Orange Alpine 160

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  • Orange Alpine 160
  • Liftman
    Member
    stufive
    Member

    I see the 2009 160 only has 1 year warranty and the 2013 has two? Did you have a big bump on it ? Or is it just wear and tear?

    clinte
    Member

    After only 3 year and half years my 2009 Orange Alpine frame has cracked just above the top shock mount . I hoped this frame was going to last longer , its only been used for what Orange built it for , freeriding in the peaks,lakes and alps .Anyone else had problems with the Alpine Frame??

    It’s made of aluminium, it has to fail eventually. 3-1/2 years can mean a lot of riding!

    backtothetop
    Member

    my 2012 giant trance only lasted 10 months before a hairline crack appeared on the headtube/seatpost weld. didnt last half as long as yours, thankfully giant offer a lifetime warrantee

    jonk
    Member

    A friend of mine’s alp cracked at the shock mounts, it was in warranty and they gave him a patriot as a replacement. I have broken a five but my alp has not bitten the dust yet! Considering the price, Oranges warranties are rubbish compared with other brands, but you know what they are before you buy them.

    xiphon
    Member

    …. and I’m still riding (fairly hard…) two Orange frames – one from 2000, one from 2002.

    Maybe I’m just lucky…

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    broke my new bike after 6 weeks.
    shyte happens….. 🙄

    stufive
    Member

    I know a lad who’s five is 8 year old now and regularly hammers it..and is not the type that even cleans a bike never mind look after it..it’s still sound..that’s why I bought one, I guess it’s the same with most things for every frame that’s cracked there’s thousands out there getting hammered for years and going strong

    robsoctane
    Member

    Damn it, my dream bike is a 5 but will I **** buy if has a crap warranty.

    They’re all hand built, thought that meant better overall?

    What’s the replacement policy like if you **** one after a year/2years?

    robsoctane
    Member

    Thanks Roschach, 3 years for a 5’s warranty is pretty poor don’t you think.

    OP, I feel gutted for you mate, really.

    wrecker
    Member

    3 years is pretty good I reckon. Warranty that is. Bike life for a £1700 odd frame is shite.

    timc
    Member

    Life is full of warranty storey fails, be its turbo’s going on new ‘high end’ cars, ‘high end’ frames cracking, ‘high end’ mac book pro keyboards failing after 13 months, etc etc… sometimes your lucky, sometimes your not in my experience.

    Obviously massive companies like Giant, Specialized, etc can comfortably afford to swallow the longer warranty period, economies of scale & all that,

    The other end you have the like of Turner who’s frames are very expensive but have a great warranty, that said Ive read more warranty stories than Ive seen bikes on the trails

    Swings & roundabouts

    jedi
    Member

    my mate broke his in verbier this year. he was gutted

    wl
    Member

    On the other hand my Patriot’s 4 years old and still spot on after loads of trips to BC and Alps and a lot of year-round use in the Lakes and Calderdale. Same with my SubZero. In my experience, very smart bikes, robust and trouble free, not to mention ace to ride. And Orange are always super helpful if you happen to contact them.

    ninepack
    Member

    Surprised to see the short warranty terms on the frames of Patriots & Alpines. I have a 2006 Patriot and I’m happy to say its bomb proof even after some hairy riding in the Pyrenees. It’s for sale now as I was going to set about lightening it but Ian at AQR says its too big for me so I’m getting a new bike instead. Love the orange brand though so ill stick with what I know.

    Perhaps Orange would consider replacement when only just out of warranty with a small contribution? Worth asking I guess.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    I trust it is an Ali crack not a paint crack?
    The centre of the mount isn’t welded to the down tube and I have a hairline crack in the paint there. Not worried by it though – its a crack where there is effectively no metal.

    prahran
    Member

    Why not call Orange and see what they can offer you? That’s what I did when mine was out of warranty. Made a contribution to a replacement swing arm and off I went. Things break. You get them fixed or replaced and carry on riding!

    fuzzhead
    Member

    Cracked my Blood frame in front and rear triangles after 15 months use. Orange weren’t keen to warranty initially (despite being within warranty period), but lbs had a hard word with them and they changed their mind.
    Does make me think twice about buying Orange again – I’ve had Konas, Cannondales, Speshes and all had better warranties and crucially, I never had cause to make a warranty claim.

    geetee1972
    Member

    The fact that some frames break and others don’t shows that while things break, they break because that frame hasn’t been made to he same tolerance/quality threshold as others.

