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Thread: Orange Stage 4

  1. #1
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    Orange Stage 4

    After a lot of research and a few demo rides at the end of last year, I finally settled on the bike I wanted. The aim was to get something that was no heavier than my 2009 Scott Spark 30 which weighs in just over 26 lbs. That bike is 26", old geometry, and old tech. While I did convert it over to 1x10 a few years ago I wanted something a bit more "trail". What that really meant was newer geometry and tech and 29".

    The Orange Stage 4 seemed to tick all of my boxes. It's "trail" without going too extreme or being in the 130mm+ travel category. It's super simple from a suspension standpoint and has plenty of mud clearance. And I could build it any way I wanted. For my riding style/capabilities and my local trails (Sierra Nevada Foothills) I think it's a great fit.

    I did look at several other bikes (thanks to the mtbr users who chimed in on my original thread) which didn't feel right, were too heavy, or had limitations I didn't like. They are all good bikes, but they didn't fit exactly what I was looking for. The SB100 came closest:

    Intense Sniper Trail
    Yeti SB100
    Pivot Trail 429
    Orbea Oiz-TR
    Santa Cruz Blur TR
    Spot Mayhem
    Fezzari Signal Peak

    At the end of the day after talking to owners here in the US and speaking with the Orange guys in the UK, I decided to go with the Orange Stage 4. Their top-of-the-line model weighed in at 29.8 lbs. but I decided to build from the frame up and see where I could do better. The only importer of the frame is Adventuron in Wisconsin (http://www.adventuron.com). Carl Martens over there was great to work with. He made me a smokin' deal on the parts I wanted so I had him build it rather than do it myself.

    Here's the geometry:



    I went with SRAM drivetrain and Shimano brakes. The complete build list is below along with the estimated weights. I was hoping to get the bike just under 26 lbs.



    It took 3.5 months to get the bike. There were some initial delays in getting the frame from the UK and then my wheel order went in just as i9 was retooling for the Hydra hubs. It was fine though as we had a lot of rain in March and April and I had a pretty big crash at the end of April that sidelined me anyway.

    The bike arrived last week and I added my only swappable parts - my Frog Ti pedals. First task was to weigh her and see how decent my estimates were. 26lbs 1oz - not bad for an aluminum framed full suspension bike with a dropper post.





    Maiden voyage hasn't happened yet due to ongoing rain making a mess of my local trails. But there was enough sun out for a few pictures today. Suspension is dialed in, but may need a few tweaks out on the trail.











    Ride reports to follow.
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  2. #2
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    nice!

  3. #3
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    Cool bike man. Enjoy!
    Fortune favors the bold

  4. #4
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    Congrats on the Orange! They’re wonderful bikes and stand out a little bit too. Mine is a purple Orange hardtail that I bought in ‘94 while living in the UK. Very classic and has a special place here. Except it’s at my sons place......

    I hope it performs for you. You’ll be the only kid on the block with a blue Orange.

  5. #5
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    Looks great. Get it dirty!

    Sometimes it's fun to take the road less travelled!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  6. #6
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    Snuck out of work early and got her dirty and somewhat broken in. Some issues with shifting into the lowest gear - chain jumps off at the top of the cassette but eventually grabs back on -not ideal if you need that gear in a hurry. Probably just a simple derailleur tweak.

    I did feel like I was doing pushups the whole ride with those 800mm bars. They'll take some getting used to. I did have a problem with my hands going numb, especially on long descents. It made it hard to operate the brakes. Probably just some tweaks to bar angles, or just my body learning new positioning.

    I was pleasantly surprised out how well the 800mm bars+new geometry+29" wheels turned. I was out-turning my old 26" bike - I just have to remember to quit leaning and steer the bike!

    I hit one of my favorite local trails which is a short 5 mile drive and perfect for weekday afternoons. 13 miles and 1,400 feet of elevation. My average speed was down from 8.7 mph to 8.4 mph which I attribute to getting to know the bike, not having ridden in 20 days due to the rain, and some lingering cautiousness from my crash 5 weeks ago.

    While overall times weren't there, the bike performed very well in the fast descents and twisties through the trees. The bike accelerated really well when transitioning from flat to downhill or uphill to flat - a little bit of gas on my part and the bike just took off.

