For your viewing pleasure here are two photos of Johnny's stems. They are only available with a frame, never separately. The one on the right is the type I prefer for Velo Orange frames.
Speaking of frames, I'm finally sending off the specs to Toyo for the Velo Orange production frames. They will be much like the Velo Orange Randonneuse frames, but with cantilever brake bosses. The logic is that folks who buy a production frame probably won't be happy paying for the expensive Paul racer brakes.
I know that there has been a lot of hype about Toyo quality, but here is my honest opinion. Toyo is one of the two best production shops in the world, but they are still a production shop. Production frames do not compare to a frame by a good custom builder, the quality is not the same, not even close. The lugs are not hand filed, they are not silver brazed, tubes occasionally get overheated. You can put fancy lugs and a shiny paint job on a production frame, but it does not make it a hand-built custom frame. On the other hand Toyo frames are far superior to the best frames I've seen from Taiwan and China.
So why are we having Toyo build VO frames? It's because for most people the quality is more than sufficient. And because geometry and tubing selection are still the most important factors in ride quality. We hope these frames will cost just under $1000 and be available by late Fall. When we've seen and approved the sample we'll start taking reservations for the first production run of 100 frames.
The color is, as always, a big headache for me. One idea is a soft green brown. In old Japanese houses the plaster was sometimes made from the mud of abandoned rice paddies. This made a lovely green-brown color which was prized for it's subtle beauty. Another option is the same blue-gray that's used on the current Velo-Orange frames which everyone seems to like. Opinions are welcome.
18 May, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 10:10:00 AM