Comfortable enough for all day in the saddle, but without being boring, stiff enough to spank the pedals but without being rock solid, the Velocite Geos 2.0 is a playful bike to ride, a bit like taking an excited terrier for a walk.
Velocite might not be the first name to slip from your lips when you're talking about top shelf carbon road bikes. Founded in 2008 and only recently available on this island Velocite are happy to let their new-boy-on-the block status work in their favour, saying that they have no heritage and no legacy to hold them back, with no traditions to satisfy.
They go on to say they'll simply make the best possible products free of engineering and design choices that do not truly benefit the rider, whether that's to do with the forks, wheels and hubs, handlebars, saddles, seatposts, clamps and bottle cages they make, or the Velocite Geos 2.0 bicycle we've got here.
The Geos is the entry level carbon bike in the Velocite line-up, entry-level being a relative term here, because it's certainly no bargain-bin special.
All of Velocite's frames can be yours in a variety of builds. This 2.0 version of the Geos comes with a choice of Shimano Ultegra or as here, SRAM Force. If you go up a number to the 3.0 model you drop down a groupset to either Shimano 105 or SRAM Apex, choose the 1.0 version and it's Dura-Ace or Red from the two S's.
The frame on the Geos 2.0 has everything you'd expect from a high-end frame these days: monocoque unidirectional carbon fibre composite construction; tapered 1 1/8in to 1.5in head tube; BB30 bottom bracket; carbon fibre headset races; internal cable routing and carbon dropouts.
Velocite say it's light, stiff and fast enough to be a race bike but also comfortable enough to sportive on, which is a familiar, clichéd even, marketing boast, and the infographic on the Velocite website specifically recommends the Geos for rough roads and climbing.
All this was quickly put to the harshest test as the bike was taken out the box, ridden up and down the road to make sure the saddle was in the right place and the gears all worked and the brakes all stopped and then put in the back of a van headed to Belgium for some cobble and berg suffering ahead of further investigation on more familiar and less demanding roads.
The Geos asymmetric tapered headtube has Velocite's own Bora S forks plugged in, full carbon monocoque with carbon dropouts and a published weight of 360g. Carbon dropouts also finish off the bike at the rear, but with a replaceable mech hanger, just in case you should lay the bike down on the right hand side.
Should it be more than just a bent hanger Velocite offer a crash replacement policy of a new frame at 40% below the recommended retail price, a handy offer that's open to the original buyer for three years after purchase, and there's a five year warranty on the carbon frame and fork should anything untoward happen when you're just riding along.
The 60mm down tube is ovalised vertically at the head tube and swaps orientations to embrace almost the full width of the BB30 bottom-bracket. As well as keeping the spine of the bike stiff this oversized girth makes a fine platform for the Velocite logo.
Speaking of logos, the bike won universal praise for its looks. The naked weave of the carbon with white and red graphics layered on top looks sharp. The lack of the pointless words and meaningless acronyms that litter too many bikes these days was refreshing. The slogan 'Ride Velocite, Feel invincible' on the top-tube skipped from one side of the naff/inspirational line to the other, depending on how covered in snot it was.
The chainstays come out fat from the bottom bracket yoke at 45mm tall and curve gently out as they taper down to the dropouts. The seatstays also emerge from a chunky yoke, and have a seductive little wiggle to them.
The rear brake cable is routed tidily internally via the left-hand side of the head tube and through the top tube. The gear cables run through adjusters that are threaded directly into the head tube. Best be extra careful playing with them as any ham-fisted fiddling could be expensive. The front mech cable is tunnelled through the wishbone chainstay section as it exits the bottom-bracket.
Right from the click-in it's obvious that this Geos harbours very little concession to pootling about. It boasts a 53/39 chainset matched to a 12-25 10 speed cassette, and the rakishly compact frame with a 120mm stem and full carbon saddle means you're put firmly in the fast position.
Obviously all of this can be tinkered with to suit your needs as Velocite UK will fiddle with a bike to fit you, and a 50/34 chainset is available as a more casual choice, but the hard and fast gearing and racy attitude suits the bike's character.
