Follow along as my girlfriend and I put together her next bike. Our starting point is this:
A Velo Orange Mixte frameset. She and I both have a fondness for this style of frame, and the Velo Orange version is really lovely. Fully lugged steel construction, classic styling, and a pretty blue paint job. I presented the frame and fork, still in the original shipping box, fully gift wrapped, at Christmas. I was certain she'd figure out what it was... in fact, I asked one of my staff, after I wrapped it "If you were to get something like this from someone you knew was a bike person, would you guess it was a bike?" and he laughed and said of course!
Well, imagine my surprise when my girlfriend had no clue, even as she peeled the gift wrap off and saw the box and Velo Orange label. I guess it was just not on her radar, because after the fact she said she thought MAYBE it was a set of fenders or something, but never dreamed it was a frame. Anyway, a great surprise, and she's very excited to start the process of picking parts and accessories and building it up with me.
As an amusing sidebar, we just discovered this blog post from another DC-area bike blog, in which the writer documents the unpacking of the very same frame in a very humorous "for me?" format. Of course, since it appears she bought it for herself, there's not the element of true surprise, but it's fun reading. And a really interesting blog all around.
So what's the plan? Well, it's still taking form, but at the moment, we're aiming for a bike to use for shopping, commuting, riding around town, and maybe a little touring. And it's got to be stylish to boot! We've been poking around online looking at other people's bikes, as well as various parts and accessory suppliers' websites, and bouncing around ideas. So far it's looking like we're going with a Shimano Nexus 8 speed internally geared hub, and probably some flavor of Shimano dynamo hub on the front.
Watch this space for future developments!