Orange’s Diva is the pint-sized version of the British company's quintessential trail bike, the Five. Built around a 14in seat tube, it’s available in two length options that will accommodate riders well under 5ft, but thankfully Orange haven’t allowed the Five’s lively performance to be downsized as well.
This is a great do-everything bike with an emphasis on fun and whether that means steep, technical climbs or eye-wateringly fast descents for you, the Diva will happily swallow everything you place in its path.
Ride & handling: Fab ride that accommodates the titchiest of riders yet offers balls-out performance
Hitting the trail, the Diva made us wonder how a single pivot frame manages to climb so well. We made good use of the Fox RP23 rear shock’s stiffer setting on smoother ascents, but on loose or technical climbs having the shock fully open wrung maximum traction out of the Continental Mountain King tyres and sent the Diva rattling neatly upwards as far as we could power it.
The slack 67° head angle and long (140mm-travel) Fox Float R fork mean that the front end does wander on steep lines, which is compounded by the short stem – specced to keep the bars within reach for shorter arms.
However, the trade-off is in downhill performance where the relaxed geometry and extra travel make the Diva a wrecking ball of a ride that will gobble up everything you point it at.
Frame: Trademark Orange looks and performance, downsized for smaller riders
The trademark Orange monocoque down tube and swingarm look even beefier on such a dinky frame, with the widest section of the swingarm hiding a substantial chunk of the seat tube, but thanks to some neat tube manipulation there’s still plenty of standover clearance for shorter legs.
The Diva does come up against the problem of how to accommodate longer fork lengths on smaller bikes, though, and Orange have done the best they can to fit the 140mm Float R into the limited space. Despite this, if you’re small enough to need the short version, you’re going to have to be inventive when it comes to swift exits.
Fitting a shorter or even an adjustable travel fork would enable you to drop the front end slightly, but at the expense of the super stable ride that results from the slack head angle on our test model.
Equipment: Quality Hope hubs and brakes, plus bolt-through fork and light wheels
The spec is somewhat overshadowed by the striking frame, but quietly does its thing and features reliable UK-built hubs and brakes from Hope, a flawless Shimano XT drivechain and a smattering of generic but perfectly functional finishing kit.
Continental Mountain King 2.2in tyres are exactly what we want to see on bikes for tough female riders: fast-rolling and reasonably light, but with a rounded proile that makes the most of the available grip.
With a top-quality wheel package, weight is kept low where it matters. The Diva isn't the lightest women's bike available, but in terms of resilience it’s quite possibly the toughest.
Orange offer a number of build upgrades at the point of purchase too, and if you want to shed some weight, we’d start with the finishing kit. That said, the Orange-branded parts fitted gave us no trouble, so they’re a good way to keep the price reasonable while leaving space for later upgrades.
One touch we particularly appreciated was the QR15 fork axle. The additional stiffness of the bolt-through fork complements the rear end perfectly.
Female riders are often lighter than their male counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of charging a line through the baby head rocks, which is where the stiffness and extra security of a bolt-through really shines.