140mm single pivot classic gets longer, slacker and stiffer
Orange Bikes has launched a new Orange Five, but you’ll have to look really closely to spot the differences. Orange has of course been constantly tweaking and updating the Five over the years but it has stuck rigidly to key design parameters that can trace its ancestry back to the Sub 5 from about 15 years ago.
So it’s still a single pivot suspension layout with an aluminium frame constructed in Halifax, but the changes centre around the geometry. Mountain bikes, especially in the trail and enduro sphere, have been getting longer and slacker over the years, and the new Five ticks those bikes. It’s “longer, slacker and stiffer” says Orange.
Orange recognise the Five is its best-selling model so it’s unlikely to mess around with the winning formula too much, but it needs to ensure it keeps up with the rapidly shifting trends in mountain biking, and remains a viable alternative to the many other choices in this travel and price range.
The updated Five then is 10mm longer than the previous bike and half a degree slacker in the head angle, which is now 66º across the size range. Small numbers certainly, but it’s a case of gentle modifications rather than anything radical.
Aside from the changing numbers, Orange reckon it has increased frame stiffness by a whopping 15%. It doesn’t say how it has achieved this stiffness increase, but it has introduced a new top tube, which drops the old curved affair for a straight top tube and a reinforcing tube at the seat tube. That will be the most likely contributor to the extra stiffness in the updated frame. The new top tube is lower than the previous Five too, providing improved standover clearance, so an added bonus there.
The new Five will be available in February with three basic models to choose from, Five S, Five Pro and Five RS, and each build can be further customised. Prices start at £2,600.