4.30.2010

Veloce means Fast.

I'm told veloce means fast. Which puts us at mildly interesting position given that today we are highlighting MD's 1999 Bianchi Veloce. We love MD here and he's a lot of things. Is fast really the best adjective to use in describing him? Well, he's one hell of a sales manager and is fast at a bunch of things like: the quick punch line, the smart ass comment and I'm fairly certain he can run faster than I can.

But... is MD fast on a bike? Well, let's call him pretty fast.

Enjoy his write up on his steed:

OK, so I get this job building bicycle wheels and I didn’t even have a bike.This was obviously just a short term job until I find something in my field. I mean who can make a living building bicycle wheels? Ummm….yeah, that was four years ago, and now I have a career, and a couple bikes.

I didn’t get the appreciation for bicycling until I recognized what a skilled art wheel building is. It’s precise, detail oriented, patience testing, hands on, work, and I got hooked. I’d spend so much time on each wheel, making sure it was a perfect as I could get it. I started to take a lot of pride in my work, and you just cant build these beautiful wheels all day and not get the urge to ride them.

After a little over a year, I left the truing stand for a desk. Before Betsy Hilgendorf left Velocity to pursue her career at QBP, she had purchased a Bianchi Veloce frame on Ebay. Betsy quickly determined that the bike was the wrong size for her. “It doesn’t fit me but do you know who it would fit perfectly?” So I bought it. My first bike as an adult, and I love it. It feels like driving a vintage Ferrari or something. She’s faster than I am. And…of course, I’m rolling the Helios wheelset, that helps!

P.S. I don’t want to hear any sh!t about the saddle! It’s comfy. It’s my bike and my urethra, so lay off Bolt Man!


A few of the 1999 Bianchi Veloce features:

- Chromoly Frame with Carbon fiber composite fork
- Campagnolo Veloce 9 Speed Groupo
- Crank 53/39
- 9 speed 12-23
- Helios Wheelset

4.29.2010

Back in Black.

Back in Black.

Black is the new black.

Classic. Clean. Fresh.


However you want to say it there is just some thing about the color that encompasses all colors. It never gets old. Especially when it's high gloss.

As spring fast approached, the perfect storm, named 'Black O', hit Velocity headquarters: [Popularity of our black anodized color + the ultra popular Deep V/B43/Dyad] multiplied by the large demand = low inventory. Fortunately the Storm Team V Weather Trackers here were quick to jump to the rescue, enter the high polished U.S. powder-coated black rims. This is an extremely limited run of some super eye catching rims.

Because we offer our image rims, we have a number of mill finished rims in stock awaiting for their paint. We were able to partner with a local powder-coater here in Grand Rapids to provide you with a rim that has gotten everyone here uncomfortably excited once they see them, or randy as J-Bolt puts it. Price remains the same for the Non MSW as the Black Ano Non MSW, so please consult your local bike shop for details.

A few things to note about the High Polished Black Powder-coated rims:

_ Only offered in these rims/size/drillings:
> Deep V / 650c, 700c / 32H
> B43 / 650c, 700c / 32H
> Dyad / 700c / 32H

_ We will not be stocking this color so once they are gone, they are gone. The Black Ano will return in June

_ Braking surface: since this is powder-coated you will need to have machined side wall to have consistent and reliable braking. This is different than our anodized that do not require a machined surface. There is a small fee to have these rims machined.

4.27.2010

The sheer ferocity of Velocity

Yesterday we got an email from across the pond of what can only be consider a pretty awesome feat. On April 10th, a group of riders decided to ride the classic Paris-Roubaix course, in classic form... fixed. Yes, that sounds just as crazy to us as to you, while at the same time extremely incredible. From the website of the ride, here was their game plan:

Distance : 260km + 10km
Cobbled sections : 27 (52,9km)
Bike : fixed gear
Date : April 10th 2010
Estimated time : 10 to 14 hours
Why L’Arbre? Le Carrefour de l’Arbre is one of the most difficult cobbled section (section°4) of the Paris Roubaix race. Le cafĂ© de l’Arbre is located at the end of the 2100m. The legend says that the first racer at l’Arbre will win the race...
Why this project ? PR is my favourite race,my fixie is one my favourite bike, the finish line is in the famous velodrome of Roubaix. So, riding this race with a fixed gear is logical!!!

