Small on travel, big on wheelsize; the UK-manufactured Orange Stage 4 RS is in the house and ready for testing!

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It seems an eternity ago when Orange announced its latest Stage 4 model. Granted, it has been pretty much exactly six months since last year’s Eurobike, but after all that waiting, the Halifax-based manufacturer has finally got Stage 4 frames off the production line and rolling into stores around the UK, and over to distributors dotted all around the globe.

Lucky for us, one of those first frames has been built up into a complete bike and delivered to us for testing. You may have already read Chipps’ exclusive first ride report of the Orange Stage 4, where he had the opportunity to ride a prototype frame at last year’s Mountain Mayhem event when he partook in the 4-person RideForMichael team. However, this is our first opportunity for a full teardown and review on home trails, so you can expect to see it in an group test feature in the magazine.

Want to know what sets the Stage 4 apart from the rest of the Orange full suspension line? Then read on for a closer look at our latest test whip!

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Six months after its announcement, the Stage 4 is off the production line and into our grubby little winter-gloved paws!

Rolling into the 29er Stage family we welcome the new Stage 4. If you know our Segment model, this is its replacement. Short travel and big wheeled, this 120/110mm travel 29er can ride way beyond its travel figure, carefully reworked geometry and frame construction brings our compact rear to the new model with the same plus points we get through the range; more active and improved effect on small bumps. Confidence inspiring, low-slung and featuring the kind of angles more often found on longer travel bikes, this is the short travel 29er that rides beyond the short travel checkboxes with flare.” – From Orange Bikes.

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The Stage 4 uses 29in wheels, and comes with 110mm of rear travel and a 120mm travel fork.

Orange Stage Four Features

  • Full suspension 29er XC trail bike
  • UK manufactured 6061-T6 aluminum monocoque frame
  • Single pivot suspension design w/110mm rear travel
  • Metric 190x40mm rear shock
  • Designed for 120mm travel forks
  • 67.5° head angle
  • 74.5° seat tube angle
  • 73mm English threaded bottom bracket
  • ISCG 05 chainguide tabs
  • Boost 148x12mm rear hub spacing
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • Internal routing for brake, gear and dropper post cabling
  • Available sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Frame RRP: £1700 (including Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock)
  • Complete bike RRP: £3600 – £5600
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Goodbye Segment; hello Stage 4!

If you’re familiar with the Orange full suspension line, you’ll know that there are currently two 29er full suspension bikes; the Stage 5 and the Stage 6, and three 27.5in full suspension bikes; the Four, Five and Alpine 6.

The Stage 4 features 29in wheels and slots into the lineup as a shorter travel version of the Stage 5 (a bike that recently won an Editors’ Choice Award), where it completes the range, and in doing so, replaces the outgoing Segment.

So why isn’t this just called the new generation Segment? Well part of the reason is that Orange simply wanted to carry on the naming theme with its current 29er line to keep things coherent, but it also believes there have been enough significant changes to warrant the new name.

“Changes??”, I hear you ask your smartphone screen. Yes, there are changes aplenty – let’s start with the suspension.

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The 190x40mm Metric rear shock is much bigger than the tiny shock used on the old Segment.

Like the Segment, the Stage 4 features 110mm of rear wheel travel. How it achieves that travel is still via a single pivot suspension design, but there have been some subtle tweaks that Orange states have brought improved sensitivity and control.

Notably, the Stage 4 is the first Orange to feature Metric rear shock spacing. Aside from just being a slightly different size shock, the concept of the Metric rear shock is to make better use of the shock’s overall dimensions for improved bushing overlap that purportedly delivers a stiffer structure. In terms of physical dimensions, the old Segment used a diminutive 165x38mm rear shock (2.89:1 average leverage ratio) that worked fine but proved highly sensitive to setup. In comparison, the Stage 4 uses a much bigger 190x40mm shock (2.75:1 average leverage ratio) that is likely to be a little less fussy. Note in the above photo the dimple in the down tube on the new Stage 4, which has allowed the use of the longer shock.

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The RS spec comes with a RockShox Deluxe RT3 rear shock, while the Factory spec comes with a gold Fox Float DPS Kashima shock.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The split-stay swingarm replaces the old monocoque swingarm used on the Segment.

The most obvious visual difference on the Stage 4 is the use of the split-stay swingarm, which replaces the Segment’s big monocoque swingarm. It’s supposedly a bit lighter and stiffer, and it just gives the bike a leaner overall look. Cable routing runs through the lower tube.

