SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
VELO ORANGE HANDLEBAR ACCESSORY MOUNT
99g $32 (£24.54)
The Velo Orange Handlebar Accessory mount does exactly what it says on the tin. It's designed to recoup some handlebar space and/or, provide a better location for lights, or even, action cameras. Velo Orange also suggest it makes a good bar-bag support.
It's beautifully machined and functional. However, add some thread lock to the fasteners. Or be prepared to snug them down quite frequently, during the formative 100 miles.
Pros: Elegant, sturdy and relatively lightweight.
Cons: Recessed Allen bolts trickier to tighten by the roadside.
Made in Taiwan from CNC machined aluminium alloy, it available in either silver, or black. Standards of finish are uniformly good throughout, though nothing less than I’d expect. Despite the sleek looks, it’s joined together with a series of recessed and concealed Allen bolts.
The accessory mounts are also supposedly 31.8. Ours seemed smaller, catering for older bracket sizes, such as dynamo switches and computers. Aesthetically, everything looks very crisp, save for the lack of end caps.
That said, they would make accessing the recessed 4mm Allen bolts, more involved. As it stands, some shorter multi-tools struggle to reach. Though bolted construction has some disadvantages, there are some definite pluses, too. For example, they can be detached and run singly, to save a few grams during the summer months; or, if you had their Rando front rack, you could tether one here, using it as base for a light, keeping the other for GPS/Computer.
The stem and bellows are also joined, via a 2.5mm Allen bolt, hidden inside the hinged clamp. The clamp is designed for 31.8mm bars but supplied with shims, providing solid tenure to older, 26.0 and 25.4mm bars. Silver might be more appropriate for older bikes/retro builds, but I reckon the sculpted form is a good fit with both.
Talking of which, though less “aero” than the Genetic Neuron Extension Bar , it's easily positioned above or beneath the bars. For example, it’ll easily clear a bar bag, particularly the bigger, bike-packing type, which is a definite plus. Speaking of accessories; there’s no arbitrary weight limit. Scott at Velo Orange had no problems, with a Go-Pro and light, mounted either side.
It measures 125mm, which is 55mm longer than the Genetic Neuron. Ample room for a Go-Pro sized action camera and ORP horn (or indeed, high power/dynamo lamp). Brackets often required packing out, and I’ve resorted to rummaging through the bodge box to find something suitable.
This also proved the case, with some ladder/watch type straps. (The sort commonly used on smaller commuter type lights and blinkies). Employing an inner tube off-cut, to pack them out solved this. The same applied to these UGOE 1000 and UGOE 2000 Lumen Headlights. Not a major hassle, but something to bear in mind.
Overall performance is good, tidying cockpit clutter, and the design very reliable. However, compared with the Genetic Neuron Accessory Bar, the Velo Orange’s extension tended to flex under load. Nothing drastic, but obvious when laden to the recommended limit.
This was due in part, to those fasteners loosening during the formative rides. I tightened ours three times, in sixty miles. For these reasons, I’d add some thread lock, straight off- especially if you’re heading off road. Action cameras can give other food for thought.
This resin unit’s giraffe’ profile and ball joint assembly resulted in the camera steadily drooping, requiring constant readjustment. Minoura VC100 Le Korde camera mount required a rubber shim, but its lower centre of gravity and metal construction proved a vastly superior companion.
While I have primarily used rubber shims to improve tenure and protect the finish, from accidental scratching, the black anodising is to a decent standard. Its’ resisted accidental bracket abrasion and similar, everyday carelessness extremely well thus far.
I’ve hustled along the bridle paths and dirt roads without any slippage, or blurry footage. Monocoque casing cum mounts, such as this ORP Smart horn. However, despite their vibration taming and paint-friendly rubber shims, Xeccon and Bontrager blinkies rotated, with frustrating ease.
My DIY “tube shim” solved this. Some folks prefer high power torch type lights. I’ve had no problems with the Xeccon Spear 900 front light, the Moon Meteor Storm Pro or indeed Cat-Eye Volt 1700. Generally speaking, I’ve not exceeded 300g, although it has also managed 370g without showing obvious strain.
£24 is double that of the Genetic Neuron but then, I’d need two Neurons to match the Velo Orange’s carrying capacity. This would also add another 99g to the bars, which levels things out quite considerably. Both units offer decent build quality and to some extent, it will boil down to how many gizmos you are wanting to re-organise.
In the main, I’ve enjoyed testing the Velo Orange Handlebar Accessory Mount. End caps are an oversight, slightly at odds with the elegant aesthetic. I’d also give all the fasteners a lick of thread lock, before loading goodies. Nonetheless, its nicely made, lightweight, and manages decent payloads.
Verdict: 3.5/5 Nicely executed solution to cluttered bars but some minor refinements would be welcomed.
PUBLISHED JUNE 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH