Orange 5 demoed

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  • Orange 5 demoed
  • We demoed an Orange 5 pro + hope upgrades against a TranceX2 and a GT hardtail. Got it from Ralph’s in Taunton and took it to the Qs. Mostly rode around Triscombe, singletrack and downhill trails, swapping bike regularly to compare.
    The Orange 5 is very pretty with all the hope upgrades but we were surprsed and disappointed by the ride:
    1. Hard work to pedal even though it’s not especially heavy
    2. Good downhill in a straight line but iffy cornering, we think due to the Mountain King 2.2 tyres being unsuitable for wet slipper conditions – not the bike’s fault.
    3. Not a sensitive rear suspension system like the TranceX, trail buzz transmitted to the seat. Best ridden like a HT.
    4. Brilliant Fox Float QR15 fork.

    Overall, we were most disappointed at it’s pedalling performance. Is it possible that we misunderstood this bike?


    They’re popular because they are more communicative of the trail than many 4-bars. Its really the type of rider and the ride you like, rather than anything wrong with the bike per-se.

    ‘Best ridden like a hardtail’ is eaxactly right.


    Thats strange, I demoed one and found it very easy to pedal and also found that you could pump the bike off the smallest of things and gain extra speed? Even on the climbs it was fine and I rode the thing up a god awfully steep hill (Burderop hill, Barbary Castle, Chiseldon), that said I did engage the propedal/lock.

    I’d say that the iffy cornering would definitely be down to the tyres, again I found that the five cornered really well.

    I couldn’t comment on the suspension sensitivity as I normally ride a HT and if I’m honest any squash on the back end seems, erm, squashy? could it be that the shock wasn’t set up right?

    what were the TranceX2 and the GT hard tail like?

    The GT is like all alu HT’s, it responds quite well pedal input well but you have to float the rear on rougher trails. The sus fork get’s you out of most trouble.
    The TranceX is very sensitive to small bumps – flattening them out. So you tend to sit more up and down. For an FS, it climbs urgently. (It’s my main bike so I’m certainly biased).
    The sluggish pedalling of the 5 is what I’m struggling to understand. It felt like much of the effort was not transmitting to the wheels. The effect was noticeable: whoever was riding the orange was at the back and wheezing. Weight wise, it was barely heavier than the TranceX. It’s a puzzle.


    just out of interest what tyres did you have on the TranceX?


    Hmmm, I’m quite competitive on the climbs on my Five… though the tyres are totally to blame for cornering performance – MKs even in 2.4 don’t suit the Five.

    They stopped fitting Nevegals after 07 to save weight and blew some of the character I think.

    I wouldn’t say ride it like a hardtail – that rear sus will plough through anything – I say hang off the back, stay off the brakes and trust the bike not to kill you, which it tends not to thankfully…


    Did you put the pro-pedal on when climbing?

    Tyres: My TranceX has Nevegal 2.1 at 25/30 with ghetto tubeless. They’re too slow for dry trails but confidence inspiring when it gets slippy.

    Pro-pedal: we switched it on and off at various points. I’m not convinced it was setup properly and I understand that setup is more crucial for single pivot designs.

    "I’m quite competitive on the climbs on my Five": you can’t rule out the possibility that your a very strong cyclist :-).


    what Gary says "hang off the back, stay off the brakes and trust the bike not to kill you" is true about most Orange bikes, at least thats my "happy place" 😀


    I dont want to ‘stick up’ for the 5 just because i’ve got one as different bikes suit different riders.


    I think the Mountain King tyres are well known as being a bit rubbish which might have a pretty big say in how you felt it handled. Also i’ve got a 07 Five with a RP23 before they did a special 5 tune on the RP23 for it in 08 and it seems different, my 07 climbs well with the pro-pedal both off and on, the newer shock seems to need a bit more pro-pedal set.

    Its great downhill though.


    I sold my five because it felt like I was sitting on a fence when riding it


    I sold my five because it felt like I was sitting on a fence when riding it

    Hahahaha, proof if any that no bikes are for everyone!


    buzz – what I meant was riding with similar fitness and ability but some on bikes you’d assume to climb better…

    We’re in agreement about the tyres and I warned my mate who was demoing it not to worry about the cornering issues for that reason.

    I dint have a problem with the ride position although the TT is longer and the bars lower than I’m used to – I could get used to that or use a high rise bar. I had expected this position to make the climbing better than my TranceX which has a higher front and shorter TT – but it didn’t.

    Short cranks make a bike more long legged. Is it possible that it has 170mm cranks (on an 18" frame)?

    Is the seat laid back a bit? That can make it harder to apply body weight to the pedals.

    It’s such a nice looker; Dave’s reaction was mildly broken hearted when he handed it back!

    I bought a Five frame last Summer to replace a Turner Flux – purely because I wanted something with a bit more travel and slacker angles.

    It took quite a long time to find a perfect setup with it and the setup of the rear shock and even the various ProPedal modes make a huge difference. By comparison the ProPedal levels on my Flux made far less difference.

    The thing I’ve found with the Five though, is you just need to grab it by the scruff of the neck, give it some welly and then it really, really responds. It’ll go much faster than I’m capable of right now and feels totally planted.

    Downhill and through any singletrack I find the Five to be superb. Uphill, I find it a bit of a chore, but with the ProPedal set up to its max it gets there and allows for out of the saddle pedalling too.

    Premier Icon igm

    It is sensitive to rear shock set up (particularly for pedalling), ring choice afffects pedaling response and mine was never right with the Float 130s on it – Pikes solved the problem and also allowed front end "lock out".

    The 456 I have probbaly climbs faster / needs less input but the 5 out climbed the Heckler I tested it against.

    In terms of tyres Nevagal front and Small Block 8 rear works as a good compromise of grip and weight I find.


    i just don`t get the hard to pedal and they do go uphills very fast.I have
    ridden many bikes going up is all about fitness.A lighter bike yes but a five isnt a light bike


    Scruff of the neck method works well, not a bike to mince on, mine was an 18" and i’d of kept it if it was a small, Rampage out back and a ST on front worked well.

    Did hundreds of Quantocks miles on it, climbed well enough for me and never really took it to it’s limit as much as it deserved.

    Like many bikes they’re either right for you or wrong, which is why i’s so important to demo as many as you can.

    Premier Icon jam bo

    mine is faster uphill than i am…

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