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Adaptive mountain bikes, which are designed to allow mountain bikers with disabilities to still get out and ride, have made huge leaps in recent years. And not just in the bikes, which are more capable than ever, but in the trails themselves. There are now guidelines for trails, primarily in lift-access bike parks, to help them be suitable for the wider, lower stance of current adaptive mountain bikes which sometimes have no means or limited means of propulsion. But not all trails can or should be made to work for adaptive mountain bikes, so there is a need for adaptive bikes that are more functional on traditional trails. The Orange Phase AD3 is a huge step in that direction.
Developed by Orange Senior Design Engineer, Alex Desmond, the Phase AD3 does about what it looks like it does. It uses an armature attached to the front end to run two forks while still allowing the bike to lean, up to 45 degrees, in fact. Desmond was introduced to riding by someone who later had a stroke and was unable to ride, which inspired him to focus on getting people on bikes who otherwise may not be able.
And this first production-level Phase AD3 is ending up with a similarly inspiring character, Loraine Truong. Truong is a former pro XC, enduro and DH racer who had a series of head injuries that have severely impacted her ability to pedal and balance a two-wheeled bike. The new bike makes it possible for her to mount, dismount and navigate the trail without the need for the low, wide chassis of the adaptive bikes we’re used to. Her bike has a throttle, but other users can take a pedal-assist approach as well. But the 160mm rear-travel, 170mm front-travel 27.5-inch Phase AD3 is definitely focused on the downhill. It’s remarkable how well the front-end design reacts to the trail like a trophy truck. Whether this sort of bike could help you or not, it still kinda takes your breath away.