Strengths: Super stiff, light for its strength, versitile.
Weaknesses: I have friends that have cracked them around the seat stays/seat tube before Orange started to make wrap-around stays. Cost!
I have a 16" and use mine for exteme XC, street and just about everything else besides and it gets away with it all. Its a pretty good jump bike and looks like it would be good in the 4X arena, but i've never used it there.
Maybe a bit of a pricy frame for the money - I got mine from eBay for £300, but new from Orange and you will be missing no less than £500 of your hard earned cash.
Dispite my friends having problems, it looks as if Orange have sorted out their act now and all my welds are very neat and the new quattro-box wrap-around seat-stays do very nicely. Also, my housemates got 3 free frames form Orange - so their customer service is all good!
Overall - if you want a bike thats ok at everything or a 4X monster then look no futher (if you don't mind the cost.)
Similar Products Used: Various, other Ms Isles, Gary Fisher, saracen, Specialised P1, Giant STP.
Bike Setup: RockShox Pike, Hone Cranks (2 rings +bash), Saint brakes (203F/160R), Hope proII on Mavic 321disc (36h), LX GS mech (8spd).
a Weekend Warrior
from Bristol, UK
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2006
Strengths: It's damn near indestructable. I haven't broke it yet at any rate. For a 4x'er it's pretty versatile too, whilst it may not be the best for everything it manages admirably.
Weaknesses: No ICSG mount on the frame, but the bike makes up for it in so many other ways.
The Ms'isle is a savage piece of kit. I ride street, light downhill and freeride and aggressive XC on it and it laps it up. A change in the seatpost height lets you get away with a lot on it. However, it has it's short comings, the stiffness of the frame comes at a price, it absolutely hammers your arse. It's not the best climber on the trails, but then the geometery isn't geared towards that. Overall, a great frame, especially if you worry about shredding expensive frames, I weigh several tons and it hasn't died on me yet, and it's a tough frame that takes my weight on a six foot drop to flat on concrete.
Similar Products Used: Handsome dog :(, planet X (jackflash), spooky.....
Bike Setup: Stratos MX6 on D321, laced to a hope bulb, with a hope mini on. Truvativ cranks (The best for there price) XTR shifter on XT rear derallieur, Phatso double wide rear rim :( on deore non disc hub. Magura HS33 rear bake in bright yellow.
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2003
Strengths: Very good strength to weight ratio. LOok at that downtube! Ridden by the pros. Made in england. good macheening.
Weaknesses: Stupid dimensions. They should do a 14' seat tube only with an option of different top tube lengths. Should be available in more colours. More options, bmx bb, horizontel dropouts etc. It doesnt accelerate as well as its been hyped up to be. Expensive
Overall i think that this is a good frame which can handle most sorts of terain. iv ridden mine from downhill to street, dirt jumping and xc. Its just the sizes dont make sense. i got a 16' purally because of top tube length but i found the bike too high. If you are happy with the sizing, appreciate britsh built, like the colours, want ultimate strength without weight penalty and like the look and have the money than by all means buy it.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2003
Strengths: Its strengths are its strength.... stiffness, versatility, and Orange being really sound people to deal with.
Weaknesses: For the taller rider who still wants a smaller frame - the 14 inch frame has too short a top tube... but the 16 inch still has a tendency to feel a bit big.
This is kind of a follow-up to my first review which you'll find on the page for the '98 or older MsIsle. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first 5 production bikes, back in September/October 98 - before even the magazines. Back then it looked especially different to anything else around and I had to have it. Since then it's done me proud. I've done a load of regional DH races, tons of street riding, dirt jumps, technical singletrack all over the country, even the Red Bull 24hr race. I've had it set up with Judy SL's and xc wheels: it absolutely flew - eats singletrack for brekkie, lunch and dinner. I've broken 3 sets of forks, 3/4 sets of cranks.. 3 rear wheels... bars... saddles... mechs galore. And through all of it, the frame was the one thing I never had to worry about. Bombproof it is for sure, immortal it ain't. After 5 years of serious thrashing (from maybe not the smoothest rider) it developed a tiny crack in the downtube behind the headset (also flared), so it was time to move on. Fair play to Orange though - they reckon they could fix it (buzz off the headtube, stick on a new one, heat-treat it, paintjob and stickers) for only £150. Buy it, but try it first if you're a lanky git like me.
Strengths: the frame as a whole , the geometry is spot on , the strength is not reflected in the weight which i thing is amazinf for what it is
Weaknesses: poor seatstay mud clearance - i had a prototype frame model
i got mine resprayed form the stock colours in a custom metallic blue - it is sweet, i love it and dont think i would ever want another frame for this type of riding , happy to keep riding it for ever - buy one, new paint jobs look awfull though
Bike Setup: Bomber z1's, hope disks, XT, azonic, DMR, Mavic.
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2001
Strengths: This frame is damn strong. Its super stiff and you can do anything on it
Weaknesses: Well, It is a tad on the heavy side, But did i mention its strong. A small price to pay.
Wow, this is one hell of a bike, It may not be the lightest bike about, but when you got speed and a take off, then weight doesnt really matter much. What matters is it wont brake. (You can also ride into cars). I wouldnt swap it for anything. If your into jumping, duel or just hammering your bike then this is the frame for you. Its long top tube feels comfortable and not cramped and its short rear end makes it accelarate quickly, buy one
Strengths: A good strong bike. You look down and it fills you with confidence and makes you feel like you can ride anything. Good short back end so sprints hard, longish top tube and no flex in the backend with huge stays.
Weaknesses: Weak bottom bracket threads esp. when using a chain device. A bit on the heavy side of light. Bit pricey but I got mine second hand and besides it well worth it.
A kick ass bike thats reinforces confidence and makes you ride bigger. The weight isn't really an issue for me and I think the geaometry is spot on for the taller rider. Buy it if you want an all round performer. Hand Built in England, what more could you ask for?
Similar Products Used: Azonic DS1, Mission Trialstar, Coyote, DDG Shooter, Kona Chute
Bike Setup: Marzocchi JR T's, 24seven cranks, Shimano DX pedals, Tioga, Shimano, DMR, Mavic.
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2001
Strengths: its strength ride like my patriot feels like my patriot but its a hardtail
Weaknesses: heavy if your week little maggot
If you want a strong responsive hardtail for sreet dirt or dual then you can't go far wrong. If you ride an orange downhill full sus like a 222 or a patriot and want a dual bike then this is perfect, it handles virtually the same as the patriot unless your riding over really bumpy terrain obviously. Strong contender worth considering from the great nothern company, well done orange.
Similar Products Used: azonic ds1, patriot dmr ect
Bike Setup: standard 2001 off the shelve model psylos xc deore single chainring
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2001
Strengths: the whole frame, both the heatube and rear triangle are fully reinforced. THere are gussets on the seattube seatstay join and chainstay seatstay join, making the rear triangel very strong. The frame rides nicely but is best suited to proper jumping and duel
Weaknesses: poor tyre clearance on the seatstays
BUY IS , SINCE MY LAST REVIEW IVE RIDDEN IT PRETTY HARD AND ITS STOOD UP TO IT WELL