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Made for cities – also for 300km Around the Bay in a day

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In 1975 a guy in London developed a bike that speedily rode around town, but would also fold up so it wouldn’t get stolen. Today, the Brompton is still mainly used for short trips, sometimes also including public transport, the boot of a car or storage under a desk. But how far can you actually ride one in a day? Well, our general manager Stu, will go some way to answering that question when they embark upon the 300km course of Around the Bay on Sunday October 7th, mounted aboard a 2-speed, S-bar Brompton, all to raise funds for The Smith Family to support disadvantaged kids in accessing education.

Around the Bay (in a day) is Australia’s largest mass-participation bike ride and has been running every year since 1993. The first event attracted 2,700 riders, and over the years numbers grew until 15,600 rolled off the start line in the 2009 event. In recent years, different ride distances have been added, putting the event within reach of casual riders and families – with a distance to suit your level, or your goal. This year there are 10 options, starting at a child-friendly 20km and going up to the punishing 300km route.

The new 300km Around the Bay route – it’s easy to see the brutal addition

The monstrous 300km course is brand new, perhaps reflecting the recent ultra-endurance riding trend, and offers riders a next-level challenge. As well as doing the full loop of the bay, incorporating the rolling hills near Portarlington from the 250km route, the course detours up the famous Arthur’s Seat climb, before heading over to Flinders on the ocean side of the peninsula and then back over at Red Hill to the bay. That’s right, not comfortable with adding one steep climb for the elites for the first time in Around the Bay history, they’ve added two!  This should get the carbon crew into their lower chainrings well and truly!

Lucas and Stu, astride Brompton M2L bikes, ready for the brutal 300km Around the Bay challenge

Lucas and Stu, having conquered the 210km route, were stepping up to the new, brutal 300km challenge – but Lucas has had to drop out, leaving Stu to ride SOLO!

But Stu won’t have that option because the steel-framed Bromptons they are riding have only one chainring. And, it’s only him!  He was go be accompanied by Lucas again this year, but a niggling knee twinge means he’s not wanting to aggravate it. So, one rider, one Brompton, but he does have the choice of two gears (he again chose this model over the 302% range 6 speed, for lighter weight) but it’s his sheer tenacity which will likely get him over the hills. Yes, it’s an epic undertaking, but he’ll be well-served by their experience of last year’s event, where he did the 210km course on the same spec bikes. And again, he’s raising money for the Smith Family, so if you have a dollar or two to spare, head over to their fundraising page. Proceeds will go towards resources to help disadvantaged kids with their education.

We know that the world’s best folding bike will get you around the city, and last year Stu and Lucas proved that they can take you on the long haul. This year Stu will be pushing his boundaries of Bromptoneering again. Will he make it?

(If you see him, let him hook in behind you for a few kms – provided you’re going fast enough for him of course. Hey, he can always fold and jump on the train, cab or Uber – but somehow we don’t think that’s gonna be an option).

 

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A million past the post. In November?

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One million past the Velocycles counter in Nov

One million past the Velocycles counter in Nov

Just before our 6:30pm closing time on Wednesday, 14th of November 2018 this year’s millionth rider went past our post.  This target was reached over a month earlier than in 2017, which was the first time we’d eclipsed the million within a calendar year.

Over the last few years we’ve seen bike commuting increasing by around 5% each year,  however this year’s count represents closer to a 10% increase on last year.  And sure, it was a cold but dry winter, and it’s the forecast of rain which is most likely to keep numbers down, but we believe that more Melburnians than ever are choosing their bicycle for inner-city transport.

Commissioned on National Ride2Work Day in 2013 by the City of Moreland and Velo Cycles, the counter has been steadily ticking away each cyclist rolling past the sensors alongside the store (the system uses a remarkably complex algorithm to determine what is, and isn’t a bike, to a degree of +/- 0.5% accuracy) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This data then gets uploaded to a server, supplying summary data to everyone (and a little more detail to us).

Rider numbers for this November reached 94,166, which was actually around 1,200 less than November 2017. Even so, we’re hovering at 10% more than the same time last year, at 1,053,310.  That’s already almost 20k more than last year’s grand total of 1,034,657, which was surpassed on Tuesday, Nov 27th.  November had eight days over the magic 4,000 mark, and a day with 5,000 past the post will surely happen again soon.

We eagerly await what this year’s grand total will be.

