b is for Box... or 650B.

Another day. Another bike. Matt's bike this time:

This little gem is a Scott Reflex 40 that I picked up on a trade with Brad Bacon @ Alger Cyclery. I swapped a pair of custom coated blue argyle Cliff Hanger rims (currently residing on B-Rad's beach cruiser) as an even trade for this 26" bike. As traded it came with a rear cassette wheel and derailleur that I promptly removed and tossed in the parts bin. The current drivetrain consists of an FSA V-Drive 180mm crankset to a Shimano single cog in the rear, made possible by the fantastic Surly Singulator. I built the Blunt Pro wheels before the era of the Velocity Single Speed ATB Disc hub, so what you see here is the equally drool-worthy Lightweight ATB disc hub, spaced out for single speed use.

Since the frame is on the small side for me, I decided to cram 650b wheels into the drops. I was a bit concerned about tire clearance, or lack thereof, but after a half dozen rides, these hand built beauties are still straight as an arrow. This is especially impressive considering that I am a self proclaimed amateur ATBer and I've been slamming into sh!t left and right! The increased wheel size just barely clears the frame and fork using Pacenti Neomoto and Quasimoto tires in the front and rear respectively. The fork and front end is mainly stock, but the non conventional wheel size forced my hand into XT hydraulic discs (aww shucks). The brakes were installed, routed and bled by Dan Koert, then of Ada Bike Shop. The seat post is a Ritchey and the saddle is a Fi'zi:k Gobi XM that fit the aesthetic way to well to not try out. I'm glad I did...Wing Flex + Tail Flex = seriously easy on the cheeks. The only thing I plan on upgrading is the headset, which I continually find out of adjustment after long climbs. Gripit & Ripit!


Recap... sorta.

Well, from all accounts the 'Battle of the Little Gladiators' aka the Barry Roubaix went off without a hitch. Good times were had by all as Jacobi rocked his Iver Johnson and Ryan, his Cramer 29er SS in their head to head clash in the Expert SS class. The course was a little longer than the previous year and both were able to put up better times than last year with Ryan over 4 minutes ahead of Jacobi. With combined 2009 and 2010 times, Ryan [2009: 2:06:40, 2010: 2:02:19] is 1 minute and 57 seconds ahead of Jacobi [2009: 2:04:14, 2010: 2:06:42]. The only talk going around is Jacobi dreaming of a titanium version of his Iver Johnson, rambling like a crazy man stating some thing to effect of 'If only I could get it down to 16 pounds.' over and over again...

For all the results of the full race go check it out here, along with pictures of the event located just below the results. A big thanks goes out to Rick Plite for once again putting on a stellar event.

J-Bolt stumbled onto this video earlier today today and it was too good not to put up.

Yeah, that hurts.


Battle of the Little Gladiators: Part 2

Last year at the Barry-Roubaix, Jacobi and Ryan threw down and Jacobi came out the victor. This years results we shall see in the epic battle on gravel! Same day entries are available or come out and see a great race! [The Critter/Fiddler battle is only a sub-plot to the whole race]



Meet the latest member of the Velocity USA crew the 'Life Size Adam Pelzer Action Cutout' [or A-PAC]. He came to us via the container from Australia yesterday. He was so excited to make it way to US of A that he had held himself to the door so as to be the first thing off. Granted, only half of him made his way to us [maybe next container we'll get his legs], A-PAC has made his presence known:

_First with a camera moment with Jacobi, his 5'6" is nothing to what appears to be an oddly un-proportionate head and arms to torso ratio but compared to 'Cobi it's always hard to tell.

_The real Pelzer handles a few things on the Australian end of things from sales to shipping, a few things in between. A-PAC being the action cutout he is just jumped right into things. Claiming he knew how to do just about everything.

Jumping into wheel department and building up wheels. Not surprisingly, A-PAC has a distinct way of building wheels which we are all still trying to fully wrap our heads around. Seeing that his hands also did not make the trip, he is able handle things well. It's important to note that the disembodied hand in the picture is still an anomaly we are trying to figure out, could it be a cruel joke towards A-PAC? We do not know.

Maybe he just wasn't ready to acknowledge or handle the toilets flushing differently we found him outside by our dumpsters 'doing his business'...

