Bike Check: Will’s Velo Orange Campeur

Will spent a good part of his summer over on the Sunshine Coast, or working somewhere even further afield off the Sunshine Coast. Exploring the area’s endless back roads and riding bikes led to putting together this Velo Orange Campeur touring build. Or is it a ‘bikepacking’ build? Whatever you want to call it, Will’s Campeur has some unique features that make it a versatile bike for all sorts of journeys – handily ready for long paved trips, or short day trips, but also at home on the less-than-perfect surfaces of the west coast’s more remote, often neglected back roads and logging avenues.

Velo Orange Campeur

While Velo Orange has drilled their Campeur for all sorts of pannier attachments, Will’s current set up is based around a tan Inside Line Porteur Rackbag. It’s a solid set up that looks ideal for shorter trips, as part of a build for longer journeys or, with it’s easy shoulder strap attachment, even moving stuff around town here in Vic. Handmade in California, the cordura Porteur Rackbag seems perfectly prepared to leave the sunny Cali shoreline for more rugged Coastal adventures. It’s clean aesthetic is backed up by all the weather proofing and load securing features you’d want for longer trips.

Like any good touring build, Will’s Velo Orange is a careful mix of primarily functional bits – the parts you need to know will quietly keep on working, and working, and working – and the quirky, special parts that give the bike character to match it’s rider. ‘Dependably functional’ is right in Shimano’s wheelhouse, so their reliable 105 and Tiagra groupsets work together to keep Will moving. A touring drivetrain is no place for ultralight, electronic, or anything hard to find spare parts for in a fix (i.e. Italian) so the Japanese cycling giant is the perfect source for easily-replaceable moving parts. Thompson fills a similar ‘quiet quality’ role holding Will’s seat in place, and there’s a perfectly serviceable, tough looking Mavic A119 rims rolling on Shimano hubs down below. For tires, Will’s running 40mm Clement X’Plor MSO rubber. With enough volume to smooth out some of the washboard bumps, the X’Plor MSO also has a tread pattern designed to combine straight line rolling speed with some semblance of cornering traction. For getting loose on those gravel switchbacks without getting too loose.

After that, things get more interesting. Boutique American components brand, Paul, steps in with the touring specific version of their cantilever brakes. Not only does Paul still make canti brakes, they have multiple versions of their canti brakes available. Up front, Cinelli transforms lowly bar tape, so often overlooked or ill-considered, into a power combo of function and aesthetics. Not only is the Volee tape’s rubberized padding designed to improve shock absorption and give you grip on bouncy back roads, but the implied adventure of Cinelli’s ‘Hobo Alphabet’ print aesthetically aligns Velo Orange’s Campeur with the ethos of touring. No translation guide is provided, though, so make sure to google before going off the grid. Cinelli’s physical embodiment of the spirit of adventure is wrapped around an ultra-flared set of handlebars that provide a range of possible hand positions, for longer days in the saddle, and leaves room – just – for that Inside Line Porteur bag. Rounding out Will’s V.O. is a pair of Arundel cages. Carbon cages are nice, but metal cages are far more capable of fine tuning if you want more or less grip or have a just ever so slightly different diameter water bottle that you’d not like to lose 30km outside of the last town for days.

Click through the gallery below for details of Will’s Campeur build, and that Cali-made Inside Line bag: