The Orange R9 and the road ahead

Words: Orange BIkes | Pictures: Various 

January 22 2018

We are a company of cyclists, not just mountain bikers, and we live in the heart of some of the best road biking in the UK. With the popular rise in enduro and endurance based sports we’ve found we're covering more miles on tarmac than ever before. It is time for us the bring our own roadbike back to the Orange line-up.

With a feature list for our dream road bike we set : Super strong yet superlight frame construction, built for distance, designed to climb, descends like a missile. we reckon we’ve ticked off the lot.

We delivered our first carbon fibre road model with the Carb-O in 2012, which is now one of our cult models to those in the know.

Now finally with the advent of bolt-through axle standards, much improved disc braking, and larger volume tyres, we’ve reignited our Orange road bike project to develop a frame and spec package that truly meets the needs of the 21st century rider. 

Not all carbon is created equal

Carbon Fibre frames are now ubiquitous in the world of performance road cycling but the quality can vary enormously. The R9’s frame construction is a precision carbon fibre lay-up using materials from Toray in Japan, one of the world's leading suppliers. The frame’s monocoque structure uses a combination of ultra-high modulus unidirectional composite weave, for its high tensile strength. Bi-directional woven sections are integrated into the complex layup to reinforce areas of high stress.

For each different size of the R9 frame, the carbon fibre prepreg sections are CNC machine cut to fit 3D printed mandrels. These custom mandrels are used during the meticulous layup process to construct each of the frame’s sections before the parts go together into the mould. This process creates a strong monocoque structure avoiding superfluous layup material and unnecessary joints maintaining an ultra-light frame. 

The Orange R9 and the road ahead

This fastidious construction process means that when the laid up material is put through the compaction phase, everything is smooth and even, inside and out, avoiding over-built areas that can fail in the curing process leading to structural weak spots.

Precision CNC cutting of the pre-preg panels also means we can fine tune areas where we need to. Adding extra material to strengthen the flat mount brake mount bosses and keeping the subtly curved sweep of the seat stays lean, light and compliant to provide rider comfort.

Designed primarily with modern electronic gear systems in mind, the R9 will happily accommodate ‘old school’ cables.

Overall, we are thrilled with the way the R9 has come together. The perfect lightweight endurance machine for notching up the miles, with large tyre clearances and powerful disk braking making it perfect for all kinds of roads.

  • Frame constructed using High Compaction (HC) moulding.
  • Endurance geometry, combining rider comfort, rapid climbing ability and confident descending.
  • Unique 3D printed PU mandrels and carbon layups for each size R9 frame size gives es a consistent ride & feel across the range.
  • Monocoque frame construction using only four bonded joints for a lighter and stronger frame.
  • Oval-shaped, curved, super-thin seatstays reduce road buzz and improve comfort.
  • Internal cable routing using injection-moulded stops. Compatible with cable, electric and wireless drivetrain systems.
  • Flat mount disc brakes front & rear.
  • 12mm bolt through-axles front & rear.
R9 Factory
R9 Factory

The ultimate top-dog Orange road bike, Full specs on a dream bike.

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The R9 would be the ideal road bike for 99% of people. Great ride, great spec.

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R9 Pro
R9 Pro

High-performance frame, coupled with an unflappable Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset, Easton Finishing package.

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Orange on the road

While road bikes may not be the first thing you think of when you picture an Orange bike, they are an ingrained part of our heritage, since the early 90's when Orange 700c bikes dominated criterium racing.

The diligent Orange bikes scholar will know our road heritage. From the earliest days of Orange bikes with the highly regarded aluminium Orange Dynamo, we’ve since built small batches of road models for our team riders with successes in the televised city centre series in the mid ’90s, with riders like Adrian Timmis and Jonny Clay famously clad in the distinctive spotted orange road kit racing on the legendary titanium Ti-Dy models.

The new R9 is a leap into the future by comparision.

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