Orange Bikes has launched its latest downhill mountain bike in a timely fashion, just days before the 2022 DH World Cup season opener in Lourdes, France. It’s an MX wheel setup, and Orange tells us it’s the fastest bike they’ve built in their 3 decades of downhill racing history. Scotland’s Lachlan Blair will be sending it out of the start gate.
Orange 279 Downhill Bike
While the speed of the Orange 279 DH Bike may be subjective, defined only by the rider who pilots it, the 279 DH is objectively the longest bike Orange has ever produced. A 62° head angle, 496mm reach and 465mm stays push the XL frame’s wheelbase to a whopping 1348mm, significantly longer than the 327 and 329 DH bikes that came before it.
Small, Medium and Large are also available with reach measurements of 443mm, 460mm and 480mm, respectively. The stated BB height of 335mm is measured from the ground with a 740mm diameter front and 700mm diameter rear tyre.
Rear wheel travel is stated as 198mm, delivered as ever by Orange Bikes’ unmistakable single-pivot suspension platform and monocoque aluminum swingarm. As with the 327 and 329 DH bikes, the forward shock mount sits within a downtube recess.
The linkage was optimised to produce the most progressive Orange downhill bike that has ever existed, too, now more suited to the linear spring rate of a coil shock. Orange tells us the suspension is “brutally capable”, thanks to the revised and re-tuned suspension layout.
Lachlan Blair is due to put the Orange 279 DH Bike through its inaugural World Cup run at Lourdes this weekend, while his Orange Factory Racing team mate Joe Connell is due to make an appearance at other rounds later this season. Here is Lachlan giving it beans at the Portugal Cup DHI race in Padela last week where he finished up in 7th place.
Pricing & Availability
The Orange 279 DH Bike is available as a complete bike and as a frame and shock only. The 279 Factory will set you back £7300 / $8800 USD / €8000, built up with a Fox Factory 40 fork with GRIP2 damper, Fox Float X2 Factory air shock, SRAM GX1 DH 7 speed drivetrain, Shimano Saint brakes with 203mm rotors, Stans Flow Mk4 wheels with Hope Pro 4 hubs and Michelin DH 22 2.4″ tyres. A frameset with a Fox Float X2 Factory Shock is yours for £3200.