12 March, 2015

Adrian's Favorite Things

by Adrian

I will swear up and down that as a 5'5" woman, I AM OF AVERAGE HEIGHT. But in the cycling world, anyone my height or shorter can benefit from using bikes and bike components that cater to smaller persons. I'm lucky enough to have access to several of these items through my gracious overlords. So prepare yourself for...Adrian's vertically challenged favorites list!

26" Campeur - I have been privileged to be able to use the 26" Campeur prototype for my daily driver, in addition to touring. This frame is perfect for shorties like myself. The handling is supreme, both set up for fully loaded touring, and stripped down for city riding. I ride a 49cm, and for smaller frame geometries, the 26" wheel size really makes a difference. No toe clip overlap. Easier and more spry handling. I'm in love.

26" rims - No wonder I like this size rim, I finally have a use for it! The Campeur is my first 26" bike, and I've built it up with our Diagonale Rims. These rims fit tires 35mm to 45mm wide. I have Kenda K West 26x1.5" on those puppies, giving me higher pressure riding for swift road riding, which I can drop to a lower pressure range for comfortable gravel grinding.
650b Fenders - I've used the 45mm size for my 26" wheels, allowing for plenty of room for my fatter tires. Specifically, I've installed the Hammered Fenders, which, along with the Snakeskin, are my favorite VO fender patterns. They're flashy and functional.
Short and Shallow Handlebars - For my apparent T-Rex arms, of course. In all seriousness, these are perfect for me. They give solid room on the tops, and a super comfortable position with the ramps leading to the hoods. The drops are really where these bars stand out, though. They give you a comfortable yet more aggressive position, so comfortable in fact that I find myself hanging out down there on the regular.
Tektro RL341 Aero Brake Levers, for Smaller Hands - Essentially baby-hand brake levers. These brake levers are the smaller version of our RL340 Tektro Aero Brake LeversThey have ergometric lever arms that allow smaller hands to still get considerable leverage for breaking power. Plus they work great in combo with Short and Shallows, providing a great position on the ramps/hoods.
Grand Cru Sabot Pedals - Although they may not be inline with the rest of these items, I'm also a huge fan of the Sabot pedals. Since their release over two years ago, I've had a pair on every single one of my bikes. I'm prone to riding in an assortment of shoe styles, most notably flip-flops, and these suckers do my feet good.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Adrian. Could you or someone else at VO compare the Tektro RL-341 to the 340 with more specific details? E.G., for the 341, is the lever shorter, or is the lever shorter and the hood area shorter? Is the hood area narrower? Is the Mechanical Advantage different to account for different hand strengths? A side-by-side photo comparison would also be helpful. I appreciate your comment that these 341 levers might be the perfect complement to short reach bars, but I've only heard these levers described as being for people with smaller hands, which is not necessarily the same thing. Thanks!

VeloOrange said...


The body is the same between both models. The biggest difference is the lever blade shaping: http://i.imgur.com/NvpdvNP.jpg

The 341 (in front) comes closer to the bar compared to the 340. The mechanical advantage is unchanged. The lever is easier to reach from the hoods as well as the drops.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! That image and explanation is just what I needed.

pinkshirt said...

My best friend from high school is as short as I am tall. And so I appreciate Adrian's perspective. BUT I hope you guys will also post a set of favorites from a tall person with large hands and feet.