1x, 2x, 3x, maybe with a Twist

Some things are great conversation starters, some are just appealing and we can't put our hands on why, others are so wrong they are right. I don't know if that describes what has come up in conversation a few times since Frostbike but this wheel sure does catch the eye.

Yes, we like it even more that it's a B43 but we can appreciate this unique lacing pattern done up by the guys at Handspun [if you were at the show you would have seen one of these in our booth or in their booth]. JBolt rocks a snowflake lacing on one of his rigs and was jazzed about this once he saw it.

Another unique project we had going for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show this weekend was that done by Jacobi. If you follow us on Twitter you've already seen this but it's part table, part display, and part pump. This came about through trying to find an original way to display all our spoke and nipple colors. Sure there are probably easier ways of doing it that might take up less room but leave it to Jacobi to come up with this concept.

Here are a few of the main parts you'd need if you feel like making one of your own:
1 - 32 hole, 20" [406] Fusion Rim
1 - old Schwinn pump
1 - 20" tire
1 - piece of glass cut to proper size

*You'll also need some sort of larger base for the pump so it won't fall over on you. Jacobi used an old chainring from a 1-piece crank. He also radial laced the wheel instead of any crossing pattern for a cleaner look. It's also good to note that the pump still pumps... sorta.



Today, the Jeff's are making their final preparations for the trip to Richmond, Virginia for this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Jacobi has put together a pretty sweet batch of wheels and rims for everyone to check out. From the looks of it, this year's show should be as good if not better than years past. Stop by our booth #231 and say hello, pick up a catalog and check out our stuff.

Around a month ago, I started a project partnering with Michigan Awesome in making a custom one-off Michigan themed wheel, in hopes for having it done by the Handmade show. Using all 3 sticker designs they have, I cut out and covered the rim with: 'Isn't for Sissies', 'Smitten with the Mitten' and my personal favorite 'Bi-Peninsular and Proud' goodness. Then lacing up one of our limited edition gold, solid flange, hollow axle track hubs to a B43 rim with blue spokes and green nipples as a slight nudge at our great state's flag.

Overall, the wheel turned our great and from a distance it is exactly what I was hoping the project could be. Unfortunately, as the time crunch became apparent we had to make certain calls on what wheels could or could not make their way to Richmond, the Michigan wheel did not make the cut. It will most definitely be making plenty of appearances around Grand Rapids and the Midwest, along with on our Twitter/Facebook pages.

Michigan Awesome is a great company, started by some guys here in Grand Rapids, that simply strives to celebrate our great state. Please take time to make it over to their site, check out their shirts and hoodies. If you Twitter, show some Michigan love and tag it with #michiganawesome. Because we all know it... 'it's good to be where you're from'.



We like videos here at Velocity and we're part of another one called Revoked by Chris Fonseca. Fonseca released his last project, No Cassettes, 10 months ago and his latest is called Revoked. Revoked will showcase the best riders and spots to date. Revoked is starring:

Justin (CONGO) Mitchell
Matt (Silky) Spencer
Richard (MR. GLASS) Baldwin

They are now taking PRE-ORDERS @ revokedmovie.bigcartel.com and the film ships out the end of next month. A World Premier will be held in Long Beach at Downtown Showdown. Here are two of the trailers for the film:



In some more Frostbike news, the guys over at All-City introduced a new steed to their line up... the Nature Boy, a single speed 'cross bike:

Looks like it won't be available before July but that's plenty of time before 'cross season. Yep, those are B43's on there and yes, there is not a machined braking surface. Have no fear, just as the guys over at Urban Velo have seen, our ano rims without a machined sidewall can handle brakes just fine. Final spec on the complete bike doesn't look to be determined quite yet, either way this is a hot bike. I just might have to get my hands on one.



Endurance Gravel Road Racing. I don't know if I want to call it the latest trend since riding on gravel is nothing new or maybe that's just coming from my days as a shop rat back in Iowa. Either way the popularity of the 24 hour races seems to have morphed it's way into endurance gravel racing for one reason or another. Open courses, 100+ miles, no support, no non-sense riding. Races like the DirtyKanza, Heck of the North, Trans Iowa, and the newly minted Gravel World Championships all have sprung up all in the last 10 years. Not to say that this is a purer form of racing but often these have no fees, done on some sort of raffle format with a cap on the number of riders, put on by riders for riders. As with any of bicycle event, simply just a great time. There are also a number of shorter gravel races like Michigan's very own Barry Roubaix that are out there if you'd want to just see what all the fuss is about, a few of the Velocity crew will be doing this event. For a great list of gravel races check out the Gravel Grinder News website.