    If you can make one frame that can last anyone and anything, then you can, in theory, make all frames achieve that goal.

    The difference between one manufacturer and the next is then about their ability to achieve a higher level of consistency and thus a lower incidence of failure.

    There are frames that anyone of us could nominate as having a ‘perceived’ higher rate of failure than others. That’s not to say they do have a higher rate, but I bet if you asked anyone here what manufacturers they ‘think’ have a higher rate they would say Orange, Commencal and Lapiere.

    timc
    Member

    & turner… 😯

    Premier Icon Beagleboy
    Subscriber

    ..and Whyte

    timc
    Member

    & titanium on a whole

    Geetee; you’re assuming everyone subjects them to the same loading. Riding quantity, location and style vary hugely so I don’t think you can make assumptions about frame quality variation just because person A breaks a frame while person B doesn’t.

    Premier Icon SimonR
    Subscriber

    Similar observation as in IGMs post above.

    The paint work on mine is cracked above the shock mount but as IGM points out there’s no weld there. Mine’s been like that from a couple of months after buying it and is now over 2 years old and still going strong.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Geetee; you’re assuming everyone subjects them to the same loading.

    It’s a good point, but I wasn’t making that assumption. I was saying that a frame is designed to meet certain design parameters and if one frame can be manufactured so that it successfully meets those parameters (i.e. it can be used by 95% of riders for XYZ, where those parameters are defined by lab testing and real world use), then in theory it is possible to engineer 99. 99.99966% of frames to successfully meet those parameters, i.e. six sigma, and therefore reduce frame failures to negligible levels.

    If you get failures then it’s either because subsequent frames have not been able to meet the same engineering tolerances as the one that set the benchmark or the frame has exceeded the design parameters.

    If say Orange get more failures per thousand than another brand then either they have poorer manufacturing tolerances and quality control OR there is a trend among riders of those frames to take the frame beyond what it was designed for. The latter is a reasonable hypothesis especially for a brand like Orange.

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    …OR there is a trend among riders of those frames to take the frame beyond what it was designed for. The latter is a reasonable hypothesis especially for a brand like Orange.

    Whilst that’s probably the standard manufacturers’ response, it’s perfhaps a little disingenuous to take that line with customers whilst simultaneously posting this on their website:

    from this article:http://www.orangebikes.co.uk/news/view/cane_creek_double_barrel/

    [Edit] just read the full article and realised that he broke his front triangle. Maybe not the best example I could have picked then. [/Edit]

    geetee1972
    Member

    it’s perfhaps a little disingenuous to take that line with customers whilst simultaneously posting this on their website:

    Agreed. Ergo Orange’s manufacturing tolerances and QC aren’t quite as good as other manufacturers’?

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    quite likely.

    … so may compensate by “over-building” and then trying to spin this as a strength in their marketing, when it’s just a mitigation.

    Still love their bikes though, just wish they all had a lifetime warranty on the frame.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    <possibly this post will upset people>

    Orange have a pretty good mythology, and a lot of people believe they make incredibly strong, durable frames. (where’s Grantway when you want him? His Five is miraculous, it can do 4 foot drops which no Commencal or Lapierre could possible survive) The reality doesn’t really seem to bear this out, but it doesn’t matter; people buy on perceived reliability not actual reliability. So the poor warranty doesn’t seem to bother people at all, because they don’t expect to use it.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    My 2005 five is still going strong, and manages with my 16 stone bulk hucking it around Stainburn and Warncliffe. Just saying like!! 😀

    geetee1972
    Member

    so may compensate by “over-building”

    Well I’m pretty sure that’s what Nicolai (my preferred brand) do in order to offer a five year guarantee and still afford to do that as a small company.

    Warranties are not homogenous. There are basically two types although most are a mixture of the two: there is the type offered to mitigate the risk of buying a frame that people perceive has a higher chance of breaking and there is the type that underscores and reinforces a product’s perceived (or real) quality and reliability (i.e. it’s a warranty that we don’t think you’ll ever need to claim against).

