Very limited-edition Viks bikes made from stainless steel and imagination

The Viks is a stainless steel fixed-gear commuter bike, made in Estonia.

The Viks is a stainless steel fixed-gear commuter bike, made in Estonia.

If you create high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames and wheels for a living, what do you do when you’re looking for a fixed-gear commuter bike? Well, you don’t just get a Huffy. In the case of Indrek Narusk, designer with Estonia’s Velonia Bicycles, you create a stainless steel-tubed piece of art known as the Viks … and then you start making them for other people, with an eye towards commercial production.

“I’ve always liked to have custom and different things you don’t see on every corner,” Narusk told us. “So I thought about building a one-off custom frame. I did not want to build a regular diamond shape, so I started sketching different shapes and sizes. Some inspiration came from new school cafe racer-style motorcycles.”

When he thought about how the bike could actually be built, he realized that it would be easiest to form it from two tubular frames joined at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket. From there, he modeled the frame using SolidWorks, then set to work in his shop.

The first complete Viks bike he created weighed in at about 14 kilograms (31 lbs). He explained to us that he used overly-thick tubes, because they were all that was available at the time. Once other people saw his creation, however, they started asking about getting one for themselves. In response, he’s now pre-sold seven more Viks, which he’s in the process of building. Using thinner tubes and lighter components, he’s aiming at a weight of about 10 kg (22 lbs) for those models.

The Viks is made from two tubular frames joined at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket

The Viks is made from two tubular frames joined at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket

Like the somewhat similar-looking Rizoma, part of what gives the Viks its distinctive appearance is its lack of a seat tube. Narusk’s bike still accepts a standard 27.2mm seatpost, however, the height of which can be adjusted using a regular seat clamp.

For now, Indrek is waiting to see how thing go with his first seven bikes, and will set a price for any further bikes accordingly. “This wasn’t intended to be a business project, rather a fun little side kick,” he said. “We’ll see, if the interest continues to grow, then maybe I’ll make some more, as building bikes is one of the best ways to spend time (besides riding them).”

Source: Viks (Facebook page) via Bicycle Design

By 

About the Author

Ben Coxworth

An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben’s interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that’s designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn’t so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

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Bike Week’s off and pedalling! ~ With Bicycle Queensland

Each year Bicycle Queensland create a week and jam pack it full of interesting and fun events to participate in. It gives every cyclist an opportunity to try out an event, be educated and meet the cycling community. There are heaps of great events (most free) scheduled this week including the Sustainable Transport Seminar on Wednesday, SCODY Ride to Work Day [free] breakfast at Reddacliff Place (Brisbane Square) on Thursday, and Bike Film Night at Eldorado Cinema Complex on Friday. Bike Week culminates with the ‘Big Three’ bike rides – the BDO Brisbane Coot-tha Challenge, Great Brisbane Bike Ride and Family Fun Ride. With five distances to choose from – 100km, 60km, 50km, 30km or 10km – there’s something for everyone.

This year I have chosen to ride in the 100km BDO Brisbane Coot-tha Challenge. I’ll be riding it with my dad, brother and friends. One of my friends you will have read about, Julie P, as I wrote a profile on her recently. This is only her second Coot-tha ride and the second time she has ridden 100km in one day! WOOOOOOO!

It’s the first time that Black Beauty will have participated in an event. She is very nervous! I am very nervous!

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Glenn Hartas 96.5fm Family Radio. As I am very new at this kind of thing I was pretty nervous! Basically, I was hoping to reach out to other mothers whom are interested in riding their children to school and perhaps get on the bike themselves and experience the love of bike riding.

Podcast link below:

96.5FM Interview Women and Bike Riding

(Bike Week is a Bicycle Queensland initiative, proudly supported by the Queensland Government.)

Check out:

http://www.bq.org.au/

Being Ross ~ “Papa Smurf”

I met this gentleman on Facebook back in 2011. We met on-line through the Bicycle Queensland Facebook page. We got to meet in person at the Brisbane Airport when we travelled on the connecting bus to Goondiwindi for the 570km Goondiwindi to Brisbane bike ride. We instantly clicked. Ross is a beautiful man. His passion (besides from his wife and family) is cycling. Ross rides every day. I follow his rides on STRAVA daily. We stay connected through this forum. He lives in Perth, Western Australia. His daily Facebook posts boast photo’s of blue ocean and white sandy beaches…not forgetting to include images of coffee and cake! Ross is my Papa Smurf. On one of our rides together he was wearing a blue kit and with a white beard he was the splitting image of Papa Smurf! The name stuck. He called me Princess Chaos Castle. He reckoned that my tent was in a constant disorganised state. I was a Princess because I was given a crown to wear on my bike helmet by my fellow Princess: Princess Many Bikes. I shall tell you about her another day. Ross recently had a second knee replacement and is in recovery. He is getting very twitchy… It won’t be long before he gets back on his bike to clock up hours on the saddle exploring undiscovered lands in North Queensland this September.