I say all of this to announce our sponsorship of Trans Iowa. We are providing every participant with one of our bottle traps for this late April race. This was announced over at one of the race promoters sites, G-Ted, this past Friday with what I must say a great endorsement for the Trap:

I've actually used these cages and they grip your bottle with authority! I highly doubt you will lose a bottle on a rough gravel road using one of these composite/plastic cages.

Both Ted and David put countless hours into putting on this great event and we're excited to be a part of it! Good luck riders!


2010 Catalog

Over the course of 2009 we heard your request for a print catalog, and wait is no longer: the new 2010 catalogs are now out! If you're at Frostbike this weekend, swing by our booth and snag one, otherwise we will be packing one along with most orders. We tried to make the catalog as concise as possible, focusing on a few wheelsets, accessories and then a chart breakdown on all our rims. Our website will always be the more exhaustive and up-to-date resource for all our product [which we will be launching a new site some time this year] and a PDF version of the catalog should be available there shortly.

We have always prided ourselves on custom builds to your specifications and desires. We offer handcrafted rims in more sizes, drillings, and colors than any other rim maker on the planet. Contact your local bicycle shop for details on how to have your wheelset built today.

So for today I offer you a few screen shots of the new catalog...


News and Notes

Today a few of the Velocity crew are heading over to Quality Bicycle Products annual winter gathering Frostbike in Minneapolis. We'll have a set of the prototype A23 wheelsets on hand to check out, along with a number of our rims, hubs and wheelsets, in addition a few of the Handspun Velocity wheels. Be sure stop by and chat with Ryan, Matt and John.

Speaking of Handspun, there is a little write up on their blog about the A23 wheelsets with 105 hubs and how they have been handling over the course of a winter on a Surly Crosscheck:

A23 vs. MN winter

We’ve been having a typically harsh winter here in Minnesota, and aside from the snow, the ice cover on the roads and trails has been particularly difficult this year. The result of constant freezing & thawing is that every riding surface is covered in ice- slippery, very bumpy, and ultimately unyielding ice. Commuting in these conditions is an open invitation to calamity- be it slipping on the ice, or destroying your components through the constant hammering of the riding conditions.

We’ve spent the past two months commuting on a set of wheels built up with Shimano 105 hubs & the new Velocity A23 rims, and the new offerings from Velocity do not disappoint. These wheels have stood up to ice, potholes, and curbs and have remained 100% round and true. We’ll continue to put these through the wringer for the duration of the year, but after what they’ve been through thus far, they are looking like they can handle whatever comes at them.

And finally, we're part of another film project. The newest is called Souplesse, meaning:

1. To conceal all art and make what ever one does or says appear to be with out effort and almost with out any thought about it.
2. The ability of the coureier to display an easy facility in accomplishing a difficult action which hides the conscious efforts the went into them.

Just a short word from the crew at Souplesse, Derred & Andy:

This video has been in the works for a long time, and we're almost done with out any serious injuries to the riders or the equipment. We are releasing a new web edit teaser with in a few days and we'll have a video submitted in to the bicycle film festival. That video will also be released on our website shortly after. We'd like to thank MD at Velocity and all of our other sponsors which you can view on our newly updated website (www.souplessefilm.com)


Paul's ride.

For today, our '...because we ride' comes from our Master Wheelbuilder, Paul with his Orbea. The only certified roadie on the crew but he keeps us in check, enjoy Paul's write up on his rig:

Because We Ride... If you were a fly on the wall here at Velocity USA you might ask yourself why does Paul ride? On a daily basis you would hear comments that are a direct attack on the sport I love. You see, I am a skinny tire riding, XL kit wearing, leg shaving roadie and I love every minute of it.
A great road ride for me is heading out into the wind 20-30 miles and when I finally get the tailwind I don't rest, I see how fast I can get home.

2004 Orbea stats:
-Aluminum frame with a carbon seatstay handbuilt in Spain
-Easton EC90 fork
-ITM carbon stem
-Ritchey handlebars
-Easton EC70 seatpost
-Serfas saddle
-Shimano Dura Ace 7800 group
-Velocity A23 wheelset
-Michelin Krylion 700x23 tires
-Velocity Bottle Trap

Just so you know, my co-workers are the best!
Bring it on boys!


just TARCing

At the Grand Rapids Bicycle Film Festival this weekend, there were shorts being played between the longer films. One of them came from the Louisville's Transit Authority of River City or TARC, on using the bicycle racks on the front of the buses.

