12 September, 2011

Polyvalent 700c

Here are a few more photos of the Polyvalent 700c frame that we'll be showing at Interbike. The show bike is built up as shown in the previous post.

This is not simply the same frame as the 650b Polyvalent, but with larger wheels. It is still very much an all-purpose frame, but the 700c version is geared more toward touring. That's not to say you couldn't build it up as a great city bike or use it for brevets or club rides. It's just that we wanted to make it strong enough and comfortable enough for those very long rides.

So what are the differences between the 700c and 650b versions? The 700c frame has longer chainstays and a slightly shorter top tube. There is the low bottom bracket height. There are also some aesthetic niceties such as the head tube collars and a rear cable stop with adjuster. 35mm tires fit with fenders and 50mm without. And there is that cool grey, with just a touch of blue, paint color.

We've really taken pains to nail the geometry and so far this frame has preformed beyond expectation. Robert has been riding the bike recently and testing it with various loads, very heavy front loads, very heavy rear loads, front and rear loads, no loads, etc. Alec will put a few thousand miles on it next. With luck no significant changes will be necessary and we'll have the first shipment in spring.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

What range of sizes will be available? For me, that would be the largest.
Thanks,
Bill

WickedVT said...

This looks like a terrific bike. I love the color also. I do have to wonder though, since it's so different than the 650B model; why did you name it Polyvalent? It seems like it would be more sensible to call it something else.

Velouria said...

Looking forward to seeing this at Interbike!

Anonymous said...

hoo-ray

Anonymous said...

now you're talking! I've been waiting for this bike since you stopped making semi customs. Can't wait for this frame!

VeloOrange said...

We'll probably have sizes from 51-63cm.

We talked about calling it the "Campeur", but it is really a multi-purpose frame, or Polyvalent. If you have other name suggestions we'll consider them.

Karl said...

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is the vertical dropouts. why not go semi-horizontal like the 650B Polyvalent, so that one could build it as a a city bike with an internal hub gear, or for that matter, as a touring bike based around the Alfine. I know that a chain tensioner would do the trick but why create the need for one?

Anonymous said...

Chris, can you give more information on the tubing, if that's finalized? I assume butted, but in what diameters and what wall thicknesses?

I've got a couple of 700c bikes like this that I was considering getting a low-trail fork for, but a full frameset that's already color-matched makes much more sense.

VeloOrange said...

There are still some tubing decisions to be made, but it'll be high quality double butted chromo drawn in Taiwan 28.6mm top and seat tubes, 31.8 down tubes

We used vertical dropouts because that's what almost everyone I've spoken to, who has done extensive touring, wants. Folks who tour with internal gear hubs are in the minority, though I'd personally like to try it.

xander said...

If it is truly a Polyvalent it should have semi-horizontal dropouts. If the end product keeps the current dropout I vote for a new name, not enough poly.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive! Polyvalent or Campeur sounds fine, too. I'm sick of all the goofy bike names like Karate Monkey, A. Homer Hilsen, etc. that are so prevalent today. Sorry if that makes me sound old...cause I am!

Alec said...

Horizontal dropouts sure are nice for some things, but they make wheel removal (flats!) and rendering really a pain, as you're well aware. Vertical dropouts are a great thing.

Mitchell C. said...

You should just call it the Velo Gris.

Don said...

Polyvalent is such a great bike name, you should use it as much as possible. This bike is all kinds of perfect.

Steve said...

Karl asked, "The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is the vertical dropouts. why not go semi-horizontal like the 650B Polyvalent...?"

While semi-horizontal dropouts are good for users of internal gear hubs, for derailleur use they're a genuine annoyance, making it very difficult to remove and replace a wheel with an inflated tire, especially if fenders are used, and provide no compensating value. If you want a city bike with IGH, there's the original Polyvalent.

dwainedibbly said...

It's a beautiful bike, but different enough in focus and identity that I think it needs a new name. The change in wheel size, dropouts, and intended handlebar type (with shorter top tube) make it a completely different bicycle to me. Avoid confusion in the market!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Chris, these two PVs are just brilliant. Thank you. If you're up for a possible name tweak on this one, run a contest; if there's one you like, we've got a winner; if there's not, no sweat and the name stays...

@dwaynedibbly: Why wouldn't you run drop bars on this? More positions, better leverage, ability to run aero and in-line levers for braking in multiple positions [and braking more efficiently on steep trail descents, with center of gravity shifted as far back as possible], etc. The shorter top tube is just for a slightly more upright and comfortable position for folks spending all day in the saddle...

dwainedibbly said...

