A lot of things came together at the right time. During the colder seasons, I have tended to do more off road and trail riding. My Jamis Nova cyclocross bike is now 13 seasons old. As I have given up cyclocross and have evolved into more trail riding, the urge to build a more adventure/touring bike had been in my thoughts. On a recent visit my son Zachary asked if I could ship the 'cross bike to Cali for him to use. Although hesitant, I began to think about a bike to handle rougher terrain. The folks at Orange Velo had come out with the Piolet frame, and that seemed to be just what I wanted.
My build took into consideration what type of rider I am, and where I tend to ride the most. It is an unsuspended, off road, dirt drop handlebar machine. The Maxxis Ardent 29er 2.4" tires will allow me to ride where the 'cross bike was just uncomfortable. I am running them tubeless at 26PSI front and 28 PSI rear. No problems so far. Touring off road may be an option, and of course Iceland is on the bucket list.
My first test ride today went well. The course that I followed was varied, including pavement, wide and narrow trails, mud, and open fields. The Deja Far wide and shallow drop bars worked well from both the above and below positions. The TRP brake levers were ergo dynamically perfect from both positions. The BB7 disc brakes are a dream compared to the previous cantilevers. Thanks to Igor at Velo Orange for locating a black Cigne stem, it really works so well to get the handlebar semi drops at seat lever for comfortable riding and descending. Thanks to my wife who tolerated my design/building frenzy. The build is as follows:
Frame: Velo Orange Piolet, size large
Wheels: Velocity Blunt SL 29"
Tires: Maxxis Ardent 29" 2.4" width
Brakes: Avid BB7 road, 160mm rotors
Levers: TRP aluminum
Crankset: Deore triple 22-32-44
Rear derailleur: XT SGS long cage
Cassette: XT 11-34
Seat: Selle Anatomica X series
Bars: VO Deja Far 42mm
Stem: VO Cigne 90mm, black
All in all, this has been a great belated 65th birthday present. I am sure that many roads and trails will be ahead of me for years to come.