Mike’s Velo Orange Piolet is Loaded for Fun!

I should preface this post with saying it WAS loaded for fun last weekend before the MWBA Pancake Breakfast campout. Before Mike, the new mechanic at Golden Saddle, left for the outing, I snatched up his Velo Orange Piolet for a few photos. Now, I’ve been a fan of the Piolet since its inception but haven’t ever been able to see one in person. Mike’s made the right impression with not only his build specs, but allowing me to see and ride this bike fully loaded. While we all obsess over parts and their performance, I think the overall picture of a fully-loaded touring bike is more relevant. For instance, people critique the Paul Klampers for being “too heavy,” yet on a tourer, that’s kind of moot. Speaking of moot, Mike went with a Moots bar, post and stem. My favorite detail however is that shot of the Paul skewer and Klamper, side by side, like they were meant to be! That and the backpack in the Wald basket…

Hopefully bikes like this inspire you to take your bike, put on a Wald, a saddle pack, flat pedals and just go camping.

  • GT

    Beautiful bike! (Is that a Surly rack?)

  • Cyclosaurus-rex

    I have the same backpack and love the fact I can chuck it in my Wald basket. Its so much more versatile than a normal rack; as well as the obvious touring use I can carry my heavy schoolbag in it then don’t need to look like a cycling dork with a pannier on campus and if I go on a ride its an easy way to carry anything I find without causing much drag.

    Also interested in the rack, I have Nitto but its a bit narrow.

  • Don Smith

    That is a sweet set up.

  • Jake Riehle

    How do you like those Klampers Mike? I have been wanting to replace the BB7’s on my MTB for some time but want to keep’em mechanical.

    • Also curious. I have BB7’s on 5 bikes. Hesitant to jump over to Klampers, not because I’m not sure if the Klampers are good, but just because I can’t imagine better than a well-tuned BB7.

      • Brian Richard Walbergh

        Similar boat, BB7s on 2 bikes and i have a hard time imagining them being “that” much better… but they are from Paul so they could just as easily be…

        • Sam LaClair

          Give Shimano CX77s a shot. Quieter and just as powerful as BB7s, not super expensive.

        • I’ve had BB7’s on a couple of bikes which never really thrilled me. I got lucky and picked up a special set of pink/orange Klampers for my 29+ bikepacking bike. Just like Paul says in his YouTube installation video, it took 3 rides and I had some of the best brakes that I’ve ever used. They honestly don’t feel heavy to me. They might look a little chunky but they work! In fact, they work really well. Lovely modulation and when you really want full-on braking, it’s there for you. It might help that I’m using them with Love Levers as well though. As a bikepacker, I want a bike I can work on in the middle of nowhere if need be. Since the Pauls are rebuildable, that’s one of the criteria checked off the list.

    • We’ve built our Wolverines with Klampers and they are really, really good. I’m glad we went with them over BB7s. More to come when our builds are finalized and ready for their own gallery.

      • Jake Riehle

        Excited to hear more Morgan.

      • Jake Riehle

        I think I’m ready to pull the trigger on the klampers Morgan, did you use long pull ones for the build above? Thanks!

        • Short pull on my drop bar build and long pull on Stephanie’s Jones.

  • Jacob Samborski

    Someone please explain to me the benefit of a Paul skewer. I ride Paul hubs with a w.i. freewheel and have plenty of c.k., so I appreciate the ride/durability of high quality USA made goods; I just don’t get how someone can justify spending over $200 on skewers. Will these skewers double as massage rollers for my monster quads? Will they satiate my throbbing gennies on a lonely night in the woods? How many extra watts will I be able to lay down? Not even trying to be a jerk, I just don’t get it.

    • Noel Smith

      Same reason people buy $1000 floor pumps, because they want what they perceive to be *the best* money can buy, makes them feel all warm and fuzzy.. that being said this bike is frickin awesome, love the framesets from VO.

    • mrbiggs

      Since they’re $50 each, you’re $100 off.
      I don’t have a set of Paul’s skewers yet, but they’re the same price as a set of Dura-Ace skewers and not too much more than most other good-quality enclosed-cam skewers. I’m no fan of those cheap exposed-cam skewers, though I have them on a couple of bikes. Plus, I’m a fan of Paul and his company. I can’t justify my Klampers either, so I just tell people I like them.

    • Sretsok

      You could say the exact same about your ck and w.i stuff.

      • Jacob Samborski

        Untrue. My CK stuff is bombproof, and headsets/BBs are important (unlike QRs). Paul’s hubs and W.I. freewheels both have the ability to be rebuilt, something that can’t be done with a parts bin hub and dicta freewheel.

        • Sretsok

          Qr’s aren’t important? You couldn’t get very far without them.

          It’s all bling. You’d be just fine with a formula hub and a standard bmx freewheel.

        • Doug M.

          Shimano/loose ball hubs are super easy to rebuild and don’t require proprietary tools.

    • hansgman

      your argument is way off… $50 each. How did you calculate $200+?

    • Jacob Samborski

      I stand corrected, was going off of memory for the skewer price. I simply remembered them being unjustifiably expensive. $100 is easier to swallow, but still seems just too pricey for a QR.

    • Doug M.

      Take it from a singlespeeder: DT RWS > Shimano XT/XTR > everything else. The best skewers in the world are ~$30 each.

  • Sretsok

    Lazy question, but who makes those cages? I could be way down with being able to carry nalgenes this summer.

  • hansgman

    Man gotta tear out those handlebar hooks on the Wald!

  • Brian Richard Walbergh

    The Piolet is starting to grow on me, Would like to see more of them built as 27.5 + .

  • Joachim Rosenlund

    Totally love it! What is that bag in the basket?

  • ap

    like the use of that little crevice with the bag above the bottom bracket. Sweet build.

  • Harry

    So excited to build a camp bike!

  • Shane Bone

    Really cool build. Fun times to be had!

  • recurrecur

    I’d bet that the Moots titanium bits cost more than the frame and fork.

    Awesome looking bike.

  • DamagedSurfer

    Great bike and great build. I couldn’t justify buying this frame and building it up as it overlaps too much with my hardtail 29er and cross bike. Otherwise I would’ve jumped on it. I think Velo Orange puts out some of the sweetest steel frames on the market.

  • evilgordon

    Lovely bike. Nice details. Great use of ‘moot’.

  • thecali

    wow, this is how i imagine my dream bike!

  • KT

    that is a SWEET rig! I saw one of these at the Philly Bike Expo last fall and was in love. I spoke to one of the VO employees about it who did a tour of Iceland on one. He said he loved it.

  • dickey

    I see he zip tied the basket to the rack. Duh. What a good idea. I’ve been wanting to get the Pizza Rack over the Velo Orange since it’s black, but you can’t attach a rail, and I want a rail. A basket would do the trick. Always get great ideas from these posts. THANKS RADAVIST.

  • Brett

    Really beautiful build! Anyone know which size Wald basket that is?

    • starground

      Looks like the 139 (18″ x 13″, 6″ deep).

      • Brett


  • ascpgh

    Nice. Love seeing generator hubs work their way onto rigs meant for less paved routes.