Orange Clockwork

ORANGE CLOCKWORK EVO PRO

The Bone Shaker

Words & Photos by Drew Rohde

We may be dating ourselves here but, when we think of Orange Bicycles, we can’t help but think back to the glory days of agro VHS mountain bike videos full of punk rock, Steve Peat and a bunch of other muddy Brits slashing corners through the woods. Orange Bikes has a name recognized for longevity, simplicity and…elevated chainstays. After producing bikes for over 25 years, the British brand has finally made the leap across the pond and will be delivering bikes to dealers around the States as quickly as they can sign ‘em up. When Orange approached us to test a new bike, we couldn’t help but pay homage to those early days. In the spirit of keeping it raw, we selected a hardtail that was sure to rattle our bones.

Orange Clockwork three-quarter

The Lab

Built out of 6061-T6 aluminum, the Clockwork Evo has geometry that would make the most enduro of enduro bikes blush. A 66-degree head angle sets the tone for this aggressive hardtail and lets you know it means business. The 12-inch bottom bracket height offers super-hero cornering confidence and the 47.17-inch wheelbase helps keep this rattletrap steady at speed.

Orange offers the Clockwork Evo in two builds and also sells a frame only option for $675. Our Pro build comes spec’d with a Fox 34 Performance fork with 130mm of travel and Boost spacing. A Formula/Alex wheelset is wrapped in Maxxis rubber. Drivetrain spec is courtesy of Shimano with SLX 11-speed and SLX brakes. Race Face Aeffect 30t cranks and chainring complete the drivetrain and Race Face Chester bars and Ride M35 stem make up the cockpit.

Orange Clockwork

The Dirt

Let’s see – it rolled, it didn’t break, we had fun. If only all bikes were as easy to review as hardtails… The beauty of low tech toys like hardtail frames is that they’re so easy to judge. If the build and geometry are on point, there’s not much else that can mess up the ride.

There’s no denying the Clockwork Evo is a purpose built machine. It’s not your spandex-wearing neighbor’s hardtail. The Evo is stiff and stout, and it needs to be to hold up to the abuse a rider is going to put it through thanks to it’s slack, downhill-biased geometry.

Needless to say the bike got bucked around as any hardtail is going to do. However, when it came time to rail the rut track, shred the flow trails or make people on dual suspension bikes feel bad for not being able to keep up with a hardtail, the Clockwork Evo rewarded our grit in spades. The 12-inch bottom bracket height, Maxxis tires and long wheelbase mean this bike is ready to bob and weave.

The Clockwork Evo excels on trails like the famous Whoops trail in Bend, OR. Groomed singletrack with jumps, berms and rollers were no match for the snappy and stiff frame. We dropped anyone and everyone on full squish bikes as we pumped away from the crowd, accelerating on each downside. When I strapped on the ankle braces to my old-ass legs, the Clockwork Evo was more than ready to skip down steep loamers. Ruts were no match for the bike’s low center of gravity and snappy handling.

The Wolf’s Last Word

If you’ve got the terrain and/or joints to enjoy a hardtail, then the Evo is a killer bike! Our personal opinion is that for a Deore SLX-built specialty bike like this, the price is a few hundred bucks higher than we’d like to see. We love riding hardtails on occasion but the reality is this will be a “toy” bike for most and dropping almost 2,500 bucks on a second, third or even fourth bike is a tough justification. If you’re a dedicated hardtailer however, this is a killer bike for your aggressive bone shaking needs. If we were in the market, we’d probably take advantage of the $650 frame option and pilfer through our parts bin to see if we could get this thing built for under 2k. Ultimately, the shredability, cornering confidence and smiles you earn by smoking dual suspension bikes make the Clockwork Evo a pretty damn fun bike.

Price: $2,450

Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Weight: 27.60 lbs

For more info visit orangebikes.co.uk. US distributor for Orange: aventuron.com

Specs

CHASSIS
Frame: 6061 T6 aluminum
Fork: Fox Performance Boost; 130mm

COCKPIT
Brakes: Shimano SLX
Handlebar: Race Face Chester; 780mm
Headset: FPD 44mm
Saddle: SDG Strange Bel Air
Seatpost: KS Cruxi Inegra; 100mm
Shifter: Shimano SLX; 11s
Stem: Race Face Ride M35

WHEELS
Hubs: Formula
Rims: Alex Volar
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF/ High Roller II; 27.5 2.3

DRIVETRAIN
Bottom Bracket: Race Face
Cassette: Shimano SLX; 11-42
Cranks: Race Face Aeffect Single DM; 30t
Derailleur: Shimano SLX; 11s
Pedals: Kore Rivera Thermo

We Dig

Snappy and Stiff
Receives Input Well
Corners!
Simplicity

We Don’t

Practicality
Little Spendy
Not Enough Good Hardtail Trails

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