Thursday, May 15, 2008


There's been some talk here and there in the comments about the Velorbis components, and questions of what you're really paying for. This seems like a good conversation to have. Here's the spec sheet. So, bicycle experts (which I am not) what do you think?


aLex said...

i truly don't think you can go wrong with either of these bicycles. i researched the velorbis prior to getting hank, and i was impressed. the reason i chose the azor: geometry and ride.

that said, i think the components on the velorbis will do you well. i have never had a sram internal hub gear system - mine have all been shimano. when i asked stephan about this, i think that he stated that they were comparable to the shimano. so, no worries there.

with regard to brakes, i think that the velorbis did not have both front and rear roller brakes - i could be wrong. coaster brakes are drum brakes, and these function differently than roller brakes. having ridden with v-brakes, drum brakes, and now roller brakes, i cannot rave about roller brakes enough. i can stop on a dime safely in the pouring rain. LOVE THEM.

if there's a rear wheel lock, the axa sl7 and sl9 have some weaknesses. the axa defender is the way to go.

michael, i really think you cannot go "wrong" with either bicycle. i hate to keep beating the same drum, but ...
- how do you want to sit on the bike? stephan gave you some good differences.
- how much do you want to carry?
- do you own or rent? is there a chance you will have to carry your bicycle up three flights of stairs next year?

both are quality, solid bicycles. trust your gut, follow your heart, and ride.

Michael said...

Alex - These are all good questions.

The truth is:

I want to ride upright. But since I can't test these, I don't know how they'll ride. Velorbis has told me via email that the riding position is the same - upright (aka sit-up-and-beg). Are they lying? I don't want to believe so.

I want a wheel lock. The Velorbis doesn't come with one. Could it be added later? Maybe...

I want a heavy bike. But, as you pointed out - there is the truth of the streets in Brooklyn at night. There's no way I could leave my bike outside. It's just not an option. I'm about to spend more money on something than I've ever spent on any single thing I've ever owned (computers included). I can't have it stolen because I left it out overnight.

Whichever bike I buy will have to be carried up to the 2nd floor of my building, by stairs, every single day. Could I do that with the Azor? I believe I can, but will it be fun? : )

I do rent, but the chances that I'll ever live on a ground floor here are just about zero.

I also want to be able to bring my bike on the plane with me - I think the Azor might be too heavy to replace the single piece of luggage that they allow for bikes...

As you know - I'm torn. But I think that I've learned something by writing this... I need a bike that's not over 50 pounds. Before I get Copenhagenized, I have to say that I don't want a light bike, I'm not looking for that. But, I will be carrying this bike up the stairs every day.

aLex said...

oh, michael, as you know (in true chicago style), i voted twice for the azor. that said, i went to the farmer's market this morning, bought no more than two plastic bagfuls of groceries, and placed these items in my panniers. on the way up my seven steps, i really struggled. (i'm 5'11", walk two 100lb dogs every day, and move bicycles all day at work. while i don't have guns for arms, i'm not weak.) i made a note to empty the panniers before attempting this again. there's a lot of weight in the rear end of the azor. it's easy going down the stairs (when the weight works for you), but not fun going up.

i think one flight of stairs would be challenging day in/day out on the azor. if you lived on the third floor, i would strongly advise against it. if our elevator ever stops running, my husband (who plays hockey) has flat-out refused to carry hank up four flights of stairs. he said, "you're going to have to use the bike racks in the basement for once, alex."

michael, i think maybe the opa may be too heavy for your future needs. that makes me sad, but you have to do what's right for you. if carrying a heavier bike up and down the stairs is going to make you not want to ride, it's a waste of money.

[le sigh.]

Michael said...

Oooh, I'm afraid that you might be right about the weight. Although nothing would ever stop me from riding my bike....What size is your frame? Mine would be 61cm. I wonder if there's much difference in weight there...

If I could find a used, discounted Opa, I would grab it in a heartbeat, and leave it locked up outside with a serious lock and not worry about it.

I've been looking at all these bikes at shops online in Denmark and the Netherlands - one thing I've noticed is how many sturdy great bikes they have for around 500 Euros.

I'm going to Denmark in October, so maybe I can pick one up, maybe even a used one that I can check as cargo...

Wow, that sounds crazy, but fun.

aLex said...

i have a 57cm. more tube = more steel = more weight.

it would kill me to leave hank outside overnight. imagine the dreams i would have then ... regrettably, weight is a reality for those who live in cities like nyc and chicago, where the main architecture is the three-flat. can you imagine the ease of rolling your bicycle into a garage one day? (but that would mean we're in the suburbs ... )

plus, even if you secure the wheels and seat, the scrap metal dudes would love the racks, chain guards, etc.

the good news? i think you're making very careful considerations. not to complicate matters, but have you checked out the retrovelos?