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Very limited-edition Viks bikes made from stainless steel and imagination

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March 26, 2013

The Viks is a stainless steel fixed-gear commuter bike, made in Estonia

The Viks is a stainless steel fixed-gear commuter bike, made in Estonia

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If you create high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames and wheels for a living, what do you do when you’re looking for a fixed-gear commuter bike? Well, you don’t just get a Huffy. In the case of Indrek Narusk, designer with Estonia’s Velonia Bicycles, you create a stainless steel-tubed piece of art known as the Viks ... and then you start making them for other people, with an eye towards commercial production.

“I've always liked to have custom and different things you don't see on every corner,” Narusk told us. “So I thought about building a one-off custom frame. I did not want to build a regular diamond shape, so I started sketching different shapes and sizes. Some inspiration came from new school cafe racer-style motorcycles.”

When he thought about how the bike could actually be built, he realized that it would be easiest to form it from two tubular frames joined at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket. From there, he modeled the frame using SolidWorks, then set to work in his shop.

The first complete Viks bike he created weighed in at about 14 kilograms (31 lbs). He explained to us that he used overly-thick tubes, because they were all that was available at the time. Once other people saw his creation, however, they started asking about getting one for themselves. In response, he’s now pre-sold seven more Viks, which he’s in the process of building. Using thinner tubes and lighter components, he’s aiming at a weight of about 10 kg (22 lbs) for those models.

The Viks is made from two tubular frames joined at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bra...

Like the somewhat similar-looking Rizoma, part of what gives the Viks its distinctive appearance is its lack of a seat tube. Narusk’s bike still accepts a standard 27.2mm seatpost, however, the height of which can be adjusted using a regular seat clamp.

For now, Indrek is waiting to see how thing go with his first seven bikes, and will set a price for any further bikes accordingly. “This wasn't intended to be a business project, rather a fun little side kick,” he said. “We'll see, if the interest continues to grow, then maybe I'll make some more, as building bikes is one of the best ways to spend time (besides riding them).”

Source: Viks (Facebook page) via Bicycle Design

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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12 Comments

Very nice. Very classy. A little bit too heavy? Obviously not for heavy cycling but just to cycle to the coffee shop.

Nantha
26th March, 2013 @ 05:10 pm PDT

yeah my seatpost was all that i had holding me back...

wle

wle
27th March, 2013 @ 09:13 am PDT

...as long as your home and coffee shop and every bit of road in between are on the same level. Maybe I'm just spoiled from having all those gears for all these years but I certainly couldn't pedal just the 2 km to my gym on a fixed-gear bike. And I'm quite fit.

Chris Bedford
27th March, 2013 @ 09:30 am PDT

I like the idea of using stainless steel for bikes and the other components as well... The weight is a bummer but the longevity of the material when the bike is exposed to the elements would make up for it for those that live on the coast and flat lands....The Schwinn Stingray bikes of the 1960s were insanely heavy weighing 47 lbs but I never saw one with a bent frame.... My 27 year old GT Backwoods mountain bike frame of chrome plated Ishiwata MTB tubing is one of the most comfortable bikes I've ridden and it still looks great... The rotating parts is where you want to cut back on weight.

Warner DeFord
27th March, 2013 @ 09:52 am PDT

there is a reason bikes are not made from SS. SS doesn't have good cyclic stress response and cracks at the welds unless way overweight.

The 12'' DaHon SS folding bikes were a great example. The steel ones were great but the SS ones popped their crack bearing case off the frame and too thin to weld back.

jerryd
27th March, 2013 @ 10:32 am PDT

There is a reason bike frames are normally two triangles. A triangle is an inherently strong shape. all loads are in compression or tension; no bending loads. This enables the bike to be built with very light, thin-walled tubing. If you eliminate the seat post tube you end up with a parallelogram, which puts bending loads on the frame tubing. That's why the bike has to be much heavier just to be as strong as a conventional design. If you hit a big bump with your weight on the seat of this bike, it would collapse. A cheap Huffy would be stronger.

jeffrey
27th March, 2013 @ 11:07 am PDT

Single gear is no way to go these days. Install a Sturmey Archer or Rohloff hub at the very least. Also for any real urban commuting you need fenders and at least a rear rack to strap stuff to. You get to keep dry, reasonably clean, and get more done than riding to the nearest coffee shop.

StWils
27th March, 2013 @ 11:08 am PDT

JerryD is spot on. I once owned a $5000 recumbent where the boom broke off due to a crack at the weld. A skilled welder was able to fix it but aesthetics took a hit.

moreover
27th March, 2013 @ 11:33 am PDT

To those who whine about a one or two gear bike - I rode a single gear bike as a kid all over the city I was raised in. My friends and I would have bike riding adventures all summer; and we didn't have to go to a gym to stay in shape... Multi gear bikes were for sissies. My how times have changed since the 50's.

JAT
28th March, 2013 @ 07:12 am PDT

Beautiful design, but impractical on many levels. If the primary intent is to ride leisurely to the coffee shop, then why the super aggressive rider posture. Given the inability of the frame to handle loads, I can't imagine anyone would want to ride any faster than a leisurely pace anyway. I imagine pedaling out of saddle would really demonstrate the torsional rigidity (or lack thereof). Furthermore, a typical motivation for stainless steel is corrosion resistance. Why cover up all that with paint?

sk8dad
28th March, 2013 @ 01:53 pm PDT

Yeah I'm with JAT on this one. As far as I'm concerned, the Spyder bike (banana seat, chopper bars) is the best bicycle ever built. Wasn't a thing I couldn't do or anyplace I couldn't go on that bike. If you know how to ride, 1 gear is all you NEED. Biased opinion? Sure is.

noteugene
30th March, 2013 @ 01:09 pm PDT

Yet another overpriced, badly designed bicycle that nobody needs, why do they keep appearing on Gizmag? I don't think it's a 'beautiful design' at all, one gear, no doubt it costs a fortune, who are the people who have so much money that they actually buy these bikes?

packoftwenty
1st April, 2013 @ 03:04 am PDT
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