6.30.2010

Rides.

On Friday, we mentioned the epic 200+ mile weekend ride some of the Velocity crew was going on. From all the stories from the trip, it ended up being a great ride for all despite the rain, the mud, and the Amish. Yes, Amish. One of the riders and friends of ours, Bob, posted some of his photos over on Facebook. Check it out.

We'll be the first to boast about it, Grand Rapids has some of the best bike shops around and some of the most knowledgeable staff with a passion for all things cycling. One of those is the manager of the Village Bike Cascade, Brian Krause, who recently took gold in the mountain tandem division at this past weekend at the State Games of Michigan held here at Cannonsburg Ski Area just outside of Grand Rapids. Brian and his stoker, Nick Fortney, road to victory on a custom set of wheels we built for Brian: 700c 40 hole Cliffhangers laced up with half white and half red spokes to our tandem disc hubs. Hats off to you, maybe a precursor to Iceman this fall?

Brian and Nick weren't the only ones rocking Velocity wheels to the podium at the games; the Founders Racing Team also had a strong presence at Cannonsburg. With Nicola Fester and Sue Swinger taking Gold and Silver in the Female Expert/Elite SS, Scott Thenikl taking Gold in the sport 30-39, Josh Hogeterp taking Bronze in Expert 30-39, Wade Bagnall taking Bronze in the Expert 40-49 and Rick Plite and Dennis Murphy taking Silver and Bronze in the Expert 50+. For a full write up on the games from the Founders crew, check it out here.

This year we have also had the privilege to sponsor the Steven K Sports Race Team from out in California. The Steven K team has been ranked the #1 team in California the last 5 years, competing in a full spectrum of mountain cycling: cross-country, Super D, marathon, downhill and also cyclecross. This year, the team looks to have kicked off just as strong, claiming victory and strong finishes on some of our VXC and Blunt pro level wheelsets check out their team site along with their Facebook page.

6.29.2010

2 for 1

There are moments, moments where the stars align and greatness shines through. Often through adversity and hard work, sometimes through a chain of 'random' events. This neither of those: the JBolt '...because we ride' photo shoot.

A simple equation: 1977 Ford E-250 van + a Milwaukee track frame X (eerily similar paint scheme + Thin Lizzy playing the background) = greatness.

Sure, first and foremost we love bikes. We ride bikes. But a van with this vintage, with this much character and a recliner in the back we couldn't help but highlight both. Today I give you, JBolt's write up on them both:

I got this bike a little over a year ago on a trade deal between Velocity and the fine folks at Milwaukee/Ben’s. I wanted a light, American made, fast, cool looking bike to zip around town on. Also, they made it in the Blatz brown and gold colorway which was the biggest selling point as Blatz is the finest American beer of all time (and hard to find in Grand Rapids). The picture of the bike is in front of my 1977 Ford E-250. They are pretty much the same paint job and both are total badass modes of transport.

Milwaukee Orange One frame/fork 62cm
Sugino Crank/Ring/B.B.
Brooks saddle
Easton Post
No name stem, bars, and pedals from the Freewheeler junkyard.
Continental Tires

The wheels on this are my favorite part. They are a classic example of “having cool stuff at your disposal and a bit of time after hours”. The front is a one of a kind black and mirror flake Deep-V modified crow’s foot laced to the Velocity Hollow Axle track hub. The rear is a Bronze Deep-V snowflake laced to a one off proto-type track hub made right here in Michigan by our good buds over at Aerospoke. That hub is by far my favorite part of the bike.

Adam also asked that I give a small write up of the van as-well. It’s a ’77 E-250 ¾ ton. I got this little lady for $900 off of Craigslist not too long ago. It came with the green faux leather recliner and foot stool, custom carpet from floor to ceiling (including the inside door panels), built in cabinets, and up to date stereo system housed inside the coffee table. It also came with a tee shirt with a picture of the van on it…. I’ve never been one to get all chubbed out by cars, but I love a good van. I love this van.





6.28.2010

Hey-lo, Halo

If you might remember, a few months back we were excited to about the release of our newest reflective rims with Halo coatings. This extremely durable graphite black powder-coated rim that shines bright white with direct light has been a solid seller for us since its release.

We've been in contact with Arleigh over at CommutebyBike.com and Bikeshopgirl.com about doing a review on the them and this past week we were finally able to get a set built up for her with some Shimano Alfine hubs. We've outfitted her with some Halo Dyad's for review and can't wait for her to get some ride time on them. Be sure to be checking out her sites and we'll be reposting her thoughts here.

Back in January when we were prepping for the Velocity Reflective release we did an ad with Urban Velo. The final product is shown above but I figured I could show you a few of the photos that didn't make the cut but are nevertheless show off the Halo powdercoating process. We didn't use any sort of back light, simply just the flash of the camera, providing what the rims look naturally when light hits them. You can see more photos of the Velocity Reflective rims in action on our Facebook page.




6.25.2010

Fridays are...

Fridays are... well, Fridays. Unless, that is, you went and got your face was melted off by ZZ Top like half the Velocity crew last night or you rocked a 10 mile ride on a high wheeler like Jacobi and I or you prepped for the 200+ mile weekend ride that Rach, Ryan, Jacobi, Matt and a few others are going on. Needless to say, we are firing at all cylinders today.

