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An updated road/cyclocross bike and an all-new commuter bike coming soon from Halifax-based brand

Halifax-based Orange Bikes is a brand rooted in mountain biking, tracing its history back to 1988 when it produced the iconic Clockwork hardtail, and going on to carve a reputation as trusted, reliable and successful, winning loads of top level mountain bike events. 

The company has stayed true to its mountain bike roots but has dabbled in the dark side as mountain bikers like to refer to road cycling, with a titanium road bike in the 90s and more recently launching the RX9 road and cyclocross bike a few years ago. The late Steve Worland reviewed the first RX9 back in 2014.

RX9-Pro-2017-3Q-206.jpg

RX9-Pro-2017-3Q-206.jpg

And now there’s newly updated RX9 on the horizon. It’s not actually out until July but here’s a first look at the changes the company has made, we'll get a better look at the bike soon and hopefully get one in for review. It’s still using an aluminium frame, with double butted tubes to save weight, but it has decreased the length of the seat tube to provide more standover clearance. 

There are thru-axles front and rear, 15mm on the carbon fork and 12x142mm at the back, and it's now using the flat mount disc brake standard. It’s also modified the chainstay disc mount so it’s easier to fit racks and panniers. Orange has also taken this opportunity to tidy up the cable routing. Tyre clearance is generous, with space for a 42mm tyre, and the frame is fully compatible with mudguards. 

RX9-S-2017-197.jpg

RX9-S-2017-197.jpg

Two complete bikes will be offered, the top level RX9 PRO costing £1,700 and coming with SRAM Rival 1x11, Maxxis Rambler tyres and Easton finishing kit. 

The RX9 S costs £1,250 and drops down to a Shimano Tiagra groupset with a compact chainset and TRP Spyre brakes, Vittoria Revolution 38mm tyres on Formula wheels and Orange branded finishing kit.

Orange is providing five frame sizes. More info at www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/rx9-pro

“Whether you’re razzing around or round-the-world bikepacking, the RX9 is right at home on the tarmac, towpath or tropical dirt roads.  Thing is, it’s also built for the rough stuff and loves to prove it: a plucky little hero whose off-road talents are bigger than you think.  A bike for adventures.  An Orange through and through,” says Orange. 

Another interesting new bike also coming soon from Orange, and again a bit of a departure from the brand's roots is the Speedwork. 

Tapping into its mountain bike DNA, using its Clockwork frame as the starting point but wrapped with fast and chunky slick tyres and a stout rigid carbon fibre fork and stiff aluminium frame, the Speedwork is tasked for the everyday riding and commuting with a healthy dose of fun. 

Speedwork-S-2017-3Q-221.jpg

Speedwork-S-2017-3Q-221.jpg

A 6061 custom butted aluminium frame with a carbon fibre fork, with a 15mm thru-axle, rolls on 29in wheels with space for up to 2.0in tyres. There are eyelets for mudguards but otherwise, it’s clean and simply, with external cable routeing and a 1x11 Shimano SLX mountain bike groupset. 

It’ll cost £1,250 and will be available in July. More info at www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/speedwork-s

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

8 comments

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Bob Wheeler CX [103 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Over a grand for Tiagra? They don't learn do they, greedy feckers.

Want  a decent UK branded drop bar all-road bike, stick with Boardman, Vitus or even new jacks Genesis (just try not to think about Phil Collins).

Avatar
DrG82 [153 posts] 6 months ago
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Bob Wheeler CX wrote:

Over a grand for Tiagra? They don't learn do they, greedy feckers.

Want  a decent UK branded drop bar all-road bike, stick with Boardman, Vitus or even new jacks Genesis (just try not to think about Phil Collins).

 

So for similar money you could buy a giant TCR3 (any other randomly selected massive production bike), with Tiagra.

Ok you get a carbon frame but it's made in Taiwan by a company with massive scale advantages and who probably turn a far bigger profit for such a bike than Orange eaver will.

So £1,200 for a bike with Tiagra doesn't sound too far off the mark does it?

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1326 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

105 used to come for a grand now it's tiagra. I was looking at caadx models and the tiagra equipped one has gone up to over £1000 now.

Brexit!!  3

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Bob Wheeler CX [103 posts] 6 months ago
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Nah, Orange were hawking out Tiagra bikes for 4 figures pre Brexit.

Why don't they just go back to making steel frames like they did in the '90s? Market wide open for a Reynolds CX style bike with at least Apex 1 for under £999...

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StraelGuy [1006 posts] 6 months ago
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Totally agree. If Orange came out with a reasonably priced steel Road bike that would take decent sized tyres and fittings for mudguards it would sell pretty well.

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Nzlucas [128 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Hit the nail on the head.

Just wait till next year. Problem is people have it in there head that 105 is must get. Its must get if you want to buy expensive chains and cassettes every 6 mnth. Since the last update Tiagra and Sora fixed the dodgy shifting the last versions had, and are great realieble groupsets. 

I challange anyone to explain why Tiagra should not be on bikes over a grand.  

 

Yorkshire wallet wrote:

105 used to come for a grand now it's tiagra. I was looking at caadx models and the tiagra equipped one has gone up to over £1000 now. Brexit!!  3

Avatar
TypeVertigo [377 posts] 6 months ago
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Tiagra 4700 is amazing stuff.

If you absolutely have to have 11 speeds then sure go for 105 5800. But missing cog aside, Tiagra 4700 works the same way even with the light front shifting of its bigger brothers. It's a massive difference from my 105 5700 10-speed drivetrain.

Besides, if you're a groupset completionist, 105 goes up to 11-32. Tiagra 4700 goes all the way to 11-34 as an option.

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twelvestocks [1 post] 4 weeks ago
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The important thing on a gravel bike is the range of gears rather than the number. On this basis you can argue Tiagra is the most suitable groupset that Shimano make! Specialized have a carbon framed Diverge which includes Tiagra at 2 grand.