    The biggest test was a longer, rocky, sustained climb (actually two). This bike with the suspension fully open climbed as well as my 26er Scott Spark 30 did with the rear locked out. I had more traction than I was used to and I just motored up the hills. And on all of the other small transition climbs, it performed exactly how I wanted it to.

    The other thing I'm still learning is when and how much to use the dropper post. I've never had one before. But I noticed in one long downhill section of the trail, that engaging the dropper let me handle corners better. I didn't have to engage the brakes to slow to make the turn like I did with my old bike. That's due to a combination of things, but getting my center of gravity lower certainly helped.

    More to come as I dial it in and hit some different trails.

    And because something, something, worthless without pics:





    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  7. #7
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    Just put some Forekasters on mine as well.

    Still loving this bike.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post

    Still loving this bike.
    I agree 100%!
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  9. #9
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    I'm waiting for the update to the changes Orange made to the 5 and 6. New graphics and cable ports closer to the headtube.

    What some people fail to realize about these bikes is how light they are and how efficient they pedal.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  10. #10
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    Something new is coming

    Orange Stage 4-20200127_162133.jpgOrange Stage 4-20200127_161833.jpg
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  11. #11
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    I've always liked the looks of those single pivot frames.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    I've always liked the looks of those single pivot frames.
    My buddy calls it the garbage can. And he can't believe that I can keep up with him on his XC race bike.

    The funny thing about these bikes is that they do everything just as well as any other good bike out there these days.

    I just took it apart to get it powder coated. It took me all of 2 minutes to have it in two pieces, and another 3 minutes to press out the 2 bearings.

    When it gets back from powder coating, it will be the most expensive garbage can in the world and probably the most expensive Orange bike in the world. My point is that I wouldn't spend this much money on a bike that was shit.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  13. #13
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    I'm intrigued by this bike.
    I'm more of an XC guy, and prefer simplicity and reliability over marginal gains in performance, so the Orange has been on my radar for a while.
    I'm fine with an active suspension, and don't need platforms, lockouts or complex suspension intended to enhance efficiency, but usually result in a choppy ride.

    The geometry looks like it is in line with my preferences as well...but I need another bike like I need another hole in the head.

    Bob

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    I'm intrigued by this bike.
    I'm more of an XC guy, and prefer simplicity and reliability over marginal gains in performance, so the Orange has been on my radar for a while.
    I'm fine with an active suspension, and don't need platforms, lockouts or complex suspension intended to enhance efficiency, but usually result in a choppy ride.

    The geometry looks like it is in line with my preferences as well...but I need another bike like I need another hole in the head.

    Bob
    Well if this helps, in the last 1.5 years I've had 2 Epics, 1 Santa Cruz Blur, and now own an Orbea OIZ. I ride primarily technical XC type singletrack in Michigan.

    Of all those bikes, the Orange is the most fun. I'll ride it on every ride, unless I am racing.

    It does not have a lockout and it does not "bob"when pedaling, but it doesn't get hung up on roots or rocks on technical climbs.

    Also, a Large frame is 3.0 kg with shock, axle, and seat clamp. That is super light for an aluminum frame. I've had mine at around 23 lbs with pedals.

    Plus, if it gets dinged up, or you get sick of the color, have it painted or powder coated whenever you want.

    If they ever come out with a newer version, I will buy another, and give this one to my son, but I don't ever plan to sell it.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  15. #15
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    Wow, excellent info, thanks Zerort!
    I really appreciate the detailed info.

    You answered the questions I was preparing to ask.
    My greatest concern regarding rear suspension performance is the sometimes steep, slippery techy climbs in late summer when everything is eroded and dusty.
    You are well aware of these climbs.
    When I'm in decent shape, I'm a fairly skilled climber, but I'm not getting any younger!

    I find a good, fairly active rear suspension really helps to keep the rear tire planted over the anti-erosion timbers, mesh and ridiculously large tree roots.

    Secondarily, I like the suspension to soak up the smaller, high frequency stuff.
    My Top Fuel does a pretty good job, but the aggressively tuned Re:Aktiv shock doesn't respond to some of the smaller stuff (higher volume tires help a bit).
    And the bike has TEN rear suspension bearings!

    Honestly, the weight of the Orange frame is quite respectable. I would be on a medium, so it would be slightly lighter than the large.

