Since their birth Orange have kind of ticked over doing their own thing in their own way. They always seem to have made minor adjustments each year to design and features of their models in the past. But now with a new guy at the helm it seems they have made a few bigger changes to bring their bikes flying into 2017 with bells and whistles to grab our attention. Orange have always had that kind of Marmite ‘love it or hate it’ look about them, but we feel with their new, much sleeker look they are now making inroads to cutting down the haters and bumping up the lovers!

Changes made to the 2017 Orange Five

All the changes seem to be very positive indeed, Firstly one of the main issues with previous models has been weight, both the Five and the Alpine 160 have been on a serious diet, losing 300 g. This weight saving has been achieved by using a new mix of sheeting grades with some more advanced age hardening techniques, which equates to a 15% weight saving over the previous models. The chainstays have been shortened by 4 mm, because they’ve moved the pivot back to allow for a better ramp up and shock curve so shortening the swingarm but still maintaining a similar wheelbase to the previous models. The Five comes equipped with front and rear boost hubs, a 150 mm fork and a new pivot, thus improving the efficiency of the suspension. The shock mount on the down tube now has a dimple in the frame to push the shock forward and there is more tyre clearance on the back end. Also the Five now comes with fully internal cable routing for a clean crisp look.The Five’s rear end and the top tube sporting new forming of the tubes for a great fresh new look. As if not stiff enough already this new forming of the rear end has made it even stiffer; minimal flex here!

2017 Orange Alpine 160 and Five Image 1
The Orange Five has been on a diet over the winter, dropping 300 grams.

Changes made to the 2017 Orange Alpine 160

With the Alpine 160 too, the 2017 revisions are all positive, like the Five it has gone shorter in the chainstays by 9 mm, with the wheelbase having been lengthened from the same adjustments made to the Five and it’s frame weight has also been reduced by 300 g. The 160 also sporting the wider front and rear boost hubs, a burly 170 mm fork and sharing a freshly designed pivot, so with more of a progressive shock curve, the 160’s suspension also becomes more efficient. The new shock mount dimple is also present in the 160’s frame and more tyre clearance has been added to the back end. The cable routing on the Alpine has gone fully internal like it’s little Five sibling! The Alpine 160 now sports a 64.5º head angle with the 170 mm forks and an XS model will be available at a later date.

2017 Orange Alpine and Five Image 2
The Aline has been further refined, now sporting a 64.5° head angle and 9 mm shorter chain stays.

First ride of the 2017 Orange Five and Alpine 160

Back in the winter of 2014/2015 we did some thorough testing of the Orange Alpine 160 RS, trying our hardest to destruct this burly weapon here. We grew to love the bike’s ‘smash through anything handling and the way it would inspire confidence on the faster stuff. But we weren’t a fan of the weight and pined to try one kitted with the latest Fox suspension. So we are pretty excited to find that on a quick ride the new 160’s weight reduction has made for a much more responsive and nimble ride. We knew the Five was a nimble bike anyway, but it now seems more stable with its longer wheelbase, and the 160 has turned from a fast bike that smashes through anything and goes around turns ok, to one that does the same but now feels nimble and more ‘on point’ in the corners. Both models we tried were the Factory versions, with a suspension expert from Fox on hand to set up the suspension for us.We loved the crisp new look of the 2017 line-up and feel Orange are now making bigger advancements in 2017 than ever before when it comes to desirable bikes with global appeal. We will have a full review coming very soon!

2017 Orange Alpine 160 and Five Image 3
Handling has improved, thanks in part to the FOX suspension.
2017 Orange Alpine 160 and Five Image 4
Internal routing keeps things clean.

Geometry of the 2017 Orange Five

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 407 mm 431 mm 457 mm 508 mm
Head angle 66° 66° 66° 66°
Seat angle 72° 72° 72° 72°
Top Tube 565 mm 584 mm 604 mm 634 mm
BB Height 333 mm 333 mm 333 mm 333 mm
Chainstay 426 mm 426 mm 426 mm 426 mm
Wheelbase 1151 mm 1171 mm 1194 mm 1215 mm
Reach 417 mm 437 mm 452 mm 467 mm

Geometry of the 2017 Orange Alpine 160

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 406 mm 432 mm 457 mm 534 mm
Head angle 64.5° 64.5° 64.5° 64.5°
Seat angle 72° 72° 72° 72°
Top Tube 575 mm 594 mm 614 mm 634 mm
BB Height 342 mm 342 mm 342 mm 342 mm
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
Wheelbase 1190 mm 1210 mm 1231 mm 1235 mm
Reach 423 mm 443 mm 461 mm 478 mm
2017 Orange Alpine 160 and Five Image 5
Orange have adopted SRAM’s Eagle drivetrain onto the models.
2017 Orange Alpine 160  and Five Image 6
The frames have been stiffened up and flex less under load.

Prices of the 2017 Orange Five and Alpine 160

Both bikes again come in their four versions, starting at the S model then moving up through the Pro, RS, then to the top of the range being the Factory. Prices of the Orange Alpine 160 start off at € 3,666 (£ 2,900) for the S with the Factory coming in at € 6,573 (£ 5,200) The same model prices in the Five start at € 3,413 (£ 2,700) to € 6,447 (£ 5,100) With the colour range, this fantastic looking battleship grey has been added to the options, giving a very trick stealthy look, without having to go for black.

For more information visit orangebikes.co.uk

Words & Photos: Jim Buchanan