Vivente Randonneur

Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby treborfifty8 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:33 am

elStado wrote:
RonK wrote:
elStado wrote:I'll check out this Mirrycle mirror. Not sure if it will fit as there's a notice saying it isn't compatible with 2010+ STI levers.

Hmmm, didn't see that notice. But since the VWR uses 9-speed Tiagra STI there's a good chance the Mirrycle can be used. If your levers don't have the open space in the clip the mirror will fit.


I spoke to Noel and he reckons they'll fit fine. They are actually in the process of trailing a bunch of mirrors for the VWR, including the Mirrycle. Still to decide but at least there's a couple of good options.
Busch and Muller mirror with bar end and optional bar clamp I used the bar clamp as I have bar end shifters. This is a nice design and has tint to stop glare of headlights Only weakness is the spiral clamp I haven't broken mine yet but if it does break you can replace it with a standard hose clamp
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:49 pm

My super duper epic owner review of the Vivente World Randonneur can be found on my recently created practical cycling and cycle touring blog, check it out here:
http://velophileaustralia.wordpress.com ... s-version/

I've been stuck at home with a reasonably bad cold for the past few days, not quite bad enough to be bed-ridden but not quite good enough to be at work sharing my germs or out cycling.. so I thought it would be the perfect time to capitalise on my free time and do a write up. More to come on various practical cycling and cycle touring topics, including user reviews for a bunch of gear I've bought recently.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:08 pm

treborfifty8 wrote:Busch and Muller mirror with bar end and optional bar clamp I used the bar clamp as I have bar end shifters. This is a nice design and has tint to stop glare of headlights Only weakness is the spiral clamp I haven't broken mine yet but if it does break you can replace it with a standard hose clamp

Have been using a spiral clamp B&M mirror for at least the past 4 years. Mirror has taken a variety of knocks and bashes - hasn't busted yet. I think it is strong enough for most touring purposes.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby Aushiker » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:39 pm

elStado wrote:My super duper epic owner review of the Vivente World Randonneur can be found on my recently created practical cycling and cycle touring blog, check it out here:
http://velophileaustralia.wordpress.com ... s-version/


Great write-up. Well done.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby Tim » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:01 pm

Aushiker wrote:
elStado wrote:My super duper epic owner review of the Vivente World Randonneur can be found on my recently created practical cycling and cycle touring blog, check it out here:
http://velophileaustralia.wordpress.com ... s-version/



Great write-up. Well done.
Andrew


+1
Agree with everything written. I'm enjoying riding around on my VWR very much too. Its great not having to worry about bumps, potholes or gravel, the bike is so comfortable and smooth. Still undecided on the saddle. The most time I've spent on it is about 2 hours and while it feels different to the other bike's I haven't yet found it to be too uncomfortable.
BTW, if you fit an E Werk (won't need the cache battery) or similar device, the dynamo hub produces enough current to recharge your Ayup battery. You will need a handlebar bag to carry the bits and pieces though.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:34 pm

Aushiker wrote:
elStado wrote:My super duper epic owner review of the Vivente World Randonneur can be found on my recently created practical cycling and cycle touring blog, check it out here:
http://velophileaustralia.wordpress.com ... s-version/


Great write-up. Well done.
Andrew


Thanks Andrew (and Tim). I am still developing my writing style as I am used to writing formal reports and essays, not blogs. But I am slowly getting there.

Your blog was actually one of my major inspirations for creating my own after finding it on the first page of google searches many times. More helpful info out there that will assist other people the better IMO, such is the beauty of the internet!
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby hooliowobbits » Tue May 08, 2012 3:10 pm

Hello all, I took delivery of my VWR 2012 XL STI last week (from Cyclingo in Hobart, Tasmania). Since then i've ridden some 200 km and notwithstanding any fine details of fitting or brake/gearing adjustment, it's an excellent bike. Like others i spent a long time trying to choose between the VWR and a LHT, and like others chose the Vivente as the best value (see below). I read alot and spoke to several bike retailers before choosing and the reviews of this bike were outstandingly glowing; and i would now add my own to that list.

