5.28.2010

Weight Weenies Anonymous

Confessions of a Weight Weenie:

Hi everyone, my name is Jeff and I have a problem.

Hi Jeff.

Well, my problem all started when I met a father and son both named Neil. Yeah, that's right both Neil. Well, Neil and his son are both highly respected racers and some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. They both have my problem. We all have anorexia of the mind. We think our bikes need to be lighter.

So I have taken this to some extreme cases. You see my 29er needed to be lighter so I started with getting rid of things like valve caps, then front gears because I love riding SS and only need 9 speed in the rear. Then went everything stock on the bike! [Alo note: The 2008 Fisher Superfly stock weight came in a shade over 23 lbs.]

I mean everything that I could afford to make this thing lighter. Trust me, it can be lighter but my budget only allows so much. So guess what? I got a drill press for a present one year ago and just started drilling. That's right, just like what you see on old road bikes: Drillium.

Now, trust me things have bitten me in the ass before and I now realize you can not win without finishing the race. So I do take that into consideration. But when I get a couple of hundred bucks to spend on my bike, guess what? I have to upgrade some thing or buy some thing to make my bike lighter. I have a real problem. I hope this support group will help me find a light at the end of the tunnel.

Parts List:

Stock:
- Fisher Superfly frame
- Bontrager Race Lite Handlebar
- Avid Juicy Ultimate Brake levers/calipers - Ti Hardware
- SRAM X0 Trigger shifter
- Race Light Saddle and clamp [drilled]

Not Stock:
- Woodman Carbon Seatpost [cut down]
- X0 Rear Deraileur [back plate drilled]
- XTR 960 Crank [cut to be made SS]
- White Brothers Carbon Fork [shortened all the way]
- Rohloff SS Guild [drilled with nylon bushings]
- Crank Brothers 3 Ti Eggbeater pedals [shortened spindles]
- Shimano Durace Cassette [12/27, because it's titanium]
- Shimano Durace Chain [as short as it goes]
- Rotors: Front: Scrub 160mm, Rear: Avid G3 14omm with 4 Ti bolts in each [because 4 is more than 3 and all the adapters are drilled]
- Foam grips
- Bottle Trap [drilled]
- Plastic Bell [not drilled.... YET]

Now for the best parts... the wheels.
Front: Velocity A23 28H custom painted black, Sapim spokes, Alloy nips, Radial non-disc side, 2 cross disc side, Bontrager X Lite hub with tubeless Specialized Fast Trak tire
Rear: Velocity Aerohead 32H custom painted, Double butted spokes, Alloy nips, 2 cross both drive and non-drive sides, Velocity ATB Lightweight Disc hub with tubless Schwalbe Furious Fred tire.

Total Weight:

17.15 lbs

5.27.2010

There are some who ride...

... and there are some that RIDE.

The McFerrin Family are some of those in the latter. We have been following their journey from their blog for the last few months as Rick, Tanya and the boys made their way from Calgary, Canada to as far south as Mexico City. Rocking Velocity's along the way, their travels have taken them from Calgary down the US west coast crossing the boarder into Baja, Mexico; a short plane ride to Mexico City then making they're way north along the Gulf to Cleveland and now here in Michigan. This past Tuesday, they made their way through Velocity headquarters, Ryan and his family have had the privilege to be able to spend a little time with the McFerrin's as they visited Grand Rapids and camped in his backyard.

Rick and Tanya have ridden most of the world via their bikes, after what will end up being almost a year long self-supported ride their current journey will end once they make their way back to Calgary. The McFerrin family are definitely an encouragement and inspiration to anyone who desires to live in an intentional manner, not restricted by the 'normal' grind of life. And for that, all of us here at Velocity tip our hats to them.

Rick and Tanya also started an organization called Two Wheel View. Their organization sets out to provided 'leadership, environmental and cultural education programs to young people through their participation in bicycle expeditions. TWV programs focus on learning about other cultures, connecting with the natural environment, and encouraging healthy and active lifestyles - while experiencing the world from a seat of a bike.'

There are few of us that can compete with the amount of miles the McFerrins have ridden but we do share a common love for the bicycle and all that the cycling lifestyle provides. So get out, ride and experience the world!

5.25.2010

dP2

All the way back in February, while Jacobi and Bolt were out in Richmond for the Handmade Show they got to hit up the premiere of Kareem Shehab's newest film Death Pedal 2. From all accounts, Bolt had a great time although recollection of the nights events is still a bit fuzzy.

