UPDATED | Orange Bikes Calls In Administrators

by 444

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.

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 444 total)
  • UPDATED | Orange Bikes Calls In Administrators
  • andrewh
    Free Member

    Wasn’t there already a thread about this?

    superstu
    Free Member

    Why close the thread on the forum? Could have linked this piece at the same time but no need to end the discussion there?

    bruneep
    Full Member
    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Steve Wade and Lester Noble were founders.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    There was but it has been closed…I thought the threads were being linked/combined these days instead of being closed?

    Ah well…

    A bit of a surprise this news to me…I didn’t think they were struggling as much as they appear to be.

    mashr
    Free Member

    I don’t think I’m surprised by this. They are incredibly expensive these days, with a really limited USP. Long gone are the days of them being the trail centre fashion brand of choice, and telling that the replacement (Santa Cruz) might even represent better value

    damascus
    Free Member

    Let’s just hope Mike Ashley doesnt buy it. It would be depressing to see an orange bike in a sports direct shop!

     

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Finger on the pulse..

    finbar
    Free Member

    The original thread has gone into administration 😀

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Ive had a fair few Oranges (2 in the garage now) but on what planet are people going to spend 8 grand for a ebike hardtail. Nuts… It seems nobody.

    wool
    Full Member

    😢😢😢

    dumbbot
    Free Member

    Pinkbike comments section are gonna have a field day.

    33 models? thats far too much from a small boutique brand with limited global appeal due to the niche looks…they’ve always been divisive.

    I’m a Stage Evo owner and it’s one of the best bikes i’ve ever had….its a rocketship.

    That weird Switch6 they recently released was one of the worse looking bikes ive ever seen mind.

    cakeandcheese
    Full Member

    From the “other” thread:

    There was a time in the early/mid 00’s when every other bike on the trails was an Orange 5. I remember MBR raving about each new model nearly as much as they raved about anything from Specialized.

    And then…. Nothing. Just seemed to vanish from the scene. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Sad news though, definitely one of the early iconic brands.

    Carbon happened, at scale, allowing for more innovative shapes and suspension designs. Halo bikes were carbon, reviewed well, and their alloy alternatives were sold to the most of us.

    Orange should’ve gone carbon. Innovate or die. 

    Mark
    Full Member

    This thread is generated automatically by the publishing of the story. 

    To be clear. we’ve known about this for several days now and had this story drafted. We were waiting as we also heard from one of our sources that Orange were hoping to wait until next week before this went public as employees had not been informed – so we held off on publishing. Carlton didn’t wait but then I imagine he didn’t know that Orange were waiting to tell staff.

    This is shit for them but hopefully it’s a restructuring exercise and the company will survive this.

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Everyone working digitally from home. No one needs filing cabinets any more.

    munkyboy
    Free Member

    Gutted, owned 2 in the past and they were faultless.

    The range is stupid now though, too many models, no focus and sadly no ‘five’ – no rowdy trusty trail bike. Looks like they just throw out lots of ideas out and hoped one would sell. But in reality kind of confusing.

    If they did a carbon five back when they were popular it would have been quite the thing…

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I don’t think I’ve seen an Orange in the past ten years. The only time they were discussed on here seemed to be when some little-Englander decided they wanted to build a bike made from bits made in Britain. Other than heritage it seems they had nothing to offer.

    snotrag
    Full Member

    I don’t think I’ve seen an Orange in the past ten years

    Its an interesting comment this – out of interest, where are you riding @scotroutes?

    I still see them a lot here in Yorkshire. In fact – I’ve had two brand new frames from Orange in the past 5 years, so I feel particularly sad about this news. They are divisive, but it wwuld be a massive, massive shame to lose them.

    no focus and sadly no ‘five’ – no rowdy trusty trail bike.

    Stage Evo. Thats exactly what that bike is, and exactly what its marketed as. They have ALWAYS had something in the range under that description!?

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Other than heritage it seems they had nothing to offer.

    Not ridden a modern Orange then I presume?

    Hope this all works out as well as possible for all the staff, they’ve been producing great new bikes in recent years.

    hatter
    Full Member

    MTB design just got a little more boring  and samey.

    In an industry where its so easy to slap your stickers on something out of a catalogue they did things the hard way and I will always respect that.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    V sad news, I hope they can survive this.

    I know their full build prices were challenging in terms of value (but they’re far from the only brand doing that) but I feel they suffered unfairly by using what people thought was a dated design because it didn’t have a load of pivots and linkages or swoopy carbon fibre.

    In reality the suspension kinematics works very well, their geometry was often ahead of the curve and their alloy full-sus frames were as light as many carbon competitors. I’ve seen so many fantastic reports on how recent Oranges ride from MTBers whose opinion I trust.

    I’m sure they’d be in a much stronger financial position if they’d outsourced manufacture to the far east, switched to carbon and added more pivots. I hope that sticking to their guns doesn’t kill them off because I want UK manufacturing to survive – we don’t all want to drive laptops for our job, or spend every day moving boxes in and out of warehouses. Making stuff is much more rewarding!

    ton
    Full Member

    i cant speak………………

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    @snotrag – Not trail centres. Mostly out and about in the Scottish Highlands. I don’t think I’ve seen an Orange since I moved here from Edinburgh, when I used to occasionally visit Glentress.

