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2011 Orange ST4 - value for money?

williambowlandwilliambowland Posts: 131
edited October 2010 in MTB buying advice
I am thinkin of getting a reasonably light 4" travel full susser.

Liking the looks of the 2011 Orange ST4. I'd love to buy British BUT the frame costs £1,480. That seems like a lot of money to me.

Anyone got any opinions (!) on the value for money offered by this frame (based on the as yet untested assumumption that it is actually pretty good, of course)?

It seems to me that a British handmade frame should be a fair bit cheaper than an equivalent US frame (e.g. Ellsworth Truth). What am I missing here?

Churz...

Will
2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc

Posts

  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,999
    Why would it be cheaper? Sure there's import fees but small scale stuff often isn't as efficient.

    For the price of the frame you could buy a Boardman and have £180 left in your pocket! Unless the frame is regarded as something really special then I personally wouldn't be tempted.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Well... an equivalent handmade frame from the States has all the cost disadvantages of a UK handmade frame plus the cost of getting it here and giving everyone their cut. Plus, if you are only importing a small number it is even more costly.

    Innit?

    W
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • Is it worth £1480? It is if you want one and can afford one? Are the ST4 made in the UK?

    I think they are nice looking frames that are well made, imo they are a tad over priced but Orange a small producer in the grand scheme of things which will contribute towards the highish price.
  • Bear in mind, that's just the retail price, it won't be the price you actually pay.
  • tnwoolleytnwoolley Posts: 114
    Kudu bikes have a 2010 white 20in ST4 frame for £750.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    The ST4 is made in Taiwan its only the 5 that is made in Britain. The only other company making full suss bikes in Britain is Moda nice looking but very expensive and racy
    http://www.kudubikes.co.uk/shop/482/
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Made in Taiwan, eh? That is a bit of a shame.

    I am prepared to pay a reasonable amount for the name... but at this price Orange are pushing potential customers towards Anthems and so on, I reckon.

    None of my business, of course... it costs what it costs.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    orange have always been slightly over priced.

    I think it is do witht he built in halifax badge, even though as above stated alot of the stuff is from taiwan. It's purely a name thing i swear as they are technically special bike in terms design or anything but have a large premium on them.
  • You mean "not technically special", right waylander?
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • RevellRiderRevellRider Posts: 1,794
    stubs wrote:
    The ST4 is made in Taiwan its only the 5 that is made in Britain. The only other company making full suss bikes in Britain is Moda nice looking but very expensive and racy
    http://www.kudubikes.co.uk/shop/482/

    Are you sure it's only the Five made in the UK?

    I could of swore the Alpine 160, the 224 Evo, the Miii were also made there. And judging by the conversation I had with the Orange rep, the ST4 is too.

    I think that Moda bikes are actually assembled in the UK, not manufactured.
  • Jenks66Jenks66 Posts: 96
    If its put together in Halifax then it is built in Halifax, Honda and Nisan have used the same priciple with some of their cars, ship the parts here and assemble them here and they are built here.

    Orange will price their products so that production and demand are matched so there is a market for their bikes as they are priced so cannot be over priced.

    It is up to the purchaser if they prefer to have something different from the mainstream and are willing to pay more for it.
  • I was assuming the formed tubing came from abroad and the bikes were assembled in Britain, which is British enough for me! I dunno whether my assumption is right or wrong, TBH.

    Curtis bikes are handmade in a workshop down the road from my house from British steel but they are even more expensive and only HT. Nice, tho!

    I know that manufacturers think about the price carefully and it is a case of supply and demand - I have no problem with market forces dictating the price. Doesn't mean they always get the price right, tho.

    What I am trying to decide is whether I am prepared to pay the premium by getting a feeling for what others think of the price, that's all. I am not bashing Orange - I think they are a great company and I'd love to support them.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    I have owned an orange and i have to admit i'd not buy one again but thats my veiw.

    I dislike payign a rediculous premium for something no better than its competition.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    You would be mad to pay £1,400 for the frame when you can have this for £1,900 complete
    http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/marin-mo ... 50500.html

    It has been bike of the year twice, and the 4 bar Whyte designed suspension is sublime !
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    stubs wrote:
    The ST4 is made in Taiwan its only the 5 that is made in Britain. The only other company making full suss bikes in Britain is Moda nice looking but very expensive and racy
    http://www.kudubikes.co.uk/shop/482/

    Are you sure it's only the Five made in the UK?

    I could of swore the Alpine 160, the 224 Evo, the Miii were also made there. And judging by the conversation I had with the Orange rep, the ST4 is too.

    I think that Moda bikes are actually assembled in the UK, not manufactured.

