Among the impressive mountain bike selection on display at The Bike Place show, Orange debuted their new cyclocross-type machine, which they're calling a 'freeroader'. Aimed at those who want a bike that will cope with a variety of terrain without being too specialised, the RX9 takes a no-nonsense approach and keeps everything simple and reliable.
At its heart is an aluminium frame and fork with compact Shimano Tiagra groupset, Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes, 32-hole Mavic trekking rims and easy-to-replace stainless steel spokes, plus alloy finishing kit and fittings for two bottles, mudguards and a rack. The supplied Continental Cyclocross Sprint tyres will be rapid on the hard stuff but there’s heaps of clearance for almost any chunky tyre you choose.
Unsurprisingly, the frame angles look more relaxed than on an out-and-out racer, but this bike is designed to be stable rather than twitchy. And for anyone after a tough, do-it-all urban bike, canal path commuter or weekend rough-stuff steed, the RX9 looks as though it will take a battering day after day.
Although the bike won’t be on sale until April, Orange tell us that it will cost a shade under £1,000 and come in any colour you like, so long as that’s orange. BikeRadar are lining one up for a full test as soon as possible. In the meantime, see the Orange Bikes website for more information.
Avid's BB5 mechanical disc brakes complete the cyclocross-style package