    I still see them a lot here in Yorkshire.

    Possibly some local “loyalty” thing ogoing on?

     a modern Orange

    An oxymoron.

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    I never see them down South. I also wonder if they didn’t (unfairly) suffer from a part of their demographic of buyers having become older and gradually migrating to other brands or having stopped riding altogether while younger generations just either didn’t know the brand or didn’t get the brand or couldn’t afford the brand or simply perceived it as their Dad’s brand. So no way of replacing their ever dwindling customer base compounded by the recent shrinking of the overall market.

    Obviously pricewise there may have been an issue but some of the margin may have been needed to be spent in brand awareness.

    The half price £1099 bike posted up thread is still terrible value even at that price.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    An oxymoron.

    You’re a what?

    When did you last ride an Orange bike? They’ve kept on the ball with geometry and handling, in fact being arguably ahead of many.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I don’t think I’ve seen an Orange in the past ten years. The only time they were discussed on here seemed to be when some little-Englander decided they wanted to build a bike made from bits made in Britain.

    I’m far from an Orange fan but when I think of Orange I always think of Joe Barnes.
    I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think he’s from little-England or judgemental…

    J-R
    Full Member

    I never see them down South

    I see a few in the Surrey Hills, but not remotely as many as Spec and Santa.

    J-R
    Full Member

    some little-Englander decided they wanted to build a bike made from bits made in Britain

    What a gratuitously unpleasant comment. Surely you are better than that.

    flyingpotatoes
    Full Member

    Awful for the employees. Always had great customer service from them and my old 5 was a brilliant do it all bike.

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    Stage Evo. Thats exactly what that bike is, and exactly what its marketed as. They have ALWAYS had something in the range under that description!?

    Yeah, or the Five Evo which is literally the current version of the Five! They offer full suss bikes covering the same bases as they did 20 years ago!

    As for too many models, yeah, maybe so but if you make them by hand, down the road you can almost build to order so why not offer a range? I think they’ve hung on to 27.5 longer than most and gone harder on MX so they basically have the same bike in each wheel size, which makes it look excessive. At the back end of Steve and Lester’s time they had slimmed the range right down so perhaps that’s the way to go again?

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I don’t think I’ve seen an Orange in the past ten years.

    I said this on the original thread before it got closed but there was a time (about 20 years ago!) when every other bike on the trails was an Orange 5 (or a Marin Mount Vision).

    And then…. Nothing. They just sort of seemed to drop off the scene. No idea why – did other bikes make giant leaps in terms of tech or riding and Orange just made a slightly different but basically the same single pivot girder each year?

    Is it a bit like Kona (amazing hardtails in the 90’s / 00’s followed by ever more ugly and expensive / poor VfM full sus bikes before finally trying to go back to their roots)?

    alpin
    Free Member

    I also wonder if they didn’t (unfairly) suffer from a part of their demographic of buyers having become older and gradually migrating to other brands ebikes or having stopped riding altogether

    FTFY 

    I can honestly count the number of Orange bikes I’ve seen here on the mainland. One around 2013/14 in Saalbach being ridden by some English geezer. The second in Finale in 2018.

    Going by that, I doubt they’ll be greatly missed. 

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    Shame, I always had a soft spot for orange. suprising to see so many being dicks about it though.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    some little-Englander decided they wanted to build a bike made from bits made in Britain

    Yeah that’s pretty shitty tbh. Did you have similar scorn for TJ’s Shand? Nothing wrong with supporting homegrown manufacturers, see also European Bike Project.

    BillMC
    Full Member

    It’s that cursed star that did it, same with Maverick.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I also wonder if they didn’t (unfairly) suffer from a part of their demographic of buyers having become older and gradually migrating to other brands or having stopped riding altogether while younger generations just either didn’t know the brand or didn’t get the brand or couldn’t afford the brand or simply perceived it as their Dad’s brand.

    Most of the ones I see are ridden by young teenagers riding with dads in their 40s. It always looks like dad used to have an Orange so picked up a bargain for the kid (or passed on his old one), but dad’s own bike isn’t an Orange anymore.

    I see plenty up County Durham way.

    RichPenny
    Free Member

    Shame, I always had a soft spot for orange. suprising to see so many being dicks about it though.”

    Welcome to the Forum.

    This news makes me sad, it’s never good to see an iconic UK manufacturer in trouble. Hopefully they can find a way through.

    mashr
    Free Member

    they suffered unfairly by using what people thought was a dated design because it didn’t have a load of pivots and linkages or swoopy carbon fibre.

    along with poor looking welding and a not great reputation for cracking, whilst being top dollar pricing. They didn’t do themselves many favours

    I’m far from an Orange fan but when I think of Orange I always think of Joe Barnes.

    Who doesn’t ride for them these days

    ads678
    Full Member

    Will be a sad day if they fold.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Hopefully they can find a way through.

    This is more like the sentiment I was expecting of this thread, and I’m with you completely. I hope there is a way through this that keeps the brand alive, as many of the staff as possible in their jobs, and manufacturing staying in the UK.

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