A riddle for you today... what is a bigger 'V' and mostly white with offsets of black?

A sweet Velociraptor wearing backpack???
No.

A variable speed white ceiling fan?

No.

A mildly awkward 'French connection Sydney stripe' V-neck cardigan?

No.

A special edition B43 Track set with it's white triple walled, 43mm deep 32H B43 rim; professionally handbuilt on black solid flange, hollow axle Velocity Fixed/Freewheel Track hubs with white 14 gauge spoke and black brass nipples; offered at a killer price through your local bicycle shop, most assuredly providing all the stiffness, rigidity, strength and bling for your fixie?


[With no attempt at another run on sentence...] YES!


Get out and ride this weekend! Enjoy it and be safe.

6.24.2010

Name that Rim

Can you name the Velocity rim/wheel seen in these videos?

A.



B.

NYC BFF'10 Antics 2 from WRAHW on Vimeo.



C.

MaiHiro x urban1cycle x Velocity USA from greg deese on Vimeo.


D.




The wheels seen are shown below to give you a hint. If you haven't figured it out, the answer will be given on our Twitter at 3pm EST.

6.23.2010

Our Fearless Leader

Over on Dirt Rag's Website, they have a little series going highlighting the leaders in the industry. Last week, our chief, John Black was interviewed for the series. Enjoy:

Bicycle Industry Insider Profile: John Black

Posted: June 23rd, 2010 by Jeff Lockwood

Aside from bicycles, of course, the main reason I choose to continue my futile search for fortune in the bicycle industry is because of the people I know and meet. There’s no shortage of extremely smart and passionate people who are insanely interesting, individualistic personalities. Sure it’s cool to be around famous athletes from time to time, but I much more deeply value the less publicly visible people that make the bicycle world go ’round. As such, I’ve decided to revive a special online series where we do a very brief standardized interview with some of these individuals: The Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series. I want to share the stories of these people with the rest of the world through the Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times web sites. This week we have…

Name: John Black

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Current location: Same, lived here my entire life.

What do you do for/with/to bicycles? My brother Tom and I are partners, Velocity is our company. Together, along with the best people in the industry (maybe the whole planet!), we try to provide high quality, unique rims and wheels to all businesses in the cycling community.

What’s the best thing about your job? There are many best things about my job, I absolutely love it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Knowing what it takes to produce a rim from start to finish, I get a real sense of satisfaction when I see some one rolling down the street on our rims.

I like taking an idea and bringing it to fruition. I especially like it when it works! We don’t always hit a home run , but when we do, it is a great feeling.

What’s the toughest part of your job? Paperwork, I hate it! Jumping through all the hoops that our heavy handed federal, state, and local governments require is a major pain in the a**.

What was the path that led you to work with bicycles? It was the spring of 1978, I had just turned 14. I was getting real tired of cleaning dog kennels, which was my first real job other than delivering papers, mowing lawns and shoveling driveways. Tom was managing Alger Cyclery, a local bike shop, and I begged him for a job. I wore him down, and he finally made me an offer. You can see that I have been riding his coat tails for a long, long time. I felt very fortunate to be making a whopping $3.65 per hour…at the time I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of that money. There were several occasions that I was nearly fired. Bike wrenching did not come naturally to me, and it took me weeks just to figure out which end of the screwdriver to hold. Eventually, I figured things out, Tom moved on, and I became manager. In the mid-80’s Tom moved to Australia, and started tinkering in his shed. The first Velocity product was a water bottle cage. He contacted me at the bike shop and asked if I would be willing to bring in some of the cages to see how they would go. Over time, he successfully made his first rim, and I brought those in as well. In 1991 or so, Tom and I started talking about the possibility of me quitting my job at the bike shop and starting Velocity USA. We incorporated in August of 1992, abd by the summer of 93 it was my full time gig. I haven’t looked back since.

What was your first bicycle? My first bike was a purple Schwinn Bantam that was handed down to me from my sister. Being the youngest of five kids, I got all the used worn-out crap that my brothers and sisters no longer wanted. I got my first new bike on my 8th birthday in 1972. It was a red Schwinn Speedster—I loved that bike. The first bike I bought was a 1976 Schwinn Superior. I bought it within days of starting my job at Alger. My first several paychecks went right back to my boss in order to pay for the bike. I am still riding that bike today, and plan on being buried with it.

What bike do you currently ride the most? A white Milwaukee fixed gear that my staff bought for me last year. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. It is a great bike and a thrill to ride.

Where is your favorite place to ride? Anywhere and everywhere. Running out of pavement doesn’t stop me. If it looks interesting, that’s the direction I go.

What music goes through your head while you ride (literally or figuratively)? Whatever my iPod is pumping out at the moment, which is usually oldies, classic rock, and anything that came out of Motown. In my opinion, the best music was written in the 50s and 60s. I mean, how can you not like Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee (The Killer) Lewis?! There is some good stuff from the 70s too.

What are your interests aside from bicycles? My wife (high school sweetheart) of nearly 24 years is of great interest to me. I enjoy traveling with her, which doesn’t happen nearly enough. But now that our youngest boy will be a senior in high school this fall, the time is coming when we can blow Dodge a little more often.