There are plenty of pictures and videos to check out at their site. From all that I can gather, these are a group of un-sponsored riders who simply love to ride, who sought out a challenge and conquered it. A huge hats off from all of us at Velocity, to all of you who pursue challenges like this... whether it be on the road, on the dirt, or on the cobblestones!

And oh yeah, the leader of the ride rocked these and another rider these. Just saying.

4.26.2010

Mother Nature Won.

As she normally does, Mother Nature threw down at Trans Iowa making it the epic that is. 58 riders starting, 0 finishing: race was called between the 1st and 2nd checkpoints. We've gotta love technology, there were plenty of live audio updates from the event organizers and a few of the riders kept their Twitter feeds live and going throughout the event... check out #tiv6 and see a little of what all the riders went through.

A hats off to all of you would showed up to ride and battled with the elements. Of course, the final group of riders that made it the longest in until the event was called deserve a special shout out:

Joe Meiser

John Gorilla

Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey

Matt Braun

Eric Brunt

Jay & Tracey Petervary

Charles Parsons

For more insight, reports and pictures on all things Trans Iowa related check out the Trans Iowa site, Guitar Ted's site, and the TI History page.

In all things Grand Rapids related:

The other event we told you about last Friday was the Hop Cat Alley Cat here in Grand Rapids. From all reports the event went off without a hitch and the weather held off all allowing our GM to take 2nd overall in the event.

The Grand Rapids Bike Park is in it's final push to meet the deadline for completion. We've mentioned this a few times on the blog and can't help but bring it up again. This week there are 3 days people are going to be out there getting this place into shape: Tonight, Thursday Evening and Saturday. Keep up on all things GR Bike Park on their Facebook page.

We all love riding the local trails, it's easy to forget all the work needed to develop and maintain the trails we love. Regardless of where you are, get connected to your local MBA and play a part.

4.23.2010

Axle time

There is a demographic within the cycling world that we all know, the Clydesdale class. This is a group of riders that share the same love for the sport but are more of a diesel than a race car. One of the most notable, but now former Clydesdale's is Fat Cyclist. To achieve the prestigious title of Clydesdale rider, one must be 200+ lbs. That's it.

I don't know if proud is the right term for it but I am an unashamed member of this class, coming in around 225 lbs. If you're like me, you have encountered a few tiers of weight requirements within the cycling industry: 175 lbs, 200 lbs, 225 lbs and 275 lbs. There a lot of factors that come into play with these recommended rider weight requirements. Depending on a riders style, intended use and material strength to weight ratio there can often be a fluidity to where one can land. Race day products perform differently than that of training and can have a differing longevity.

I say all this to lead into today's Friday Product Highlight. Our ability to custom build wheels to your exact specifications and desires does not end at rim and spoke combinations. We know that all sorts, sizes, and abilities of riders are using and enjoying our product; because of that, on our rear road hubs we offer the ability to change out the stock alloy axle [left side in picture, 20 grams] for chromoly axle [right side in picture, 56 grams]. Our rear road hubs come in at a competitive 250 grams with the alloy axle and a respective 286 grams with chromoly.

So who would be a candidate for the cromoly axle? Remembering that the differing factors which come into play, we would suggest anyone over 200 lbs consider using the chromoly axle. And here's the rub, what do I ride? Based on my riding style and use [mainly commuting] I rock the alloy axles and have had no issues. It's always important to note that, we all ride differently and consulting your LBS can help clear up what might best suit your needs. These axles are available aftermarket through your local bicycle shop or can be installed when we are building up your custom wheel.

_ _ _

Two races going on this weekend, as mentioned before Trans Iowa looks to be soggy affair, I'm looking forward to following G-Ted and David Pals [event organizers] updates on the race throughout the weekend on Twitter [hashtag #tiv6]. Here in Grand Rapids we have the 3rd Annual Hop Cat Alley Cat. The previous years, this has been an extremely stellar event and this year looks to be the same with 79 people already slated to come via the Facebook event page. $15 for a great time and a chance to get your hands on some Benny Gold rims!

4.22.2010

na...na... 'Na-ga.... Colnago!

