This month we’re looking at 140mm trail mountain bikes, the sort of bikes that are the perfect do-everything all-round rig for hitting typical UK trails. First up is the Orange Five.
The Orange Five has become something of a modern classic. Honed through the years maybe, but really very little has changed from the early incarnations, with the same silhouette as when it first appeared over ten years ago.
This 140mm single pivot is as well dialled as a consequence, and has fared well despite the advances of complicated linkage designs and virtual pivots. It’s still an incredibly prevalent choice and the sheer number of them out on the trails is testament to the Five’s popularity.
For 2012 the newest Five, which we’ve just received for testing, carries a few minor, but no less important, updates. The seat tube is now a ‘standard’ 30.9mm, meaning it’ll accept any of the current crop of adjustable height ‘dropper’ seatposts. There are also guides along the top tube for the hose/cable.
Up front is a new tapered head tube, which increases the front end stiffness when used with a fork with a tapered steerer tube. Meanwhile, at the bottom bracket Orange have added ISCG mounts. Why you ask? Principally to satisfy the growing desire to run 1×10 or 2×10 chainsets with an appropriate chain guide, that’s why.
What is it that has kept the Orange if favour with constantly shifting trends and evolving riding standards? That’s what we want to find out when we get riding the Five.
Orange offers the Five with a choice of build kits, and here we’ve got the Pro, the £2,799.99 build. That gets you a Fox 32 Float RL FIT 15QR fork, Shimano SLX and XT drivetrain, Race Face Evolve XC Turbine triple chainset and Hope Tech X2 brakes. Wheels consist of Hope Pro II hibs on Mavix XM317 rims and finishing kits is a smart selection of SDG, Easton and Maxxis.
And a note on sizing, this is the new 17in size, introduced recently to satisfy those who wanted the top tube length of the 18in frame but with the standover height of the 16in model. Should work a treat.
I’ll be interesting to see how the Five rides. I last rode one in 2005 when I said about the bike: “…the suspension feels good, all the time, especially while climbing, but importantly the bike still feels alive. Turn the speed up and you’ll find yourself pinging favourably off rocks, bumps or anything that mildly resembles a lip, and it corners with fantastic accuracy. The combination of the 130mm fork and sorted geometry give a superbly balanced feel, and it inspires confidence.”