If you weren’t working around bicycles, what do you think you’d be doing? After being in the bike industry for 32 years, I just can’t imagine doing anything else. I am exactly where I want to be.

Please share one of your favorite stories you’ve seen or been a part of while involved with the bicycle industry: Hmmm, that’s tough, it seems like each new day brings a new favorite story. I suppose one of my favorite stories was in the early days of Velocity…when I was knocking on doors and making phone calls to introduce myself and our company. Many people, including names that more than a few people would recognize, told me that a new rim company was the last thing this industry needed. They went on to say that basically: my efforts would prove to be futile, there just wasn’t any need, or room for another rim company. Well, we are still here, and I am glad I didn’t listen to them.

Who would you choose for the next subject for the Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series? This is my most difficult question to answer, there are so many fantastic people in our little industry. Seeing as how I have to make a choice, I pick David Cory of Quality Bicycle Products.

Why? David is the brand manager for Handspun wheels at QBP, he loves bicycles, and he is a wealth of knowledge. If I ever have a bicycle related question, he usually has the answer. He is generous with his time and the information he gives us. Besides that, he is just plain nice.

6.22.2010

Character.

Here at Velocity, we have the privilege of being a part of a number of various cycling teams and individual riders seasons and careers. By all means we enjoy seeing our riders succeed but often it's in struggle and hardships that we see the true character of a person shine through.

We have been able to partner with Clark Rachfal for a little while now. Clark, aka Cream Puff, is 26 years old and a tandem cyclist on the U.S. Paracycling Team. Legally blind since birth, tandem cycling has been his latest and greatest competitive outlet. Last fall, Clark and pilot Dave Swanson became World Champions in the 4000-meter pursuit at the UCI World Track Championships in England and were 5th in the UCI Paralympic Cycling Worlds in Italy. There is no doubt that Clark and Dave are accomplished cyclists; as this year began, the bar had been set and they have begun their quest to defend and then take another World Championship.

As mentioned before, ones true character is shown through the struggles of life. Clark and David recently competed over in Spain and through a few mishaps and hiccups their result was not what they had desired. Nevertheless, after reading Clark's post about the event, his character shines strong and makes us proud to support him.

World Cup Shuffle: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

June 18, 2010 by Clark

2010 UCI Paracycling Road World Cup
Segovia, Spain
June 9-14

Pre Race Report:

Usually, I start these posts by saying, “we arrived in (insert destination) without incident on (insert date)…” However, this time around it’s not the case. About half way from Annapolis to Dulles, I realized I forgot to put the wheel safe with our road race wheels into the truck. The wheel safe was of course sitting right where I left it, by the front door. This was brilliant planning on my part – the type of foresight that could only be shattered by the fact that instead of leaving via the front door we exited through the garage. But wait, it gets better! On a Frontier flight from Tucson to Denver, Dave had to gate-check the time trial wheels he was carrying on. When he got them back in Denver, the front wheel was damaged beyond repair. So, instead of going into this World Cup with a set of training, road race and time trial wheels, we now have training/road race wheels and a rear disk. Other than the front time trial wheel being destroyed, this isn’t as terrible as it may seem. The training wheels we’ll now use in the road race are a stout pair of wheels from Velocity. We’ve used these wheels in various road races before, and we’re confident that they’ll hold up. That, and at least the road race wheels are safe and undamaged…at my house…in Annapolis…where I left them…perfect.

We spent the third day of our trip to Segovia, Spain, resting up for our 88km (four laps of a 22km course) road race later that evening. The super neat-o road race course is flat with one short incline just past the start/finish line. About half way through the loop, the course runs through a little town with legitimate cobblestone roads. Especially if it’s raining which it seems to do each day in Spain, the cobbles and speed bumps should make things…interesting. We’re unsure of our field size and all the countries present. At minimum, it looks like we’ll be racing against most of the same bikes from our last trip in addition to the Canadians. We expect the wind to play a major part in how this race turns out. And, I’m eager to know where on the course the attacks will come since there’s no decisive hill. Commence pre-race jitters and anxiety!

Hands down, the highlight of the trip thus far was Friday’s recovery ride into the historical center of Segovia. Running through the heart of the city is a Roman aqueduct standing nearly 100ft tall…it’s amazing how well something can be constructed when labor and money are not an object.

Post Race Report:

Not too long ago, I was asked how Dave and I would handle defeat with the killer tear we’ve been on over the past eight months. Well, by finishing 17th and off the pace in yesterday’s road race and 12th in today’s time trial we’ll now have the opportunity to find out.

The heavens parted and the rain stopped moments before the start of our 88km road race. Typical of the races we’ve done so far this year, everyone was full of piss and vinegar for the first lap. Dave and I worked harder than we probably should have to attack, chase and bridge up to breaks. In the field of 25 or so bikes, Canada, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands were represented with three bikes each. So, when an attack would go with three or more of those countries represented, we’d go with it since that meant there team mates in the main field would stop working. Unfortunately, none of these breaks stuck. The tempo settled down a bit after lap one, but we still found ourselves attacking and chasing at the front of the group a couple times each lap. Towards the end of lap three, we attacked hard when the main field’s pace slowed. The field came with us and counter attacked just as hard if not harder. We stayed with the group but definitely burned a few matches to do it. With about 18km to go on lap four, a strong counter attack separated us from the chase group (there were a couple riders up the road at this point). We fought hard, chasing the peloton for several kilometers and caught back on just before the cobbles. After the cobbles, we were separated from the field by renewed attacks. Again, we dangled tantalizingly close to the field and held the gap steady for another 3-5km. With 10km to the finish, the field began to steadily pull away. As we made the final turn with 5km to go, our tanks were empty and we struggled but managed to get the bike across the line.

