Aftermath - Brisbane POLO Tournament
The Brisbane Bench Minor
6 Teams - 2 Days
Saturday 29th-Sunday 30th September
Click Here for more Added: Thursday, August 30, 2012
First look at Velocity Jacksonville
Here is the first look inside Velocity's new manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Jacksonville local rag paid Tom & the new crew a visit last week.
Click Here for their full story.
As you'll see, production is well & truely underway. Most of the little bugs have been ironed out,
with the big shift halfway across the globe. Tom & the new team are now full steam ahead with
producing the rims again, & clearing the backlog of rim orders caused by loading an 800sq metre
factory inside a few 40ft containers. Both Velocity Australia in Brisbane & Velocity USA in Michigan
will have their first shipments arrive within the next fortnight. Added: Monday, March 05, 2012
Velocity to be made in USA
(Brendale, Aust.) Brothers and partners, Tom and John Black will begin manufacturing rims in Jacksonville, Florida in February 2012. Currently, all Velocity rims are made in Australia, but production will cease in Brisbane by the end of November.
Tom Black, the founder of Velocity, will be relocating from Australia to Florida where he will continue to oversee rim production at Velocity’s new manufacturing factory. Velocity’s distribution centre will continue to operate out of Grand Rapids, Michigan as it has since 1992 and become their worldwide headquarters; with the Australian facility remaining as the distribution centre for the Australian & Asian markets.
Velocity has been Australian made since its beginning in 1988 in Tom’s backyard shed, where he produced the original Velocage, gradually increasing to a handful of rim extrusions and bicycle accessories.
Since then, as demand has increased, we have seen two factory moves, to cope with production and improve efficiency.
As you may know, we have a large foreign client base, including 3 major distributors in the U.S alone.
To help with the current supply & demand of Velocity products, we see this as the best option, to assist supplying our handmade products to our valued customers.
With these changes taking place, we want to re-assure you that we will still be committed, and have the ability to focus solely on supplying you with the same great product and services we have for the past 23 years.
Velocity will now be the only U.S. produced aluminium rim in the cycling industry.
John Black, president of Velocity Worldwide, Inc., anticipates this to further propel the company as a leader in quality, ingenuity and customization, customers have come to love and expect from Velocity. Added: Tuesday, November 08, 2011
We have now uploaded the full Aerospoke colour catalogue. We keep most standard colours in stock like,
Black, White, Red, Blue, Orange, Pink, Green, Natural Black, Matt Black, Silver etc
If you wanted a special order from the Neon or Graphics range, we can order it speifically for you.
Contact your local dealer for price and availability.
To view the colour range, click HERE. Added: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Blunt SL Pro Build wheelset
Bringing together the proven success and technology of our P35 and Blunt rims, we've created a tubeless race day rim sure to elevate your riding to the next level.
Blunt SL rims are laced to our Lightweight ATB Pro Build Disc hubs with industry leading Sapim CX-Ray spokes and alloy nipples,
making these wheels just 1610g per pair!
Laced in a 0x/2x pattern up front for maximum braking performance and lateral stiffness.
2x/2x rear for maximum braking performance and power transfer, or a traditional 3x pattern, front & rear.
For more CLICK HERE.
Added: Thursday, October 13, 2011
UrbanVelo USA, Velocity Chukker test ride
Added: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I like to play bike polo. It’s a fun game, and with some exceptions not particularly hard on the body, but definitely fosters a lot of bike to bike contact. When you consider all the crashing, sprinting and hard braking, it’s not surprising that I’ve had a problem keeping my polo bike’s wheels true. I mentioned this to the guys at Velocity, and without hesitation they sent me a Chukker wheelset to see if it didn’t solve my problems. I told them that I was running a freewheel on my polo bike, and they were especially interested in my experiences running brakes with an anodized, non-machined rim. Having read Jobst Brandt’s theories on these subjects, I was quite interested myself.
Velocity’s Chukker rims are specifically designed for the more punishing disciplines of urban cycling—namely bike polo, as evidenced by the Chukker logo. With drillings of 32, 36 and 48 holes, they’re also geared towards freestyling, heavier cyclists and tandem riders. Of course they’re also a great choice for commuters who want to run a Deep V rim with high-volume tires. The rim’s profile is not entirely new, mind you. It’s a re-issue of Velocity’s proven Deep V ATB rolled into a 700c rim. At 24mm wide, they’re designed to hold high-volume mountain bike tires, they’re certainly at home with 35’s installed. And at 32mm tall, their strength and stiffness seem to be a force to be reckoned with.