Then to top it all off, he had the nerve to get on Jacobi's trike and proceed to yell things at us. We struggled to understand what he was saying with the thick Aussie accent but from the tone, he wasn't happy or maybe he was just really excited.

All in all, he's a solid edition to the crew. I'm sure he'll continue to make is presence known among us.


Velocity Scuba Team: Wheel Department Daily Banter.

It was a typical Monday yesterday: wheels being built, orders being filled, and catching up on everyone's weekend which then transitions into the normal banter between the Velocity crew. All of which is healthy and in good fun, keeping us on our game and often provides some interesting content for the blog; you might remember the Utopian dream of living in the land of P. Wood.

Yesterday we might have stumbled onto another gem. The normal Monday wheel-building crew of Ryan, Paul, Jacobi and myself were rocking builds when it happened. One of the essential tools in aiding lacing up a wheel was lost. Granted we have a number of them, over the course of realizing one was lost, another found it's way gone. What tool you might be wondering? The nipple poker [insert joke here]. No machines used here to lace up our wheels, they are truly hand-built.

Lots of accusations and fingers were pointed. From me to Ryan, Ryan to Jacobi, Jacobi back to me, me to Jacobi, Ryan to me, Jacobi to Ryan... it was a mess, and you might notice, Paul was above this banter simply watching from the sideline. As one poker was found 'near' Ryan's bench, the search for the other was on... Paul started searching the benches and 'unknown' wheel-builder magically found said poker on his bench.

This then erupted into our normal passive aggressive comments:

'Oh my god, come on...'

'The pokers are on lacing table for a reason'

'I can't believe there would be two pokers on the bench...'

And so on...

Now Jacobi, being the peacemaker he is, interrupts the banter asking us. What if we were a scuba team? [Yes, we had no idea where that came from either] And what if one of our air hoses gave out, wouldn't we share our emergency hose?

Like piranha on fresh meat, we turned on him. 'Well, 'Cobi if we were a scuba team we would probably misplace the extra hose or the hose wouldn't be where it was suppose to be.' 'Yeah, we probably would have left it on the boat or even more likely it would be back on the dock, the last place any of us would look' 'In other words, 'Cobi, you might die.'

All of this because of a nipple poker:


Moment: Defined

When life happens, in those moments where the rubber hits the road or when the proverbial 'crap' hits the fan, their are some that let the circumstances determine the outcome and then others who decide to define those moments and circumstances.

This weekend. Ryan and a few others choose the latter.

On Sunday, up a little north of us near Cedar Springs the annual Fisk Knob Time Trial took place. Ryan took his post as announcer for the event. You can find results [lower left side of the page] and more information on the Fusion site. After another successful event and all the riders had finished, as when any event ends post-race activities begin. Enter the mini keg.

Successful pours is always a must but what do you do when you don't have a keg pump and run out of C02? That's right, you go Macgyver on it! All you need is a piece of gum, a shoe lace, and the big arm from your analog watch. Well, not really, but that would have been awesome. Ryan with a few others [partnered with the genius of Dale Carley] plus your standard floor pump equals proper pressure to allow the days post race festivities to continue.

Velosophy #348: Sure, it was just rigging up a mini keg, but it's the little things that count. Start there, don't worry about the rest.


Replacement but not Replaceable.

When things are working right, you rarely hear any thing. When some thing goes wrong, you had better believe you had better be quick to fix it.

Flashbacks of my shop days are quickly flooding my mind, as spring approaches so do the tacoed rims on all sorts of makes and models. Your local bike shop knows the drill and are ready. Hopefully that day never come for you but if it does we have your back here at Velocity.

We offer plenty of different options to upgrade and customize your bike; but some times, you just want a quality rim or wheel that will take care of you but won't break the bank. Today, we're highlighting a few rims that often get overlooked, we consider them our replacement rims: the Twin Hollow, Glider and Triple V. These moderately priced rims are given the same attention to detail and quality you come to expect from all of our rims. Made from the same 6061-T6 series aluminum, these rims are also available as replacement wheel or wheelsets at your local bike shops.

The Glider is available in 700c and is ideal for hybrid bikes. The Twin Hollow comes in 700c and 27" to satisfy either need. Our 26" Triple V is an excellent way to get your mountain bike rolling again. As with any Velocity rim or Velocity built wheel, 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed!

