Dirt office bike preview
As well as new bikes in the office we've also got a new helping hand, Jake from the Forest. He's been helping us with all sorts from kettle duties to building up bikes.
He'll also be doing some web stuff, here's his first article;a preview of the Orange Blood.
We had the Orange Blood turn up at the office last week, it’s a 5 inch bike going where not many 5 inch bikes have gone before. Aimed at everything from trail riding to slopestyle, it’s the first of the harder hitting Orange bikes to sport the new ROCKR link.
The slack 66° head angle will inspire confidence on the downs, and the steep seat tube angle means you can comfortably raise the saddle for the times when you need to point the bike back up the hill. Orange, as with the ST4 that Jonesy reviewed in the magazine (August 2008), have come up with something a bit different.
The ROCKR link featured on the Blood, means a low 2.5:1 leverage ratio can be achieved (similar to the 2:1 ratio on the ST4). The system still gives the simplicity of a single pivot axle path, but by using the new leverage ratio achieves a carefully controlled, super responsive ride.
The shock has a special rebound and compression tune for the Blood frame, meaning the rear end feels bang on straight out of the box. Orange have aimed to optimize how a frame and shock work together, creating a bike that you can pedal, but with a highly active and fast reacting back end, that is supple at the start of the stroke, yet never blows through the travel on big hits.
The frame design of the blood is obviously well thought about, utilizing an 83mm bottom bracket shell and a Rockshox Maxle rear end in the 135x12mm size. The Maxle gives all the stiffness of a 12mm axle, with the ease of a QR when it comes to removing the wheel on the trail.
Our Blood AM (also available in an FR model) comes well specced, with Fox 36 Float R forks and the tuned RP23 shock. The drivetrain features a RaceFace Evolve DH crankset and Sram X.9 gearing (apart from a Shimano Saint front mech, essential for the 83mm BB).
The wheels are Hope Pro2 hubs on the new Mavic EN321 rims, shod with the kinky Continental Rubber Queen tyres. The bike is stopped with Hayes Stroker Trail brakes with 8” rotors, and Truvativ have supplied the bar, stem and seatpost. The full bike weighs in at a respectable 33lbs.
The Blood is one of the bikes that went on a trip to Switchbacks with Jonesy and Jon over the weekend, so look out for a full review of the bike in the magazine soon.
Words and Photos:Jake Ireland.
orange blood all mountain freeride mountain bike