This was another project that we are proud to be able to be a part of, with plenty of the guys rocking the Chukkers. We received a copy of the film last week and I was able to watch it last night and needless to say I was entertained.

From Wonka's segment setting off a great series of tricks that continued through out the rest of the film with the Friends portion showcasing a number of the riders who were there with the guys. Then the lead into Eric Puckett's clips was absolutely hilarious, which I had to watch twice just to catch everything that was said. The film ends with Torey Thornton, who hits some staircases that has blown my mind. Once you see it, you'll understand.

The film is available for purchase at the Death Pedal website and there are plenty of clips to be seen from outtakes, trailers and such to see at their site also. Kareem and all the guys who helped get this project together did an amazing job and I highly recommend you get yourself a copy. On a side note, when we opened the packaging we were pleasantly surprised and honored to have one of a Chukker wheel rocking the DVD, a nice added touch.



Death Pedal 2 Trailer 2 from Killa Kareem on Vimeo.

5.24.2010

What a weekend.

It's been a full week since our last post. I had part of last week off and the Velocity train doesn't stop, so a few other things took precedence over blog posts. It is important to note that we do have some pretty amazing things up our sleeves for the coming months and I can't wait for the launch of them!

This weekend I would say it's safe to say summer has hit here in west Michigan. Sure, June 21st is the official date for summer but with temperatures in the 80's and look to be that way for the coming week, it's hard to argue differently. Any excuse not to ride is now out the door.

Yesterday, the wMMBA put on it's first Misery Loves Company free time trial race down on the gravel roads around Yankee Springs and on some the Barry Roubaix course. With the solid presence of the Founders Ale Racing team along with our very own, Ryan and Jacobi, and around 30 other riders from all accounts the event was a success. With the 80 degree temps and some humidity topped with an solid amount of sand, the race lived up to its name and provided enough misery a 12 mile time trial could.

Jacobi decided to try out an interesting approach with his bike set-up for this race; with his Fisher Super Fly rocking a P35 front wheel partnered with a 700 x 40 tire and on the rear going with the B43, yes a B43, and a 700 x 32 tire. In traditional Jacobi logic this would provide a 'roller coaster' effect once up to speed, mirroring his success on his Iver Johnson in gravel races. Sure, it would fight you on hills but given Jacobi's size it would increase downhill speed and help cut through the wind. Needless to say, he admits the 'roller coaster' effect worked but having more float [which the P35 front and rear would have provided] is what he would have ideally needed for this course. Even with that, Jacobi still won the Men's 35 and under category and Ryan took home first in the Men's Single Speed.

There is another Misery Loves Company time trial planned by the wMMBA for Saturday, August 28th at 2pm. For the second edition they are doubling the length to 25 miles of gravel/sand goodness. Check out the wMMBA site and their Facebook page for updates on all of the WMMBA/MMBA events.

In other weekend news, our fearless GM, Matt headed to Minneapolis on Friday to participate in the the Midwest Bike Polo Championship 8. We don't know how the tournament went so far since Matt is traveling back today and I'll see if I can get him to do a little write up about it. From all that I can gather from the Twitter feeds, this was another great event with a solid turn out with lots of bike polo had by all.

Remember, there is still a week left of Bike Month.

Get out. Ride. Advocate.

5.14.2010

Hey Green Eyes!

Celeste. There is just some thing about it.

Some say it's the color of the Milan sky, some a mixture of military paints, and others the color of the former queen of Italy's eyes. [Thank you Wikipedia!] This is a timeless color that's been in our line for a number of years on our Deep V, Fusion, B43, Blunt, Aero, VXC, Aeroheat and Aerohead rims.

Regardless, all I know is our celeste comes from Australia.

Some of you have probably seen our new ad in Urban Velo. Sporting how versatile the Bottle Trap is and since we know how you love matching colors, yesterday we received the first batch of the Bottle Traps in celeste. Numbers are limited now but more are on the way!
_

This Saturday is also a big day here in Grand Rapids, as it is the ribbon cutting/Mayor's Ride/'official' opening of the GR Bike Park. Join Ryan, J-Bolt and a slew of others at 9am for a trail day, then at 11am let the riding ensue!

