Philly Bike Expo Recap, part 1

14 comments by Igor Shteynbuk

Another Philly Bike Expo is in the books! It was an outstanding show filled with some of the best builders, brands, accessories, and makers. This particular year was awesome because it was our first time exhibiting at Philly since the pandemic. It was great to reconnect with friends and partners in person instead of through our glowing rectangles (phone/computer).


VO was all over the show! Fenders, racks, handlebars, and more were featured on multiple builds. So let's dive in and see how these builders used our bits to outfit their show bikes!

Royal H Randonneur

bryan royal h custom bike steel with velo orange components and accessories
This was an absolute stunner of a rando-style bike from Royal H Cycles. Fancy carved lugs, luscious paint, nicely curved fork, and sensible accessories like our Randonneur Front Rack, Hammered Fenders, and Voyager Rims.
close up of curved seatstays on royal h randonneur
Look at that seatstay cluster! I love the way the stay curves around to seamlessly connect to the other side.
Closeup of a fender mounted to a frame
I really dig the spacer Bryan machined to match the curve of the fender. 
velo orange front rack for randonneur bags
Our front Randonneur Canti Racks are a favorite of his for these sorts of builds. Looks great!
lugged headtube of a royal h randonneur
This paint is absolutely stunning! And the little windows filled in with blue really creates a good amount of pop.

Maiorosse Cycles
Our show neighbor, Maiorosse Cycles brought two bikes kitted out with VO! This lightweight sport-tourer had some really neat touches, like a custom "Sea Turtle" rear rack, shortened Hammered Fenders, Grand Cru Long Reach Brakes, and Bishop Gravel lugs for modern-sized tubing.
maiorosse rear sea turtle rear rack
Dan (the builder) told me that the owner of this bike is really into sea turtles, so of course he'd make a cool rear rack for them! This was definitely an eye-catcher for a lot of people walking by.
Grand Cru long reach brakes for rim cnc stiff silver black
It's a rim brake bike, so of course he's going to spec the best mid/long rim brakes, our Grand Cru! He was able to nicely tuck in the painted shorty fenders under it, making a really nice and tidy package. 
headtube lugs green and cream
He utilized Bishop's gravel lugs to use more modern geometry and tubing selection. Which means Dan can really fine-tune the ride characteristics in the custom bikes he makes.
maiorosse porteur
I also really liked this fillet-brazed porteur frameset outfitted with our Constucteur Rear Rack and Porteur Front Rack. Not only does it show the magnificent quality of fillets Dan lays down, it also gives the booth visitor an opportunity to dream of how they would build it up. 
fillet brazed porteur maiorosse
So smooth! I don't know if I'd just clearcoat it or go with some really nice, metallic paint. Decisions, decisions...
I thought this was a cool detail. Dan cut out and brazed in a metal version of his logo onto the seat stay caps. Nice! These sort of little details can be easily missed unless you have a keen eye. So when you go to shows, make sure to study the bikes because you might miss something really neat.

Chapman Cycles

Brian Chapman always brings the heat, and this year was no exception. Both of these Sport Tourers featured VO Smooth Fenders and custom-detailed hardware.
Brian redid the hardware so that it sits inboard of the fender, as well as added detailing to the outside. Our eyelet bolts are made of brass, so they machine nicely and can lead to some really nice detailing when the plating is removed. Also check out the accent striping along the fender which matches the blue accents all along the frame.
I mean....just wow!
All those little details really make these sorts of bikes really special.
chapman cycles sport tourer
It's so interesting that even though this one and the one behind it are very similar in their designs, this one looks so much more modern with the black components and accessories - I really dig the look.
Don't call it pink. It's Coral!

Jeff Bock French-Inspired Randonneur

jeffrey bock french randonneur
I'll admit, this one only had our 1" Decaleur Mount, but this was a stunning modern interpretation of a traditional, French-style Randonneur. 
Remember what I said about details? Look at the pass-through on the seat binder bolt. Details, people!
The lug and box lining are out of this world! 

Johnny Coast Randonneur

Johnny Coast does Randonneurs soooo right. The thinned lugs, traditional components, elegant fork bends, and accessories brings everything together into a super elegant and practical package. This one features our 650b Zeppelin Fenders, Fender Reflector, and 650b Voyager Rims.
The bi-lam headtube is just so clean. I just noticed he even thinned out the Dia-Compe Shifters!
A little jewel on the fender :)

Bilenky S&S Travel Bike

Bilenky (the host of Philly Bike Expo) had this beautiful chrome and green travel bike featuring our Triple Crankset
I don't think I've ever seen a bike with this color combination, but I really dig it!
They do a lot of S&S coupling of custom bikes and retrofitting, so of course it had to be on display, front and center. I actually really like the bubbly type lugwork on this one.


  • Douglas M


    Oops, just now checked the name spelling and his name is Petersen, not Peterson.

    In October 2023 Surly discontinued their long-popular Cross-Check framesets, the last of their rim brake framesets. I have a Cross-Check, also have two Surly LHTs, 26in and 700c, and recently got a green Velo Orange v.5 Polyvalent frameset for use with disc brakes and thru-axles, my first frameset with disc brakes, a frameset which includes both old and new features and simply must be kept in production and available.

    Bicycle gear trains which can run on 8-speed chain are the best available, tried, tested, and proven.

  • Douglas M

    @Igor, sure, update them to more modern specs including 1 1/8" threadless steerer tubes, double eyelets on F&R dropouts along with mid-blade thru-eyelets for front rack, downtube shifter bosses with F&R derailer (Sheldon Brown spelling) cable guides under bottom bracket shells with a rear shifter cable stop on the bottom side of the chainstay ahead of the rear dropouts for (7)/8/9/(10)-speed, and double or triple water bottle eyelets on the bottom side of downtubes (good for carrying a big, water bottle size tool case for heavy tools).

    The VO Campeur and Mixte framesets are in true need of being preserved and made available. Yes, they go back into yesteryear’s technologies but modern companies such as MicroShift and those of the East Asian bicycle component market offer yesteryear components including Shimano now also having East Asian manufacturers of earlier Shimano components, made to Shimano specs.

    Somebody should wake up Grant Peterson of Rivendell Bicycle Works because he apparently has purchased the manufacturing rights to a few of yesteryear’s most valuable components yet in the past few years I have attempted to contact the Rivendell website several times but have received no response.

  • Igor

    @John, yes, I could have sworn I took some pics of a 50.4 on a bike, but maybe it was on a bike outside.

    @Douglas, that would be cool, but they’d be incarnated in another form. Still without discs, but maybe something a bit more contemporary.

  • John Hawrylak

    really nice post. Your comments on each photo were very good. Enjoyed your photos more ‘traditional’ type builds. Did anyone use your 50.4 cranks?

  • Peter

    Wow! Such elegant and aesthetically pleasing machines. I need to go to that show one day.

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