'The Gibb' is the Rohloff hub-gear model with trekking handlebars.
The Vivente World Randonneur (VWR) is probably our favourite bicycle. If you only planned to own one bicycle, this would be the one to buy. Everything that makes it an excellent touring bike, also makes it a great city bike. Namely: it's durable, comfortable, and capable.
The VWR is one of the most impressive touring bicycles on the market anywhere in the world and is also one of the best bicycles you can buy for heavy use around Sydney. The design focuses on durability for long rides between services, comfort and efficiency so that you can enjoy your rides and value for money. It is also a unique bicycle in Sydney, as it is the evolution of a decades long design process carried out by Sydney cyclist, bike shop owner, importer and distributor, Noel McFarlane.
If you're looking to buy a bicycle to own for the next few decades then this is your kind of bike. No more wearing out bikes until they're not worth fixing, this one will be a pleasure to ride and easy to maintain well into the future.
Touring cyclists and city riders alike will benefit from this fully accessoried bicycle which comes with so many crucial ingredients that other bikes do not have. Racks, mudguard, hub dynamo and lights, Schwalbe Marathon puncture proof tyres and comfortable saddle all come standard on these bicycles so that you don't have to spend time and money trying to retrofit these iteAms.
There are really too many good things about this bike to list, but here are a few:
- 4130 Cr-Mo steel frame with double-butted tubing
- Tubus Cr-Mo steel rack
- Mudguards and kickstand - practical items!
- SP dynamo hub with AXA LED lights, including USB charger
- Hydraulic disc brakes front and rear
- Schwalbe Marathon puncture-resistant tyres
- Comes with two sets of handlebars - choose between the trekking bar or riser bar
- Rear-vision mirror for safety
'The Gibb' is different to the other Vivente models, in that it's fitted with a Rohloff Speedhub 500/14. If you've never heard of it, it's a marvel of German engineering - an internal gear hub with 14 evenly-spaced gears. It has a well-deserved reputation as an extremely reliable product.
The other big difference is a Gates Carbon Belt Drive - a very low-maitenence, strong and durable alternative to a chain. This technology means no more quick-links, chain lube or worrying about breaking or wearing down a chain.
You can read the full specifications on the Vivente website.
Most of our staff ride this bike. You can find their comments at our central Vivente page.
If you need convincing, here's a thread on the BNA forums, and a review on the Velophile website.
The Vivente World Randonneur as a touring bicycle
The VWR is an acclaimed and thoroughly tested touring bicycle. Unlike many others, it is immediately ready to roll out the door and ride around the world with no modifications required. Looking at all the features that are built in, it's hard to believe the price is sub-$5000. All models have Tubus racks ($250), SP front hub dynamo ($150) with AXA lights ($250), Schwalbe Marathon tyres ($120), Sugino triple cranks ($250), Busch and Mueller rear-view mirror ($30) and much more, built around the double butted Cromoly frame, Rohloff Speedhub, Gates Carbon belt drive and front disc brakes. We've frequently seen custom touring bicycle builds spend much more than the VWR's price tag without all the features and a completed build that does not fit together as well.
The Vivente World Randonneur as a city bicycle
Conventionally there is a strong distinction between a city bicycle and a touring bicycle and most cyclists would not consider them interchangeable. It's clear what a touring bicycle needs to be - strong, long lasting, able to ride long distances between services, reliable in harsh conditions and remote areas where a mechanical breakdown would compromise your personal safety, comfortable and efficient, and able to carry a decent amount of gear.
Reading that list, is it much different from what you want in a bicycle to reliably get you to your daily activities in Sydney? The roads here can be bumpy, breakdowns and flat tyres are inconvenient and can leave you stranded, it rains a lot, you need to carry stuff around with you at times, there are hilly areas and if you prefer getting around by bicycle than by other modes of transport, you're likely to need to ride a long way. Comfort is essential to using your bike a lot and if you're not on an electric bicycle, efficiency is key to riding longer distances. Features like built in lights that never need charging can be seen as a luxury or a necessity but either way they're very desirable for a regular rider. Many of us are busy people and can't always be visiting the bike shop, so if you're doing a lot of km per week, a bicycle that's designed to ride a long way between services makes perfect sense.
If you're interested in how the VWR allows you to ride longer distances between services without costing your as much in repairs as other bicycle designs, have a ready through the technical section of Vivente's website. Some of it is obvious, such as quality puncture proof tyres avoiding tube changes or dynamo lighting avoiding battery purchases but you may not have known about rim wear and brake choice or chain wear and drive chain choice.