    I'm in SE Michigan as well, right between the Poto and Brighton. 10 minutes to either trail.
    We're also about the same age (I'm 50).

    Another question: does the suspension work best with a 32t ring?

    Anyway, I can't wait for spring so I can get my (much weaker than usual due to a 3 month mystery illness) butt back on the trails!

    Bob

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Wow, excellent info, thanks Zerort!
    I really appreciate the detailed info.

    You answered the questions I was preparing to ask.
    My greatest concern regarding rear suspension performance is the sometimes steep, slippery techy climbs in late summer when everything is eroded and dusty.
    You are well aware of these climbs.
    When I'm in decent shape, I'm a fairly skilled climber, but I'm not getting any younger!

    I find a good, fairly active rear suspension really helps to keep the rear tire planted over the anti-erosion timbers, mesh and ridiculously large tree roots.

    Secondarily, I like the suspension to soak up the smaller, high frequency stuff.
    My Top Fuel does a pretty good job, but the aggressively tuned Re:Aktiv shock doesn't respond to some of the smaller stuff (higher volume tires help a bit).
    And the bike has TEN rear suspension bearings!

    Honestly, the weight of the Orange frame is quite respectable. I would be on a medium, so it would be slightly lighter than the large.

    I'm in SE Michigan as well, right between the Poto and Brighton. 10 minutes to either trail.
    We're also about the same age (I'm 50).

    Another question: does the suspension work best with a 32t ring?

    Anyway, I can't wait for spring so I can get my (much weaker than usual due to a 3 month mystery illness) butt back on the trails!

    Bob
    Hi Bob,
    I ride Brighton all the time. I haven't been to Poto in awhile as it is a bit farther for me. I'm in Commerce.

    Yes, 32T would work great and probably offer a bit more anti-squat on those punchy climbs. I'm on a 34T Wolftooth oval. I have them on all my bikes.

    Send me a message sometime this spring if you want to check the bike out. We could ride BREC together.

    For reference, I'm 5'9" on the Large and run a 40 or 50mm stem.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    I'm intrigued by this bike.
    I'm more of an XC guy, and prefer simplicity and reliability over marginal gains in performance, so the Orange has been on my radar for a while.
    I'm fine with an active suspension, and don't need platforms, lockouts or complex suspension intended to enhance efficiency, but usually result in a choppy ride.

    The geometry looks like it is in line with my preferences as well...but I need another bike like I need another hole in the head.

    Bob
    As a purely XC guy who wanted newer geometry and a bit more trail-worthiness, this bike has not disappointed one bit. I am as fast on this as my pure XC bike. The 26 lb weight doesn't hurt, but beyond that the bike handles and performs so well. My key thing was no matter what it had to climb well and it really does. Plus I have much better downhill confidence with the geometry.
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  18. #18
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    Re-build update:
    Orange Stage 4-20200306_170454.jpg
    Orange Stage 4-20200306_170521.jpg

    The yellow decals from Orange don't quite match the Ohlins so I didn't use too many.

    Still needs cassette, chain, derailleur, and grips.

    21.88 pounds as it sits now.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  19. #19
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    Replacement time is long overdue but I'm still clattering about on my 26er Orange full bounce and can't see me buying anything other than an Orange in 29.

  20. #20
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    Out in the wild
    Orange Stage 4-20200321_100710.jpg
    Orange Stage 4-20200321_115917.jpg
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  21. #21
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    It never gets old.Orange Stage 4-img_20200331_164138314.jpg
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egan View Post
    It never gets old.Click image for larger version. 

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    Awesome!!

    A new one is coming soon. Can't wait!
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  23. #23
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    Lovely rides!

    I'm still drooling over a Stage 4...my practical side loves the simplicity.
    My thrifty side is winning the battle (that, and the fact that I can't demo a medium), for now.

    Now if it would just STOP SNOWING!

    Is it possible to die from mountain biking withdrawal?

    Bob

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Lovely rides!

    I'm still drooling over a Stage 4...my practical side loves the simplicity.
    My thrifty side is winning the battle (that, and the fact that I can't demo a medium), for now.

    Now if it would just STOP SNOWING!

    Is it possible to die from mountain biking withdrawal?

