‘Handbuilt’ isn’t a marketing term…
…it’s a philosophy, a belief, a collective principle and something Orange have real pride in. It encapsulates not just production methods but the organic nature of how they work. Orange is hands-on, from design and testing through to supply and aftersales care. Having pride not just in their product, but in their business sense and their ethos on exactly how to make riding an Orange bike the best possible experience. Clichés about Family – Orange spring to mind, but you’re not buying into a clique, you’re buying into quality which isn’t replicated in the modern world of mass production, outsourcing and buy-outs. All Orange bikes start their life in the dreary confines of Calderdale. In a nondescript industrial unit on the edge of town bikes are brought to life. Drawings are scribbled and ideas become reality as they hit the steep valleys and grind through peaty moorland grit. The owners test, the testers feed back into design, designers get hounded and they start all over again. At every level the drawings made become bikes ridden by real riders, some work out, others don’t.
When Orange have fixed on a model and they’ve completed the laborious task of design, they look at how they would build it. Almost all their bikes are made in-house, built by a hand-picked team of master welders. Craftsmen, expert metalworkers and engineers; these guys are dedicated to the precision of every bead of every weld. Frame builders have been there for years, they know their bikes, and they know exactly how they’re ridden.
Engineering in the big smoke of Halifax is only half the process, there is still a need to build frames into bikes and fill gaps in the range that. Where possible sourcing products from the UK, but when they can’t achieve that aim, they cherry pick from the world’s best sources. Being small, Orange do not tie themselves into inescapable contracts. Not driven by bike industry model years; they can move quickly and efficiently to do exactly what they want and deliver what you need. This applies to all the parts they import, everything is addressed head-on and they will never compromise quality to meet a price point. Orange is proud to be British, but where designs and products can be better produced elsewhere, they explore other possibilities in the pursuit of engineering solutions. They’re not naïve, pride is in the product and they hunt the world to find the best people to help them in their pursuit. The few frames which are made abroad follow this ethos. By designing what they want and then to go over there for prototypes. Only when they’re happy with the product do they turn into bikes. Every tube, every join, every sticker, every detail is checked with the same vigour and attention. They’re proud of these bikes and the same amount of labour goes into making something every bit an Orange. So when you buy your G2 or Crush, you’re buying something with the same ‘Handbuilt’ philosophy. Real jobs in a real British factory went into designing something with the same pride as their top of the line SE dream bikes.
Orange demand the best because they can, and for them that’s what ‘Handbuilt’ and ‘Made in the UK’ really means. Marketing? No. Pride? Yes.