Here is his story…

About 6 years ago I had been retired for 4 years, and took on a part time job with a stock market firm in the city. I had ridden many years ago and decided now was a perfect time to re start, and ride to work. A hybrid bike was purchased along with  the necessary lycra. I found this low impact exercise was perfect for my knees which had been giving trouble for some time.

All was well with the world, cycling to and from work, but I noticed these types on “road bikes” were always passing me!!! Right…back to the shop and get into a road bike. Now they were still passing me, but not as much.

Around this time I saw a notice for a 9 day bike ride in the WA South West. Why not? I was hooked!!! There’s another ride in WA. Were  do I sign up? And another in Queensland, Victoria, New Zealand, France, Tasmania. So was born a cycling groupie. The fantastic people I have met on these rides (with only a few grumpy ones) and the experiences has opened up a whole new world. I have become much fitter.  My wife, Jo and both my sons, have also got into cycling. Our differing riding levels means we don’t ride together, but we are all having a go.

I have never thought of having a goal with cycling, apart from being able to ride as long as I can. Riding at the head of the pack or fly up a hill passing all means nothing,  just being able to do it for my own personal satisfaction is all that matter.

My present cycling dream is getting a new bike. I have been lusting after a Specialized S Works SL4 for some time and all going well may satisfy that urge later this year.

Velominati : The Rules ~ Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is N+1

Caro's N+1

Caro’s N+1

Caro's Black Beauty

“Black Beauty” ~ road bike

Caro's Myca MTB

“Myca” ~ mountain bike

Caro's Pub Bike

“Pub Bike” ~ gym bike

Some  of you may be familiar with Velominati > The Rules

They are the Keepers of the Cog.  In so being, they also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of cycling etiquette known as The Rules. It is in their trust to maintain and endorse this list (being 91!)

At times I shall refer to “The Rules”.  I’m about to share with you that I follow Rule #12…

Rule # 12: While the minimum number of bikes one should own is 3, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

Myca

My first bike purchase was Myca. My brother bought her for me in 2007 when I decided to loose 25kg and gain some fitness. She is a Specialized 27 geared custom-tuned suspension mountain bike and weighs 14kg. I have ridden 1,225km on Myca. Some of my greatest achievements on Myca was when I rode her on 3 CQ Bike Rides: Yeppoon to Bundaberg, Goondiwindi to Brisbane and Gayndah to Noosa. I have ridden single and fire trails on her, the longest fire trail ride being from The Gap to Nebo and return.

Black Beauty

My second bike purchase was Black Beauty. My brother, sister-in-law and father bought her for me Dec 2012. She is a Avanti Questa 2 10 speed Carbon Fibre framed road bike and weighs 9kg. I have ridden 1,419km on Beauty. Her most pleasurable day out is Tuesday: the Lifecycle ‘Wombles’ River Loop! My longest ride on Beauty was a STRAVA 100mile (160km) Challenge. On March 24 she will participate in her first Coot-tha 100km Challenge. Let me tell you…she is biting at the bit to fall within the top 15 women’s 45-49 category!

Pub Bike

My third bike purchase was Pub Bike. I bought her for $40 from the Salvation Army in February 2013. She is a 1990 something Malvern Star single geared road bike and weighs, like…100kg! I ride him to my pfaff sessions at the gym. I do not ride him up hills. Mostly because when I hit a hill he stops like a donkey.

I love all my bikes. I try not to favour any one bike. They are like my children. I share my love equally. Oh for goodness sakes who am I kidding? Beauty is by far my favourite bike! When I die, her wheel will be my headstone and mounted to the wheel will be the following quote:

“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.

