13 December, 2006

Miscellaneous Announcements, UPDATE

My VO rando frame is painted; I'll pick it up on Friday. This is a little like having a baby.

We have the European baskets now. They are nice, not superb, but nicer than those I've see in local bike stores. At $26 they are a bargain. Tho only letdown is that the straps are woven, not leather, but that's what old toe clip straps are for.

We'll soon have a selection of 650b rims and tires. Perhaps even a few that are unavailable elsewhere.

Some NOS 700c rims are also on the way, as are the soon to be legendary 30mm green label 700c Grand Bois Cypres tires.

Also on the way are alloy MKS toe clips with leather shoe guards pre-installed.

Finally, the now mythical VO front racks are finally in production and will arrive in late January.

A couple of folks asked who is doing the fillet brazed city bikes. It's Ahren Rogers. Ahren was a frame builder for "Seven cycles" for five years and with that experience under his belt he's just opened his own shop. As you may know, a complete Seven racing bike easily can run over $12,000; that gives you some idea of the skill he brings to VO frames. And Ahren can built titanium frames. A Velo Orange Ti pass hunter anyone?

UPDATE- We expect the Grand Boise tires in early to mid January. I will hold a pair for you if you e-mail to reserve them. The price is $49.50 each, or $180 for four.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

little typo on the basket page: "off the coast of European"

neil m berg said...

Huh?

Chris Kulczycki said...

I fixed it; thanks.

Anonymous said...

Front end of new bike looks mighty impressive!


:-)

Chris Kulczycki said...

Umm, that's an old Motobecane, not the new bike.

neil m berg said...

Hell, it's impressive anyway.

Ken R. said...

" . . . as are the soon to be legendary 30mm green label 700c Grand Bois Cypress tires."

Man, you snuck that one in there quietly! I will be watching this blog on a daily basis, waiting for these tires to arrive. I've never been so excited about a clincher tire! This will be THE tire of 2007, I predict.

C said...

Any chance for a 28 hole 650b rim? With 30+mm tires there's no need for more spokes than that. I ride a 24 spoke 700C wheel with 28mm tires on gravel roads on a regular basis and have yet to have a flat.

Light wheels are right up there with a planing frame on the list of things that make for a great bike.

david_nj said...

c,

Light wheels -- at least light in the way that matters, meaning having low rotational inertia -- and fat tires are almost mutually exclusive. People just don't scream up steep hills on their randonneur bikes. Light wheels are immensely useful on climbs, especially where wheel speed constantly varies. But they're no use whatsoever to "rouleurs" who pound it out on essentially level ground.

I personally think there wouldn't be any particular benefit to having a small number of spokes. If you have a low spoke count and you do break one, the wheel will go way out of true (spoke tension is very high, plus they cover a longer arc of rim). Bad, bad idea for touring bikes. Plus, with fat tires and slow riding speeds, there is no aero advantage to be had whatsoever.

And don't get me started on planing frames, unless you're talking about racing or very, very fast and hard road riding. Much of the lateral springiness in a bicycle comes from the wheels anyway. The so-called planing effect really only occurs when you're out of the saddle honking away anyway. How many 650B randonneur riders crank it up to that level? I'd say, none, with the pointed exception of Ms. Lili Herse.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I'm with David on wheels. During my short and pitiful try at racing I learned that a big ex-rower like me could do two things, sprint and destroy wheels. I had more broken spokes than flat tires. I soon got the message and gave up on light wheels.

C said...

"If you have a low spoke count and you do break one, the wheel will go way out of true (spoke tension is very high, plus they cover a longer arc of rim)."

Not always true. I've worked on low spoke count wheels from pretty much all the major manufacturers. My opinion is back by experience working as technical support at dozens of races, centuries, and multi-day charity rides. Certain models of Rolf and Ritchey wheels in particular were prone to breaking spokes (due to the hub flange design and spokes, BTW) and they didn't go much further out of true than a regular wheel. Ditto for the few Mavic wheels I've seen with broken spokes.

