Orange Four MTB Review

Today, I’m going to review the Orange Four, a single pivot aluminum trail bike with 120mm of travel.

The Orange Four RS
America https://aventuron.com/collections/bikes/products/orange-four-rs
Europe https://www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/four-rs

First, a side note. From this point on bikes that I’m borrowing will get a review. Bikes that are mine will get a bike check. As for this Orange Four, it was lent to me by Aventuron, the distributor for Orange Bikes in the Americas.

the model they sent was the Four RS. I’m not going to get into the components much because they’re not what makes the Four unique. If you want to geek out over the details just check the link below.

Like all full suspension bikes in the Orange lineup, the Four interfaces directly with the rear shock on a single pivot point. The only single pivot bikes I’ve tried were either antiques, or lower end. Not the Four. It’s an all new design, handbuilt, and not cheap. Orange claims that modern high end shocks don’t need complex linkage to perform well, and in fact, fans of these bikes say it makes them more playful and fun to ride. Critics say it’s inefficient, and that linkage can have a huge effect on pedal bob and climbing performance.

Before I form an opinion I need to finish setting this bike up and get to the trails. To get to the singletrack I’ve got 5 miles of climbing to do on a paved greenway, which isn’t the best way to get to know a mountain bike. Still I can tell that the Four has a little more reach than I’m used to, as the seat tube is pitched back over the rear wheel.

I was pleasantly surprised about the low standover height. Paired with a 150mm dropper post, I should be able to get real low on turns and hucks.

Right now I have the luxury of locking out the suspension, but on the ridgeline I won’t have a chance to do that. There, we’ll get to see how this linkage performs when smashing on the pedals. I’m also excited to get up some speed, and see how the Four feels when things get steep.

The four feels firm like an XC bike, but slack and spacious like a trail bike. This is what Orange intended. One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t climb like an XC bike.

With the suspension unlocked the Four does have some pretty noticeable pedal bob, but then again it can only bob so much with 120 millimeters of travel. Not bad, not great.

On descents, the Four feels stiff and mechanically sound. It’s playful, responsive, and agile. It gives you lots of—feedback. On the Four, it’s easy to get your weight over the back wheel and keep from going over the handlebars. At speed, it’s a blast. Just preload, flick your wrists, and it flies off any roller or lip you point it at. There’s something to be said for a 120 mill trail bike, but it comes at a cost.

Mechanically, the Four has no problem handling chunky terrain, but your arms and hands might be another story. I had to dial back my speed more than usual on the really rocky stuff. Descending on the Four is a wild ride; It should be done with loose arms and legs, and with careful line selection.

As for the linkage, I think the Orange die hards have some good points about it. It’s simple, and as a result there’s no slop. It’s springy and likes to pop off the ground. I’d actually like to take it on a ride with no backpack or gear weighing me down.

All in all, I had a blast on the Four. It was really fun to ride, and if you get a chance to visit an Orange demo I highly recommend taking one for a spin.

Still, on an all day epic with lots of different terrain I prefer a little more travel. The Four shines on flowy terrain with lots of high speed jumps. Hardtails also shine in this area, but if you prefer full suspension then the Four could be the bike for you. Like I said, get on one if you get the opportunity.

What do you guys think? Not only about the Four, but short travel trail bikes. Is this a category that you’re interested in? Do you think the Four would be a good match for your trails? Let me know! Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.

Comments

Ethan Hennessey says:

single pivot sucks

Christopher Boyes says:

I have a Norco fluid 7.3. It’s a trail bike with 120mm travel and I love it.

Downhill let's go says:

I use a KONA priesept 120 if have hands on it pls do a review

Anonymous Ph says:

hi seth what is your height???

Anonymous Ph says:

hi seth what is your height???

Anonymous Ph says:

hi seth what is your height???

The Bionic Cyclist says:

Orange bike, made in my home town :) and I’ll never be able to afford one :(

Lazyduck 2336 says:

Please sub

Ellzo says:

congrats on 400k seth

IDontBelieveInPenises says:

But it’s Blue…

Benjamin Coram says:

i think that although a single pivot rear shock could be a good idea, from what i heard in this review the four wouldn’t handle janky rock gardens very well and it could benefit from a better pivot system, my bike has 120mm of travel, but has a complicated linkage system which i think helps it because i can fly through crazy technical rock gardens (with good line selection of course) with no problems at all, i also have virtually no pedal bob thanks to my linkage. On another note i think that 120mm trail bikes are great if you get the right one, mine feels playful and climbs well thanks to it only having 120mm of travel, but is still great on technical stuff and reasonable sized drops, thanks to the linkage. Sorry for dumping an essay on you

edit: i’m not saying single pivots are bad, i just think that in a lot of cases a better pivot system would help, but i also think that a single pivot would be very fun to ride

Funky TrunkMonkey says:

The rear single pivot linkage and chain stay design seem to borrow from the venerable Santa Cruz Superlight. The major difference is the top end of the shock is mounted to the lower down tube on the Orange, versus the upper down tube on the Superlight. Pedal bob on flat terrain with the single pivot suspension is a thing of the past with the new rear shocks that have lock-out and soft lock-out settings. You can get the Superlight in a 29er for around $1900.