 

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Brompton Junction Melbourne – opening weekend Dec 8-9

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Three Bromptons (and a few others)

Three Bromptons (and a few others)

Since we opened Velo Electric & Folding a little over 5 years ago, we’ve been able to expand Velo Cycle’s ethos of matching bikes to people’s needs beyond the normal bike.  Folding bikes, and in particular their adaptability in use, has grown from strength to strength. Starting with three Bromptons and a few other brands we’ve grown to be Australia’s largest-selling Brompton dealer, receiving the country’s only ‘Premier Dealer’ status a little over a year ago.

It’s with great pride that we can share that the opening of the southern hemisphere’s only “Brompton Junction”, Brompton Bicycle’s exclusive flagship stores, will be on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of December 2018. Brompton Junction Melbourne will be located in half of what was Velo Electric & Folding, with the remaining half being dubbed Velo Electric. It will be the 13th Junction store to open worldwide, with others located in London, NYC, Beijing, Tokyo, Milan, Kobe, Hamburg, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Munich, Valencia, and Barcelona with Tel Aviv also opening in December and Singapore in May 2019.

We will have a much-expanded range of both Brompton bikes and accessories, as well as some exclusive editions and accessories.  Of course, our passion for Bromptons, and our quality of service won’t change.  Cory will be managing the Junction, and we’re also taking on the most passionate Brompton rider we know – Dayna of Melbourne Brompton Club – long-time volunteer for all things Brompton.  Our opening hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, and Sat & Sun 10am-4pm.  (Of course, at other times you can still drop in to Velo Cycles).

The weekend of Saturday Dec 8 and Sunday Dec 9 will be party central.  We will have special offers, a few giveaways and some ‘slap-up British fare’.  Bromptonauts are encouraged to turn up any time over the weekend or even just for a drink on Saturday after 4pm.

The following weekend, Brompton Junction Melbourne will be partnering with our supplier Brompton Australia and the St Kilda Cycling Club to run the Brompton Hot Lap as a part of the Shimano SuperCrit.  Come and do a Brompton World Championship-styled start and single lap of their 2.2km criterium course in front of 5,000+ spectators.  Dress to impress, or for comfort or speed; it’s entirely up to you.  The most important thing is that you come and ride. If you’re interested please come along as we’d love to see you there with many other Brompton riders. The EventBrite sign-in is here.

We’re elated about the Junction.  We hope you are too.  If you can’t make it this weekend, we look forward to you visiting soon so you can check it out in person.



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Velo Cycles’ bike counter breaks records in 2018

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Riders passing Velo Cycles in Carlton North on National Ride2Work Day

Since being commissioned on Ride2Work Day in 2013 by ourselves and our good friends at City of Moreland, our bicycle counter (located on the Capital City Trail just near Nicholson Street) has steadily been recording an increase in daily riders, but even we weren’t prepared for this one!

After nearly reaching one million several years, and then finally eclipsing it in 2017, we blitzed it this year with the one-millionth rider going past our counter on Wednesday 14th November around our closing time of 6:30pm. That’s around a month earlier than 2017.

This upward trend was reflected in the final year’s total of 1,131,435 – an increase of almost 9% on last year.

You hit the million past Velocycles. Well Done!
We reported to commuters the next day!

Whilst most months’ totals hovered around the same as last year (particularly those with unfavourable weather) February, May, September and October all recorded significant increases on their numbers from 2017. Weekend numbers have increased too, but in 2018 just as in previous years, the Mon-Fri commuting riders make up the big daily numbers.

There are many factors which could help attribute to these increases. Melbourne’s ever-increasing difficulty of being able to drive during peak hour, and congestion on public transport routes are both factors in many people choosing to ride. And, of course, more people riding also means people who hadn’t thought about it before may consider taking it up.

If my friend/relative/neighbour can ride a bike for transport, why can’t I?

(Sociologists call that ‘normalisation’.) Melbourne’s inner-North certainly aids in building the perception of bicycles being many people’s transport of choice. And, of course, there’s also plenty of opportunity for some fun rides with the family of weekends.

We’ll continue to monitor our counter around the first of every month and keep you updated with how things are progressing throughout the year. Let’s see when the next record will topple!

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Neighbourly Ride | Velo Cycles Melbourne

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Friendly riding in a supportive atmosphere – every Sunday from Velo Cycles

Are you looking for people to ride with? Got a friend and want to be a part of a supportive group?

Neighbourly Ride runs short (40 minute) rides on bike paths to help you get going. Run early last year, they’re back for me.

