23 April, 2018

Eroica California Ride Recap

by Igor

Class. Fun. Spectacular riding in a majestic countryside setting. All without taking itself too seriously. Oh, and a bike festival to boot. Eroica's got it all - and we're excited to have been able to attend it last week in Paso Robles, CA.

Eroica California is a celebration of all things vintage bike - wood rims, non-aero brakes, and all! Saturday primarily featured a Concours-style judging and swap meet while Sunday was all about riding mixed terrain through the beautiful scenery that SLO County has to offer.

The Concours featured a whole lotta beautiful bikes that were judged according to different classes such as year, restored, original, unrestored, etc. Bikes from the early 1900s up through 1987 were scrutinized for period-correctness, backstory, and condition. Judges eyed every nook and cranny of the bikes to determine the rightful winner of each class. 

Not a ton of fender'd bikes, so this randonneur really stood out

I'm not going to lie, Theo was a hit in his Molteni onesie.

Kirk Precision!
Bent seattube on this Jack Taylor. A beauty!

Roller racing. The Faemino is wearing a Drillium Crankset.

Very, very early derailleur'd BSA.

That lugwork, my goodness.

'nago with 'nolo.
Sunday was ride day. I opted to ride the short route to allow plenty of time for socializing both on and off the bike, photographing the beautiful scenery, and indulging in the all-around chill atmosphere of the event.

The ride took us through and around vineyards, olive groves, countryside roads, and dirt farm roads - classic mixed terrain. Dirt, pavé, soft sand, and steep climbs graced our tires and sometimes the soles of our shoes.

For gearing, I opted for our 50.4 Crankset for a lowest gear of 30/28 - that was a good idea. There were several riders I spoke to that rode last year and swapped their 53/39 crankset for our 50.4 or Drillium specifically for the event. There were some adventurous souls who did the ride fixed or single speed. My mind says yes, but my knees say ouch.

Fueling up at a cafe

Should we offer this jersey?

They sent us off in waves, so there was time to ogle lots of bikes that had VO bits. This one is wearing our cassette hub and RAID rims.


Snaking around grapes



Each stop was like a mini bike show. You could walk up and down and never see the same bike twice.

Wine straight from the source. Provided at the rest stop of course. 

A custom painted Specialized Allez with our Long Setback Seatpost.

A lovely Colnago with our Hammered Fenders, Campeur Rear Rack, and Constructeur Front Rack.

What goes up...

Must come down. Thanks for the photos, Jason and Bien!

Out in the countryside

Kevin riding his Raleigh and jersey from his racing days


Over washboard gravel roads, things got a bit bumpy. Nothing 38mm tires couldn't handle.

These two were riding his and hers old French city bikes and were ripping!

Thanks for the wonderful memories and great times. We're looking forward to next year!

12 April, 2018

Save the Date! VO x RRB Ride & Party

We're having a Party to celebrate our bag release with Road Runner Bags! Come hang out and check out the new line. Meet Igor of VO, Brad of RRB, and the rest of the crew!

The Highlights:

Where: Road Runner World Headquarters! 818 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA
When: Saturday April 28th.
Ride - 10AM (route TBD)
Party - 1-5PM
RSVP here, or just show up!

Bikes // Bags // Coffee // Beer // Snacks

We'll meet up at the shop 10AM for a casual mixed surface ride around town (route TBD). Regroup around 1PM for the P-A-R-T-Y! Coffee, beer, and snacks provided.

All of our new bags will be on display as well as our current and upcoming frames. For more details on the bags, check out this blogpost.

Hope to see you there!

06 April, 2018

Brass Accent Spacers

By Scott

Our friends at Blue Lug in Japan have started making headset parts using a unique material - brass. While brass has been used for lots of other applications - plumbing parts, camera bits and most famously, musical instruments, you don't see a lot of it on bike components or accessories.

In the lot, we brought in brass stem caps and a tapered spacer. For those of you using threadless headsets, this tapers from the width of the stem down to the outside width of the bearing cover for a very clean look.

We also got a range of spacer heights: 2, 5, 10, 20 and 35mm in 1 1/8 size, 2 and 5 mm in 1 inch sizing.

Brass is lovely as an accent color, especially if you have dark colors on your steerer tube or frame or have one of our brass bell's that's been "adjusted" by Tomii cycles.

And before you ask, yes, these spacers do weigh more then the same size in carbon fibre. But does carbon fibre have a lovely patina created by sweat, rain, and memories? I think not.

04 April, 2018

Psst, Hey Kid, Need Some Toe Clips?

by Igor

As we near the April 14th and 15th Eroica California event, we wanted to remind you all that if you're looking to outfit your vintage or vintage-inspired bike for the ride, we have the goods.

There are a few requirements for bikes that want to participate in the vintage ride. Namely, toe clips, straps, non-aero brake levers, low profile box section rims, and shift levers. What happens if you violate these rules? Expect old school punishment.