~ Charles M. Schulz

To embrace Velominati’s rules ~

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

Being Steve ~ “Coach”

Steve Amos Before

Steve ~ Before

Steve Amos After

Steve ~ After

This is a story about a remarkable friend of mine. I met him less than a year ago through my brother. My brother met him whilst riding his bike. This man is super amazing. He is a dad of 2 children with a wife which fully supports his cause and is also a bike commuter. She is a remarkable woman! I mean…what wife allows her husband to take women out bike riding? I use to ride my mountain bike about every second week. Maybe only every third week! I was a stationary bike addict. A gym junkie. A pfaffer. Steve use to call me ‘Carolyn’…one day I told him that my name was ‘Caroline’. He told me that he gets confused as he has many many ‘Carolyns’. 😛  We agreed on ‘Caro’. It stuck. I asked him “What shall I call you then? Stephen or Steve”. He replied “Coach”. It stuck. Coach convinced me that pfaffing in the gym was a waste of time. The only way to loose weight and get better at bike riding was to do it more regularly. He got me out on my bike twice a week. He took me up Mt Coot-tha on my 14kg mountain bike and showed me how to get up the top without needing a defib. He convinced me that I needed a road bike. That would make it easier for me. I liked that idea. I got one. He showed me how to ride it. He introduced me to Lifecycle’s ‘Wombles’…a group ride organised through the bike shop that Black Beauty was purchased from. I thank Coach from the bottom of my heart for showing me the joy of riding my bike. If you like the idea of commuting to work Coach is your man. Jump on it! You won’t regret it.

Here is his story.

I was a stereo typical guy in his late 30’s. I’d always been a big boned type of boy – but I was just packing on the weight a couple of kilos each year – alarmingly, despite eating reasonably well as I always had. It dawned on me that something had to be done soon as the scales started flashing big numbers at me. Yes – I’d become a stereo typical obese guy. At the same time I’d become increasingly frustrated at the slow, unreliable and increasingly expensive BCC busses I used for my daily commute. Around then I saw another Dad at the school who rode to town and back each day. Despite riding extensively as a child I hadn’t considered this due to concerns over car related danger. I asked him whether it was safe – and he explained the myriad of hidden bikepaths and quiet back streets that made up his mostly safe commute.

Before I knew it I was at the bike shop and the rest is history! That was some three years ago. Since then I’ve traded over 30kg of body fat for some 30 thousand kilometres pedalled under my own power. I now commute the 12.5 k to work by bike every day of the year – rain hail or shine. Plus, when the weather is good I ride here there and everywhere with my new network of friends.

Having seen how beneficial biking can be and how effective biking’s killer app – commuting can be I’m now pretty much evangelical about how riding should be a part of everyones life. Many of those that have known me for sometime see me as an inconvenient truth. I’m real proof that commuting by bike is possible, it saves you money, and can revolutionise your health. And I’m walking around the office and staying thin despite hoofing down ever growing quantities of food. As a result the “Cult of Steve” has an ever growing band converts who have seen the light. Members of the cult get a continual stream of encouragement and help.

My highest trophy is a double conversion. This is where I convert both members of the family. I haven’t quite succeeded yet but I’ve got some prospects! My cycling goal is to win the over 80 class in the Mt Coot-tha 100km Challenge although I suspect I’ll be jockeying with other cult members for the win…

Please check out Steve’s Website ~ http://everydaycyclist.org/

Being Caroline Jones @ ABC ~ Bike Week 2013

Caroline Jones & Anna Beck

Caroline Jones & Anna Beck

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Terri Begley for Kelly Higgins-Divine 612 ABC Brisbane for Bike Week.

I met an amazing mountain biker: Anna Beck (pictured above). I’m not going to lie to you. I was sh*t scared of being interviewed. I honestly had no idea what I was saying at the time, nor could I recollect it as I cycled back home! I hope that you get a bit of a laugh out of it!

