Test: The British manufacturer Orange is known for its mountain bikes. With the Orange R9, however, they now also have a racing bike in their own ranks, which should benefit from the know-how of the mountain bike specialist. You can find out what the Orange R9 is really capable of and how it drives here in the test.
In hardly any other region has racing bikes gained such importance in recent years as in Great Britain. Sure, because the passion for the topic of road is also fueled by a number of Tour de France successes. The situation was similar for the British manufacturer Orange Bikes, who as a mountain bike specialist is already no stranger to the scene. The enduro trend in the mountain bike scene means more off-road training sessions. When the employees and developers at Orange noticed that they too were covering more and more kilometers on the road in recent years, they decided to develop their own racing bike and bring it to market. The result is the Orange R9.
Orange R9 – The frame
The main work in the development of the new Orange R9 naturally flowed into the heart of the bike, the frame. They wanted to include all the features that they wanted from a dream racing bike. The aim was to develop a super strong yet light frame construction for long distances. The racer should be able to climb properly and primarily feel at home on the road.
The unidirectional R9 carbon fiber frame was developed to offer the best long-distance performance. It features a stiff front end to ensure confident handling at high speeds, along with comfortable seatstays to ensure a comfortable ride all day long. In addition, the frame should offer as much compatibility and functionality as possible, which is why disc brakes, greater tire clearance and compatibility with various groupsets are offered. Last but not least, the aim was to offer an attractive look with its curved shape and minimalist design.
Orange R9 – The equipment
The Orange R9 is available as a frame kit and in three different configurations. While the top model Orange R9 Factory comes with Sram Red eTap, Zipp carbon wheels and Zipp attachments, the R9 RS variant has Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Mavic Kysrium wheels paired with Easton attachments. The entry-level variant R9 Pro comes with a mechanical Shimano Ultegra, Easton aluminum wheels and Easton attachments. We tested the Pro version with us.
Orange R9 – MTB specialist goes road bike
Of course we were curious to see how a racing bike from a mountain bike specialist would ride and in which areas you might still be able to feel the off-road influence. On the first meters you could feel how smooth the Orange R9 Pro is to drive. Due to the stiff front, it runs incredibly smooth and can be controlled precisely. Nevertheless, it offers an appealing level of comfort when things get restless. A small disadvantage only shows up here when there are quick changes of direction, since the R9 behaves a bit sluggishly here. This could also be due to the slightly toned down geometry, which allows the rider to sit a little more upright. The big advantage here is that you can still be pretty relaxed on the road even after several hours of driving. But the comfortable seatstays also play their part and put up with a lot.
Uphill, the Orange R9 is at its best, climbing efficiently and smoothly. Here you benefit from the good power transmission of the bike in combination with its appealing weight.