23 May, 2007

Notes from the Shop


I decided to take a few hours to finish some old projects. My new Velo Orange city bike got CLB inverse brake levers and shellaced tape. I also added an Ideale saddle. And I moved the prototype demi-porteur rack to the new bike.

My old city bike, and testbed for a lot of prototype VO parts, got the new Porteur chaincase and a new type of handlebar I'm trying out. I'm waiting for the prototype full size porteur rack to install on this bike. I also tried to install the prototype silver VO brand inverse brake levers, but they didn't fit; we'll work on them.

Production of the first run of porteur chaincases starts early next week and they should be done in about 2 weeks. There will be two models. One will have a 75mm hole for classic cranks and look very authentic; that's the one in the photo. The second type will have a 110mm hole to fit modern compact cranks. Many of the first run are already reserved. I hope we're making enough. The finish will be nicer on the production version.

The hardware for the first run of chaincases presented some problems as I'm not sure if the draw bolts I've ordered (from Taiwan) will arrive in time. We can always use R-clips, which I did on my bike. The screws I used are too long, but otherwise the mounting system works perfectly. Now we need to eliminate the washers and make it more elegant. There is just enough room for my 49t chainring; a 46t or 48t will be perfect.

Now I'm off to fabricate a VO handlebar mount for water bottle cages.

19 comments:

neil b. said...

I really like the Mistral mounting system.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil, Find a source for those eye-rods and I've got the rest of the system in stock. The problem with stuff like that is that it's so cheap the no one will make it unless you order 100,000 of them.

neil b said...

I understand that all too well. I don't clean my bench very well. A couple of pieces of fender stay dropoff, flatten in a press and drill. But I sure don't want to do a hundred.

Adam Alpern said...

Can you explain with the "Mistral mounting system" is for those of us who've never heard of it?

Also, is the rack in city+bike+7.jpg the demi-porteur?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Adam, Yes, but the production version will use thicker tubing.

Scroll down a few posts to see the Mistral system.

nv said...

Chris,
I'd really like to see some clear, sharp pictures (including close-ups) of the black VO city bike. All the previous pix seem to have flash glaring off the glossy paint, etc. It's hard to get a good feel for the brazing, fork crown, seat cluster,etc.

nv

Yann said...

and why was there no photo's of the new VO handle bars and reverse brake levers... i recently let a pair of beautiful ones go on ebay (though now im happy i did as they went for over 50 dollars) and the thought of not having to pay so much for some makes me happy

david_nj said...

I think the crankarm hole in the chaincase is just a bit large, no? I think having it a bit smaller would be good; something like the one at

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/courierracing/images/singer_porteur1949.jpg

might have a sharper appearance. Just my $.02.

Anonymous said...

beautiful finishings on the city bike Chris! now you just have to figure out what to wear aboard it.

Chris Kulczycki said...

David, There was a variety of hole sizes on the classic chain cases; most were small, but a few were larger. Note the Motobecane
here: http://tinyurl.com/9cluz

You may remember that the first version of this case had a smaller hole. I found that it required removing the crank to install and that it only fit a few models of cranks. That's not practical for a component that is to be retro-fitted to many bikes.

'Brian' aka 'BG' said...

"What's old is new again"

'Inverse' brake levers are gaining popularity and appearing in the most unlikely places - note Mr. Ritchey using them in the home page picture at one of my favorite charities:

http://www.projectrwanda.org/

'Brian' aka 'BG' said...

Yes, those aren't inverse levers in the Project Rwanda picture, but now someone here may just decide to donate?

Me bad.

keithwwalker said...

Inverse brake levers are nice, but hard to find a classy modern equivalent to the CLB's....

Alan said...

Other than looking cool, is there any function to the inverse brake handles?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Keith, We are working on getting some silver inverse brakes. They're not as nice as the CLB levers, but they are better that the average tri-lever.

Yann said...

i would say that inverse brake levers are just another option the you have to compliment a handle bar and your prefferd hand position on it, so depending.. .they can be your solution (and they look really cool/clean as they stay with the lines of the handle bars)

DavidM said...

You can make a phoney mistral mounting system using old clamp-on shifter mounts. The one sided ones in particular fit the bill.
Here are few on ebay...

http://tinyurl.com/2uznpx

mhandsco said...

Chris -

Any chance of an ETA on CLB style inverse levers?

Chris Kulczycki said...

I don't know when they will be ready, but we will have some Soma silver levers next week.