30 May 2008
Product Review: Test Rode a Velorbis
There's been some talk lately about Velorbis.
During Bike Week here in Boston I was lucky enough to get to test ride a Velorbis Scrap Deluxe. I confess that I was so tantalized by the shiny bike and the smooth lines that all thoughts of attribution fled my mind and I cannot recall who provided my test ride. A google search turns up The Dutch Bicycle Company as my likely hosts.
The bike is beautifully made. The cables are all routed through the frame and sealed, which seems great for longevity. The parts are all of remarkable quality (Brooks saddle and grips, nice hubs with internal gearing and dynamo lighting, etc). The rear rack is rated to 75 pounds which could be essential if carrying both food and a child. I'm not sure about the bolt-together rear triangle, I have an email out to a materials scientist friend about that one, but semi-official channels say it is better than a weld. My unscientific general perception weight-wise is that it's less than my old Raleigh Sport but more than my current townie. Everything works together so well that weight seems less an issue.
However the tires were the most astonishing. What total fun! I felt like a kid on a bouncy ball toy.
The only colors I got to see were black and just clear-coated (showing up as grey metal). Obviously I gravitated to the bare metal look, but now there are colors available and that will be exciting.
Perhaps after our elections the dollar will rebound a little and make these lovely bikes more accessible to Americans. Here's hoping! It's a lovely bike.
Update: my friend was not a fan of the bolted together triangle, but it seems this is becoming a trend with modern bikes, you can see it on non-Velorbis bikes as well. I understand that weld is difficult. I'll be interested in watching how the technique plays out.