by Ben Haworth
May 18, 2009
“Strange” as you like – It’s not definitely for production yet (or indeed ever) but this prototype frame from Orange uses the same swing link driven shock single pivot system as the Blood and the upcoming 225 downhill bike that got it’s first outing at the Andorran round of the World Cup over the weekend.
The swingarm is pure old style Patriot though – why change what isn’t broken? – and the general idea is that the linkage makes the initial bit of travel super plush so it tracks over braking bumps and other terrain in a much more refined way. This large sized frame has got 180mm of rear wheel travel from a 3.25″ stroke shock. The frame really needs 180mm+ forks up front to work properly – the forks on this bike are some rather rare 190mm travel ’07 Marzocchi 66s – but RockShox Totems would be a good fit for slopestylers/burly freeriders and you could always put on some Boxxers/Fox 40s to turn it into a nice UK downhill bike. The angles are typical Orange, so nice and slack at the front and a decently low BB but tweaking hasn’t finished yet. Test rider reports from this corner of the Alps are that it fires itself out of corners like some kind of rocket-device.
Should be interesting to see where this goes and if it ever makes it into production. With any luck we won’t have seen the last of the Orange Patriot name…