2015 Canyon Spectral AL 8.0 ex.

My marriage with Orange is finally over, No, thats not actually true. I can’t give up entirely on nearly 20 years of hand built engineering.  So it must be a mid life crisis…….I’m having a fling with a young German bit. A Canyon Spectral and I’m enjoying every minute of it.



4 years ago i was thinking of buying a Canyon for parts. Today i honestly believe its a bike hard to match for the price. Its all to much to digest in one sitting. Not just because of how impressed I am with the ride but the spec on this bike is simply outrageous for the money.
O.k, 1 year later and i’m just getting the rear shock under control. The factory setting CCDB inline  was beautifully posed / balanced, amazingly plush but way to slow and easily swallowing up its travel. Dialling in the 4 way setting helped but somehow lost that perfect balance.  Now by adding volume spacers and changing small increments to its settings I’m getting close to a more linear shock curve.


Why the Spectral 8.0ex


Firstly because it was the only high specification Spectral in stock, Secondly because of its Impeccable build. Canyon had done their homework with this baby.
There’s not one wrongly chosen product on this build.


Rear shock: Cane Creek DB inline
Front shock: RockShox PIKE RCT3 Solo Air
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Chain Guide e.thirteen XCX
Shifter SRAM X0 One Trigger
Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
Cassette: SRAM X01 XG-1195
Wheels: SRAM Roam 50
Tyre front: Maxxis High Roller 2. 2.3
Tyre rear: Maxxis Ardent EXO TR Maxx Terra 2.4
Crank: SRAM S2210 Carbon
Chain ring: 34
Chain: KMC X11 -93
Bottom Bracket: SRAM press kit GXP
Stem: Rental Apex
Handlebars: Renthal Fat Bar
Grips: Ergon GE1
Saddle: SDG Circuit
Seat post: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Making it a lean respectable 12.5kg build.

Its been a year now. The bikes performed better in the Alps than everyday trails. It behaves more like an 140mm Enduro than a what i expected 140mm trail / all-mountain. So with a little more rear shock set-up testing i should be getting close to an affordable perfect ride.




Mountain Biking: Molini di Triora. Italy.

In March i asked me old mate Dan to come and ride some trails with me in Molini di Triora  that i had found a few years earlier. I did’nt expect it to end up being one of Dan Milner’s EpicTV Ninja trail diaries with Fraser McNeil. Sophie Buckingham & the Molini freeride lodge.

2012 Orange Patriot

2012 Orange Patriot.  (M) Neon Yellow.

Price. 2999-99 GBP / 3450-00 Euro. I will post through-out Europe. Postage not included. SOLD

You can drop me a message here by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. I can mail you the full build specification, proof of purchase paperwork & a price for postage if you give me your country.

2012 Orange Patriot vs 2003 Orange Patriot

To be honest a selection of pretty pictures is about as far as we got with the 2003 vs 2012 patriots.  We spent more time tweaking up the old 2003 to try and give it at least a fighting chance against the new. Both were handed over to Mechanic/Rider to test ride and play with set ups. I guess the good news was we never got the results onto paper. Perfect sign we had to much fun playing with them. We did however get in plenty of beer fueled workshop sessions, a summer riding and some worthy trips to the Alps. I’m sure the Patriot test will continue this year.


What with Alex now teaming up with me on NCR bikes means we are now gonna get more involved in the bike world. We got a little workshop which will be ready for March and what with wanting to do more with suspension setup & tuning + get involved more in the German bike scene at events works fine with me. It’s something Alex and I have wanted to put together for a long time.

It does mean however that the bike blogs will stop on the nickchapple.wordpress blog but the good news is we have got enough going on to set up a new blog solely for the bike world. I will post up the new NCR blog address here soon when we get everything up and running.

2010 Orange Blood: A year on the trails

It’s not easy finding magazine reviews on the Orange Blood, It’s even harder finding long term tests, because of this i thought i would contribute my own words on the Blood as its true that rider reviews are few and far between on this bike. 
The accompanying paragraph Orange mustard up to explain their bike the Blood was nearly as mind blowing as the Blood itself. “A tight handling trail whippet which performs beyond its image”. Don’t read between the lines on Orange’s accurate description. It was all in the sentence. Click here for the Orange bikes account on the Blood. Its a long post so get comfy.

