The weather is still sub-par, this week we had snow, rain and strong winds but things are expected to improve next week. I’m still in the process of setting-up my new DF velomobile and I am riding my first brevet in the DF this weekend. I hope that things will go well, I’m still waiting for shorter cranks so this weekend I will not be able to push too hard because the knees are still touching the top of the shell from time to time.
Major announcement from Intercitybike: DT Swiss the manufacturer of the rear shock for the DF is unable to deliver the product; the company is months behind in delivery. Daniel is looking at alternatives but it may be difficult to adapt another shock. Unfortunately with less than 100 shocks purchased a year, Intercitybike may not have enough purchasing power to put pressure on DT Swiss.
As a result, this may have an impact on deliveries for a while until an alternative is found or deliveries can be secured or the rider willing to ride with a fixed tail.
During my visit to Bluevelo last week, I had a chance to chat about the business with Randy, the face of Bluevelo.
The shop is full of velomobiles, some no longer produced like the Team and others cannibalized for parts as well as demo velomobiles and new arrivals. Randy confirms that while they still have molds for several velomobiles, since Velomobiel.ru started production, Bluevelo no longer produces composite velomobiles in Canada, even the venerable Cab-bike is out of production. However, last year, Bluevelo started offering the aluminum Alleweder AAW4 velomobile that Randy assembles in his shop.
Bluevelo is probably the busiest importer of velomobiles in North America but the operation is still relatively small in size, probably a reflection on the still limited market. Most of the sales are through the Internet and by phone. This means that I am one of the few who actually pick-up their velomobile at the shop. Randy confesses that helping a rider with a technical issue at a distance can be challenging at times. It is difficult especially since you can’t see the problem first hand but with the help of pictures and a bit of patience, issues get resolved.
The DF is a learning curve for Randy too, I have the 5th DF velomobile and he has to familiarize himself with the different components and setup.
For those who have been wondering, Ray who still lives in Toronto, 2 hours away, is still involved in the business even though he’s passed-on the day to day stuff to Randy when the shop moved to Collingwood two years ago.
I've learned this week that Velomobiel is apparently planning a new velomobile project following the launch of the Quattro. The plan is to build a new velomobile that would be lighter, leaner, with a smaller frontal area that would be launched in early 2016. I can’t wait to see the new fast and light design!