This past winter, as we were dreaming of morning spring rides and warm summers, the head of our wheel department began to piece together a bit of a masterpiece. Slowly but surely, gathering the frame and parts of what became a beautiful complete bike.

That bike now graces us for today's '...because we ride.' Ryan's 'Nago, [some call the Lamborghini a Lambo' and being a work of Italian craftsmanship that it is, why not shorten it?]. Ok, fine... Colnago. Here's Ryan's write up:

I have needed a new road bike for some time now and this past winter it happened. The stars aligned and the deal of a lifetime fell into my lap. It came in the form of a Colnago Dream B Stay with a Flash carbon fork and Campy headset. A SRAM Force group makes the thing go and stop with the prototype A-23 wheelset makes it feel like a Colnago should. I owe a great deal of gratitude to all that helped make this bike a reality. You know who you are.

On a side note… How many people do you know with an Italian BB chaser in their tool box? Well, Paul Van Wesep has one and I’m glad he does.

4.21.2010

Photo Tuesday.

Yesterday and a post early today over at Prolly is not Probably, Prolly has posted a few pictures of a recent ride/interview with one of our 700cmx riders, Tom La Marche, over at Out of Print Magazine. Some of the stuff that Tom and a few others are pulling off is pretty crazy to say the least. Check out the OOPM website for more pictures and also check out Prolly's site for pictures from their 4/20 ride...




That's right, if you look closely Tom is rocking a P35 front and a Dyad rear, not the traditional stuff you see on most riders pulling off this stuff but certainly shows what we already knew: our rims go above and beyond what they might have first been developed for!

Below we have another one of our riders, Eric Puckett in a recent Volume Bikes ad going big over a gap with the Chukkers. Stellar.


Whether you're a roadie, a mountain biker or a 700cmxer, we'd love to see more of your own pictures rocking our rims. Post them over on our Facebook page or link them up on the comment sections here.

4.20.2010

R-n-R

[R]ESULTS

Yankee Results are up... I think this was the hardest I've searched for some thing in awhile:

Expert/Elite
Sport
Beginner
SS Sport/Tandem

[N]

Some pictures from the TT are starting to show themselves. The Founders Team has a pretty solid presence and you can see Jacobi rocking both his Fisher and his SS Klunker [sub 1 hour on a 40+ lbs bike? Yes!]. A special thanks to Jack Kunnen Photography for getting these up and for always doing a stellar job of getting shot from most of the Western Michigan cycling events.

[R]EVIVAL

In other news, after a series of showings around North America and a few showings over across the pond in Europe, The Revival is now available for you to get your dirty hands on. The first run is being sold here.

4.19.2010

Race Days

Today, we just wanted to do a little shout to a few races:

As mentioned Friday, the Yankee Springs Time Trial was Sunday, it went off without a hitch and was another successful year. Both Ryan and Jacobi sounded pleased with their results, although Jacobi has a bit more of a story involving his disc brake rotor bolts. I'll see if I can swing some sort of race report out of one of them this week along with some pictures.

Another event we are pleased to be part of is Trans Iowa. Surely not the original in the growing epic gravel races but truly one that has gained the reputation for being one of the toughest. The race goes on this weekend out of Grinnell, Iowa and is 'one big ass loop' of 315 miles of unsupported gravel goodness. With rain in the forecast for this weekend, it will be interesting to see how the race plays out and who finishes. With the 70+ riders registered for the race, we wanted to make sure all the riders at least walked away with some thing and supplied one of our new Bottle Traps for everyone. Stay hydrated, stay safe and ride hard!

To give you a little taste of the race, here a few videos from previous years of Trans Iowa put together by some of the riders on it:





4.16.2010

Trail Work.

For the past few months, especially these past few weeks, there has been a growing movement of people involved in developing the new trails within city limits here in Grand Rapids, appropriately called GR Bike Park. We've mentioned the park awhile back when preliminary layout was done in January and Ryan threw out his back. This park renewal, specifically the trail system, has been headed up by the wMMBA and has been gaining a lot of steam as the pump track is in it's final stages of completion and the single track is coming along well.

With the May 15th launch date quickly approaching, work has been occurring on the Thursday nights and a few weekends to get this urban bike complex together. J-Bolt, Ryan, Matt, Jacobi and along with the hard work of countless others, have been pouring in the hours to make these trails a reality. This is truly a great thing to see and to hear going on; especially when local governments are tight on funds, for outside groups to rise up, develop, manage and pursue projects like the GR Bike Park. This is the first park of it's type here in Grand Rapids with talk of another already started.

