03 October, 2012

That Other Touring Bike

A local customer, Scott, wrote to remind us that we actually make two touring frames, In addition to the Campeur, there is the Polyvalent. Polyvalent means multi-purpose and that is exactly what we designed it to be. Scott recently completed a camping trip from Vermont to Montreal and back on his new Polyvalent. The entire e-mail follows.

I see there is lots of fuss on the VO blog over the arrival of the new Campeur frames, as well there should be, they look to be an excellent design, but let us not forget that the workhorse Polyvalent is also capable of doing a fine job at loaded touring as well. This summer I assembled a Polyvalent using many VO parts with my eye on making it an all-rounder - one equally adapt at commuting, loaded or unloaded touring, or using on club rides. So far it has met all my expectations quite easily, the only exception being that it was a bit slower on the club rides than my other bikes, no matter though as my desire to keep up with the hammer-heads get lesser all the time. As for it being a capable touring/camping rig, or a daily commuter, I couldn't be happier.

As a christening tour my friend Lydia and I set out on a week long, cross-border bike camping trip from Vermont to Montreal and back. Most of the riding was over flat terrain with about 30 to 40% of it on gravel bike paths or roads, and the rest of the time on pavement, including the very bike friendly city streets of Montreal. A more thorough test aver a hilly route is next on the list but one thing I am sure of is that for me, the 650b is the way to go on a touring or city bike. Over the years I've used 26", 27" and 700c bikes, with fat, medium and skinny tires but the Polyvalent with it's cushy riding Col-de-la-Vies really make me smile. It seems to be just the right combination of frame geometry and tire size that suits me. Currently the bike is getting a good workout as my daily commuter. Here are a couple of pictures towards the end of our trip;
The other bike is a rescued-from-Craigslist and repurposed Nishiki roadbike, eighties vintage, originally 27" but converted to 650b using VO wheels. This conversion is something to consider for anyone wanting a low budget, load capable bike, this one worked great for us and will be getting a lot more use after a few minor tweaks.

I saw the prototype Campeur at your warehouse just before it went into production and have no doubt it will earn a great reputation for its name, just like the Polyvalent has done.


RoadieRyan said...

Scott nice build on the Poly and chapeau on rescuing and reusing a classic steel frame Nishiki

Anonymous said...

Great looking bike. Good to see you can tour with smaller racks if you pack light. Halfway between bike packing and touring with huge loads there is a sweet spot.

Anonymous said...

Any big guys out there riding the 61 Polyvalent care to comment on how it's working out for you?

VeloOrange said...

It works pretty well for me. I'm 6'3" and over 200 pounds and ride a 61cm. BTW, the current version has a stiffer down tube and is better for big guys than the original black version.


James said...

Thanks for the upload mate. Bike looks sweet!

Fil said...

I am also 6'3", have long legs, and ride a 61 Polyvalent. Works well for me with a stem with plenty of height. Definitely better than bike with threadless stem on which it was hard to get the handlebars anywhere near hanlebar height.