Words and photos by Christopher Schmidt (@hella.bangerz)
Hi, my name is Chris. I’ve been working in elite and community track cycling for nearly a decade at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center Velodrome in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I’ve been fortunate to work with Olympic athletes and community riders alike, and travel the globe with the USA track cycling team in my role as the velodrome manager and a team mechanic.
When traveling with the team, I’ve normally been able to get my hands on a bike to get out and explore a bit during the minimal (but savored) time I can get away from the track. Unfortunately, the bikes rarely fit me, a long-armed and very lanky 6’3” half-Native American, half-German, and the best I can usually get is a 57cm road bike with a 100mm stem and 23c tires to drag around (with Euro braking, of course).
In 2019, while the Olympics were still being planned in the same pre-pandemic rhythms and routines as usual, I hatched a plan for a cycling adventure around Japan for the two weeks prior to my assignment with the Olympics in Tokyo. Thinking this would be an incredible way to experience a country I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of visiting, I didn’t want to have to rely on renting an ill-fitting bike or dealing with the hassle of transporting my normal bikepacking rig.
I had planned to end my exploratory cycling trip in Tokyo, and once there I would likely be working with limited space for a full-sized bike box or bike. I’d been eyeballing the Velo Orange Neutrino, thinking once it was minimally disassembled, I’d be able to pack my clothes in the same compact bike bag to easily store in a locker at the Tokyo airport for my return and work assignment. Setting it up fixed gear (like my normal bikepacking bike) only made sense. The ease of travelling with a fixed gear can’t be beat!
Fast forward a few months (and one pandemic) and the Tokyo games were officially canceled for 2020. Thankfully, as a chronic procrastinator who finds it best to wait until the last possible second to do anything, I hadn’t pulled the trigger on my Neutrino yet because… fast-forward another few months… and the Games are back on in Tokyo. Rather fortuitously, Fixie Dave happened to be selling the Neutrino he had built up over the summer, so with a bit of cash and a few sets of cranks for his newest build, the Neutrino deal was done, with me ending up with almost the exact build I would have done on it had I built it myself. In fact, I haven’t changed much since taking it off of Fixie Dave’s hands.
- Frame/Fork Velo Orange Neutrino
- Rims Spank Spoon
- Hubs DT Swiss 350 / Surly Fixed
- Tires Odyssey Aitken 2.35
- Handlebars Velo Orange Klunker
- Headset Velo Orange
- Crankset Shimano Sora
- Pedals Issi Thump
- Cassette 15T cog
- Brakes Magura Mt 7
- Saddle Brooks C17
- Seatpost Generic
- Stem Thompson 25.4
- Front bags Outdoor Research Dry Bags in the Basket; Hornet Packraft
- Rear bags Oveja Negra Gear Slammer (medium)
- Accessory bags JPaks Farva
- Other accessories Kick Stand, Velo Orange Fenders
The Good Night 2020 Campout was my first overnight trip on the newly christened “Reggie Winks” and I was remarkably impressed with its performance, particularly off-road. It handled steep bushwacking and chasing Dave down old jeep roads like a champ, and I’m excited to take it to Tokyo in 2021 (fingers crossed) and bikepack as well as commute easily in the city and Olympic Village. Also, bikepacking with a kickstand is sick! Bikepacking with a kickstand in Japan? Get outta here.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.