21 July, 2014

Latest Camargue Build

by Igor

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in the shop - building a lot of wheels, fitting/testing new prototype products you may or may not like, and assembling bikes for review and bike shows later this year. Coming up with a build that will be reviewed by a magazine and on display at a show can be surprisingly tasking. In our case, we need to strike a delicate balance between intended use, timeless styling, functionality, affordability, and pushing the envelope to make you do a double take and go in for a closer look.

Last week, I rode down to pick up some Peruvian chicken for lunch - I could literally eat that everyday and be happy. As I was ordering and paying I overheard a couple guys talking about the leather saddle, mudflap, and handlebar bag and mentioning how comfortable and useful the whole bike looks. I left, put my pollo in my handlebar bag, gave the guys a nod through the window, and was on my way back to work, a bit faster this time. It's that double take and subsequent drawing in I love seeing at shows, events, and on the street.

Of the builds we've done, this one is on the top of my list...for now.

We built up this 56cm Camargue to be a go anywhere, tour-ready bike. I insisted on having the Onza 29er 2.25" tires and a wide range MTB double drivetrain that would be comfortable and simple.
38/24T Shimano 2-Piece Deore Crankset, 11-36 Shimano Cassette, Deore Shadow (Dyna-Sys) Rear Derailleur, and XT MTB Double Front Derailleur. To make all the danglers move around, we used a pair of Deore Dyna-Sys 10 speed shifters.
To carry stuff, a Dajia Stainless Steel Rear Rack and a Revelate Frame Bag work nicely and still have enough room for a front bag if needed.
As for the rider, the three points of contact (feet, hands, butt) are more important than any component or tire width. Sabot Pedals, Crazy Bars with Black Grips, and a Model 3 Leather Saddle will make for comfortable, long days in the saddle.
To ensure safe descents, our new Noir Zeste Brakes fit the bill.
Our Elkhide Chainstay Protector is an easy way to defend against chainslap.
Silver and black don't go well for a lot of bikes, but when it's done right, it can be a knockout.


Chris L said...

That is the first 56cm Camargue I've seen! The tires are so large they make the decently sized frame look small! How many cm is the top of the saddle above the center of the BB? This gives me a good idea where I would be as far as spacers and amount of rise needed in my handlebars. I ride 75cm above the BB and I'm guessing this is in that ballpark or maybe a bit higher.

John said...

That's a 56cm frame? Maybe it's the wheel size + tire or the frame bag, but the frame is looking petite. I thought I needed a 56cm frame, but now I'm wondering.

What's the seat height as pictured?

Ashaklun said...

Great work on the frame!

Do you have any idea what the chainring clearance will be with a 50mm chainline?

Peter Coffin said...

If you want to knock them dead, why not use one of your own cranks, thumb shifters and maybe some nice Shimano XT or Suntour XC Pro derailleurs? Simple, light, functional and timeless quality.

Wes Ewell said...

There are several reasons why the Camargue frames appear small. First, VO measures size by virtual seat tube length, which is quite a bit longer than the actual length. Second, the fork is longer to accommodate bigger tires, so the head tube is shorter. The key dimension to judge what size you should buy is the standover height.

VeloOrange said...

@Chris L & John,

Building this bike, as opposed to a 47 or 61cm frame, was easier for me because this is the size I ride. I'm 5'10", not flexible, and average proportions. The saddle height pictured is 75cm from the top of the saddle to the middle of the bottom bracket and 170mm cranks. Handlebars are just above the saddle because, this is a touring bike. Comfort over long distances is the most important factor.

If you think it looks small, it's an optical illusion. Big tires, big bags, big rack, wide handlebars, and a long focal length on the camera.


There's more to that question. Crank arm style, intended use, # of rings. Shoot us an email with more details. If it helps at all, the Deore double that we're using has more than enough clearance.

@Peter Coffin,

I've gone the route of 6-9 speed components for a number of years, and to be honest, 10 speed off-road components just work so much better. Shifting is crisper and components are stouter without any weight penalty (sometimes lighter than their 8/9 speed counterparts). In addition, the increased spring tension means significantly less chainslap and dropped chains over rough terrain.

Ultimately, you can do whatever you want with your frameset, and putting classic 8 and 9 speed mtb parts paired with a drop bar and dirt drop style stem would be awesome.

John said...

Thanks for the updated info. 56 sounds like my size.

Chris L said...

I don't recall if you guys have mentioned it yet, but how long is the steerer tube on these (the 56cm in particular if they differ)?

Joe dulyaphat said...

How about the rims
Which model that you choose?

VeloOrange said...

@Chris L,
Steerer length out of the box is 350mm. More than enough.

@Joe dulyaphat
Rims are 26" Escapade: http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/components/wheelsets-rims-hubs/rims/vo-26-escapade-rim.html

Guy said...

I'm really scratching my head on why you guys deemed in necessary to have so much standover on this model. As most are commenting here, it makes the frame look proportionally small. At 5' 10" you are the right size for the frame, and the bar height is where most will likely want it, yet you've got an extended head tube and a huge stack of spacers and consequently it towers over the top tube.