16 August, 2011

The New Polyvalent 650b Frame

We just received a couple of new versions of our very popular Polyvalent 650b frames. The rest are enjoying a leisurely ocean cruise and should reach us in about four weeks. These first few are for demos and display at Interbike.

The Polyvalent is an  all-around frame, an urban ride that's equally at home on a loaded tour. Outside magazine said it was, "Easily the most versatile bike out of dozens tested, the chromoly Polyvalent handles like a dream on long city voyages with as much as 40 pounds on the front rack"

 You'll notice that they are a nice shiny green color.

The decals are rather subtle, but we'll also offer white decals with a brown outline for those who desire bolder graphics.
A couple of the frames will be built up later this week. I'll post photos.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

now, that's a nice fork!

zybariver said...

Did I read earlier that the geometry was going to change on this new batch, specifically top tube length?

Velo Orange said...

It's the 700c version that will have shorter top tube. The 650b version is built up with city bars more often than with drop bars. So we kept the top tube a little longer.

The main change with this batch is a stiffer down tube since we find that folks tend to really load their Polyvalents up. And there is the green color and nicer fork bend. Oh, and we added low-rider bosses and shifter bosses.

Velouria said...

Looking very nice! Question re geometry: Is there TCO on the smaller frames?

Winga said...

Looks nice! Will the price stay the same and will there be mini build offered?

David Troyer said...

BEAUTIFUL! I'm sorry but I always thought the blurple/orange was pretty ugly.

Anonymous said...

Nice forks!
But what's up with the rear dropouts,
they look like they'remeant to have disc brake mounts that were sawed off.

Velo Orange said...

There is little or no TCO, depends a bit on tire, fender, and foot size.

The price will be just a little higher and there will be mini and maxi build kits.

The rear dropouts are the only model made with the "very short horizontal slot" we wanted. They work with internal gear and fixed hubs, but allow a nice fender line. They are great to use.

Anonymous said...

So, why a threaded headset? After spending many hours wrenching on and setting up bikes, I still have no idea why designers choose threaded headsets when they could easily select a threadless headset.

Le Cagot said...

The only reason to use threadless forks on road bikes is so the manufacturer can save money. It allows the manufacturer to use one fork for all frame sizes. VO can tune the fork to each frame size. And handlebar height is infinitely adjustable. It's all about handling and fit.

Anonymous said...

Love the new color and subtle decals and agree with another poster's sentiment about the color scheme on the previous gen. I've been anxiously waiting for this one to come out.

dwainedibbly said...

(Disclaimer: I own a 1st generation Polyvalent, which I built up with mostly V-O parts and a SON-28 front hub & an Alfine-11 rear. I love it.)

You, gentlemen, are going to cause great consternation in the Dibbly household! How in the world am I going to sell Mrs Dibbly on the idea that I *need* a new frame? That color! That fork! Those logos! (I always thought the orange was a bit garish.) Brilliant job all around!

Here's what I need: I need V-O to offer a nice 650b Ladies' Polyvalent, in a delicious purple. Mrs Dibbly won't be able to resist!

Serious, though, this new frame looks really great. I like that you added the low-rider bosses and kept the dropouts the same. The new logos really are nice and understated. I'm partial to black, but I have a couple of green bikes in my past. You picked a nice shade that will look great with silver or black components. The one only things I might change would have been disc brake mounts and a way to break the rear triangle for belt drive.

How long until these are available? I need to start saving my lunch money.

Joshua said...

@Le Cagot; There is absolutely nothing inherent in a threadless headset that requires a bike maker to use the same fork for every bike. It's just a bearing system! That said, bike makers (including Velo Orange) do often spec the same fork for every bike, because fork rake generally does not change between sizes.

Threadless headsets are lighter, simpler, stronger and cheaper. There is simply no reason not to use them, except for nostalgia (misguided, in my opinion).

Not that it matters what I say, since this post will surely not be approved.

Riggs said...

I think in bikes and cars, some Colors are classic. Green, red, blue, the primary colors and both silver and gold. Also, each vehicle looks good in some but not other colors.

The green here is great. I would make decals white or silver.

Jammy Straub said...

Lovely color and much nicer fork curves! Well done.

I'd guess tire clearance hasn't changed and you can still fit a Pacenti Qausi-Moto in there?

I'm curious how having a short stem (60mm) to compensate for the long top tube would effect the handling with something like Chris's Rando Bar. Anyone ran one like that?

(I generally have a 58cm ST and a ~57cm TT)

Anonymous said...

Any update on when the 700c version will be coming?

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

I'll take a dozen.

Best regards

Mark Holm said...

Threaded vs Threadless. In favor of Threaded: Owner/rider can easily adjust height over a significant range (if head tube and stem are both reasonably long), without any effect on bearing adjustment. Even a reasonably handy 10 year old can do it.
In favor of Threadless: Manufacturer/builder doesn't have to thread steer tube, a slow and potentially error prone process. No need for large diameter threaded adjusting and lock nuts, parts that have to be machined at relatively high cost. All threaded parts are small diameter, thus cheaper. Threadless stem to steer tube junction may be stronger. This may be of benefit to really hard riding types; not so much for tourers, commuters, anybody who doesn't regularly collide with big rocks.

Don said...

The angels are singing. It's beautiful. Thank you for the quiet stickers.

Phil Miller said...

I like threaded head tubes, especially on a bike named Polyvalent (many uses). Handlebar height is just a quick loosen/tighten away. This is important if I am to share the bike with my wife and daughter - we use the same frame size, but prefer different adjustments. Also, I like a higher bar when I'm carrying loads, or cruising - a lower bar when I'm on a club ride. Inserting spacers is too much of a hassle. So there *are* reasons to prefer them, though you might not share them.