To anyone considering buying a new touring bike i say please take awhile to read all the technical information starting at http://www.viventebikes.com/main/page_t ... tions.html . Clearly this forms the basis of the reasoning behind the choices made in the componentry and design of the VWR, but can be generally extrapolated for any touring bike. IMHO they show very sound reasoning and extensive knowledge of bicycle touring. In fact that page has made the rounds within our local cycling group and has formed the basis for some fresh discussions about what are the sensible choices for a touring bike, especially when that advise so reasonably put contradicts the traditional choices; ala LHT, brooks, rohloff etc etc.

The point of this post is to extrapolate a little the notion of value in relation to the VWR. I've spent a few summers assembling and tuning various bespoke bicycles, and it's been alot of fun (and frustration too). By variously assembling and disassembling and swapping and upgrading such various forms of evolution I've ended up with steeds i knew through and through and worked just so. And i love them, and I understand riders who feel like that about their bikes, and their choices. I'm not trying to make assertions that a bespoke bike can't be great.

BUT The fundamental currency which underlied that effort was buckets full of time, knowledge, patience and enthusiasm (TKPE), and probably add to that a couple of mistaken purchases :). With the VWR however, all that was *already done*. When i took delivery, the lights, racks (i requested the front rack too), mudguards, dyno hub etc etc were already installed, already working. No TKPE required. It. just. worked. I know all the effort i might have otherwise had to go to has already been thought out, and the hard work has already been done. The caveat is of course, that the choices made are the right choices for me, and i am happy to say, they are. It's a great bike, and delivers on the promise detailed in the "manifesto" (see url)

So not only was the VWR $1949 ride away, a (very conservatively) $500 cheaper than an equivalently equipped LHT, it was ready to roll. Later that night as it happened, i was riding through the rain, marvelling at how bright the dyno lights are, and remarking to myself it was so nice not to have wet feet and a bike that felt real and proper and would go the distance. It was inspiring, and no TKPE required. I'm a happy rider, and if it turns out that a VWR is for you too, then congrats :)

Happy riding, Hoolio
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby redned » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:55 pm

Can either of you chaps with new VWRs tell me what they weigh, as delivered? The web site has a section called "weight issue" without actually saying what the weight is!
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:45 pm

redned wrote:Can either of you chaps with new VWRs tell me what they weigh, as delivered? The web site has a section called "weight issue" without actually saying what the weight is!
thanks


They are pretty heavy, due to the full steel frame. I can weigh mine maybe tomorrow, but it'll be with a different rear rack and saddle than what it comes with stock.

I'm in two minds regarding weight, one one hand yes it is good to have a sturdy frame and wheels capable of carrying heavy loads, but on the other hand having a lighter bike and less weight to carry is also a good thing. I've been reading a lot about lightweight cycle touring and a lot of it makes sense. Less weight you carry the more distance you will cover, the easier it will be and there is less stress/damage to the bike and components. http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.com.au/
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Vivente Randonneur

Postby RonK » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:34 pm

elStado wrote:I'm in two minds regarding weight, one one hand yes it is good to have a sturdy frame and wheels capable of carrying heavy loads, but on the other hand having a lighter bike and less weight to carry is also a good thing. I've been reading a lot about lightweight cycle touring and a lot of it makes sense. Less weight you carry the more distance you will cover, the easier it will be and there is less stress/damage to the bike and components. http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.com.au/

I absolutely agree - that is why I tour in a titanium bike, and set a strict limit on my load.
But ultimately, how much you carry depends on how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate - there is no way , for example, that I'd be using bubble wrap for my sleeping bag as does your ultralight extremist.

Oh, and I'd venture that the VVT will tip the scales at a little over 16kg.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:22 pm

RonK wrote:But ultimately, how much you carry depends on how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate - there is no way , for example, that I'd be using bubble wrap for my sleeping bag as does your ultralight extremist.


Ground mattress. It's a good idea actually. I was going to give it a try just for S&Gs, as my GF's uncle had a massive 20x1.5m roll of it in the shed; however I found out today that it was thrown out.

The guy I linked above is pretty extreme though, however a lot of his suggestions and rational make sense. I've really started to think quite carefully about what I am taking with me and if it will be absolutely 100% essential or not. I have tenancy to try to prepare for absolutely everything, as a result I always pack too much stuff when I travel.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby RonK » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:22 pm

elStado wrote:I've really started to think quite carefully about what I am taking with me and if it will be absolutely 100% essential or not.