This short got some good laughs and hopefully this ad campaign by Mr. Theo and the TARCettes has helped, I must say it's quite more entertaining than one coming from Portland... Maine. Stumbling over onto the TARC site it looks as if there is a new video up for riding the TARC. Not nearly as catchy as the first but that's the way they roll.


Weekend Dose of Vitamin V

Friday! What better way to launch into the weekend with a little taste of the ol' Vitamin V, it's part of a balanced ride. Every so often we experiment with new colors and designs for a rims. Although, Ripper Orange is not a new color for us, prior to Tuesday the B43 was the only rim we stocked with it. We got a few more rims with this vibrant orange: the Blunt, Deep V, and Chukker now instock. We have limited quantities of these and based on the popularity of them, the color may last, it may not. So be the first to rock these, contact your local bicycle shop for pricing and availability.

We are also extremely excited for a new image rim, Worms. This design was exclusively made for and is distributed through Seattle Bike Supply; and available through your local bike shop. SBS will be receiving this limited edition rims at the end of next week:

As we are on the verge of another Hallmark holiday, I'll leave with a song, a song that I'm not quite sure about, but it is a song about love... Bike love that is.


Grand Rapids BFF

This weekend here in Grand Rapids is the 3rd annual Bicycle Film Fest, in what I must say is perfect timing for the event. Seeing that this a weekend meant for couples and that most of us might, healthy or not, consider one if not all our bikes as our significant other; going to see a few films on our favorite sport seems almost right.

The BFF is organized by the wMMBA, the Rapid Wheelmen, and Grand Rapids BMX, and is being held at the Wealthy Theater. Looks as if it will be an all day affair if wanted with both a matinee and a evening show:

MATINEE SHOW: Doors open at 2:30. Movies from 3-5pm. Pre-sale tickets are $5. Day of tickets are $7. The matinee is a BMX themed event in the Koning Micro Theatre.
EVENING SHOW: Doors open at 6:30. Movies from 7-10pm. Pre-sale tickets are $13. Day of tickets are $15. The evening show has movies running in both the main theater (Wege Auditorium) and the Koning Micro Theatre. We have a collection of cycling shorts, documentaries, great cinematography, and a couple local production efforts included.

Be sure the check out the Facebook page for the event for any questions.

If we had to pick one, we're pretty excited for the Revival showing in the evening. But it all looks pretty good here's a list of the films being shown with as many of the previews I could find:

-Matinee (Koning Micro Theatre)
-BMX Crash Clips
-John Heaton BMX Life

-Michigan NBL Promo
-Stompin Stu

-1974 Yamaha Gold
-70's Sidehack Racing
-Jag Worlds Pro Main
-1901 Freestyle
-70's Schwinn BMX Pro

-Evening (Koning Micro Theatre):
-Joe Kid on a Sting Ray


THE REVIVAL from morehartfilms on Vimeo.

-More then 100 Miles (full run)

Evening (Wege Auditorium):
-Fat Bike

Fat Bike Trailer from indieAK films on Vimeo.

-Le Movement Supreme
-More then 100 Miles (short run)
-D2 Labs Promo Video
-Into the Thunder Dragon

-The Motion Initiative
-Filmed by Bike (shorts from around the world)


busy, busy.

We are firing on all cylinders here at Velocity this week. Yesterday we received the latest container of rims from the gang down in Australia. Which, of course means, lots of orders to fill and wheels to build. If there was or is a rim or wheel your were looking for now would be a great time to talk to your Local Bicycle Shop to see if it's available, beat the rush, spring is just around the corner!

With the time crunch on our end, all I have for you today is a video. An oldie but I've always enjoyed it:



Leave it to MD to find a way of using a heart icon in his 'because we ride' post. But I must say he gives Jacobi a run on creativity of post. Enjoy:

I my IRO

I love this bike. I got my IRO Mark V straight from Mr. IRO himself…Tony is great people. I am strictly a recreational rider. A mere poser in comparison to most of my colleagues and customers, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a ride on my fixed gear cruiser. Every time I plant my cheeks on the cushy leather saddle I feel years younger. It’s as if I have breathed new life and peace into my soul. I am whisked back to a simpler time in my life where my bike was my freedom. My faithful pedaled steed that would carry its young voyager from adventure to adventure, anywhere I wanted to go. The path was mine to choose and the opportunities were endless. As long as I told my mother exactly where I was going first, and I was home before the street lights came on. The only adventure I get on my IRO is a trip to the playground with my girlfriends little girl, a quick run to the closest party store to grab another 40, or the occasional drunken midnight stroll under the waxing crescent moon and star studded sky…just because I can.