Anonymous said...

Question: I notice the rear brake cable is at about 11:00. Any reason for that position instead of 7 or 8:00?

Anonymous said...

I happily cheer the threaded headset choice. I, too, like to make adjustments in bar height for different riding purposes, not to mention swapping out different stems and bar set-ups. I also agree about the color, although I rather liked the previous color scheme, too.

A Polyvalent mixte for 650b would be very cool. Have a few done in XL frame size, please!

Owen

Ned C said...

Nice to see that the threaded headset has been retained but sorry to see the downtube shifter bosses since I would prefer not to use derailleurs and figuring out what to do with the unused bosses is, well annoying me. Have you thought of offering LED side lamps or reflector kits made to fit on unused derailleur bosses and also unused cantilever mounts?

RonW said...

Very nice! Love the color and understated decals. I've always been a sucker for green bikes. So now will I hold out for a pass hunter or go with one of these?

BillDragon said...

Ned C
You can get cover for shifter bosses. They are not a nice as no boss, but greatly improve thing.

Velo Orange said...

The rear brake cable is at 11:00 so it's out of the way when carrying the bike up the steps to your apartment. It also uses a solid run of cable housing so you can sit on the top tube at the cafe without scratching the frame or greasing your pants, important features on my city bike.

They will be here in about 4 weeks.

Blogan said...

Oh man, I want one of these so badly. But for my frame size, the top tube is just too long. And if I get the next size down, I'd have to raise the stem and seat more than I'd prefer. Velo Orange, if you make a Rando-style frame (shorter top tube) with clearance for 650B x 42mm tires and cantilever brakes, I WILL buy one. TIG welded, lugged, fillet brazed, I'm not particular. And I wouldn't mind paying more for it, either.

masmojo said...

Quill Vs. Threadless? Man it's a toss up! I like the look of a traditional stem, but I ride a fairly short frame (Read: Short Head tube) so raising and lowering the stem too much is kind of out of the question with the traditional quill stem. The threadless stem does require those gawd awful spacers, but offer just as much vertical adjustment (if not more) Plus because 90% of threadless stems also have open face bar clamps the whole stem can be changed out in a few minutes. My cross check has a lugged stem with a one bolt pinch on the bars, I discovered the stem was not long enough after I glued on the cork grips and shelacked the bar tape! :-( So I guess it'll have to be servicable until the grips are fried! Where-as with the typical Threadless stem I could have swapped it out already with hardley any effort at all!!

If I get one of these I also am leaning towards an internally geared hub, so the shifter bosses would be a nuisance!

BUT, these are small quibbles!

I am being won over by disc brakes as well, so . . .

MASMOJO

defusi0n said...

@Joshua; the manufacturer is not required to use the same size fork for every frame, they benefit from it! The steer tube is cut by the user or bike shop so all size frames can go out of the factory with the same size steer tube. But threaded forks have a specific length steer tube for each size frame, making the fork unique to that particular size frame.

Ease of handlebar adjustment beats out nostalgia anyway. Plus, just because something isn't new tech doesn't make it obsolete. I mean, leather saddles and lugged steel frames for example?

Plus from an aesthetic point of view, 1 1/8" headsets make the head tube look out of wack with the rest of the frame, unless oversized tubing is used throughout.

Anonymous said...

I must have an odd body type, because all these comments about the top tube being too long puzzle me -- it's just right, IMO. I should probably get one sooner than later before all the feedback makes you change the design (like one competitor did recently, leaving me out of the market for their frame).

Can I say that your photography still leaves much to be desired? It's really hard to get a good feel for many of your products as the photos are either too dark, or too glary, or otherwise make it hard to discern details. The Eco Velo blog sets the standard for photographic excellence of bikes in my book, and is so much better than nearly everybody else, but it can't be that hard, is it?

Dan

heather said...

ooooh, I love the colour! A mixte with shorter top tube please! Will this come in little people sizes?

Blogan said...

Dan,

Maybe you're just more flexible than the rest of us? :-D My current most comfortable bike is a 55 or 56cm Univega. The top tube is 55cm long, the seat tube is 56cm long, and the standover height with 32mm tires is 83.5cm. I have a short, 70mm stem on the bike and it's very comfortable. The only reason I'm considering another bike is because I've found that a lot of my riding could benefit from tires larger than the 32mm that will fit on the Univega. The 54cm Polyvalent has a 56cm top tube, which I could make work though a little shorter would be better. To fit me well I'd have to use an incredibly short 60mm stem, but it's still doable. But the standover height is such that I'd be left with an extra three inches or so of stem and seatpost sticking out of the frame! With my Univega I'm already using a Nitto Technomic stem in order to get the bars level with the saddle (any lower and I'm uncomfortable), and so even on that bike I have 10-11cm of stem quill visible, which is already quite a bit. Add another 7-8cm of stem and if I used the 54cm Polyvalent frame, and you start reaching the limits of what even the Technomic is designed for. Even the 57cm has a standover height of 3cm less than my current bike. but the top tube is a full 4cm longer! Unless I could find a 30cm stem (which would probably change the handling a bit), that wouldn't work either. And the VO Rando frame in a 55cm would work reasonably well, but it has even less tire clearance than my Univega and with no 650B option, so that would be kind of pointless for me.

So basically, what I need is a frame with the Rando's top tube length but the Polyvalent's tire size, front end geometry, and, ideally, cantilever brakes.