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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:34 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 33
Location: North Yorkshire
I've been a member for a while now but have never gotten around to posting any messages as although I've been riding since 1993 my current rides (all Orange) are from 1998 onwards...almost retro, but not quite! I'm guilty of being a browser of the forums though!

Today I took delivery of (I think) a 1996 19" Vit T2 frame that I intend building up with M900 XTR and the best that Yorkshire and Lancashire has to offer from the retro catalogue.

When I raced in the mid nineties I always wanted a Vitamin T but only ever managed to stretch the pennies for Elites. Now I'm approaching 40 I thought I'd try and build the bike I always wanted!

This is the 9th Orange frame I have owned and whilst the rest have had a single serial numbers, the Vit T2 has two serial numbers?

Can anyone shed any light on this? I'd like to know where it was made and when if possible as browsing some of the forum posts suggests some Vits were built in the East and some in the West but none in the UK!?!

Serial numbers are: A50100456 (type I'm used to seeing with Orange frames) and M5800 49 (?)

Current rides:
'98/'99 17" Orange Elite 4/RC31/Shimano M780
'99 16" Orange AirO/RC40/Shimano M730
'99 Orange MrO/RC150/Shimano M730
'03(?) 17" Orange Gringo/F7/Shimano Deore

Previous rides:
'91/'92(?) 19" Gary Fisher Montare//Shimano DX - Cracked :oops:
'93/'94 19" Orange Prestige/RC-35AB/Shimano M737 - Stolen :x
'94 19" Orange Elite 2/RC-35AB/Shimano M737 - Cracked :oops:
'95 19" Orange Elite 3/RC-35 MXCD/Shimano M737 - Cracked :oops:
'98/'99 17" Orange UFO/RC-35 MXCD/Shimano M737 - Crap! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:09 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 2679
Location: Norfolkshire
Using the Orange dating convention that makes it a 1995 (5) and Jan (01) for the frame manufacture, which would have seen it finally hit the shops latter part of 1995 maybe early 96 so your estimation at 96 stands correct :)

Jussa :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:09 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 33
Location: North Yorkshire
Cheers! ....what about the other serial number though?

I know Orange didn't do any ti welding in-house, is this perhaps the serial number of the manufacturer?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:13 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 2679
Location: Norfolkshire
mr_skinny wrote:
Cheers! ....what about the other serial number though?

I know Orange didn't do any ti welding in-house, is this perhaps the serial number of the manufacturer?


I was told many moons ago that the remaining parts of the serial # form the ident for where it was made/assembled? Or some unique number relating to the production run of the frame?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:44 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
The frame was built by A-Pro in Taiwan. I think the serial means January 95 and not October. This could well mean that it's a 95 model, although as has been said it's also possible that it's a 96. Have you got a picture of it? I don't know what the M code means, or why they needed a second number (the 00456 code was the factory control number as far as I'm aware).

I believe that A-Pro was the only Taiwanese factory equipped to build ti frames at that time. They also built VooDoo D'Jabs, even when other VooDoos were made by Mountain Goat in the US, as Mountain Goat were not equipped to build ti frames. Although you've had an E2 and an E3 crack, I would put that down to weaknesses in the design (especially the E2), rather than poor workmanship by A-Pro. Incidentally although the E2 and E3 followed on from the Aluminium Elite, that took its name from Orange's success in the 1990 (?) Elite class of the UK xc championship. The E4 was the first Orange that actually used Easton Elite tubing, and I believe that they aren't so prone to cracking. But nor were they made by A-Pro! And some were made by a maker beginning with M (but I think that's just a coincidence). I hope you'll show us a picture of your E4 and tell us the serial number, as I think I have the only 98 E4 of anybody on this website currently.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:42 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 33
Location: North Yorkshire
Thanks for al the info so far....the problem with buying a second-hand frame is that you know only of the history that the seller is telling you so I appreciate all the help in unravelling the 'mysteries'.

I don't have a pic of the Vit frame yet as I'm not even supposed to have it until my 40th birthday (in December :? ) but I'll take a pic when mrs_skinny is out of the house...so far I've managed to bluff that I need to take it to the LBS to have it checked over :lol:

I'm new to this forum gubbins so I've attempted to add a pic of my E4 but probably done it completely wrong!?!

E4 serial number to follow...

My E4 and AirO are my current regular rides - it's more of a 'retro flavour' bike than a true retro build - opted for rigid and V-brakes over bouncy and discs to keep the weight down and maintain simplicity for big rides on the Yorkshire Moors and Cleveland Hills. My AirO is my 'fat fun' bike - for bouncing around in the forest :P

I agree with the comments about the Elite frames I've had - didn't have the E2 for long. It cracked across one of the chainstays close to (but not on) the weld to the BB shell. The E3 went the same way but took a lot longer, if fact a couple of years longer! I recall the E3 didn't have the 'bridge' between the chainstays which looked quite funky but ultimately reduced strength no doubt. Orange's customer service was spot on and when the E2 cracked, they shipped an E3 FOC and when the E3 cracked I got the UFO FOC - terrible mistake! After two rear triangles failing at the pivot they shipped the MrO with the only charge being for the Fox shock. I raced many DH seasons on the MrO and I'm hoping to get it back up to scratch this year as a pseudo-retro build - although I won't be competing at Fort William on it!


Attachments:
File comment: My Orange E4
Orange E4.JPG
Orange E4.JPG [ 97.86 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:48 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
Decent 99 E4 you've got there! So I've still got the only 98 E4 on this site, unless somebody else has one to show.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:23 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 33
Location: North Yorkshire
How can you tell it's a 99 frame from the pic? Did 98s have a canti bridge or something similar?

I'll be in garage today so will jot down the serial number....far too wet to ride today!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:15 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
mr_skinny wrote:
How can you tell it's a 99 frame from the pic? Did 98s have a canti bridge or something similar?

I'll be in garage today so will jot down the serial number....far too wet to ride today!

See below - the 98 was a red-orange colour, 99 yellow-orange, 98 had a single cowl over the dropout, 99 double (allowing for different design of mech hanger) and you can also see from this picture that the 98 frame had a mount for an E-fit front mech, and I'm not sure whether they kept that for 99 and 2000.


Attachments:
1998 Orange E4 size 17 w 1998 RC36.jpg
1998 Orange E4 size 17 w 1998 RC36.jpg [ 174.2 KiB | Viewed 296 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:22 am 
eBay Outing Master
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:53 pm
Posts: 8000
There is a 99 e4 for sale on eBay at the mo


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