First taste of the forbidden fruit - Clubby’s Orange P7 29-EJ


MacRetro Rider
98+ BoTM Winner
IMG_8608.jpeg IMG_8610.jpeg IMG_8609.jpeg IMG_8611.jpeg This started out so simple……

Fancied a change of hardtail and apparently there’s lots of bargains out there, but could I see anything I fancied. No. Well actually, one did catch my eye but even at the original reduced price, the Orange P7 S still looked a bit on the pricey side for some of the spec. I could always my existing nicer parts and sell the new take off parts, so a plan was born. Checked back on Winstanley’s site in December and the bike was further reduced and in the ball park I wanted to spend. Decided to wait until after Christmas and then news of the Orange administration hit. Was torn between getting one while I could but then risk having no warranty. That discussion has played out in numerous threads, so I’ll leave that be. Couple of weeks ago, checked back and they still had the bike in stock, so I went for it. Next day dispatch turned out to take a week, but eventually it arrived safe and sound.

Popped it together and then promptly started taking it apart again.

For modern builds, I’m a SRAM guy. Not the most popular opinion in these parts but I like it and it means one lot of spares covering all my modern bikes. I had a set of nearly new GX cranks and a new GX eagle cassette and chain in the spares, so used them. I also have a set of Reserve carbon wheels that I use as xc wheels for my enduro bike. They were perfect for these and using the same cassette fitment and rotor size, means I can still easily swap them between bikes. My older bike donated One Up carbon bars, dropper and composite pedals, Guide RS brakes with 200mm rotors and GX cable mech and shifter. From the new bike I used the frame (obvs), Lyrik select 140mm fork, headset, Race face stem, WTB Volt saddle and Strange grips. I also kept the Maxxis DHF/R tyres for spares and plan to put a mud tyre of the front wheel as a spare for either bike.

Sounds great in theory right? Well fate had other plans.

Mounted the cassette to the wheel and fitted it up, but the small cog wouldn’t clear the frame. Tried my enduro bike wheel, which has the same hub annd cassette and it all cleared fine. Swapped out the drive side hub spacers and the other wheel fitted fine. Measured the spacers and they seemed the same size but looking at the marking, it looks like I’d been given a Shimano spacer rather than a XD one when I bought the carbon wheels. I do remember when I bought the wheels they swapped the freehub for me and think it must have happened then. Must be more clearance on the enduro bike as it’s never been an issue on it. Easy fix I thought, I’ll just by a set of the proper XD end caps to save issues in the future. £35!!!! ‘k me.

When taking the rear brake off the old bike, I’d to cut the hose to pull it through the infernal routing. Though it would be easier to bleed reassemble and bleed it off bike. Bad mistake. When it came to fitting it the cable was way too long as it took a shorter route long the top tube. The extra loop at the bars bugged me and I’d to trim it, add another new fitting and bleed them again. Glad I did though, it looks much better.

Next was fitting up the chain and mech. Followed SRAM guideline for chain length, fitted it all and it was too long and sagging. Had to remove two full links the get it right. Was getting frustrated by this point and then battled to thread anew cable through the shifter. It started to fray, needed cut and still didn’t want to go through the routing. Eventually got it done and tightened and the cable crushed at the pinch bolt. Somewhere during this a cable cap had popped out of a housing and when I went to change gear nothing happened. Thus commenced a battle of tension swinging from too much to too little. Just couldn’t get it indexed nicely over the whole block. Eventuality gave up and did the only sensible thing. I went online and ordered a new AXS mech and shifter. Other modern bikes are already AXS, so luckily didn’t need battery or charger, which kept the cost down slightly. Came yesterday and fitted this morning. Took less than 5 minutes to set up and get working perfectly.

Last job was to fit the new saddle and grips. So in the end I spent a bit more than planned but the end result is stunning. I am also left with a pile of new taken off parts to sell, which might recover the cost of the AXS bits.
IMG_8613.jpeg IMG_8615.jpeg IMG_8617.jpeg IMG_8614.jpeg First ride in and feels really comfy straight from the off. Reviews from a few years ago had said it felt a bit heavy and dead but can’t say I noticed. I’m putting it down to the amount of weight I’ve knocked off with the wheels and cassette. Weighed it on my luggage scales and it came in around 30lbs. Pretty happy with that for its intended purpose.

Gorgeous day up here, feels like spring has arrived.
Sounds like a battle but it sure looks like it was worth it, looks radiant in sun, very nice!

Those Reserve wheels look ace on it too! 😎

Can’t beat the AXS drivetrain, e-bike is Shimano XT but now I know I like it the Stooge might be getting stripped! 😂

Nice day up here too, bring on the longer days!
Still think dhf/r is a great tyre combo

Like the build a lot. Wouldn't worry on the warranty on these frames
for some reason i don't think your pics do the colour justice, i was so pleased when Orange did this colour, i've been sick of their matt or satin finishes the last few years, this red in the flesh is awesome, i have a P7 and i think it's my nicest riding bike, never cared about the weight, just enjoy riding it.
for some reason i don't think your pics do the colour justice, i was so pleased when Orange did this colour, i've been sick of their matt or satin finishes the last few years, this red in the flesh is awesome,

Know what you mean. Had a number of raw carbon bikes in the past decade or so and the depth of the candy red finish on this is amazing.

Been fiddling with the spec already. 😅
Had some slush fund cash following a bout of eBaying and swapped the Race Face stem for a One Up to match the bars.
Also wasn’t getting on with the Volt saddle, which is weird as I’ve used one for the past 8 years. Think the one that came with the bike was the 135mm wide and I am refer the 145mm. Anyway bought a “Strange” branded Bel Air 3 from Orange for £40 and loving it.

That should be it done (for now).