Posted the video below on our Twitter a few days back, still funny. Have a great weekend everyone!


it's closer

Yeah. We tease... look what we got today. Care to guess?

Answers will come... next week.


Happy St. Patricks Day - RIDE YOUR BIKE


On a day that most push it a little harder than they should, be safe. Don't drive. If you can ride and be on the look out. Ride safe, don't forget your helmet and lights. No need to be in a hurry tonight, everyone's Irish!

Busy day here at Velocity before we head out for the nights festivities, but there is nothing wrong with that.


Two of Bolt's ladies...

Well, I'd like to say today we'll be hearing the epic love story between JBolt and two of his ladies. Unfortunately, I think both claim different parts of the man's heart. Either way, both are pretty special. Enjoy today's '...because we ride'...

This bike has a story. A long winded and twisted tale of an under appreciated bicycle that was ignored and left on a hook for years. Unfortunately I don’t actually know that story; I’ve just made it up in my mind. This Gios Torino came to me in almost the same state that it currently is. My good bud Alex found it on Craigslist for $430 and told me about it since it was far too big for anyone else he knows. I emailed the guy and said I would be there tomorrow to pick it up. The guy said someone was coming to look at it, but if they didn’t buy it he would let me know. I thought for sure at that price I would not get the chance to buy it. For some reason the person who went to check it out did not feel the need to buy it. So, late afternoon Sunday I duck out of polo a little early and a little drunk to go pick it up. Guy says it has been hanging in his garage/basement for years un-touched, still in like new condition with 175 miles on the computer. So why this bike never got ridden, where this guy got the bike, or why everything is from the early 80’s except the early 90’s Shimano parts I will never know, but who cares… it’s just a bike right?

Frame/Fork: Gios Torino “Professional”.

King headset

Cinelli stem and bars

Campagnolo brakes/levers, crank/b.b., seat post/binder bolt

Dura Ace downtube shifters, front & rear derailleur, cassette, hubs

San Marco Rolls saddle

Velocity Razor Rims with Dura Ace Hubs

Shimano 600 pedals (the most aweful, uncomfortable pedal ever made)

Velocity O.G. Velocage

This picture was taken with my main gal Allis. Allis Chalmers is the most bad assest hi-lo on the planet.


Hell of a review.

The Hell Yes Sprints went off great this past Saturday, with a solid turn out. Nicola Fester and Todd Hayes took home the wheelsets for winning their respective categories. Thanks to all who made it out to compete and to all who showed up to watch, you made it a great event!

Plenty of stories to be had, from the beer and Velocity crew races to those in the crowd putting up prizes as the day went on. A special thanks goes out to Rick for the Barry Roubaix entry, Kevin and Carly from 360 Massage for putting up a few massages for their on the spot sponsorship; and once again a thanks to Freewheeler Bike shop and Commute Bike shop for putting up prizes for the winners and Hop Cat for hosting!

Check out some more pictures from the day here and here.


As simple as black and white...

Well, we've finally made it. Made it to another Friday, which means Saturday is a-coming! Days filled with rest and rides especially as the seasons begin to shift.

We have a new Limited Edition wheelset for you. The Black and White B43 track wheelset: our white B43 rim built up with our black solid flange hollow axle track hubs, white powder coated spokes and black brass nipples.

We have 35 of these limited edition wheelsets available contact your local bicycle for pricing.

All of our wheels are built with pride in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's more than just a product for us, each builder puts their name on the wheel for a reason: as a stamp of approval. From our standard builds to our limited editions, the same amount of time and precision is taken to build every wheel, treating each as if it were our very own. It's this attention to detail that sets us apart. If you've ridden our wheels or rims you know, if you haven't what better time than now to do so!

I'll leave you with a few videos for the weekend... dreams of track crashes and fresh dirt:


Heck yes.

Oh yeah, Hell yes that is! We keep getting more goodies for the Hell Yes! Sprints race at Hop Cat in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday. You'll have the chance to win a Velocity road or track wheelset from us, two local shops have stepped up and have contributed some good prizes also. As mentioned yesterday Curt at Freewheeler Bike Shop has contributed a few items like some Oury grips, Pake top tube pad, a handlebar and some pedals; then today we got some shirts from Daniel at Commute Bike Shop and Hop Cat has contributed not only opened it's doors to the event they are putting up a $25 gift card, an empty HopCat growler with koozie and a shirt.