I encourage you to continue with this line of thought. Whilst it's not necessary to be obsessive or extreme, if your attitude is too casual it's easy to find yourself carrying more and more. Those few extra grams per item add up very quickly. As the old adage says; mind your pennies and your pounds will mind themselves. If you are disciplined enough with the basics then you can afford to take some (carefully considered) luxuries.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:02 am

RonK wrote:
elStado wrote:I've really started to think quite carefully about what I am taking with me and if it will be absolutely 100% essential or not.

I encourage you to continue with this line of thought. Whilst it's not necessary to be obsessive or extreme, if your attitude is too casual it's easy to find yourself carrying more and more. Those few extra grams per item add up very quickly. As the old adage says; mind your pennies and your pounds will mind themselves. If you are disciplined enough with the basics then you can afford to take some (carefully considered) luxuries.


I've already cut down my tooth brush. ;)

But seriously, I am in the process of putting various personal items into smaller, lightweight containers.. so instead of taking 3x 150ml containers (which is way too much for what I'll need), I am taking 3x 50ml containers instead. I also found a 15ml eye-drop container that is perfect to hold a good few weeks worth of chain oil, instead of the 120ml bottle I have currently have that I was going to take.

I'll also be very strict with my clothes as well, will probably just take two LS ground effect 'zip-tie' jerseys which are about 1/4 of the weight of my merino wool jerseys. If I need extra warmth I'll just bring a thin, lightweight merino base layer to go underneath. I know I am doomed to be a 'heavy' tourer simply because of the bike I am using, it is just too easy to take lots of gear because the bike is tough enough for it. However just because I have five bags (4x pannier bags and 1x handle bar bag) doesn't mean that I have to take any excess or heavy gear that doesn't have a specific use. I'll just have to work at finding the right comfort/weight balance.
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Vivente Randonneur

Postby RonK » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:51 pm

elStado wrote:I also found a 15ml eye-drop container that is perfect to hold a good few weeks worth of chain oil, instead of the 120ml bottle I have currently have that I was going to take.

You will probably get away with it, but keep in mind that flammable liquids are not permitted in baggage, and you will be required to declare that you are not carrying any. In the past I've bought chain lube at my destination (then forgotten about it and shipped it home in my baggage anyway).

My personal preference is for three sets of cycling clothes and one set of street clothes.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby elStado » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:27 pm

RonK wrote:You will probably get away with it, but keep in mind that flammable liquids are not permitted in baggage, and you will be required to declare that you are not carrying any. In the past I've bought chain lube at my destination (then forgotten about it and shipped it home in my baggage anyway)..


I use Green Oil which is vegetable based, non-toxic and non-flammable chain lube. Excellent stuff - very effective, cheap, safe for the environment and your skin and smells nice too! No issues with flying with it. The only flammable substance I'll need is methylated spirtits for my Trangia, I'll just buy a 500ml bottle of it when I get to Germany from the local market. It's common and cheap to buy there.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby il padrone » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:54 pm

RonK wrote:You will probably get away with it, but keep in mind that flammable liquids are not permitted in baggage, and you will be required to declare that you are not carrying any. In the past I've bought chain lube at my destination (then forgotten about it and shipped it home in my baggage anyway).

You've got me all worried about my September tour from Alice Springs now. I know I will need some chain lube in that time I and don't know about the range in shops when we are there. First days will be Sat/Sun as well, not so good for getting supplies.

Have checked the bottle of Purple Extreme and it is 'combustible'. But I also have a bottle of Squirt that is wax based and non-flammable, so that could be the go. I believe it performs similar to PE.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:07 pm

il padrone wrote:You've got me all worried about my September tour from Alice Springs now. I know I will need some chain lube in that time I and don't know about the range in shops when we are there. First days will be Sat/Sun as well, not so good for getting supplies.


I have flown before without issues, both internationally and within Australia. Didn't declare it, didn't even consider it as an issue.

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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby WestcoastPete » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:51 pm

Another advantage of the belt dive:

No lube, no spare links, no chain tool, but I'm screwed if it breaks!

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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby RonK » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:21 pm

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:You will probably get away with it, but keep in mind that flammable liquids are not permitted in baggage, and you will be required to declare that you are not carrying any. In the past I've bought chain lube at my destination (then forgotten about it and shipped it home in my baggage anyway).

You've got me all worried about my September tour from Alice Springs now. I know I will need some chain lube in that time I and don't know about the range in shops when we are there. First days will be Sat/Sun as well, not so good for getting supplies.

