The WIND 25, one of WIND CYCLEWORKS's latest productions, is a 29er MTB designed for travels and adventures. Its happy owner is Bert, a young Dutchman of 54 years who lives since his birth on a bicycle but had the real love for cycling at the age of 27. Since, him and bikes are inseparable.
Bert is a rider who keeps these bikes long enough, he rode before that on a Rocky Mountain Blizzard of 1997. But since the time the mountain bike technologies has evolved greatly and regarding how tall Bert is ... the 26-inch wheels were a bit .. small. His desires have also evolved, he plunged into the Bikepacking and the off-road adventure. Specifications for the new machine: comfort and stability are the key words of his project made of Italian steel. You can visit his blog at this address: https://cebenzoa.wordpress.com/ - Bert talks to us about his WIND25.
Who are you ?
Bert Vinken, 54 years old, my partner is a woman who also loves cycling
How do you like riding bikes ?
I like all kinds of bikes, with the exception of recumbent bikes. Being Dutch, of course I’ve been riding bikes all my life, riding to school, work, and also as a leisure activity. At 27 I began to become really enthusiastic about cycling. Almost every year I spend my holidays on a bike, in Europe and Asia, with a preference for mountainous areas (Alps, Pyrenees). Twice we have made a 3-month tour, once in 2000 (New Zealand), another time in 2007 (Thailand and Laos). Apart from that, I also like MTB’s and road bikes. I like riding together with my wife, with friends or just alone. On my road bike, I have become a ‘bicinglette du Mont Ventoux’ last year.
How many bikes do you own ?
I now have 7 bikes: 2 road bikes (Storck and Trek) with carbon frames, aluminum city bike and folding bike, and an MTB (Rocky Mountain Blizzard), a holiday bike (Santos travelmaster) and now the WIND25 with steel frames.
Why a Bikepacking MTB, and especially with 29er wheels ?
I’ve opted for a bikepacking MTB in order to ride the Tour Aotearoa in 2018. After that I intend to go to Bangkok and from there ride back to Eindhoven. I’ve stuck to my 1997 Rocky Mountain with 26’’ wheels for quite a long time. A great bike, but since I bought it there have been so many technical innovations that I feel I can put my trust in a 29er’s modern materials. And these days it is relatively easy to have spare parts sent to you in most places. Apart from that, most parts are still universally used, only rims, spokes and tires are size specific.
Why have you chosen steel instead of any other materials ?
Steel is real! I really love the material, strong yet flexible where needed. My wife bought herself a custom-built frame from Avaghon back in 1998, which she still uses. We both like bespoke design based on good, accurate bike fitting
How do you know WIND CYCLEWORKS ?
I was looking around for inspiration for a new bike, when I saw the first few bikes he built, via Fiets.nl. I had already adapted the riding position of my Rocky, but it still was too deep; and rim brakes have limitations. At first I’ve been looking at a wide range of frames and builders (a.o. St. Joris, in Eindhoven, Salsa, Surly or Avaghon). Then I went on a cycle trip with Jos (who’ll be joining me on the Aorearoa Tour), who rode his WIND 13. That bike convinced me of the knowledge and skills of Bart, and in autumn 2016 I contacted him and discussed my ideas with him. We have visited Goes with my Santos as a model for bike-fitting and thanx to e-mail we could discuss all other subjects digitally. The result is WIND25.
The frame has been bespoked by WIND CYCLEWORKS. The framebuilder used two sets of tubes from the Italian steelmaker Columbus: ZONA and 29er. For the front triangle the upper tube is in ZONA with a diameter of 31,7mm and the seat tube of the same series but with a diameter of 28,6mm.
The down tube tube is on the other hand made of Columbus 29er with a consequent diameter of 38mm, pre-curved for the 29-inch wheels. For this last one, Bart did not use the series ZONA of the same diameter, the 29er series has been preferred with respect to the greater thickness of the tube, here we have a thickness of 1mm close to the bottom bracket against 0, 7mm for the ZONA. It is necessary that the bicycle can both take the torsion induced by the pedalling but also the constraints of the weight of the luggage.
The rear triangle is made entirely of Columbus 29er with the chainstays as well as the seatstays in 29er Double Bend allowing to leave enough clearance around the tires in 29x2.2 to avoid the accumulation of mud. Chainstays have a length of 460mm favouring the comfort, a better positioning of the rack and luggage, but also favouring stability of the bike.
Rear dropouts are removable and therefore interchangeable, but here delivered in thru-axle 12x142mm. For the brakes, the IS format has been chosen, easy to implement on the frame and working well, it has been welded to the rear of the left seatstay and works very well with the rear rack.
The headtube is in 44mm format and welcome the Rock Shox REBA 100mm tapered fork. The bottom bracket is of course in BSA format - 73mm guaranteeing reliability. It is also easy to disassemble if it is necessary to change it. Finally, the cables are internally routed through the top-tube for the front dérailleur and inside the down-tube for the rear dérailleur cable housing.
What has been the specification for your MTB ?
An endurance bike fit for making long days on the road, and a forgiving, not overly nervous geometry were the primary requirements. Also I needed options for fitting a rear rack, and a 3rd bidon on the bike, seeing as a 10-month trip requires more than just bike packing packs.
What do you plan to achieve with this new bike ?
First, of course, the Tour Aotearoa. After that I will be crossing the Himalayas on my way back to Europe. Once my year of bicycling is done, I will be using it for mountain trekkings.
Have you made some concessions?
Actually only the placement of the rear brake calliper on the seat stays. But this seems to pose no problems with this rack. Apart from that, all specifications are just as I imagined them. I was taken aback a bit when I saw the bike at first, though. Al my other bikes are relatively small with narrow handlebars…. this one is rather big!
How did you chose all the components ?
The components were always chosen in consultation with Bart. For most components I had in mind what I wanted. E.g. mechanical TRP disk brakes, Shimano XT and lots of Ritchey WCS parts in honor of the old master: my Rocky Mountain was made with Ritchey tubing.
About components: reliable, strong and proven. Let's start with the wheels, a set-up made with 32-spokes Shimano XT hubs and DT SWISS E512 rims initially intended for an enduro use. Those are strong wheels for this bike design to achieve long expeditions. Tires: Continental X-King en 29x 2.2.
The groupset is a SHIMANO XT 2x10, functional and strong. The brakes are the TRP Spype Mechanical to avoid any oil leak or air bubble problem and ensure an easy repair with a simple change of the cable if necessary. At the front the rotor is with a diameter of 180mm against 160mm at the rear. Finally, to carry luggages, Bert uses the TUBUS VEGA 29 rack.
The paint is a combination of a red oxidized rust RAL3009 and a green-brown RAL8000. A set of colours not too flashy intended to not let think that the bike is expensive. It is is order to limit the risk of robbery. A serial number has been applyed to the WIND logo placed on the headtube.
WIND CYCLEWORKS frames are sold over europe. You ll find all the necessary details about options pricing on its website http://windcycleworks.com/yourbike
A presentation of the Dutch handcrafter has been done here...but sorry only in French : http://www.veloacier.com/fr/velo-de-route-acier/wind-cycleworks-artisan-neerlandais/
Have a look at Bert's website : https://cebenzoa.wordpress.com/