Then Sunday, I'll be heading back to my homeland [Cedar Falls, IA] for an extended weekend and will be putting on a little urban ride with a few people; and yes, I'll be rocking the 16" folding fixie! It looks to be a good weekend here in the Midwest, so get out and ride!
_

Finally a few videos for the weekend. The first two are from the Velo City 2010 Tour, the first is a recap of sorts followed by a teaser from the past LA event





The final video is from a film project in it's early stages of development. 'Career Courier' is a documentary on, you guessed it, career bicycle messengers. We're excited to be a part of this project and look forward to seeing Kenton put together his vision for the film. Share the love, click on the widget below to see the video and help support the cause.

5.13.2010

Month of the Bike

After posting on a 16" folding fixie, I must say anything else is pretty much going to pale in comparison. Regardless, as most of you are aware, May is National Bike Month. A lot can be said about how to leverage this month to gain more attention for cyclists and raise awareness for a slew of different cycling related needs/causes.

The League of American Bicyclists head up this movement with this coming week for Bike Month being Bike to Work Week [May 17-21] and Friday, May 21, slated Bike to Work Day. This week could arguably be the most important week for Bike Month, by choosing to ride into work instead of driving can help bring cycling to the forefront of thought and conversation. From co-workers to passing motorists, questions will be asked or at least thought by others wondering if cycling is a viable alternative to driving. The more cyclists out commuting serve as reminders for the need for traffic rights and safety for all who are using the roadways.

The League of American Bicyclists is striving to pursue the National Strategy for Advancing Bicycle Safety that was put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has with 5 very achievable goals within it:

Goal #1 Motorists Will Share the Road

Goal #2 Bicyclists Will Ride Safely

Goal #3 Bicyclists Will Wear Helmets

Goal #4 The Legal System Will Support Safe Bicycling

Goal #5 Roads and Paths Will Safely Accommodate Bicycling


These first 3 goals are the simplest to achieve yet seem often forgotten. As cyclists we have and desire equal rights to the road; with these rights we must also obey the rules of the road otherwise we forfeit those rights.

Be safe. Be smart. Now get out and ride!

5.12.2010

Hey Hon, can you get me a fixie?

There are some things that are necessary and many things that are not.

A bicycle? Yes.

A folding bicycle? Arguable.

A fixie? No

A folding fixe? Absolutely.

That's right. I'm not the first to pull off such a feat nor will I be the last. For the last year, I have joked with friends that I wanted to build up a folding fixie to have when I traveled and to simply to keep in my car to always have a bike with me. Sure, I could have kept it kosher and rocked it single, 3, or 7 speed like many that come stock but there was simply some allure to making it fixed.

This was the second folding bike that I got my hands on but the first that I made into a fixie. The first was a 20" wheel Dahon Speed D7, that I ended up trading my former co-worker, Brent, for my Karate Monkey frame. I got this 16" wheel folding bike, a Hon, precursor to Dahon from another former co-worker at my old shop for a pair of Oakleys. Check out an old post on the No Drive website to see what this started out like.

I did do a few modifications to the bike to be able to make it work. Since I am all legs and arms at a little over 6 foot. In order to get proper leg extension and reach to the handlebars, the first thing was to cut off the attached flat bar that was on the steering column. Without putting much thought as to what I would do after removing it, I soon discovered that the it was extremely close to an 1 1/8" steer tube. Grabbing a stem, it confirmed it. I then, added a pair of mustache bars that had been floating around on a couple of bikes but had never found a good home.

The bike then sat for a good month or so. I built up the wheels once I found the Maxxis Hookworms, then I knew I wanted to change the color of the bike. Originally, I was going to black out the bike but ended up changing my mind after taking it completely apart. Raw seemed to be the better way to go. The bike sat in pieces for 2 months as I explored how I was going to extend the seatpost.

Enter, a good friend of mine, Bob Hammond [who happened to do all the photos in our current catalog], who is a bit of a machinist and took up the challenge of making a post that would not only be long enough for my leg but also strong. What he ended up using was steel, machining it down to size for a seat clamp and the notched properly to keep the seatpost in line; even going a step further to drill completely through the middle to lighten it up a bit.

The last week I've spent clear coating the bike after having it sandblasted, cleaning/polishing all the parts and attempting to remember how it all went together. In the end, the bike came together great and I even discovered that one of the old Velocages worked remarkably well on the old reflector mount on the steer tube. I topped the bike off with a rear rack that was made specifically for the Hon, the Pedro's Trixie [carefully placed I might add; see picture below, right side] and some hipster cysts for good measure. There a few things I'll be adding but for the most part, it's all done.

