Recently, we sent out a survey to all existing Speedvagen owners...
One of the questions was, ‘What first drew you to Speedvagen?’ Most people responded with design or paint - something about the look of the bike.
The next question was, “If you were to tell your friends one thing about your Speedvagen, what would it be?” Ninety percent responded ride quality. How the bike rides.
People gravitate toward us because of how our bikes look. What they are surprised by and what makes them come to love their Speedvagen like a best friend, is that it rides better than anything else they’ve been on.
The way our bikes look is important to us; tons of beautiful details, all balanced so that no one thing stands out—that definitely drives us. Any detail that you see on a Speedvagen is there because of it’s function. We ask, how is it going to make the bike ride better; how is it going to make the rider’s experience better; and then, how can we make those details understated and beautiful?
As you read through our guidebook, you will learn about all of the elements that make a Speedvagen ride so unbelievably well. And when you pull the trigger, you’re going to get that beautiful bike that you’ve been lusting after on Instagram, our website, or your pal’s garage. What you may not know is that you’re also going to get a bike with a fit that makes you more powerful and allows you to feel at one with the road; a bike that has details you may not notice for years and construction that any bike nerd would appreciate 100 years from now when the paint is tattered, leaving the raw form of the bike. This is the stuff, for us, that makes our bikes “best friend material.”
We’re not here to make a gagillion bikes. We’re here to make a few, very labor intensive bikes that will be truly meaningful for their owners.
Please spend some quality time with this guidebook. Then, let’s jump on the phone to talk through any questions you have and get your dream bike started!
Sincerely, Sacha and The Vanilla Workshop Crew
Welcome to the workshop.
here's what's new for 2017 and beyond.
Speedvagen now come as either Ready Made with our dialed stock geometry or Full Custom. Both are handmade with the same materials features and techniques. Custom offers you full license to go wild with paint, component spec and all the details. Ready Made is a straight-to-the-point way to get your hands on a hand built Speedvagen in under two weeks.
EXPANDED READY MADE OFFERINGS
For it’s second round, our OG1 road machine will have options for Ultegra mechanical shifting, as well as Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting. The OG1 will come standard with Fabric Scoop titanium railed saddle and our favorite new color—CITRON! And while the complete bike is a killer deal, we’re now offering the OG1 as frameset, (frame, fork and Ritchey seatpost head), for those who want a Speedvagen, but also like to build their bikes up themselves.
NEW 2017 COLORS
We are so pumped on the 2017 color palette! Springboarding off of our favorite Surprise Me from last year, this year’s family of colors includes Slate Blue, Vermillion, Citron, Pink, and the original Speedvagen color, Army Green.
OVERT PAINT SCHEME
We’re always making little changes to our paint schemes–flexibility and creativity is a huge benefit of having paint in house. This year, we’ve revamped our flagship Overt scheme, incorporating tonal Ichico text and even more rad racy stripes, plus bold Speedvagen shields and logos.
Our “chef’s choice” paint option gets the newest of what we’re working on–a snapshot of the the future of Speedvagen design, combined with the surprise of not knowing what you’re getting until you open the box. This year, we’ll be dropping Surprise Me items every so often, ranging from little $5 pieces to very special, labor intensive, limited projects. As with the bikes, the Surprise Me items will have “No hints. No regrets.” new for 2017.
HARSH CLIMATE PROTECTION
For those living in coastal regions or riding year round in areas with salted roads, our custom frames now come with the option of Harsh Climate protection to preserve all areas that are typically affected by corrosives. Our HC package includes: • Stainless Steel Headtube, Bottom Bracket Shell, Waterbottle Bosses, Cable Stops, Front Derailleur Brazeons • Full Stainless dropouts • Anti-corrosion chemical treatment inside and out on frame before paint • Multiple extra coats of paint (primer, color and clear) • Thorough coating of protective oils inside of frame post-paint
Do you like light weight with the great ride of a steel race machine? This is for you. In addition to our original custom road model, you will have the option of a custom Superlight road frameset. With the Superlight, thanks to our new steel, stronger stainless, and some strategically placed carbon, you can get great handling and a balanced ride and drop one full pound from the overall weight of an already light Speedvagen frameset!
WANT MORE CUSTOM?
This year, we’re going even deeper on details with our component offerings. Topping the list is our new super light Kit X. It includes hand built wheels combining ENVE SES 2.2 rims with hubs by Italian machine shop Extralite, brakes from EE and other special touches bringing overall bike weights as low as 13 lbs. We are also offering a couple of power-meters, three new custom saddle and bar wrap offerings from Busyman in Australia, plus Silca frame and floor pumps, beautifully painted to match your new bike!
let's talk design philosophy
We design our bikes not only to even out weight on a rider’s contact points, but also to distribute the rider’s weight perfectly onto each wheel—an elusive attribute of bike design. We call this balance — frame geometry designed to perfectly connect the rider with their bespoke machine and through that, connect them to the road. To achieve this perfect balance, our fit process focuses on the relationship between core muscle groups to find the perfect position for you and your Speedvagen. Good fit is your body being in the right shape where your back and arm muscles relax and your body is free to move on the bike. The result of perfect fit and balance is a rarified pairing where you are connected to and working with your bike, rather than fighting it. Because the bike is perfectly weighted, you can push harder through corners with more confidence than ever before. You won’t know until you try it and this is your chance!