Blood on the trail:   

I havn’t got the space or time to write massive amounts on all the locations we went on for this post. Yes this post is about the bike but without mentioning the locations  & trails i feel it would have left the post in my eyes a little flat and two dimensional. So, I’m adding in a bit of descriptive background info to help paint a better picture of what we got up to and where.

Trail Summary 

Chamonix Valley. France
Molini di Triora. Italy
Finale Ligure and Calizzano. Italy
Livigno Bike Park. Italy
Lenzerheide. Switzerland
Albstadt Bikepark. Germany
Bad Wildbad. Germany
Martinsberg. Rottenberg am Neckar. Germany.
Schönbuch. HW5. Germany. 

Chamonix Valley. France

I’ve ticked off  many a trails in the Chamonix Valley over the 7 summers and as time went by the trails got bigger and more demanding. Some trails stand out more than others and the ride below was one of the crew’s valley secret favorite.

The epic starts at Charamillon Mid station Le Tour. From here it takes the climbing winter cat-track up to the Col de Balme Refuge hut and then onto the winding trail around the left side of the Tete de Balme before veering off right to Switzerland on the high traverse which eventually drops down into the village of Trient in Switzerland.
I have no worries keeping this entwined trail a secret as the correct path dropping to Trient is hard to find and when your in you have to be committed to ride it to the bottom, its tough riding, a natural alpine vertical trail to chomp through, A steep technical descent that will keep you hard pressed till the very bottom.
From here it’s a spin over the Swiss / French boarder back via the Col de Montet and arriving back at my cabin in Trelechamp for a cup of tea rounding off a 3.30hr epic.
It’s worth mentioning the Mid station Charamillon spin down the Col des Posettes switch back or onto the techie switch back ridge entering out onto my old garden in Trelechamp is Orange Blood country.

Molini di Triora, Italy

Nestled in the region of Liguria behind Sanremo,15km off the Alpes- Maritimes French /Italian boarder lies one of the best kept natural freeride spots in Europe Molini di Triora. It’s an under-developed, pure biking Mecca with friendly locals and an uplift service that puts neighbouring Finale to shame.
Sadly no campsite was found so a spot of low key roadside camping was in order. Not many places left in Europe where the Police wave every morning past our foreign plate campers with bikes and kit chained to them.
Thanks to our guide Ray who in his former life must have been French resistance as he knew every goat track in the area and Mark at www.molinifreeride.com It will be an annual visit for years to come. Also have to say thanks to Dirt magazine for the excellent issue on Molini. 
Morning warm up sessions was a quick pedal up the road to Corte Molini to hit this years Super Enduro circuit. I’ve listed a few of the runs we rode below. Web search them and you will find plenty of them made into mini movies.

Fantasy (red), Fantasy2 (blue), Berlinda 1, 2 (black), Caravan 1 (blue), Caravan 2 (Black), Agrifolia (Black), Terre Rosse (Black)
Magic Roundabout (red) and it continues……. to the double black runs of Oranges, Face Plant, Peos Run…an on and on.

Then it was onto.

Finale Ligure and Calizzano, Italy

Morning sessions on the Finale Ligure Super Enduro 24hr race track then into late afternoon map reading and pining the famous singletrack routes and trails in the area. Hot and sandy and only May.


Lenzerheide, Switzerland

The terrain is massive and the riding is endless but the one to write about was the 616 Ticket to Ride. Was marked as a red route 47km. We easily pushed this to a 60km ride with some extra loops we added to the route. Some massive all mountain runs in a remote spectacular setting.  Click here for route detail. Bloody freezing, snow at lake level, visibility poor to say the least. Proper alpine conditions. GPS Map details

Livigno Bike Park, Italy

Hans ‘No Way’ Rey mountain bike legend, freeride pioneer and testimonial for Livigno designed & crafted this endless flowing bike park. Not only was it amazing time out from the natural terrain I’m use to but it added another side to mountain biking i was keen to experience and the blood was the core to modernize my bike skills. Click here  for bikepark details
The Blood and I clicked, bonded or what ever else you wanna call it when you &  your bike unite.
After the Lenzerheide & Livingno trip it was inevitable the bike and i wanted a coil shock. Read in results below on why.
Thanks to Gabi & Tobi for a good trip.

