06 February, 2007

TA Pedals and Cranks Delayed Again


A lot of you have been waiting for the 60th anniversary cranks from TA Specialities. We were told they would arrive in January. Our importer just spoke with the factory and was told that they are not ready and they don't have an estimated delivery time.

The pedals are also in great demand. TA says the first run of pedals since they repaired their molds have quality problems and will not be shipped. I don't know if this means the new molds are not working or if there is some other problem.

Many of us in the bike biz as well as our customers are very disappointed. I think we'll stop taking reservations for TA products. When, or if, they show up, great, but it looks like we can't count on them to deliver on time.

There are other product delays as well. Honjo says they now need 4 months lead time for fenders. Our order will finally be finished this month. I guess Honjo fenders are getting popular. We have seen similar delays from other manufacturers. Is this a sign that demand for cyclo-touring products is growing?

25 comments:

Joel said...

To darn bad about the pedals. I really would like a pair.

Something must be astir in the cycletouring world. Quality touring components seem to sell out very quickly.

Sadly, wherever this movement is taking place, I can assure you it is not Chicago, unfortunately.

Clip pedals still rule the roost here. To the extent bikes I pass on my ride have fenders, they usually are the worthless plastic ones meant only to keep a mud stripe off ones back.

That said, at the local bike store the other day, I noticed a new Cannondale model called the 'Street.' Not perfect - the frame is aluminum and it used all those madding proprietary stems, racks and other components Cannondale favors to keep you from shopping around.

Still, it had real fenders, accomodated upright riding, had a great totally enclosed chain guard, and used a Shimano 8 speed internal hub.

If a company otherwise known for making ultra light street and mountain racers is selling a real, albeit generic, commuter, there must be a burgeoning market out there.

So tell these components manufacturers to invest in more capacity. Some percentage of the Cannondale buyers will graduate to the big leagues. The market needs to be ready for them.

neil m berg said...

Actually, my daughter has a Cannondale that is maybe 6 or 7 years old that is a nice upright bike with a quill stem and sensible gearing. It has braze-ons for racks front and back, but unfortunately not for fenders and it's hard to add them. I have no idea what the designer's vision was.

The T.A. delay is probably best attributed to the charming French attitude. The Honjos, well, they're in the French style I guess.

Lesli L said...

Bummer. I'll probably have converted to clipless by the time those ta pedals arrive!

How will the special honjos differ from the stock models currently available--especially when talking about making them fit with a velo oranga rando frame? I ask in case it comes down to running bike w/o fenders for too long during the rainy season.

Anonymous said...

running without fenders?
As a citizen of Vancouver,(NOT 'The Pacific Northwest', a place I have never visited)I could not imagine running without full fenders from Sept-May.
Surely, an interim pair of Planet Bikes, at only 20 bucks, would do the job until the Honjos show up?
Also, SOMA has some neat looking coloured plastic fenders that kind of remind me of Bluemels.
M Burdge

Joel said...

The Somafabs are good looking and not a bad design for the price.

I guess Planetbike are better than nothing.

n.b.: In my post above, fist word fourth paragraph should read 'Clipless' Sorry about that.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The fenders we ordered from Honjo are longer than most, that is the only difference. They are hammered and 43mm. The smooth 43mm Honjos we can sometimes get are also pretty long and that's what I used on my frame.

I've just gotten nine pair of various Honjos from another importer and I'll put them upon the site tomorrow.

We are working on a deal to have Honjo-like fenders made for us by another factory. The samples look good, but the hardware is not as nice as I'd like. If they can make a few changes in the hardware we'll soon have a nice quality and far less expensive alternative to Honjos. There will be two, perhaps three, sizes in aluminum and perhaps another in stainless, if all works out.

Anonymous said...

Velo Oranges MKS rat traps are excellent for my size 13's. Just put some plastic Zefal L/XL toe clips on, and just so long as I'm leaning on something starting out, I never stop spinning until I reach my destination (using UPS right-hand-turn routing heuristics). Nice smooth supported pedal motions. MKS touring rat traps are the finest pedals I could ever want, and they never bind no matter how much pressure is put on them.

Anonymous said...

Chris -

Any update on the Gran Bois 700x30c ETA?