    Bob
    I didn't demo one. I went off reviews and talking to other owners. I do not regret my decision one bit. If you were in Kalifornia, I'd let you take mine for a spin, but I'm guessing you're not if you have snow in April.
    19 Orange Stage 4
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    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Lovely rides!

    I'm still drooling over a Stage 4...my practical side loves the simplicity.
    My thrifty side is winning the battle (that, and the fact that I can't demo a medium), for now.

    Now if it would just STOP SNOWING!

    Is it possible to die from mountain biking withdrawal?

    Bob
    Hi Bob,
    How tall are you? I'm 5'9" on a size large. My son is about an inch or so shorter and he fits on the bike too. Remember, stem length plays a big part of sizing and most people are running smaller stems.

    I am currently running a 60mm stem, so you could go down to a 50, or even 40 mm stem if you wanted. I would not shy away from a large unless you are 5'6" or shorter.

    Also, you can order pretty much any color you want which is an added bonus.

    And, as Egan can attest, there isn't any other bike that is going to run away from this bike on a trail (especially our trails here in MI) outside of a full out cross country race bike, which if you think about it, aren't that fun to ride really. If you want a light, fun, and playful bike, I haven't found a better bike. And I've owned about 15 so for.

    That's why I wanted to take over the line as a dealer.

    The new Stage 4 that is coming out is going to be somewhere in the 115 - 125mm range from what I hear.

    If you want, send me a DM and I can call you or we can discuss any questions you may have and pricing.

    Do you want a frame, or a full bike?

    In June, I will have a Stage 5 XTR here, but it too will be a large. And I will have the new Stage 4 when it becomes available. So just a few options that you can see if you want and to try out.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egan View Post
    I didn't demo one. I went off reviews and talking to other owners. I do not regret my decision one bit. If you were in Kalifornia, I'd let you take mine for a spin, but I'm guessing you're not if you have snow in April.
    Glad to hear you are still loving your bike. I'm sure you don't see many in Kali?

    DM me if you need anything and I'll do my best to help you out as Aventuron is no longer a dealer.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Glad to hear you are still loving your bike. I'm sure you don't see many in Kali?

    DM me if you need anything and I'll do my best to help you out as Aventuron is no longer a dealer.
    I was really let down by that shop in the end. A lot delays in getting the frame and then in getting the bike built. After I got it the rear brake line leaked at the lever and the drivetrain was missing a spacer at the crank/BB.

    But after my LBS fixed those things and did a proper bike fit, this thing has been an absolute joy. I only got to ride once this week because I didn't book a parking spot early enough at my local regional park and it was really upsetting not being able to get out on the bike - it's that much fun to ride. I need to do some basic maintenance anyway so I will get some quality time with it this weekend.

    Good luck with your new business venture!
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  28. #28
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    Yeah, I don't think that dealer was really into these bikes. It did feel like they were bothered by the effort at times.

    Thanks!
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

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    Wow, Zero, you are incredibly generous!
    You are considering selling them? That is a pretty good endorsement.
    I'm seriously adding this info as a reminder to myself so I can explore it soon.
    I would consider a frame.

    I'm 5'7.5", inseam 31.75", long arms and legs with a short trunk. 155lbs.
    Looking at the specs, and comparing to my current rides, I would think a medium would be perfect. A bit more reach than my current bikes with not-overly-modern geo.
    I know people love bikes that resemble a chopper, but it just isn't my thing. Neither are wide bars, they just aren't comfortable for me.
    Lack of bottle mounts is a bummer.

    There are certain aspects that I like about my Top Fuel, and some that drive me nuts.
    The stack is very low, 570-577. Due to a neck issue, I need to be a bit more upright so I have to run a long steerer or riser bars. The Orange has a much better stack at 606.
    The Re:Aktiv shock is efficient, but just a touch harsh over small stuff. It is amazing how it responds as the bumps become larger.
    10 bearings? Really?

    Hopefully this COVID stuff will minimize soon, and we can get on with life.

    Bob

  30. #30
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    Hi Bob,
    Yes, I am able to sell them.

    I actually think you could fit a large. Let me know if you are interested and we can meet up to see how it fits you.

    I should have a few of the new bikes in sometime in June - a Stage 5 and new Stage 4.

    We can meet up and you can ride them.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Wow, Zero, you are incredibly generous!
    You are considering selling them? That is a pretty good endorsement.
    I'm seriously adding this info as a reminder to myself so I can explore it soon.
    I would consider a frame.

    I'm 5'7.5", inseam 31.75", long arms and legs with a short trunk. 155lbs.
    Looking at the specs, and comparing to my current rides, I would think a medium would be perfect. A bit more reach than my current bikes with not-overly-modern geo.
    I know people love bikes that resemble a chopper, but it just isn't my thing. Neither are wide bars, they just aren't comfortable for me.
    Lack of bottle mounts is a bummer.

    There are certain aspects that I like about my Top Fuel, and some that drive me nuts.
    The stack is very low, 570-577. Due to a neck issue, I need to be a bit more upright so I have to run a long steerer or riser bars. The Orange has a much better stack at 606.
    The Re:Aktiv shock is efficient, but just a touch harsh over small stuff. It is amazing how it responds as the bumps become larger.
    10 bearings? Really?

    Hopefully this COVID stuff will minimize soon, and we can get on with life.

    Bob
    Mine is a medium. I'm 5'7" with a 31"-32" inseam. There are times when the bike feels a wee bit small so I'm probably right on the edge either way.

    I also went with 170mm crank arms to help with my shortness.
    19 Orange Stage 4
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    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  32. #32
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    Thanks Zerort, I will definitely take you up on your offer.
    If I decide to get one, I'll need to figure out how to fly it in under radar, lest my wife give me the raised eyebrows "is that a new bike" look.

    Kidding! My wife is very supportive of my hobby. In fact, she encouraged me to get a new bike a few years ago.

    And thanks Egan for your valuable insight.
    I didn't mean to thread-jack.

    Funny, I know guys that could ride anything and be pretty comfortable.
    But it took me over a decade and maybe 8 bikes to find one that really worked for me (my beloved, but aging i-Drive Team).

    I disliked the short reach on many bikes at the time.
    I loved the Fisher Genesis bikes from the early 2000s, which were ahead of their time as far as longer TT / reach /shorter stem. I still have a Paragon hardtail.

    Once I find the right one, it kind of clicks. This didn't happen with an Anthem, Specialized Epic Evo (demo), or even my current Top Fuel.
    Hopefully the Orange (or whatever else I can demo) will do it.

    Speaking of demo: why is it so hard to demo a bike around here? People out west seem to have demo bikes lurking around every corner.
    I went to the demo at Island Lake last year. Was there for 4 hours and demoed ONE bike.

    Bob

  33. #33
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    All Stage 4's have been sold and are no longer being produced.

    The new Stage "RS" to debut in July.

    That is going to be a long wait.
    by Silentfoe
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  34. #34
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    Hi all, here's my french 2019 stage 5 :

    Orange Stage 4-20191215_105005.jpg

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by supman View Post
    Hi all, here's my french 2019 stage 5 :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sweet ride.
    How about you tell us what you like or dislike about it.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: supman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    106
    Thanks.
    I like his capacity in going down, the alu frame is forgiving and very fun to ride. You have to really drive him but it's easy and very pleasant. Altough it has only 135 mm in the back, you cab go big with it (enduro).
    What could be better : climbing. Altough it has a good pedalling efficiency, like every 29er, you need good wheels to have good sensations. The frame weight being near a carbon frame weight (~3100 g), the bike isn't very heavy and you can use it from long distance raid to all mountain/trail and enduro practises.

  37. #37
    Orange Bikes USA Dealer
    Reputation: Zerort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,340
    New Five Evo
    Orange Stage 4-al_orange_bikes_4620028.jpg

    New Stage Evo
    Orange Stage 4-al_orange_bikes_4620001.jpg

    Limited Edition models shown. Looks like delivery in late July.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  38. #38
    Poison Oak Finder
    Reputation: Egan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    71
    Still loving this bike...

    Orange Stage 4-img_20200627_085202604.jpg
    19 Orange Stage 4
    09 Scott Spark 30
    98 Klein Mantra Race
    91 Bridgestone MB-3

  39. #39
    Orange Bikes USA Dealer
    Reputation: Zerort's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egan View Post
    Still loving this bike...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Probably the best color combination!
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

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