Albstadt Bikepark, Germany

Became my weekend homeruns this year.
Nordschleife, The mini DH, Castle Trail run.
Stoney, Rock gardens, Tree roots, Berms, Jumps, Drop offs, Pumps,  Rollers set in a continuously damp environment at times and other times muddy as hell. Generally hard going for me in the beginning but i stuck with it. The Blood lapped it up, it wanted more and more. This is where the Blood wanted to be. I made the mistake of reading between the lines on Orange’s text and thought it could be tamed for XC….Why ever i wanted that.
Albstadt was perfect for the repetitive training i needed. 20 laps a Saturday riding out this heavy, stoney & muddy terrain.

Martinsberg home trail, Germany

We put together a great mixed singletrack, spinning cat track routes with including various figure of 8 loops which could be added to the route depending on the mood from steep ridge runs to continuous slashing switch backs and hard pressing rock gardens.
Route times 1-3hrs.

HW5 Schönbuch, Germany

Loops can vary from 18-60km runs. Would’nt put them down as to technically demanding but to keep up with the Local Haico race team on this natural terrain is a new experience to say the least. Fuck they’re fast.  – Singletrack Flattish Endurance spin session is sadly not the country for the blood to excel on. An Orange ST-4 would be blisteringly fast on these sprint run. 

hope tech brakes


2010 Orange Blood. 15 inch frame. Polished, Maxle Swingarm.

Wheel set. Hubs: Hope Pro 2 Green. Rims: Mavic EX721. Spokes: DT swiss Competition S/S Black. Rear Cassette: Saint/SLX 9 Speed HG80 11-28
Suspension. Front: 2010 Fox Float  160mm RC2 FIT 20QR. Rear: 2010 Fox RP23. 2011 changed. Fox Van RC 190x50mm.
Brakes. Front: Hope M4 Green. Rear:  Hope M4. Disks: Hope saw disk rotors. 203mm Front, 183mm Rear Green.Mounts:  mount adaptor Green
Drive Train. R Mech: Shimano Saint. Chainset: Shimano Saint Single. 36T 170 mm. crank arms. Chainguard: 2010 Gamut P40. 2011 Sunline V1 Travel guide. Shifter: Shimano Saint. Chain: Shimano HG93
Control. Bars: 2010 Sunline V1. 711’s,19mm riser. 2011. V1. 745mm 19mm riser. Grips: Sunline lock-on. Stem: Sunline V1 DH. Pedals: Sunline V1 platforms. Headset: Hope Conventional. Seat post: Sunline V1. Seat clamp: Hope. Seat: SDG Bel air
Tires. Front: Maxxis minions 2.35 (2.5 2011) 42a. Dual Ply. Rear: Maxxis minion 2.35 (2.5 2011) 42a. Dual ply. Tubes: Maxxis DH tubes.

Click here  Bloods Geometry specs. (Orange mountain bikes website)


For me It’s not only years of fine tuning, perfecting geometries, stunning weld details and legendary metal folds that makes an Orange what it is but the legacy of what they have already achieved and left behind that still comes through strong in their models still to come. They are wonderful raw pieces of engineering that have come from totally different approach than that of the mass bikes market and the Blood is another true example of this. A smooth as silk rear progressive suspension offering quality over quantity and simply just getting on with the job in classic Orange fashion without being loud and making a song and dance about how bloody efficient it really is.
You dont configure a front end like that to be opting for a 140mm build.
I should have known that a bullet proof welded up slack head angle like that and a bottom bracket just high enough not to be dragging on the floor was never gonna allow me to be contempt using it for XC .

The Bloods stunning weld details.


I didn’t purchase the Blood new hence the full Hope Team Rider Green componentry and the raw aluminum polished frame. Stunning aint she!
Few changes through the year. Bars went wider from 711 to 745. I always felt my hands were right on the edge of the 711’s. Individual alterations to fine tune the comfort of the ride.
On a few trips away i ran a Shimano SLX triple crank up front with an XT front mech. It ran smoother than the single. Read Results.
XC Spinning sessions i would swap for single ply Maxxis High Rollers and a lighter inner tube. This would just help the bike roll a little better even though this bike was never set up for XC trails or trail centers with its 36T single ring up front.
Saying that the original owner would pedal all day on a 36T single.
The Hope Tech M4 set up is faultless. Brake reach easy to adjust and set. Endless power and never any fade from the twin pot calipers.
Calipers are slot adjustable to the mounts offering plenty of caliper to floating disk alignment. Build quality 10/10.
I did have a few issues but it wasn’t the brakes fault. Read Results below.

