Polyvalent - Low Kicker
The Polyvalent is Velo Orange’s “do-it-all” frameset. It is the ideal platform to build a sturdy tourer, practical commuter, comfortable all-day randonneur, or a rugged gravel bike.
Tire clearance is generous. With fenders: 650b x 48 or 26 x 2.3” (smooth). Forgoing fenders, the Polyvalent can gobble up 650b x 2.1” or 26x2.3 (knobby).
The graceful, swoopy top tube is what we call a Low-Kicker. While especially useful for easily mounting and dismounting with a loaded bike, the lowered top tube also makes the frequent getting on and off the saddle in urban environments more comfortable. Lastly, for those that have limited flexibility, it allows the rider to have a super practical and beautiful bike with modern touches and clearances - something that was, until now, significantly lacking.
There are star reinforcements on nearly every braze-on on the frame and fork. The rear brake routing is internal and features super easy installation via a brazed in tube - no more fishing for the housing. The paint is a brilliant Metallic Sage.
The rear end of the bike features dedicated rack and fender mounts.
The fork has an elegant French-style bend that features braze-ons for a multitude of mounting options including: Rando-style front racks, side-mounted cargo cages, and low-rider pannier racks.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Velo Orange frame without proper fender mounts that face the tire to create a perfect fender installation every time.
- Frameset material: 4130 double butted chromoly steel
- Fork: 1 1/8" threadless, 4130 chromoly steel with elegant bend
- Wheel Size: 650B or 26"
- Tire Clearance: 650B x 48mm, 26 x 2.3" (either with fenders) / 650b x 2.1 or 26 x 2.3 knobby
- Rear Spacing: 12 x 142mm, thru-axle with replaceable hanger (included)
- Fork Spacing: 12 x 100mm, thru-axle (included)
- BB: English threaded 68mm
- Brakes: IS mount disc, 160mm or 180mm rotors suggested
- Seatpost: 27.2mm
- Front Derailleur Size: 28.6mm
- Water bottle mounts: Triple on top of downtube, one set on underside of downtube
- Fender bosses: seat stay bridge, chainstay bridge, under fork crown
- Frame Eyelets: Double eyelets on rear dropouts for racks and fenders. Internal eyelets on seat stays
- Fork Eyelets: Double eyelets on fork dropouts for racks and fenders. Triple thru-bosses on the blades for lowrider racks. Hourglass braze-on for Randonneur or Campeur Racks.
- Rear Brake Routing: Easy internal routing for rear brake cable housing/hydraulic tubing
- Paint: Metallic Sage
and the geometry:
I built this Polyvalent low kicker up to be a day trip/overnighter build. Went for an upright position with the happy stem and some swept back bars. I needed something zippier than my old mtb commuter build, so I installed 650b’s. Tested out the final build today at a local state park. It handled hills, paved and gravel, beautifully. Rides like a dream. Can’t wait to take it out for long day trips and camp-outs.
To start, I'm 5ft9.5in and have a size medium polyvalent low-kicker. I'm riding 700cx28 conti gatorskins, with VO fenders. I bought and built the bike with the intention of being sort of a winter/around town bike. The big selling point on this for me, was that I might be able to ride it with a longer dress or skirt, and so far it has lived up. Even on pants-days I find myself stepping through the frame because it is easier than swinging my leg. I have rode around in thigh length dresses to good effect, but probably wouldn't go more than 3 or 4 inches past my knee. Going through muddy trails (In cycling apparel), I only got small drops of mud about half way up calves, due to the fenders. When installing my fenders, I noticed that attaching them to the tip of the fork would interfere with the disk brake. But I was able to mount the fenders to the 3-pack mount just fine, although I haven't tried any 3-pack accessories yet.
On to the bike itself, I find it quite nice to ride. I tend to like long-wheelbase touring bikes for the stability. The low-kicker is a bit more agile than I'm accustomed to, but is by no means twitchy, even loaded with plenty of groceries. Its not too bad for zipping through traffic. The ride is alright on the pitted streets of Philly, but on trails I wish I had gone for thicker tires. Looks like I could fit (with the fenders) 700cx32, maybe x35 but that might be too tight.
The only major complaint I have with the bike is that I get toe-overlap when pedaling on the center of my foot. When I'm taking off from a stop, I usually make a few strokes with my foot centered, before repositioning to the ball of my foot, which is when I have this issue. When on the ball of my foot, which is the more correct foot placement, I do not have this issue.
Perhaps I should have gone with the recommended 650b wheels. I don't mind it too much, but YMMV.
just finish my Velo Orange Polyvalent build. Mixed Dura ace,Ultegra, and 105 components for drive train with downtube shifters. Nitto stem, handlebars, and seat post. Berthoud saddle. Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass 42mm extra light 650B tires, and IRD 46/30T double crank.
This set up is very supple and smooth, and the chromoly frame just "planes" with rider input. Wheels Parcenti Brevet 32H laced to Shimano xt hubs.
Few years back had the flat black Polyvalent with Velo Orange painted in orange on down tube. Sold that bike and regretted it. This new version is even better with disc brakes and other nice touches. However the quill stem remains and for the better. It adds front end suppleness. My old love has returned. Max
*Note from Velo Orange: this is a review for the previous generation Polyvalent*
I just got this frame set in 60cm and so far I absolutely love how it rides. I was a bit unsure how I would like the smaller wheel size (27.5) and the 1”quill stem, being that I haven’t ridden one since I was a kid, but so far i’ve loved both of these features. The 27.5 wheel size allows for a good roll but also allows me to turn tighter and feel a little more agile on the bike compared to my last bike which was 700c. I also like that I’m able to fit 2.0” tires on it without fenders. The 1” quill stem is definitely less solid feeling than the 1 1/8” I had before but I like that it’s adjustable, being that I’ve always battled with the right steerer tube length in the past. I also kind of like that it feels less ridgid than the 1 1/8 because I feel like it makes for a smoother ride, albeit I probably wouldn’t go full on mountain biking with it but on a dirt road the front end seems to be a bit smoother than my last few bikes. The sizing I found was pretty spot on. I’ve ridden all-city’s and surly’s in the past and found their sizing to be a bit skewed but this bike fits great (I’m 6’3”). As far as the color, I thought it would be a little more sparkly, but seems to be just plain old black to me but I wasn’t too worried about it. All in all, despite my reservations about the bike, I have to say the setup and design makes a lot of sense. I bought this frame because I sold a front rack on Craigslist to a guy who had one. I asked him how he liked it and he said it was his “forever bike” and it’s fast becoming mine.