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No more DH bikes from Orange

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,100
721
Northern California
So I have owned 15-16 DH bikes since 1998. Many of which a good number of people would consider some of the best bikes of their time.

In all my years riding MTB you know what I have never seen? I have yet to see a timed run down a controlled trail with the exact same parts on different frames. I would have to say numbers don't lie if a rider can turn an equal time on a SP vs a 4-Bar, VPP etc. then you can just call all the claims of any real benefit marketing correct? I would do this on my personal site if I had $15,000 to blow......but right now I do not.

I know I can walk into a Nissan dealer and order a GTR that will beat all cars on the planet but a few that are in upwards of 1 million dollars. The reason I know this is because the numbers are out there for people to see. It might be a hard pill to swallow for some but actually having their product tested on timed trails would show the pluses and minuses to designs and what is marketing versus what isn't.

I think a couple months of Deca or EPO use would benefit most Elite Gravity riders more than any frame design might.
I think the issue would this would be the "controlled setting" part. The amount of driver induced variables are so much lower in a car test then for a DH bike. Car test results don't depend on what you ate for breakfast, how tired you are etc etc etc. Even if you're comparing by lap times, there's not nearly as many line choices.
 

ianjenn

Turbo Monkey
Sep 12, 2006
2,601
360
SLO
I think the issue would this would be the "controlled setting" part. The amount of driver induced variables are so much lower in a car test then for a DH bike. Car test results don't depend on what you ate for breakfast, how tired you are etc etc etc. Even if you're comparing by lap times, there's not nearly as many line choices.
Create a mean or average time aboard a DH bike on a trail after say 15 runs in like 4-5 days to show. Then do it for the 4-5 sleds being tested. The line choice and tired thing after enough laps would be eliminated I would think. Anyway if any of you are game I would fully be down to do this at some point.....I buy all the bikes I test it costs coin.

One day it may happen.
 
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Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,546
2,705
AK
I know I can walk into a Nissan dealer and order a GTR that will beat all cars on the planet but a few that are in upwards of 1 million dollars. The reason I know this is because the numbers are out there for people to see. It might be a hard pill to swallow for some but actually having their product tested on timed trails would show the pluses and minuses to designs and what is marketing versus what isn't.
Actually, there are porsches, chevrolets and ferraris that are significantly less than 1 million dollars and that are faster than the GT-R. The GT-R is an amazing machine and does a lot to overcome it's weight and AWD drag, but it's not the fastest car in the world.

Your idea about performance is difficult to understand. A Mustang GT500 is bloody fast and makes a lot of it's rear end, but it's bested by better technology that weighs more with less HP, because, well, certain things trump HP or at least allow it to be used more effectively. I'd equate the Mustang to a SP downhill bike. Sure, you can go fast in it, but you're going to eventually hit a wall, and the closer you come to that wall, the bigger your disappointment and failure is going to get. In other words, the faster you go, the worse it gets. Kind of like my experience with high end custom shocks. Sure, you can "get away" with a regular shock, and they are always improving, but not every one of these seems to get better as you go faster, making the chunk seem like it isn't even there, and while one may not race or be trying to shave seconds, this is usually helpful for most. DH bikes are unique in that they don't have as many issues as bikes meant to go uphill that sometimes have multiple chainrings. The uphill forces and chainring issues create variables that make it harder to design the suspension, meaning that single-pivot DH bikes with linkages can work pretty darn well. I've had a few of them in fact. On the other hand, single pivot without a linkage is just not worth it, it's starting with an inherent disadvantage. I remember riding an 8" travel "DH" one just a couple years back designed very similar to the Orange and wondering what the point was. My 6" travel FSR bike felt like it had at least as much travel and the suspension quality was much better. Sure, the "DH" bike had 8" of travel, but the quality was poor. With at least a linkage, you can make this pretty darn good AND make it stiffer. There isn't much reason not to, unless you are deathly afraid of pivots.

I would bet you could get the "difference" between a 22-whatever Orange bike and a good modern linkage bike down to a very small amount if everything was equal, enough to make the average person wonder why they spent a bunch more for a second or two, the difference is during the Orange run you'd be holding on for dear life and taking way more chances to try and match the time and doing so would end up more dangerous with little real benefit for the amount of danger you place yourself in. Time isn't everything.
 
