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via Orange Bikes - With 2013 builds hitting the workstands, here's the first in a long line of fine-looking bikes queuing up behind the 322, ready to be released on an unsuspecting mountain near you.

The constant honing of the 22X series led to a string of World and National titles through the 2000s, and the 322 is the next step in our evolution of the long travel, single pivot design. Dropping the top shock mount through the downtube and using a low pivot position allowed us to achieve the shock curve we desired leading to a more progressive spring rate compared to previous efforts. The resulting effect is a bike that can handle the smaller bumps and chatter with limited feedback to the rider, while being progressive enough later in the stroked to take the big hits without a hard bottom out. A confidence-inspiring suspension system that means you can concentrate on going fast.

Several years of real world testing in the hands of some of the fastest UK talent (Team MTBcut and Rowan Sorrell) attested to the success of the original prototype. Angles and suspension design lend themselves perfectly for the demands of World Cup racing, the 322 is ready to race out of the box at every level of competition. The beating heart of the frame is still the tried and tested stuff, but lightweight, mainframe mated with our amously reliable and slop-free oversized single-pivot assembly.

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At the beating heart of the frame is an oversize single pivot based on 32mm sealed cartridge bearings. The privateer racer has always featured very highly in who Orange make bikes for, and a pivot based around 2 bearings ensures infamous reliability and ease of maintenance at little cost. All this is of paramount importance when a you are the mechanic, the pits and the rider. The monocoque aluminium mainframe that characterises the Orange full suspension range ensures a light, strong and stiff ride that inherently lends itself to an even greater longevity of the pivot and its bearings.

The result of all this is a stiff, light and nimble downhill bike capable of shatteringly fast runs out in the Alps, at a local downhill race or at the cutting edge of World Cup competition where every tenth counts.

For 2013 we’ve kept it simple, one spec that’s ready to race out of the box with the very best from Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Hope, Thomson and Renthal. Upgrades are available to fit bigger stoppers from Hope as are Cane Creek Double Barrel Coil shocks. Let off the brakes and this bike will fly; rock, root and dirt are all the 322s best friends. The only thing holding this bike back is the fleshy bit up top. You.

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Features at a glance:

  • 6061-T6 custom butted monocoque aluminium frame
  • Lower pivot position/drop-through shock mount gives a more active suspension feel with 8 inchs of travel
  • 135 x 12mm rear wheel spacing
  • Progressive rear shock curve
  • ISCG 03 (Old) chain guide tabs
  • Race-winning geometry

The Orange 322 will be available as follows:

  • Frame only at £2,399.99 RRP from July 9 2012
  • Complete bike in full 2013 spec at £4,999.99 RRP from July 23 2012

Keep an eye on the Orange Bikes website for more details. A new 322 specific page will go live on July 4th.


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bturman bturman 7/3/2012 8:31 AM

22 comments newest first

Dang that's beefy.

I guess I'm always of the opinion that most of the "technological advancements" being made in suspension linkages are market ploys. That's not to discredit some of the amazing things being developed -- look at where we are today vs. 1992. But I like simplicity -- the single pivot is simply sexy.

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Don't judge until you ride one. I have an Alpine 160 with a Double Barrel and a '12 Zoke 55 RC3 TI. Its a hugely capable bike, leading me to go faster every time I ride it. Make no mistake about it, the design may be simple but Orange have been making DH bikes for longer than most of you have been riding. They've no doubt learned a great deal about what works and what doesn't. They tried the Strange linkage prototype, and you know what? They found that they could get almost an identical shock rate if they used the layout you see here in the 322. Why would you add more links and shit if they're not needed. That's actually true innovation, finding a no-compromise way to achieve something while using less parts than before. Also worth noting, the Trek is technically a single pivot, as is the Commencal, GT Fury, Lapierre, etc. 4 out your top 5 at Windham were on single pivots, pay attention to what's working before you bash something.

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Its not only about how many pivots you have. Its the whole package. I'm sure Orange can manufacture any thing they want suspension wise and they chose to stay with the single pivot cause it works. Most suspension talk is 90% marketing anyway. And if you want to talk about "old" technology the Horst Link has been around since the early '90s which is easily as long as the single pivot.

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ghastly!

All this talk about sticking with what works etc. is not really an argument because we would still be in 1901 if industries moved as slowly as Orange do in development. My guess is that they have little money for RND because they manufacture in England which is expensive and they don't sell many bikes (in comparison to other manufacturers in the same discipline) so profits are small. They know this and I think are happy to have the odd patriotic Yorkshire bloke to make their money from. Let dead dogs lie as far as I'm concerned.

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There is a little car for sale in the UK called a Caterham. It's design is essentially the same as when it was conceived in the 1950's. The models with the high output engines will put seconds into any modern supercar around a track. The point is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Bikes are all about geometry and suspension (mainly shock rate). Seeing as though these things can be built up very light I see no reason why it isn't at least as good as anything else on the market.

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Ride one then talk. ICG new or old functions the same anyway. my 224 was a great bike the only thing someone could bitch about was how loud it was, and it never came loose, even if it did two bolts. Easily a top ten dh frame. It's simple and it works! I would love to ride this new one!

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Dont hate guys, as old as this frame technology is. Gwin would still win a world cup on one. and only a 1/4 of you would even notice a difference from that to a bike as hyped up as a carbon V10.

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Well put, I don't understand all the haters either, I'd like to ride one myself and THEN judge it. It seems like it'd ride pretty sweet and I actually like the looks of it.

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The 135 spacing is probably to do with better heal clearence. The new S-Works demo is 135mm although the 7sp hub still give you a dishless rear wheel. And looking at the photos of the frame I doubt you could run a ISCG05 mount on there. But all the major chain devices still come in ISCG old so that's not a problem either. The only thing that's puts me off the frame is the top tube is still way too short on the frames! I was hoping they would have made them a lot longer.

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ISCG is the standard, not ISCG OLD or ISCG-03 - those are just made up names. ISCG-05 was invented for a standard that never came - ISIS OS. ISCG-05 has a larger BCD and thus limits where you can design pivots in/around the BB area. There are plenty of BIG bike companies still using the original ISCG standard for that reason, yet people think that because the ISCG-05 standard is "newer" it's better. I wish we could just go back to the original standard, it would make my job easier.

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Not impressed. I think for a bike coming out in 2013 the ante should have been upped a little.....135mm rear and old chain guide tabs...c'mon man!

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Because it's all you need. You would rather ride a crappy GT or Glory over this just because ISCG05?

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WOA its another crazy advancement in bicycle technology from Orange. Why the hell did it take so long for this to go from prototype to production. All they did was lower the front shock mount.....

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I rode an Orange Five last season and it was an amazing bike. Great handling, predictable suspension, really well designed. I think folks tend to believe the suspension linkages on their bikes do a lot more than they really do. Sick bike, love the color.

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I'm a bit surprised that it exists at all. The jokers at Orange are obviously stuck in 1999. Why, oh why, would anyone spend their money on this? WEAK SAUCE.

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