16 December, 2006

Velo Orange Randonneuse, frame #1


There are more photos here.



37 comments:

nv said...

Chris,
LOOKS GREAT!
Congratulations! I'm sure you put a ton of work into making this project happen, the results look excellent!
nv

Anonymous said...

Chris

Nice details.

How did you prepare the metal inside the seat tube?


Thank You

Anonymous said...

Chris
nice job!! Kudos to Johnny Coast. Demand is building! I want one, just don't have the coin right now. I think you hit the nail on the head with style, understated, classic, yet up to date.
Who paints them? I also like the downtube decal's interesting position. for the rider to see, eh?
best
Mark

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Any hints on what components you will use to build her up?
Looking forward to pictures of the completed bike and of course a full road test!

Chris Kulczycki said...

All that's in the seat tube is Frame Saver.

The down tube decal position is often seen of older French custom bikes. I thought it was time to bring back the style.

The build will be almost all classic, except for Paul brakes and noodle bars. It'll have Simplex SLJ dérailleurs, retro friction shifters, Stronglight 49D crank w/TA rings, Edco BB, Maxi-Car hubs, NOS Rigida 1622 mirror-polished rims...

I may switch to Mafac brakes; the Paul brakes are a lot better, but they may look too modern with all that old stuff.

Frame number two will be blue with an all modern Campy build, except for TA cranks.

nv said...

Chris,
Would you mind posting the frame dimensions?
I'm curious to know the seat tube/top tube/headtube dimensions...
Are the angles, trail and chainstay length the same as originally posted in the VO Rando frame geometry chart?
Thanks,
nv

Joel said...

Chris, very nice.

Clean lines. Classic geometry. The metallic color really allows the classy lug work to stand on their own.

Look forward to seeing it built up

david_nj said...

It's awfully sweet, it really is. Perfection.

Are the bosses for the Paul brakes workable for Mafacs too?

Funny, I really think it's crying out for a thoroughly modern build!

What are you using for a front rack? I am really hoping you can rig it so as to clip onto the centerpull bosses. What about lighting?

Is that powdercoating or silver paint?

Anonymous said...

Chris,

What a great looking frame. My mind is already trying to figure out how to pay for one.

Is this frame being designed only for 650b wheels or are 700c wheels also an option?

Chris Kulczycki said...

NV, This frame is 61 x 59.5. and the geometry is exactly as was posted.

David, That is paint, very good paint. You can't get powder coat to show details that well because it's thicker. On a fillet brazed bike it's nice, but it would hide Johnny's superb lug-work on this frame.

The rack is the same one that I showed a while back and it mounts to the fork eyelets and underneath the fork crown, I'll have to use the prototype for a few weeks until the production versions are finished.

Those studs are not designed to work with Mafacs, but I can make an adapter and use special springs. We can install studs specifically for Mafacs for anyone who wants them.

No need for lighting on my bike since the LED flashlight with bracket works well enough for the little night riding I do. And my city bike will have full lighting.

Annon, This frame is for 700c wheels. The 650b version is called the Cyclo Tourist and we'll be building one soon.

nv said...

Chris,
What's the length of the head tube?
Thanks,
nv

david_nj said...

Chris, the little eyelets brazed on a few inches below the brake bosses led me to imagine that you were going to clip the legs of a rack onto there, rather than going down to the fork ends. No worries.

I just asked about the lighting because that's such a key theme of many rando-type machines. I really get a kick out of the way some have done it. Plus they're useful: today coming back from the gym I found that darkness crept up on me much sooner than I expected and I was glad to have a decent light on there.

Let me say again how much I like it. The simple lines and lugwork shows great restraint and taste -- that frame'll build up into a machine that you will simply never tire of riding.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, for Velo Orange frame owners, is they can get a complete equipped painted frame for about the same cost as just painting an old frame with chrome fork tips and crown, decals, pinstrips, forks alignment, and water bottle frame brazes. But you get so much more with the Velo Orange frame. Just that main frame picture is a tutorial on proper utilized frame logistics. It takes a while for all of the engineering to sink in from the simple elegant frame pic.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Congratulations. Nice job.

Looks like Santa has been nice to you this year.

Ron

Anonymous said...

Do you know what tubeset/mix was used? Butt profiles? Fork blades?
Looking good!
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Got any 27" wheel frame sets? Too retro?

Lesli L said...

Chris--

Is there a specific imron number attached to this shade of silver or is it a custom mix?

Very nice.

LL

Chris Kulczycki said...

NV, the head tube length is about 12cm. Johnny has the plans so that's just a rough measurement.

David, That's what I meant, the rack attaches to the eyelets below the brake, not to the dropout.

Lesli, I'll post the new paint codes soon. I want to make sure they are the one we are actually using, since we changed them so many times :<)

nv said...

Chris,
Are you sure the head tube is 12cm in length? That seems awfully short – especially for a 61cm frame with a HT extension. For comparison, my bikes (in sizes 58 to 60cm) have head tubes ranging from 16 to 20cm in length.
Thanks!
nv

Chris Kulczycki said...

That's c-c; overall it's 20cm.

nv said...

Thanks, sounds good!
nv

Anonymous said...

