First Impression: Velo Orange Camargue

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Velo Orange is a peculiar company, and follows its own path when it comes to designing bikes and components. Based in Annapolis Maryland, it specializes in refined products for riding your bike in a non-speed-focused fashion. Much like Bicycle Times, Velo Orange holds true to the idea that simply riding your bike is a good time—no need to be in a hurry about it.

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The Camargue is a good example of what comes of this kind of thinking. Named after an ancient French horse breed, the steel framed Camargue (10 points if you can pronounce this correctly) is a stout, yet handsome lad ready to haul you and your gear over most anywhere you care to venture. Indeed, this beast is ideally suited to touring places with little or no pavement.

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I recently had a lovely ride aboard the Camargue on part of the Terrace Mountain Trail in central Pennsylvania. The TMT, which is little more than a gravel road with sections that deteriorate to something like a creek bed, was all but totally obscured by fallen fall foliage. Ambling along the coastline of Raystown Lake, the bike saw me up and over several severe climbs and down thrilling descents, all while the winds added a playful mix of freshly flung leaves and the occasional raindrop to the atmosphere.

Velo Orange makes enough parts to almost build an entire bike. This is “Casey’s Crazy Bar” and unlikely marriage of a Jones H-bar and a set of tt-bike bull horns.

Velo Orange sells some of its parts under the “Grand Cru” label. These are the Zeste cantilever Brakes in noir colorway.

Nice details here, including long horizontal drop-outs, axle adjusters, and sturdy rack and fender mounts.

Grand Cru High Flange front hub.

I look forward to more trips atop the Camargue and can only hope that the rest of my adventures with this strange beast are as picturesque as my most recent. Stay tuned for my full review of the Velo Orange Camargue in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times.

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Photos by Stephen Haynes and Emily Walley.

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