28 October, 2019

Pete's Dynamo Polyvalent with Shimano Hydraulic Brakes

by Igor

Pete really liked the spec of our stock Polyvalent build and wanted full dynamo lighting for commuting year-round. We were happy to oblige. While we don't often do dynamo lighting for customer builds, I was happy to implement some new tricks I had learned and practiced prior to building up his stellar ride. Clean routing, upgraded hydraulic brakes, and proper lighting - to be honest, I'm pretty jealous. Let's jump into the build details!

The best dynamo routing is the clean kind: connectors are covered from dirt and water, wiring is secure yet flexible, and lights are unobstructed from baggage or fenders. This setup features a Busch & Muller IQ-X headlight and a B&M Secula fender-mounted taillight, all powered by a Schmidt SON 28 dynamo disc hub.

Starting from the front, the SON 28 hub is probably the best one you can get. Very low friction when the lights are on and when the lights are off, forgetaboutit, you won't even know it's there.

The neat thing about the IQ-X headlight is that it uses a mount that can be rotated without messing with the beam pattern of the light. So if a Porteur Rack is in Pete's future, the light can be mounted upside down, inside the rack's cone of safety.

The Secula taillight is mounted securely, directly to the fender. Wiring is sneakily routed along the rolled edge of the fender, and then passes through a drilled, grommeted hole by the kickstand plate.

I tried to limit the zip ties used, but a few were required to keep things tidy. One is obscured by the seattube and the other by the crankset.

This stuff, literally called Goop, is super. You put some goop on each thing you're trying to attach, let them get tacky, and stick them to each other. I delicately put goop on the edge of the fender, set the wire in place, let it do its thing for an hour or two, then liberally put more goop on top of the wire. I laid the whole assembly on it's side on the workbench for the weekend. By Monday, it had fully cured and was ready to be tested and re-mounted to the bike to button up the rest of the build.

For the front, you want to make sure you leave extra wiring length for turning the handlebars - just like brake and shift housing. Instead of having excess just hanging around in the air, use a heat gun to achieve a nice coil to the wiring.

Wrap the wiring tightly around a fender stay or similar, fan a heat gun for a minute or so, and let it cool down while still coiled. Don't keep the heat in one place for too long. You risk melting the wire's coating. Wear work gloves, too. Do as I say, not as I do.

We also upgraded the brakes from cable actuated to Shimano Deore hydraulic. The lever feel is superb.

We added a Campeur Rear Rack for commuting and weekend trips. I lopped off one hole to lower the rack a bit.

Also custom bent the stay so that everything lines up without putting any stress on the connections.

All in all, this is a super build and would be perfect for any commuter or weekend tourer. You can check out the full build list here: https://velo-orange.com/pages/polyvalent-build-list-dynamo-with-hydraulic-brakes

24 October, 2019

Plans and Ponderings At VO

by Igor

This whole year has been a busy one: new Neutrino and Pass Hunter frames, fenders, rims, racks, and other projects you haven't even seen yet - well maybe keen Instagram story followers may have seen. I sometimes like to pull back the curtain on a few projects and happenings around Velo Orange World Headquarters. So here's a quick roundup!

Gearing up for Philly Bike Expo

We're getting things ready for the Philly Bike Expo (November 2nd and 3rd). In recent years, we've taken less individual products, and more complete bikes with our products integrated into them. The idea is that while we can't bring all 700+ skus with us, we try to create an atmosphere and buzz around our brand and general offerings so that people can check out the website if they are in need of something specific for their build or repair.

Basically, it's more of a showcase of the brand, identity, and new and prototype products rather than a flea market of everything we offer. It also makes it easier to contextualize design intentions when a product is actually on a bike rather than just sitting on a table or hung to a gridboard. Plus it makes our lives a ton easier for setup and breakdown of the booth. We also get a chance to ride our bikes around Philly!

Be sure to check out VO Island at booth 3004, close to the entrance. I think you'll have a hard time missing us.

Check out our previous PBE posts from 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Prototype Hubs

With the introduction of the newest form of the Pass Hunter, we've been working to update our rear and front hubs to be more future-proof with 12mm and 15mm thru-axle and QR compatibility. Simply pop the endcaps off and switch them for the included replacement ones. This custom hub shell is an homage to the 8-speed Campagnolo Record Hub. It will retain the tool-free disassembly as our current offerings. Sorry, no backwards compatibility.

