The Bike List

Orange roll out 2013 322

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.

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.

Highlight 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

Availability July 2012

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