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Orange Re-Enters Road Bike Market

Published October 16, 2011

HALIFAX, United Kingdom (BRAIN)—Orange Mountain Bikes is returning the road after a 15-year hiatus.

The U.K.-based brand’s first skinny tire effort is the Carb-O, a monocoque frame with unidirectional carbon layup. The bike is spec’d with a full Shimano 105 groupset, Easton wheels and Easton finishing kit. It retails for 1900 pounds ($3,000) and only 120 will be available in the first mid-December shipment.

Orange Mountain Bikes was started by Lester Noble and Steve Wade in 1988. The brand branched into road bikes three years later with the Dynamo, an aluminum race bike. During the next two years, the platform expanded with the Formula and Ti-di, which experimented with new frame materials and compact geometry. Orange finally saw some commercial success with its D2, winning National Premier road races under Tour de France veteran Adrian Timmis. Orange returned its full-time focus to mountain bikes, but the road heritage lingered.

In a June interview with Bicycle Retailer, Orange’s managing director Michael Bonney said the company planned to offer more urban and road products in the future for brand diversification and to satisfy requests from Orange loyalists looking to expand their stable with a road bike for training rides.

“It’s brand loyalty,” Bonney said. “It’s for these guys who want it.”

Orange is distributed in the U.S. by ZED Sport in Central Point, Oregon, which may bring in a limited number of Carb-O's into the U.S. Orange sells 95 percent of its bikes in the U.K.

(PHOTO: Orange Carbo)

—Nicole Formosa

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