It’s GRIM out there…

It’s GRIM out there…

Winter can be GRIM in the UK:

The above sale is the OLSEN Bikes way to encourage all cyclists to keep commuting and riding through the winter. This investment is good for you and better for the planet. Encourage others to ride one day a week is a 20% reduction of commuting by car. If working from home this can be the quick vehicle of choice to do errands.

Bridging the Gap between Summer and Winter… Autumn.

I have always found a way to commute to work by bicycle. The last 10 years have been mostly off-road over the South Downs. This has been an excellent development ground for OLSEN Bikes. Riding in the morning also lifts the spirits when the endorphines kick in. At the start the most I had ever commuted was 45mins one way. I started 1 day a week cycling 1hour into work and 1 hour back. As a result, I started getting fitter and riding more until I was riding everyday. The more I rode the more I needed a zero maintenance bicycle.

Winterproof drivetrain options:

We want to help riders to invest in a bike that will keep you riding in all weathers. Most seasoned riders will tell you that the chances of getting soaked all the way through is very small. UK weather is mostly drizzle and it does not get wet fast. UK weather does leave the trails wet muddy which ruins derailleurs, jockey wheels and chains.

It is easy to design a bike for summer riding as the derailleur is hard to beat in dry weather. At OLSEN Bikes I wanted to design bikes that worked with “long-distance” and “winterproof” drivetrains. This lead to the development of the RocknRollout dropout. 

Rockn’ the Rollouts:

With the RocknRollout Dropouts we have tried to cover every type of drivetrain. This was done with CAD overlays of each option, until every option worked. This allows Olsen Frames to run any drivetrain from Single Speed to Internal Gear Hubs. Our RocknRollout dropout tensioners mean you can run your Olsen exactly the way you want it and change your setup anytime you like. Single speed, belt-drive, derailleur, or internal hub gears — it’s your choice. One bike, many reasons.

These 6x OLSEN Bike build options: 

Bike Build 1: Single speed with BB7 mechanical brakes, for value and less maintenance.

Bike Build 2: Gates CDX Carbondrive single speed drooling with HOPE components, including Cranks of any colour.

Bike Build 3: Box 8speed deraileur, with Hope brakes 

Bike Build 4: SRAM NX 12 speed deraileur with SRAM brakes & Recon Fork

Bike Build 5: Shimano Alfine 11 hubs with E-Thirteen Cranks and Hope brakes. Note the Karapoti cannnot be built with an Alfine.

Bike Build 6: Rohloff Speedhub and Gates CDX Carbondrive with HOPE components, including Cranks of any colour.

We also have the Pinion gearbox Bikes, Mokihinui and now Karapoti. More on this next week.


Every Frame Geometry has been desinged around tyres? Tyres, width and diametre is part of the answer, this determines the type of terrain the rider is most likely to use their bike. It is all a balance, as you cannot simply design around the biggest tyre? I have tried to split each OLSEN geometry design to have overlaps with each other. However they still have a clear objective from the start.

The Karapoti and Otepoti are a good example of this. They have both been designed for the same thing, one is a modern take and one older and wiser. The Karapoti has less tyre clearance, a shorter TT than the Otepoti, but for most riders there are other deciding factors.

6x6 = 36

We have 6 bike build options and you will see below 6 tyre options, this makes 36 different bike build options?
So this is what the range look likes when sorted by tyre width:

1: Cyclo Gravel — 700 x 35c-50mm

Punakaiki has been designed a drop bar geometry fitting up to 50mm tyres
It is at home on gravel roads with a sprinkling of gravel
It is part commuter part adventure. You can ride this bike fixed or single speed.
Great for shouldering up cyclo-cross climbs or built into a an Alfine or Rohloff hub to load up.
The Punakaiki can run 415mm A-C Lauf suspension forks

2: Multi-day Gravel upto 29x2.25 inch

The Karapoti has a longer When your body is suffering from a gruelling day of riding you will need wider tyres for comfort. Balloon tyre comfort made mountain bikes popular in the 1990’s for this very reason. The Karapoti geometry is designed for comfort, it can run dropbars with a shorter stem.
With a higher bottom bracket height than the Punakaiki, the Karapoti has better pedal clearance over rough terrain. The main reason for choosing the Karapoti over the Punakaiki, is the larger tyre clearance, comfort and being able to move around the frame more. Also available with a Pinion Gearbox.

3: Cross Country upto 29x2.4 inch

The Karapoti geometry is where 29er mountain biking evolved and settled down into long distance race scene. This is a tried and tested 29er geometry designed for 80–100mm suspension forks. Rotational weight on XC tyres have got better and thats why the Karapoti fits from 2.0 to 2.4" tyres. This geometry might look old — however it works as it has evolved over time.
Also available with a Pinion Gearbox…

4: Back Country Trail upto 29x3.0

The Otepoti geometry was developed around big tyres and longer suspension than the Karapoti. It has a longer reach and lower bottom bracket for stability. Plus tyres means more grip and less need for suspension. Like the Karapoti the Otepoti can be run with drop bars or flat bars.

5: Upto 27.5x3.0

The concept behind the Mokihinui was to have a design that works with 2 tyre formats… Plus sized 27.5x3.0" tyres for grip and 29x2.4" for speed. This geometry was developed around the dropper post and Pinion Gearbox, however we do a derailleur, single speed version as well for riding around the trails with your friends. This frame is versatile enough to run a 130mm fork with 29er wheels or a 150mm fork with 27.5 wheels.

6: Enduro All Mountain upto 29x2.8 tyres

We put as much mud clearance as possible on the Corrour. The Corrour frame is designed to take to the mountains a train to Scotland. Either to Edinburgh for access to Pebbles and Innerleithen or Glasgow for access to Corrour and Kirroughtree. This frame was designed for extreme destinations that break components. You can even get to Les Gets by train Via Cluses. With 150mm fork, the Corrour would be perfect for doing the Port Du Soleil (chairlift summer holiday)

None of the above bikes need to stay static. They are all versatile enough to be a mild mannered bike during the week and a fun bike for the weekend.