I ran it as a single speed for less than a week. When I was sick of being called a pussy by my co-worker I flipped it and It’s been a fixed gear ever since. The frame and most components are still from IRO, but it’s a constant work in progress. Dimension hand-stitched leather grips, Shimano caliper front brake, Cane Creek brake lever, and a sweet leather saddle that I got at the Hand Made Bike Show in Portland…I can’t remember the make but I got a great deal on it because it didn’t have the brand label on it. 28mm white Vittoria Randonneur tires. And, of course, it sports bright gold Velocity Deep V rims, gold Velocity track hubs, DT Swiss double butted silver spokes, brass nipples, laced one cross MSW in the front, and three cross NONmsw in the rear…Built by yours truly. BOOSH!


Happy J-Bolt Day.

Now, most days J-Bolt, or Jeff if you get him on the phone, is simply trying his best to get me to just write about him on this here ol' blog. I won't lie, most of what he says... pretty funny but nevertheless probably a bit offensive to some, and he's ok with that and so I respectfully withhold some of the 'genius' from you all.

Today is different. It's J-Bolts birthday: 26 long years, or '3/4 of the way dead' in his own words. It's difficult to know for sure what way to celebrate our Shipping Managers birth. The same man who, shouts with joy '$6.66' whenever it comes up on a shipment and his words of wisdom to me today were:

'Life sucks. Love sucks. Dose out.'

Ok... well, I'll leave you with a little video we posted back in the summer. Happy Birthday Boltman!


Chukk that out.

Yesterday over at Urban Velo, there was a little write up by Jeff on our Chukker wheelset. If you're ever wondering about how our anodized stuff holds up to braking, that question is addressed plus another reminder on how rock solid our hand-build wheels are. As always, enjoy.

Velocity Chukker Wheelset - On Test

I like to play bike polo. It’s a fun game, and with some exceptions not particularly hard on the body, but definitely fosters a lot of bike to bike contact. When you consider all the crashing, sprinting and hard braking, it’s not surprising that I’ve had a problem keeping my polo bike’s wheels true. I mentioned this to the guys at Velocity USA, and without hesitation they sent me a Chukker wheelset to see if it didn’t solve my problems. I told them that I was running a freewheel on my polo bike, and they were especially interested in my experiences running brakes with an anodized, non-machined rim. Having read Jobst Brandt’s theories on these subjects, I was quite interested myself.

Velocity’s Chukker rims are specifically designed for the more punishing disciplines of urban cycling—namely bike polo, as evidenced by the Chukker logo. With drillings of 32, 36 and 48 holes, they’re also geared towards freestyling, heavier cyclists and tandem riders. Of course they’re also a great choice for commuters who want to run a Deep V rim with high-volume tires. The rim’s profile is not entirely new, mind you. It’s a re-issue of Velocity’s proven Deep V ATB rolled into a 700c rim. At 24mm wide, they’re designed to hold high-volume mountain bike tires, they’re certainly at home with 35’s installed. And at 32mm tall, their strength and stiffness seem to be a force to be reckoned with.

Velocity’s complete wheelsets are hand-built in Grand Rapids. They came perfectly true with brass nipples and 14g straight gauge spokes laced to Velocity’s standard black track hubs. Some dedicated fixed gear riders may be disappointed that the Velocity hubs are threaded fixed/free, so you can’t run a fixed cog on both sides.

After one month of testing, I’m fairly convinced that these wheels are going to prove themselves to be bombproof. But only time will tell. Granted, I’m not hucking off staircases, but they’ve already taken some spills on the polo court, not to mention a few mallets to the spokes, and they’re still rolling straight and true. The brakes seem to lock up as well as they did on my old rims with machined sidewalls, even in wet conditions. I’ve been skidding all over the court and burning holes through tires. Most interestingly, even though I can hear that the pads are often gritty and wet, the anodization hasn’t even started to wear off. I’m fairly certain it will eventually give way to raw aluminum, but theoretically, that should only improve braking.

Available in black, silver, bronze and olive (shown) the Chukker rim weighs 650g. The complete wheelset (with standard hubs, as shown) retails for $330, or upgrade to solid-flange premium hubs for $375. The rims alone retail for $70 each. Stay tuned for an update down the road. In the meantime, visit www.velocityusa.com for more information.


Jacobi's Tandem

Some of you might remember back in November our post from Ryan and Jacobi on their Iceman experience. For this weeks '...because we ride' post we have their Iceman Tandem rig. Jacobi was kind enough to do a nice little write up on the one race this bike competed in:

So this was going to be the year I get my wife out and do the Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike Rice. It's a 28 mile point-to-point race in northern Michigan. It's a lot of fun and a great place to see old friends and meet new ones.

