The Pass Hunter is the speediest of our offerings and is designed for light-packing adventures over mountain passes, Sport Touring, and even the weekend club ride!
While this may look like a traditional randonneur, don't let that elegant Cool Blue and nostalgic 80's Burgundy paint and metallic logos fool you. This frameset is packed with modern design and features.
The wishbone rear triangle is a Velo Orange custom arrangement. By simplifying the connection points, it makes the rear end light and springy for optimal power transfer.
The main triangle uses an oversized 35.0mm downtube and a standard 28.6 top tube. It makes the bike planted, comfortable, and with flex in all the right places.
Lastly, the front end. The headtube is tapered to allow the use of aftermarket carbon forks that are available such as Rodeo Labs and Whisky, along with many others that fit into the "utili-fork" genre. The steel fork offered with the frameset has an axle-crown of 393mm with 51mm of rake.
Here are the frame highlights you need to know:
- Frameset material: 4130 double butted chromoly steel
- Fork: 1 1/8" -> 1 1/2" tapered threadless, 4130 double-butted chromoly steel, EC44/40 lower cup, EC34/28.6 upper cup
- Wheel Size: 650b or 700c
- Tire Clearance: 650Bx42mm and 700x32mm w/ fenders, 650bx48 and 700x35mm without fenders.
- Rear Spacing: 12x142mm thru-axle
- Front Spacing: 12x100mm thru-axle
- BB: English threaded 68mm
- Brakes: Flat Mount disc
- Seatpost size: 27.2mm, non-integrated 30.0 mm seat collar (not included)
- Front Derailleur Size: 28.6mm
- Water bottle mounts: Double on top of downtube, under downtube, and on seattube
- Fender bosses: seat stay bridge, chainstay bridge, under fork crown
- Rear Dropouts: Vertical with aluminium alloy replaceable hanger
- Frame Eyelets: Single eyelets on rear dropouts for fenders, internal eyelets on seat stays (for rack that does not exist as of yet).
- Fork Eyelets: Double eyelets on fork dropouts for racks and fenders, triple thru-bosses on the blades for cargo cages, hourglass braze-on for Randonneur Rack.
- Rear Brake Routing: Easy internal routing for rear brake cable housing/hydraulic tubing
- Paint: Cool Blue or Burgundy Red with metallic VeloORANGE logo
- Thru-Axles included
and the geometry:
The title phrase is very appropriate. I've ridden my Pass Hunter for several years now. I commute and ride brevets. I have drop bars and ride 700-32 tires. After 4 years the finish is still impeccable. But the finest aspect is the ride. After 300K it's not unusual for me to be a bit complacent (tired). There's no instability in handling so even tired, the bike tracks well. I cringed at gravel/sand in the past; but not with the Velo. I also make trips to the market; 20 lbs of groceries is no problem and does not adversely affect the handling. I have not ridden with any heavier loads; for brevets I use a trunk bag. My bike is pre-disc brakes; those would help for sure.
I pre-ordered this frame in the summer of 2020, and finally finished building it up in late June of 2021. I've put a little over 500 miles on the frame and I’m confident it has been worth the wait. I think my Pass Hunter is a phenomenal all-road bike, balancing responsiveness with a smooth ride better than the other three bicycles in my stable. It’s equally capable cutting through urban traffic as it is putting long miles on gnarly gravel.
I was very skeptical about a tapered steerer with a steel disc fork, but I’ve been surprised how well it works. The fork and front triangle are stiff, but don’t have the same harshness I associate with frames using a steel disc fork. The rear triangle is lively, but never tries to buck me off over chunky stuff. When I'm climbing out of the saddle, the rear triangle does seem a little noodly compared to the front.
This isn’t a light frame. The fork alone weighs over four pounds. I don’t really notice it. I’ll take the smooth ride as a compromise. One thing that did disappoint me about the frame is that the internal routing situation isn’t perfect. I had purchased TRP Hylex RS hydraulic disc brakes to use with this frame, but the internal routing tubes are too narrow to accommodate the TRP hoses. I ended up switching out the TRPs for Paul Klampers.
