough sell and often need time to learn how to get the best from them.

With a fresh injection of enthusiasm from the new owner, Orange has seen plenty of development in the last twelve months. With the arrival of the Stage 5 and 6 bikes, along with their latest longer travel endure machine, the Alpine 6, Orange really have a very complete offering.

“Designed to go further and faster whatever the terrain, this bike signals a new generation of trail-loving 29ers where nothing is off limits and everything goes” – these are words Orange use to describe this bike. So, if they’ve been here before, how is this bike different? How have the design team in Halifax moved things forward?

‘When it comes to ride character the Stage 5 is one of the most fun bikes we have ever ridden’

The Stage 5 is the result of many years of development, testing and refining of their single pivot bikes. The ‘Five’ has been built successfully with both 26” and 27.5” wheel sizes and the Stage 5 really is the 29” version of this bike that we were looking for. We wanted a touch more from the Segment (but without much more weight) but with a shade more refinement and a lower fighting weight than the early 5 Alpine prototype that we tested back in 2013.

With 135mm of rear travel and a stout legged 140mm Fox 36 leading the way, this bike shows some serious intentions. An all-new frame design takes design knowledge and experience from building Orange’s lighter weight trail bike, the Four and rolls it out in this 29er, keeping it competitively trim. With single ring transmissions now established and here to stay, Orange have moved the pivot point to the best position, opted for 148mm Boost rear axle spacing and sweated the details on sizing and geometry.

With three frame sizes available, these UK made frames have dimensions that don’t disappoint. The Orange design crew have dropped the top tube to give good stand-over clearance and seat tube and reach measurements take into account both longer travel dropper posts and sub 50mm stems. A 335mm bottom bracket height and a 445mm rear centre and measurement we like and work well on this mid travel 29er.

The bike pictured is the LE model – the ‘Launch Edition’ and as such is dripping with premium hardware. Hope supplies the colour co-ordinated cranks, hubs, brakes etc keeping the UK theme going. The Fox fork, X2 shock and Transfer dropper post are all Kashima Factory models (adding that touch of class) on this limited edition version.

Light on its feet, with a more nimble feel, this latest 29er from Orange really feels like the years of refinement have paid off. The correct geometry, mated with three realistic sizes and the right choice of fork has resulted in a really versatile trail bike – one that we feel may well give their Segment and bigger hitting Stage 6 a run for their money.

Orange Stage 5

A ‘fine tune of a fine tune’ and just like many versions of the Five looks set to become a long-term favourite. Good times ahead for Orange bikes.

[monetizer101 search=’Orange Stage 5′]


Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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