Justin Rees says:

its too sketchy

Brian Westfield says:

I’m no stranger to single pivot fs bikes of this vintage. I owned three Mountain Cycle San Andreas bikes in the 90’s – a 1993 San Andreas, a 1996 San Andreas with the updated monocoque seat mast, and a 1997 San Andreas DH. With that said, I simply LOVED those bikes….back in the 90’s. Back then, there were only a handful of good performing Full squish bikes, and the Mountain Cycle range were the ones to get excited about.

Granted, there were nothing wrong with them, once more sophisticated fs designs started to show up such as vpp and later on dw link, I jump on those and never looked back to single pivots with the exception of the Evil bikes which I am on now. The Evil delta linkage proved to me that a single pivot can still work beautifully. But compared to the single pivots of yesteryear, a lot of work has been done to the delta link to iron out all negatives of single pivots.

I can’t help but look at the orange range and think their premise that simplicity is good is really all that’s going for them. Sure, the geometry is revised which is great, but they are asking WAY too much money for their bikes imho.

It’s a mixed bag for me when it comes to orange. I wouldn’t recommend them due to their design and high price. If they cost a lot less, perhaps they would be more appealing from the cost to performance ratio.

But I get that everyone has their own idea of the best bike, and there is a loyal following for orange. That’s exactly how I was with Mountain Cycle in the 90’s so I can’t harp on orange too much.

Ezic IsCute says:

How much is it ?

Joel Murphy says:

I have the four , it’s well put together and easy to handle not to mention eye pleasing. A little expensive however well worth it , one fault I have found is that the brakes are not the most reactive however a generally good bike

julian royz says:

It would die immediately on my trails 160 minimum travel

Mary Vu says:

wut were is the chain stay

RYAN RUTH says:

Pleas do a review on the lower end version: diamond back atroz

zeusandbob says:

If it’s Santos yes

DigDan85 says:

Really good review. Enjoyed it.

Lassi Haapala says:

I have a 120mm travel trail bike, Whyte T129RS and I love it! Slack and long, and 29″ wheels. Climbs like a mountain goat and descends like a beast.

cush media says:

I’ve recently bought the orange five pro and I love it jumps like a dream and through technical sections it just goes it’s good all round good couldn’t reccomend it more highly.

Brady Messer says:

Does anyone think it’s wierd that they’re called orange bikes and it’s light blue

jaakko200987654321 says:

“i prefer a little more travel” goddammit seth here i am with a bike that has a really badly fucked up “80mm” sr suntour xcm fork….

Cherrypieproductions says:

Why is the orange 4 not orange?

Duck Man says:

Always great reviews, thankyou.

Gabriel Scott says:

and show you places to mountain bike of course

Wellsy Wells says:

How much are they

Owen Brook says:

Hi seth. I was wondering if you could do some bike reviews around the £1000 range so some of your bike reviews would be more accessible to people with a lower budget. Many thanks. Keep the videos up they are great.

xxxxsmfxxx says:

you should have rode the five or alpine 6 they are way more up your alley.

Isaac Lane says:

plz plz plz plz plz do a review on the GT aggressor expert 2017

J Wohl says:

Im new to mountain biking and holy crap most of these mountain bikes cost more then my car!

Blue Bird says:

3:11 every time, when I went that fast on a trail like that a thorn bush gets me, last time I went MTB I got caught so badly on a bush it rip through my arm, and I needed 12 stitches

Blake Osmond says:

yeah it wold work at some of my trails

Dewayne McCulla says:

Yes I am interested in short travel trail bikes. I didn’t think I would be. I am riding 160mm of travel on a 27.5 right now. I thought this would be best for me until I demoed an Evil Following. Game over! I need one now or something similar. There are more bikes with similar characteristics popping up all over now. So while I’m still saving, who knows… maybe I’ll end up getting something else. But for now. The Evil Following is just the raddest bike I’ve ever ridden. I would love to see more bikes short travel slack bikes

Biker Squad says:

How much does it cost?

Jake Kaim says:

but it’s blue

HotJam 5 says:

5.5 thousand dollar bike…I bought it! AND I LOVE IT! More than my Scott Spark, but it’s just my opinion

Tommi Wot says:

Can you review an orange five please

shankarlal jain says:

it that electric bike ?

Larry Burke says:

Overpriced POS.

Sam Hens says:

is it a bad idea to put a full sus frame on a hardtail?

Marc Jayco says:

Nice! Could you do more tests on other bike brands like Santa Cruz?

Elijah Romo says:

The arange 4?

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