Black Beauty must have made a little bit of an impression, as I was cycling with a group on Saturday and one of the guys said to me “Was that you being interviewed by the ABC on Friday?” I said “Yes…why…how did you know?” He replied “Because of her description of the ‘Pink Bike'”. 🙂

Attached, is the link to the interview:

http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2013/03/its-bike-week-on-ya-pink-bike.html

Please note the cool file name that Terri gave it 🙂

Losing my Coot-tha Virginity ~ Julie’s Story

The Coot-tha Gang
The Coot-tha Gang depart from Laurel Ave
Julie is Crowned!
Julie earns her Coot-tha Crown
Julie & Caro reach the Summit
Julie & Caro reach the Summit ~ Alive!
Julie & Coach are Glowing!
Julie & Coach are Glowing!
The Coot-tha Gang at the Summit
The Coot-tha Gang at the Summit

This is a story about a friend of mine (who Coach enlisted into his Commuter Cult) who recently lost her Coot-tha Virginity. She is a mother of 3 and lives at Wynnum Bayside Queensland, Australia. She commutes to her place of work, Brisbane City CBD,  three days a week ~ approx. 40kms round trip daily, even in the rain! Which according to Velominati Rule #9 she is baddass.  She has ridden just under 1000kms year to date and is an example of awesomeness! She is also a very talented writer and I get a thrill out of all that she writes! I hope you also enjoy her story as much as I did.

“A couple of crazy “cyclists” have been trying to con me into riding up Coot-tha for months.  They have tried all sorts of tactics, including the dishing out of a fairly hefty dose of peer pressure when nothing else appeared to be working (you people have children, right???).”

“I eventually cave into pressure and agree to do it.  I spend the three weeks leading up to C-Day cr*pping my pants, terrified of failure, pain and the possibility of a public stoning by proper members of the cycling community.  I envision starting my ascent, and making it about 50 metres before I have to get off my bike, and walk to “the summit”, the laughter of thousands ringing in my ears.

I am gripped.  There are so many potential risks to my life on this adventure.  What if I draw first blood and face-plant the tarmac?

Or my pedal snaps off, or my back light comes off and jams in my wheel, or I hit some death cookies, crack my skid-lid on a tree trunk and bring home a Christmas tree?  And this is a serious grunt – what if my granny gear isn’t enough?  It’s a real possibility, but one too horrifying to think about, so I push it from my mind.

The big day arrives.  A few of us assemble at Caro’s house.  I am scared that the hills on the way to the BIG hill will have me exhausted before I even get there.

We all assemble in a car park at the base of the “mountain”. One Coach with Phar Lap’s heart, one lunatic on a mountain bike with a camera, one crazy woman on a magenta bike, a couple of semi-seasoned riders and a two newbies, out to lose their Coot-tha virginity.  There is just enough time for the mental on the mountain bike to give me some quick advice. “ You need to do a sub-17 time”, he says.  “My 70 year old father can do it in that, so you should be able to.  Let’s set the bar high.”.  Oh yeah, sure, bru.  Except you don’t understand – I don’t do hills, bru.

I need to console myself.  My heart rate is above 350 and I haven’t even started riding yet.  Time for calm.  Time to assume a new personality, a glass half-full, life’s about risk, f*ck it, rock-on type of personality.  You know, someone ELSE’s personality.  I see a chick on a townie setting off up the hill.  If she can do it, I can – right?  Right?

We start off, and I notice that everyone seems to be going in slow-mo.  I do accept that the really serious dudes would have been up and down a few times by now, and are probably already sitting in a coffee shop somewhere talking about their time in “the zone” and how their new carbon-fibre bottle cage is 5g lighter and has shaved 0.001 seconds off their best time.  But still, I think, some of these dudes look moderately serious – they at least had the good grace to turn up in lycra (for the most part).  I figure they must still be reasonably fit and the fact that they are going so slowly gives me hope of something other than catastrophic failure.

We get a little way up, and things are going OK.  I still have a few gears left before I got to “granny gear”, and I feel OK.  Well, let’s just say I’m not dead, unconscious or vomiting, so I have exceeded all expectations.

For the first little bit, I am even conscious of what is going on around me – I notice the trees and the other riders, hear bits of conversations, and even sight a few plumbers’ cracks through well-worn cycling knicks (c’mon boys, these things have a natural life-span and at some point, they must DIE).

Just as I am beginning to tire, and wonder how I ended up here, Coach appears from nowhere.  I wonder if I am actually dead, or at the very least, suffering from hallucinations due to my brain cooking itself.  This can’t be real – my rear tyre is on backwards and the writing on the tyre doesn’t line up with the valve on my tube – there is no way Coach would be seen riding with me.  He speaks, chattering about mindless things, as if to highlight to me that not only is he real, but he is not even puffing, not even trying.  It’s easy-peasy, no trouble at all.  Smug little b*stard.  I think momentarily of tackling him off his bike, but just as I’m contemplating the logistics, I hear Caro calling words of encouragement and I am distracted.  [Coach, you owe her your life].

