Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Orange Five for 2011 – the Surrey Hills influence

Posted by Matt | July 2, 2010 | 6 comments so far

2011 Orange Five Pro
How often can it be said that the Surrey Hills has had an impact on the design of an iconic brand? I guess Mike at Dialled Bikes would be waving his hand in the air at this point, but great as the DB stable is, it remains a fairly niche brand.

Orange on the other hand, needs no introduction, especially round these parts.

So what’s the connection? Well, Dave from Cycleworks contacted Orange last year with his ideas for some improvements to the Five frame and Orange liked his suggestions so much they agreed to trial them across some prototype frames. As a result Dave has been running one of these for some time, as first reported on this website.

Subsequently, various magazines have got hold of sample frames and have very much liked what they see. So it comes as no surprise that the 2011 Orange Five lineup now has these features as standard. We can thank Dave for this, at least in part, which I find quite amusing as one of the original All-Mountain brands from up North takes advice from the weekend warrior Surrey Set!

That’s not to say Dave is unqualified to give advice, he’s raced and ridden just about everything over the years and knows what he’s talking about. Credit also to Orange for recognising good ideas wherever they come from.

In brief, the changes to the 2011 Five frames consist of a tapered headtube to help stiffen up the front end for the bike, together with a zero stack headset to keep the front low and wieldy. There’s a larger seat tube to allow fitting of seat-dropper seatposts that are now very popular, as well as cable guides to keep things tidy. And finally, the frame comes with ISCG tabs to allow fitting of chain devices. I’ve no idea whether a Hammerschmidt crank would be suitable given the pivot position but you can at least fit those now!

All in all, quite significant improvements which should help keep the Five at the top of its game. I have a 2007 Five and have noticed subtle changes to the frames since then but this has actually got me thinking it’s worth upgrading; even though I still love riding my Five.

The 2011 Five bikes will be in stock at Cycleworks within a couple of weeks I believe, so give them a call if you’re interested.

Filed under 2010, News in July 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 6 comments on ‘Orange Five for 2011 – the Surrey Hills influence’

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  1. tony says:

    I like to see that Orange are developing the Five. I’ve always really wanted one, although the only doubt in my mind is whether they have pushed the downhill aspect too far and it won’t climb as well as a Five of a few years ago. Mind you I guess that as long as you don’t want to race one it doesn’t matter to much.

    I certainly have no problem with loads of people riding them around here, it’s just a great recommendation in my mind. Even the other half has one for goodnes sake!

    Maybe for 2011

  2. PIJ says:

    Isn’t there some trade disgruntlement over the use of tapered heads? Poor availability of aftermarket forks, plus the faff of getting a set of bearings to fit?

    Hate to say it, but this looks like yet another mountain bike “standard” to contend with. Something to confuse those not in the know. Whatever was wrong with…. blah, blah, blah….

    Mr Not Keen from Redhill!

  3. DaveW says:


    One issue with the tapered head tube is it isn’t just a straight frame swap for those of us with earlier incarnations – new forks required too if you are to get the benefit.

    Also, why bother with a stiff tapered steerer, if you are going to use (nice, light, great feeling, but reputedly flexy under extreme use) Fox 32 forks – you can make the front end stiffer by fitting Rockshocks…

    Having said that, this bike would be great with a Fox Float 36, spaced down to 140.

    The weakness then would be the rear travel blowing through on bigger hits, but this bike comes with a Power Boost RP23, which should address that.

    Hmmmm – opt for the rear Maxle and an ISCG chain device and there is potential for a more versitile and harder hitting five there, without going up to the Alpine…

    However, having just spent a few quid on my 97 model, I don’t think I am in the market for a new one quite yet – and of course my Gravity Dropper seatpost wouldn’t fit the new seat tube!

  4. paul901 says:

    I’m all for it as I can feel the sale of a 2007 vintage Orange 5 coming on at a good price 😉

  5. tony says:

    I suspect Paul that you won’t be the only owner looking to upgrade. I reckon that I might be able to help a Five owner “re-home” one at some point in the future!

    BTW 1.25-1.5″ tapered headset/forks aren’t anything new. My Ridley road bike has one and it’s four years old. They are standard now on high level road bikes. No problems finding zero stack headsets either.

  6. PIJ says:

    Regarding BTW not new… Nothing is, is it? All been done before at some point with bikes. Guess my point was that it kind of is new with MTB’s, and it appears that finding aftermarket forks to fit is a bit of a pain at the moment, with only Fox being a player right now. Guess by the time swopping your fork’s out is an issue, the other manufacturer’s would have caught up. But it does make upgrading your current rig a fag. Bit all or nothing isn’t it!!

    Personally things like changing a bearing size are a bit change for change’s sake. With bikes I’m a bit like my wife; she can drive a car happily with a flat tyre for months. I’m pretty convinced I’ll not notice the difference in ride with these tapered head sizes. Grumpy from Redhill isn’t going to get too excited by this bike….

    Whatever; pub talk without the pub! Or pint. Orange do stuff that is right for the time. They know their stuff, and it’s nice to see a manufacturer listen to the trade.

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