So if you're in the Western Michigan area, check out the Facebook event page and GR Bike Park's Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up on the status of the trails [along with pictures], when trail work days are happening and other ways to help. Finally, this weekend is the 21st running of the Yankee Springs Time Trial down at the Yankee Springs State Recreational Area near Gun Lake. It's a great race for the start of most riders seasons with around 600 riders showing up. Good luck to everyone!

Whether you are racing or not, get out and ride this weekend. Enjoy!

4.14.2010

Introducing Velocity Reflective

A few months back we began to look into redeveloping a new reflective surfaced rim. Our previous design, the ELVS, had been an extremely popular rim and we have been very pleased with them. In our desire to continue to innovate and improve, we set out to find an equally durable reflective process that allowed for us to machine the braking surfaces with better precision and ease.

Enter the Halo Reflective Powder Coating Process. The Velocity Reflective rims use a process from Halo Coatings, who have developed this powder coating process for a number of different applications including: highway safety, bicycle, motorcycle, and fishing applications, fencing solutions, and a number of other industrial applications. The powder coating process allows us to traditionally machine the sidewalls of the rims for braking and provide a surface that will hold up to the normal wear and tear of riding.

Part of the beauty of launching this new reflective rim is being able to offer it has a specific wheelset. As with all of our wheels and builds we can customize them to your specific needs and desires. Our standard build for the Velocity Reflective series is offered with black Velocity hubs [track, road, mountain, all depending on application], black brass nipples, and black 14g spokes with one white spoke going through the Halo reflective sticker [shown to the right] which is offset 1 spoke hole from the valve.

Below is the second Velocity Reflective set built. This is a Fusion track wheelset, with our upgraded Hollow Axle, Solid Flange Hubs with the standard Velocity Reflective build of one white spoke. Sharp to say the least:

Shown below, are the 7 different models of rims offered with the Velocity Reflective Design. The first 2 showing the rims in natural light, appearing black graphite to the eye:



The following 2 photos show how the reflective powder coating works. When direct light is shined on the rim, the rim shines bright white, providing an eye catching rim that helps to alert fellow riders and automobiles of your presence:



The 7 rims [Model : Size : Drilling : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall] offered in with the Halo reflective powder coating process go as followed:

- Dyad : 700c : 32H 36H : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall
- Fusion : 700c : 32H : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall
- Deep V : 700c : 32H 36H : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall
- B43 : 700c : 32H : Nonmachined Sidewall
- Cliffhanger : 26" [559] : 36H : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall
- Aeroheat : 20" [406] 26" [559] : 32H : Machined Sidewall/Nonmachined Sidewall

All of these models are instock and available through your local bicycle shop.

4.13.2010

Rach's Green Steed

Today, we have a new contributor for our 'because we ride' series, Rachel. She is by no means new here at Velocity and is our resident nurse/stellar wheelbuilder when she's not off working her full time job saving lives at the hospital. Enjoy:


The bikes we ride... I have a few of them... maybe more than a few, but of the few I have, this bike is, by far, my favorite. I like to call it my green steed. Velo City Cycles would term the bike Sofa King. Really it's the most superb and comfortable riding steel road/fixie bike I own and was built by the awesome dudes and dudets at Waterford Precision Cycles in Wisconsin.

Not only do I like rollin' with steel, but I also like rolling with the Velocity wheels. Wheels, in my opinion, can make or break your riding experience! I've had nothing but Velocity Wheel's on this bike. Started out with a pair of gold Aeroheads with bladed spokes. It was love at the first ride. A wheel that was straight as an arrow, sturdy as a beast, and proved to be the strongest wheel I have ever ridden.Upon finding this love for Velocity wheels and having access to so many different color options, I decided I would like to be more visible since the Sofa King has become my main form of transportation. Therefore, I switched to the ELVS Deep V, the first reflective rim at Velocity Wheels. Whenever a car shines it's lights on my ride and me, it reflects the intense love I have for cycling making cars aware of my presence. With success of such a great rim, we at Velocity wheels have made massive improvements in our reflective rims, and now carry the Halo, which is available in many different style of rims. I already have plans on building up a new wheelset for my steed!