As for light wheels not making a difference, again I disagree. I can immediately tell the difference between my Mavic Cosmos wheels (with 28mm folding tires) and my older 36 spoke wheels (with 32mm wire bead tires) The lighter wheels have a nice snap to them when you pound on the pedals while the heavier wheels just feel dead.

As for durability, one of the kids on the team I most recently wrenched for has ridden several seasons of cyclocross (including a trip to Worlds) on Mavic Ksyrium wheels. This same kid is also a trackie and is 6'2" and built like a sprinter. He's yet to destroy those wheels and has crashed them on a few occasions. Only work I've had to do on those wheels was replacing the rim after he dented it from riding on a flat. You can make light and durable wheels (just don't expect them to be cheap!)

Anonymous said...

c,

What about if your rider had a middle linebacker frame and weighed 250 lbs? 24 spokes don't 'look' like they could hold up statically, much less dynamically. I really don't know, but I can see 36 double butted spokes and can easily understand that.

Until I can see some engineering theory that works with riders significantly above 200 lbs, then its just 'black magic' I'll stay away from in the mean time. I hear problems on web all the time with newer style wheels, for smaller guys too (the only ones brave enough to try). As well, AL frames crack up routinely. A 6'2" sprinter is comparably less and may not be but a hair over 200 lbs if that.

If you have some engineering specs not based on proprietary materials/designs then I'd be glad to hear. But metals don't change properties, physics hasn't changed in last 1000 years, and rust never sleeps, just because its new.

imo

Greg said...

Guys, guys. Take it over to the 650B list. It got a little slow after the last two days.

And Chris K: Sub 400g 650B clincher rims please. Don't care about the spoke holes, I'll just use Revolutions.

Light tires too, please. I can always use the C dl Vs on the Porteur.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Do you paint frames or know someone who does good value paint jobs for early seventies Raleighs? This may be a while, so would like your expert recomendation.


Thanks

Chris Kulczycki said...

I can't help with paint. We have a super paint shop that does our frames, but they only work with builders.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

They are new but hard to get since no demand. Kool Stop Continental Salmon color (rust oxide) small brake pads. This is a product you could support demand from your base of centerpull brake users (like the front end bike picture on your article). You know centerpulls will be back again, so this is a way to keep you older classic bike riders with the best possible brake pads until demand comes around again.

http://www.koolstop.com/brakes/index.php

(hit Continental at top of page and will direct you to picture)

:-)

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Never mind the Kool Stops, I got some solid block Scott/Mathauser centerpull red oxide (rust) pads. They still make them in Idaho, and I'll forward you the information when they arrive in 6-8 workdays.

I could never tell by pictures if Kool Stop oxide material was just coated over pad and steel frames or what. I can see the solid brake pads in Scott/Mahauser brake pads clinched inside steel frames though(Rivendell has pictures of them but out now). It should be like a whole new set of brakes for me for less than $20, front and back. Centerpulls are cool.

:-)

jeff said...

Pretty sure I met Ahren and his girlfriend who also worked at Seven, when visiting a friend that worked at Bikes not Bombs in Boston. They were on their single speed commuters that were amazing. Ahren had handcarved the lugs himself. I later met his girlfriend again(who's name escapes me right now) when volunteering at Maya Pedal(www.mayapedal.org) in Guatemala. The cycling world is very small that way I guess. She mentioned that when when she went back to the US that he'd be starting his on frame shop, so I'm glad to hear he's still building.

There's a courier/shop manager here in DC that's been riding the same pair of Ksyrium Elite's for several years now with no problem. Not sure Sean's weight, but he's big enough to have snapped a thompson post, and easily has hit 250+ at his largest. He's a skilled, smooth rider, but working on your bike definetly puts any equipment to the test, and his wheels seem to have not had any problems.