Velocity’s complete wheelsets are hand-built in Grand Rapids. They came perfectly true with brass nipples and 14g straight gauge spokes laced to Velocity’s standard black track hubs. Some dedicated fixed gear riders may be disappointed that the Velocity hubs are threaded fixed/free, so you can’t run a fixed cog on both sides.
After one month of testing, I’m fairly convinced that these wheels are going to prove themselves to be bombproof. But only time will tell. Granted, I’m not hucking off staircases, but they’ve already taken some spills on the polo court, not to mention a few mallets to the spokes, and they’re still rolling straight and true. The brakes seem to lock up as well as they did on my old rims with machined sidewalls, even in wet conditions. I’ve been skidding all over the court and burning holes through tires. Most interestingly, even though I can hear that the pads are often gritty and wet, the anodization hasn’t even started to wear off. I’m fairly certain it will eventually give way to raw aluminum, but theoretically, that should only improve braking.
Bikeradar.com Velocity factory tour
Velocity Wheels. A quick spin around the factory.
By Owen Coutts
It's a hot Friday morning just north of 'Bris Vegas' – aka Brisbane, Queensland – and I'm lost. Velocity's new factory is so new that the road it's on isn't even signposted. The air-con's working overtime, as are my senses.
Australian industrial estates, like many in Europe, are packed with big trucks. The trouble is that Aussie trucks aren't just big, they're massive, making the tiny hire car I'm driving feel very small.
Then, out the corner of my eye, I spy the Velocity logo. I pull in to work out my route to the factory, which is now clear against the stunning blue sky. Joy! No more monster truck dodging.
Velocity was founded by two American brothers more than 18 years ago. Their first product was an adjustable bottle cage, the Velocage, and they slowly expanded into rims and wheels. They're still making bottle cages, too – more on those later.
At a time when many bike manufacturers' decals are changing from 'Made in USA' to 'Designed in USA' – generally with the addition of a second, much smaller 'Made in Taiwan' sticker – it's refreshing to tour the Velocity factory.
Aluminium extrusions are dropped off outside the factory
The wheel production process begins in California, where the aluminium rim extrusions are designed, with input from everyone from top bike polo riders to wheel size experimenter and bike lug legend Kirk Pacenti. The designs are then formed in downtown Brisbane and trucked out to the new production unit.
The lengths are first rolled into shape and then cut into a number of sections, depending on which wheel size is being created – 16in, 20in, 24in, 26in (559), 27.5in (650 b), 29er (700c) and a few extras too.
The extrusions are rolled into a shape like this and then cut to length
The next stage of production is to bond the rim. Some rims are pinned, but Velocity have found that their sleeve bonding system is stronger. We watched a classic Velocity product, the Deep V, being bonded together.
The joint is first cleaned and then coated with a heat activated bonding paste. The sleeve is placed inside the rim and it's then put into a jig where the joint is hand finished. While the bonding agent is still soft, the rim's position is finetuned in the jig. This makes sure it's 100 percent true and will stay that way.
Before curing, the rim is finetuned in a truing jig
Next, the rim and jig are placed on a heat unit to cure the bonding agent. Finally, the jig is removed and the rim is stacked ready for the next procedure. (To see this process in more detail, check out the additional images link at the bottom of this page.)
Almost all the Velocity rims are available with myriad different hole options. The reason for this is that Velocity do all their drilling in-house on a custom machine. This is adjustable for at least six options: 24, 28, 32, 36, 40 and 48.
Velocity do all their rim drilling in-house on a custom machine
The drill bit is tapered so that it produces a small, spoke sized hole inside the rim and a large hole on the outside to allow room for the nipples. Even though a monster amount of drilling happens, the factory floor is spotless and almost swarf free. The swarf that is left is recycled.