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no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,513
27
ACT Australia
No group testing can prove anywhere near close to 100% accuracy with MTBs. Only ones own tests unfortunately. As mentioned, bikes have body english on them. And everyone rides differently. And that's why some people like the basic simple feel of an Orange single pivot, be it the potentially least logical or not. What's in your head makes a huge difference, if you're comfortable on an Orange, it might make it fastest for you. But yes, I doubt it would for most.
This is my opinion, and as different to everyone else's it is, so would my opinion on bikes tested be.
Logic is still logic though. A square wheel won't roll as fast as a round one. Or will it?
 
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joeg

I have some obvious biases
Jul 20, 2011
190
67
Santa Cruz CA
Create a mean or average time aboard a DH bike on a trail after say 15 runs in like 4-5 days to show. Then do it for the 4-5 sleds being tested. The line choice and tired thing after enough laps would be eliminated I would think. Anyway if any of you are game I would fully be down to do this at some point.....I buy all the bikes I test it costs coin.

One day it may happen.
this is a better approach, but then you end up with weather and soil variables and track degradation. Not to mention the bikes would have different geometry and possibly different amounts of travel, and weight, so handling would come into play. Then you'd have to consider if you might do better on a rough track versus pedally track too I would think.

its really hard to get meaningful timing data from ride testing in my experience - even doing a bunch of splits on a track thats 3-4 minutes long, things just happen that mess it up because nobody can ride the same intensity time and time again.

not that the quest should cease, but I'm always wary of people/companies who make claims based around this type of thing.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
2,360
596
this is a better approach, but then you end up with weather and soil variables and track degradation. Not to mention the bikes would have different geometry and possibly different amounts of travel, and weight, so handling would come into play. Then you'd have to consider if you might do better on a rough track versus pedally track too I would think.

its really hard to get meaningful timing data from ride testing in my experience - even doing a bunch of splits on a track thats 3-4 minutes long, things just happen that mess it up because nobody can ride the same intensity time and time again.

not that the quest should cease, but I'm always wary of people/companies who make claims based around this type of thing.
Please excuse my uninformed question: how can bike companies claim that 29", 27.5" or whatever they come up next with are faster if they can't test it in a controlled way? Is it all marketing?
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,513
27
ACT Australia
Please excuse my uninformed question: how can bike companies claim that 29", 27.5" or whatever they come up next with are faster if they can't test it in a controlled way? Is it all marketing?
They can test it in the way they want and compare with what they know, like and desire. But that's for their development, it's different than say me testing several bikes and telling you what's best for you.
 

atrokz

Turbo Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
1,556
79
teedotohdot
But if they don't rotate more than a few degrees you usually have to replace them quite regularly as the grease gets forced from where it needs to be. Needle bearings are fine in some pivots but bushings are better in others(all in my opinion), you don't need a Macbook to work this out you just need some common sense.

My bearing failures were due to my own laziness as pulling a Nicolai apart is a pain in da butt so I never regreased I just replaced.
Sure is better than a ball roller bearing. That's the worst for the application, and what nearly every frame uses. But whatever, I guess that's an entirely different topic.

Surprised someone got butt hurt about my post too. Funny thing is, it's not even the post I was referring to, and he tells me to read better. Oh RM.

It doesn't surprise me that they are dropping the 22X bikes. They weren't all that great to begin with, supported by some seriously loyal customers. Bikes have come along since then, and if it takes a few added pivots to gain better performance, then why complain? The landrover to SUV comparison would be better represented showing a Willies jeep and a raptor.

Oh right, Colin Chapman..... Well let's set something straight before that name comes up again: Colin used multi link suspension in his cars, he also used 16 valve motors, when at the time 8v motors were standard. That's dozens more moving parts, in a motor! gasp! Yea, the kiss idea only works if you can get away with something simpler... If CC were designing a bike, and a multi link creates a better leverage curve and stiffness, you better believe Mr Colin would run what worked.....
 
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atrokz

Turbo Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
1,556
79
teedotohdot
Just to clarify: I never wrote anything about overengineered bikes. Make a step ahead and try reading. It's not that difficult as you may think at the first try.

