21 April, 2017

Polyvalent Update & Rando Rack Facelift

by Igor

Our trip to Taiwan and the Taipei Bike Expo not only provided a look into new products being introduced for mainstream cycling culture (be on the lookout for the new Velo Orange full-suspension e-mtb) the trip also gave us an opportunity to visit our factory partners. We discussed new product ideas, production techniques, and the general climate of cycling. There were a lot of projects we wanted to discuss, two of which were frames and racks.

Polyvalent is going through one more design and testing iteration before we are good to go to production. First, a new fork design is in the works. The current, bi-plane fork crown is ok, but its width makes the downtube attach further up the headtube making for less room in the main triangle. Prototypes should be here within the next couple months.

We're also making the top tube a bit more slender in all the right places. Does a skinny top tube make a bike plane? I don't think so. To me, the concept of planing has more to do with a combination of several factors lining up rather than one or multiple bike frame properties. Food intake, wind direction, hydration, road quality, etc all play a role in your experience on your bike. Anyway, a properly dimensioned top tube minimizes luggage sway without compromising performance or weight.

Adrian has hers built up as a flat bar Porteur. Bullmoose Bars, Pari-Motos 650bx42mm tires, and Shimano trigger shifters.

Clint/I have a stripped down Urban Day-Tripper with a mild riser bar, WTB Horizon 650bx47mm tires, and downtube shifters.

Scott has his built up as an any-path-will-do setup. He went with 26" wheels rather than 650b for a bit more mud clearance and a lower bb for offroad stability. Dajia Far Bars, Shimano bar end shifters, and a special proto crankset to round up his build.

We'll delve more into the individual bikes and builds in due time. They'll be at the garage sale next weekend for some one-on-one eye-ballin' and maybe even some test riding to get you into the mood.

Since you guys and gals are riding rougher roads and bigger tires these days we decided to give our front racks a facelift. These new changes are designed to mitigate stresses from load and rough terrain, make installation a heck of a lot easier, and allow for a wider range of bike fitment.

The decaleur (the upright portion which receives the bag mount) gets even more integrated into the platform of the rack. Stresses from stuffed handlebar bags and rough terrain are dispersed through the entire length of the tube and aft of the rack.

Don't mind the wire nest. It has worked perfectly for many years.
The included adjustable tang makes fine-tuning easier, too.

These changes will be applied to the Randonneur and the Pass Hunter racks. Similar changes will be made to the Campeur (improved platform) and Constructeur (adjustable tang). We're currently looking at early June availability.


Anonymous said...

Say more about that crank on the orange bike?

VeloOrange said...


It's a proto of a wide-range double. Kind of like a modern take on a 50.4.

Anonymous said...

No wire nest necessary if the downtube had a dynamo wire pass-through behind the head-tube. Just sayin'

dschaber said...

How much clearance is available when running 26" wheels?

Eric said...

So, are you gonna have braze-ons for a Riv/Soma/Haulin Colin style front rack? They seem to be more common, and to work quite well, and to be honest, the threaded headset and goofy front rack setup are two major marks against the Polyvalent when I'm shopping for frames. I understand why you're doing the threaded (old people) but going to a front rack setup that is common and has definitely worked well for other makers would allow us to use 3rd party racks on your bike and allow you to make racks that will work well with other makers.

VeloOrange said...


Oh yes! We are going to put a spool eyelet on the front of the fork blades for a rando-style rack or additional bracing for a porteur rack.


Roy Schoppert said...

I'd love a VO Randonneur Front Rack (with or without a decaleur) that would fit my Piolet. The description of the current VO Randonneur Front Rack says that the eyelets on the fork should be about 3.75" below the bottom of the fork crown and the eyelets on a Piolet fork are definitely LESS than 3.75 inches below the crown. Which means that one of the current Randonneur front racks will sit way too high. An adjustable tang may possibly allow it to fit on a Piolet, but the rack will still be way to high.

Ashwath Akirekadu said...

Hi VeloOrange,

Very nice bikes there! Do you mind sharing which are the following components?

(1) all-silver rear derailleur
(2) cantilever brakes in the front rack picture
(3) flat pedal in the blue bike


Eric said...

Hey Igor-

Do you know haw far below the crown boss you are going to put those spool eyelets? 14cm (hint hint)?

VeloOrange said...

The spools on the fork blades were originally designed as a light mount, which is why they'd be too high. You can you mount the Rando Rack on the inside of the fork blades on the highest through bolt.

VeloOrange said...

Thanks! The derailleur is a Shimano 7700 Dura-Ace. The brakes are Tektro 710s which we are getting very soon. And the pedals are our Grand Cru Sabots.


Anonymous said...

@VO: Excellent! I hope it's lighter/narrower than the IRD one. The world really needs an affordable, excellent 46/30. Would buy.
-Anon #1

Bob Torres said...

Hi Igor, nice bikes! On Andrian's urban bike is that a VO saddle or a Brooks? The rivets and low cut on the leather makes it look close to a Colt.

VeloOrange said...

Thanks Bob! It's a prototype with the width and length of a Model 3 and the nose cutout a bit like an Ideale. It also has an injection molded plastic nose tensioner that I think we're going to switch to in time. It's lighter, stronger, and simpler to produce than stamped steel pieces.


Dave Feldman said...

Would it kill anyone to sell a 650b, French-inspired frame with a treadless fork? Any bike is a better bike if you don't have to beat the bushes on eBay for two months to get the right size stem. And there's no law that says you can't have carbon bars with a 31.8mm stem on your random bike if that's what your hands like!

Dana said...

Scott's build has 26" wheels. Kool - I want an all-road touring bike with 26" wheels, clearance for 50mm/2" tires with fenders, low-trail geometry for front loading (I'm heavy enough for the rear wheel), a big frame (I'm 6'4), a kickstand plate, fittings for BoB nutz, and preferably a unicrown fork (light & tough). Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

When can we see the geo charts?

mikebike said...

I would be very interested if you used a light tube set for the poly redesign. I am a big fan of standard diameter tubing with skinny wall thickness. 7-4-7 works well for small frames on the top tube and a lot of people seem to like them me included! Thank you for your consideration.