Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Orange Four 2016 (or Five)

Posted by Matt | February 3, 2016 | 9 comments so far

2016 Orange Four

2016 Orange Four

It comes as something of a shock to me to realise that come June this year I’ve had my Orange Five for 9 years. It’s time for a bit of succession planning!

I do truly love my Five. It’s been everywhere that I’ve been over the past 9 years and I’ve no plans to sell it. It’s not the same machine as I started out with, being a bit of a Trigger’s broom, but the frame, shock, seatpost and stem are still original fit items.

In that time, things have moved on. Slacker, longer, bigger wheels, wider bars and better components mean today’s Five is a different beast to my bike. It’s probably a bit heavier and it’s certainly stiffer, with better controlled suspension. I’ve thought for a long time about what I would replace my Five with and have always thought that it would be another Orange thanks in no small part to the bomb proof reliability of my current Five. That sort of thing counts for a lot when the bike is used year round.

I’ve often thought the new Five would be the obvious option; then again a Segment looks to offer the same kind of experience with bigger wheels but shorter travel. However, there’s a new option on the table – the new 2016 Orange Four, recently announced at the Core Bike Show. So now we have three things to consider.

The Four is essentially a short travel Five; less gnarr perhaps but actually very close to the very well thought of Segment in terms of dimensions. For example the Four offers a 67° head angle, an 1153mm wheelbase and an effective top tube of 610mm, running on 27.5 Boosted wheels. The Segment in comparison has a 67.5° head angle, a wheelbase of 1157mm with an effective top tube of 600mm and larger 29er wheels.

What’s interesting is the Segment can now also accept 27.5 Plus-sized rubber, making it even more versatile, while the Four has a weight advantage and longer travel.

That’s a really hard choice to make!

While all this is happening, the Five boasts more travel than the Four (but not much), a significantly longer wheelbase (1178mm) thanks to a 66° head angle and the same top tube size as the Four. So it should be more stable and just more hardcore in general; probably more hardcore than I need to be honest.

2016 Orange Four studio shot

2016 Orange Four studio shot

So in the spirit of succession planning I’m leaning toward the thought of a Four. It seems to offer what I currently have with improvements to performance across the board and if I accept it won’t take Plus sized rubber it looks pretty future-proof. The only trouble is a frame, fork and wheelset is likely to be quite an expensive purchase without allowing for other sundry build up costs.

First things first though. I fancy a demo of the Four vs the Segment, then I need some financial planning and in the meantime, my immediate future looks like it will be Pine Mountain shaped. Watch this space.

N.B. All bike dimensions quoted are for the M size of each model. My information comes direct from the Orange Bikes website and the rather excellent Factory Jackson website.

Filed under 2016, News in February 2016


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 9 comments on ‘Orange Four 2016 (or Five)’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

If you haven't had a chance yet, jump to our comments form if you have something to say.

  1. Tony says:

    I’ve been thinking for a while that the latest Five is too slack for my sort of usual riding. However the Four looks spot on. Lighter than a Five, still fairly slack, good amount of travel and 650b. Very tempting! I’ll be up for a test ride for sure.

  2. Elliot says:

    This bike looks like a winner to me!

    I’m quite keen on not riding a rigid singlespeed next winter. The lack of pivots to maintain and generous mud clearance would make any Orange a good winter bike. Like others say the Five is too much bike and the current Segment looks like a barn gate in my size and perhaps isn’t the stiffest frame(?).

    Now there’s a Four and a new Segment…which to go for? Numbers for the new Segment aren’t up yet but it needs a shorter seat tube and chainstay…otherwise I’d pick the Four 🙂

  3. Kev says:

    All that Four makes a lot of sense and I am in the market for a new lightweight full susser.

    It’s the Four or a KTM Lycan at the mo’, a mere 11.5kg! 🙂

  4. Matt says:

    Great to hear some positive comments from people I would never have pictured riding something Five-shaped. I think the Four sounds great and well worth a demo.

  5. Lloyd says:

    No carbon option so can’t be considered 🙂

    • Matt says:

      Strange that Orange haven’t produced a carbon bike (they have just moved into carbon seatposts), considering the expertise in this country as a result of F1/aerospace technology. Maybe its a matter of time?

      The US are far and away ahead of the curve when it comes to carbon bike frames.

  6. Tony says:

    Orange have produced carbon bikes in the past. Just with skinny tyres and drop handlebars

    • Matt says:

      Tony, you are correct about the carbon road bike but I don’t think it used UK-based expertise but rather a Taiwan import.

      I’d like to see the UK be a world leader in carbon bike frames. Apparently the new seat post uses a carbon weave sourced from old northern textile factories which is an interesting start.

  7. Sam says:

    Has anyone tried the orange four yet? Is it a good climber?
    This one is definitely a next bike potential.
    I’m the same though, a demo day ride on the bike is a must.

Leave a comment…

Have your say – we'd love to hear what you think.

If you have something to add, just complete this comment form (we will not publish your email address).

*Required information.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.