22 April, 2021

Greg's Neutrino is a Hoot!

by Igor

Greg wanted to have us build up a Neutrino Mini-Velo for commuting, travel, and a bit of fun on gravel roads. 

He opted for Tourist Bars to keep the position upright and comfortable. At 570cm in width, the Tourist is narrow by todays standards, but the sweep, rise, and grip length makes for a magnificent cockpit position. It's a personal favorite of ours.

Wheels are our Disc Hubs laced to Velocity Cliffhanger Rims in 32h drilling. And the rubber is Maxxis Grifter in 20"x2.3" (406 bsd). 

Drivetrain is Sram with a Rival 1 rear derailleur, Apex 1 crankset, 11-32 cassette, and Apex 11 shifter.

Braking is handled by TRP Spyres connected to our Grand Cru Brake Levers in Silver.

We also put on a Flat Pack Rack for general portage. 

All-in-all, this is a very fun bike. I'm actually thinking of rebuilding mine with a few cues from this one. 

As far as a status of Neutrino frames, we sold out of the S and L sizes basically overnight. I honestly thought they would have lasted longer, but they were basically in and out to places all around the world. We're getting more in the Summer, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you want the complete build list, here you go! https://velo-orange.com/pages/neutrino-build-list-commuter-traveler-with-flat-pack-rack

15 April, 2021

The Vintage Bicycle by Steel Vintage Bikes

by Scott

Kevin and I were speaking this morning about the merits and differences between physical and e-books. One thing that we both agreed on was that books with lots of photos or maps were ones that both of us felt we could only buy as a physical book. E-books are fine for a novel or some non fiction reading, but if you want to read poetry or see large format photos or paintings, then a physical book is simply the best. Introducing The Vintage Bicycle by Steel Vintage Bikes. 

The fabulous folks at Steel Vintage Bikes in Berlin have produced a book showing a collection of steel bikes they have restored over the years. With bikes ranging from 1927 to 1989, there will be bikes you've never seen along with technical elements sure to excite.

The majority of the bikes are racing bikes, but there are some randonneur and touring bikes mixed in as well. 48 bikes are showcased over 110 pages. You get one drive train side shot of each bike as well as a description of the bike and the builder and some more detailed shots.

This is a great book for someone who loves older steel bikes or perhaps someone looking for inspiration from the past. Hardcover, and printed in English.

09 April, 2021

Additions for Your Home Shop

by Igor

We have a lot of customers who are do-it-yourselfers, so finding quality tools and shop accessories is paramount. We've all used cheap tools and sometimes they can be fine, but you'll curse yourself the first time you're about to round out a bolt head or cut something askew. Buy once, buy right.

Holy Mountain USA Shop Aprons

We recently picked up these absolutely gorgeous Shop Aprons from Holy Mountain USA. They're sewn locally in Baltimore and are extremely high quality. When I'm not using it in the shop, I use it outside grilling, or inside in front of the stove. I've used a lot of aprons over the years and this one, by far, is the best bang for your buck.

There are three main pockets at your waist, and a couple smaller pockets by your chest for your pen, notebook, and any other little odds and ends that you might want quick access to.

Available in Brown and Black, they're super durable, comfortable, utilitarian, and vegan. 

Double-Ended Ferrules

You finally got that perfect handlebar tape setup. It has aged nicely, the hood position is perfect, and the tape is exquisitely finished with the Cutlass Velo flair. But now you want to raise your handlebars to have a more comfortable position. Dollars to doughnuts, the housing length is going to be too short. What are you to do? Unwrap all that hard work? Yea right! These Double-Ended Housing Ferrules are what you need.

Simply splice in a bit more housing to extend the length! I like to cut the housing back a bit so that the cap isn't rubbing on the frame. It works wonders! You'll likely still need to buy a new cable, though.

They're available in both 4mm and 5mm for shift and brake, respectively.

Polished Brass End Caps

Step up your end cap game with these Polished Brass ones. They function the same as the plated silver ones that your bike likely has, but these will age and develop a patina. I also really like the contrast they provide in an otherwise silver and black color-scheme.

We currently have the 4mm for shift in stock. The 5mm were supposed to be here today, but Fedex decided to send them the scenic route. They'll be here next week.

Re-Stock of Runwell Tools

A good tool has a bit of heft, a nice hand feel, and a certain satisfaction in its use. Runwell tools are just that.

The 4-Way Wrench is a favorite of mine for quick adjustments. 

