Orange P7 RS Bike Check - Hardtail MTB. Orange America: http://aventuron.com/products/orange-p7-rs?variant=26315412161
Orange UK: http://orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/p7-rs
Today, I’ll be doing a bike check on my Orange P7RS. I’ll show you the bike in detail, give you my opinion on it, and explain what makes it different from other bikes.
Judging from the comments, it’s clear that a lot of you love the way my P7 looks. I’m glad to hear that because I spent about a week cycling through the colors before reaching the point of no return.
One of the reasons the P7 looks so striking is because it’s made of chromoly, or steel. Steel bikes have skinny tubing, which gives them that simple, bold, and classic look. But steel isn’t all about the looks.
Steel bike frames absorb vibrations, which in many cases your tires and suspension can’t. Creaking, cracking, clicking, whatever—you just don’t feel it on a steel bike, which makes it great for hardtails. You still get the response and rigidity you’d expect, but it doesn’t feel as harsh.
Typically you would expect steel to be heavier than aluminum or
carbon, and yeah that’s usually true. To get the weight down, you need really good steel, and it ain’t cheap. You’ll usually get a lighter bike for the money with carbon or aluminum, but steel isn’t about weight, it’s about…steel. You need to ride one to understand.
So we’ve established that the P7 is made of steel, and that steel is dope, but the most important thing about any bike is the geometry. It’s the one thing you can’t change. I must admit that the geometry on the P7 is great for some things and not so great for others.
Just look at how Orange has categorized it: Hardcore hardtail. With a super slack head angle, low center of gravity, and long reach, the P7 is made to plow through everything in its path. Its angles are so radical that the P7 actually hindered in some ways, but that’s okay when you’re looking for a bike with certain characteristics.
Let me give you a few examples. One notable characteristic of the P7 is its low center of gravity, which provides stability. The P7 is really stable, whether you’re railing corners or drifting around on gravel. The downside? It’s a pedal smacker. I’ve gotten used to it and can keep my pedals out of the way now, but on rocky pedaly sections it can be a challenge to navigate.
Another characteristic of the P7 is the longish wheelbase and reach. This also makes the bike very stable, especially on steep descents, however it also makes it more difficult to bunnyhop. I’m confident that with a little more practice I’ll be able hop on to a picnic table with it, but for now I can’t quite clean it.
A lot of you have said that the P7 looks like it would be great for jumping. It is, but not in the way that you would think. I’ve used the word “stable” to describe the P7, and that’s how it feels in the air. No matter how fast or sketchily you’re jumping or hucking, the P7 pretty much goes into autopilot mode and lands fine. That’s the best way I can describe it. To me, shorter bikes with higher bottom brackets are more prone to botched landings, but they’re also way easier to boost and throw around in the air. Depending on your riding style, mood, or choice of trail, you may prefer one or the other.
So I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how the P7 feels, but not a lot about the components. You can order it in quite a few different configurations, with the P7 RS at the top. It’s got a Rockshox pike, Sram XO drivetrain, Guide brakes, yada yada yada they’re amazing. You can look it up. Let’s talk about the notable component choices.
First of all the Hope hubs are not a very common sight in the USA. The cassette sounds wonderful.
Also, it comes with Maxxis High Roller EXO tires. These are really good tires with really strong sidewalls, which the most abusive of riders will greatly appreciate.
Something I’ve never seen before were these Renthal grips. They’re ridiculously grippy, and feel great with gloves. If you go bare handed though they feel really gummy and it kind of freaks me out.
Finally the P7RS comes with a chain guide. I haven’t installed it, and haven’t needed it. I guess it would add an extra measure of reliability.
Otherwise, I just like riding my P7. There are days when I just really feel like being on a hardtail, and if it’s singletrack I’m riding then the P7 is an easy choice. It’s comfortable for long distances, and it can handle just about anything.
So that’s my P7. Before you ask about anything, check the description for links. I’ve got some big plans for this bike in the spring, since a lot of you guys have been asking what a hardtail can actually take. I’d like to demonstrate that. Until then, thanks for riding me today and I’ll see you next time.
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