In 2013 Orange Bikes celebrated its 25th anniversary, which summons up two different feelings. Firstly, it’s incredible to think Orange has only been around that long when you consider what an established, hugely respected brand it has become, with a massive roll call of competitive honours — not to mention magazine ‘best-in-test’ awards — as long as your favourite trail. But, on the other hand, Orange still feels like that exciting, envelope-pushing young company that still has the ability to surprise.
Part of the reason for that sense of youthful, home-grown ambition is because Orange bikes are still based in Halifax, West Yorkshire. And while some of the brand’s entry-level and mid-range bikes are built in Taiwan, the firm still proudly builds its higher-end models right here in the UK. Which means that when they want to experiment with a new frame design or engineering concept, they don’t have to get someone in the Far East to knock up a sample; they have the skills and knowledge to produce it right here. And that’s why Orange has such an extraordinarily dynamic and complete product range.
The early to mid-2000s were Orange’s the most successful years in terms of high-profile competitive success with the own-brand race team featuring British downhill legend Steve Peat. Peat was racing at his peak, too, taking the Mountain Bike Downhill World Championship with Orange in 2002 and then securing the overall Downhill World Cup series titles in 2002 and 2004. During their partnership he also won three British National Downhill titles.
But just to prove it’s not Peat’s incredible skills that made the difference, Orange also sponsored South African Greg Minnaar to the Downhill World Cup overall title in 2001, and helped Tracey Hannah secure the women’s under-21 Downhill World Championship in 2006.
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