I was thinking of buying the orange 223 DH frame but from seeing photos of the frame with different swingarms & hearing a story I'm not sure. Anyone know anything about this frame? Anyone own one? I hear it's a good DH frame except it has a single swing arm & from what I heard it can break & is expensive to replace. An alternative would be the santa cruz vp-free frame because it's stronger, cheaper although I want a fast frame. Anyone give me advice/information? Thanks
MongoosePro DH, Dart custom road bike, .243 Racing FR street bike
Orange 22* series have always been a light fast frame desgined for racing. I have heard from heaps of people not to 'huck' them. However from my personal experience with them (quite a few of them in the local race scene here) I have never seen one crack and have only heard of one cracking in Adelaide. He got it professionaally welded. Then again this guy who did break his was by no menas smooth. He has blown many shcoks, cracked the uppers on 2 paris of Dorado's, the crown on a Boxxer and the arc of a Boxxer.
Also all these Oranges are getting thrashed pretty hard, in my opinion racing actually puts a frame under greater pressures than freeridng. Also these racers are hucking them with no worries, you should be fine.
Oh and by no means is the VP-Free an incapable bike for downhilling.
Another thought is: with the price difference between the 223 and the vpfree you could take some steps towards lightening up the free for DH racing, like a Ti spring.
DH racing-wise, the bottom bracket on the VPfree is pretty high, but I'm not talented enough to know what kind of difference that will make for me. Especially since after 8 months I have yet to actually ride DH on mine.
And although I'm generally happy with it, I have no illusions about indestructability. I don't break stuff very often, but I do wear things away to nothing with my favorite recipe of dirt, water, and miles.
i have experience with both (mostly mechanical, not riding) i have a friend who currently rides an orange 222, and another friend who used to have a vp-free.
both very nice rigs, the vp-free is the smoother ride and tends to hold its line a little easier, the orange is generally a more solid ride, slightly better over stutter bumps and the lark, but is a little easier to push off line through the rough stuff.
as for strength, the orange is a single pivot, with a massivly strong swingarm. theirs alot more to go wrong the on the cruz. but at the end of the day the only way your going to break either of them is through poor riding.