Here's a few of the specs on the bike:

Frame: 19?? Hon 16" Folding Bike
Wheels: Velocity [349] Aeroheat 32H, Radial Front, 2x Rear on Velocity Solid Axle/Cutout Flange Track Hubs
Tires: Maxxis Hookworm 16 x 1.95
Gearing: 46 x 13 [roughly 59.7 gear inches]


5.11.2010

You Jerk!

Yesterday over on the Bike Jerks blog, Jeff threw out a little love our way on one of the prototype A23 Wheelsets that we sent his way to rage on. We definitely feel his words are golden, especially when he speaks on the equipment he rides. His thoughts are being echoed by everyone who has gotten ride time on these gems.

Enjoy Jeff's thoughts:

To be upfront about this, the wheels were freebies given to me to test by Dave over at Handspun, and as you may know I have a tight relationship with the dudes over at Velocity. Let's not beat around the bush, I'm a huge Velocity advocate. They support the hell out of the alleycat racing scene, make great products, and have amazing customer service. To say I'm a fan of the company is an understatement. They are a shining example of awesomeness in the sometimes dark world of the bike industry. As a fan of the company, I'm always eager to beat the hell out their new stuff, so here's how my experience has been with this A23 wheelset.

These are by far the lightest wheels I own, or have ever owned. They are low spoke count, bladed with alloy nips, the rear hub has an alloy cassette body and aggressive cutouts, and the rim is pretty light.

I have been riding this set since the end of February on my cross bike. I have ridden trails, pulled the trailer, commuted, ran them into potholes and generally kicked the crap out of them for three months. I have trued the front exactly zero times and have only trued the rear once. The rear had some pretty good side to side action, but you have to remember that I would never ever build myself a set of wheels two cross/radial rear, unless they were strictly for racing. So given that, I feel like the rear has stood up to the beatings pretty well given that these wheels were definitely not intended for what I'm doing with them. I was riding a fat tire (38c) which I'm sure helped protect the rim, but still, for a lightweight road racing wheelset they've taken the abuse very well.

They're rock solid, super fast, and I think pretty darn sexy. So sexy in fact that I plan on buying (with my own money) another pair (likely 24 hole front two cross, 28 rear three cross drive, two non drive) for my forthcoming Peacock Groove. Or I may just swap these over to that bike.

These things are amazing, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a lightweight road rim, that can be used as an all-arounder as well as for racing. As for the hubs I've had no issues with them either.

_

And I know you're wondering... yes, the wheelsets will be available soon! Be sure to check out all of the other posts on the Bike Jerks site. Stellar photos and a solid read.

5.10.2010

Monday Videos

Another day. Another Monday. After a weekend, the mind is always a little sluggish; so why not keep it simple today with a few videos to hopefully stimulate the mind on this Monday morning.

First, if there was any question on bike polo, this video sure does clear it up. Well... it doesn't but it was posted over a on the Hardcourt Bike Polo website, which is a great site to get an idea of the ins and outs of this segment of the cycling world.




The next video was posted over at Urban Velo last week: the Red Bull Minidrome. Yes, you read this correctly, minidrome. And yes, it is that sweet.

Red Bull Minidrome from Radar Films on Vimeo.


I'll leave you with a video I stumbled onto this weekend on the GR Bike Park. With the Mayor's ride coming up this weekend, it's exciting to see how this park has developed and is developing [plus, you can see Ryan and J-Bolt doing a few runs on the pump track]:

5.07.2010

Just when you think the world has gone to hell...

With the world we live in, it's not hard to turn on the TV and see all the horrible things that occur on a daily basis. It's easy to think that things are or have gone to hell and a handbasket. Last night, Jacobi and his wife were watching the local news here in Grand Rapids when a story of a local man who got his bike stolen from out of his front lawn.

Unfortunately, most of us have experienced having a bicycle stolen or at least losing some thing very important to us. The kicker to this story is that this man has cerebral palsy and relies on his bike to get to and from work everyday. The area of town that the bike was stolen in a highly populated. with a strong cycling community; as Jacobi told us of this story, we all knew exactly the bike that was stolen and from where, most of us even knew who he was. You can read the story from Wood TV8 here or watch the video below that shows there is still a little hope left in the world.



Within 5 minutes of the story airing people rose up, wanting to correct the wrong that happened to Nicholas Knack. Amazing. We've worked with TerraTrike/WizWheelz for around 15 years and seeing how quickly Jack and the rest of the crew worked to help out is simply an encouragement that the people who have the nerve to steal will not get the last word in situations like this.

A huge hats off to TerraTrike and the GR community!

