Lockdown Bike Build: Orange Five.

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I recently brought an Orange Five frame and built it up as an XC / Trail bike. This is a quick post about why i choose the Five and what i am using it for.

1. Make the local trails fun

The main reason I brought the Five is because it can make the local trails fun. The trails i have close to home are rough, disjointed, narrow and flat. There are some fun bits of single track, and a few bits of gravel, but for the most part it’s mowed paths through fields.

Unlike my previous hardtail, the Five can float across the bumps. It’s easy to keep in the saddle and put the power down. Even across really rough terrain the Five is composed and comfortable.

With the Five, I am looking forward to my ride, rather than doing it because i feel i should.

2. Affordable

Unlike an Orange Four, or a Santa Cruz Tallboy, i could find an Orange Five frame at an afforable price. I found a brand new frame with a fancy Fox DPX2 shock for £1299. Not quite as cheap as i’d hoped for, but not bad. I would have preffered a lower spec frame, but they had all sold out by the time i was looking.

When combined with the parts i already own, i have a bike roughly equivalent to the £5400 Orange Five RS. Not bad for the £1300 i have spent.

Beyond the cost, the Five is also wonderful value. Both now and in the future. I can buy the Five now, ride it for 6 - 12 months, then sell it and get back 80-90% of what i paid for it.

3. Flexible

The Five is a very fleixble frame. To suit the local trails i’ve gone for a XC / Trail build. It’s got a long riding position with fast rolling tyres and light trail brakes. It’s extremely good for crossing rough ground at speed.

However, swap the narrow rims and tyres for something beefier, fit some bgger rotor and sinitered pads and the bike would be quite happy to spend the day riding blues and reds at bike park wales.

The flexibility is key. It works well for the lockdown, but with a few parts changed it should also work well for the sort of things i normally ride once lock down ends.

4. Nothing Special

The final exciting feature is a little odd. The Five is nothing at all special. It’s an off the shelf, easy to replace, common mountain bike. Unlike other frames i won, if it gets damaged or stolen i wont be loosing something which cannot be easily replaced

Equally, as it doesn’t look to flash i dont mind riding it around on my own. I don’t feel like a target.

Final Thoughts

The Five is perhaps some of the best money i have ever spent on bike stuff. It’s enabled so many fun adventures already and has plenty more to come. It’s vastly reduced the mental health ramifications of the lock down and i may even exit lockdown fitter and healther than when i started.

While i look forward to when i can ride at bike parks again, with the Five beneath me i am having plenty of fun closer to home.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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