Lucky Bars

These will have a lot of 8's in the design - deemed very lucky in Chinese culture. It's going to be perfect for more upright MTB and bikepacking bikes like the Piolet. Wide, nice rise, nice sweep. These are currently being prototyped using some really neat mandrel bending tooling. Basically, this style of bending allows for tighter and more consistent bends without the risk of stress risers or limited shapes.

Dropper Posts

These literally arrived minutes ago while I was writing this post (get it? Post, seatpost...) The good folks at Dajia Cycleworks thought we might like them, so we got a few samples to test out. They look really good. More details on these coming soon once we get them mounted up.

21 October, 2019

Neutrino Mini-Velo Frames Arrive!

The long-awaited Neutrino Framesets have arrived and are ready to ship out! We've pre-sold a lot of frames. More than we thought we would, so pickin's on the remaining quantities are slim.

We've already sent out emails to our amazing pre-order customers confirming shipping addresses, so if you have not responded, please check your inbox for our email or send us a new email so we can get your new frameset out to you.

If this is the first time you're hearing about this cool Mini-Velo, here's the scoop: the Neutrino is designed to be your next practical, fun, and stylish friend. It is designed around 20" (406 bsd) wheels, sliding dropouts, rack and fender mounts, and neutral handling.

For city and apartment dwellers, you'll get great acceleration for stoplight racing as the wheels spin up quite fast. When you've reached your destination, getting the bike into the building, walking up stairs, and parking it in your apartment is so much easier because the physical length of the bike is greatly reduced. You can much more nimbly negotiate stairwells and since it's warm and cozy inside, you don't have to worry about it getting ripped off overnight.

For multi-modal traveling, it's easier to take the bike in a train car without taking up a ton of room and attracting disdainful looks from fellow commuters. Oh and Rinko. Forget cutting fenders, removing handlebars, and wheels. Just loosen the stem, turn the handlebars 90 degrees, and put the whole thing into a Rinko bag!

Whether you're a frequent traveler, apartment dweller, multi-modal commuter, or just enjoy a fun N+1 bike, the Neutrino Mini-Velo will fit perfectly into your heart.

Our friends over at Bok Bok Bike in Thailand have made quick work of doing a couple amazing builds: one based around a Rolhoff Speedhub and another with a Shimano Alfine 11 with bikepacking gear - check it out!

17 October, 2019

2019 French Fender Day

by Igor

French Fender Day at Peter Weigle's is always a treat. Great people, unique bikes from all eras, delicious pot-luck food, and nice riding makes for a wonderful day out.

I'm gonna start out this year's recap with super clever L. Pitard touring bike from the 50's. This one features a super trick wheel-lock and kickstand setup that I have never seen before. On the non-driveside chainstay there is a combo lock with an extension. You swivel it, extend it through the wheel's spokes, and insert into the looped receiver on the driveside chainstay.

Then you move the non-driveside pedal to the low point, deploy the stand, and boom. Bike stands up. Innovation.

Security systems aside, this bike was chock full of constructeur nibs. Including this stem-mounted dynamo activator.

A speedo and headlamp mount.

And carrying capacity a-plenty.

Next up is this touring folding bike that started out life as a Raleigh Twenty. That is, before Shu-Sin got his hands on it. The only thing original is some of the rear end and folding triangle. Everything else has an astounding amount of custom work to turn it into this wonderful machine we saw last weekend.

Wind it up and watch it go.

Course Handlebars in Noir! Very rare.

Peter's personal ride, complete with Noir Smooth 650b Fenders.

Peter cuts his own spin on the fender ends for extra elegance.

Eye-candy knows no bounds at FFD. Beautiful Porsche 356.

Mixte's hold a special place in my heart. This Automoto was glorious.

Fanciful lugs work, top tube mounted shifter, plated fork crown.

Winged, Automoto branded chainguard.

Before lunch, we headed out for a quick jaunt. I rode my Neutrino with XXXXXXXL Handlebar Bag. See if you can spot it.

A Bishop with Ghost logos.

Woody's Polyvalent!

Number 001 Norther Klickitat with a well-used original Grand Cru Handlebar Bag.

This was one super super Diamondback Ascent. Giant front rack, drop bars, wide gears, and.....

Kelly Take Offs. Nice.

Plus a very well patina'd threadless stem affixed to our Quill Stem Adaptor.

The yearly large-format shot.

Mark my words, 2020 will be the year of foam.

As always, thank you for putting on such a great show, Peter! It's always a pleasure to head up to the New England area and ride bikes.

Do keep in mind that Philly Bike Expo is right around the corner - November 2nd and 3rd. We'll be there with a big booth. So come say hi and grab a seltzer!