So there you have it... just one of my steeds cruising down the road with the nothing but the best... Velocity Wheels that is!

4.12.2010

A-PAC strikes again!

Well, I was off for a week saving the world as they say but it's good to be back and hopefully the hype of the 750c has continued to mount. I must say it was a pretty fun post to come up with with the help of Jacobi. Of course, it was April Fools joke with the photos used nothing more than a 700c by itself and a 700c, 26", and 24" Aerohead rims side by side. Although, it's not to say that the 5'6" Jacobi hasn't been trying to push this new wheel size. Only time will tell if it will actually gain any traction.

Now, A-PAC has been making his rounds and given the attention that Jacobi was receiving from the 750c post, A-PAC decided to go after Jacobi's pride and joy...


Tweaking the 'Firebird' for maximum performance...


Then attempting to man his getaway... unfortunately with no legs, this was as far as he got.


We are now debating what punishment should be for such a cry for attention and right now, dangling him over a paper shredder seems to be the best bet.

4.01.2010

BIG THINGS ARE COMING!

Yesterday, on our Twitter we teased that we had a big announcement. If you're checking this at 12:01, hopefully this will not disappoint. A project, code named 'Cobia' [yes a tip of the hat to the projects lead, Jeff Jacobi], has been in development since last year's Interbike.

As you are aware, at Velocity we have continually been part of the wheel renaissance. We've seen wheel diameters come and go, with the recent resurgence of alternative sizes coming in the mountain realm. The classic 26" wheel size to now the 29er and 650b becoming more and more prevalent; each providing the rider with their preferred preference for riding style and rider size to wheel combination.

Over the years, we have seen countless bicycles for riders that the wheels are not proportionate to the size of not only the frame but also the rider. Recent studies are showing that the average American's height is going up at a dramatic rate, in 2020 the average American males height will be 6'1" which was a startling statistic given that that same segment now at 5'11". The example of a rider over the height of 6'2", often the frame geometry makes the wheels appear to be closer to that of 650c than the 700c. Yes, esthetically it's an eye sore; we'd argue that the ride quality and performance for the taller riders is negatively effected because of this.

Traction began to really take place on the project at the beginning of 2010, as we examined the needs of the road market and partnering with a few tire companies; a wheel crafted close to our Aerohead and A23 rims began to take shape. Our Australian counterparts were up to challenge and have produced a rim that is definitely on the cutting edge of the market. On Tuesday we received the first prototypes.

Enter the 750c Road Wheel.

Yes, you read that correctly. As our tests are confirming, the 750c wheel we will turn the road market on it's side. Like the mountain market with it's 26", 650b, and 29er options, the road rider will now be able to choose between the 650c, 700c and 750c wheel sizes. Right now all we are willing divulge is that our yet to be named 750c rim has the Bead Seat Diameter [BSD] of 673, this is a subtle difference between the 700c [which is at 622], it will be 23mm wide and is road tubeless. This addresses the main 2 requests of the taller rider: improved ride quality and ride performance.

The obvious next question is there a bicycle on the market that can accommodate this larger wheel? With the popularity of the custom fitting and custom bicycle building, we have been in discussions with builders around the United States for months discussing bringing this to market. We are working with local Grand Rapids frame builder, Mark Cramer [formerly of Nuke Proof], to produce the first prototype 750c road frame. The frame is in it's final stages of production and testing should begin the next week. The frame is being built for one of the riders on the Founders Ale Team, Ralph Scharnowski. Ralph is 6'7" and has always struggled to find a a bike that allows him to get into a solid riding position even with having professional fit done. Both ourselves and Cramer are confident that the combination of the 750c wheel and the frame will revolutionize road industry for riders like Ralph. An added benefit to the 750c is it's ability to fit easily into mountain 29er frames. Providing another option for commuters of ALL sizes searching for the 'do everything' bike.

Like the 29 inch mountain bike wheel. There was resistance at first from the industry but as more and more people try them out, the 29 inch phenomenon continues to grow and take over the market. If it weren't for those willing to push the envelope of conventional thinking, we would still be on 26". We are convinced that the 750c wheel is the what comes next in road!


750c - The Evolution of Revolution.