It's official – the Orange Patriot is making a comeback. The Halifax-based company leaked a picture of a new bike on their OrangeFactory Twitter feed today, and they've confirmed to BikeRadar that it is indeed a Patriot.
Built as a short-course downhill bike for the Animal-Orange team, the original Patriot was a 'trail bike' before the term was coined, with five-odd inches of travel, slack (for the time) angles and a bombproof build. It went through various iterations until it quietly disappeared from the Orange line-up in 2008.
The general opinion was that it had been replaced by the Alpine 160, but according to Orange's Dave Flynn, that wasn't the case. "The Alpine 160 filled a void but it was never the intention that it would be a replacement for the Patriot," he said. "The way I see it, the Alpine 160 is a beefed up [Orange] Five, while the Patriot is a slimmed down 224 [downhill bike]."
Orange confirmed the relaunch of the Patriot with this photo on their Twitter feed today
"It's had a three-year hiatus and it kind of picks up where the old one left off," Dave continued. "It slots nicely between the 224 and Alpine 160." The new Patriot has 180mm (7.1in) of travel. It sticks with Orange's tried-and-tested single-pivot suspension design, but the pivot is now lower down than before, similar to that on the Five.
It'll be available as a frameset or a complete bike, with pricing for the build pictured above estimated at around £3,000. That includes a Marzocchi 66 fork and Fox Racing Shox Van R shock, Race Face Respond cranks, Avid Elixir 5 brakes and Maxxis High Roller tyres. Official release date is 1 July, and it'll be available in white/black (seen here) or black/white. Weights and pricing TBC.
"It would make a wicked little UK [ie. tight and twisty ed] downhill bike," said Dave. "It pedals well for its weight and compared to other bikes in its class, it's very competitive. Joe [Barnes, MTBcut team rider] has got his down to about 33lb, although that's with lots of bling bits."
Under the pink paint of team rider Joe Barnes lurks a new Patriot