We also heard that it's going to be a Founder's KBS weekend at Hop Cat, which is just an amazing cherry on top. Haven't had KBS before? Stop in, try it out and watch some racing. The beer alone might change your life! Plus this can serve as a nice primer to St. Patrick's Day next week.


Oh Hell.

Hell yes! Think you're fast? Really? Do ya punk?

This Saturday at Hop Cat in downtown Grand Rapids come and prove it. The Hell Yes! clothing crew from up in Traverse City, MI [or better known from FixedGearGallery.com fame] are leading the charge in putting on the Hell Yes! Sprints Series. We've joined in with them in providing some swag for the event and the winners. Freewheeler Bike Shop here in Grand Rapids has also thrown in some goodies all of which should make the event all that more interesting.

Here's the raw details:

This Saturday, March 13th Registration opens at Noon. Races start at 2pm

Hop Cat, Grand Rapids, MI

$5.00 to race/FREE to watch

How does it work?
3 riders hop up onto fixed gear bikes which are fork mounted to a Kreitler roller setup. The bikes are adjusted for the rider and the race gets staged up. The rollers are wired to a computer which reads the speed of the roller and translates it to distance, each race is a 500m sprint. Progress of the rider is shown head to head to head in real time on a projector.

Here's a video from the Blind Pig [Ann Arbor, MI] races last year:

As if racing and beer wasn't enough to get you out this weekend. The local legend and the man of Up'er folk...lore, the Fiddler, will be announcing this event... that's right the head of our wheel department, Ryan. We're certain he'll be plucking the heart strings of competitors and spectators alike. Either way, goods times will be had.

For more information please check out the Hell Yes! Sprints page or check out the Facebook event page.

If you can't make it out to the event this Saturday, you haven't missed out completely. There will be another event in August [see tab on the left] and I'm sure there will be another series next year. Hope to see you out there!



Today is a good day. If you like stories that is... our resident storyteller Jeff Jacobi is up for this weeks '...because we ride'. It's important to note that not only are you in for a treat with what can only be considered an instant classic short story but also more pictures were taken for this post to get 'just the right' shot of the Iver Johnson.

Enjoy your Tuesday...

'Well, my passion for classic and everything old started at my first real bike shop job, Chicago Drive Schwinn, where I learned to restore old Stingrays in the winter with my boss Ed. Ed is a real perfectionist and when it came to his collection, after all the work was done they were often displayed. I learned a lot about the history of the bike and we were the shop to come to because of the vast amount of knowledge that had been passed down from the owner Everett Sr.

I eventually moved on to a shop across town called Alger Schwinn. It was there that I came across my treasure...

One day picking up and cleaning the basement, I happen to look behind the boiler and there it was; undisturbed for no one to notice except for a trained eye. It was a frame and a drivetrain. It looked old! So without hesitation I pulled it out to see what it was. Wow, to my surprise a perfectly straight partially stripped frame that looked to be from the 1920's. Sure enough, I respectfully brought it to the owners attention and offered him cold hard cash. He took the cash, a steal if I say so myself.

So here she is, my race ready 1920's, Iver Johnson. This bike has brought me so much joy. It is a fully working bike from a time gone by. Every time I ride it, I think of the rides it may have taken. I personally feel I have restored it to represent its vintage and made it retain its history. Its not all original but you would have to be as big of a nerd as me to know the difference. You can see it in action later this month at the Barry-Roubaix. This will be the second year for it to complete. She's the fastest bike downhill because of it's 30 lbs. of inertia.

Spec's :: All Vintage Parts
Nothing is new except the 27" Tires

* Turned over and chopped cruiser bars
* Cut and trimmed Brooks B17
* 2 piece Iver Johnson cranks [original]
* 27" steel wheels/New Departure coaster brake
* Paint/none. Vintage pitina
* 1940's cruiser pedals with Vintage Schwinn straps [rusty]
* not original fork. the original was unsafe but the new fork is from a vintage road bike painted flat black
* 27" x 1 3/8" knobby tires. [new] You've got to trust your tires.'



By no means will I try to say that Grand Rapids is at the forefront of this little movement called Bike Polo but that's not to say we don't have a great amount of growing excitement with anything involving the bicycle.