.
Just to clarify, a bunch of other people posted in the thread. But hey, don't let that stop your sarcasm attempt.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,891
493
Warsaw :/
No group testing can prove anywhere near close to 100% accuracy with MTBs. Only ones own tests unfortunately. As mentioned, bikes have body english on them. And everyone rides differently. And that's why some people like the basic simple feel of an Orange single pivot, be it the potentially least logical or not. What's in your head makes a huge difference, if you're comfortable on an Orange, it might make it fastest for you. But yes, I doubt it would for most.
This is my opinion, and as different to everyone else's it is, so would my opinion on bikes tested be.
Logic is still logic though. A square wheel won't roll as fast as a round one. Or will it?

Your own tests are subject to bias. Yes broad tests will not be 100% accurate but NO tests are. As long as you see a correlation a test like this would be nice.

Also people like orange for a lot of things but susp "feel" is probably the last on their lists
 

Pslide

Turbo Monkey
i want an 223/4/evo now more than ever.. :D
Ha ha...bravo! I had a Series III, made for a long drive to Scotland, but it was fun and very memorable.



Speculating how Colin Chapman would build bikes is a pointless exercise unless you're Colin Chapman. I'd suggest that whatever he'd build would weigh half of what is currently out there, be durable enough to complete exactly one qualifying run and one race run, and collapse as soon as it crossed the finish line. :)
 
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ianjenn

Turbo Monkey
Sep 12, 2006
2,601
360
SLO
Actually, there are porsches, chevrolets and ferraris that are significantly less than 1 million dollars and that are faster than the GT-R. The GT-R is an amazing machine and does a lot to overcome it's weight and AWD drag, but it's not the fastest car in the world.

Your idea about performance is difficult to understand. A Mustang GT500 is bloody fast and makes a lot of it's rear end, but it's bested by better technology that weighs more with less HP, because, well, certain things trump HP or at least allow it to be used more effectively. I'd equate the Mustang to a SP downhill bike. Sure, you can go fast in it, but you're going to eventually hit a wall, and the closer you come to that wall, the bigger your disappointment and failure is going to get. In other words, the faster you go, the worse it gets. Kind of like my experience with high end custom shocks. Sure, you can "get away" with a regular shock, and they are always improving, but not every one of these seems to get better as you go faster, making the chunk seem like it isn't even there, and while one may not race or be trying to shave seconds, this is usually helpful for most. DH bikes are unique in that they don't have as many issues as bikes meant to go uphill that sometimes have multiple chainrings. The uphill forces and chainring issues create variables that make it harder to design the suspension, meaning that single-pivot DH bikes with linkages can work pretty darn well. I've had a few of them in fact. On the other hand, single pivot without a linkage is just not worth it, it's starting with an inherent disadvantage. I remember riding an 8" travel "DH" one just a couple years back designed very similar to the Orange and wondering what the point was. My 6" travel FSR bike felt like it had at least as much travel and the suspension quality was much better. Sure, the "DH" bike had 8" of travel, but the quality was poor. With at least a linkage, you can make this pretty darn good AND make it stiffer. There isn't much reason not to, unless you are deathly afraid of pivots.

I would bet you could get the "difference" between a 22-whatever Orange bike and a good modern linkage bike down to a very small amount if everything was equal, enough to make the average person wonder why they spent a bunch more for a second or two, the difference is during the Orange run you'd be holding on for dear life and taking way more chances to try and match the time and doing so would end up more dangerous with little real benefit for the amount of danger you place yourself in. Time isn't everything.
I never rode an 8" Orange but owned a Patriot LT back in 2000. It was a very nice riding bike as was my 2002 DHR. If there is no way to prove a benefit on the trail or track is there one? Is it sort of like the Government and Polling all BS? (PROBABLY)

This is a good list here keep in mind the new KTM 1290 with 180-HP and 414LBS is gonna beat all these. It has been hitting almost 125MPH in 7 seconds.....also it should cost $15K I can buy a few houses in Santa Barbara with the difference between it and most of the cars listed there. :)

I would die on the above mentioned bike but Holy Crap it would be wicked. The GTR won't kill me at least not as easily.....

