Orange Five 29 – the most fun big-wheeler ever?

The beast has been unleashed! First glimpsed at Eurobike and then being given a good thrashing by Tom Wheeler, the Orange Five 29 is about to go into production. And we’re excited – if this bike rides anything like the 26in-wheeled Five it could just be the most fun big-wheeler ever!

The signs are promising. With a beefy Fox 34 fork up front, a super-stiff 142x12mm back end, chain guide tabs and Orange’s customary bombproof build quality, this thing looks ready for business. So, how much will this wagon-wheeled trail weapon set you back? The first batch of 50 will hit shops in March, priced at £2,999.

That’s with the Black Gold colourway and fixed spec shown here – more colours and options will become available in the summer. So, is this big-wheeled bruiser a sign of things to come from the Halifax bike-makers? Apparently you can expect to see a 650b-wheeled Crush in 2014, and word on the street is that they’ve been playing about with an in-betweener Five too.

The Five 29 should ride like it has much more than 140mm of travel, thanks to the terrain-flattening feel of the big wheels. Picture by James Costley-White

The Five 29 should ride like it has much more than 140mm of travel, thanks to the terrain-flattening feel of the big wheels

Orange reckon it’s the “slackest 140mm 29er out there”, with a 66.5° head angle and 74° seat tube adding to its hooligan appeal. Picture by James Costley-White

Adding to its hooligan appeal, Orange reckon it’s the “slackest 140mm 29er out there”, with a 66.5° head angle

The version seen here is actually a third generation prototype – the final bike will have ISCG mounts... Picture by James Costley-White

The version seen here is actually a third generation prototype – the final bike will have ISCG chain guide mounts…

... and a full-length outer for the top-tube routed gear cable. Picture by James Costley-White

… and a full-length outer for the top-tube routed gear cable

The first batch of 50 will be available from March. The fixed spec includes top-end 'Factory' Fox dampers... Picture by James Costley-White

The first batch of 50 will be available from March. The fixed spec includes top-end ‘Factory’ Fox dampers…

... a Shimano Deore XT clutch rear mech and SLX front mech... Picture by James Costley-White

… a Shimano Deore XT clutch rear mech and SLX front mech…

... Mavic 319 Disc rims on Formula hubs, shod with Continental Rubber Queen 2.2in treads... Picture by James Costley-White

… Mavic 319 Disc rims on Formula hubs, shod with Continental Rubber Queen 2.2in treads…

... a Race Face stem, seatpost and crankset... Picture by James Costley-White

… a Race Face stem, seatpost and crankset (the post can be upgraded to a RockShox Reverb dropper)…

... and Avid Elixir 5 brakes. Orange like to spec Hope brakes and hubs but wanted to keep the price below £3,000. More colours and options will become available in the summer. Picture by James Costley-White

… and Avid Elixir 5 brakes. Orange like to spec Hope brakes and hubs but wanted to keep the price below £3,000

As with all of Orange's bikes, the Five 29 is handbuilt in Halifax, England. Picture by James Costley-White

As with all of Orange’s bikes, the Five 29 is handbuilt in Halifax, England

More info at http://www.orangebikes.co.uk