Orange P7 S Recon review

Steel stalwart mans up for 2010

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,284.00 RRP
Orange P7S Recon

Our review

A superbly controlled and smoothly sprung classic for taming technical UK trails, despite its weight
Skip to view product specifications

Passing the latest  European CEN safety standards has made Orange’s steel stalwart heavier and slower, and as a bare frame, it’s expensive. The sprung frame feel, enhanced fork control and sorted handling mean it’s a truly inspiring alternative ride on technical trails, though.

Advertisement

Ride & handling: Surefooted, high-control bike that’ll make you want to push it

Control is what Orange are all about and the P7 is certainly no exception. The 680mm bar isn’t particularly wide but the short 75mm stem that holds it puts lightning-quick reflexes and easy direction change into the palms of your hands.

The slack head angle keeps it tracking well when you don’t want to turn and also increases confidence on steep descents. Add the shock absorbing spring of the steel frame plus the composed control of the RockShox Recon fork and, when steps or rocky chutes are on the menu, the P7 makes mincemeat of most of the competition.

The fact that the P7 distorts and smears slightly under load rather than chattering over the surface like an alloy bike gives it a real traction edge when it comes to pushing the pace through tight singletrack. The sprung ride and stiff Race Face crankset add a squirt of muscular speed into the exit of every corner, compression or kick-off from a lip.

The acceleration doesn’t last long though due to the overall mass, so be prepared to tough it out if the climb is a long one. Otherwise the weight is only really obvious when you have to hoy it over a stile or schlep up something unrideable.

Frame & equipment: Sweetly balanced trail-ready frame on a good value bike

The air-hardened Reynolds 631 steel frame is a break from the ranks of identikit hydroformed alloy bikes in both appearance and ride character. Steel feels different because its better fatigue properties mean it can be used in smaller tubes, which flex and spring more easily.

Reynolds’ latest steel alloys (853 and 631) add the neat trick of increasing in strength around the welds where ferrous frames normally weaken. At 2.7kg (6lb) the P7 frame is a hefty piece of kit though, and complete bike weight is quite high at just under 30lb.

It’s designed to handle a long 140mm-travel fork, and if you really get into your radical riding, the downhill-style ISCG bottom bracket chainguide mount will come in handy. Sliding dropouts make the process of going singlespeed much simpler, as they let you take up chain slack without adding a roller or other additional device.

There’s ample mud room even for 2.4in tyres and Orange’s Halifax-based designers have provided Crud Catcher mudguard mounts. The ‘S’ is the basic P7 model but you still get Race Face trim and a cracking wheelset.

Advertisement

Orange offer a wide range of component upgrades too, and ours came with a RockShox Recon 351 fork rather than the standard Tora. It costs an extra £105 but adds 10mm of travel and all-important Motion Control damping.

Product Specifications

Product

Name P7S Recon (10)
Brand Orange

Available Sizes 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 15" 17" 17" 17" 17" 17" 17" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 21" 21"
Seatpost Orange Stick Up
Front Wheel Mavic XM317 rim on Shimano 525 disc hub
Tyres Maxxis Advantage, 2.25in
Wheelbase (in) 42.9
Top Tube (in) 22.83
Standover Height (in) 29.2
Seat Tube (in) 17
Chainstays (in) 16.9
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.4
Weight (lb) 29.5
Weight (kg) 13.36
Stem Orange Stalk +, 75mm
Shifters Shimano Deore
Seat Angle 72
Bottom Bracket Race Face X Type
Saddle SDG Bel Air
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Headset Type Tange TG8
Head Angle 68
Handlebar Orange Supercross +, 680mm
Front Hub Shimano M525 Disc hub
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
Frame Material Reynolds 631 Double-Butted Cro Mo Steel
Fork RockShox Recon 351 Solo Air Motion Control, 130mm travel
Cranks Race Face Ride XC X Type
Chain Shimano HG53
Cassette Shimano HG50
Brakes Avid Juicy 3, 185/160mm rotors
Rear Wheel Mavic XM317 rim on Shimano 525 disc hub