Are Reynold's 631 frame and chrome moly forks unreasonable specs for your frames? Or are they artificially high or an additional option? Your frames are a treat to look at.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Reynolds 631 has no advantages over what we use now. Johnny and I are not concerned with brand names, but with getting the ride and feel of the bike right, so a single frame might have tubes from more than one manufacturer.

We've been talking about building a few frames from Reynolds 531, not because it's better, but because it's what the old constructeurs used so it would offer a sort of neat link to the past.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I looked on Reynolds site and they said since 631 is superior to 531, 531 would have to be special ordered. I need to look at material pdf comparing materials on their site.

631 is probably cheaper to produce or made for some other high volume use, so they may have wanted to jack up 531 as an incentive NOT to use it. 531 is very robust, but I've only had a $100 Huffy mountain bike as a comparison vehicle.

I would be interested in a materials summary if you have a chance in your busy schedule. It would give your customers a chance to matriculate to the new steel technology as well, so they can understand your frame specifications better.


Thank You

Joel said...

Well, it is Chris' business, but this returning Velo customer with more than a passing interest in the frame is not all that sure what an ingredients list would do for a specific buyer.

I don't make bikes. I've ridden a few. Someone saying a bike has Reynolds this, or Columbia that tubing really does not mean anything to me.

Now the fact the bike is steel, the geometry, the available braze-ons, that means something to me. And Chris is giving plenty of that information.

neil m berg said...

The pros over on the frame builders list discuss and argue tube specs continually. Everyone seems to have a favorite. I know just enough to be dangerous. 531 and 753 both have manganese along with the chrome molybdenum which makes them less easy to work at the higher temperatures involved in TIG welding. As lugged steel with low temperature silver brazing are a shrinking market it makes sense for Reynolds to try to discourage 531 unless you are willing to buy a big run. That doesn't mean 531 isn't a great product for a lugged frame. More than I know.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil is exactly right. People do get into big arguments and obsess over the tubing. But once you start using a good quality product the differences, at least for the rider, are almost non-existent. To quote an old professor: "I can not stress strongly enough how very very unimportant this is."

Joel said...

Seems to me what matters most is the builder.

From what I have read and heard, Johnny Coast is an excellent builder.

Anonymous said...

While tube makes and models may not be truly important (it's all good stuff at this level), tubing diameter, gauge and butt profiles are important. They'll determine not only a frameset's weight but also it's ride characteristics.
Are your main tubes 8/5/8?

Anonymous said...

Materials can significantly effect owner care. For example, I just recently learned Reynolds 531 was not AL (I also had Norton Commandos with Reynolds 501, and thought they were both AL). And until just then, I didn't know you needed a TIG welder for 531 steel alloy.

By wild chance for 35 years, I would have had my frame welded on the road if needed by a TIG welder because I thought it was AL. But until just a moment ago, I would have had it MIG welded because I equated it to >95% Steel.

So care, force, rigitiy, and rust properties are areas I like to understand as well as possible. It always seems easier to substitute before, rather than after the fact which happens more than I like :-(

I was just hoping the main stock Chris considered might be listed.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The tubes in most of our frames come from Columbus and Dedacciai. But the important thing is the tubing match the rider's weight and strength and preferences.

Being a big ex-sprinter my frame is 9-6-9, but the same size frame built for someone else might have completely different tubes. That's the great thing about custom frames: the frame matches the rider.

To ask about the the tubes in my bike is a little like asking about the length of the sleeves on my sport coat. They have nothing to do with how long the sleeves on your sport coat should be. You have to trust the tailor.

Anonymous said...

OK, your quality work for price is very generous imo.

Show one of the blue colors please.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

What a lovely job you and Johnny have done. I especially like the long scallops at the top of the seat-stays. They feel very French even though I don't recall seeing them in the past.

But what a lot of pocket engineers you've found. Folks, if you're not a builder, you don't need to know about the materials. A good bike shouldn't be fixed on the road by a blacksmith. Even old tubing is thin-enough in gauge to require frame-building skills.

If you don't trust your builder to make the right decisions, find another builder or do it yourself.

Beside, not knowing has the pleasant side-effect of allowing you to concentrate our your ride rather than your bike.

Wayne Pein said...

The pointed lugs are beautiful but are stress risers. At the least, you should round off the point on the under side of the lower headtube lug, which can't easily be seen anyway. I've had a Trek frame break at this point from the stress riser.

Are the down and seat tubes 1 inch or 1 1/8 (28.6)?

Wayne

Chris Kulczycki said...

Wayne, The reason for thinning lugs is to minimize them as stress risers and that is also the reason for using long points. They are rounded on the underside. The down tube and seat tube are traditional 28.6mm

Wayne Pein said...

OK Chris, you've got things well in hand regarding stress risers. It's a great seeming bike. My only issue is a personal aesthetic one. While the seatstay top eyes ARE classy and as good as they get, personally I like seat cluster lugs in which the seat stays plug into sockets. It looks more finished, whereas seatstays with top eyes seem like a tacked on afterthought. That said, two of 3 steel bikes I've owned have used top eyes. The other was a 1993 Specialized Allez that had a gorgeous seat lug.

Regards,
Wayne

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. I own 3 vintage steel road bikes, and my next project is a randonneur...no, a french style randonneuse. I am very interested in what You are doing. Of course, an Alex Singer bike is amazing, but unaffordable.
What You are doing here sure will be. Not cheap, but affordable and of perfect quality. Congratulations.