The Fox Float 160mm RC2 FIT 20QR were made for this bike. Individually the frame and forks are both impressive. United they are amazingly balanced, smooth, seamless for a perfectly weighted front end.

Fox Van RC 190 x 50mm

Blood results:


No quarrels what so ever with the front end, I melted into the front straight away.  Like my notes early quoted I found the Fox 160mm forks integrated perfectly into the old Bloods burly head angle and anything less we would have all frowned upon.
The 2010 model also had a 66º head angle that was slightly slacker than the head angle of 67º on the 2011 model, which also offered 140mm Fox 32’s and a triple that many reviews suggested “This does not suit it at all”.
Perhaps it was just a tamed model aimed at the groomed trail centres and offered a slightly less aggressive model for being able to spend longer time in the saddle.

So, Geometry dimensions for me were spot on. I followed the trend recommendation and went for the 15 inch frame. I’m 5ft10 (178cm) and 11 stone (70kg) everything felt comfortable like Oranges always do.

With the saddle set high never did the short DH stem, Wide bars and flat pedals moan about climbing. No reach over problems, No back, Wrist or Neck aches. All seemed at first a bit “Normal”.
Calling the bike schizophrenic may sounds a bit harsh as that’s the last thing I’m trying to say, but when you drop the seat from high position All mountain XC mode into “Going Down” mode it breaks out of being a well behaved and actually somewhat boring stiff ride into a fuckin hooligan. Sorry like, there was no other way I could explain it. It comes as bit of a shock and totally out of character to what you would expect after you have just been climbing with it for half an hour.

Cable routing:

More cable routing than you can shake at stick at and little fixing points everywhere to keep cables and brake lines tight and well managed to the frame. Well that seemed to be the idea anyway. Sadly under the top tube we had to clip away all the cable ties holding the lines tight in place. The Reason. The ROCKR-Link under compression would kink the lines. During the year the rear mech cable wore the plastic outer sheet to the metal.

Ok so not a major problem. The big problem was the brake line kinking whilst the link was under compression. The rear Hope brake would go from seriously powerful to weak sponge depending on the shocks compression.

To over come this problem we firstly attempted to keep the line fixed tight with cable ties and add a splint where it was kinking. Not pretty but it worked for a while. Eventually the kink wore through. Next attempt seems to be working. We had to add a hoop in the the brake line. Now when the suspension is under its maximum compression it will use the excess hoop length and prevents the kink and keeps the fluid at a similar pressure. Its not pretty but it works.


The backend on the other hand was a chore to work out.
Picking the bike up it feels rear heavy and over built but once into the ride it feels short, responsive and makes light work out of big problems. It really is snappy and keeps up with the big boys like the magazines say.
I felt the rear Fox RP23 was continuously shooting through its suspension curve. We played around with what was voted the best rear shock on the planet for freaking months and never got it set right. I ran the Fox RP23 constantly with ProPedal keeping it lively but consistently tight. Clicking it off ProPedal and the shock became way to soft, would fall through its suspension curves and sag would drop 50% after long session. Obvious signs of something wrong!

Like other Forum reviews i read  the Fox RP23 from the beginning had this Sucking and Squelch sound under compression. 

On one big mountain ride we dropped into an hour rutted stony old mountain sheep path, with still half the vertical to ride the vibration and shock going through the frame became unbearable and almost impossible to keep the thing in a straight line. The rear shock had completely emptied its air chamber. After correctly pressurising the chamber it was mind blowing the difference of how buttery smooth the progressive linkage was and the fault was obviously coming from the shock.
Two positive things came out that moment. The RP23 was the problem and this bike needed a coil shock.
Of coarse I would have loved a CCDB but there was a price tag. If  the bike had been a single pivot I would have waited  for a CCDB. Anyway the UK Company TF Tuning offered me a great price on a tuned Fox RC Van. There’s nothing more to say.
It completely changed the bike overnight. Today it never shoots through its travel and feels like the rear progressive suspension is balanced to the front 160mm Fox Floats. It’s now easier to feel the stiffness of the rear swing, if it wasn’t stiff enough it’s held there with maxle axle. Its how invisible the rear end feels which impressed me most after spending so much time riding single pivots (which i still love)

Today the bike is purely in the park and I really cant envision changing the Bloods build for any other purpose. 

