13 December, 2019

Velo Orange's 2019 Year in Review and a Peek into a Busy 2020!

by Igor

As we close 2019, I wanted to thank all of our customers, readers, followers, suppliers, and partners. It's because of you that we're able to invest in new projects and endeavors that we hope encourage more touring, commuting, randonneuring, and in general, ridership.

I also wanted to give a big thank you to the VO staff. VO is a small team. We're hard-working and dedicated to product development, timely order fulfillment, and top-notch support. A devotion to excellence is very important to us and is an aspect of our business we're proud of.

2019 was another super strong year for VO. Business is good and folks are happy about the new products we've launched and are in the midst of developing. Let's review this past year before jumping into 2020.

Neutrino Launch - The debut of the Neutrino was without a doubt our biggest undertaking this year, and we're very pleased with the response and positivity about the bike. We sold out of our pre-sale before we even received the frames and have seen builds all over the world. We'll have another production round in February.

Mini-Rando Bags - These have been my go-to's for lightweight, rackless builds. They'll fit on any drop-bar bike and the capacity is surprisingly large (7 seltzers). Paired with a Day Tripper Saddle Bag, you'll have generous storage for all-day, all-road riding.

Tubeless Voyager Rims - A good tire and rim interface is essential for a tubeless setup. And once it's set up, flats that would have put a damper on any ride are a thing of the past. We like this, so we developed a strong and elegant tubeless compatible rim, dubbed Voyager, for tires ranging from 38mm to 2.4".

New Fenders - Fenders are our bread and butter. In addition to the 20" Mini Fenders for the Neutrino, we also released a 38mm 700c Smooth and 58mm 650b Smooth offering.

Complete Bikes - These were a long time coming and have been fairly popular. We actually ended up doing more custom builds rather than completes due to changes customers wanted. The bike build idea juices started flowing and soon enough we were incorporating dynamo lighting, different shifters, racks, etc...

31.8, MTB Rated Crazy Bars - These were one of the most highly requested product redesigns. They've been super popular for both bike-packers and gravel tourists.

Pass Hunter Prototypes - The Pass Hunter has always been a more modern offering within our frame lineup and this has gone whole hog in the most recent re-design, with flat mount disc brakes, tapered headtube, thru-axles, and carbon fork compatibility - all while maintaining proper fender, front rack, and triple cargo cage mounts. We've been riding these a lot since we've gotten in the first samples, and the next round of pre-production samples will have some fit and finish updates that will make them ready to go into production. We should have production frames in around mid-Summer.

Anjou Velo Vintage - Our first time doing this ride and festival. It was such a blast. Great food, wonderful people, fun route, and if you can make it over to the France, I'd highly suggest going. Sign up immediately after the window opens as slots tend to fill up in one day.

Rustines Factory Tour - It was fantastic to see the factory and meet the people that make Rustines rubber products. While the company has moved on to commercial/industrial work being their main business, their heritage division of bicycle products is a labor of love, and we're thankful.

2020 is going to be stellar. We have so many projects and events in the hopper!

XXL Neutrinos - The tall people spoke, and we listened. In the next production round due in February, we'll have XXL sized Neutrinos for riders between 6' and 6'4". Due to the frame size, it won't be airline packable, but still more convenient than a full wheel'd, large-sized frame.

Crankset - We've been secretly working on a more modern, but still stylish 2-piece crankset for all-road riding. I can't post a final picture yet, because it is still in development. But it will be forged and have very generous gearing options in the 2x and 1x format.

Thru-Axle Hubs - I'm sold on thru-axle hubs. This new rear hub shell is a custom design with a ratchet housing based off the classic, smooth-lined Record (my favorite). The design will retain our tool-free disassembly and maintenance and will include QR endcaps for those who are using QR disc hubs. We'll have rim brake hub options, too. Pretty much all of our wheel builds have gone to 32 hole, but would you want a lower spoke count offering for lightweight builds? Like 24 or 28h?

Domestic Expos - We'll be doing Philly Bike Expo and the New England Builders Ball. Both of these shows are a blast and are arguably the best ones on the East Coast. Philly is a larger show which caters to a bigger crowd which is great for exposure and showcasing our brand to new customers. NEBB is a very intimate, smaller event where we can really dig into the nerdy details of touring, randonneuring, and commuting designs. We'll also be scouting out Sea Otter for the first time.

Gravel Rides - We're planning on participating in some rad gravel rides both locally (at least reasonable by car) and further away once the winter wanes. While the weather outside is frightful, friend us on Zwift :)

Overseas trips - We're planning on going both to Eurobike and Taipei Bike Expo this year - the two biggest cycling shows in the world. It will be a good chance to have face-face meetings with our international partners as well as check out new trends. Anything in particular you'd like to see?

Thanks again for another spectacular year!


Unknown said...

Oh man that black shark tooth under seat bag is the best! Where can I find one?

Steve Bodayla said...

Please make the new crank available with long crank arms (190mm, 200mm, 210mm). Given that there are no options right now for long crank arms that can accommodate low 2x gravel gearing (e.g. 46/30,) you could corner the market if you came in less than $700 for the longer sizes. Nothing has made a bigger difference in my ride enjoyment than moving to 190mm cranks, but low-ish 2X gravel gearing remains an issue. I'm only 6'2", and I see plenty of taller cyclists on the road...

VeloOrange said...


It's an old Trek offering that I've had on pretty much all my bikes at some point.

@Steve Bodayla,

Thanks for the input!


ants said...

Any word when that chrome dropper post teased a few posts ago might be dropping (all pun intended)?

Peter Safonov said...

Super excited to see big Neutrinos on the horizon! Got me thinking about how I'd spec one again now that I know there will be one to fit me. What's the crank fitment situation on a Neutrino?

VeloOrange said...

@ Peter - we've spec'd and used our fluted single crank with a slightly longer BB (122 vs 110) axle and it's worked great. Other folks have used XT cranks and other MTB cranks on their builds-Scott

Scott B. said...

On the XXL Neutrino's, can I "stretch it" just a bit? I'm 6'5" and it is agonizingly close...

VeloOrange said...

@Scott B,

Maybe! We'll post the geometry and fit chart when we get them in.