Don't box me in, bro...
From the beginning, we've been known for color work. Hues that you don’t find elsewhere in the bike world, unexpected color combinations and graphic treatments identifiable as Speedvagen, even if spotted at a distance down the road. Dating back to the early years of Vanilla, it has been common for our customers to give us some info (Are they looking for mean, or fruity, or classy; colors that they like and don’t like.) and then turn us loose giving us freedom to do what we want with their bike.
We’ve learned over and over again that when people turn us loose and trust us, we are our most creative and excited. Probably true for everyone. Autonomy right?
When we launched Speedvagen 10 years ago, we took the notion of ultimate trust one step further and debuted our Surprise Me paint option. With the promise of “No hints. No regrets.” Each Surprise Me scheme represents the pinnacle of design that we’re most excited about in that year.
One and Done
We do each SM scheme for one year and then it goes in the vault. In a given year, we end up building and painting a handful of SM’s for riders on nearly every continent. The fifteen to thirty Surprise Me owners from a given year have a kinship with each other. Surprise Me owners as a whole have a connection with each other. Risk taking. A little rebellious. Doesn’t take stuff too seriously. Likes to shred.
2017 Surprise Me
We fell in love with polka dots a few years ago, when incorporating them onto the Leave It On The Road team bikes and more recently the 2016 Surprise Me paint schemes. They're racy (king of the mountain jersey anyone?), a great way to bring in a hit of color and they make sure that a bike isn't taking itself to seriously.
Well, sometimes you just can't not do something and since those first bikes, for Speedvagen founder and creative director Sacha White, polkadots have stayed in the front of his mind, as a sort of compulsion. "I need to do more of this!"
After working for the better part of a year on possible designs for the 2017 Surprise Me, the polkadots just wouldn't stay quiet and Sacha put the original designs on the shelf. "we gotta do a completely polkadot frame, you guys!"
That set the course and after lots of crappy napkin sketches, digital mock ups, paint samples, and trial and error making unicorns freehand with a paint brush, the 2017 Surprise Me is born!
Details and Colors:
Each Surprise Me is a different combination of colors, some more classic, some are tough. Any bike ordered now through the end of 2017 can be ordered as a Surprise Me and it'll get the same graphics layout, but with it's very own mix of Surprise Me colors, with accents like paint-to-match hubs, stem, frame pump and our new (!) anodized dropout faces and headbadge kit.
This year, we balanced the crisp and geometric dot pattern with a rough, hand drawn Speedvagen text, circles and the SV shield. We also gave the bikes a color palette that you're sure to see more of in the coming year.
Just like all Surprise Me schemes from the past, this is truly a snapshot of where our heads and hearts are in 2017.
Thanks for sharing in our excitement!
speedvagen standard features
Speedvagen steel is realer than real
Made from the latest technology, our new steel is to traditional steel what a Tesla is to a 60’s Ford. 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. Learn more about our tubing in our deep dive.
Meet the Berzerker
This dropout is our lightest and smartest to date. The Berzerker dropout is cast from a super strong steel alloy and incorporates stainless steel inner and outer faces. The use of dual materials means that we get the strength of the base metal and the protection from wear and tear offered by raw stainless.
The integrated seatmast makes for beautiful lines. There are a couple
of things that are unique to our bikes. Each length of every Speedvagen seatmast is finished specically 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.
Carbon Fiber Seat TuBE
We developed our carbon ber seat tube with our friends at ENVE Composites the same way we have worked with our steel tubing partners. Using the highest quality materials and most-exacting processes, we created a seat tube made to our exact specifcations for thickness, stiffness, and weight. The carbon seat tube will soak up shock from the road, it offers a weight savings of between 200-300 grams depending on frame size and comes standard on Superlight Speedvagen models.
Internal battery customization
We’ve developed our own integrated battery system which affixes the Shimano or Campagnolo battery neatly inside the top of the seatmast and under the seatpost head. The system is beautifully designed, weatherproof, and requires no tools for installation or removal of the battery for charging; it’s a pleasure to use.
Custom painted hubs
Hubs are a prime location to incorporate your Speedvagen frame color. Instead of the wheels looking like extra parts bolted into the bike, we like to carry the frame color down the fork and frame, through the hub and back up the frame/fork on the other side.