- "Eager" in Alexandria

Chris Kulczycki said...

I think we'll have the Grand Boise tires sometime next week.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Are there any formula width percentages of (tire width)/(fender width) to optimize rain shielding and minimize wind drag as well?


Thank You

neil m berg said...

I have a rather sophisticated formula I use. "The widest fender I can fit and the biggest tire that clears it without rubbing." Seriously, it's nice to have the fenders maybe a centimeter wider than the tire so the tire tucks up inside the fender. On racier geometry with side pulls this is harder to pull off and you'll be force to narrow the fender and compromise your tire width.

Anonymous said...

Neil M Berg,

Interesting. Off the cuff, I was thinking 90% racey and 80% coverage that is on the edge of wind draging.

Most of the real protection will be at mud flaps since that will be the only horizontal forces.

So for my 1.25" x 27", you would say a 43mm fender (about 80%) and I was thinking about 35mm fender (90% exactly) for wind reduction. After adding all the doo-dads on the bike, I would like at least to have wind resistance edge in my favor. As well it may be tight fit with old Weinmann centerpull calipers without cutting fender. I do NOT want to destroy fender integrity .

Plus I have less than an inch (1/2"-?)from my toe guards to wheel now, so I want a wheel hugging fender.

Thanks for your rule of thumb. I guess I'll try to look at some in LBS soon and compare. Both ways are common. Although I'm leaning towards thinner, can be easily swayed by what 'looks' right on similar bikes. Nothing is easy in bicycles. :-(

neil m berg said...

Most fenders will flex a little with the brakes. The Weinmans should be cool, because of their geometry, I don't think they clamp in much at the fender location.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about a little wind turbulence around metallic rust brake pads, is it may cool the rear of the pads which heats up from not getting direct wind impact like the front of pads.

I will look into something a little more direct and designed for just for that, since those pads are like abs brakes on bicycles. I just don't want a minor melt down to ruin the life on those big pads (and make pads 'hard' and squeak - just another revelation in the day of a bicycler).

Logically, I am thinking a snug tight 35mm on front fender and a loose tall 43 on rear.

neil m berg said...

I'm old and fat. I don't think I ride fast enough to have wind resistance or brake cooling be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Scott G.

I got the Gran Bois 700s from BQ,
very nice. They were 31mm when mounted and 32mm after being on the bike for a couple weeks.
Oh, yeah 290g. Worth waiting for.

nv said...

Chris -
Will the "Honjo-like" fenders be available in hammered finish?
Thanks,
nv

Chris Kulczycki said...

They will be available in smooth and perhaps in Le Paon style.

Anonymous said...

So, is "peacock" the same as hammertone?

Anonymous said...

Scott G,

How many mm wide is a 700 tire? New fangled tires don't give widths. They look skinny.

Your fenders are around 1.25" wide.


Thanks!

Anonymous said...

So if 700 size the 20mm wide, then that would match Neil M Berg's rule.

43 is probably right for me then. Forgot my steel ruler today when dropped by LBS, but they were probably 1/2.54 inches wider than tires.

Thanks for the rule Neil M Berg. That's what I was looking for.

neil m berg said...

Anonymous.
I think all tires have a width designation. The second number is the width. For instance on a 700-25, 25 is the width of the tire in mm. 700s vary from 18mm to something really large, maybe 44mm or more. Sheldon Brown's site can help you understand more about wheel and tire sizing. He is a wealth of information.
http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

Anonymous said...

Neil M Berg,

If the poster did not put the secondary designation, Sheldon's site could not help me. But thanks, and I looked it there up right before I made the assumption. 700 must get real complicated with different wheels and tires.

Anonymous said...

Chris -- the Honjo-like fenders sound like another great product that will fill a demand and be affordable. Great news; I look forward to seeing them and probably ordering a set. Just a thought, but you could always take a page from Rock Lobster and call them "Nonjos"... :)
Dan S.

david_nj said...

Anonymous,

Cooling of the brake pads? Are you talking on a Formula 1 car or on a touring bicycle? That's the utterest balderdash. As far as fender sizes, isn't it a little bit like Abe Lincoln said when asked, "How long should a person's legs be?"

"Long enough to reach the ground."