We were definitely frustrated by Saturday’s results. Each of the five tandem road races we’ve done this year (six total if you count the World Championship race from last Sept.) has played out differently. This was by far a stronger field than we faced racing in May. And, although we believe we’re just as strong and capable as any bike out there, we need to figure out this whole thing…and fast, I’m impatient.

Sunday’s time trial was all about avenging our lack-luster performance from the road race. We rode as hard as we could considering the sprinting and chasing we did the day before. We were always on top of the gear and spinning a good cadence. My three goals going into the time trial were: win; catch the Dutch tandem starting in front of us (one of the Dutch bikes said some things to us that were none too nice during the road race); and, be the fastest U.S. male bike on standard (our National team standards are how we determine who makes the team at Nationals when competing against each other across Paracycling classifications). We accomplished exactly zero of these goals.

“In “Confessions of a Winning Poker Player,” Jack King said, “Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.”” (Mike McDermott, Rounders, 1998). At present, this is sounding truer than ever. As of right now, our performances from the races in May and at Worlds last year mean jack squat. Did we waste energy early in the road race? Should we have shut it down after getting gapped on the final lap? Were we undergeared in the time trial? Was our race prep inadequate? I don’t know. It would be too much of a cliche to quote Tim Tebow here, but needless to say I’m doing a fair bit of soul searching trying to figure out where we went wrong this weekend and how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We have two weeks until Road Nationals in Bend, OR, to answer these questions. I’ll spend next week training with Dave down in Tucson before we head up there. And, as depressed as I may feel right now, Harvey Dent, from 2008’s the Dark Knight, put it best: “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.”

6.21.2010

Why Tubeless?

On Friday, tried as I might to get Jacobi to do a write up on tubeless, I was unable. With many quite humorous one-liners back to me: some pertaining to it others just because it's Jacobi, all of which ended up being blog inappropriate. Sorry folks.

With that said, his write up on our Velotape will come soon but it dawned on me in the meantime: why attempt to write some thing that experts and trusted testers have already said. Who else to turn to than the 29er guru himself, Guitar Ted. I was able to find over at TwentyNineInches.com a series of posts that he made last year concerning tubeless and 'What you need to know'. Enjoy.

Going Tubeless: What You Need To Know- Why Tubeless?
July 6th, 2009 by Guitar Ted

The tubeless tire discussion really can not begin until we cover the “why” of the tubeless tire choice for cycling. While it may seem obvious to some, this may enlighten a few first timers and there may be a few surprises along the way.

First of all, the cyclists worst enemy is a flat tire. Nothing ruins a rides flow like a flat tire. Tubeless tires can puncture, rip, and leak, of course- so does a tubeless tire help in regards to the flat tire problem? Is it worth setting up your tires tubeless for this reason?

The short answer? Yes! Tubeless tires, while vulnerable to flatting, are far less likely to flat, and if you use sealant in them, they are even less likely to lose all the air in your tires. Here is why: A tube in a conventional tire is not part of the tire casing, obviously. Because of this, the tire casing can pinch the tube between it and your rim edge, or “bead”. This can happen when you strike an object hard enough that the force applied overcomes the pressure in the tube to withstand that force, allowing the tire carcass to pinch the tube against the rim. This is commonly referred to as a “snake bite” due to the usual pattern of two punctures on each rim bead directly across from each other which reminded someone of a snake’s bite, thus the name.

A tubeless tire has no tube, so nothing to pinch against the rim means no pinch flats……usually! One still can pinch the sidewall against the rim beads, but this is very unusual.

But what about punctures? Well, this is where sealant comes in. Sealant- some substance that seals punctures and seals up non-UST tire carcasses so they can be air tight, is a product that comes in many forms. Usually some form of latex sealant is most popular, however glycol based sealants are also somewhat popular for cycling. At any rate, the sealant seals up punctures, small tears, and holes….sometimes…and allows you to finish out the ride.

So, sealant combined with a tubeless tire greatly reduces the chances for flat tires. This is perhaps the single most popular reason for average mountain bikers to run tubeless tires, but there are other benefits.

Tubeless tires, since they do not pinch flat very easily, can be run at slightly lower pressures, enhancing traction. Also, since there is no tube to cause rolling resistance, this makes lower pressures even more attractive. A tubeless tire run at a slightly lower pressure than a tubed tire can get better grip, ride smoother, and have similar or less rolling resistance than the tubed tire. Reduce the pressure on the tubed tire to match and generally you will increase the likely hood of a pinch flat and greatly increase the rolling resistance.