Maxle axles & Drive Trains:

Apparently maxle axles transfers more force through to the swing arm & rear mech hangers. Makes perfect sense with the Blood as the maxle axle passes through the hanger.
Of Course these things (mech hangers) go at the best times. 20 minutes into a run off the 2865m Lenzerheide peak shear force popped the hangers screws out of the frame. Luckily in my emergency tin i carried spares. 2 days later at Livingno Bikepark in did it again. This time it took the rear mech / chain completely away from the back wheel. No one seems to know why this happens. Some mention maxle axles others mentioned the rear saint mech.
I contacted Orange and the hanger was replaced (free of charge) and delivered in one day to Germany. Quality follow-up customer service I have to say.
Maybe it was just a faulty part, who knows.  Since the new one’s fitted, loc-tightened in it hasn’t budged after many sessions in the park.
When in Finale I ran a SLX triple crank, XT rear mech, XT front mech and XT Shifters. The set-up was slick and never dropped on me one. Ok, Obviously not as tight as the Saint set up and at times you cant help thinking ouch when you hear the big ring catching and bashing through a narrow unavoidable rock section.
However I have endless on going problem with the Saint crank, Saint rear mech & Shifter with chainsuck/derailment. When In the park it refuses to keep the chain on the ring for a full day. I had inspected the chain ring for signs of impacted teeth or bent and lubrication was good.
Firstly was a Gamut P20 bash ring & chain guide, then onto a Sunline and now onto an E thirteen and 32T sixpack racing chain ring. This is an on going component issue and will take time to find the perfect set up.


Singletrackworld Forum mini review: Click here
Dirt Magazine review: Click here 
MTB review: Click here


I’ve been a big fan of Orange bikes since back in the day of 1995 when I first set my eyes on the Clockwork Orange but unless your UK based its not an easy task to get to try one out and be hooked, so I guess I feel lucky I ride Orange without having to return to the UK to test and buy.

In Germany the guys ask. Nick, why do you always ride Orange Bikes, is it because they’re British?
Nope. It’s firstly because Orange Bikes fit me like a glove, secondly they have a “Philosophy” I believe in and thirdly they’re simply beautiful. There’s not one uncomfortable line, angle, detail to overcome with an Orange. From the moment you put your leg over the saddle you realise nothing feels foreign and everything feels familiar.
I personally love the fact orange stick with their design principle and don’t follow the trend of hydra forming all of the parts so they can throw out as many bikes as possible as quick as they can from some giant factory in Taiwan.

I stand by Oranges Philosophy and can relate to a company keeping production local and a product that comes from under one roof and helps support local employment and a prides itself on its products competing against the big players out in the world.

Bottom line:

It was a sad moment when I checked in on the Orange website and sore they dropped the Blood without a mention. Gob smacked I wrote on Oranges facebook wall. It was a warming reply. It went something like;
It wasn’t axed. Its blood line keeps going and flows into what is today a XC single track winner the ST4 and you can be sure that wasn’t the end of linkage and Orange progressive suspension days. There’s plenty more to come from the Strange developers and if you’re lucky enough to own a Blood you have a very special bike.

Orange must have had good reasons to halt production of the Blood. Who knows. Maybe it was not as favourable as other models and fell short on its production quota. Orange had their 160mm travel market well covered with the successful Alpine 160 and Five AM. 
Is this why in 2011 the Blood was made available in the 140mm travel market which seemed strange to down grade this burly frame but where else could it fit in as the 180mm Patriot was reborn and slotted in its place one step higher.
 I just don’t think that this is a bike you can categories and file away into your 120, 140, 160, 180, 200mm allocated, selected and available draw space.
The Blood stood alone. It refused to be stereotyped into some draw, after all It rewrote the book on what a 127mm suspension should be allowed to do.
So instead it sat around on top of a cupboard for a while until the new Blood line ST-4 was born. Look how the reviews came flooding in. Another award winning Orange because it could get easily categorised. It is good to see the knowledge of the Blood line flowing into the ST-4 but sad all the same this world has no space for free spirits to wonder.

