Orange famous for mountain bikes now offers carbon road bike

Halifax brand already offer urban models, threatening tourer too

by nick_rearden   August 31, 2011  

One of the most stalwart of British off-road brands was polishing a new limited-edition carbon-fibre road bike last night in preparation for the opening the Eurobike trade show in southern Germany today.

The carbO is a short run of sixty race bikes being built by Yorkshire mountain bike specialist Orange to test the water for a later commitment to the road based on demand from its dealers. Bearing in mind there are over seventy UK Orange stockists, it's reasonable to assume these will be snapped up. According to Dave Flynn and Michael Bonney who showed the new model, over half the production run is already spoken for.

Priced at £1,900, Flynn says, "We know we're probably pitched £100-£150 more than other bikes with good carbon frames and Shimano 105 components but our customers being mountain bikers are used to looking at the hidden details like bottom brackets and hubs." Sure enough, the groupset is a complete one, being one of the very few 2012 bikes we've seen with a chainset and brakes to match the 105 transmission.

Very respectable cockpit parts and wheels from Easton will also be recognised by mountain bikers who tend to be experienced consumers and, according to Flynn, "We've also kept it simple on things like a BB30 bottom bracket," - there isn't one - although there is a tapered headtube and an overall look of up-to-the-minuteness that shouldn't really be surprising considering Orange's reputation.

Orange has made road bikes in the past, reminding that when it made Tange Prestige steel race frames back in the 1990s they had mountain bike style sloping top tubes well ahead of the contemporary trend and recently there have been road-going Urban additions to the range. In fact, two prototypes for models Cycle To Work Scheme budget-busting models called ExpressO and SolO are on discreet display at Eurobike featuring quite the most interesting combination of hydroformed alloy seatstays and forks that we've seen all season.

An interesting hint from Michael Bonney was that Orange is even contemplating a tourer; shocking on some levels but not so much when he explains that many of the customers of the new larger-wheeled 29er mountain bikes are fitting carrier racks, either for commuting or more pleasurable weekend jaunts, or both.

4 user comments

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No urban bikes on the Orange site. The road bike above looks really good though.

posted by 0range5 [6 posts]
31st August 2011 - 1:28


Looks very nice. However typical orange and waaaayy over priced compared to competitors bikes with similar specs Sad

posted by Ultimateweevil [38 posts]
31st August 2011 - 8:01


"an overall look of up to-the-minuteness that shouldn't really be surprising considering Orange's reputation"

Sorry but single pivot and folded slab of Alu is not up to the minute Confused


Wardy74's picture

posted by Wardy74 [32 posts]
31st August 2011 - 20:17


Ultimateweevil wrote:
Looks very nice. However typical orange and waaaayy over priced compared to competitors bikes with similar specs Sad

If by "bikes with similar specs" you mean bikes with wheels, handlebars and a saddle, you're absolutely right and Orange bought up the subject before I did that the bike is 'overpriced' as it says in the article. However, as you will know, a bicycle is more than the sum of its parts even if you do add up the components especially the hidden ones. The skill of a bike designer is getting the best out of the budget available and there's certainly no shortage of bikes with nominal 105 specs that will tick the boxes in some key areas, especially if price is towards the top of your priority list. But don't take away the pleasure of them that are fussy about other aspects over price, it's bad enough being OCD as it is. It's not 'way' overpriced; it's at most £150 more expensive than other worthy contenders or roughly the cost of a major service including all the main bearings. Not bad over the period you could expect to keep a bike like this. We bumped into Brant Richards (just transferred from managing Ragley to Titus/Planet X) in the halls yesterday and he still has an aluminium Orange road bike they called Dynamo from 1993. Don't know how much he rides it, to be fair.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
1st September 2011 - 8:39