11 October, 2006

A Few New Items and Some Updates

We have, or soon will have, a few new items.

We've started carrying the MKS RX-1 track pedal. The RX-1 is a high-end track pedal with a highly polished finish. It uses sealed bearings that are as smooth as any bearing I've felt and they weighs only 281 grams. The RX-1 is a good alternative to the unavailable TA track pedal. Actually it's much nicer than either the TA or the old Campy pedals. At $98 they're not cheap, but the quality is astounding. Note the special loop under the pedal for the strap and the little grips where the strap turns up along the pedal body. They are NJS approved, of course.

We also have MKS half clips. These little stainless steel clips give you most of the advantages of a full toe clip, but without straps. They are fantastic for city bikes, kid's bikes, or any bike when you want the extra efficiency of toe clips without the bother of straps. Highly recommended; I use them on my city bike.

Honjo 43mm hammered fenders will be here next week. These are not the custom
fenders we've ordered from the factory, but they are still lovely. We'll also have spare hardware for Honjo fenders, which several customers have asked for.

We'll also have Carradice saddlebag supports from England and a few Carrdice bags. Are there any particular models you think we should stock?

Brooks saddle covers are in stock.

It looks like we won't be stocking our French stainless steel fenders, at least not for a long time. The company that makes them has gone out of business. The machinery has been sold to another French company, so they may one day reappear. I'm looking for other sources of stainless fenders.

Back to the TA pedals, I've heard that the factory may have the broken mold replaced in a couple of weeks and we may see production re-start.

14 comments:

david_nj said...

Weren't those SS fenders Gilles Berthoud fenders? They went out of business?!?!?!?

Chris Kulczycki said...

No. Berthoud sold the fenders, but they were made by another company. I understand that he's the one who recently bought the tooling for them. It will probably take some time get production running again, but who knows?

There is another company in Europe that can make similar fenders. I hope we can get some.

david_nj said...

I actually think that those stainless fenders are a better answer in the long run than the elegant but oh-so-fragile Honjos, for most people. The weight difference is trivial and I believe the mounting hardware is better sorted. It would be nice to have them in the Honjo profiles, but one can only ask so much.

Another problem with the alloy fenders is the same problem that has driven British sports car nuts batty when trying to align body panels: you move one portion of an aluminum panel and something else pops out of whack. It's really hard to get the Honjos to set up just so and stay that way; easy with the SS ones though.

Chris Kulczycki said...

David, If you walk around Paris you will see dozens of bikes with aluminum fenders that are not as well made as Honjos. Many of these bikes are over 20 years old.

Honjos are super sturdy if properly mounted. The trick is not to flex them and not leave them "stressed". The holes must be drilled accurately and soft washers must be used.

Jan Heine wrote a great article in VBQ that tested SKS, Honjo, and Berthoud fenders. The Honjo fenders came out on top.

neil m berg said...

David,
I have two sets of Honjos on bikes with side pulls that are fitted really close. It takes all of a rainy Saturday afternoon to get them drilled and adjusted, but once they're installed I never give them a thought unless a stick or something gets wedged. I've never tried stainless so I don't know how they compare.

david_nj said...

This is good, b/c I put a set of Honjos on my new road bike, and was prepared for a very short life for them. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Awk! I just put a set of Pyramid fenders on my road bike -- it took three hours! Please tell me this gets quicker with practice/a workstand/better (allen heads anyone?) hardware!

neil m berg said...

Welcome Ricnie.

I've missed your insights since you bailed from the CR list over the Wabi issue.

Anonymous said...

Do as my grandfather commanded: measure twice, drill once. Better yet, measure twice, have someone else check the fit, then drill.

I have GB stainless that I only measured once and regret the fit I achieved but they are durable, easy to clean, and do not behave as david_nj describes aluminum.

That said, will Velo Orange carry the Honjos for 26"?

Chris Kulczycki said...

We won't have Honjos for 26" or 650B initially. But if the 700c Honjos sell well, I'll get some made in the other sizes.

James said...

I used to lived in that part of the world where old french bicycles can be had at swapmeets for 80 marks and let me tell you the condition of the aluminium fenders was the least of my worries when buying an old "Porteur."
In this country I've used honjos on my Batavus and Quickbeam, both of which saw heavy use in traffic and spent much of their time locked to a public bike rack, it's been my experience that Honjos age better than frames.

I've noticed that many nicer german bicycles Nirosa(sp?) fenders, I thought they were stainless. They sometimes have very attractive taillights mounted to the rear fender.

Robert Cannon said...

Speaking of fender mounted taillights, are elegant ones made anymore, and how can I get some? It would be great if VO could source them.

Robert Cannon said...

Speaking of fender mounted taillights, are elegant ones made anymore, and how can I get some? It would be great if VO could source them.

david_nj said...

Robert there are some okay dynamo-powered ones you can get, e.g.,

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/taillights.asp

... hardly the equal of the truly fine old french ones though.

Thing is, I dunno if you really want to use a dynamo taillight. In Europe you can't have blinkies -- i.e., the light must be constant -- but here where we proudly drink beer, chase skirt, and watch NFL games, you generally can. I don't think there are any purpose-built ones, but it's not too hard or too inelegant to mount some LED blinkies on the fender though, I'll send you a pic.


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* guys, Robert is now the steward of my old Peugeot! how cool is that?!?