I've mentioned this before but this past summer a group, including few Velocity guys helping to get the ball rolling on it [JBolt and Matt], started meeting up and playing, by the end of the fall it became a 2 night a week affair, under the S-Curve by the GVSU downtown campus.

With West Michigan getting a taste of spring this last week, Bike Polo is back! The past two weekends have had the games begin again and should make for another exciting year of Polo. More information on GR Bike Polo, along with times and dates, can be found on the Facebook page.

A quick bike polo video for you from the Dallas crew:



There is just some thing about the classics: classic rock, classic cars, classic movies... Well, those 'classics' might just be for Jacobi regardless of what your idea of classic is, we've got a few for you today for the Friday Highlight.

On our last container of goodness from the crew in Australia, some of the old/classic red and blue paint was found and some Deep V's were done up and sent our way. Our current electric blue and red have been super popular with their translucent, anodized-esque powder coating compared to the classic red and blue's distinct color. Jacobi calls the blue a 'mid-90's Ford pick-up truck blue' and the red being much deeper or blood red. The first picture below is of just classics together.

Here are the new and classic together. The classic being above the electric colors:

These classic blue and red are extremely limited, and available in only in 700c with 32h drilling. Contact your local bicycle shop to get your hands on these.

I'll leave you with one final taste of the Handmade Show this past weekend, it's a 10 minute video I stumbled onto over at trackosaurusrex. Have a great weekend everyone, get out and ride!


Pseudo-classic becaue we ride...

Well, we made it through most of the crew, but that doesn't mean we are done with our regular '...because we ride' segment. Each of us have enough bikes to keep this going for weeks and months to come. So today we make it back to one of my rigs, my 1953 Schwinn Racer. There isn't much that is stock on this bike anymore outside of the frame, fork, and chain guard thus 'pseudo-classic'. I received this bike around 5 years ago from the owner of Europa Cycle, the shop that gave me the start in the bicycle industry.

Two bikes had come in for 'restoration', this Racer and I believe a slightly newer Suburban from the 60's. The customer wanted to take all the 'good' parts from the Racer and put them on the Suburban but then did not want any of the remaining parts. Enter me, and my boss was kind enough to let me have the parts as long as I treated the bike kindly. Well, it's been treated kindly and for a the first 4 years it was pieced back together with the combination of Racer/Suburban parts, which meant: the Sturmie Archer 3 speed hub with rim brakes with the old S-6 beaded tires, and the fenders were the from the Suburban.

This past summer I started customizing it a bit. Getting my hands on a Bendix 2-speed kickback Yellow band hub, lacing it to a Deep V rim, then building up a front track wheel with the B43 and solid flange/hallow axle hub. The bike really began to take shape. I then decided that the old fenders needed a more modern look to them so I cut them down a bit and removed the brackets. I've had a few different handlebars on it and haven't officially landed on what I'd like for it and has an old Brooks-esque saddle that has cut down by Jacobi. The purest might frown the bikes set up, but the bike is perfect for runs around downtown and simply cruising around.


Tuesday Videos

A few videos for your enjoyment. The first is the new Velorue trailer.

Then just a few bike fails for fun:

And then the '73 Huffy GT 300...


Handmade and Urban Velo

Well, the crew over at Urban Velo are at it again. With it being the first of the month, issue number 18 is out and they also have a pretty stellar amount of photos from Handmade this past weekend. Check out day 1, day 2, and day 3. The site is loading a little slow today, I'm assuming from the high volume of people checking out everything they've got going. So be patient and enjoy or even stop into your Local Bike Shop to see if they have the hard copies, if they don't suggest they bring them in!

For our ad in the current issue, we've got our Road Disc wheelset. Which sport our Fusion rims on our sealed-bearing road disc hubs, which is simply a bomb-proof wheelset for commuting or if your 'cross bike is rocking discs.

Riding Velocity wheels and rims, one knows:

_ we pride ourselves in giving you the very best in quality and price on the market
_ all of our wheelsets are handbuilt here in Grand Rapids, Michigan
_ every rim is handcrafted in Brisbane, Australia
_ each wheel and wheelset is made to order specifically for you and your specifications by professional wheelbuilders

Just a few of the many reasons Velocity once again is 'the best name to ride with'.