Weight was an early reasoning for going tubeless, but this is not necessarily the number one priority of off road cyclists. Tubed tires, if the tire is a very lightweight folding type, can weigh less by far than a similar model that is tubeless. The extra butyl rubber necessary to make the casing air tight is the culprit. Now days though, there are a vast number of cyclists who convert standard tires to tubeless use by way of sealant. This has met with varying degrees of success and should be approached with caution. We’ll cover a few of the techniques used to do this in a later post. At any rate, tubed tire to tubeless tire weights are very similar these days, especially with conversions to tubeless type set ups.

To recap- Tubeless tires are a great way to avoid flat tires, get better performance characteristics, and may save some weight over a standard tube and tire set up.

_

For more on Guitar Ted's series on 'Going Tubeless' here are a few links:

Going Tubeless: How to

Going Tubeless: Day to Day

Going Tubeless: Questions and Answers

Going Tubeless: The Future

6.18.2010

Hard to beat the Original

A few months back we did a post on some of our stellar replacement rims: the Twin Hollow, Glider and Triple V. These are excellent choices for single-wall replacements to get you going that have the same precision and quality you expect from us.

But it's no secret or surprise that some of us are looking for a stronger and beefier option for a replacement. It's hard to beat the original and ours is the Aero rim. These rounded profile, double-wall rim handbuilt with our replacement hubs, 14g spokes make for a replacement wheelset that serves as another great option for riders who are looking for a s to get their commuter, cruiser, or spare bike going.

These are available in silver in a number of different replacement options:

- 27" in 32, 36 and 40 hole drillings
- 700c in just 32 and 36 hole drillings

Both can be built up on our replacement quick release hubs that are available in:

- Road [130mm spacing] in a 8/9 Cassette [Shimano] or Freewheel options
- Mountain [135mm spacing] in a 8/9 Cassette or freewheel options

Let's not forget that matching front wheels are also available. These wheels will sell for around $100 each at your local bike shop. If you're in the LA area, Orange 20 Bikes just ordered a few and will have them next week, stop in and check them out.

6.16.2010

GR Polo Night.

Last night was the regular bike polo night here in Grand Rapids. With impending thunder storms and need for refreshment along with some food a few of us headed over to one of our favorite spots in GR, Founders Brewery, for a little pre-game.

Matt really isn't that gruff, this is more of a look of bliss. A Founders sandwich and a brew, it's hard to beat.

After hanging out for a bit there we headed to the courts. Fortunately, where our courts are located are under Grand Rapids' S-Curve near the downtown GVSU campus, so as clouds began to form the court was going to stay dry although that still means people have to venture out in it.

Sorry, had to take a cliche mallet shot.

During a break in the action while we waited for more to join in.

Sorry no action shots, we were all too busy playing. We ended up just having 2 on 2 games for around 2.5 hours, in which we had the privilege of having some of GR's finest come down and watch for a bit. One being the our local CSI officer, apparently no 'back and to the left' crime scenes to investigate.


Flats seem to be the theme of the day. Bob was the first to have one after skidding through his back tire and then what ended up ending the polo session, Casey getting a mysterious flat just before the lights gave out for a moment. All in all, it was a great night for polo.

_

Since we've got polo on the mind today. There are 3 events that we would love to let everyone in on:

- This weekend, June 19th, in Bloomington, Indiana; the Indiana Invitational presented by Bloomington Bike Polo.

- July 10th-11th in Burlington, VT; the Last Stand Waterfront Bike Polo Tournament being put on by the Burlington Hardcourt Bike Polo crew.

At both of these events you will have the chance win some of our polo approved Chukker wheelsets!

Finally, mark your calendars, make your hotel reservations to make your pilgrimage to one of the bicycling Meca's in Madison, Wisconsin for the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Champoinships on July 16th-18th. If you thought the Midwest 8 tournament was big, the North American should probably blow your mind!

Bike Polo: A Cycling Sport from Zach Cost on Vimeo.

6.15.2010

Another Tuesday... another day of videos.

There is a project coming out here shortly called 'To Live & Ride in L.A.' being put out by the guys over at Trafik. It's another film that we've had privileged to be apart of and look forward to seeing the completed product. It's being billed as '... a new documentary feature that explores a side of L.A. few outsiders have seen. From races through rush-hour traffic to midnight loft parties, To Live & Ride in L.A. is a fast paced-trip through the busy streets and back-alleys of one of the world's largest cities.'; in short, a film on the fixed gear cycling community of L.A.


To Live & Ride In L.A. [Teaser B] from TRAFIK on Vimeo.


This morning as I made my normal rounds of blogs and websites, I stumbled onto a video from Milano Fixed. With World Cup fever mounting around the world and possibly being the only member of the Velocity crew interested, I was immediately intrigued by the title of the video bring together two of my loves futball [or soccer] and bicycles. '... Trackbike Football'.

NIKE TRACKBIKE FOOTBALL (NTF2010) from YUHZIMI on Vimeo.

Then landing on this video...



Which then led to quick conversation about the videos with JBolt who quickly reminded me that I was far behind the times of Rad Ball or Cycle ball. Although this branch of cycling intrigues me, I think I'll stick with Bike polo. A game that I am at best, mediocre.

Bicycle Polo film from JeanGa Becker on Vimeo.

