Orange Bikes is a legendary name when it comes to the best mountain bike brands and their Patriot model is a name that goes a long way back in the Orange history books. Ridden by the infamous Team Animal at the turn of the millennium, the Patriot is arguably one of downhill and freeride MTB's most iconic bikes. Renowned for its versatility, hard-hitting and capable performance, Orange now says these attributes apply to the brand's all-new Patriot, now an E.P.O. (Electric Powered Orange). The Patriot name is resurrected and this new e-MTB becomes the brand's first E.P.O. model to feature the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, one of the best electric mountain bike motors, that they say fully complements the Orange Ride philosophy.
The brand also launched their Orange Msisle electric hardtail mountain bike earlier this year, and like all Orange bikes, the new Patriot is designed, manufactured and tested in the UK at Orange's own facility. The aluminum frame is built around the Strange Powerlink driven shock system that is also used on their Orange Stage 7 and Orange Switch 6. The Patriot, like its other alloy framed siblings, starts life as flat sheets of aerospace-grade aluminum, and the individually custom-fabricated tubes are seam-welded with a final product that they add is strong, durable and, importantly, fully recyclable.
The new Orange Patriot has a big reputation and some big shoes to fill, we had a look over the juicy details to see what could make this bike one of the best electric mountain bikes around.
The Patriot ride
The Orange Ride philosophy is to deliver a mountain bike that combines agile handling with confidence on the big mountain terrains. Orange says the Patriot is a gravity bike with its own built-in uplift, designed on a mixed mullet wheel set-up (MX) of a 29-inch front and 27.5-inch rear, with 170 mm of suspension travel front and rear. Orange has favored the mullet wheelset and says its combination of the fast-rolling, bump-absorbing 29-inch front wheel combined with the agility of the 27.5-inch rear end delivers what they say is a winning set-up that works well for riders of all disciplines.
The geometry for the Patriot borrows from the Switch 7 with the same trail-hugging characteristic and grip of the Powerlink chassis. The Patriot geometry has a performance-orientated slack 63-degree head angle, and a forward-looking 76-degree seat tube angle, that they say when combined with the roomy 481mm reach (on a Large), and lengthy chainstays, will put the rider front and center, perfectly balanced on the contact points for supreme control, climbing and descending.
Not all the design stats are lifted from the Switch 7, with the E.P.O. Patriot getting its bottom bracket lifted by 5mm, and 165mm crank arms (favored by many e-MTB brands), for better ground clearance and reduced pedal strikes when climbing technical trails under power.
The Strange Powerlink is claimed to give a progressive shock curve which Orange say adds to the truly bottomless feel of the Patriot, and allows the riders to use both high-volume air cans or coil shocks to suit their preference. The frame's shock curve is also developed to retain the fun confident feel that Orange Bikes have become famous for, while adding the big-travel requirements of a progressive platform.
Orange claim the lynchpin that makes the Patriot so dynamic is the Strange Powerlink-driven 205x65 trunnion shock, which is mounted low in the frame helping to lower the bike's centre of gravity and giving a more neutral weight distribution whilst riding. The shock and linkage mounting hardware is now a mix of titanium and aluminum, with the titanium bolts not only lighter but stronger than their aluminum counterparts, they are reusable in servicing where aluminum bolts need to be replaced. A small detail, but one that designed to make suspension checks and maintenance a much simpler task.
As mentioned, the Patriot has the brand's iconic aircraft-grade aluminum folded monocoque construction. The Patriot frames features are the result of what they say is a meticulous analysis and test rider feedback. The new 49/56 zero stack headtube helps improve strength and stiffness at the front end of the bike, increasing the surface area for the welding between the head tube, downtube and top tube as well as giving enough room to drop the downtube slightly to allow for a water bottle in the front triangle.
Bish, bash Bosch
The Patriot becomes the first Orange bike to benefit from using the Bosch Performance CX drive unit and they have worked closely with Bosch engineers who have played a big part in the development of the bike, accessing the prototypes and integrating the Bosch system to the Orange E.P.O. thinking.
The Bosch drive unit offers up to 85Nm of torque, and that delivers its power perfectly to suit the Patriot. With its fast off-the-mark acceleration, Orange say it gives an instant feel from the powerful drive unit, and when it comes to technical climbs the dynamic e-MTB system detects input power and cadence to modulate the assistance to match the trail. The e-MTB intelligent mode makes standing starts on steep climbs easy, with no overpowered slip-ups on loose terrain. Extended boost gives that extra kick of power when you need it most to get big roots and steep rocky sections.
The Bosch system is accessed through the compact bar mounted computer, with everything needed to control the bike’s power. The new Flow e-MTB app is also an essential part of the system which offers an amazing number of features along with updates and improvements. As standard, Bosch Performance CX has four ride modes – Eco, Tour, eMT/ and Turbo. These are all customizable through the Flow app.
The Orange Patriot’s downtube houses the Bosch Power Tube 750Wh battery giving plenty of range, and as with the Orange E.P.O. models the battery is easily swappable for quick changes. There is easy access to an onboard charging port for topping up the battery quickly and easily, while the battery is also removable for off-bike battery charging and contact cleaning maintenance.
Pricing, availability and specification
The first model available will be the Orange Patriot LE. Priced at $9,900 / £8,800 / €9,500 and comes in a Smoke White colorway. Orange also offers a five-year warranty and a limited lifetime crash replacement. All the details on ordering and dealers are available at Orangebikes.com.
- Frame: 6061-T6 Monocoque UK Formed Custom Aluminum
- Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX
- Battery: Bosch Power Tube 750wh
- Fork: Fox Performance 38 Float 170mm 29
- Shock: Fox Float X Performance 205x65
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX 12spd
- Shifters: Shimano SLX 12spd
- Stem: Burgtec Enduro Black 42.5mm
- Bar: Burgtec RideWide Enduro 800mm
- Crankset: Race Face Aeffect R E-MTB 34t 165mm
- Seatpost: SDG Tellis 150/170mm
- Saddle: SDG Strange Bel Air III
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RE 200/200
- Wheels: Stans Flow Mk4 + Hope Pro 5 (Black) 29 + 27
- Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 3c EXO+ 29 / DHR II 2.4 3c EXO+ 27.5
- Color: Smoke White
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Weight: TBC
- Price: $9,900 / £8,800 / €9,500