The Lab | Winterproject: Orange Alpine 160 RS
The Alpine is not known for its nimble handling, light weight, or appetite for maintenance, unlike some of its high-priced American carbon-constructed racing snake counterparts. This in mind, it was given to our UK test rider Jim Buchanan to be trashed, thrashed, beaten, and bashed through the shitty UK off-season. Could he make a mark on it or even need to replace a thing as he tried to ride this thing to destruction? Check out the original article from issue #016 or read on below!
After Jim’s first ride of this burly and extremely long DH-smashing weapon, Jim never found the weight an issue; this bike climbs with the ease of its much leaner multi-pivot-pointed cousins with the use of the climb switch on the RockShox Monarch Plus shock. When it comes to going down, put anything in its way and it just smashes through it begging for more. It doesn’t exactly dance on the downhills like a shorter, lighter bike, but it does what it says on the tin: it gets there, letting nothing stop it in its path.
When it comes to the muck and the grime, this bike took the constant torment of the muddy UK trails throughout the winter just as was expected, and still looks good as new. The only wear was that of the anodizing and one bush on the rear shock, a real testament to the sturdiness and fantastic build of this hand-built big-mountain basher from the reputable UK firm of Orange. Jim’s only gripe was to say if he had the chance again to run an incredibly low-maintenance single-pivot machine from Orange, he would have gone for the more UK-suited shorter and lighter Orange 5 as a more tossable tool for the tighter tracks where Jim tends to spend his winters.
Price: € 5.250
Weight: 15,02 kg
Tester: Jim Buchanan
Duration of test: 5 Monate
Km ridden: 830 km
More information: orangemountainbikes.co.uk
Words: Jim Buchanan Pictures: Trev Worsey