After a four-year break from its line-up, Orange relaunched the P7 with an all-new steel tubeset, bang up to date angles and 650b wheels.
- Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
- Over to you: Should you learn the hardtail way?
Orange P7 spec overview
- Frame: Reynolds 525 chromoly steel
- Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air, 140mm / 5.5in travel
- Drivetrain: Shimano SLX with Race Face Ride cranks and MRP 1x guide (1x10)
- Wheelset: Alex MD23 rims on Formula hubs
- Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II EVO 3C 2.3in (f) and Maxxis Ardent 2.25in (r)
- Brakes: Shimano Deore
- Bar: Kore Durox, 760mm
- Stem: Kore Cubix, 50mm
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper
- Saddle: SDG Falcon
- Weight: 13.59kg / 29.96lb, medium size without pedals
Orange P7 frame and kit
On paper, this new hardtail is slacker, longer and lower than many full-sus trail bikes, but just how hardcore is it on the trail?
When we say ‘lower’, we’re not kidding. With a bottom bracket (BB) that sits just 302mm off the ground, the P7 is one of the lowest-slung trail hardtails out there.
It’s well-proportioned too. Orange has ensured the skinny Reynolds 525 tubes are plenty long enough, with the medium frame we tested offering up a 620mm effective top tube and a roomy 441mm reach.
The 65.4-degree head angle is similar to that of its equally aggressive alloy Crush, while the 73.8-degree seat angle is marginally steeper.
Orange hasn’t totally slammed the P7’s chainstays, settling on a 430mm length, which adds up to a wheelbase that measures a shade under 1,190mm.
Cable routing is kept nice and simple, with the only internal routing reserved for the RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post.
For 2017, Orange has tweaked the ‘S’ build kit (the cheapest of the three options) slightly from the already-upgraded spec seen here, replacing the 140mm-travel RockShox Pike RCT3 fork with a Yari RC, ditching the Maxxis tyres in favour of WTB rubber and slapping on the latest 11-speed Shimano SLX gearing.
Orange P7 ride impression
Hop aboard the P7 and its well-centred ride position makes you feel instantly at home. There’s more than enough breathing room thanks to the lengthy top tube, even with a short 50mm stem.
That length in the front coupled with the reasonably efficient seat angle and not-exactly-stubby (for an aggro hardtail, at least) chainstays means the P7 claws its way up technical climbs more efficiently and effectively than its 13.59kg weight might suggest too.
With a bike like the P7, what we’re really concerned with is how it performs when going down. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint.
Hoon into the first bit of singletrack and you’re rewarded with almost total silence. There’s a little bit of chain clatter, which can easily be quietened down, but no irritating cable rattle to distract you.
While there’s no rear shock, the P7 doesn’t feel particularly harsh when pelting through root spreads or clattering into chop. We would be tempted to slot in slightly wider, higher volume tyres though, because there’s enough clearance to do so.
The long, low and slack geometry gives a healthy dose of stability and confidence on high-speed trails, which helps to keep you off the brakes that bit longer.
It was sliding the P7 from turn to turn where we had the most fun though. This is a bike that wants to rail each and every corner as hard as it can — or, more accurately, you dare.
Orange P7 early verdict
A seriously fun, hard-hitting hardtail with great geometry and do-it-all attitude.