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.
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).”
By Ben Coxworth
About the Author
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