After drilling, the rims are either anodised or powder coated. Anodising is one of the few processes that happens off-site but the process is done locally to the Brisbane factory. Also finished off-site are Velocity's Deep V Image rims, popular with fixie fashonistas thanks to their glow-in-the-dark patterns featuring crazy eyeballs and suchlike, which are wrapped with their designs in Florida. A limited number of rims then return to Australia to satisfy the massive and still growing native fixie scene.
Velocity's Image rims have their graphics wrap applied in Florida, USA..
Powder coating, however, is done in-house. The first step is get the freshly drilled rims clean, in fact super-clean. Swarf is air gunned off and the rims are then dipped in a chemical bath to remove fingerprints and other surface contaminants. Fingerprints may sounds harmless but they contain oils and fatty acids that can ruin the powder coating process.
The rims go into the spray booth in batches to keep a tight control on quality. This also enables limited runs of special colours, which is great for Velocity as they can match supply with demand. So, if hot pink is this season's latest colour, they can make it happen without too much risk – a winner for the company and their distributors, and also for riders looking for the prefect rim.
Completed powder coated rims
We're pretty sure that Velocity have the largest range of colours (16 powder coats, seven anodised options and 15 image colourways) of any rim manufacturer, and with the potential to create limited edition colour runs in-house, it looks unlikely that this situation will change any time soon.
As the powder coating cures, a cage of freshly anodised rims arrives ready to join the production line. The next stop for some of the coated and anodised rims – disc-only and track rims skip this step – is the CNC machining rig.
Brake tracks are created in this CNC machine
Here, a slim (less than 1mm) section of aluminium is trimmed off to provide a super-smooth and grippy braking surface. This process highlights how important the first step in the production line is. If a rim was slightly out of true at this stage, the machining would also be out.
The final stop on the production line is for the punching-in of eyelets, which are used on some of Velocity's touring and mountain bike rims. This is another hands-on machine that needs precision and skill to use. After this, the rims are ready to be shipped to global distributors or, if you're lucky enough to live in Australia, hand built into a complete wheelset.
Velocity's complete wheelsets are all built by hand
This is a relatively new area for Velocity. Each rim is laced to a custom made hub, sourced from Taiwan. Each wheelset is made 100 percent by hand in Brisbane; many manufacturers use machines to lace their wheels and then just finish them by hand.
Another new-ish feature is the large decal on the wheelsets. This was prompted by customer and distributor demand. The driving force at Velocity is a desire to keep design simple and effective, with performance as a priority focus. Large decals may look nice but they offer no increase in performance, so they'd never been seen as a priority. However, sales have increased since they've been added, so style obviously counts for something.
The new decals have proved a hit
By far the best selling wheelsets produced by Velocity are the fixed gear/singlespeed models. Velocity told us that sales went from one wheelset a month to 16 or so a week in the space of a year. The Deep V is now a mainstream classic in fixie circles, but Velocity aren't resting on their laurels, as the recent addition of the bike-polo-specific Chukker and ultra-deep B43 rims shows.
Another recent addition to Velocity's well stocked arsenal of rims is the Kirk Pacenti designed P35. Original designed in the 'tweener size of 650b, the 35mm-wide rim is now available in old-school 26in, new-school 29er and newest-school 27.5in (aka 650b) sizes. The rim is designed to give tyres a super-wide, supportive base.
The P35 is designed for large-volume all-mountain type mountain bike tyres
The P35 should be ideal for the hordes of big-volume cross-country and all-mountain tyres that are now available. Velocity have just created a specific tubeless rim strip too, so now you can have 'big bag' (high-volume in Australian) tyres with the extra smoothness and lower pressures of a tubeless setup.
Roadies aren't missing out on new rim designs either, as Velocity have developed a new A23 and a wider version of their Aerohead, which is said to give more control and comfort by again giving your tyre a wider footprint. We looking forward to trying a pair very soon!
The A23 is Velocity's latest road rim
As our factory tour wrapped up, we were given a sneak peek at Velocity's all-new Velocage II bottle cage – a redesign of the first product they ever made and, as with all things Velocity, available in the full gamut of colours.
As we stepped out of the factory into the beautiful sunny Queensland day, it was time to do battle on the highways once again – under a blue sky brighter than even Velocity's powder coating could achieve!