Anon 11:38 The intent of the shorter top tube is that you CAN use drop bars. Risers usually reach back towards the rider, so you need a longer TT. That's my understanding, anyway. (And really, it doesn't matter that much, it's just that Chris mentioned it somewhere as part of the plan for the 700C version.)

Joseph said...

I'd call it the Polytourant.

Anonymous said...

At 6'4" 180 lbs, please include a size for me in your planning. This bike looks great! Thanks for building it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I like this frame! And I appreciate two things especially: that I can continue using my downtube shifters and that gorgeous bend in the fork.

Question: has the thickness of the fork tubes been modified to take advantage of that bend, i.e., thinner towards the dropouts, for extra comfort?

Odd request: do you think enough of your customers use a hub dynamo to warrant having eyelets on the fork leg to keep the cable tidy? A hole in the downtube to allow for the rear light cable would be much appreciated too.

I forsee this frame being my new bike next summer, should it arrive on schedule...

Muskham said...

The Mulitvalent!

I second the dynohub braze on request for routing wires. I'd also like a hub dynamo wheel set as part of a frame/fork/hs/seatpost/wheels deal.

Anonymous said...

I believe I was the twenty-first comment. As an addition, could I also request a larger frame size? I believe at some point I have come across the factoid that standard shipping boxes for frames limit the size to 62cm; I have always had a 25 1/2" frame. Is that possible?

Uncle Ankle said...

Naming things is fun! Why miss the opportunity? I propose:

"Le Toujours"

or

"Le Partout"

Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding the chain hanger/keeper! Such a rare item these days on steel frames.

I'm really interested in the 700c Polyvalent. Been looking for a fast-paced grocery getter that can haul a good load and still be easily carried up a flight of narrow stairs. This is about as close as it gets without going custom.

I'd also like to add a +1 for dynamo wire routing, if feasible.

Anonymous said...

What are the geometry and tube specs?

Anonymous said...

I third the request for larger frames.. Please consider making some in 65cm!

Karl said...

Steve

Thanks for your comments but I don't want just a city bike. I would like a real multi-purpose one, as the Polyvalent namme implies.

The 650B is, let's face it, an obscure wheel size. Viewed from my own home base, there are a few places in Toronto where one can get a 650B rim or tire on the spot but I would be willing to speculate that there are very few one-horse towns where one can get 650B anything without placing an order and waiting for the UPS guy - unlike a 700c or 26" wheel.

It has been a while since I taco'd a rim but to my mind, limited availability makes 650B an odd choice for touring. So, 700c is my preference. BUT I would like to try out an internal gear hub like the Alfine 11. So I guess I'll be stuck with a chain tensioner.

savvas said...

I will buy one! I also vote for vertical dropouts, dynamo light cable guides (back of R fork blade) and spare spoke holders.
Savvas

xander said...

Not interested unless it has a semi-horizontal dropout, making it truly polyvalent.
A pain changing a flat a couple times a year is a small price to pay compared to making it incompatible for drive-train options.

Anonymous said...

i'll take one! gotta be a 62cm. and keep the vertical droputs.

best,

rick moffat

Green Path Cycles said...

I'd vote to keep the vertical dropouts and add some braze on dynamo wire guides. And for hopefully having plenty available for us to buy!

Anonymous said...

I was THAT close to ordering a 64cm Surly LHT frameset, took one last wishfull look at the Polyvalent on your website, decided to search it on your blog and, Hot Damn! Big (63 or better, please!) frame, longer chainstays, low trail, carries a load, readily available tire size - if it'll take 44's with fenders, I'm ready.
Dana in Newton KS

Jim G said...

I think I want one. Looking forward to seeing them in the spring.

Jim G said...

Alternate name ideas:
Tournée
Cavalier
Epique
Campagne
Aventure
Odyssée
Séjour

xander said...

Any update?

Savvas said...

Hi Chris,
I'm hanging out for this frame mate! I offered some comments back in Oct last year but I have another. One thing that I really think you should consider if at all possible is an extra set of barrel eyelets on the front of the fork down from the brake bosses a bit but above the mid-fork rack braze-ons. For an all purpose bike I really think there should be allowance for running both a Porteur rack (what the extra barrel eyelets would be for) plus a 'lowrider' (or similarly attached) rack. I know that some porteur racks can also carry panniers underneath but they always look like a compromise to me. I'm not sure what the spacing for the upper rack's barrel eyelets should be (or if there's any sort of standard) but the rSogn may offer a pretty good model.