It’s an unashamedly modern frame without feeling the need to look like a murder weapon. It’s an unpretentious, playful frame, and I love how the lines of the unicrown fork are echoed in the wishbone seatstay. It rides great! It’s fun and feels very predictable. I feel equally confident chucking it into a fast, tight corner on the road and hucking it down a knotty singletrack descent. Kudos to everyone at Velo Orange for the amount of thought put into this frame.
Built the Passhunter over this past winter. The struggle to get parts became its own adventure. I ended up cannibalizing the shifters off of my Specialized Diverge which I do not regret.
I gave my Passhunter the nickname Serene Speed. The build ended up being very much a Velo Orange and Shimano build.
Rims: VO 650b Voyager 32 Hole
Hubs: VO Touring 6 bolt disc
Tires: 650b x 47 WTB Byways
Brakes and shifting are a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105. 11 speed.
Crankset: VO Grand Cru 50.4 BCD
Cassette: Shimano 105 (11-34)
Steering: VO Taper Sealed Bearing Threadless headset, VO Nouveau Randonneur Handlebars
The Passhunter has an incredibly comfortable ride paired with the 650b rims and tires. It does not compromise on acceleration and speed. The steering is tight and responsive but not at all twitchy. Handles rough terrain really well. There is a little bounce on the rear tire but not at all an issue.
Getting out on rides has been a real joy.
I’ve had some issues with bikes in the last six months. Cracked my mtb frame in November, was forced to sell my salsa warbird to by a new mtb frame as a replacement. Meanwhile I had a custom steel gravel frame on order and was collecting parts. Well the new gravel rig was supposed to be ready at five and a half months but I’m now approaching eight months and no frame. I happened to be on the velo orange sight and there it was, a pass hunter in large. Finding anything in stock these days is anything short of a miracle. Five days later it was in my workshop built and ready to ride. I now have about 300 miles on it in the last two weeks, a good mix of road, gravel, sand and a little single track. I love it, now I didn’t use the heavy steel fork (I have a whisky mix), and I would have liked a slightly larger tire than 35mm in the rear. The bike is amazingly comfortable off road, far bars blow away the cow chippers I was familiar with and the sram axs group and the zipp carbon wheels really make this thing fly. Buy one you will not be disappointed, quality frame, excellent fit and finish and the burgundy looks great.
Where to begin, I’ve wanted to build up a velo orange frame since that was an option. This year things worked out that even when you can’t buy most bikes off the shelf, I was able to secure a pass Hunter frame and fork. I sold my Surly Straggler frame and built the pass Hunter up with the parts from that bike, and the wheels from my specialized tarmac I had taken off.
Fast forward to two months later when I finally got 650b wheels to truly finish out the build. I went with Rolf Prima Hyalite Carbon ES wheels and set them up tubeless with gravelking’s in 42mm. Velo orange snakeskin 650b fenders wrap perfectly around these wheels, and truest finish out this fantastic build.
How does it ride? Fantastic, Sublime, it sings on the road. Having tried it set up with 700c wheels with big supple 38s and 650b carbon wheels with 42’s, I can say this bike is fantastic to ride in either configuration. The steering is so responsive without feeling twitchy, the wishbone stay makes the rear end feel springy and pedaling feels efficient at the same time. The bike handles a front load spectacularly, even during high speeds.
Set up with a SRAM GX Eagle derailleur, NX cassette and a Microshift downtube shifter, I have all the range the pass hunter needs to roam around. This bike is perfect for people that want unique options out of a frame without going full custom.
Putting the right wheelset underneath the frame definitely helps this bike realize it’s vision, a fast responsive and capable all rounder with some great climbing chops for a all steel adventure ready frame. The Rolf prima Hyalite carbon wheels weighing in at 1380g spin up fast, hold speed well, and are wicked strong. The paired spikes cut through the air efficiently, and distribute the stresses well. A beautiful handbuilt wheelset proved to be the perfect complement to this fantastic frame set.
Thank you Velo Orange for making this happen. I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to build one of these out. Highly recommend.