This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from frame builder Jarod Bourdeau in California, who shares the one-of-a-kind cargo bike he built by combining a Velo Orange Neutrino mini velo and a BOB Yak trailer. The result is nothing short of spectacular, and it’s equally practical to boot. Learn more about Jarod and his rig here…

Words and photos by Jarod Bourdeau

Hey everyone, my name is Jarod Bourdeau, coming to you from Seaside, California. If you’re unsure where that is, we can just call it Monterey, home of the Sea Otter Classic. Riding, making, modifying, and repairing all things bike is my jam. I love it, and If I’m not at work wrenching on bikes, there’s a good chance I’m riding or at home doing something else bike-related.

Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak, Jarod Bourdeau

I had been a bike mechanic for a number of years before I decided to level up on my bike knowledge and enroll in a frame building course at UBI. As someone who likes to make stuff and engage in general tinkery, taking a frame building course seemed like a great idea, and now I wish I had done it sooner. Needless to say, I had a stellar time and ended up walking away with a frame and fork I made, along with a brand-new hobby.

  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak
  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak

A couple of years went by, but eventually, I was able to land a job at a local builder’s shop where I could continue learning and get in some much-needed brazing practice. Many thanks to Bronson and Tahn for that experience, by the way. Fast forward six or so years, and you find me here in Monterey working at a local bike shop, and in my spare time, waiving the ol’ flame maker around, building bike stuff for me and my friends to use and enjoy.

Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak
  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak
  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak
  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak

As if I wasn’t happy enough to be mentioned in Evan Christenson’s Sea Otter article earlier this year (linked below), being asked to share my latest creation with the readers here pretty much feels like an honor. Now, I know it’s not your typical bikepacking rig, dripping in bags and all that, but it definitely has adventure written into its DNA.

  • Frame/Fork: XL VO Neutrino/BOB Yak/Bourdeau
  • Rims: 20” Velocity Cliffhanger
  • Hubs: Shimano Alfine DH-S501 dynamo (front) / Shimano Alfine SG-S7001-11 (rear)
  • Spokes: Sapim Strong 2.3/2.0mm
  • Tires: Schwalbe Pick-up 20 x 2.35″
  • Handlebars: VO Granola bar
  • Grips: Rivendell cork
  • Headset: Cane Creek/Chris King
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura Ace 7700 w/ Surly 40T stainless ring
  • Pedals: Fly Ruben
  • Cassette: Shimano 20T cog
  • Chain: SRAM Eagle
  • Brakes: Shimano BR-MT420
  • Shifter: Shimano Alfine SL-S700
  • Saddle: Brooks Cambium C17 Special
  • Seatpost: Thomson 31.6 x 410mm Setback
  • Stem: Velo Orange Cigne 90mm
  • Accessory bags: Yellow Cat SAX BOB liner
  • Lights: Spanninga/Supernova
  • Other accessories: VO Retro bottle cages, Surly Double Wide kickstand, Honjo bell

Simply put, the front half of this bike is made from one of the most known trailers out there among tourers, the BOB Yak, and the back half is made from one of the coolest mini velos around, the Velo Orange Neutrino. Together, they take the form of a cargo bike I like to call the “BOB Neutrino,” and to further tie the two together, I managed to reuse some of the pieces I deleted from the trailer in other spots, like the chainstay bridge (since I cut out the kickstand plate) and the supports from the cargo area to the front head tube.

  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak
  • Velo Orange Neutrino, BOB Yak

As far as the finish, I painted it to match the Neutrino’s original Slammin’ Salmon color—Pantone number and sweet gold decal courtesy of VO. I decided to leave the brazed joints raw so they can help tell the story of where the modifications were made, but I’m also not mad about how they ended up looking against the frame color. All in all, this was a fun project, and I ended up learning a lot about cargo bikes, which is something I had little knowledge of beforehand. I’d say that the only thing left to do at this point is to find some stuff to haul and ride into the sunset.

You can see more from Jarod on Instagram.

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Further Reading

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