E-MTB’s have become a vital part of most brands 2018 line-ups, standing shoulder to shoulder with their non-powered siblings. However, nobody was expecting iconic UK brand Orange to drop an E-MTB, especially a 160 mm, hard-hitting beast of a bike. The Orange Alpine 6 E is here, and we have been riding it hard.

The Orange Alpine frame has a design that seems built to take a motor, no changes to the geometry were required to transform the Orange Alpine 6 to the Orange Alpine 6 E.

The Orange Alpine 6 E first hit the media under the project name E.P.O. Launched quietly at the UK’s BikePlace bike show alongside their latest Stage 5 and Stage 6 platforms. It was a bike that nobody was expecting, and it set the forums on fire. Orange has an almost cultish status in the UK, their iconic single pivot frames are built in-house for no-nonsense hardcore riders who value reliability, simplicity and fun, and in a market that is still growing used to E-MTB’s this was a bold statement indeed. We have finally managed to get our hands on a demo Orange Alpine 6 E and have been chucking it around Scotland’s toughest trails to find out if the Alpine 6 E can live up to to it’s lofty intention.

The slightly agricultural lines are distinctively Orange, no-nonsense and practical, but it works. The integration is totally silent with no rattles or creaks, just raw power.

Orange are one of the few remaining brands who manufacture in the UK, and their iconic single-pivot silhouette has become synonymous with the brand. Orange has always believed in the benefits of their evolved suspension platform, and it turns out the high pivot and elevated chainstay design has another advantage too. When it comes to motor and battery integration, most E-MTB designs have make changes to the geometry to shoehorn in the extra technology. However, the design that has gained Orange bikes so many fans has permitted the integration of motor and battery without any change to the geometry. The numbers are good too, a 64.5° head angle makes full use of the 170 mm fork, a 481 mm reach (in size large) gives plenty of room to move about and the 430 mm chainstays have been proven to supply an engaging and active ride.

Our bike was the final preproduction STRANGE model (Oranges prototype department). The stock model features a new rubberized power button cover.
Orange have managed to shoehorn in a Shimano E8000 drive unit without compromises to the geometry.
The Fox X2 does a fine job controlling the single pivot suspension.
Mud clearance is huge, and for those who ride a lot in winter, the Orange is effortless to clean.

Geometry of the Orange Alpine 6 E

Size M L XL
Seat tube 431 mm 457 mm 508 mm
Top tube 612 mm 632 mm 652 mm
Head tube 120 mm 125 mm 130 mm
Head angle 64.5° 64.5° 64.5°
Seat angle (effective) 74° 74° 74°
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB Height 342 mm 342 mm 342 mm
Wheelbase 1230 mm 1251 mm 1273 mm
Reach 463 mm 481 mm 498 mm
Stack 618 mm 622 mm 631 mm

Specification of the Orange Alpine 6 E LE

The Orange Alpine 6 E will be available in two specifications, but initial orders are currently being taken for their top £7500 spec LE (Launch Edition specification). The heart of the 23.0 kg Orange Alpine 6 E is a Shimano E8000 motor and integrated 504 Wh battery, driven by a Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain. Just like the bike, components have been chosen to be tough and durable, with a full blue Hope finishing kit including the Tech 3 E4 brakes and 35 mm stem and rugged Stan’s Flow Mk3 rims laced onto the bombproof Hope Pro 4 hubs. A Fox Factory Transfer finishes the desirable wishlist It’s a build that looks ready to power through the hardest of winters.

