When I first started looking at Velocite I was looking for a back-up race bike for My Bianchi 928 Hoc. Last season, that frame had been damaged when a stick went into my rear wheel and ripped my rear derailleur off. I took more than 6 weeks for the frame to be repaired and probably another 6 weeks trying to get a new, very hard to find derailleur hanger (I eventually had to settle for a used one sent to me by the manufacturer of the frame). During that time I had to train and race on my 15 year old winter bike, so this year, I didn't want that scenario to repeat itself.
The frames and the components looked great on the website and the prices were great too, seemed too good to be true. So at first I was a little skeptical, but after talking with Chad Hodges at DNA Distributing a bit, I decided to take the plunge, and if everything went well, even make the Velocite bike my primary race bike. The big items I bought were a Magnus road frame, a Noir 38/50 tubular wheelset, TLCS31 seatpost, FSA SL-K light crankset and the LICOS handlebars. About two weeks later I recieved the packages, I was very happy with finish on everything, the frame and fork looked exactly like the pictures on the website and as far as the wheels go, I used to work at a bike shop, I've built and trued hundreds of wheels, and have seen many factory built wheels come thru the shop as well, some wheels come in straighter than others. These wheels were perfectly true and round.
Before I started the assembly, I weighed all the parts individually. I was happy to find that all the published weights where pretty much right on the nose. Below is a list of what I got for weights versus the published weights.
Item Published Weight My Weight
Magnus Frame* 1115 grams Large Frame 1056 grams Small Frame
Bora Fork 355 grams 365 grams
LICOS Handlebars 176 grams +/- 5g 178 grams
TLCS31 Seatpost 175 grams w/decals 176 grams
Noir 38/50 Tubular Wheelset 1178 grams 1174 grams
* The frameset had the BB30 crankset bearings already installed. To compensate for this I weighed the headset bearings and then subtracted that weight from the total frame weight.
The build-up was pretty straight forward. Below are a couple of notes on the build I felt worth mentioning.
This is the first Bike I've owned with the BB30 crankset. The BB30 system allows for a very stiff, very narrow (Q-Factor) and lightweight crankset, you need some specialized tools to install and remove the bearings, for a small service charge Velocite installed the bearings for me.
Installation of the crank is actually pretty simple, there are couple of small seals that slide over the spindle, one for each side. The tolerances between the bearings and the crankset spindle are very tight, so sliding the crankset through the bearings was a little tricky. I put a light coating of grease on the surfaces of the spindle that the bearings ride on. The spindle passed through the first bearing pretty easily. Getting it through the second bearing was more difficult, at first the spindle didn't want to slide in. I was starting to think there was a problem with the alignment of the bearings in bottom bracket shell. There was a temptation to use force at this point, which I'm sure would be a bad idea. So I just kept fiddling with it. Suddenly out of the blue, it just slid in, this process of getting it through the second bearing took in total slightly more than 5 minutes, it seemed much longer. I don't think that it would be a bad idea to remove, clean and re-grease the spindle once a year to avoid any chance of seizure.
Rear Brake Internal Routing:
Velocite delivers the frameset with piece of plastic coated wire though the holes in the frame that the brake housing passes through to assist with the installation. You can take the wire, slide it into the brake housing, then pass the housing through the first hole and the use the wire to get the housing back out of the second hole. If the wire is too short, or is accidentally removed from the frame, it's probably easiest to work the bare brake cable through the frame and then pass the housing over the cable to get the housing through the frame. I used Nokon housing on my bike, so on rear the brake I had Nokon housing on the external areas, with a short section of standard housing where the cable passes through the frame, I used double sided ferrules on either side of the section of standard housing to mate it to the Nokon housing. Nokon provides pieces of clear fuel line to protect the frame. The fuel line also works for standard housing and is available in different colors at automotive outlets.
Over the years, I continue to constantly tweak my riding position, to ensure that my position transfers, and is common from bike to bike, before I cut the fork, I take photos of each bike and overlay them in photoshop. This allows me to make my position exactly the same on all of my bikes. The photo below is a comparison between my old race bike and my new Magnus. In this photo, it's really hard to see what's going on, In the actual program it's much easier. You have all kinds of tools, each photo is on a different layer and you can fade each photo in and out and also draw guides. One note on doing this, obviously you want to be as consistent as possible from photo to photo. If the handlebars are turned even the slightest bit to the left or right, it will it appear as if the reach to the brake levers is off. For this reason, I only look at the bars and levers for height. However, you can use the stem as a reliable reference point and then measure rest with a tape measure on the actual bike. In this picture, I'm almost finished. Level out and lower the saddle a bit and then twist the handlebars down about a 1 or 2 cms.
In closing, I'm really happy with quality of my Magnus and all of the Velocite components I purchased. Velocite is a growing company that is very passionate about the quality and development of there products. Chad Hodges with DNA Distributing has always been helpful and very quick to get back to me with answers to any questions I've had.
Total weight of my race ready bike without pedals as pictured below is 13.75 lbs. With a pair of stainless Speedplays (206 grams), the complete bike would still weigh just over 14 lbs.