Orange have just popped in to the BikeRadar office to drop off their new 1×11 Five RS, which for 2014 will come with 27.5in (650b) wheels, a claimed weight of 12.7kg (28.1lb) and a price tag of £4,200. There will be an initial run of only 50 bikes.
The almost-top-spec RS will also feature the new RockShox Pike 150mm fork and latest 11-speed SRAM X01 groupset, all bolted onto an aluminium frame with 140mm of rear travel.
The front triangle now features a 1 1/2in head tube, which was chosen so that customers can pick any fork and headset configuration, whether that be 1 1/8in, tapered or full 1 1/2in, with or without angle-adjustable headsets. The larger head tube is also easier to manufacture, and is a touch lighter.
In addition to the head tube are new, lighter shock mounts, and E-Type front mech compatibility (although you won’t need one on this 11-speed version). The rear end has a 142mm Maxle for additional stiffness, with the wheel dropping easily into the guided dropouts. In a bid to make the Five a better climber, the seat tube is now a little steeper – 72 degrees (74 degrees effective). The head angle is a trail-friendly 66.5 degrees.
Orange are jumping on the 27.5 train…
One of the aims was to get the new Five to be similar to the Alpine 5, a prototype made a few years ago. This means there’s a longer wheelbase and a lower bottom bracket, to give extra stability. In essence, the new Five is almost like a trail version of Orange’s 224 downhill bike.
Coming without cable guides for a front mech, the RS is specifically finished to take the Stealth version of the RockShox Reverb dropper post. Other Five models (see below) and the £1,500 frame-only option will have regular external routing and front mech compatibility for the time being.
SRAM are keen to point out that X01 is very much on a par with XT – this is the price point they’re aiming at for its release later this year. Cost savings are mostly concentrated on the cranks, which are alloy as opposed to carbon, the extensive and expensive cassette-building process remaining the same save for a slightly cheaper hard-anodised finish. There are slight changes to the materials used in the shifters, and the chain is the same as the one from the XX1 groupset.
The X01 chainset required the addition of a bashguard to keep it within CEN regulations
The new RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air fork provides 150mm of travel, matched at the rear with a RockShox Monarch RCT3 rear shock. There’s a Thomson bar and stem combo, with Hope providing the headset. Wheels are also Hope-based, with their Pro II Evo hubs pairing with Mavic XM319 rims.
Four other full-build versions of the new Five will be available. The £2,499.99 Deore/SLX S will come with a 140mm Sektor Gold TK fork. The £2,999.99 Pro will come with an XT and SLX mix and 140mm Fox Float 32 fork, while the £4,499.99 SE model is XTR equipped with a 150mm Fox Float 34 fork.
For more information see www.orangebikes.co.uk.