Orange P7 Pro Performance review

Tough trail classic

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,990.00 RRP | USD $3,227.97
Orange P7 Pro Performance

Our review

Steel spring with contemporary geometry makes for versatile fun but pedal stompers will prefer the Crush
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The new P7 is tougher and ready to tackle the trail more than ever, but there’s been a shift to more ballistic than distance-focused riding since Orange introduced the more classically cross-country R8. With its pliable ride the P7 is a smooth and friendly way to whip along singletrack and technical trails. Frame weight and flex mean it lacks steering and power-stomping bite, though. It’s also better value as a bike than a frame.

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Ride & handling: Great fun, tough trail classic but soft feel reduces climb and charge performance

Going for a complete bike build rather than a frame-only deal enhances value. The tough Fox/Shimano/Mavic trail component spec of the standard P7 Pro can be upgraded with Hope components, a tubeless wheel pack and custom frame and rim colour options. Our sample was enhanced with Easton, Fizik and Thomson kit from the Performance upgrade package.

The carbon fibre Easton Haven bar reduces sting and vibration through the grips compared to a similarly sized alloy bar. Despite the CEN standard reinforcement, the same smoothness and flex is inherent throughout the slim steel tubed frame. The Orange has a degree of spring to its ride quality, tending to ricochet off stuff that some other steel bikes thunder straight through.

This is great for steel fans, but is less impressive in terms of accuracy as the frame tends to twang and quiver either side of where you’re aiming. It also feels more sluggish under power, making it slower up climbs and in sprints, even if traction was helped by its pliable ground-hugging nature.

There’s enough length in the top tube for easy breathing, and rider position and handling balance are excellent. Wide bars give plenty of leverage to keep on top of any slippery moments, which is lucky given the unpredictable grip of the Maxxis Advantage tyres. The P7 corners well at high speed, although we struggled with the low bottom bracket on rooty/rocky/off camber trails.

Frame: Chassis is expensive on its own, and a little heavy, but offers a good ride

Orange’s P7 frame has been around for a decade but this new version is certainly the toughest and most downhill focused to date. This hardcore hardtail was developed and evolved in Halifax, Yorkshire and uses a UK-developed steel tubeset from Reynolds.

The butted 653 pipe is cheaper and heavier than the top-of-the-range 853, but displays the same air hardening, post-weld strengthening properties as the flagship tubing. The head tube is ring reinforced to stop ovalising distortion from the press-fit cups and a long, deep square-edged gusset reinforces the head tube/down tube junction.

Despite the reinforcement, the skinny steel tubes still give the P7 a dynamic and well-sprung ride feel for long drops or long haul comfort.  This whippy feel won’t be appreciated by riders wanting to get power down as efficiently as possible, so may want to check out the stiffer, but otherwise very similar Orange Crush.

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There’s reasonable tyre room at the rear, while three-bolt sliding dropouts allow singlespeed chain tensioning. The bottom bracket gets ISCG tabs. Crud Catcher mounts sit under the down tube and rack/mudguard mounts at the rear as well as two sets of bottle cage bosses on the down tube and seat tube. These features and reinforcements make the P7 heavy and expensive as a standalone frame..

Product Specifications

Product

Name P7 Pro Performance (11)
Brand Orange Bikes

Available Sizes 15" 17" 19" 21" 17" 19" 17" 19" 17" 19" 19" 19" 19"
Shifters Shimano SLX R Fire +, 10spd
Front Wheel Mavic XM317 rim on Hope Pro 2 hub
Tyres Maxxis Advantage, 26x2.25in
Wheelbase (in) 42.9
Top Tube (in) 22
Standover Height (in) 29.2
Seat Tube (in) 17
Chainstays (in) 16.9
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12
Weight (lb) 27.95
Weight (kg) 12.68
Stem Thomson Elite X4
Seatpost Thomson Elite
Bottom Bracket Shimano SLX
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Fizik Gobi XM
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT SGS 10 speed
Headset Type FSA
Head Angle 6912.68
Handlebar Easton Haven carbon low rise
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Frame Material Reynolds 631 double-butted cro-mo steel
Fork Fox 32 Float RL, air, 15QR axle, 140mm
Cranks Shimano SLX, 42/32/24
Cassette Shimano SLX HG81 11-36, 10spd
Brakes Avid Elixir 5, 185/160mm rotors
Rear Wheel Mavic XM317 rim on Hope Pro 2 hub