- Orange Bikes – no more DH bikes :(
It makes sense from a business perspective for them – “freeride” bikes like the patriot have fallen way out of fashion, and it must be hard to sell a downhill bike with zero world cup pedigree. The last time it was successful at that level was nearly a decade ago. It’s probably still a great bike, but most people are going to want what they see on the podium every sunday.Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
I can see where they are coming from downhill bikes are so specialized you ride it down for 2 minutes then what you cant really do anything else on it like a trail centre or ride to the pub can you ?
But that was always the case. The 222 was horrific to pedal! Arguably they only moved the pivot to make the supension better, it didn’t matter what you did with the shock (5th etc were already making platform shocks well before the 223 let alone the 224).
“freeride” bikes like the patriot have fallen way out of fashion, and it must be hard to sell a downhill bike with zero world cup pedigree. The last time it was successful at that level was nearly a decade ago. It’s probably still a great bike, but most people are going to want what they see on the podium every sunday.
I think the Patriot (if re-imagined today) would still be in fashion, a DH bike that can pedal uphill, that’s “enduro”. Just that model creep has filled that niche with the five, which now has more travel than the original patriot, and the five has been replaced as a burly XC bike by the gyro.
Agree on the lack of exposure for the DH bikes though, they’re not much cheeper than the cometition, which all have a propper race pedigree at world cup level. I guess it’s a cos thing, DH looks horrificly expensive these days to run a world cup team. The Animal/Peaty era was post the original boom, so I guess he was, post losing his contract with GT, ‘cheep’.Posted 4 years agoads678Subscriber
Went on to the Orange website last night and saw there were no 322’s or patriot. Just looks like theres something missing from the site. Makes a little sad, I’m bit of an orange fanboi, not really sure why, but always thought that if numbers came up I’d have an Orange DH bike. Oh well….Posted 4 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
Makes sense I think, they probably can’t get the new Five and Alpine out the door fast enough and the DH and freeride designs were a little old hat compared to the top bikes on the WC poiums these days. Playing to their strengths makes sense – fun mid travel bikes. I still want one 🙂Posted 4 years agoricktMember
The bikes Went off the site last monthPosted 4 years ago
I think maybe they finally got embarassed about pretending their current bikes are race-proven at the pointy end… They were still advertising the 224 as the “ultimate world cup race bike” in 2011, and claiming the 322 was at the cutting edge of world cup competition right up to the end, 9 years after the last win…
But it’s a shame, I like big Oranges. But they can sell all the bikes they can make so why not make the bikes people want most?Posted 4 years ago
Doesn’t really matter why tbh, it’s too long to live off past glories.
My sales pitch for my Evo: “Not that fast, but great fun, and piss easy to ride. If you buy a Devinci or a GT you won’t be as fast as Stevie or Gee so you might as well get one of these, it’s a great laugh” But maybe that’s a harder sell 🙂Posted 4 years agochakapingSubscriber
I think maybe they finally got embarassed about pretending their current bikes are race-proven at the pointy end…
Isn’t that more about the riders they can afford?
I’d have thought so. Bit of a bitchy thing to say.
I reckon they just weren’t selling, which isn’t surprising when you can pick up a complete bike from other manufacturers for the price of the frame.Posted 4 years agoraisinhatMember
It’s a little surprising how little sponsorship orange do. Even hope has more riders out there at all kinds of events (Rob Jebb at the 3 peaks?) showing off their components. The only riders I know still showing off orange frames are the cut media people, and possibly Danny Mac to some extent. Even if orange don’t have the money to run a full DH team, they could probably still afford a rider or two at the enduro world series. Especially now that Joe Barnes et. al. have gone to canyon.
Maybe they do sell enough frames entirely from their reputation that they figure it’s not cost effective to sponsor people, who knows.Posted 4 years ago
Wasn’t intended to be bitchy, just an observation… Lots of folks do big bikes that aren’t racewinners, they just tend not to bang on about race results as much as Orange do.