6.14.2010

Rides and a Review

It was a solid weekend of riding for most of us, ending with a great Sunday Bike Polo session with Matt, JBolt, Alex, myself and a few others. Jacobi put us all to shame though, by throwing down and taking 2nd in the 8 hours of Cannonsburg putting in 15 laps in 8 hours 27 minutes [roughly 91.5 miles], where the winner ended up putting in 15 laps in 8 hours in 9 minutes. All in all, this was what summers are all about.

This past May we had a set of the P35 wheels reviewed by Dirt Rag Magazine and today I noticed that it made its way to their website. Another great review on a stellar rim and wheelset. Enjoy.

DirtRag Articles: Velocity P35 Rims
by Karl Rosengarth

My secret decoder ring tells me that the "P" in P35 refers to Kirk Pacenti, who co-designed these rims with the folks at Velocity. The "35" refers to the fatty 35mm width, which increases rim durability and allows mounted tires to spread out for a wider footprint.

The P35s are made from 6061 T6 aluminum alloy using a "sleeve joint" technique: a small aluminum alloy extrusion is fitted into the rim's inner cavity and held in place with a heat-activated epoxy. With their 22mm height, the 26" version of the P35 rims weigh in at a respectable 545g—making them a reasonable choice for weight-conscious all-mountain riders looking for a sure-footed rim that's light enough to pedal all day.

To accommodate my test, Velocity built a wheelset for my Santa Cruz Heckler test sled, which was equipped with a 150mm-travel RockShox Revelation Race Dual Air (20mm Maxle Lite). They laced the Electric Red powdercoated, 32-hole P35s to their Velocity brand 20mm thru-axle front hub and lightweight rear disc hub using DT Competition 2.0/1.8 butted spokes and DT brass nips. The wheels weighed in at a very respectable 1030 front/1120g rear. The P35 rims retail for $99 each. The wheelset, as provided, would retail for $600.

For the first flogging, I mounted a set of Snafu Knob Job 2.35" park tires and headed to Ray's Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland for a day on the jumps and stunts. Thanks to the P35's width, the Knob Job tires appeared to spread out and adopt a wide, solid-looking base. Hitting the planks at Ray's, the set-up felt as solid as it looked. The feedback from the contact patch felt incredibly secure. I played with incrementally lowering the tire pressure, and things never got squirmy. I credit both the P35's wide base and the Knob Job's stiff sidewalls—a match made in heaven for park riding. Try as I might, I neither dented a rim nor pinched a tube all day. I did manage to crash and bend a spoke on a stunt, but after hand-bending it back and a few turns of the spoke wrench, everything was back to normal. It seems like it would take a significant amount of blunt trauma to hurt these rims.

The rest of my testing was conducted outdoors, including a road trip to the rugged mountains of north Georgia, with a set of Kenda Small Block Eight 2.35" tires mounted on the P35s. On the trails, the tactile feedback was best described as sure-footed and stable. I never detected a hint of wheel flex—even when careening down rocky steeps at top speed. I ran the tire pressure low enough to enhance flotation and traction, and the rims supported the tires and kept them from feeling squirmy or squirrelly. No pinch flats so far, touch wood.

The folks at Velocity tell me that the P35s work well tubeless, with Stan's rim tape and sealant, or a similar system; however, I chose to run with tubes. P35 rims are available in 26", 650b and 700c sizes and come in black, silver, white, Electric Red and Antifreeze. Drillings: 28 (black only), 32 and 36.

Made in Australia. Website: www.velocityusa.com

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Remember. Go Tubeless with the P35 with our all new Velotape. Now available!

6.11.2010

Whoa.

'Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?'

'Whoa.'

Ok, I think that was enough Keanu Reeves references for the next decade.

But seriously, pop quiz... hot shot.

You have your 29er. You need new wheels. 35mm of tubeless-ready goodness and too many colors to choose from. Black, Silver, White, Electric Red, Antifreeze Green and now Images? What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

Choices, lots of choices. That's what we love to give you. We offered the Teak in the P35 [26" and 29er] for a little while now and last week we got a new image for just the P35, Lumberjack Plaid.

Inspired partially by JBolt's hipster plaid shirt and the Lumberjack 100, that we are proud to be a part of and just so happens to be going down June 19th. This is the first and limited run of the Lumberjack pattern, that would definitely set off any bike.

Personally, building this rim up with our Pro-build: black Lightweight disc ATB hubs and CX-Ray spokes with gold nipples. Oh man, that would be a hot wheelset. Some are taking the Teak designed rims and building them up for cruiser projects. Either way you go with it, both make for unique wheels!

Have a great weekend everyone.

6.10.2010

Devan and her B43s

The 700cmx scene is predominated by mostly males, many of whom have made the leap over from their bmx roots. With the likes of riders like Tom LaMarche and Eric Puckett, to name a few of the many, who are pushing the limit as to what can be done on a fixie. There is a growing movement of women who have started to dive into this, one of those being Devan Mickell.

Sunday Edit from Devan Mickell on Vimeo.



Devan is out of Nashville and is one of our sponsored riders, her love for cycling is contagious and it's been a privilege working with her. She recently did a little write up on the B43's she's been rocking for a while now and we can't wait for her to get onto the Chukkers also.

Enjoy.


