12 May, 2007

Two Projects




From the Velo Orange R&D department (that's the left side of my workbench) we present an update on two works in progress.

The first is our version (on the right) of the old TA water bottle cage (The drawing on the left comes from the terrific Blackbird TA page. Thanks Joel.) Our version will fit the stainless steel water bottles perfectly, as well as plastic bottles. It is a one handed cage, the little loops are there to only open it up if you want to put a coffee cup or something big in. We hope to have it made in highly polished stainless steel at a price of about $20. We should have samples soon. Any thoughts or comments.

To fuel my obsession with Maxi-Car hubs we are researching the possibility of making modern cassette hubs with a Maxi-Car-like shape. We are thinking of the lovely type-4 hubs with the trumpet-shape. Right now we're trying for alloy cassette bodies with four pawls. They will contain six sealed bearings and we may look into using annular bearings. There may also be a track version. The quality would be equal to the best hubs on the market. I don't know if we can pull this off or if we can keep the price reasonable.

Should these be available in 32h or 36h? Should they have a red band around the center, or orange ;<) ? Large flange?

31 comments:

peter weigle said...

Chris, your cage looks great.
Please finish the handle bar version as I don't like reaching down for my cup as I casually tool around town with my morning blend.

Robert Hudson said...

Chris,
Those are sweet renderings! Solidworks?
I second Peter's request for a handlebar version. I have a '50's vintage handlebar cage on my city bike that I use to carry an insulated coffee cup. There is a lot about the design that doesn't work, but I have imagined that some simple secondary fittings could be made to adapt a more conventional (modern) cage to work as a handlebar cage.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that 2 different versions of your cage may not be required- just some extra "adapter" fittings to convert to handlebar mode.
As to the hubs- my vote is for 36 hole, option for non-QR axle.
I think you would be missing a huge branding opportunity by making the bearing seals any other color but orange.

Anonymous said...

The cages look great, I will buy a pair if it happens. Ditto on the hubs as long as they don't cost more than Phils. I vote for 36 holes if you can only do one option. High flange. An orange band would be perfect. It could always be removed if it clashes with a customer's paint scheme. Maybe have an engraved logo also? Are you still working on the Herse style stems?

Anonymous said...

I assume they will have the maxi-style quick-change spoke holes?
I like high-flange hubs because they look cool. Do they have an advantage other than looks?

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to find a large flange cassette hub in the style of a classic randoneering bike. There are plenty of low flange cassette hubs in the world. I have been looking for something that would look right but have not found anything yet. I vote for Large flange!

Nick said...

The cage looks great. How much extra diameter would it be able to accommodate?

Greg said...

I love the concept of the cage. What are the chances of bottle ejection though?

Re handlebar mounts. They are also very handy for riding with kids on a trail-a-bike or tandem. There is a Minoura product out there already, but of course it is a very formal black, not the silver we all seem to prefer on our bicycles here.

david_nj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_nj said...

The bottle cage looks super but note that those little ears might catch on clothes etc.

The hubs are a fantastic idea, touching on the divine. Truly. Personally I would opt for 32'; hardly a big deal either way though.

nv said...

I'll buy at least 3 cages! And I agree, a handlebar version would be a nice option.
Regarding hubs, I really hope this can happen - I know others have tried and the expense was too high.
High flange definitely. 32 hole would be my personal preference if it were one or the other but I wouldn't mind both...
I think orange seals, no band and an engraved logo would be the bee's knees.

nv

Tom said...

i'd certainly buy a cage.

my vote is 36h, large flange.

Anonymous said...

Re: the colored band on the hubs: by all means, make it orange. Velo Orange. Homage to MaxiCar is all very well and good, and that red band of theirs is smashing, without a doubt; but orange is your color.

- Steve Palincsar

JoelMatthews said...

The hubs would be something but probably a real project. If any shop could pull it off, you are the one I would count on.

I like having orange in the center and 36 spoke holes.

As for the bottle cages, if you do not have a source yet, look to the guy who makes King Cages. I believe he is in Kansas. Kings are real well made. When I bought my cages a while back they came with a nice letter from his wife.