Fork Fox Factory 36 Float 170mm 27.5
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 Factory 216×63
Wheelset Stans Flow Mk3 (Blue) + Hope Pro 4 (Blue)
Tyres Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 3c EXO TR / DHR 2.4 EXO TR 2
Drive Unit Shimano E8000
Battery Shimano Integrated E8020 (504 Wh)
Crankset Shimano E8050 34t Ring
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2 11-46t
Brakes Hope Tech 3 E4 Blue 203/180
Stem Hope Stem 35mm x M35 Blue
Handlebar Renthal Fat Bar 800mm M35
Seatpost Fox Factory Transfer 150mm Drop

Riding the Orange Alpine 6 E

We have to admit to being excited to ride this surprising bike from Orange, their bikes always deliver a lively and feedback rich ride that should be well suited to e-power. From the first few pedal strokes the Orange Alpine 6 E feels instantly familiar, low slung, well balanced with a stretched out and comfortable riding position, it feels like an Orange and that is a very good thing. The shock is attached directly to the swingarm and the powerful Fox Float X2 takes full control over the long swingarm, initially sensitive but ramping up firmly to give plenty of pop should you want to haul the bike into the air. At 23.0 kg it is heavy, but the low centre of gravity and supportive suspension mean that once airborne the bike is stable and easy to manage on big hucks. The same lively character and engaging rear suspension action that makes the conventional Alpine 6 E so much fun to ride are all present, only this time you have a motor to power you back to the top again. On technical climbs, the long leverage from the huge rear swingarm keeps the rear wheel digging deep for traction while the low standover gives the rider enough room to throw some shapes or get the hammer down. While forum bashers like to mock the simple single-pivot design, Orange owners have been silently enjoying silky smooth, predictable travel that needs only two bearings when it comes to service time. We would go as far as to say that this is one of the most engaging and fun E-MTBs on the market.

With the powerful Shimano E8000 powerplant, you are up into the hills in no time at all.

The handling is on point too, of course, you can feel you are carrying the extra bulk of an E-MTB but the huge stiffness of the frame around the main pivot helps to hide the extra weight in the corners. The huge traction available from the Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 / DHR 2.4 combo holds a line without any wallow or vagueness. Dare we say it, the Alpine 6 E feels more stable, more composed and faster in most situations that its conventional sibling. The extra unsprung mass provides massive stability and traction when charging through rough terrain, but enough agility remains to wag the tail whenever needed, be cautious of big whips though as the heavier rear requires some pulling back into line.

The Alpine 6 E is totally happy in rough terrain, unfazed by rocks or drops.
All the spirit, balance and poise that make the conventional Oranges so popular is retained in the Alpine 6 E.

All the normal refineries of a top spec E-MTB are there too, the Shimano E8000 powerplant delivers its substantial power smoothly and seamlessly, no matter what the cadence, and the 504 Wh battery ensures the fun goes on for a long time. The Shimano Di2 is well integrated into the design, and shifts with the precision and reliability that is expected from the ‘workhorse’ drivetrain. While visually the battery integration is not the most stylish, the execution is undoubtedly practical, the tough cover eliminates any creaking or rattles, even when buckaroo-ing through the wildest terrain the Alpine 6 E remains quiet and composed. That same practicality extends to the mud clearance too, with huge space and no mud-collecting linkages the Orange Alpine 6 E is hands down the easiest full suspension E-MTB to clean and live with.

It was a sad day when we handed back the Orange Alpine 6 E, this is a bike that could start a revolution in the UK.

The Alpine 6 E is not quite perfect though. As with most E-MTB’s we would love to see a few changes. While the Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 / DHR 2.4 tyres are ridiculously good, a bike this fast and gravity orientated would be better with tyres with thicker DD sidewalls, especially on the rear where we picked up some punctures from over enthusiastic rear wheel shenanigans. The Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes are kings of modulation, but they do struggle on outright power, and the outright speed of the Alpine 6 E pushed them to the limit, a more DH orientated brake like the Shimano Saint, TRP Quadiem or SRAM Code would give a little more opportunity for harder and later braking. Aside from those small points, the Alpine 6 E is ready to rock-and-roll, direct from the box.


The UK has been slow to adopt e-power, but with bikes like the Orange Alpine 6 E hitting the market we expect to see more and more conventional bike riders getting tempted off the fence and making the switch. The Orange Alpine 6 E is phenomenal bike, a rip-snorting, corner-smashing animal that takes the balance and poise that makes the single-pivot ride so much fun and then supercharges it. A result of modern technology fusing with an iconic chassis, it’s simply brilliant.

For more information, you can check out the Orange website.

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