Road pedals, toe clips, and straps are one of the most iconic and ubiquitous components on any vintage racing and touring bike. They're effective at comfortably retaining your foot without the need for special shoes. In my experience, low profile soccer shoes like the Adidas Samba are the best, affordable fit for this classic pedal and clip combo. Side note, the Samba has actually been around since the 1950s, affording soccer players grip and support on icy turf.

Don't forget those toe strap buttons! They make it a simple grab to cinch up your strap when starting off.

Non-aero brake levers are still popular for tourists and randonneurs for their ease of maintenance and quick, on-the-fly adjustment. My personal preference is the Gran Compe Drilled Levers. Not only do they look classy, but the drilling actually provides additional grip when slowing down through long descents. They also include nifty barrel adjustors.

Our PBP Rims have been crowd favorites for those looking to refit their vintage road bikes with new clincher rims. They're lightweight, sturdy, beautiful, and available in both 32 and 36 holes drilling. An added bonus is that we also offer a 27" version in 36 hole.

Unless you're looking for a specific NOS Campagnolo, Simplex, or Suntour shifter set, Dia-Compe's offerings are exceptionally good. Both the downtube and bar-end variants feature micro-ratchets for easy shifting and smooth operation whether you're going up the gear cluster for an impending climb, or dumping multiple gears while descending.

Lastly, you'll need something to carry your repair gear, extra layer, and film, if you're so inclined. The Day Tripper Saddle Bag is the perfect size for an all day ride, is compatible with any road bike, and would look splendid on a vintage racer.

Ready to roll up some Ilford Pan F 50
See you at Eroica California!

03 April, 2018

Prototype and Paint Blem Frames For Sale and Gen1 Piolet Forks

by Igor

Can't wait until May to get a Polyvalent? Well, you might be in luck. We just put a few Polyvalent prototypes up on our Discounted Frame section as well as a couple of demos, new old stock, and paint blems.

All three of the Polyvalent prototypes have been used through tours, commuting, and various degrees of gravel munching and grinding. Basically, we got those first few scratches out of the way so you can enjoy riding without worrying about keeping the frameset pristine.

There are a few changes between these and the production version: 1) The top tube is ovalized vertically as opposed to horizontally 2) the fork uses a bi-plane crown and is overall a bit taller 3) there are slightly narrower clearances for 26" wheels (2.1 max with fenders), but 650b x 48s with fenders fit fine.

Here are the links to their respective product pages:
  • 51cm in blue
  • 57cm in gream (green/cream) - sold
  • 60cm in green - sold
We also have a couple demo framesets:
A couple brand new frames:
And a few paint blem Pass Hunters:
Lastly, we just put up some of our triple-butted, replacement Piolet forks so you can dial in your tourer or rigid shredder. Available in 700c/27.5 and 26", they feature triple bosses on the blades, fender and rack mounts, and big tire clearances. They're Piolet blue, so you can either get it painted, rattle-canned, or roll on it as-is. 

Happy riding!

01 April, 2018

Velo Orange Launches First Bike into Outer Space

Inspired by Starman and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster, Velo Orange has decided to launch its own payload into outer space. We're pleased to announce that we have successfully launched one Polyvalent into heliocentric orbit.

The first bicycle sent on an interplanetary mission, our Polyvalent has been launched towards Alpha Centauri, often touted as one of the most likely places for mankind to make alien contact. Our next-door neighbors in space, the three-star Alpha Centauri system seems like a great potential advertising market, and we want to beat NASA and SpaceX to it. Velo Orange co-owner, Adrian Nelson, says "It's good to be a first-mover in a situation like this. If there's an alien race 4.367 light years from us, we want to make sure we're the first ones to sell full coverage bicycle fenders to it."

Indeed, upon closer examination, you'll see the frame is decked out with Velo Orange's soon-to-be-released Wavy fenders. We have decided to dress this bike up, unlike the humans depicted in the Pioneer plaques on board the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecrafts. If other worldly beings come across the Polyvalent, we want to them to know we come in peace...and with style.
Co-owner Igor Shteynbuk says, "What's a better first introduction to the human race than a classically styled touring frame? 650b has been a persistent presence in the cycling world, so it should be a good representation of cycling for generations (or the potentially 78,000 years it may take the PolyV to get to Alpha Centauri). The bicycle has always been an egalitarian force, allowing for a more even social playing field for transport and recreation. We want the human race to be represented by such positive connotations."

The runner-up to being launched into space was Fairweather's B903 Bullmoose Bars. Noting their similarity to Worf's bat'leth though, this option was abandoned due to the fear of unintentionally sparking intergalactic warfare.
What will happen to the Polyvalent as it careens towards towards its destination? Find out by following the bicycle via this advanced image tracking system.

Bon Voyage!