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We got a box of goodies from the wonderful folks at Velo Orange…some items that should come in handy in my new riding locale. Let’s take a look, shall we?

First up is the Polyvalent Crankset:

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Straight from the VO website:

The wide range Polyvalent crank has 46/30 rings and comes with a high polish alloy chain ring guard. The 46/30 rings give almost the range of a triple when used with a wide cassette, while the chain ring guard helps keep your pants clean. This is a great crank for city bikes and utility bikes.

If you live in a place that’s not desperatly hilly, you can stay 46t ring for most of your riding. When you do encounter a steep hill, or tow a trailer, you can leave the chain on the 30t ring. Shifting the front derailleur is greatly reduced, but you have almost the range of a touring triple should you need it.

As I moved from pancake-flat SW Florida all the way to the rolling hill country of western Ohio, none of my commuter bikes have reasonable gearing to handle these hills. The Polyvalent cranks should be a welcome addition.

Next up is the Model 3-Touring Saddle:

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More info on the saddle from VO’s website:

Velo Orange saddles are made of the finest Australian cowhide. The frames are sturdy chrome plated steel. The midsection of the aprons are tied together underneath so the saddle won’t splay out over time. The rivets are chrome plated and the edge of the skirt is skived. The rails are about 10mm longer than on Brooks saddles.

The Model 3 saddle is 170mm wide and 285mm in length. This is a size that most will find ideal for long distance touring and casual riding. It is particularly appropriate if your handlebars bars are set at, or above saddle height. Weight: 665g.

I’ve never liked Brooks-style leather saddles…because of my gossamer (!) weight, it takes forever to truly break one in (I float on the top of the saddle rather than sinking into it). And, without that break-in, such saddles can be a real pain in the…you know where I’m going with this. Besides, in an area that gets nearly daily rain in summertime, I was always concerned with damage and constant upkeep of such a saddle. Well, it rains here, too, but now I’ve got a good excuse to really try this saddle out and see where it takes my backside…to pleasure town or to saddle hell itself.

Finally, the third product we’re testing is the set of deep half clips for pedals:

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Half-clips like this offer most of the benefits of full clips, but without the straps. And, these may even fit the BMX platform pedals I favor on my primary commuting rig as the pedals are drilled for clips. These should also help me conquer the many hills in my area. The VO half clips are nicely-finished chromed steel, and are sized to accomodate street shoes and running shoes, among other practical footwear.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as I install these products onto my rig and hit the streets of Ohio. And pray for me on these hills…some of them are doozies!

In the meantime, take a spin on over to Velo Orange’s great website and drool over some of their other products.