Velocity Sponshorship & B43 Review








I'm really excited to announce that I'm riding for Velocity now and just placed my order for my new Velocity Chukkers today. I've ridden both Velocity Deep V's and B43's, and they're definitely a product and company I feel I can really stand behind. I just want to thank Velocity for being so great and giving me this opportunity! With that said, since I'm getting some new rims, I figured I'd go a head and give a little review of my Velocity B43s. Continue reading to check it out.

After over a year of racing, jumping stairs and ledges, wrecking, commuting, tricking, running into about everything, playing polo, and just all around riding hard and putting these rims to the test, they're still in perfect shape and not the least bit out of tru. Basically, they're tough; the toughest rims I've ridden on yet. But who would argue with that? They're 43mm deep and triple walled. What really makes this rim unique is that it does not sacrifice speed for strength. Too often are those terms mutually exclusive, especially when it comes to rims. Rather, the B43 attains a great balance for getting around fast while still enduring whatever the road throws out you. If you're looking for a good rim that's versatile enough for all types of riding, then the B43 is it. I absolutely love mine and I would highly recommend them.

Jumping a 5 stair with front and rear B43s and 23c tires







6.09.2010

6.08.2010

A little Polo talk.

As the world knows, or at least a few of us, Blogger had some issues yesterday and instead of fighting with it more, I decided to walk away from the Interweb-box so for today, let's talk a little polo. Mentioned two weeks ago, the Midwest Bike Polo Championships went down over in Minneapolis and our GM, Matt, headed over to compete with a few other of the Grand Rapids crew. It didn't take long for pictures to start to surface from this event, you can check some of those out here and here.


The GR team seems to have successfully stayed off of all photo blogs and sites on event; having only one photo of two of the 3 members caught in action, sort of.


The North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships are going on coming up here in July across the lake in Madison, Wisconsin. The Midwest Championships had 44 teams make it out and from the message boards it looks like crews from Seattle and some from the east and south will be venturing up to make this another great event.

Bicycle Friends Falling from Mr.Do on Vimeo.


Sure the video isn't from either MWBPC, NAHBPC or any of the previous years but that never hurt anyone.

Finally, this past month we were contacted by a new magazine down in Austin, The Dropout. Their latest issue was released yesterday and will eventually make it's way to view/read online. There's rumors of a Halo write up there, check it out and their previous issues.

6.04.2010

... machined ...

MSW or Machine Side Wall or cut sides or even simply silver sides. There are many different ways to call the braking surface on a bicycle rim. However you want to call it, machining allows for a consistent braking surface. If you do a search on the ol' intro-web, you'll find a number of differing opinions on whether a machined surface is necessary or not.

One of the many things that sets Velocity apart from other rim/wheel manufacturers is our ability and desire to provide you with a number of different color options. We offer both anodized, powder coated, and image rims to maximize the color choices for your personal style. Outside of our disc specific rims, most of rim are offered in both Machined [MSW] and NON Machined sidewalls. A machined surface is needed if you go with a wheel with powder coated or image rim but not absolutely necessary with the anodized [See Urban Velo].

All this to serve as a lead into a few rims of the many rims that we got in from Australia on Wednesday. We now have a limited number of 32 hole A23 NON MACHINED black anodized rims along with a full run of all the drillings [20, 24, 28, 32, & 36] of machined INSTOCK! As most are aware, the 23mm width partnered with a 700 x 23 tire provides increased control in cornering while not sacrificing rolling resistance; gaining all the benefits of a tubular tire without the hassle of glue, a 'clinch-ular' if you will. Coming in at around 440 grams as compared to the 564 grams in the Deep V, in rims alone it is possible to take around a half pound off of your bike.

So whether you are crit racer or one who rocks a fixie. Its hard to argue against the benefits you gain when switching over to the A23. This is a rim that is truly pushing the envelope in all aspects of cycling, as riders are discovering more and more possible applications for it.

As always, contact your local bicycle shop for pricing and to get yourself a pair!

_

After a short week, it's the weekend again and looks to be a good one. Get out and ride a bit. It's the right thing to do.

6.02.2010

Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: Mid-Term Update! [from Guitar Ted]

It's looking like a P35 kind of week. Yesterday we shared with you the release of our new Velotape for the P35, along with a review done by Brain at Gram Light Bikes. Today, Guitar Ted posted over on TwentyNineInches.com his Mid-Term review on the P35 wheelset, below I've posted most of it here but be sure to check it all out in it's entirety over at his site. If you're looking for another honest review of the P35's check out this months newest Dirt Rag Magazine.


Velocity Wheelset: P-35 Rims: Mid-Term Update!

Well, this has been a long time coming, but here is the Mid-Term update on Velocity’s P-35 rims and wheel set that I have been riding for about six months now. If you want a refresher on the wheel set, you can check out the Out Of The Box post which will give you all the data on the rims and hubs. Let’s take a look at what I have found so far with the P-35 rims and also with these wheels as a whole……..

coldmayrain10 015
The P-35 rims really stretch out the foot print of your tires!

tires2010 009
I’ve been riding these with the Soul Cycles Dillinger Gen III frame during the test.