Okay back to bikes.

http://www.sportscarguru.com/top-tens/fastest-cars-from-0-60/
 
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Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,740
1,428
01776
For the Five lovers, a mass produced and likely cheaper Giant Reign minces that bike in every aspect from an engineering standpoint. A stock Reign will absorb bumps noticeably better, work better with an air shock, and accelerate better. Of course this may not matter to everyone, but there's no reason you can't have light and reliable along with high performance, it just takes a little more work.
This is an interesting point, but if we're having this conversation, then everybody should be on 29ers too. I think it's pretty clear that there are some items/frames/components that on paper are a "better" solution, but I would argue that they aren't for everybody. I think it's undeniable that a 29" wheel rolls better and carries more speed. The penalty is that it isn't as playful, and for some people, a playful bike is more important than a fast bike. On that line of thought, I'd argue that you could draw the same parallels with the reign. It may absorb bumps better, it may be faster, but there are people who appreciate the "playfulness" that a single pivot gives, the predictable nature of a fixed axle path and leverage rate that doesn't dance around too much. Not to mention the "man in a shed" aspect of orange bikes.


I think the one point you might be missing is that you really have to put the pivot quite high if you want good bump absorption with a regressive or linear LR curve, so in my book at least, a bike like Gee's GT is not optimal (clearly not slowing him down either... or is it? can't really prove this without back-to-back testing). With a reasonable amount of progression you can improve bump absorption without needing to put the pivot super high. Obviously if the pivot is too low you start needing a very progressive and potentially unstable bike to get what you need, but with a careful balance there's potential for a win.
I'm going to ignore the regressive side of things right now, as I don't think there's any place for a regressive shock rate in good suspension design, but I'll choose to focus on the linear or slightly rising rate linkage-less bikes that do exist...but this is an interesting point that I hadn't really considered. A higher pivot/more rearword axle path in conjunction with a linear or slightly rising rate, versus a lower pivot and a more steeply rising rate linkage....hmmm. I don't know if it's worth arguing too much though, as I think there are people who are really hitting the nail on the head (devinci) with regards to design and packaging. A simple single pivot is just another nice option to have, that should be able to be made cheaply, for people who aren't trying to compete at WC level...
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,924
1,807
Tustin, CA
A simple single pivot is just another nice option to have, that should be able to be made cheaply, for people who aren't trying to compete at WC level...
Which is pretty much everyone. A good amount of the time...the guys that armchair the most are the slowest ones out there. Which goes for more sports than just biking....
 

Rider15

Chimp
Dec 13, 2008
59
3
On that line of thought, I'd argue that you could draw the same parallels with the reign. It may absorb bumps better, it may be faster, but there are people who appreciate the "playfulness" that a single pivot gives, the predictable nature of a fixed axle path and leverage rate that doesn't dance around too much. Not to mention the "man in a shed" aspect of orange bikes.
So what your saying is that, you have more fun on your bike by having to work harder at riding it? Having ridden various linkage bikes and a 222 I can tell that the only bike that felt unpredictable was the 222 which felt different depending on whether you were pedalling, on the front brake, on the back brake or using no breaks. Never have I ridden a bike and wished I had my own bike back so hard.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,900
444
Lizard Town
Back to Orange: any reports besides the bikes being removed from the website?

Could this be a step toward a new DH rig for them?
 
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Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,842
1,037
This is an interesting point, but if we're having this conversation, then everybody should be on 29ers too. I think it's pretty clear that there are some items/frames/components that on paper are a "better" solution
Except one point is based on physics and the other is based partially on marketing. For my personal use, 29ers have more disadvantages than advantages - perhaps you and some others here would agree. That's not actually the case for most of the things I said, see below.

On that line of thought, I'd argue that you could draw the same parallels with the reign. It may absorb bumps better, it may be faster, but there are people who appreciate the "playfulness" that a single pivot gives, the predictable nature of a fixed axle path and leverage rate that doesn't dance around too much. Not to mention the "man in a shed" aspect of orange bikes.
You're arguing that based on what exactly?
I just picked the Reign as an example (no allegiance to Giant), but I compared squat curves, leverage curves, and axle paths directly (to the Five) and to me it's a better bike on every suspension-related front. All curves are linear or linearly progressive in nature and there's nothing crazy going on.