SRAM Force is responsible for the brakes, shifters, chainset, front and rear mechs and it all works well enough in that clacky SRAM way. If you're not a double-tap fan then there's that Shimano Ultegra option available for £110 less.
Contact points are dealt with by Velocite and 3T; a 3T ARX Team stem holds onto a set of 3T Ergosum Team bars whose shallow drop constant radius bend is a favourite around these parts, and they're a comfortable and rangy 440mm wide, so happiness for the hands here. And the red highlights match the red bits on the frame, so happiness for the OCD head there.
The Velocite TLCS31 seatpost is claimed to be the lightest in its class without a rider weight limit. Made from a blend of high modulus and high tensile strength unidirectional carbon fibre, it's marked with regular lines up the back should you be in the habit of adjusting or removing your seatpost a lot. The twin-clamp head with thumbwheel up front and bolt out back makes for quick and easy saddle angle adjustment.
Talking of which the saddle here is an upgrade from the usually-supplied Prologo to Velocite's own SCS model. SCS stands for Soft Carbon Shell, although 'soft' might be a misnomer as there's no padding at all on the saddle, it's simply a carbon shell that's designed to give comfort via a bit of flex. The saddle rails don't connect directly to the shell, they're joined together by a leaf spring that then connects separately to the saddle body, giving a surprising amount of carbony compliance.
Despite the frequent sucks-through-teeth and sharp tapping with knuckles from onlookers the SCS saddle was actually very comfortable. The shape with its pierced central valley was amenable to this backside. Although it probably wouldn't be a first choice for frequent all-dayers it was a comfy enough perch if keeping weight down is your thing. Velocite claim the saddle weighs 113g and bought separately would cost you £130.
A twin bolt on the seatpost clamp stops the whole saddle and post combination shimmying down, even over the roughest of roads, and eases clamping stress points on the carbon frame into the bargain.
The Geos 2.0 spins along on Velocite's own Tenax alloy wheels with a claimed weight of 1,698g. Laced 24 rear and 20 radial on the front they support Continental Ultra Sport 700x23 tyres, if you fancy you can upgrade to Fulcrum wheels; speccing a pair of Racing 3s for example will cost you an extra £169. Despite being given a fair old battering over the worst of Northern Europe the wheels stayed tight and happy.
Ninety miles over the bumpy cobbles and up the steep bergs of Flanders is a good test for any bike, especially when all you've ridden so far is 100 yards up and down the road. That moment when the front wheel first smacks over the pavé is one that's going to immediately expose any flaws or peccadilloes of any bike.
The Velocite Geos 2.0 didn't have any.
Hitting the first section of cobbles, at speed, big ring, it was apparent that the Geos likes to go fast, and give lots of feedback. The aggressively compact frame means there's a lot of room to let the bike move around beneath you, which is a joy if you're an aggressive kind of rider, or need to let the bike buck around over the cobbles. Despite there being so much seatpost on show, sway and yaw isn't noticeable in the saddle.
There's just enough cush in the 31.6mm Velocite TLCS31 post to take the sting out of the tail but not enough flop and float to make you feel divorced from the bike. That, um, direct saddle might help a bit as well.
Those small triangles making up the frame mean there's very little lost between the legs and the wheels and kicking down on the pedals gives a snappy response. The light weight of the bike definitely helps with lunges too, especially when going for that second shunt up a steepening corner, but the rear end isn't so solid that power transfer gets all skippy in the rear wheel if you get a bit mashy with your technique.
The Velocite is definitely a bike for the rider who likes to feel connected to the road, it's a stiff frame but not uncomfortably so. There's just enough road buzz kill but not so much to kill your riding buzz. So many bikes are so busy being comfortable over long distances they forget that you might want some road conversation. You need to keep looking down to see if you're still on tarmac, and it can all feel a bit cardboardy. With the Geos, it's nice to ride a bike that just smoothes the rough edge off the harsh stuff but still gives plenty of feel under tyre so you can respond accordingly.
The Geos is not a bike to get you from A to B in an undisturbed and perfunctory manner, it's lots more fun than that. Luckily that tight compact frame and lively character doesn't make the Velocite a jumpy and nervous descender. It's involving, yes, but in a good way. With that subtle softness in the frame to soak up grubby tarmac, it doesn't get bounced off line and keeps its calm, whilst making hushed Spitfire noises under its breath.