The P-35 Rims: First, let’s focus on what the rims do and don’t do for you. As stated in the Out Of The Box post, the P-35 in 29″er size is listed at a sub 600 gram weight. I didn’t get to weigh these specific rims, since the wheels were built at Velocity’s U.S.A. facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but suffice it to say, they do not feel heavy, or all that hard to spin up. These are definitely a lighter weight rim than the other wide rims out there. Does it sacrifice lateral stiffness? Well, so much of that is how a wheel is built, the tensions used, and what have you, but to my feel, these are definitely not quite “Gordo” stiff. That isn’t to say they are not acceptable, or even good. Actually, they are quite nice in this area, but the Gordo’s I have, (first production run), are definitely a stiffer rim. All but the heavier riders will think P-35’s are stiff though. I would rate them at above average for sure. Keep in mind- A stiffer rim will most likely weigh more too, unless it is carbon fiber, but that’s another story. You want the ultimate in wide and stiff? I would point you to the MTX-33, but it weighs 750 grams too. See what I mean?

For most folks, the P-35 is going to be just peachy. The combination of the width, weight, and stiffness is a pretty nice one for average trail riding and probably up to light All Mountain pursuits. Could you XC race this rim? Well…..yes, of course you could, but there are lighter weight choices that make more sense for that sort of thing.

dillinger2010 006What else does the P-35 rim do? Well, it really puts more tire down on the trail, just like any wide rim does in this class. I was really surprised when I was able to mount the Ardent 2.4″ tires tubeless and run them at about 15psi on packed snow machine trails. The rims put so much tire on the packed snow that I could ride for miles as long as the surface had been traveled heavily by the snow going vehicles before me. This isn’t to say that I had a “fat bike”, but in a pinch, you could really do fairly well on these rims with the right tires on packed snow. The fun continued on dirt as well. I was really noticing the way the Ardent’s were gripping the trail, and I was still running fairly low pressures in the low 20’s. Yes, you have more rolling resistance, but the traction you get in certain situations with certain tires will be amazing. Keep in mind, not all tires will get better on a P-35. Some will actually perform worse, so remember that in your experimenting. I would recommend sticking to 2.35 tires and wider, but don’t let that stop you from checking something else out.

The Wheel Set: The wheels as a whole are actually pretty dang impressive as well. The wheels bearings were impressively smooth and free running when I received them. They have remained that way despite my attempts at snow riding, mud riding, and commuting in less than ideal situations with them. No play has developed during the test period, and I have had no issues at all with them. The spokes and nipples have also been doing their job, keeping everything running straight and true throughout the first half of the year. Some may lament the fact that the front hub is not convertible to 15QR or 9mm QR, but I know that I would rather have a beefy front rim on a more aggressive rig, so the 20mm through axle is the way to go for me. (Front hubs are available in standard quick release if so desired) Also, it is worth noting that Velocity used the “old school” threaded free wheel style hub interface for the rear hub. Of course, we have White Industries free wheels to fall back on, thankfully! But that may put you off if you have a stash of several cassette based single speed cogs.

Note: Twenty Nine Inches received this wheel set at no charge for test and review. We are not being bribed or paid for the review here and we will stive to give our honest opinions throughout.

6.01.2010

Introducing Velocity Velotape

When we released the P35 last year, it was designed around the growing demand by XC and All-Mountain riders for a wider, laterally stiff rim that did not sacrifice weight. The P35 has met that challenge and then some, providing riders with all the added float, footprint and 'virtual' suspension they have desired. It was no accident that the webbing of the P35 was designed to be tubeless-ready without the need for a molded strip; as many riders have already discovered, tubeless conversion consisted of the use high pressure tape and a valve.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been developing our own tubeless tape kits to sell with the P35 rim. After months of testing, we are proud to finally announce the newest addition to our line: Velotape. Velotape is a kit that includes: 1 - 10 meter long x 24mm wide transparent tape and 2 - high quality tubeless valves with removable cores [enough to wrap 2 29"/700c rims]. Designed specifically to provide a simple and reliable way to convert the P35 tubeless.

This past month we sent out a wheelset out to Brian at Grams Light Bikes, who has recently reviewed the wheelset with the new P35 specific: Velotape installed says this about them:

'They were easy to set up tubeless, with either UST or normal tires, and popped up without any issue. Their blue tape (not yellow!) tubeless system worked well, and I had no issues getting my usual assortment of tires to bead up on the rims. The rear wheel required sealant to hold air, but I use sealant with all my tubeless systems, so it was a moot point. I stuck on a set of Conti Rubber Queen 2.4 UST's the other day, and they popped on like butter...'

Below is our official press release for our Velotape:


VELOCITY RELEASES TUBELESS TAPE KIT

(Grand Rapids, MI) Velocity is proud to announce Velotape, the newest accessory in the Velocity line. Velotape is specifically designed to convert P35 rims and wheelsets tubeless. The kit includes 10 meters of transparent Velotape and 2 high quality tubeless valves with removable cores; enough to setup two 29” P35s. Installation is easy, requiring only a small punch and sharp scissors. Velotape is available through any local bicycle shop or online dealer for around $24.99. Detailed information and installation instructions can be found at www.velocityusa.com.

For use in: Velocity P35 rims/wheelsets
Length/Width: 10 meters X 24mm wide
Included in package: 2 tubeless valves with removable cores and 1 roll of Velotape
Tools needed: scissors and punch