Earlier this year, I punched my order with Velo-Orange for a new Gravel Bike: Polyvalent All-Rounder Diamond Frameset + complete VO component set. I wanted to see how possible it would be to build a Gravel Bike based solely on their offerings. I found an easy ordering experience and fast turnaround for such a complicated (to me, at least) order.Immediately, the frame and components arrived, and I started the fun and intricate build process. It’s similar to assembling a jigsaw puzzle, except you get to select each piece. The frameset blew me away with the ovalized top tube and all the braze-on bosses one would ever need. I became enamored with the color and sparkle finish. It has a classic look with a very modern touch. This frameset was undoubtedly well designed; no expenses were spared from the thru-axles to the integrated brake cable routing.Velo Orange built the wheels from their hubs and favorite spokes. They supplied every component on this build except for the tires and saddle. Thankfully those were sitting new in my spare parts bin.Besides the West Coast Burrito Bag shown above, my favorite piece of this build is the cockpit to the drivetrain. The wide (46cm) Nouveau Rando Bars are comfortable and ergonomic. Paired with their Sensah SRX 1x11 Integrated Shifter/Brake lever set, makes this build fun and, most importantly, fast!Once I finished the build, I took it over to my shed door and took an appropriate first picture under the setting sun. I looked in awe over my hard work and theirs. The immediate build was completed with an RRB x VO Rando Handlebar Bag, but later that was swapped for something a little lighter for shorter, faster rides.My inaugural ride was up Glendora Mountain Road (GMR), a popular riding spot for SoCal locals. During construction and major holidays, the Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) are closed to cars, and the routes become a cyclist's paradise, consisting of epic mountain views, S-Curves, long gradual climbs, and a wild ride back down. GRR goes to Mt Baldy Village, where you can stop by the Lodge for a Coke and even a burger, with plenty of veggie options. It's about 21 miles from the bottom to the village with 5,200' of elevation gain. Total ride time usually takes me about 4 hours, not including the Lodge hangs.
Until next time!