I'm not saying there's no place for the Orange and its perceived simplicity + "man in shed" exclusivity. They are selling points and many people enjoy these bikes.

However, it's naive to assume that just because one bike does things right, that it has matching drawbacks. That would only be the case if you were comparing two brilliantly optimised bikes, so much so that improving any one aspect would detract from another. This scenario is still rare in reality, so many frames still have improvement potential without significant drawbacks.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,740
1,428
01776
Which is pretty much everyone. A good amount of the time...the guys that armchair the most are the slowest ones out there. Which goes for more sports than just biking....
is that me? heh...although I actually got quite a bit faster by the end of the year, riding my outdated morewood.

So what your saying is that, you have more fun on your bike by having to work harder at riding it? Having ridden various linkage bikes and a 222 I can tell that the only bike that felt unpredictable was the 222 which felt different depending on whether you were pedalling, on the front brake, on the back brake or using no breaks. Never have I ridden a bike and wished I had my own bike back so hard.
Don't tell that to me, tell that to the 26" complainers. I don't fully agree with them, but I think it comes from different philosophies. If you ride a more playful bike, you may end up having shorter rides but more fun doing it. If you ride a barcalounger 29er you might be able to spend all day in the saddle. Different strokes and all that.

I'd love to know what bikes you're comparing the 222 to, though. While the pivot on the 222 looks to be a bit higher than the izimu I had, the bikes are similar, and I didn't think the braking characteristics were that bad, just different, and that was coming from a bike that had a floating linkage. The morewood loved to skip and dance around when it got really sketchy, but it was always controllable and predictable.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,208
2,941
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Back to Orange: any reports besides the bikes being removed from the website?

Could this be a step toward a new DH rig for them?
I've received some intel from a very credible source that Lotus is building their new DH bike. It will use a wishbone suspension design and variable valved shock technology (VVST). Sounds like they're also eschewing the number naming nomenclature in favor of the "Orange Blossum".
 
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kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,924
1,807
Tustin, CA
is that me? heh...although I actually got quite a bit faster by the end of the year, riding my outdated morewood.
Nah, that wasn't pointed at anyone directly. It's just more an observation. People seem to get so lost in tech and tuning and features that they forget riding bikes is fun. Tech doesn't make you fast. Riding your bike more makes you fast. I chuckled a little when my brother (on his second park day ever, on a single pivot Morewood none the less) was passing kitted out riders riders on fancy, brand spankin' new carbon DH bikes.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,740
1,428
01776
People seem to get so lost in tech and tuning and features that they forget riding bikes is fun. Tech doesn't make you fast. Riding your bike more makes you fast.
I was going to say that. Sometimes all the tech in the world just doesn't mesh with a rider. See...demo 8 and Eh-Eh-Ron Gwin. And that's coming from a kid who used to ride a brooklyn.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,891
493
Warsaw :/
this is a better approach, but then you end up with weather and soil variables and track degradation. Not to mention the bikes would have different geometry and possibly different amounts of travel, and weight, so handling would come into play. Then you'd have to consider if you might do better on a rough track versus pedally track too I would think.

its really hard to get meaningful timing data from ride testing in my experience - even doing a bunch of splits on a track thats 3-4 minutes long, things just happen that mess it up because nobody can ride the same intensity time and time again.

not that the quest should cease, but I'm always wary of people/companies who make claims based around this type of thing.
5 rides down per frame with same components with 5-10 different riders. Add a track that has different sections (Leogang?) and time sectors to differenciate pedaling and technical parts. Then you get fitness, personal preference out of the picture. You can also test few frames at a time so it shortenst the test.

I also don't understand why people behave like a test like that is close to impossible. Future snowboarding awards tested hundreds of boards in blind tests. Every rider rode every board. It's doable.
 
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kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,924
1,807
Tustin, CA
I was going to say that. Sometimes all the tech in the world just doesn't mesh with a rider. See...demo 8 and Eh-Eh-Ron Gwin. And that's coming from a kid who used to ride a brooklyn.
That too. That's why there's no 'best suspension'. You can never account for personal taste. There are plenty of dudes that love single pivots. There are plenty of people that don't like VPP or Maestro or whatever....