Tally-ho! Time to have a bit of a shufti at the pukka stuff some of the Brits had at Eurobike, what what? Orange had been particularly busy. And if you’re wondering what happened to USE, we spent quite a lot of time chatting and no time at all taking pictures, but you can get the lowdown on the latest Exposure lights from an earlier story…
The 853 Soul hardtail is a deservedly popular bike, which made Cotic the natural choice when Reynolds wanted to showcase its magical 953 tubing in mountain bike form. This, then, is the one and only 953 Soul in existence, weighing in at around 3.5lb. 953 is a stainless tubeset, so it doesn’t need paint – this is it in the raw.
Looks nice, doesn’t it? Don’t hold your breath for a production model, though – Cotic’s Cy Turner tells us that it’s pretty unlikely to happen (they’d be more expensive than the butted titanium Soda). But never say never…
There’s a fair few MTB manufacturers celebrating their 20th birthdays. Orange got going in 1988, and to celebrate 20 years it’s doing a very limited run of 20 of these lovely Vit T reissue frames, brought up to date with contemporary 100mm-travel geometry and disc mount.
The Diva is the women’s specific version of the popular 5 full suspension bike. Lower weight, revised geometry and a great colour.
Another blast from the past is the new Prestige, an updated version of a true steel classic. “We saw all these companies making frames just like the ones we used to make, and thought ‘Why not?’,” says Orange’s Michael Bonney. The Prestige will be available in complete bike or frame-only forms.
The ST4 represents a new FS direction for Orange, with a linkage-driven shock and a frame made of regular round tubes. 100mm travel, but it’s designed as a trail bike rather than a racer.
224 gets adjustable head tube to go with the adjustable shock position, so you can now fiddle with the BB height but keep the same head angle.
New through-axle rear takes 135mm hubs but has super-wide axle clamps – Orange’s testing shows that this is where the extra stiffness comes from.
In the “things to watch out for in the future” department is this belt-drive prototype. It uses custom-made sprockets and a Shimano Alfine 8-spd hub gear.
The toothed belt is based on carbon fibre strands and promises zero stretch and long life. It certainly delivers an amazingly smooth and quiet ride.
Hope is working on an outboard-bearing BB. We particularly like the handy spacer-combination aide memoire on the bearing sleeve.