Over the last few months, I've been on the edge of my saddle to build up my Velo Orange Neutrino. I watched the parts slowly trickle in awaiting the day I grease the BB cups, thread lock the brake caliper bolts and torque down the rotor bolts. With much help from Clint and Igor @VeloOrange, we were able to gather all of the necessary parts to build not only one Neutrino but two. A hers and his style build. I got the Small sized frame, and my partner Brad has the Large sized frame. I went White with sparkles, and he went Blue with sparkles. A stellar duo of Minis and couldn't have wished for a more perfect pair. Below is my Neutrino of which I built and then took for a spin to capture it in the beautiful Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California. It may not resemble my home sweet Alabama, but the Sierra Nevadas of the wild, wild west is lookin' oh so sweet with my baby Neutrino.
Each component for this build was specifically chosen to test the limits of the frame. From the 2.4" tires to the 1x Grand Cru Crankset, this is a very unique build.
The 20" wheels gave us the biggest headache, because we needed them to be very specific to our requests.
First off, the rims needed to be tubeless as well as wide enough to accommodate the 2.4" tires. MUSA is a great touch as well (ty Velocity). Paired with the Muc-Off tubeless valves, I'm set for success.
Secondly, we requested generator hub power, and this was a must on my list. Why not harness that kinetic energy to light my path and keep me visible?
Now, the tires. Well, those were also a bit of a challenge because not only did I want them to max out the frame but they also needed to be durable and tubeless ready.
Thankfully, Velocity USA offers their Cliffhanger Rim (same as our tandem wheelset) in a 20" version, and it's tubeless ready. One of the few that's available, and it's Made in the USA. Also, it's one of the most durable alloy rims I've ridden!
Velocity was very accommodating with this build, and thankfully, we had the push from Velo Orange to get the ball (or wheel) rolling on this peculiar wheel build.
And as you can see, the new Velo Orange Touring Hub is making its debut as our rear hubs for the build.
My favorite thing about the Neutrino is that it was almost meant to be a "parts-bin" bike where basically you can build this up from the left over parts that you've got laying around. Well, besides the wheels, this thing is pretty on par to most modern bicycle standardizations.
Front Hub Spacing: 100mm
Rear Hub Spacing: 135mm
The 1x drive-train offers a responsive and simple system with a 40t narrow wide ring up front followed by an 11t-36t cassette gives the 20" wheel Neutrino plenty of gear range.
As I mentioned earlier, hub power is very important to us and given that the Neutrino is equipped with standard hub spacing, sourcing a generator hub was an easy task.
Plus, the wired lights look so darn good. These German made Busch and Mueller lights are as good as it gets! The front light provides 80 Lux and that is plenty for night riding. Of course, if you're doing any dirt riding at night, you'll want either a handlebar or helmet mounted light to increase your visibility.
This may be a silly aspect to highlight, but let's take a moment to admire this seamless routing of the wire for the rear generator light. It was very satisfying tediously wrapping the wire 'cause I ain't playin' around with no silly string here.
What really seals the deal on my build is definitely the Tall Stack Stem paired with the Klunker Bars. The stem offers a -17 degree angle with 75mm of stack making it just about level on most frames. Add in the Klunker Bars and you're set with 3" of rise making this stem perfect for my build and body type.
Aaand that's all, folks! I know some of y'all are eagerly waiting to build y'all's Neutrinos and get your butts on 'em for your travels and adventures. I promise that the anticipation is well worth it and am stoked to see these babes out in the wild! I can't thank Velo Orange enough for creating such a mini monster that's a perfect traveling companion whether I'm in the mountains of the Angeles Forest or in the desert of the Alabama Hills.
A snippet from the author:
I grew up riding bikes as a kid in Huntsville, Alabama. Mostly for transportation: back and forth between school and my parents' gas station as well as exploring the backwoods aka the backyard. Whether it was racing my friends down the block to the "Lizard Lair" or riding along Aldridge Creek to jump off the bluffs into the Tennessee River, bikes were part of my daily life. Fast forward 20+ years, and I haven't stopped since. From bike commuting in NYC to bike camping the California Coast, bikes still play a huge role in my life. I've steered Road Runner Bag's growth as a USA manufacturer of durable bike bags with thoughtful designs with cyclists in mind -- by cyclists, for cyclists. With my experiences only working with small businesses from sewing NYPD winter hats in the Bronx to cycling bags in DTLA; the future seams limitless!