A Orange Alpine 6 MTB placed against a muddy slab of a rock in a woodland scene

Orange Alpine6 Pro Review

Big mountain slayer

11th July, 2016 | by Phil Williamson

Considering the reputation that Orange Bikes have for reliability in British riding conditions a very wet day in Bike Park Wales was the ideal testing ground for the new Orange Alpine6. Following Orange’s design philosophy of gradual improvements to their models the Alpine6 has received some small but significant changes to improve performance over the steep, technical terrain that it was built for.

Model: Alpine6 Pro

Discipline:  Enduro / Freeride

Rider: Hard hitting trail rider

Highlights: Stable at speed

Tredz Rating: 910

Price: From £3,235.00

Geometry and Name Changes for 2017

Formally known as the Alpine 160 the name has been changed to reflect the 170mm fork that is now fitted on all four models, including the new entry level ‘S’ model has been added to the range. 

The whole frame has been updated but it is the rear end that has seen the most attention for 2017. The swingarm is now a significant 31mm shorter than last year’s model but, due to the pivot point being moved back, the effective chainstay length is actually only 8mm shorter. While this does make the Alpine6 slightly more manoeuvrable the real improvements are with the suspension performance. The shock curve is now more progressive which improves the small bump sensitivity while retaining all of its big hit ability. 

The single pivot design with oversized pivot bearings offers the reliability you need for all year riding in British weather conditions.

Stiffer rear end

The rear end also feels significantly stiffer. This is due in part to the Boost 148 rear axle but also the revised shape of the swingarm. The stays now feature a crease similar to the mainframe tubes which increases the stiffness without adding any weight. The 2017 Alpine6 is 300 grams lighter than last year’s Alpine 160. 

While the overall length of the Alpine6 is slightly less than last year’s 160 the effective top tube and front centre measurement remains the same. This means that the Alpine still feels long and it retains the stability at speed that you would expect from such a big hitter. The bottom bracket height has also been dropped by 5 degrees which offers more of an in-the-bike feel and cornering stability. 

Bike Spec


Front suspension:
Fox 36 Performance 170mm

Rear suspension:
Fox Float X Performance 160mm

Shimano SLX 11 speed

Head angle:
64.5 degrees

Chainstay length:

Wheel base / size:
1210mm / Medium

Fox 36 fork and Float X shock

With the 170mm Fox 36 Performance fork fitted upfront, the head angle is now ½ a degree slacker. Even with the additional travel the front end felt stiffer thanks to the wider Boost axle spacing. The Fox performance series units now feature a black anodized coating similar to RockShox forks and shocks. The Pro is now spec’d with a Float X shock and both units performed flawlessly.

The Shimano SLX 11 speed drivetrain, combined with the Raceface chainset, offered reliable shifting throughout the test. Quiet and secure there was no need for a chain device.  Tubeless ready wheels and wide rims are ideal for hard riding and the KS dropper post worked perfectly without any fuss. The only weak point in the spec was the Shimano Deore brakes which didn’t bite as well as I’d like in the very wet conditions.

A close up view of a wet Rear Fox Shox on the Alpine 6

On the trail

Right from the off the Alpine6 inspired confidence. It felt so stable when I picked up speed and encouraged me to ride faster everywhere. Breezing through the rough sections the Alpine remained composed on the Red trails at BPW. Grip was never an issue, which was encouraging, as it really was very wet. So wet in fact that I had trouble seeing the trail on flatter sections as there was so much standing water. Even so the Alpine6 never missed a beat. Once I was used to the extra length of the Alpine6 I sought out BPW’s steeper trails and again was impressed with the confidence it gave me. 

I was also impressed with the climbing ability of the Alpine6. It is lightweight for such a stiff and capable bike and the new pivot location offered efficient pedalling which is ideal for enduro racing as well as trail riding.

Side view of a Orange Alpine 6

Close Look

Close up of the bottom tube of the frame with the rear shox showing in the background. A close up showing the pivot point of the frame and how it helps to absorb the bumps of the MTBer
Rear side view of a Alpine 6  A close up view of a wet rear fox shox
Front view of a wet Orange logo on the front of the Alpine Close up view of the Fox front Suspension forks and Maxxis tyres

Tredz Verdict

A big hitting enduro bike the Alpine6 will relish the challenge of steep hand cut trails and DH sections. It is light enough for all day riding where you don’t mind taking it easy on the climbs so you can smash the descents. The Orange Alpine6 is ideal for uplift days and chair lift assisted riding holidays as well as enduro racing. The single pivot design with oversized pivot bearings offers the reliability you need for all year riding in British weather conditions.

Lighter and stiffer with improved rear suspension performance and a longer travel fork, the Orange Alpine6 - formally known as the Alpine 160 - is now more capable than ever. 

View Orange Range

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