For a while, I appreciate the dialog.  I can see what he’s doing – he’s chatting to me, much like a gynaecologist talks to his patients to distract them from the pain and discomfort to come.  He gives the occasional warning about an upcoming steep bit, and some words of encouragement to keep me going.

But soon, my body starts diverting all available resources to my legs and lungs.  Coach’s voice starts sounding a bit distant.  I am barely conscious of what he’s saying.  I think he tells me I am the most intelligent person he’s ever met, and I am always right about everything, but I can’t be sure.

About 200 metres from the top, I start feeling a bit woozy in the head and a feeling of nausea consumes me.  I could keep going, I surmise, but common sense tells me that whilst Coach could probably manage riding a bike up a hill unconscious, it might be a little difficult for me without Phar Lap’s heart or guns that are the envy of the entire Australian cycling community, possibly the world.  So sadly, after dedicating the last five months of my life working up to this moment – my moment of glory, my time to shine – I make the agonising decision to stop and walk.  Dream shattered.  What is the point in living?

Coach graciously allows me to walk about 50 metres, before breaking into my thoughts and practically demanding I HTFU and get back on my bike (lest a sub-17 minute time slip from my grasp).  I oblige, and begin to plot my revenge.  Suddenly, he yells “We’re here!”, and it’s all over.  Well, the hard part, anyway.  I find myself thinking that it’s all a been for nothing – as I have failed.  And then Caro presents me with my Coot-tha crown – it’s so silver, and shiny and bejewelled and pretty and I regain my desire to live.

The rest of the ride seems like child’s play.  Obviously this is because I am now a finely tuned, and extremely elite athlete 🙂

The trip down the other side is one of the most absolutely funnest things, like, EVER!  I have to stifle a giant “Wheeeeeee!!!” all the way down.  I don’t even touch my brakes.  This is the reward for the climb and I’m going to enjoy it.

Anyway, thanks to all my partners in crime – it was a really fun day.  Did I just say that?

Riding up Coot-tha has proven one thing to me – all cyclists are a little bit unhinged.  If you see one on the street, run, Forest, RUN!!!  Because they are very, very dangerous.”

$40 buys you a Pub Bike and a great deal of fun!

Caro's $40 Pub Bike

My $40 Pub Bike

The Benefits of Cycling

It’s fun! It’s cheap! You make friends! You can ride to work! You can ride to the gym! You can ride anywhere! You loose weight while you are riding! Your legs will love you!

Cycling Creates Challenges…

A few weekends ago I decided to ride 160kms with some friends. It was also Black Beauty’s first long ride. It was a virtual challenge set by STRAVA (a ride tracker and person record Ap). The most I had ridden in one day was approx. 110kms on my mountain bike. I thought to myself: well, it really isn’t that much further is it? The route was set by a friend and my brother, starting from the famous Brisbane Breakfast Creek Pub. First port of call was Nudgee Beach. Next was back into the City and then an extended River Loop. Breakfast stop at West End. Then the third port of call was down to Cleveland, then Wynnum then back home via the Gateway Bridge.

Well…what can I say? It certainly was challenging! Some friends did parts of the rides, whilst some stuck it out to the bitter end. We all made it home without any injuries…which is a good thing. However, for some of us, there was some cramping, over-heating, grumbling tummies and a little bit of sun burn.

The scenery was wonderful! Brisbane has a beautiful river and glistening bays. Nothing is more enjoyable than to ride your bike near water.

We experienced a few hairy bits of road where buses came in a little to close for my liking. I don’t think I will ride this particular segment again! We copped a little abuse from some motorists as well. It saddens me to think there is such segregation. I hope that one day this changes.

I spent 7 hours in the saddle and I burnt 3,190 calories. To check out the route go here:

http://www.strava.com/activities/41907955

If you are a cyclist and are looking for something fun and refreshing, why not get a group of friends together, set a new route and go out on an adventure? There are so many places you can ride to. If you are nervous about road riding don’t stress. There are plenty of bikeways and back streets to get to your destination. All that it will cost you is a little bit of planning time.

Things to consider: Water, hydrolytes, food, rest, sun screen, safety.

It was so amazing to ride with other like minded cyclists who bursted with enthusiasm and positivity. I will always remember this day on my bike with my friends.

test

STRAVA CHALLENGE
8,965 Participants
512,898 Total Miles Ridden