Look closely at a Speedvagen when you see one in person. Every curve and line of the frame is designed to look and work as one. Our head tube design is shaped perfectly to pair with the lines of the ENVE forks, smoothly cascading from tube to headset to fork crown. The seat stays hug the form of the wheel tapering flat and wide for a smooth ride and creating a beautiful silhouette from behind. Frame-to-component interfaces are mated with stainless reinforcement in high-wear areas—their curvatures smoothly blending between the tubes they attach. The ultimate example is our Di2 battery storage that tucks away inside your seat mast with our own machined aluminum cap that echoes the shape of a classic sports car gas cap. Small parts like cable stops, stainless steel reinforced brake bridges, head tube reinforcing rings, and down tube adjusters are all of our own design. These features and all of the frame elements are what take every Speedvagen frame to eleven.
craft means putting 150 hours into every bike
Details make the difference.
The time and care we put into each bike goes toward the craft of hundreds of details big and small. Each refinement alone is not revolutionary, but when put together make for a rarified gestalt experience, on and off the bike. This sum, greater than each part, is a feeling—an emotion for how the bike rides that only a Speedvagen can give you. From start to finish, we put 150 hours into each and every Speedvagen. Ask around and you’ll find that in the world of custom bikes, this is an extraordinary amount of time. A mass produced steel frame can take just an hour to build while a basic custom frame can take as little as ten hours. There are a lot of bikes in the world. Heck, there is a lot of everything in the world. We are not here to crank bikes out and fill the world with more stuff, stuff that is just OK, or even stuff that is good. We are here to make a handful of bikes that are the pinnacle of ride quality and to give our customers a rarified great experience. We’re here to bring excellence to the world.
the speedvagen frame
We design Speedvagen road bikes in the tradition of the great stage race machine.
They are comfortable for long days in the saddle and solid at high speeds. Well behaved while climbing and confidence inspiring in descents. Riding curvy roads, in the heat of “battle” the bike feels better and more fun the faster it goes.
It’s not the material, it’s what the builder does with it.
We’ve all ridden good and bad frames made out of carbon, Ti, Aluminium and steel. What the builder does with the material is what either brings it to life or leaves it wanting. Is your builder a master of their material? Are they getting the most out of what that material can do? Made from the latest technology, our new steel is to traditional steel what a what a Tesla is to a 60’s Ford. In reality, the material of our frames is so different from the traditional steel, that it’s more like a distant cousin. That cool older cousin from the big city who comes to visit you in Smallsville, Ohio. The one wearing Metallica t-shirts and and driving an obscure hotrod and telling you all about the big world out there for the 6 days she’s in town.
Our new steel tubing is made up of the strongest alloys from True Temper and Columbus. The stronger the alloy is, the thinner it can be drawn. The thinner the tubing, the lighter it is. When you go thin and light, you also need to make the diameter of the tube larger to keep the frame stiff. Look at one of our frames—you’ll see larger diameters up at the head tube to deal with the twisting forces from the rider pulling on the handlebar in a sprint and smaller diameter at the seat cluster to help absorb shock. The down tube is bi-axially ovalized (fancy words for ovals being oriented at 90 degrees to each other) because you have vertical force up at the head tube and side to side force where the down tube meets the bottom bracket. The seatstays are curved to soak up shock and flattened to resist your pedaling forces.
With our new steel, Speedvagen tubes are 4-6 times stronger than the tubing people typically associate with a steel bike. Because it’s stronger, it can be made lighter, resulting in a Speedvagen as light as 13lbs (6kgs) complete.
Check out the deep dive HERE for more on Speedvagen materials.
The integrated seatmast makes for beautiful lines. Each length of every Speedvagen seatmast is finished specifically for its owner. We also use stainless steel around the top of the seat tube where our post head mounts, rather than the post head wearing on a painted surface. The result is lighter and cleaner than a traditional seatpost, and the collar looks great topped with our ENVE-made Speedvagen post head. Lighten it up with the ENVE carbon fiber seat tube upgrade and you could be defending your machine to the UCI. Another benefit: You won’t need to buy a seat post! Our framesets include the custom-sized seatmast and saddle assembly saving you up to $350 on the final build.
A prime example of our form and function approach to design. We use very light material for the main body of the head tube and reinforce the ends to distribute stresses from the rider and the road. These reinforcements taper out to just the right diameter before meeting the headset, making for a beautiful transition. Each head tube is finished by hand and sized to the perfect length for it’s owner.
All in, this adds an hour or so to the process of making a frame compared to a standard head tube.