Well, it didn't work out with my wifes work schedule. So I hired a surefire animal to be my stoker. Ryan Olthouse a.k.a. the bear. He is a short guy not much taller than myself but boy does he pack a punch. Out of the gate we were in the thick of a heated battle between 1-5 place. There were a total of 25 tandems racing that day and we were out for blood.

About 10 minutes into the race we were in second place behind Dan 'The Man' Janson and his wife, Tara. They were more focused on training than us, considering they have been riding the tandem all summer; compared to Ryan and I only squeaked out 5 good rides on the thing. Just as we thought we had a clear shot at second place here came Matt Gaffner pulling up on our rear. We battled with him for about an hour, pulling away at the end to take secure second place by a mere 30 seconds. Hats off to you Matt.

We finished strong and vowed to never do that again! It was a hell of a race. My Cannondale held up flawlessly and here is a rundown on my Cannondale Street Tandem Highly Modified:

Big Shock
Big Breaks
X9 Shifter
X9 Deraileur setup 1x9 [I custom made bash guard plates to guide the connector cranks so we wouldn't throw the chain]
Custom Velocity 20mm Blunt Front wheel
Custom Velocity Aeroheat 40H tandem disc in the rear.

*Every part was scrutinized for weight [~37 lbs race day] and comfort
Foam Stoker grips, oh yeah!


Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: First Impressions [from Guitar Ted]

A little while back we sent the 29er guru, Guitar Ted, some of the P35's to check out, ride and review. Over on his site TwentyNineInches.com, he posted this today:

Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: First Impressions

January 31st, 2010 by Guitar Ted

The Velocity P-35 rims are one of the wider rims now available for 29″er freaks to use. The wheel set that we are testing here was built up on Velocity’s hubs at Velocity U.S.A. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can catch up with the details here. This post will touch on the finishing touches to the wheel set and introduce the bike we are testing the wheels on. (Which will have its own test write up coming soon)

I set the Velocity P-35’s up with these 2.4″ Ardent tires we are testing and they are tubeless. The P-35 has the effect of stretching out the casing by about a millimeter over a more common 28mm wide rim with the effect of a slight flattening out of the tire profile in the process. This does two things over a narrower rim: It puts more tread on the trail without running lower pressures and it also brings the tire beads out wider, more underneath the tire tread edge, which gives the tire more support, especially under lateral loads.

In regards to tubeless set up, I used a home brew rim strip which worked beautifully on the P-35. Velocity does not recommend you do yours this way, but would rather see users going with a 32mm Stan’s tape or in the future, use the system they are developing for the P-35. That said, setting up these rims tubeless was a snap. Very easily done, and the bead seat works very well in terms of getting a good tire/rim interface. The Ardents set up on these with a short blast from my air compressor and have been trouble free so far.

Note: The Ardent by Maxxis is not a tubeless tire and running it as such is done at your own risk. Twenty Nine Inches does not recommend running your Ardent tires as such.

For disc brake rotors I set up the Velocity hubs with these Ashima rotors with which I have had good performance from in the past. I used a 185mm up front and a 160mm rotor out back with Avid BB-7 mountain calipers doing the squeezing here. I spun on a ACS Claws 18T free wheel for a rear gear. That wrapped up the set of wheels as complete units, ready to ride, and riding was done, even though it is very cold and snowy here.

Here are the wheels on the bike they will be tested with. A Soul Cycles Dillinger Gen III frame. The set up with a Rock Shox Reba Team with a 20mm Maxle Lite is pretty fun to ride, but I’ll get into that when we introduce the Dillinger a bit later. For now, I’ll focus on the wheels.

The tubeless set up had a bit of a hiccup due to a poor rear tire, (Not a 2.4 inch Ardent), but after matching the front with another 2.4″ Ardent, things have been trouble free. The amazing hub bearings spin really freely, reminiscent of the Easton XC-One single speed wheels we tested last year. The wheels have been noise free, and laterally pretty stiff. With rock hard frozen ice chunks, ruts, and some off camber bits that I could find, I have not been able to discern any lateral flex. When the trails become ride-able, I will put this to the test better in situations at speed.

So far the P-35’s seem as if they should be, at the very least, decent and on par with the Gordo from Salsa Cycles. This will be the inevitable comparison product, as there are no commonly distributed rims in this range out there. Yes- There is a Kris Holm branded rim, but it is quite a bit rarer. My next update will not be for a while yet until the trails open up and I can get these properly ridden. Stay tuned!

Note: These products were provided to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for reviewing. We are not being paid or bribed for this review. We will give our honest opinion or thoughts through out.