Orange do a fair bit of event support- No Fuss stuff etc. And they’re pretty canny with their visibility boosting stuff. Give Guy Martin a bike, it’ll be seen (though he might slate it when you’re not looking 😉 )Posted 4 years agooliverd1981Member
propper race pedigree at world cup level
I think the 224 was one of the winningest chassis in DH history? Certainlly well into the top ten.
I think part of the problem is that they refuse to die, if you want to ride a 224 you can probably pick up an original for under £300 and with a fivers worth of bearings off you go. Why would you buy a new one?Posted 4 years agoklunkyMember
The idea that orange cant sell DH bikes due to lack of sponsorship is silly. They are not making them due to demand.
Im sure orange can afford to sponsor as many DHers as they like. Whats the average salary of a pro DH rider these days? Last time I checked it was about 1 bike and race entry fees!Posted 4 years ago
oliverd1981 – Member
I think the 224 was one of the winningest chassis in DH history?
At the highest levels, the 223’d have it beat surely? But either way, not that relevant to the modern age. I can’t think of an orange wc win since Tracey Hannah and that would have been 2 models ago.Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Im sure orange can afford to sponsor as many DHers as they like. Whats the average salary of a pro DH rider these days? Last time I checked it was about 1 bike and race entry fees!
its a bit more than that, getting one guy and a mechanic and all the excess bagage to cannada will cost more than a few bikes, and the UCI entry fees are more than a bike!Posted 4 years agostomlinsonMember
I wouldn’t of said dh riding is no longer in vogue venues are starting up all over the place and they are packed out, I think the 322 was just too expensive compared to the competition 5k can get you some carbon loveliness. For myself I can justify spending a few quid on an xc bike because I ride it a lot but as with a lot of people my dh bike probably gets used a few times a month at most and with companies like yt offering good bikes at a good price, but it’s not just direct sales you can bag a Morewood Makulu with full Boss for a little over 3k it’s no wonder they don’t sell.Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
As with most Oranges the price is an issue, the competition have the price nailed and when you add in entry, lots of travel and spares etc. lower entry price helps. Couple that with a serious lack of exposure on the world stage and it’s never going to convince the kids they want one.Posted 4 years agoxiphonMember
In my younger years I always wanted one – probably ‘cos back then, they were racing at WC level. I’ve got a 222 frame hanging up in the garage (retired), a couple of Patriot frames (2000 and 2002), and now on the lookout for a 224.
Despite how much I like them, ironically I’ve always considered them way out of my price range, so always purchased second hand (several years old) – which is no help to Orange themselves. If I did have that cash lying around, then I would buy one – but I simply don’t!
I do (well, did now!) have a savings account for buying a new Orange DH – in a few years time – you’d be amazed how much loose change you can easily spend on crap! Couple of quid here and there (put into savings, instead of squandering) slowly added up…Posted 4 years agoskidsareforkidsMember
Between myself and my riding friends we have probably had at least 15 different Orange DH bikes since the 222 was released… All have been raced and we all loved each and every one. Probably half of the bikes have podiumed somewhere along the line… It’s a sad state of affairs. I had already decided my trusty 224 was the last DH bike I would ever buy, and I guess that has settled it… 😐Posted 4 years ago
This years BDS at Llangollen was well supported, both on the rider and spectator front
It’s not that well supported though, it took MONTHS to sell the ~300 odd spaces for nearly all the rounds, and that was only after it was opened up to basically anyone with a BC licence.Posted 4 years agoHob NobMember
The welsh champs at bike park Wales had around a 1000 spectators on the hill over the weekend.
Don’t tell me dh is dead.
Edit : have a look at the Pearce cycles races. Always full straight away with a waiting list.
It’s easy to pick the odd examples. BPW was always going to be full, it was a new venue that people hadn’t raced at for year & being a Regional Champs at the end of the season with double points on offer people are hunting for.
Pearce seems to be the sole exception to the rule. Most other series are struggling for entries, pulling races, questioning running a series & in some cases just sacking it off because it’s not working.
Little local, push up £20 on the day ~1 minute racing seem to be doing well though.
I could write chapter and verse on it, as someone who raced a fair bit, including the BDS with a big group of riders, some of whom racing expert & elite. Between us now, we probably race five or six DH races a year.Posted 4 years ago
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