    Sorry when I said 5 I meant the whole range of folded box frames, like a lot of people I lump them all together. As for the ST4 I was told they are made in the same Taiwanese factory that makes the Orange hardtails and Pace bikes. TBH I could care less where my bike was made high end Taiwan built bikes are the best in the world for manufacturing quality. Much better than a lot of the american boutique bikes that cost twice as much.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Not too sure that made in Britain is such a good thing, we don't really do quality manufacturing in this country any more because of high labour & material costs & HSE have made manufacturing expensive compared to the far east.
    US built bikes will be cheaper because of cheaper labour, I looked in to moving to the US back when I worked as a welder & I would earn roughly half what I was earning here with only 2 weeks holiday a year. Exchange rates also help lower prices. I expect that materials are also cheaper in the US, aluminium is very expensive here and there seem to be a shortage of good aluminium TIG welders since British engineering businesses stopped training apprentices 20 years ago, and now they complain that they cant get skilled workers.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    Not too sure that made in Britain is such a good thing, we don't really do quality manufacturing in this country any more because of high labour & material costs & HSE have made manufacturing expensive compared to the far east.
    US built bikes will be cheaper because of cheaper labour, I looked in to moving to the US back when I worked as a welder & I would earn roughly half what I was earning here with only 2 weeks holiday a year. Exchange rates also help lower prices. I expect that materials are also cheaper in the US, aluminium is very expensive here and there seem to be a shortage of good aluminium TIG welders since British engineering businesses stopped training apprentices 20 years ago, and now they complain that they cant get skilled workers.

    Note sure on this....alloy is alloy, we have plenty of mills in the UK, and the price is dictated by the LME (London Metal Exchange) so the price should be very similar through out the world......the Halifax bikes have great repuations (though I think they are over rated and look like they are made out of old oil can) and have numerous "Bike Of The Year" under their belts..we lost most of our great manufacturing expertise as we slag off our own brands too much so we only have ourselves to blame !
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Raw alu is raw alu - but alloy isn't alloy. All sorts of blends available for bikes. Adding scandium for instance is not cherap.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    supersonic wrote:
    Raw alu is raw alu - but alloy isn't alloy. All sorts of blends available for bikes. Adding scandium for instance is not cherap.

    Agreed..you have many tempers (conditioning by heat and solution treatments), annealed, and also magnesium and lithium...however like oil, the market value should be the same in any country (obviously exchange rates have an influence)
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • Orange have just waranty'd my old frame + have been brilliant. Having a company who really care about what they are putting out + customer service is worth allot.
    Check your PM's WilliamB
  • Gonna stick my neck out here and refer you all to an article in the CTC magazine a few months ago where they had a feature on Orange. They made the statement that all Orange bikes with the exception of the entry level G series are made in their workshop in Halifax. There's a video on Youtube that shows the pressing and welding process's as well. Thing that i've loved about my 5 is that there is support from someone at the end of the phone in this country. Not that I've had much need to use it but I had a couple of queries re set up when I 1st had it. I do take the point about the look of the bike though but you do grow to love it!! That said as a small company their R & D costs would be considerable on a per unit basis and they wouldn't benefit from discounts of scale re componentry. It's they price you pay for a well thought out ride rather than a ride where you're think "if only they'd have...."

    My 2 cents worth!
  • GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
    My advice? Ride one and see if it's any good :wink:

    Then ride some similar bikes, just to check.
  • When / if I move to a full suspension bike, I am prepared to pay for what I really want, even if that means I have to save up for a bit.

    2011 Fuel Ex 9 is around £2800. 2011 Anthem X1 is around £3000. These are very capable bikes, right? I dunno if I am able to benefit from all that capability but it is nice to have it up your sleeve!

    The thing the ST4 offers, to my mind is the custom build aspect of it - getting things just as you want them - and the warm feeling from buying British and pride of ownership. Other people have commented on after sales service from Orange being good too... which is nice to know.

    These are kinda soft benefits compared to the hard benefits of massive R&D budgets, industry leading technology and economies of scale offered by the big boys. Of course, there are plenty of soft benefits from them too - I am sure I'd get warm feeling from a Fuel Ex 9 or an Anthem X1 (this is starting to sound a bit gross :D ).

    See... testing bikes (though very important when spending censored loads of cash!) can't help you weigh up the hard and soft benefits.

    Jesus, I am boring myself - I should just buy a Boardman, right? :wink:
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • matt23matt23 Posts: 15
    Sorry guys...what about Whyte bikes - are they not British made frames??

    Like the look of the Orange ST4....best advice as mentioned above ride the ST4 and see what you think of the frame...I assume you are doing a custom build so you won't get a feel for the bike till you have pumped up the cash brought the frame and bits and have that first magical ride!
    Live to ride........ride to live people!!
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I rode with a guy on an ST4 at the weekend - looked like a super bike - low slung top tube worked well where we were, light and so on - he definitely got it moving anyway.

    is it worth the price - dunno - he was a good rider and very fit so he'd probably have been fast on any similar travel/weight machine.

    Buy what you want and can afford and then wait for people to complain about you being overbiked! :wink:
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • I like the Whyte hardtails... not so keen on their full sussers - those I can afford at least!

    I think their frames are made in Taiwan.

    BTW... I'm so feckin ace, I'm overbiked on a unicycle :wink:
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 1
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc
  • The ST4 is unique in the fact that it is a 100mm travel bike but first and foremost designed as a trail bike. It has a more relaxed riding position, longer wheelbase, lower bottom bracket and slacker head angle than many 140mm bikes. The only other 4(ish) inch bike I've ridden and enjoyed as much was the Cannondale Rush, but they don't make that any more.

    Most bikes like the Giant Anthem and Trek Top Fuel have got racier geometry and as such get twitchy at very high speeds. I think the ST4 is the perfect trail centre weapon if you're a confident rider, stable geometry but not too much bounce to compromise climbing and sprinting.

    Frankly I don't care where I bike is made (apart from the environmental impact of shipping large distances), there's just as much chance Dave in Halifax will hiccup while welding as Juan in Mexico.
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
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