I have been very curious about the Velo Orange Piolet frame.

It looks oddly familiar…

Ah, it kinda looks like the Bridge Club, one of my favorite Surly frames…

*SURLY* bridge club (S)

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

The full bikes look similar too.

When I’m on my Curious George vibes, I cannot stop. Let’s take a look at the geometry for both frames.

This is the geometry for the Piolet,

and this is the Bridge Club.

Hmm…okay, so the head tube and the seat tube angles are almost the exact same.

As a matter of fact, the only huge difference was in the BB drop.

The Bridge Club has a higher BB.

Let’s do the ol’ lay over comparison.

・PIOLET→ size : small, 26 inchers.

・BRIDGE CLUB→size : small, 27.5 tires.

That’s weird, the BB drops look the same…

Oh well, it’s just because of the photoshop.

*SURLY* bridge club (M)

First, lemme talk about the Bridge Club.

The Bridge Club is like a mellower touring bike when you compare it to the Troll, Ogre and ECR.

I remember reading that Surly wanted to make a bike for people who wanted to go on a chill tours with few loads on trails and paved roads.

*SURLY* bridge club (S)

The Bridge Club is great to have for riding daily and for random trips in the dirt, you thought of going spontaneously.

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

“Alright, now let’s look at the Piolet.

The following is the description of the Piolet by V.O.

The Piolet is our bikepacking and rough-road riding frame. It’s designed for off-road touring, including dirt and gravel roads, double track, and single track. We built it to be sturdy, simple, and very capable. As with our other frames it’s double butted chromoly steel. The fork is triple butted for reduced weight and extra strength. The seatstays come together in a cool mono-stay wishbone and compliment the segmented fork. The frameset is covered in bosses for easily mounting any racks, water-bottles, gear cages, and even fenders. It’s happily set up in bikepacking fashion or as a traditional rack and bag tourer!

The Piolet handles similarly to a XC mountain bike, but slightly more in the touring direction. Feels natural with drop bars or flat bars. Non-suspension corrected fork handles predictably with or without a load!

The Small are designed around 26 x 2.4″ tires. M, L, and XL use 29 x 2.4″ or 27.5 x 2.8″ tires. ”

*VELO ORANGE* piolet complete bike

(Size medium : with 27.5/2.8 tires)

I see, the Piolet was a dirt touring bike with Velo Orange’s point of view.

Come to think about it, I did think that the Piolet was a very stable bike even though it kinda looks like an MTB.

I felt like I was close to the ground when riding it. The bike felt really good when I took it on a test ride.

(I remember riding this bike before the Bridge Club or the Evasion from Crust. V.O. knew it all along.)

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

The “Segmental Fork” is a certain type of a front fork.

Apparently, Fat Chance were the first to produce them as a product. (They were even made by Tange)

It is said that they made these types of forks, to get the wider tire clearance, and to have both rigidness and elasticity. (Someone with more knowledge for these things, hit me up!)

The “mono-stay wishbone” is a special way of making the seat stay, which were very popular among MTBs back in the day.

I tried looking for the reason why these seat stays were popular, but I couldn’t find anything that seems legit.

I think V.O. simply likes the look of it. (I could be totally wrong though)


(Moots Bikes also still has mono stays…)

Whoops, I almost got side tracked.

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

V.O. wanted to make a touring bike, while still having an old MTB style…

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

so, you can see all these eyelets on the fork,

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (XS)

and all over the frame it self.

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

Just look at the amount of toughness they wanted on the head tube.

There are all these gussets welded on the top and down tube so you could ride safely with tons of loads and get a bit aggressive on the mountain rides.

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

The Piolet was born to be a dirt touring bike, but this is how a Blue Lug member will build this bike…

*VELO ORANGE* piolet (S)

Throw on a basket and make this bike a partner you ride everyday. FYI, this bike is also capable of installing fenders.

This bike hasn’t made any big changes since 2015, 2016-ish and I love how it still has QR wheel instead of shifting towards the modern trends like 12mm thru-axle or BOOST wheels.

Bikes with touring geometries are great for urban rides in general, so this bike is just right up our alley.


I compared the Piolet with this guy  just for the hell of it.

Yeah, this is a whole different thing.