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
There’s a load of internal and external shaping going on with the Stage 4’s 6061-T6 alloy frame. It may look simple, but the construction is anything but.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
(mostly) internal cable routing.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The welded seam along the underside of the downtube turns folded alloy sheets into a monocoque structure.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
By blokes with beards called ‘Darren’.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Huge CNC machined alloy dropouts are bolted together with an alloy 148x12mm thru-axle.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Clean bolt-up axle with IS mount brake tabs.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Same humongous mud clearance thanks to the elevated and bridge-less swingarm.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
It’s designed and manufactured in the UK, so would you expect anything other than a threaded bottom bracket shell?
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The Stage 4 is propped up with a 120mm travel fork to achieve a 67.5° head angle. This is no XC race whippet, but rather a short-travel trail bike.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Handbuilt wheels feature 27mm wide alloy Race Face ARC 27 rims and good ol’ J-bend spokes.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The tyres are the same combo as found on the longer travel Stage 5 with a 2.3in wide Minion DHF on the front and a High Roller II on the rear.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The tyre and fork choice on the Stage 4 RS provides a bit of a clue as to what sort of riding Orange has envisaged for this compact 29er.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The 2.3in tyres are swallowed up by the 2018 RockShox Pike, which has clearance for – get this – a 29×2.8in wide tyre!
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Orange has elected for UK-made Hope Pro4 hubs on the Stage 4 RS. Of course.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
That new Charger 2 damper gives you a big 3-position compression lever, as well as independent low-speed compression damping in the Open mode.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
More UK-made goodness with the lovely Renthal Apex stem.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Alloy Renthal bars feature a 35mm diameter and a beautiful shot-peened and anodized finish.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
They’re 800mm wide and paired to a 50mm stem length, giving the Stage 4 a ‘purposeful’ looking cockpit.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
New grips under the Strange component label. These get a locking clamp on the inside of the grip, but a full rubber covering for the end of the bar.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Thin & tacky, with some additional texture on the underside for the grippings.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Another Editors’ Choice awardee; the excellent RockShox Reverb 1x remote.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The Stage 4 comes standard with a 150mm stroke Reverb, but you can choose a 125mm travel option if you’re worried about the minimum saddle height.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The saddle is made by SDG, but it’s adorned with Strange logos to tie in with the complete bike.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Hopefully not too Strange for our derrières.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
The 1×12 drivetrain is a smart selection of SRAM Eagle components, including the cheaper GX cassette along with a snappy X01 rear mech.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
14t narrow-wide jockey wheels keep the chain in check down here…
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
…while the eagle claw-shaped teeth on the X-Sync 2 chainring do the thing on the front.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Carbon X1 crank arms help to lower weight over cheaper alloy options from SRAM. They’re finished off with rubber booties.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Rather than a full X01 drivetrain, Orange has gone for a GX Eagle cassette & shifter. That’s a smart spec choice, as both work very well.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Popular SRAM Guide R brakes integrate with the GX Eagle shifter via a single alloy clamp.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
A totally tiny detail, but we quite like those little Jagwire cable holders.
orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Four pistons of power front and rear with 180mm stainless steel Centreline rotors.

Righto; there’s a bit of a detailed first look of the latest test bike to roll into Singletrack Towers, and we’ll keep you posted on our impressions of this new short travel 29er in the weeks and months to come.

If you desperately need more information, say on pricing, frame geometry and spec options, head to the Orange Bikes website for all that and other stuff too.

orange stage 4 rockshox pike deluxe race face arc 27 guide sram eagle
Short on travel, but big on fun? Stay tuned for our full review of the Orange Stage 4.

2018 Orange Stage 4 RS Specifications

  • Frame // 6061-T6 Monocoque, 110mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Pike RCT3, 120mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir
  • Hubs // Hope Pro 4, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Rims // Race Face ARC 27, 27mm Internal Width, 32h, Tubeless Compatible
  • Hubs // Hope Pro 4, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.3in Front & High Roller II EXO 2.3in Rear
  • Chainset // SRAM X1 Carbon, 32t X-Sync 2 Chainring
  • Rear Mech // SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Shifters // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Cassette // SRAM XG-1275, 10-50t, 12-Speed
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide R, 180mm Front & Rear
  • Stem // Renthal Apex 35, 50mm Long
  • Bars // Renthal Fatbar 35, 800mm Wide, 20mm Rise
  • Grips // Strange 130 Single Lock-On Black
  • Seatpost // RockShox Reverb Stealth, 30.9mm, 150mm Travel, 1x Remote
  • Saddle // SDG Fly MTN Steel Rails
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Medium, Large, X-Large

Comments (3)

  1. ‘With Flare’ indeed What? FlareMAX!

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