1998 Orange O2


Orange 🍊 Fan
Thought it was about time I started a build thread having asked loads of questions already!

This is my 1998 Orange O2, with a polished alu frame (believe this was a limited edition, doesn't appear in the catalogue). I have owned it from new, having saved up during my first year at University to buy it. It got a lot of use riding with the Uni mountain bike club and afterwards, but has been fairly neglected for the past few years due to kids and work. Recently, I have gotten back into cycling, mainly using my Specialized Tricross on road. I was out for a ride with the kids recently and decided that given the forks were locked and the bottom bracket was creaking, I would try and get it back on the road. Then I found Retrobike and became a bit obsessed....

The bike is mainly as purchased at the moment - Orange stem and supercross bars, friction addiction grips, LX 8sp shifters, XT rear mech, Mavic X221 rims, LX M565 rear hub, Shimano DH pedals, Avid SD1.9L levers and brakes. The front mech and chainset have been replaced with Deore, and the original RST forks replaced with 2008 Marzocchi MX Pro Lo. Currently, the forks are locked (my LBS tells me they are irreparable), the hubs are in a sorry state and the BB creaks...

The frame is great - really light and no major dents etc., just cosmetically poor.


My plans are:

1. Strip the frame, polish, new decals. It appears to have some pretty grotty lacquer on it, so this will need to strip. Advice on this would be appreciated - how best to strip, and should I relaquer afterwards or just polish?
2. New (retro) forks - I have a pair of Pace RC36 Pro Class II on their way
3. Probably replace the wheels
4. Replace the drivetrain. I would like to go 1x - currently torn between completely new Deore M4 1x10, or a "home-brew" 1x8 using a mix of old parts (RD, shifters) and a wide range cassette with NW chainring...


Retrobike Rider
Orange 🍊 Fan
Seriously under-rated frame - pretty light.

I've recently rebuilt mine - kinda retro-mod. Pace RC-31 up-front and 2x9 gearing. Decent splattering of carbon and lightweight goodies from Tune and Syntace - running tubeless tyres too. Love the way it rides.

I've got a mix of old XTR M952 rear mech - SRAM PG-990 11-32 cassette - I think the shifters might be old XTR - KMC 9SL chain

I'm not sure but are RC-36 going to be short enough - I thought they were a bit on the long side for the O2?


Orange 🍊 Fan
I was running the MZ MX Pro lo previously with 100mm travel. I think the RC36 pro class can be reduced to 80mm travel if I am not happy with the geometry when I get them....


Orange 🍊 Fan
So I'm pretty much done with this. What started as a trip to the LBS to get my old forks and drivetrain serviced turned into a full strip and rebuild, including spending nearly £300 on tools/stand in the process. Damn you RB!

It's a practical mix of old and new, saving what I could from the old bike and getting a mix of retro and new parts to finish it off. I know the drivetrain won't be to everyone's tastes, but I fancied the simplicity of 1x, and given the state of the old components, decided to go all new. It suits my use case well - mainly family bike rides with the kids on bridleways/towpaths etc.

I took it for a quick blast in the local woods night before last, and it rides really well - nice and light, the forks work well, the brakes are surprisingly good for something > 20 years old and feels more stable than it did with the old (slightly longer) bombers on it. The range of the cassette (something I was a bit worried about) is excellent - even the steepest of climbs was manageable. I suspect I might end up with a bigger front chainring at somepoint as most of the riding I do with the kids will be relatively flat. Broke the chain at the top of the climb - serves me right for using a late-90s Cool Tool to install it :rolleyes: New KMC chain is on it's way.

Full specs:

Frame: 1998 Orange O2 polished (1.7kg)

Fork: Pace RC36 Pro Class II, with v-brake mounts

Headset: FSA Orbit
Stem: Orange Boner Fide
Handlebar: Orange Supercross
Grips: Odi Elite Pro

Brakes: Avid 2.0
Brake Pads: Kool-stop salmon
Brake Cables: Shimano
Brake Levers: Avid SD 1.9L

Shifter: Deore SL-M4100
Rear Derailleur: Deore RD-M5120-SGS
Derailleur Cables: Shimano
Cassette: Deore CS-M4100 11-46T
Chain: Broken! KMC 10sp on the way...
Cranks: Deore FC-M5100-1 1x10
Chainrings: 32T
Bottom Bracket: Shimano SM-BB52
Pedals: Shimano PD-M636

Hub Skewers: Deore XT
Rims: Mavic 517
Hubs: XT M750
Tyres: IRC Mythos XC 1.9

Saddle: WTB Rocket
Seatpost: Deda 6061
Seatpost Binder: Orange Strange

Weight: 11.7kg

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