Project: to turn an Orange P7 mountain bike into a dedicated touring bicycle.
Orange Bikes: a British company, circa 1988.
I purchased my Orange P7 in 1998. The forks, I upgraded to Marchozzi bombers (suspension) and Magura hydraulic brakes before departing for southern Africa in 2003.
She happily endured many a single track through the South African forests of Knysna, and rugged bedrock of the Namibian bush. A testament to a superb design and a well constructed frame.
Now, with the onset of more leisurely cycling in the pipeline. I objected to purchase a dedicated built tourer, on the grounds of the cost. I hope then to reincarnate my trusty ‘P7’ into a home-built touring bicycle of my own.
The frame and seat post are the only two things that have survived from the original mountain bike.
The frame is a heat-treated custom double-butted series 8 cromoly tube set, with a beautiful nickel finish. Most importantly, very light, but incredibly strong.
The design of the frame is very much of an expedition heritage, making it a worthy canvas.
The frame did have a lacquer, but had started de-laminating. After a bit of research, I found a suitable paint stripper (one that would not blacken the nickel). Carefully taking her back to just the nickel layer.
The two big additions; been the forks and saddle.
I had to import the Kona Project Two forks from the USA to accommodate the 1’’ steerer. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find 1” steerers, as most bikes and forks made today are 1 1/8”.
The saddle, is the classic Brooks B17 , a real thing of beauty.
I am very pleased with the finished article. But as they say, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’!
My first tour will be onto and around Bodmin Moor. Then I will have a good idea of how she handles with full days riding her laden.
Rigida – Sputnik touring rims (handbuilt by Spa Cycles, Harrogate)
DT – Swiss spokes
Shimano – XT hubs
Shimano – Deore chainset and cranks
Shimano – SPD/flat touring pedals M324
Schwalbe – Marathon tyres
SRAM – X7 grip shifters and groupset
Magura – Hydraulic brakes
Tubus – Ergo front rack
Blackburn – EX2 rear rack
Brooks – B17 saddle
Ergon – GP1 grips
Exotic – CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminium adjustable spacers
System EX – Adjustable stem
Titec – Long bend bar ends
Sigma – BC1606L commuter
SKS – Chromoplastic mudguards
Topeak – Turbo Morph pump
Tacx – Bottle cages
“Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey” Alex Noble