At the end of that day on the cobbles on an unfamiliar bike I wasn't walking like I'd spent an evening with Tom Boonen celebrating a classics victory. I was feeling the miles and the cobbles, yes, and that saddle a teeny bit, but in that happy way. I knew that I had ridden a bike rather than been coaxed round by it. If you like to ride rather than just be a passenger then the Velocite Geos should be a name on your lips.
The price of the Geos 2.0 puts it in the ring against some pretty hard-hitting opponents, it's not in the superbike league, but it's definitely racked up in the taking-it-seriously bike aisle. The frame isn't laden with buzz-words and whiz-bang features that make it stand out on the shop floor and the spec certainly isn't up there with similarly priced and even cheaper competitors' electronic shifting and equipment from the velvet-lined drawer.
On the surface it actually looks like a pretty basic carbon bike, no wibbly-wobbly tubes or funky profiles and no pandering comfort inserts, the Geos 2.0 just looks like a bike, a nice carbon bike but nothing obvious to write home about or spend that much on.
But that normal, plain exterior hides a really nippy and cheerful ride. If you're after a bike that you can sit on and brainlessly ride all day then you'll want to look elsewhere, there are plenty of bikes that tout comfort over character for you to choose from. And if you want a bike that's stiff enough to cope with your awesome power as you sprint away from fellow MAMILs to take that crucial sportive feed-station prime then there are other bikes out there for you too. The Velocite sits nicely somewhere between the two, managing the difficult trick of being comfortable, stiff and deeply engaging.
The styling may be plain, but the ride is anything but. The Geos 2.0 is nippy and cheerful with a fun, balanced ride
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Make and model: Velocite Geos 2.0
Size tested: Large
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
The Velocite frame is made from monocoque unidirectional carbon fiber composite with a Bora S high modulus carbon fibre monocoque fork with carbon dropouts and tapered carbon steerer.
Headset Velocite 1.5"
Rear Derailleur SRAM Force
Front Derailleur SRAM Force
Shifters SRAM Force
Brakes SRAM Force
Cassette SRAM PG-1050
Chain SRAM PC-1071R
Wheels Velocite Tenax
Tyres Continental GP4000S
Cranks SRAM Force BB30
Bottom Bracket SRAM BB30
Stem 3T Arx Team
Handle bar 3T Rotundo Team
Saddle Velocite SCS
Seatpost Velocite TLCS31
Pedals none included
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Velocite say the Geos is a very high performance and ultra-light road bike, created to dominate during hilly stages and grand tours with everything focused on extracting peak performance and achieving sub 1000g weights without compromise. Carbon monocoque construction using multi modulus advanced carbon fibre lay-up provides excellent vibration damping and comfort with class leading stiffness. All in all, the Geos could just be the one bike you ever want to own.
That last sentence is a bit of a bold claim and something we're used to reading, but it might just be true this time. The Geos 2.0 could be that versatile a bike, just light and stiff and nippy enough to race on, yet just light and comfy enough to ride longer days on. I could quite happily use this bike for a bit of everything.
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Very nice, the naked carbon with overlaid graphics is a stylish look too.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Monocoque unidirectional carbon fiber composite.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
Velocite say the Geos geometry delivers very fast, but stable handling across all sizes and I'd agree. Apart from the 'all sizes' bit as I only tried the one.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The medium frame tested was maybe a tiny tiny bit short in the top-tube but I adjusted quite happily, the head-tube isn't too tall either making it a good choice for both racing and more casual if sporty riding.
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, comfortable, but not sofa-like, there was plenty of useful road feedback.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
With a tapered head-tube, BB30 and oversize down-tube there was plenty of rigidity in there, but it wasn't sprinter stiff and jackhammer harsh.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Yes, the compact frame made it feel sharp and nippy.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Just the fun side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Overall it was a fun and chipper bike to ride, good at climbing and full of character.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
You might want to think about whether that saddle's worth the upgrade, but the 3T bars and SRAM hoods were fine for these hands.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
No need to change anything, everything seemed to work in the bikes favour.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, we got on really well, its character seemed to suit mine.
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.