velo classique

“Off and Running!”

…was Wayne’s (at Velo Classique) comment after we agreed on which tire to put on the Campeur. I saw my first glimpse of the bike with a photo he sent me to try to nail down a tire. Two things jump out – great looking tire/fender combo and the low bottom bracket drop to which I was expecting.

Some of you out there have been in the know about my bike build. This gives you a small glimpse of the kind of bike I am building. Spoiler Alert: as you see it’s not something you had in mind for a “modern bike” and you might be disappointed to find that out. Here’s the photo:

Rear Wheel

Rear Wheel

What you see here is a 35mm Michelin but actually measures larger, 36.5mm. I wanted the fenders to cover the tire better so I opted for the 32 which measures 34mm. Just for comparison – that’s a full 10mm wider than what most weekend warriors use – all for combating all terrains and carrying loads. There’s always been a lot of variance between tires companies so I’ve heard, much like sneakers. But not like Nikes, these tires run larger than they say. The tires’ white line that you see is actually reflective material which makes it great for touring and the tire looks incredibly smooth. I’m excited about having tires that you can’t just go buy off the shelf anywhere. We shall see how they act. I was thinking of Continental, Grand Bois or Panaracers but ended up with these.

Of course, this is just a moch-up and the tire:fender ratio isn’t final and the finished product will look only better once the slightly slimmer tires are on. I’m for one glad there is movement on the project, the hard part is over since the wheels are here.

Wheels – these VO wheels aren’t the best in the world, I’ll be honest. But, they’re not bad either. I’ve done a couple thousand miles on my Fuji 30+ year old rims and they’ve been fine, even jumped curbs with them getting away from cars. I won’t do that with these but I’m sure they’ll be fine. Speaking of rims, did you know that heavier wheels (when being compared to racing wheels) let you maintain speed for longer periods of time? Makes sense. I’ve used both sets of wheels and can confirm this but that’s just my opinion. Although, with heavier wheels (and more spokes) you can’t accelerate as fast from a dead stop. But, when comparing distances, you sprint for much less amount of distance than you do to maintain speed. I’ll take the latter option.