Every Sunday, leaving from Velo Cycles (815 Nicholson Street, where it crosses the Capital City Trail), meet at 9:45am for a 10:00 departure.
Your first ride is free, after which there’s a $5 fee per rider per ride. (So, you can get a ride and a coffee for under $10!)

We also have a limited number of hire bikes – please call us to determine availability on the day.

For more details and to register for the ride, click here.


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2019 Jamis Renegade, Alloy, Steel or Carbon?

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The one bike to rule them all – road, gravel, trail, commute – even light touring. There’s a lot of options out there now, but one of the first we stocked is back again, better than ever – the Jamis Renegade.

This time around, we have six different versions on offer, starting with alloy and moving into Reynolds steel, before now topping out with carbon.
You can get our full review here, but below gives you a quick overview.

You can choose from alloy, two grades of quality steel or carbon for your Jamis Renegade

Alloy

The entry-level Renegade Exile has a few small upgrades on previous years, with WTB rims and a Shimano 11-34T cassette. Returning is the 6061 aluminium frame and fork, with Shimano Claris drivetrain (2×8) and Tektro Lyra disc brakes. An incredibly capable bike, it’s also a little more affordable for a daily commuter, ride to school or a winter bike. Unlike many at this pricepoint, its geometry is also designed around each individual size (they haven’t just sized up/down using the same angles).

Jamis Renegade Exile and Expat
The entry-level alloy Jamis Renegade Exile and the start of the steel models, the popular Renegade Expat

Steel

The Renegade Expat has had the strongest demand in previous years, and when compared with lower models it moves to Reynolds 520 double-butted ChroMoly steel frame and carbon fork. Drivetrain is up to Shimano Tiagra (2×10) with TRP Spyre disc brakes.

Next up, the Renegade Exploit has the superior Reynolds 631 double-butted ChroMoly steel frame, running SRAM Apex 1 gears (1×11), brakes (hydraulic discs) and cranks.

The final in the steel trio, the Renegade Escapade was our previous upper level and it’s a ripper. Based on the same frame as the Exploit, you get SRAM Force 1 groupset, brakes and cranks. Our General Manager Stu’s main steed for his daily Eltham-Carlton North all weather, all conditions, all surfaces commute (his is never this clean!)

Our midrange Renegade offering, the Escapade and the Exploit, both with hydraulic discs

Carbon

Given the interest in the Renegade series, and many people’s demands for gravel styled bikes to do everything, it stands to reason some riders want to go lighter and more supple. And so, we now stock two full carbon models.

The Renegade Expert has much of the same spec as the Escapade, but swaps out the steel frame for their Renegade Adventure Dyad Plus T700/FRP monocoque carbon frame, and moves up to Shinamo 105 groupset and brakes. It’s also a looker in an eyecatching blue.

Nothing is spared with the Renegade Elite. Ultegra throughout, a superior Renegade Adventure Elite Omniad frame and fork and Stans Crest MK3 tubeless wheelset. The Ultegra rear derailleur features a clutch, for the best of shifting performance.

For the ultimate ride, the carbon Renegade Elite and Renegade Expert

Contact us quickly, as always, the Jamis Renegades at all levels will speed out the door.

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Adventure Bikes: ready for anything!

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If you have dropped in to Velo, you’ll know we’re keen on adventure bikes. Steel, hyper capable, wide tire clearance, all road, all day machines such as the Jamis Renegade Escapade and the Soma Wolverine. One of the delights of these bikes is that they’re ready to take to any challenge you deliberately, or in the following case, unknowingly throw at them.
One of our staff, Ollie (on an Escapade) took his partner (on his custom Wolverine) on a 3 day mini tour in Bunyip State Park. Whether out of a roughshod sense of adventure, or naivety, he accepted Google’s directions.
It started as all good tours do, 3 hours late. The afternoon sun was glorious as we hit the first dirt roads rolling through hilly farmland but faded fast into winter night.

We turned onto the last climb to the edge of the park. A ‘No Through Road’ sign flashing out of the night in LED lit brilliance was our first chance to bail out, a 7km detour was hastily dismissed and we pushed on. Half way up with a moment of doubt we asked a passing farmer whether the road went through. “Yeaaaah…” He offered. 
“It’s definitely a track though”. He didn’t sound confident in our choice. However, we were, and buoyed by knowing the path existed we pushed past our second chance. 

The Yarra Bubba track started with no promises, it was rutted, steep and muddy. Slow, tough grind. Gums loomed eerily out of the dark, the track harshly illuminated in 600 Lumen LEDs. Sandy Pit Ridge track joined ours as the gradient tended up. Had I read that name when mapping the ride I’d have been ready for the sandy bogs every 20 meters as we climbed.
Two fallen trees and a gruelling climb later we hit the peak. I promised myself and Jess that it was all downhill from here.

