New to Rutland Cycling: Orange Mountain Bikes

Words by David Hicks

on 20/07/2018 11:29:27


New to Rutland Cycling, Orange Bikes have been a stalwart of the UK mountain bike scene for the last 30 years. But they're not just part of the British mountain bike story - Orange Bikes are made right here in the UK.

Hailing from Halifax, North Yorkshire, Orange have been producing mountain bikes since the mid-1980s. Starting life as the side-hobby of a windsurf company owner, Roger Tushingham, who had started to explore the burgeoning sport of mountain biking, Orange came to be through another pair of windsurfers, Lester Noble and Steve Wade. The very first bike that the two marketed bared Tushingham's name and was imported from Taiwan and assembled in Halifax - the B-52, as it was called, sold out. Looking for a brand name that would resonate more with the mountain bike community and represented the all-round ability of their bikes, the pair settled on Orange, developed from �All Round� or �O� �Range�. Fans of Stanley Kubrick, the B-52 underwent a name change too, and in 1988 the Orange Clockwork was unleashed on British mountain bikers.


At this point Orange were merely a brand that imported bikes from abroad and assembled them in Yorkshire, but with sheet metal engineering already present in the business, and a local supplier of 6000 series aluminium around the corner, Noble and Wade set out to make their very own frames - in 1998, Orange produced their first in-house full suspension frame. These new frames were built around a distinctive box section style swingarm attached to the front profile via a chunky single pivot which Orange believe to be the most effective system for providing suspension, and also the most resistant option to the unpredictable British weather. And that design persists until this day - modern shocks eliminate any pedal bob issues that might afflict single pivot designs, the pivot is largely kept out of the way of mud and grit, and the design easily lends itself to the growth in popularity of 29er wheels.

The Factory

We were recently allowed a behind the scenes look at Orange's UK based factory, a manufacturing plant steeped in MTB history and innovation where Orange's first single pivot designs were born. Their manufacturing process for their bikes is a little different to most - CNCed billet components combined with box section sub-assemblies, a minimum of four alignment checks and small batch production runs, keeping the quality high and the products perfect. UK made is the name of the game here, with the CNC components being locally sourced and nothing from a catalogue. See the video below for more of an insight into the Orange production process.

Orange Five RS Fox Factory 36 Float 2019 Full Suspension MTB Silver

Orange Five RS

Whether you're on the daily commute or thrashing it out in the alps, the Five RS is an all-round trail bike that will deliver. This Orange Bike is fully customisable with different colours, decals and spec options, please call us on 0330 555 0080 to discuss your requirements.

  • Frame - 6061-T6 Aluminium
  • Fork - Fox 36 Float 36 Factory, 150mm
  • Drivetrain - Sram XO1 Eagle 12spd
  • Brakes - Sram Guide RE Hydraulic Disc 203mm

RRP £5,159.99 NOW £4643.99

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Hand built in Halifax

Manufacturing a bike frame might not necessarily be easy, but Orange have certainly made it successful by coming up with great ideas, doing them simply, but doing them well. The bikes produced up in Halifax are a little different to many other mountain bikes on the market, and that comes down to a different design approach wholly focused on building bikes that want to be ridden. By making all of their own tooling, Orange can form frame parts exactly how they want them rather than how a catalogue stipulates they do, and they can continue to develop and refine those parts and keep improving over time. Every part is designed and sourced locally if it can - all the way down to dropouts, shock mounts bottom brackets and headtubes - before being welded together by their vastly experienced team. Following heat treatment to add strength, you're left with a perfectly aligned, strong, light and structurally sound mountain bike chassis.

Built in small batches rather than huge production runs, Orange mountain bikes aren't a mass-produced commodity, but a carefully crafter construction designed to perform its function - perfectly.

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

The full Orange range is available now at Rutland Cycling Whitwell and Nottingham