We brought you news before of the Orange e-MTB prototype, and it seems that things are moving along at the Halifax manufacturers. Information about the new bike, including Orange’s codename for the project – the EPO – has now appeared on the Orange website, along with a ‘register your interest’ option so you can be the first in the know. Apparently Orange is going into production with the as yet unnamed Electric Powered Orange, but numbers will be limited so by registering your interest in the project you will be the first to know when the bikes will be available.
Based around the Shimano E-8000 pedal assist drive unit and Alpine 6 geometry, Orange claims that every test rider has ‘come back raving about their experience on the bike and how it will bring a major new way of thinking to the sport.’
It’s clear from the web page that Orange knows this is going to be a divisive bike:
‘Until you’ve spent some time on an E-bike you start with a few unknowns and even more assumptions. Is it like a motorbike? Is it heavy? Do you have to pedal? Is it cheating?
All of these questions and more are valid, but it’s the questions you probably haven’t thought about that you will find answers to first.
The most valuable thing a bike like the Alpine 6 E gives you is time. It hands it to you on a plate. What was previously an all day epic becomes a two hour blast.
The commute to work is now the long way over the hills rather than ‘a dice with the traffic’. Lung busting climbs that bring you to a grovelling crawl, become an exercise in laying down the power and picking your line, not the lines picking on you.
Tracks that rip your legs off and have your lungs bursting become skips and bounces and and your line choice over the rough stuff.
As for cheating? That’s for you to decide. The E-bike will not replace the range of bikes we know and love, but will be an addition to wide range of capabilities we enjoy as mountain bikers. Once you’ve tried an Orange e-bike on some serious terrain, we think you will see the light, we certainly did.’
Will you be registering your interest? Or running (under your own leg power) for the hills?