Path Less Pedaled takes us on a trip inside Velo Orange’s HQ with another look at the Neutrino.
I, along with a few other eccentrics, have been dreaming of the idea of a small wheeled bikepacking rig for years. If you have ever had to box up your 29+ or other fat-tired bike for international travel in a small box, under 50 pounds, then you understand how annoying and stressful that can be. In my mind’s eye, I saw a 20” minivelo with a massive triangle floating on 3”-4” tires, maybe even a Ritchey Breakaway style seatpost break if I was truly dreaming. Minivelos have been around for quite some time, but they have almost always had rim brakes which limited their tire clearance and thusly my interest. When Velo Orange dropped photos of their new bike, I was drooling, my mind racing with ideas.
Velo Orange has historically only offered their Polyvalent and Piolet as framesets until now. They just announced the details of their new Complete Polyvalent and Piolet Complete Bikes. The Polyvalent has two build kits: Drop Bar or Upright Bar. Both options come with SRAM 11 speed kits, a full-component kit of VO parts and accessories, and Teravail 650bx47mm Rampart Tires. Polyvalent Complete: $2,400 USD
The Piolet features their Curvy Bars and an 11 speed Shimano SLX drivetrain, Deore Hydraulic Brakes, and Teravail 29×2.4 Honcho Tires (or 26×2.4 Maxxis Ardent for the Small size). Piolet Complete: $2,200 USD
The latest rim from Velo Orange might pique your interest! Their Voyager Rim is a classic-inspired, yet modernly equipped, tubeless, box section rim that looks great on everything from a randonneur, to an all road bike and beyond. Its polished finish ties in well with classic componentry. Durability is always a concern with aluminum rims too, so VO built the Voyager with stainless steel eyelets and utilized a double wall construction. You can run from a 38mm tire all the way up to a 2.4″ and comes in 26″, 27.5″, or 29″ diameters.
-Intended Tire Size: 38mm-2.4″
-External Width: 27mm
-Internal Width: 22.1mm
-ERD: 26″: 541.7mm | 650b: 565mm | 700c: 601.4
-Weight: 26″: 576g | 650b: 597g | 700c: 638g
-Drilling: 32 and 36 holes
-Rim and disc brake compatible
Minivelos gained popularity in cities where space is limited. The Neutrino Mini-Velo is a full sized bike with BMX tires, so high-quality rims and tires are cheap, plentiful, and strong. The small diameter wheels keep acceleration quick for cruising around town. Thick 2.4″ tires eliminate the harshness of typical small wheeled bikes. The short wheelbase makes it easy to store inside so you don’t have to worry about it getting ripped off overnight.
Lilac Dreams and the Velo Orange Polyvalent
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
Looks can be deceiving. The Velo Orange Polyvalent looks like a classic randonneuring bike, particularly when dressed in an all-silver build kit. But, after many miles and various tire and bag changes, a different story emerged for me. While its handling characteristics are markedly different, the Polyvalent is a peer – and interesting alternative – to the popular all-steel drop bar adventure bikes out there like the Soma Wolverine, Surly Straggler, Kona Rove, and so on.
Now in its fourth iteration, the Polyvalent for the first time gets disc brakes, and that’s exactly what prompted me to reach out to Velo Orange about doing a review. Over the past few years I’ve been exploring how the widely varying combinations of steel frames and wide tires manifest in ride quality. Yes, I’m still on the hunt for the elusive smooth-riding production disc brake bike. Could the Polyvalent Mk4 be the one?
WhatBars.com and Velo Orange are giving away a set of handlebars every week in the month of November, people just need to follow @velo_orange and @whatbars on Instagram, like the weekly photo and tag a friend in the comments. The weekly winner can choose from any of these bars from VO:
• Velo Orange Curvy One Handlebars
• Velo Orange Curvy Too Handlebars
• Velo Orange Klunker Handlebars
• Velo Orange Nouveau Randonneur Handlebars
• Daija Cycleworks Far Bars
For full contest details, visit the Contest Page.
If you’re looking for a way to add some rise and sweep to your city, touring, or bar bike, check out Velo Orange’s new Klunker bars. They’re a 25.4mm clamp, with a 76mm rise and a 45º sweep, coming in at 680mm wide. In stock now at VO and your local dealer.
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.
If you’re looking for a slightly different kind of bike review, be sure to check out what Ultra Romance did with the Velo Orange Piolet dirt-tourer. It’s a bit different than what you’d typically see from bike media and personally, I dig it! Check it out at @UltraRomance!
Velo Orange’s newest frames really have it all figured out and the Pass Hunter disc framesets are no exception. Disc brakes, braze-ons, clearances, all with a classy 1 1/8″ threadless steel fork. Head over to Velo Orange to see more details and ordering.
Like dirt drops? Want something with a nice big flat section and a good amount of flare? Check out these new Far Bars from Velo Orange. Available in 44 or 48cm widths, silver or black and in stock now.
Velo Orange’s “all-road” tourer, the Piolet is now in stock. Designed to fit a large tire, in various wheel size platforms*, the Piolet can shred one-track, two-track and no-track. An affordable option for those wanting to take on bikepacking or excursion style riding. My favorite detail is the non-sus corrected segmented fork with all the braze-ons and the wishbone stays.
Velo Orange has been on an ’80s kick recently with the latest throwback design being these Drillium Noir cranks. Slated for a fall release, they’ll be priced at what you’d expect coming from VO: affordable.
If you’re running an E3, or even a normal blink light and haven’t figured out a great mounting solution on your rack, then check out the new Velo Orange brackets. Not a bad piece of hardware if you ask me!
The need to carry things bigger than your standard water bottle quickly becomes apparent when you’re bikepacking or touring in remote areas. A giant canister (32oz or 40oz) like a Nalgene, or the like can go a long ways, which is why I’m really loving the variety of larger cages we’re seeing spring up in the market.
Velo Orange’s Mojave Cage takes note of the elegance found in vintage cages and adds a bit of girth-gulping versatility with its large diameter opening. See more at Velo Orange.
I’m liking what I see here. Dirt drops, disc brakes, MTB tire clearances and a segmented seatstay… Check out more teasers and information at the Velo Orange blog. Seriously, that bike looks so good.
For those who are always seeking the blackest ever black components, check out these Velo Orange black hammered fenders. 45mm wide for 700c wheels. See more at Velo Orange.