    Where you get to is a realisation that you can either spend money on a better warranty and expect that you’ll have a higher rate of return or loose money because you’re bikes aren’t as light as other manufacturers’ and therefore aren’t as competitive. I think that’s where the industry is heading with companies like Trek and Speciailzed pushing the boundaries of how light the bikes can be (with significant R&D budgets and manufacturing expertise to reduce the rates of failure) and other smaller companies like Lapiere and Commencal trying to keep up but not having the same R&D budgets so their bikes end up being light, but not quite as reliable and they use warranties as a way of remaining competitive.

    Companies like Orange are in a difficult position because they have even lower R&D budgets and weaker QA than companies where volume allows automation/process refinement (volume = expertise basically). That means they have to compete on something other than either weight or quality so it’s no surprise that they appeal to other aspects of a buyers decision criteria: I want a bike that has been used by World Cup DH champions; I want a bike that is British built; I want a bike that I am secure about being seen on/gets the approval of my peers; I want a bike that works without fuss or marketing hyperbole.

    If you take a dispassionate view, Orange bikes are relatively heavy and relatively unreliable (i.e. you do hear stories about them failing fairly regularly but I am NOT saying they are unreliable period) but they still sell very strongly (although not in anything like the numbers you might expect; IRRC it’s something like a few thousand frames a year). They are competing very effectively by competing on a wholly different set of criteria to the big brands.

    Ironically Orange probably has the most effective and likely the most sophisticated marketing machine of all the makes.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    A few of my riding friends have cracked Orange 5s and Alpines, all in the same place on the swingarm. I still almost bought one though.

    What you didn’t mention in your detailed analysis geetee is that they do ride very nicely, in the opinion of many people.

    wrecker
    Member

    Well I’m pretty sure that’s what Nicolai (my preferred brand) do in order to offer a five year guarantee and still afford to do that as a small company.

    Some still break though. Just like Turners and Santa Cruz.
    Also, saying that Oranges sell strongly probably only applies in the UK. You don’t see many foreigners on them, unlike Nicolai (which even has it’s own MTBR section). I’d say that Nicolai are a considerably bigger brand.

    stufive
    Member

    If you look you can find hundreds of threads and tales of frames breaking and cracks apearing on loads of diferent bikes some ive just looked at were (Commencal META, Lapierre, treck slash) to name but a few..the fact is we ride our bikes hard and sometimes they break end of 🙂

    geetee1972
    Member

    What you didn’t mention in your detailed analysis geetee is that they do ride very nicely, in the opinion of many people.

    I wholly agree but I don’t think I missed that out. I was referencing that here :

    I want a bike that works without fuss or marketing hyperbole.

    Some still break though

    I think I’ve seen maybe two or three reports of this happening in the last six years. Simon may be able to say what the return rate is in the UK but yes, they do still break.

    I’d say that Nicolai are a considerably bigger brand.

    I think maybe they have a wider geographic spread but their output is around 2000 frames a year. From what I’ve been told, Orange has a slightly higher output albeit one that is more concentrated in the UK.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    My first Alpine is still going strong, after 2 1/2 seasons of Alpine guiding and another full season of being used as a rental bike. It gets thrashed for 17 weeks every summer of at least 5 days a week riding, 4000m+ vertical drop every day. I’m not a hucker, but it gets its fair share of bikepark jump/drop abuse as well.

    I had a problem with the swingarm very early on that was sorted very promptly under warranty and I’ve had no hassles since. Seen one or two others from the first batch of swingarms – later ones had a slight change which seems to have solved the problem.

    Bought a new one this year and delighted with it too.

    Based on my experience, I think you’d have to be pretty unlucky to break one. Quite a lot of other guides around here riding Alpines/Fives as well.

    clinte
    Member

    Orange want to look at the Frame ,if they agree it is damaged/cracked then they can offer me a new Alpine frame at 50% of cost under their accident damage scheme. This seems a reasonable deal until you consider that a new frame is now approximately £1700 !!
    I think I only had to pay about £900 for this frame in 2009 so why the massive increase in price?
    As the owner of this bike from new i am fairly certain it has never been involved in a major accident , the frame was allegedly designed for freeride use (alps etc) so why has it cracked?
    I have now bought a Nukeproof Mega frame!!!I am not as big an Orange fan as i thought i was .

    clinte, is that half price of full retail for frame and shock? Surely you can keep your old shock, so they’d be selling you the bare frame? And can they not sell you the half that needs replacing? As steve says they broke a few swing arms early and out-of-warranty owners were buying new swing arms only.

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