And the 15mm Wrench is a pleasure to hold and use when tightening down your hub's nuts. Plus it comes in Gooooooold.

We just got more Punk Bolts, too. Rad.

20" Neutrino Wheels

Lastly, if you're building up your Neutrino and are in need of wheels, we just got some 20" VO Hubs laced to Velocity Cliffhangers in all black. These are so cool looking. 

01 April, 2021

A Bike for #GuacOutside?!

We've done a lot of duty-specific builds over the years: Piolet for the CDT, a Campeur for Eroica, and even a wireless shifting Neutrino for traveling. But this is the first time we've put together a bike for a specific food recipe. Move aside #CoffeeOutside, introducing a Neutrino for #GuacOutside.

17 March, 2021

Introducing the Biggish Bag!

by Igor

Not too big, not too small, the Biggish Bag is the perfect size for all of your sport touring adventures, city errands, day-long gravel rides, and everything in between. We know the Biggish Bag will be your new go-to bag for adventures both on and off the bike. 

A continuation of our bag line produced in California by the fabulous people at Road Runner Bags, we designed the Biggish Bag to have a near universal fit. That means that whether you have upright bars or drop bars, this bag will fit nicely and function perfectly.

Installation is a breeze. Route the straps around the bars and strap it down. Then use either the included velcro strap or buckle strap to secure it to the headtube or steerer tube. 

Want to put it on the back? The process is the same, but you'll want to route the upper straps through your saddle rails.

The Biggish Bag measures 13.5" (34.3cm) wide, 9" (22.8cm) high, and 6.5" (16.5cm) deep when it is in its unexpanded position, and can be expanded thanks to the rolltop interior and adjustable, cinch-down straps. For a bit more added storage, there's even a zippered, pleated pocket in the front for all of your little stuff. 

The Biggish Bag is also entirely waterproof thanks to the fully seam-sealed interior, roll top, and flap design. 

No need to be gentle with this bag either. It's made from high-strength Cordura and the inner liner is tear resistant.

If dangling and dingling is in your future, there is molle webbing all around the bag for your mug, Safety Pizza, bear mace, charms, etc...

But here's a secret: the side webbing is compatible with our Cell Phone Pocket and Snapper Sack! I have mine setup with a Cell on one side and a Snapper (for my compact camera) on the other.

The functionality isn't limited to on the bike! Off the bike, this is a great around-town bag. With the included shoulder strap, it makes a great baby bag and is quite cavernous for your local farmer's market.

The Biggish Bag is currently available in Coyote, Rust, Avocado, and Black. 

11 March, 2021

Neutrino Gets a New Flavor, Pistachio. Plus Dropper Routing!

by Adrian

So we have a small announcement - Neutrinos are back in stock! And this go-around they have a cool new color, a green we're calling Pistachio. Just like its ice cream counterpart, this new flavor is delicious.
Without being too loud, Pistachio is definitely a fun color you can play-up with your component and accessory choices. The silver downtube decal similarly adds both class and understated flash.

The Neutrino still has all the goodies you know and love - beautiful wishbone seatstays, braze-ons out the wazoo, and let's not forget the kickstand plate that lets you park your steed (or pony?) with ease.

In addition to the color change, this iteration of the Neutrino minivelo is dropper post compatible. A necessity to up the rad-factor, it also helps the frame fit in Rinko bags, or if you just want the advantage of quick transitions from in and out of the saddle. If you choose to forgo the dropper post, the internal routing can easily be utilized for your rear brake set-up for a clean look.

Like many of our other offerings, a small tube is brazed into the downtube allowing for easy housing installation. No need to fish around for the cable and housing.

We've seen a surprising amount of people use the Neutrino for full-fledged touring, though I suppose that isn't truly surprising, as its design inspiration is having a manageable size for traveling and navigating urban environments.

It's smaller and lighter than a more traditionally sized bike, but is designed to have the feel and handling of a full-sized frame. This gives it the benefit of being easy to maneuver in smaller spaces, carry up stairs, store in smaller spots, and travel with, while making it a familiar and comfortable ride. Drops or flats, knobby or smooth, road or gravel, we've seen the Neutrino shine in so many configurations - even some ebike conversions! The Neutrino is unique but wildly versatile, making it a great all-arounder. Take it on tour, or home after work.

As of writing this post, we cannot reliably offer a stock complete bike due to a shortage of parts like shifters, derailleurs, and cassettes. Custom builds are still on the table, though! Shoot us an email to get the conversation started.

