Velo Orange Piolet – Final Review

A few months ago, I built up a bike that I was so intrigued to ride. My parts selection is a little eclectic, and the complete bike is anything but normal. It really doesn’t fit into any one category. This steel steed is my monstercross, mountain bike, do everything thrill ride. But, I think the ample amount of bosses, for racks, bags and bottle cages really makes this bike the ultimate backroad touring machine.

Almost all parts remain from my original build. The only modification I made was a 17 degree stem. Normally, I like a longer, neutral cockpit, but the super long top tube, left me reaching a bit. The 17 degree rise solved this issue and helps get my bars above the saddle. This is a good thing.

But how does this bike perform? For a steel mountain bike, it is surprisingly compliant. Now steel is definitely the most comfortable material you can ride and this bike does not disappoint. Over countless rock gardens and through the rip rap that covers lots of snow mobile trails in Northeast Pennsylvania, the Piolet exceeded my expectations. It’s not too punchy on flat gravel roads, but it climbs rather well for a 28 pound, steel mountain bike.

The Daja Far Bars keep me in an optimal position when bombing down loose gravel roads. The taller had tube coupled with the Grand Cru headset keep the front end stable while pounding through the rough stuff. The Grand Cru seatpost topped with the WTB Volt saddle is super comfortable. The SRAM Apex shifters and derailleur keep the drivetrain running smoothly. The SRAM GX crankset with the Dub bottom bracket is smooth. Although, I may switch out the 30t chainring for a 34 or 36 as I’m spinning out on some descents.

Whether set up with drop bars, flat bars or any of the many choices on the market today, if your thinking of steel, the Piolet should be your monstercross, gravel, touring or whatever bike. Check them out at velo-orange.com.