Orange reawakens downhill trail blazer with Bosch power
The Orange Patriot was the mountain bike of choice for many downhill and gravity riders in the UK and beyond in the early noughties, and now the company has revived it for the ebike age. The 2024 LE rides with Bosch power, a mullet wheelset and Strange linkage.
Orange Bikes introduced the Patriot in the late 1990s, and it was quickly adopted by the UK's "now legendary" Team Animal and became "the bike of choice for many gravity riders." The last revision to the best-selling formula appeared in 2012/2013, a "slack-angled big mountain ripper" that offered 180-mm of balanced single-pivot suspension.
The new LE model taps into that lineage, but becomes an E.P.O. (Electric Powered Orange) bike that's centered on a Bosch Performance Line CX mid-drive motor offering four assist modes, with tweaking possible through the companion mobile app.
The motor delivers 85 Nm (62.6 lb.ft) of torque for "fast off-the-mark acceleration," with Orange noting that the "eMTB system detects input power and cadence to modulate the assistance to perfectly match the trail." A 750-Wh PowerTube battery can be removed from the downtube for charging indoors, or topped up in situ. And the rider benefits from a Shimano 12-speed gearset matched to a SRAM NX Eagle chain.
The eMTB is built around a 6061-T6 monocoque aluminum frame that's inherited the company's single-pivot Strange powerlink shock setup from its Stage 7 and Switch 7 frames, with the Fox Float X Performance 205x65 trunnion shock mounted low in the frame using a mix of titanium and aluminum hardware. That's paired with a Fox Performance 38 Float suspension fork for 170 mm of travel front and rear.
The ride geometry reportedly "follows the Switch 7's lead to give that sure-footed trail hugging grip that is so characteristic of the powerlink chassis" and features a performance-oriented 63° head angle, 76° seat tube angle, 481-mm reach and 448-mm chainstays – "putting the rider front and center and balanced on the contact points for perfect control, climbing or descending."
The new Patriot sports a little more ground clearance thanks to the height of the bottom bracket being raised by 5 mm, compared to the Switch 7. It rolls with a mullet configuration rocking a 29-inch wheel in front and a 27.5-inch rim out back, each wrapped in Maxxis Minion tires. Stopping power is provided by SRAM Guide RE ebike-specific hydraulic disc brakes with 200-mm rotors.
Announced as just one build so far, the 2024 Patriot LE E.P.O. is priced at US$9,900. The video below has more.
Product page: Orange Bikes Patriot LE E.P.O.