The Blood was a natural born all-round athlete. Just like a school report would write; It struggled to differentiate the boarders between the playground and classroom. It’s personality was that of a handsome educated rogue with plenty of charm.

So to all you Blood owners out there, we all own a part of proud Orange Bike History.

2003 Orange Patriot: Old Timer Test

I’m gonna add a few leisure posts here every year now as I feel its an important part of my life and a big influence on my work. So before i get my head back into zero energy balanced housing here’s a post on my old noble steed i dusted off and brought back to life.

orange patriot 2002

What can I write about the Orange Patriot that hasn’t already been written?

It was a raw, brutal looking engineered masterpiece that was to become the platform for many single pivot designs to follow.
The Patriot had a personality to match its looks: Solid as a rock, a noble steed and a true friend, Yep it was easy to say the Patriot was a pure icon and a true legend.
If you love old motorbikes like I do then you’re understand where I’m coming from. This is the Z900 Kawasaki of the mountain bike world.

So who sold their old Patriots and wished they had hung on to them?

Well I guess when I blew the dust of mine last year I was instantly thrown back to the glory days of epic secret stash singletrack sessions with mates in the Chamonix Valley.
Rebuilding the Patriot was never about seeing if I could get it to out perform today’s bike, if I wanted to that I would have just gone an bought an Orange Five or Alpine, this was just more about customizing a legend, like we did as kids. We took stock old classic motorbikes and made them individual.
I didn’t want the nostalgia to just fade away so I guess thats why i decided to restore it back to its glory days with the latest tech you find with today’s components, nothing wrong with that is there?

2003 Orange Patriot

Wheel set

Hubs: Hope Pro 2 Disc Front 15mm / Rear. Rims: Mavic XM719 Disc. Spokes: DT swiss. Rear Cassette: Shimano Saint/SLX 9 Speed HG80 11-32


Front:2010 RockShox Revelation. 150mm Dual air.20mm maxleLite. Rear:2010 Fox RP23. 190x50mm Re-tuned 2010 orange blood


Front:Hope Tech X2’s. Rear: Hope Tech X2’s. Disks: Hope saw disk rotors. 183mm Front, 160mm Rear.

Drive Train

F Mech: Shimano XT M771. R Mech: Shimano XT Shadow. Chainset: Shimano SLX. Triple M660 22-32-44 170mm. Shifters: Shimano XT. Chain: Shimano HG93.


Bars: Sunline Handlebars V1. 711mm – 19mm riser. Grips: Sunline lock-on.  Stem: NC-17 pro signature. Pedals: Crank Brothers Flats. 5050 X. Headset: Cane-Creek S-1. Seat Post: Orange. Seat: WTB Rocket V


Winter:Maxxis high roller XC. 2.1’s. Front / Rear. 70a. It’s taken a few runs to trust the width again but now feel the patriot, dives in quicker, is much faster rolling, no drag. Summer: Maxxis Minion 2.35 Front 60a.(single ply), Maxxis high roller 2.35 Rear 60a. (single ply) Tubes: Summer: Maxxis DH tubes Winter: Maxxis welter weight

Size M. Re-spayed Mandarin Orange by Orange Bikes.

The Original Patriot 2003.

Some are laughable, some are true and some of the downs are the reasons why I still adore single pivot. I actually like a bit of Pedal kick back, make’s me feel the bike and I are in tune together, one thing’s for sure though that Rockshox Sid Air was bloody dreadful.

Even back then the Patriot felt like someone had rolled out the red carpet down the mountain. It was well nimble in the tight techie switchback stuff and moved mentally fast through the chiselled out alpine routes.
Yep, hardtails had their advantages but I was now hooked on rear suspension and was blown away by the balance and simple pure line of the Patriot. 

