Update: statement from Orange 8th January, 1pm:
In response to current speculation regarding the position of Orange Bikes and the recently filed Notice of Intention to appoint Administrators:
Orange Bikes and its associated companies are currently working with Specialist Business Rescue Advisory firm J9 Advisory, with a view to restructuring the businesses in order to provide a viable platform to service our customers in the best way possible, safeguarding jobs and ensuring the continuation and strength of the Orange Bikes business moving forwards.
Further details will be released as soon as possible.
Original story below:
In a move that will sadden the brand’s many hardcore fans, we’re hearing from multiple sources that Orange Mountain Bikes has applied to appoint administrators.
Accounts show that even during the pandemic boom, they filed a pre-tax loss of nearly half a million pounds. Trading can only have got tougher since, and the ceasing of their factory race team – announced just before Christmas – was perhaps a hint that times were tight.
We understand that major stockists Leisure Lakes ceased to sell their bikes in 2023, which would surely be a major loss of sales, particularly to new customers who might not feel ready to buy direct from the Orange website. By our calculations, Orange currently offers 33 different models of bike, including children’s, drop bar, and electric options. Add in Orange’s various build options and almost infinite bespoke colours, that’s a fair amount of choice to make – and not a range that the average local bike shop is going to be able to hold.
Orange has been going since 1988, started by Steve Wade and Lester Noble. In those early days it was famous for its race team and bikes like the Clockwork. Later on, it pioneered folded and welded aluminium full suspension bikes. Shortly after, industry legend Michael Bonney joined and brought some marketing magic to its designs. In 2015 the company was sold to Ashley Ball – Steve Wade’s nephew, and long-time Orange Bikes collaborator (he owns the metalwork company that supplied Orange).
Now, Orange has applied to enter administration. Hopefully this isn’t an unhappy ending to the big plans, and the big changes that have been brought to fruition in recent years. Companies House notes that:
“When a company goes into administration, they have entered a legal process (under the Insolvency Act 1986) with the aim of achieving one of the statutory objectives of an administration. This may be to rescue a viable business that is insolvent due to cashflow problems.”
Perhaps then this will be a temporary situation to address cashflow problems? Fingers cross for a positive outcome.
We’ve reached out to Orange for comment, and wish all the employees the best at this difficult time.