_

We also just received a few photos from the guys who we work with to get the Halo reflective coating done on our rims. The wheels shown is first Velocity Reflective wheelset we built, a B43 trackset, blacked out with the exception of the 1 white spoke through the Velocity Reflective sticker.





Photos by Hugh Forte

We shot the picture below for a new magazine out of Austin, TX: The Dropout. In their next issue there should be a little segment on the Velocity Reflective rims and wheels that we're looking forward to being a part of.



Have a great weekend everyone, get out and ride and work on your skids...

funny animated gif

5.06.2010

Dirt and Polo

Busy day here at Velocity but never too busy not to show off one of our rigs... Today, we have another one of Paul's, with a short write up:

After many years of mountain bike racing and many different mountain bikes, my IRO has put the fun back in mountain biking.

IRO 29er stats:

- IRO single speed frame and fork
- Velocity Blunt wheelset
- Avid mechanical disc brakes
- FSA crank
- Ritchey handle bar
- Ritchey seatpost
- Race Face stem
- Time ATAC pedals

From racing to pulling my kids around in the trailer, my IRO makes every ride a great ride!

-

Staying with the mountain theme. We recently posted over on our Facebook page a video from an early run by Ryan on the new pump track at the GR Bike Park. Lots of hard work by a group of devoted volunteers has both the pump track and the first single track loop taking shape in time for the Mayor's ride and park clean up date on May 15th.

video

Finally, for all of our friends across the pond. No not Wisconsin, we mean the big pond... over in Amsterdam. We've hinted at our love for bike polo here and there's a little throw down right at the finish of the Giro d'Italia this Saturday. Check out their website for more details. You'll have a chance to win some of our Deep V rims and a few of our Bottle Traps.


5.04.2010

Put that in your Trap

If you haven't made your way over to Urban Velo to check out the newly released May 2010 issue, I highly recommend it. We advertised again with them and this time decided to highlight the new Bottle Trap.

As we've mentioned in the past, we developed the Bottle Trap to replace the Velocage after the machine used to make them continued to break down. It was a sad day to see that decision be made since the Velocage had been with us from the beginning. We were adamant about whatever we decided to replace it with needed to be just as versatile, strong and light as it's predecessor.

The design of the Bottle Trap went beyond our expectations, after getting the prototypes we were blown away with how well they held a bottle in place. And truth be told, it was when we were taking product shots that it was discovered the massive array of containers that fit in it. The Bottle Trap truly allows you to pick your poison for 'hydration'. With a price between $6-$8, depending on your shop, the cost to weight ratio [29 grams], the Bottle Trap is hard to argue against.

In the months since it's release, the Bottle Trap as gotten a number of great reviews/recommendations from across the spectrum of riders:

'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'

_ Guitar Ted, TwentyNineInches.com & TransIowa Founder

'I know I want one!'

_ Prolly is not Probably

'The Bottle Trap seem very minimal in the base area that holds the bottle. No wasted material needed. They seemed pretty lightweight to me right away as well so I set them on the scale to compare them to my carbon cages. The Velocity Bottle Traps came in at 30g each which is identical to the Profile Design Karbon Kages '

_ Carl Buchanan, Velo Syndikat


Jeff at Urban Velo did a little write up on them yesterday and to read all of Prolly's thoughts go here. More importantly, go to your local bicycle shop and ask for the Bottle Trap. If they do not stock them, your local shop can order them through most distributors or directly from us.

5.03.2010

JRA

This past weekend there was a lot riding to be had: Ryan, Rachel, and Matt along with a crew of others headed up north for a two day ride that ended up being a good 150 mile trip, Jacobi threw down at the Fort Custer Stampede, and J-Bolt continued the shaping of the pump track at the GR Bike Park.

We also sent out some rims to the 5th annual VeloCity 2010 Tour. This is a 4 city tour that spans the whole U.S.. The first stop on the tour occurring in L.A. for the 3 day event. A number of races, parties and polo, all made for a great time for all who showed, I'm sure. The next 3 dates and cities go as follow:

May 22nd :: Chicago

July 3rd :: NYC

TBA :: San Francisco



For more details head over to the Cyclehawk website, but most importantly get out to these events! Thanks for the support, Squid!


Whether you're a messenger or mountain biker and everything in between, be sure to be checking all the events that we are a part of on the sidebar on the left. We do our best to keep that up to date. Each is an opportunity not only to get out on your bike, but also to score some Velocity gear.