First Ride: Orange Segment

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Last week we brought you news of the new Orange Four, and while Mark and Hannah were on the Four, Ali was riding the updated Segment. The previous Segment was so good that Chipps bought one, and made it his pick of the year for 2015. So what’s changed?

Price: £3,700 RS model. Our test bike came with the Reverb upgrade.
From: Orange

orange segment singletrack magazine
Here it is: the new Orange Segment. Yes, this is the new one.

 

Orange Segment 2015

See? This is the old one. Without wishing to state the obvious, the top tube is really quite different – there’s a shorter seat tube and lower standover height with an added strut.

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The frame has been made using a thinner aluminium sheet, which Orange says sheds about 400g off the bike. We weighed our Medium test bike with pedals, and it came in at 13.97kg.

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Finishing kit is the same as the Four, with SRAM Guide brakes and Renthal Fatbar bars. Internal routing on the swing arm as per the norm with Orange, and the Rock Shox Monarch RT3 rear shock.

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Segment Decals on the top tube, making sure you crave a G&T after your ride. Or possibly a game of Trivial Pursuit.

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Race Face Cranks and 1×11 gearing with MRP chain guide.

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If only bikes were easy to keep this clean.
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Video: Tech Talk

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First Ride

The Orange Segment (see what they did there?) is a short-travel, big wheeled, do-it-all bike made in Halifax. Now in its 2nd incarnation, the new design has replaced the old curved top tube with a straight tube plus brace, which we think makes it look a bit more “agro“. The rear end now gets a boost swing-arm for extra stiffness, plus the side benefit of being able to accommodate half-fat 27.5+ wheels, if you want to.

It feels a lot more capable than its 120mm/110mm travel suggests it should be

All the tweaks and changes to the tubes have resulted in a frame that is 400g lighter than it’s predecessor, which either means you can now have that extra slice of cake, or it will get you uphill quicker – the choice is yours.

The 1*11 drivetrain provides all the range you need for riding in the hills, the lowest gear 30t*42t being equivalent to a 22t*32t in the old-fashioned way of doing things. This means that as long as you have the will, the drivetrain offers a way to ride uphill while respecting the eleventh commandment, “thou shallt keep thy bum on the saddle when climbing“. A|bide by this rule and flick the Monarch RT3 into the “Locked” position and the bike climbs very well, but if you should stray from the path of the righteous, damnation and eternal bob will be your fate.

The pairing of Maxxis Minion DHF and High Roller rubber could be viewed as a statement of intent and when you get to point the Segment downhill it quickly becomes apparent that it has hooligan tendencies, combined with a sort of homing instinct that wants to get you get you back down again as soon as possible. All of which can only be A Good Thing.

Up front the combination of 120mm Pikes with a 29″ wheel inspires a lot of confidence. I should probably trot out the well-worn cliche about 29ers ploughing over stuff better (well, they do don’t they? there’s science and stuff to back it up…), but this is fun to ride, you can pick your lines and it goes where you choose, not the other way around.

It feels a lot more capable than its 120mm/110mm travel suggests it should be. Maybe less actually is more.

orange segment first ride singletrack magazine
Ali, the consummate professional, never test-rides a bike without matching his wardrobe to the paint job.
orange segment singletrack magazine
Se that above his head? That’s blue sky that is. No really! In Yorkshire!

orange segment singletrack magazine

 

Comments (3)

    Until you pointed it out I genuinely had not thought about the name Segment.

    If someone was to force me to buy another bike right now I would choose this. Looks perfect for me.

    Funny how Singletrack often don’t mention much geometry detail in their reviews.

    Can someone please explain to me what these burly, slack, short travel bikes are for? I thought that the modern “Enduro” bike has length and angles that make it hard work unless you’re charging downhill, but you’ve got 160mm of safety net for the inevitable jumps and drops. And normal shorter bikes are lighter and more fun on less rowdy trails, but don’t encourage you to get into trouble so don’t need that safety net. Bikes like this seem to be the worst of both worlds. Slow and slack (and heavy!) on normal trails, the angles encourage hooliganism, then it hangs you out to dry when you come across a big tail feature, as the geometry has written cheques the travel can’t cash!

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