The Alpine 160 is the longest, lowest and slackest it’s ever been, but can this simple single-pivot design still cut it in a world of multiple links and bamboozling suspension layouts?
The Alpine’s straight-cut looks and simple suspension won’t be to everyone’s taste, but cast an eye beyond the no-frills silhouette and things look extremely promising. The front centre (distance from BB to front axle) on the medium bike is a whopping 770mm, the reach a very respectable 446mm, and the kicked-out 64.5-degree head angle just begs to be pointed downhill.
Comfortable climber, deadly descender
Even with that stubby stem, the Alpine offers a roomy cockpit that helps make climbing a comfortable affair. The RS isn’t particularly rapid on the ascents due to its burly 14kg (31lb) build, but the low-speed compression lever on the shock – which is really easy to access – lets you firm up the back end enough to make things feel efficient.
While it’s a surprisingly pain-free climber, the Alpine truly shines on the downhills
Adding a few Bottomless Token volume spacers to the Pike fork helped even out the suspension feel, balancing things nicely front to rear (the Monarch Plus shock comes filled with volume bands to get the back end ramping up nice and early).
In terms of feel, there’s definitely something a bit more tangible here when compared to many of the Alpine’s competitors. Although the Orange feels well balanced, composed and more than at home being thumped into some ferocious bumps, it maintains a liveliness and feedback-rich feel that makes it one seriously fun bike to ride.
|Name||Alpine 160 RS|
|Available Sizes||S M L XL|
|Rims||Alex Volar 2.5|
|Top Tube (in)||23.31|
|Standover Height (in)||30.2|
|Bottom Bracket Height (in)||13.7|
|Stem||Hope AM Stem 31.8 x 35mm|
|Shifters||SRAM GX1 11spd|
|Seatpost||RockShox Reverb Stealth|
|Rear Shock||RockShox Monarch Plus DebonAir|
|Bottom Bracket||Race Face External BB|
|Rear Hub||Hope Pro II Evo Black|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM GX1 11spd|
|Handlebar||Renthal Fatbar 20mm Rise 780mm|
|Grips/Tape||2016 Strange Lock-On|
|Front Hub||Hope Pro II Evo Black|
|Front Derailleur||MRP 1X Guide|
|Frame Material||Custom-butted 6061-T6 aluminium|
|Fork||RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air, 160mm (6.3in) travel|
|Cranks||Race Face Turbine Direct Mount 30t|
|Cassette||SRAM XG-1150 11spd|
|Brakes||SRAM Guide R 200mm/180mm|
|Frame size tested||M|