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I bought my Patriot LT brand new from Wolverhampton. Walked into the shop and paid my deposit to get it ordered in. Then when I went in to pay off the balance one day the guy in the shop said "We're on good terms with the boys at Halifax where these are handmade, do you want a particular colour scheme?". I replied "Can I have a black frame with a silver swing-arm to match my forks". They said I could and when I picked it up it looked amazing!
Anywho, down to the bike....
Firstly I had a custom set-up too just for me. Mavic rims and Marzocchi Jnr T forks were the biggies. Hope discs, levers and hubs. Shimano XT mechs for the gearing, and a nice RaceFace sproket and crank set. Also stuck on some DMR V12 shortly after getting it :) I kept the 3 cogs on the front because I knew I'd be using it for more than just downhilling and I'm glad I did. The bike will do everything well and UK downhill really well. 27 gears come in useful!
I really can't fault it. I rode it to work when I worked locally and (apart from the obvious disadvantage of using a downhiller for a road bike :p) it was ace. I used it over cannock chase for some mad single track as well as pretty mental downhilling. I also used it for pratting about freeride style. It's obviously a little bouncy for longer cross country (6inches of suspension travel and all) but I loved it - let's put it this way, it keeps you fit :)
I've rode mine for years and it's as good today as the day I got it - although I really need to get round to changing my disc pads again....
I have just purchased the 66 FR model of this bike - it is this particular model that this review is based on.
I upgraded to this from a Gary Fisher Sugar, which was starting to struggle with the types of tracks I was throwing at it. I have read some mixed reviews of the Patriot, but overall it seems to be one of the market leaders for pure downhill bikes.
The most obvious thing about the bikes is that the frame is huge, and consequently is rock solid - the fact it is so huge also make it easy to hose down! Not something I particularly look for but handy nonetheless. As you would expect from a bike which costs this much, pretty much all of the components are the best you can get - and are only components which you actually need. The bike is not over engineered for the sake of it - this also means that if you do have any problems with the components, they are relatively easy to replace.
Overall, I have only used this bike a couple of times now, but I have already thrown 10ft drops at it, which it has swallowed up without any effort at all. However, when you spend this much on a bike you expect that. If you are serious about your downhills, and you can afford it then this is the bike for you.
Orange's DH offering is the 222. The name referes to the amount of rear wheel travel it has-a whooping 222mm. The frame is hand made in Halifax by craftsman, and the components are first rate. There isnt one thing on this bike that isnt up to the rigours of world cup DHing. Frame material is 6061 t-6 alloy, with large diameter (32mm) bearings in the main pivot. The top shock mount is adjustable and slides up n down the main down tube.Adjusting the mountain changes the head angleand the bottom bracket height, without drastical effecting the rates curve of the rear suspension. The riders lively, and the feel of the bike is light, with wonderful sprinting ability. The 222 is ideal for small riders who have problems with big bouncy DH rigs.
this op is about the orange 222 bike. Prototyped and developed during the 2000 season, this world class downhill chassis has been proven with podium placings in the Tissot World Cup Series. The 222 really turned heads when under the guidance of Team Animal Orange and particularly ‘wonder kid’ Greg Minnaar when it whupped some big names on the international circuit. Evolved from the renowned Patriot chassis, the availability of longer stroke shocks allowed us to experiment further with the geometry. Then it struck us that by making the top shock mount adjustable, it would mean that the frame angles, ride height and wheel base could all be altered to suit any rider or course. You can get a super-smooth eight inch swing from the new Extreme Beam rear end. Just like the Patriot, the 222 allows the rider to grab a really effective power pedal stroke at crucial moments where other downhill bikes would simply eat up suspension travel. The Horiz-Hold welded pivot with beefy 32mm bearings is still the key which gives us a huge handling advantage. Coupled with a bolt through rear axle, the 222 one of the sharpest steering, big hitting downhill bikes ever. It makes sense to keep things simple. Without complex linkages and multi-bearing pivots the Orange 222 is the perfect downhill competition chassis for a season of trouble free racing – Team Animal Orange mechanics didn’t even change a pivot bearing last season, giving riders maximum time on the course.