15 May, 2007

VO Porteur Chain Guard; Updated


Here it is, still unpolished. The quality is flawless. There will be small production run made in Annapolis.

I don't have a final cost yet, but my best guess is that the handmade version will be between $60 and $85 with all fitting and hardware. They will have a lightly brushed finished. You can reserve one by e-mail.

We're looking into having a larger production run made, but that's probably a few months off.

This one will go on my city bike in the next day or two and I'll post photos.

UPDATE:

The hole in the prototype is too small to allow convenient assembly. You can do it with a TA type crank, but it's a pain. So we've enlarged it to about 75mm which allows it to easily fit all the classic cranks in the shop.

I'm considering making a second version with a 110 mm hole to fit modern cranks.

This one takes chainrings up to 49t which I think is sufficient. I'll run a 49t ring (yes they make odd tooth rings) on my bike because I happen to have one, but I suspect most folks will opt for 48t or 46t.

I thought I had the mounting hardware all figured out. But the company I was going to buy draw bolts from is all out. Anyone know of a good source of fender stay-type draw bolts?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

very cool, but the hole looks so small that i wonder whether it will work with many cranks. i think the TA you sell should be fine, but what about your other ones, let alone modern Shimanos?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The hole will be bigger on the production version, but probably not big enough for some modern cranks. I'm now making measurements of all the cranks I have to see what we can do.

Greg said...

Curses! You waited until I bought the Simplex chainguard to announce these. I guess I'll just have to look for another bike to hang more VO bits on to.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Greg, Judging from the number of folks who want the Simplexe guards (we ran out) you should have no trouble selling it. Or you could buy another bike. May I suggest a VO city bike ;<)

JoelMatthews said...

Well, I hope one of your cranks is a Campy Veloce, as that is what I have on the bike that could really use one of these chaincases ;)

Anonymous said...

The possibilities for cutting out personalised designs on these big blank spaces are endless. I look forward to seeing pics of all manner of fancy designs cut out--inspired by the simplex case, or incorporating the lines of a fancy lug or head badge.... I remember seeing a link once to some Japanese site where people had carved out intricate designs onto blank TA c-rings.
M Burdge

Adam Alpern said...

Soooo....do you think a metalworker skilled enough to make these chaincases would be able to handle true Porteur fenders, with the side valances?

Don said...

What form of attachment hardware would this come with? If it's like the old Mistral clamp-on/eyebolt set, I'd love to buy just a set of the hardware to attach an older French chainguard I've got sitting around.

As usual, well done, Chris!

Brian said...

No one else offers the unique selection of bike bits that VO does.

You join the 'special list' along with Bill at Wallbike.com

IMO your chain guard here would look good with a stamped design adorning it, but the price would no doubt rise accordingly.

parhamwaddell said...

Excellent!

Chris Kulczycki said...

Adam, Fenders with a valance are much harder than a chain case. Beating aluminum into such shapes is a fascinating and difficult craft. Think of the guys that could make an aluminum car body with a couple of hammers and a pair of tin snips.

Don, We might be able to sell mounting kits separately, but right now I'm having trouble getting some parts.

Adam Alpern said...

I knew the valanced fenders would be a tricky proposition. Still, *someone* must be able to do it -- custom motorcycle guys? Someone very good with the English Wheel?

I know I'd buy a lifetime supply of them if they were available. The last missing piece of a true Parisian porteur :).

Back on topic -- I would happily replace the modern crank on my porteur with something classic in order to use the 75mm version of the chaincase; I suspect a larger hole with a modern crank poking out of it will not look nearly as elegant.

Anonymous said...

What the heck is a Valance?
Speaking of fenders....
Does anyone make hammered fenders in 60mm width?

neil b said...

What's the advantage of a 75mm hole over a 110mm or larger?

Goon said...

A valence is a fairing or shield.

In this case, the valences are the extended sides of the fenders, that extend beyond the rim.

frederick said...

Looks like I'm going to be the negative one again, but I just don't get it...

Why would you want to make these?

They aren't a complete chaincase, so aren't doing anything for chain wear, yet they offer nothing more than the Simplex style chainguard, whilst looking uglier.

Like others I'd kill for some porteur style mudguards, the aesthetics are great, whilst still offering a functionality current products can't.

Please don't become olde worlde for olde worlde's sake.

nv said...

"yet they offer nothing more than the Simplex style chainguard, whilst looking uglier."

Beauty is in the eye...
I have no use for or want of a chainguard but I do think the VO copy is really lovely - much more pleasing to my eye than any of the others I've seen on this site. The Simplex looks Deco, the VO looks Bauhaus. I'll take the 'haus.
nv

Anonymous said...

frederick said...

Why would you want to make these?

They'll keep your trousers cleaner than the Simplex plus they'll probably deflect a fair amount of front wheel splash away from the chain. Not to mention they look cool!

I agree a fully enclosed chaincase would be the bees knees.

James said...

Does it matter if this partial chain cover doesn't completely cover the chain? Chains aren't that hard to replace and wider single speed chain on a gear hubbed bike has a relatively easy life. I've opened up a number of dutch chaincases to find mud, grass, rusty chains, luxembourg etc. Sealed chaincases are not completely sealed as they once were in the age of two speed bb transmissions when only motor oil was used to lubricate chains and of course "sealed" chaincases are almost always specific to a particular bicycle or if "universal" fairly crappy and fairly well unsealed. The exception being the ugly Heblie chainglider.

Are these made out of aluminium? Might a big flat piece of aluminium chaincase not pick up scratches rather quickly?
I wish Velo Orange had a line of 50mm stainless steel fenders and a matching chaincover

Chris Kulczycki said...

James, This type of chain case is intended to keep the rider, not the chain, clean. They are not like a Dutch chain case.

I suppose they will get scratches just like my Honjo fenders do, and they will polish out just as easily.

Even as I write, halfway around the planet, a small factory is producing the first run of Velo Orange brand 50mm aluminum fenders.

JoeM said...

Will the guard fit a TA Zepyhr triple?

Is there a picture available showing how it (or the original French guard that was its inspiration) mounted on a bike?