Following much soul searching, arguments over the finer points of various suspension systems and the wisdom that is the word on the street, (well on the BIKEmagic forum), I've recently become the proud owner of a Sub-5. My old Marin was starting to feel a bit saggy and beafy, and although we'd been through alot together, the lure of brighter, shinier things had got the better of me.

The sub-5 was ordered from the very helpful folk at Terrain and within a week Orange had put together a deore specced model with rear shock lock-out and psylo sl's up front, (all in stealth black of course), which I've switched my hopes onto, mmmm nice. The first things that get you about it is that they look better in the flesh than in the mags, and how light they are, even with discs and a relatively heavy fork.

The ride is obviously similar to other swing arm sus bikes, but once the fox was fettled, way more taught and direct than pretty much any non-cannondale I've ridden previously. Combined with the shorter 100mm stem and once they'd bedded in, the psylo's direct but plush tracking compliments this feel really well, acheiving that fine balance between confidence inspiring plush and a direct, instant response to acceleration and line changes. Hooning it both up and down rocky single track it feels awesome, I've nailed technical sections i've always lost it on before, done whole trails faster with a bigger grin and generally revelled in the glow of riding a bike that lets me get away with all sorts of nonsense but does exactly what I want it to when requested. This has only really happened before, (apart from first discovering the joys of mud and rubber), when being forced to ride a full-suspension bike after years of riding fully rigid, and of course those Kona moments on hard-pack swooping single track discovered in the middle of some far flung moor.

Maybe this raving and euphoria can be put down to being reeled in by the corporate conspiracy to part us from our cash, or post purchase guilt/justification, but constantly rediscovering the joy of heading out over trails you've ridden hundreds of times and cleaning climbs / downhills for the first time is what its all about for me and the sub-5 has hit 5/5 on all fronts. The fact that its a local company making local bikes for local people only adds to it's appeal. The best bike i've been lucky enough to own and courtesy of the lock outs front and back, much more adaptable and able to tackle tarmac as well as my rigid bike.

Cheers Orange cheers Terrain.