Orange Bikes has a long history of launching new model bikes at Eurobike, but it also has an equally long history of showcasing experimental ‘Strange’ branded models to gauge reaction of the public and the bike trade.
Way back (in bike years) in 2013, Orange showcased a bright red Strange 29er. It was a super long travel 29er – 160mm up front and 150mm out back. It was one of the longest travel 29ers we’d ever seen and no one really knew what to make of it.
That prototype became the Orange Five29. Again, a bike that most riders didn’t really know what to do with. But a small number of riders snapped them up and it became a quiet cult hit, especially after Orange then discontinued it. The bike world has moved on in the last four years and longer travel 29ers are now a lot more common – and there are riders and racers using them to their full potential on fast, rocky, nasty courses.
Since discontinuing the Five29, Orange has had a steady stream of requests to reissue that bike – and so this year it’s showing not one, but two new 29er prototypes (that will probably reach production in the next six months we’d reckon).
Here is the Strange 150. It’s a 150mm rear travel 29er with a 160mm Fox 26 fork up front. The multifaceted tubes take much of what was learned from the new Five and Alpine Six to make a light, stiff, made in the UK frame. It has ‘Long top tube geometry’ and a Boost back end. Crucially, when compared to the current Segment, it has a longer eye-to-eye shock, which allows Orange to spec ‘clever’ shocks like the Fox Float X2 for more control over the back end.
The Strange 150 will come in M, L and XL and a glimpse at the geometry chart promises 66.5°/74.5° angles. Effective top tubes are 585/604/624mm respectively, with reaches of 434/452/469mm. Stack is 633/643/652mm
The Strange 135 is a Segment on steroids. It uses the same eye-to-eye shock at the 150, only with a shorter stroke. With 66.5°/74° (effective) angles it’s still a slack and gravity-biased machine. Reach is 431/448/465mm for M/L/XL sizes. The Strange 135 has 135mm rear travel and takes a 140mm fork. There’s no provision for a front mech on either bike, but there is still an ISCG guide.
Matching wheel graphics
Orange is also now offering a matching graphics package so that riders can get the specced Race Face (which were Easton) wheels with coloured graphics to match (or clash with) their frame colour or graphics colour. There will be six colours on offer and it’ll be a £40 upcharge.