--David M said...

Yes yes.

For the cage, I'll repeat the h-bar mount request. The minoura gadget actually works very well, but it's not quite as elegant as you want it to be. There's nothing quite like two bottle on the bar.

For the hubs, I'd support the large flange choice, because no one else makes one these daze at a reasonable price or weight.

mhandsco said...

High flange Maxicar/VO track hubs? Yes please! How about - dare to dream - front drums!

Brian Loring said...

Please go with 36!!!

ANDY said...

I love the cages... except the tabs which accept the screw. The shape is too "cnc" and clunky. Perhaps a simple washer shape will do?

And I'd have to agree with everyone else: orange seals, engraved logo. Good luck!

Andrew Karre said...

I'd order two of those cages so fast your head would spin. Great idea.

Anonymous said...

you may want to make the lower tab on the cage point down rather than up so the cage won't fall out if clamp bands are used.

Anonymous said...

large flange hubs look cooler, but i have had more problems with the flanges cracking, esp those with cutouts. phil cassette hubs are ridiculously expensive--if you can charge significantly less, you will sell some. front hubs aren't as critical, and there are lots of good front hubs cheap, but you will sell some of those too because a lot of people want their hubs to match.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Peter and others, We are starting work on a bar mount for the water bottle cage tomorrow. Does it have to be centered?

Also, we will eliminate the mounting tabs on the cages and instead carry a special mounting band for those few who don't have bottle cage bosses.

We are now looking at a very strong large flange 36h hub body that was originally designed for tandem hubs. We think/hope we can fit it with annular cassette bearings and 3 or 4 pawls, and have it highly polished. The second choice is ceramic bearings. But bearings are only half the issue. They must have superb seals if they are to last as long as Maxi-Car bearings. Even great bearings fail if they get dirty.

I'm not one who likes logos so I don't think I want to spend on an engraved logo. I'd rather make the hubs a few dollars cheaper.

Anonymous said...

WI Tandem hubs? Polished, high flange, cassette...
The front is lovely, I wish the rear was as nice.
One thing about WI hubs - they are LOUD! I sold mine because the ratcheting drove me nuts.
http://www.whiteind.com/tandem.html

Chris Kulczycki said...

Ours are not W.I. hubs, though W.I. makes very nice components. We hope ours will be even stronger, have a more classic look, and be less expensive. On the down side, they may be heavier.

Anonymous said...

i also would buy several (1,2,several...) cages so fast your head would spin. please to not require centering; so we can run 2 cages on the bars. high flanges are good.

Anonymous said...

Chris - Yes by all means develope a modern high flange/large flange hub. Paul Components Engineering has threatened to make a companion cassette hub to go with their SS hubset, but nothing so far. I believe White Industries had a short run of HF hubs too, but no more. Please help bring back the HF hub. mike

C said...

I'll be the voice of dissent on the hubs unless you can answer one question for me: What would a VO hub offer that would make it a better choice than all the other high-end hubs out there? Between King, Phil, Campy, Shimano, DT, Zipp, WI, etc, etc. there's a LOT of high end hubs on the market.

Brad Riendeau said...

Large flange, bigger than a 28 cog. Even though spoke replacement today is rare, the concept was right. Perhaps adjusting flange sizes so that one wouldn't need an assymetrical rim to get a zero dish wheel.

Anonymous said...

c wrote: "What would a VO hub offer that would make it a better choice than all the other high-end hubs out there? Between King, Phil, Campy, Shimano, DT, Zipp, WI, etc, etc. there's a LOT of high end hubs on the market."

That's an easy one. It would be the best looking of the lot.

Anonymous said...

Chris:

36H, high flange, orange logo, orange seals, trumpet shaped, cassette hub. Weight isn't an issue for me.

I'll take a pair, if it turns out the same as the Maxicars, of which I have a set but have trouble finding freewheels for.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add: I'd prefer steel balls as opposed to ceramic ones. Why ceramic?

Alf

Anonymous said...

I'll take high flange with the key-hole spoke holes on the fewheel side please - make that two sets.

Brian