The Velocage II is available in a rainbow of different colours
For more images just click here. Added: Thursday, July 21, 2011
Follow up on the Blunt SL review
Added: Tuesday, July 05, 2011
It’s been a while now since the Velocity Blunt SL wheels came over for testing and now it is time to give some first impressions on these wheels. You can catch all the details on the tech side in the Out Of The Box post here. Now, let’s see how the wheels have been holding up so far….
If you’ve been following along with my Specialized Ground Control reports, you already know that these Blunt SL wheels have been set up tubeless with those tires. The process was easy using Velocity’s Velotape kit, which is the same for the P-35, by the way. I simply laid in the tape according to the supplied instructions, (also found on their website here), and popped in the valve stem that features a removable core. A bit of Geax latex sealant, and the tires sealed up on the Blunt SL’s with little effort at all.
Once mounted with these tires, the Blunt SL wheels held the tires air pressure well, and seem to be secure so far. I’ve had as low as 25psi in these and as high as almost 40psi with no ill effects so far. As far as tubeless compatibility, my first impression is that the Blunt SL scores highly.
Besides the tubeless set up, these wheels have been pretty “invisible” in a good way. In fact, during tire testing of the Ground Control 2.1’s, I didn’t even give these wheels a second thought. They seem to be stable, and have not needed any attention so far. That’s a good sign, and typical of a well built hand laced and tensioned wheel set, which the Blunt SL’s are. I didn’t hear any “pinging”, which denotes spokes detensioning and stressing, which is another good sign that these should remain stable wheels for the long haul.
The hubs are working as I would expect them to. The rear hub is relatively quiet, for those wondering about such things, and engagement seems about average for a nicer quality wheel set. Those looking for a “clackity-clack” or “buzzing bee” sound from the Blunt SL’s Lightweight model hubs should probably have Velocity lace up your choice of hub to some Blunt SL’s, which they are happy to do. (Or, buy the rims and build your own.)
Overall, the wheels are solidly built. I don’t expect to have any troubles with this part of the review, but as always, I’ll be keeping an eye out for anything notable.
Performance of the rims has been great so far. I do detect the slightest amount of flex in these rims, and that in loaded off camber situations and hard cornering at times. I can’t say as I am all that surprised by this either. I mean, I am a pretty big fella, (weighing in at 230lbs these days), and the Blunt SL rims weigh down there where at my weight, a bit of flex is to be expected. For reference, the Blunt SL seems to handle a bit better than some of competitors rims I’ve ridden, and definitely on par with others in this category. Only carbon fiber seems to be able to hold up in the stiffness category while retaining low weight. Then again, those carbon rims cost a lot more money too, so there ya go….
All right, that about covers the first impressions. now I’ll be on to more riding and a Mid-Term Report in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned……
Major Tom & A23 reviews
Here is a product review from bikerumor.com about our new Major Tom Cyclocross & A23 pro built wheelsets from Interbike 2010. Added: Friday, November 05, 2010
TV commercial with Deep V's
With more and more TV commercials popping up with fixie's in them, we spotted a new one for bikeexchange.com.au during the TDF coverage and features another set of Velocity wheels. A nice White Deep V set. Check it out here. ( They are hard to spot, if your easily distracted! ) Added: Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Bicycle industry insider interview: Velocity USA's John Black
Aside from bicycles, of course, the main reason I choose to continue my futile search for fortune in the bicycle industry is because of the people I know and meet. There’s no shortage of extremely smart and passionate people who are insanely interesting, individualistic personalities. Sure it’s cool to be around famous athletes from time to time, but I much more deeply value the less publicly visible people that make the bicycle world go ’round. As such, I’ve decided to revive a special online series where we do a very brief standardized interview with some of these individuals: The Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series. I want to share the stories of these people with the rest of the world through the Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times web sites. This week we have…
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Current location: Same, lived here my entire life.
What do you do for/with/to bicycles? My brother Tom and I are partners, Velocity is our company. Together, along with the best people in the industry (maybe the whole planet!), we try to provide high quality, unique rims and wheels to all businesses in the cycling community.
What’s the best thing about your job? There are many best things about my job, I absolutely love it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Knowing what it takes to produce a rim from start to finish, I get a real sense of satisfaction when I see some one rolling down the street on our rims.
I like taking an idea and bringing it to fruition. I especially like it when it works! We don’t always hit a home run , but when we do, it is a great feeling.