The first 100 meters felt great, sandy bogs cascaded outwards as we hit them with speed. Then the earth went red. Sand gave way to clay. Red earth clods flung from our ballooning wheels clung to bike and rider. Brakes began to feel meaningless as the choice was roll or slide. But we persevered, slowly picking our way down the slopes.

Most importantly the bikes stood to the challenge and in the absurdity of the adventure, we chose amusement.
So at 9pm after covering 7km in an hour and a half, we arrived at a gorgeous camp, exhausted and filthy but smiling.

Spot the Escapade

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SWRVE arrives in Melbourne | Velo Cycles Melbourne

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“SWRVE makes the best fitting and most durable apparel possible, designed to function in the great outdoors & works just as well everyday in the office, bar and beyond.”

The folks at SWRVE, based out of Los Angeles have been kicking goals stateside for years now. Designed with cycling and outdoors in mind, their products are full of awesome tech and comfy as hell. 

These guys have thought of everything to keep you comfy on the bike and still looking tight enough to impress your tinder date. 

We are confident that the soft shells are perfect for Melbourne with two of our staff already rocking the Milwaukee and the Deck Jacket. Made with water + windproof softshell fabric with plenty of venting options these jackets will keep you comfortable on your daily commute through whatever Melbourne can throw at you.

Some of the features include

  • Extra long armpit zippers
  • 2 way YKK front zipper
  • HUGE rear zippered back pocket with interior vents
  • Double cuffs for protection against cold drafts
  • Drop tail hem to keep you warm and respectable (covers those pesky plumbers cracks) 

We have also got some of their super cosy cycling caps with built in ear warmers but breathable top. These are great for those cold winter mornings and wet Melbourne days!

We are lucky here at Velo to be the only stockists in Melbourne, keep your eyes peeled for more of a range coming thru during the coming months.


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E-Bike commuters – Let us do the math for you

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We believe E-Bike commuters are a fantastically enjoyable and healthy way to get to work. The price can scare some people off so let us show you why they’re also an economical way to get to work.

Firstly, a quick intro to E-bikes. There are two broad types of E-Bikes, differentiated by where the motor is. Wheel Drive and Mid-Drive. Mid-drive is mounted inside the frame, between the pedal cranks. It is more efficient, more powerful, more responsive and more expensive. Prices start around $3500 and the Kalkhoff Endeavour 1B is a perfect example, a phenomenal commuter. Wheel drives are significantly cheaper and can make great commuters provided you know what to look for. We have been stocking Velectrix as our wheel drive for the last couple of years, they are an Australian company and the first sub $2000 E-Bike we are happy to stand behind. The Velectrix Urban 2.0+ is our go to every day commuter.

So, on to what you came here for. Math. We looked at 1, 2, 5 and 7 year comparisons for E-bikes, public transport and a car. Firstly a couple of assumptions:

  • The commute is 10km each way, 5 days a week.
  • Public transport costs are for a yearly Myki pass and make no allowance for getting sick from being coughed on by strangers or the anguish of not realising there was trackwork.
  • Car costs are fuel, servicing and 1/3 of average insurance/registration/depreciation they do not account for the shortening of your life from the stress of 30+ minutes in traffic each way. They come from RACQ Car Running Costs.
  • If buying an E-Bike avoids buying a car, or buying a second car, stop reading now, it’s SUPER WORTH IT.
  • We have not accounted for increased fitness, happiness, health and well being that is associated with riding a bike.
  • Obvious Disclaimer: I am not a financial analyst you should do your own research before making any financial decisions. This article is intended to be a little bit helpful and a little tongue in cheek.
Setup Cost Yearly Costs Battery
(6-7 years)
Myki $5 $1,770
E-bike – Velectrix Urban 2.0+ $2,000 $400 $495
E-bike – Kalkhoff Endeavour 1B $3,499 $400 $800
Using your Car $1,566
Total Cost First year 2 years 5 years 7 years
Myki $1,775 $3,545 $8,855 $12,395
E-bike – Velectrix Urban 2.0+ $2,400 $2,800 $4,000 $5,295
E-bike – Kalkhoff Endeavour 1B $3,899 $4,299 $5,499 $7,099
Using your car $1,566 $3,132 $7,830 $10,962

Come in and test ride an E-Bike, they’re great fun, good value and might just change your life.


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