In addition to the Neutrino re-stock, we received a good deal of parts and accessories including but not limited to:

We're also introducing new Hinged Water Bottle Cage Clamps. With 28.6 and 31.8 mm options and coming in both silver and noir, these handy-dandy clamps allow you to securely mount your bottle cages on downtubes and seat tubes. Or any other qualifying tubes, I suppose.
Sometimes it's the small things that matter. 

04 March, 2021

Rough Stuff Fellowship Book Update

By Scott

I've always been drawn to the written stories about cycling. I've written about how cycling books were an early inspiration to me here. I love reading the stories and trying to imagine the area they are riding, from the high Atlas mountains of Morocco to winter in arctic Norway. I see bikes as a great tool to get out and experience the world at a slower pace.

In that vein, we're proud to announce that we have the Rough Stuff Fellowship Archive book back in stock now. We've been working with the publishers in the UK to get more of these books back into stock, and they are here at last. These are the same soft cover, 2nd edition ones that we have had for a while. With this restock, we are now also able to offer pricing for shops to sell the books as well.

In other RSF news, they have now announced a Volume 2 that is due later this year. It's more photos and more stories about the RSF. The Kickstarter link is here and we'll be getting Volume 2 into stock when it gets published this fall.

26 February, 2021

Melissa's Sport Touring Low Kicker Has Some Very Special Hoops

by Igor

Hill got the conversation started about a new bike for his wife, Melissa. They were looking for something to replace her aging, skinny-tire'd road bike so that she could more comfortably participate in gravel and mixed terrain rides both by herself and with her riding club. She also wanted to make sure it could handle a bit of luggage for overnight, sport touring trips where minimal gear is needed while going between BnBs or hotels. The Low Kicker Polyvalent was a natural selection for the frameset. Needless to say, this sounded like it was going to be a very fun bike for Melissa and a very fun project for us.

One of the criteria for the build was a timeless appearance overall. So lots of silver, natural hues in the tape and saddle, and dynamo lighting. The hang up was the rims. Our Voyager Rims are polished, but a bit too heavy for Melissa's application. Carbon would be the most convenient choice, but you can't get polished carbon! After a conversation with Tommy over at Cutlass Velo (we use him for all of our custom wheel builds) we settled on the Astral Wanderlust Rims. But another hang up. They are only available in black. "I'll talk to them", said Tommy.

Quick background: Astral is Rolf Prima's aftermarket rim division and offers premium, Made in USA rims. Yes, that Rolf Prima that has been designing and manufacturing racing wheels since 1997. Astral is a great option for a MUSA rim that can be laced to traditional hubs (as opposed to Rolf's paired spoke tech).

While Astral doesn't currently offer silver rims, Tommy sweet-talked them into rolling a custom set of their lightweight and durable Wanderlust Rims in a very nice polished finish. Pairing the rims with a hi-engagment White Industries rear hub and a Son28 Deluxe dynamo front hub, this custom wheelset is 100% one-of-a-kind!

Furthermore, wrapping up this spectacular wheelset with a pair of ultra supple Ultradynamico Cava Race tires, the road and gravel chatter simply melts away.

The front wheel's dynamo powers a Schmidt Edelux mounted to the front Randonneur Rack. The Edelux is probably the best headlight out there, it has a good beam pattern and has excellent reliability. Plus it is very nice looking.

The rear light is a Busch & Muller ยต (Micro) affixed to the non-driveside seatstay. It also includes hardware for the ability to mount it to a rear fender, which is a nice touch. This light is hilariously tiny and ridiculously bright. Seriously, the package was magnitudes bigger than the actual light.

Full bike dynamo routing can be a bit tricky, so care should be taken to make sure the wires don't bind when the handlebars are turned, connections are waterproof, and everything is secure over varied terrain.

While we used strategically placed zipties, we used an r-clip on the non-driveside downtube adjustor as a splash of pizzazz. The coiled routing around the fork crown is important for turning the handlebars without significant excess dangling around. Here's a blog post documenting how to make the coil (about halfway down): https://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2019/10/petes-dynamo-polyvalent-with-shimano.html 

Shifting and braking is done by SRAM's Rival 22 Hydro group, our 50.4 46/30 crankset, and 11-32t cassette. The cockpit is silver with the handlebar being from Whisky and the tape is natural leather from Berthoud.

Continuing the natural leather look is the Berthoud saddle with Titanium Rails on a 0 Setback Seatpost.

Have a great ride, Melissa!