March 30, 2011
The shorter travel brother of the popular Orange Five - but is it obscured by the golden child's glare?
Persona: Stirling Moss
The Orange ST4 was originally developed as a bike for the more cross-country oriented of Orange’s customers. Not to say that the Five can’t go up hills, but its whole burly image and looks put the enduro and XC types off, even when it was ‘slimmed’ down to the Sub3. So, a couple of years ago, Orange introduced the original, rocker-linked ST4, all skinny tubes and Commençal-like linkages.
However, production problems meant that many of those had to come back to the factory, so this new, simpler, swing- link design was developed. It still features a low ratio shock that gives 110mm of travel (which is 10mm short to be in this test, but we’ll say it lied about its age) to give an all- round, trail inspired suspension machine.
The ST4 is based around a Fox RP23 shock and a faux-bar linkage setup.The tubes are slim enough to give an impression of light weight and the durable powdercoat and stainless hardware hints at its rugged northern ancestry.