What’s the toughest part of your job? Paperwork, I hate it! Jumping through all the hoops that our heavy handed federal, state, and local governments require is a major pain in the a**.
What was the path that led you to work with bicycles? It was the spring of 1978, I had just turned 14. I was getting real tired of cleaning dog kennels, which was my first real job other than delivering papers, mowing lawns and shoveling driveways. Tom was managing Alger Cyclery, a local bike shop, and I begged him for a job. I wore him down, and he finally made me an offer. You can see that I have been riding his coat tails for a long, long time. I felt very fortunate to be making a whopping $3.65 per hour…at the time I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of that money. There were several occasions that I was nearly fired. Bike wrenching did not come naturally to me, and it took me weeks just to figure out which end of the screwdriver to hold. Eventually, I figured things out, Tom moved on, and I became manager. In the mid-80’s Tom moved to Australia, and started tinkering in his shed. The first Velocity product was a water bottle cage. He contacted me at the bike shop and asked if I would be willing to bring in some of the cages to see how they would go. Over time, he successfully made his first rim, and I brought those in as well. In 1991 or so, Tom and I started talking about the possibility of me quitting my job at the bike shop and starting Velocity USA. We incorporated in August of 1992, abd by the summer of 93 it was my full time gig. I haven’t looked back since.
What was your first bicycle? My first bike was a purple Schwinn Bantam that was handed down to me from my sister. Being the youngest of five kids, I got all the used worn-out crap that my brothers and sisters no longer wanted. I got my first new bike on my 8th birthday in 1972. It was a red Schwinn Speedster—I loved that bike. The first bike I bought was a 1976 Schwinn Superior. I bought it within days of starting my job at Alger. My first several paychecks went right back to my boss in order to pay for the bike. I am still riding that bike today, and plan on being buried with it.
What bike do you currently ride the most? A white Milwaukee fixed gear that my staff bought for me last year. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. It is a great bike and a thrill to ride.
Where is your favorite place to ride? Anywhere and everywhere. Running out of pavement doesn’t stop me. If it looks interesting, that’s the direction I go.
What music goes through your head while you ride (literally or figuratively)? Whatever my iPod is pumping out at the moment, which is usually oldies, classic rock, and anything that came out of Motown. In my opinion, the best music was written in the 50s and 60s. I mean, how can you not like Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee (The Killer) Lewis?! There is some good stuff from the 70s too.
What are your interests aside from bicycles? My wife (high school sweetheart) of nearly 24 years is of great interest to me. I enjoy traveling with her, which doesn’t happen nearly enough. But now that our youngest boy will be a senior in high school this fall, the time is coming when we can blow Dodge a little more often.
If you weren’t working around bicycles, what do you think you’d be doing? After being in the bike industry for 32 years, I just can’t imagine doing anything else. I am exactly where I want to be.
Please share one of your favorite stories you’ve seen or been a part of while involved with the bicycle industry: Hmmm, that’s tough, it seems like each new day brings a new favorite story. I suppose one of my favorite stories was in the early days of Velocity…when I was knocking on doors and making phone calls to introduce myself and our company. Many people, including names that more than a few people would recognize, told me that a new rim company was the last thing this industry needed. They went on to say that basically: my efforts would prove to be futile, there just wasn’t any need, or room for another rim company. Well, we are still here, and I am glad I didn’t listen to them.
Who would you choose for the next subject for the Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series? This is my most difficult question to answer, there are so many fantastic people in our little industry. Seeing as how I have to make a choice, I pick David Cory of Quality Bicycle Products.
Why? David is the brand manager for Handspun wheels at QBP, he loves bicycles, and he is a wealth of knowledge. If I ever have a bicycle related question, he usually has the answer. He is generous with his time and the information he gives us. Besides that, he is just plain nice. Added: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Velotape tubeless kit
Velotape is a high pressure rim tape specifically designed to fit and convert our Velocity P35 rim for a tubeless application.
Each roll is 10m long X 24mm wide, allowing for two 29" wheels to be wrapped properly for a successful tubeless set-up.
Pack includes:- 1 x 10m roll of Velotape, 2 x tubeless ready Valves & step by step instructions.
Click here for more.
Added: Tuesday, June 22, 2010