A few positive remarks (Comments taken from various on-line forums)

Single pivot workhorse with nothing to go wrong, they just keep working
Aluminium Lite Beam 2 Box frame enhanced lateral pivot rigidity
Extremely strong and had a very predictable spring curve
The Patriot had it’s own style and technology
A super stiff, hand built Halifax beauty

Up’s and down’s of the original 2003 (Comments taken from various on-line forums)

I’ve read them all but these are some of the best:

Orange’s Creak
Noisy frame when stones hit
Stickers / Graphics not the best
Bad Brake-squat Thank for putting me right on the correct technical term Luc.
Every fault of single pivot design
Pedal bob
Pedal kickback
Bean Can construction
A Boutique brand

orange patriot

orange patriot

Orange’s creak and stone’s ting against the frame, brilliant!

Out on the trail with my 2010 Patriot.

I had to find a trail I could ride a hundred times to record accurate comparisons.
In other words it takes me a long time to feel how these things work and it’s obvious I’m no pro rider but just a happy enthusiast.
The main difference now than before was that I live in Southern Germany and not the Alps so I needed to find a good test trail. The locals pointed me to a flowing singletrack that twists and turns continuously for 19km. No major climbs and no major descents just a proper demanding pedalling style run to teach me how to pump the Patriot through the trail.

The trail definitely put both of us through our passes. It was something completely new for me, totally different to the years I spent in Chamonix grinding up hills in granny wheels trying every technique to prevent the back from loosing traction to dropping the seat and hanging on with white knuckles.
To be honest where I live now is perfect Orange ST-4 country so the newly put together Patriot was always going to struggle but there was a few surprises to be found with the old girl.

At the time I never realised how high the Patriots BB was. It was like sat on a barn gate for years but not realizing it until I jumped on my Orange Blood, which I guess is on the other end of the scale for BB heights.
After the Bloods Buttery smooth back end it took a little while getting back into the single pivot feeling. I started realising it would pedal through, around and over everything the Orange Blood would grind and bash its way through the same trail and I was having to think ahead to dial in every pedal stroke on the Blood. So the bottom line was that within a week on the Patriot i started to put in quicker times than the blood. My hopes the Blood was the all-rounder i was looking for had been cut down in flames and the old Patriot was back on flying form, which I’m really proud about. It also meant i could now concentrate on running the Blood solely for the purpose of gravity and to stop pretending i can make an XC bike out of it.  (click here to read further on the Blood)

Bottom line

Boom proof non-complicated single pivot frame teamed up with the plushest rear air suspension on the planet. The technology of the Fox RP23 eliminated all questionable 2003 problems leaving you to concentrate on the advantages of single pivot simplicity.

My Patriot weighs in at
Summer build 14.2kg 
winter build 13.6kg

Best component product: Hope Tech Product.


As a cool Visual Magazine test it would be great to put the 2012 Patriot up against the old 2003 Patriot as a classic head to head test. I think it would make a colourful read to show how the Orange Patriot has refined itself through the years.

But today I guess the 2003 Patriot Genetics would be better compared to as the Cousin of an Orange Five or the slack headed big brother Alpine 160 but nowhere near the new 2012 Orange Patriot. It just shows how far the Orange Patriot has come. 

Mine still creaks, but at least its an honest original Orange creak.
I’m being sarcastic in case you didnt get that, the Patriot doesn’t creak.

Thanks to 

Orange mountain bikes, The staff at Chainreactioncyles.com, Bike mailorder.de, Hope tech, Fox shocks, Rockshox, Shimano, Sunline, Mavic, Maxxis, Crank Brothers and any other product I used and forgot to mention.

Bike dreams & Dust Bikes

Gabi Olpp for showing me the HW5

Rona, Mini & Zoe for putting up with Bike frames, spare parts and dad popping out for a spin up on the HW5

Riding photos: Rona. Bike Detail photos: Me.

Summer 2011

I’ve got so much catching up to do but!……….Make hay while the sun shines

Nick Chapple Bike Blog

You don’t have time with the Orange Blood to be riding up. She can do it and bloody well but this bike has turned me into a vertical park junky. I’m now forcing myself back into a bit of single tracking before i lose all the power in my legs from purely up lifting.

Its been fun but as Autumn and Winter draw in its time to put her away and get fit again riding singletrack.