Have checked the bottle of Purple Extreme and it is 'combustible'. But I also have a bottle of Squirt that is wax based and non-flammable, so that could be the go. I believe it performs similar to PE.

Well, you could probably contact Alice Springs bike shops in advance and find out what chain lube they carry. As mentioned I have inadvertently packed chain lube in my baggage and gotten away with it, but it concerns me that I have made a false declaration and don't know what the possible consequences are if the item is subsequently found.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby hooliowobbits » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:36 am

redned wrote:Can either of you chaps with new VWRs tell me what they weigh, as delivered? The web site has a section called "weight issue" without actually saying what the weight is! thanks


I weighed mine this morning on the way to work. it's fitted variously with a half full water bottle, one less bottle cage than standard (it came with two), plus a small pump, puncture kit and a few allen keys. On the floor scales we have it's a bit hard to see, but it's around 15 kg (+/- 500g), ready to roll as advertised. Two kilos of that alone is the tyres. Yep. They weigh around 1 kg each. But now that i have spent some time on this bike, i do have a couple of things to say about weight. There's no avoiding the fact that the TYRES are really heavy. Depending on what philosophy you subscribe to because they are rotating weight and right at the edge of the wheel, they add double or even triple that weight to the perceived feel of the bike. I have some Bontrager 700x28 tyres waiting to be fitted, but i resolved to ride it stock for a month and make my choice then.

Long story short, i'm still running Marathons as low as 55psi. It's all relative; my other bike is a 11kg aluminium/carbon road/commuter and when i first got onto the VWR i felt like it just STOPPED at the hills. My road bike and my legs as they are EAT hills, but the VWR just doesn't work like that. If i try i just end up flogging myself and not actually getting anywhere. I don't ride it like that anymore. I'm spinning probably another 10 or 15 rpm and using all of those lovely little gears it has, and it's a real treat. I'm not arriving sweaty, I don't *need* to wear "cycling" clothes, i can just get on it and ride places. It's definitely slower, there's no doubt about that, but the fundamental issue is, i don't care (how heavy it is), I just don't feel like it's heavy anymore, it's become a non issue. Unlike my other bike, now I look forwards to the rain, to the dark, to heavy loads and long distances; because with a strong bike I don't need to be scared about what the road might present, and because it's not ultralight i won't be concerned that the progress along said road isn't always blisteringly fast, Touring is just a different type of riding, nes pa?
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:40 am

elStado wrote:
RonK wrote:You will probably get away with it, but keep in mind that flammable liquids are not permitted in baggage, and you will be required to declare that you are not carrying any. In the past I've bought chain lube at my destination (then forgotten about it and shipped it home in my baggage anyway)..


I use Green Oil which is vegetable based, non-toxic and non-flammable chain lube.


Did you get this locally by any chance?

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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:42 am

WestcoastPete wrote:Another advantage of the belt dive:

No lube, no spare links, no chain tool, but I'm screwed if it breaks!

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2


Ignoring belt drives for a moment :), are there any bike shops open in Darwin on Sunday's? I will be camping around Coconut Grove so if close they would be handy :)

Thanks
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby redned » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:29 am

Thanks for the comments on weight.
My question was in respect to airline travel. I travel a bit heavy with my mountain-bike-as-tourer and was thinking that a bike like the Vivente might be more suitable in lots of ways.
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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:39 pm

Aushiker wrote:
WestcoastPete wrote:Another advantage of the belt dive:

No lube, no spare links, no chain tool, but I'm screwed if it breaks!

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2


Ignoring belt drives for a moment :), are there any bike shops open in Darwin on Sunday's? I will be camping around Coconut Grove so if close they would be handy :)

Thanks
Andrew


Bikes to fit would be the go. I think they're open on Sundays; might be wise to ring before you need to rely on it though...

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Re: Vivente Randonneur

Postby il padrone » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:56 pm

redned wrote:Thanks for the comments on weight.
My question was in respect to airline travel. I travel a bit heavy with my mountain-bike-as-tourer and was thinking that a bike like the Vivente might be more suitable in lots of ways.

If flying with Qantas you can purchase an additional baggage item up to 23kgs for just $20, within 7 days before your flight. I'm planning to do this before flying to Alice Springs to ensure I don't blow the weight limit and get stung for excess baggage.
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