09 July, 2007

New Racks


While I've been goofing off over the 4th of July weekend, new racks have been piling up at Velo Orange.

We just received the prototype Porteur racks fresh from the polishing shop. (Thanks for forwarding them Jon). There are two of them and each has a slightly different mounting system. As soon as I test them we'll decide on the best method. The plan is to have these available in September. By the way, that rack is just sitting on the fender, it's not attached.

Two more prototype medium front rack made from thicker tubes also arrived. I thought the 0.25" tubing on the first prototype was a little too flexible so we'll try this version. Originally we called these the Semi-Porteur, then the Demi-Porteur, but it might be better to call them Courier racks. What do you think? I must apologize for the amount of time it's taking to get these into production, but we want to get them perfect right from the start.

A big box arrived from Japan with sample front and rear Nitto Campee racks. I am very very impressed by these. The lower pannier support is removable so they can be used both for day touring and cycle camping. The design and quality is first rate. They will only mount on bikes with canti brakes in the current form, but we may be able to make an adapter that will work with caliper and centerpull brakes. A trial fit on my Ebisu shows that there is enough heel clearance even for my size 11.5 shoes. If I don't encounter any problems in a few weeks of testing we'll stock these and also use them on our new camping bike.

Another small box from Japan contained the hardware we needed to finally make our chain case and chain guard mounting kits.

As for the chain cases, we got and sold a few, but the craftsman who makes them rejected most of the shipment of aluminum intended as the faces. He's a picky guy, but a super fabricator and welder. More aluminum has arrived and we might have them in good supply by the end of this week.

21 comments:

Michael S said...

The porteur rack looks beautiful, but why not extend the supports all the way to the outside tube for better triangulation? Unless you plan on not having anything extend off the rack and put stress on the outside tube.

Anonymous said...

What Michael said -- why not connect the supports to the outside edge?

Ty C

Chris Kulczycki said...

With a very heavy load a porteur rack with the supports on the very outside can flex downward onto the fender, causing it to rub. With this design the outside might flex down, but there is no harm in that. Plus, the cantilevered portion of the rack is not that wide.

C said...

I've seen Campee racks that are designed to mount to normal rack mounts rather than canti studs. Bens Cycle in WI carries them every now and then.

Anonymous said...

fine looking racks! I have a product request... any plans for a VO bag set to sling over the rear? I'd love something simple...city style double sided in waxed cotton to throw the days objects / grocery bags. the ostrich are a bit too structured for my taste & I really love the no fuss look of the existing VO bags.

cheers
jm

neil berg said...

The fasteners for the chaincase look good and would seem to be quite adjustable. Is there any plans to design a smaller chainguard?

JoelMatthews said...

I kind of like Courier Rack.

Don said...

Hi, Chris. What are the dimensions of the platform on the porteur rack?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The Porteur rack platform is about 37 x 29cm.

Anonymous said...

I have been using the campee rear rack for a year. The pannier supports come on and off very easily. Never had a problem with them coming loose, even with heavy loads.

However, the bottom clamp on the panniers must be repositioned vertically to fit on the supports.

-Jeff

Asher said...

It'd be good to add some loops near the bottom (dropout) mounting points for a bungee.

Lesli L said...

Loops or small threaded area would be good for adding a generator light.

Matthew said...

I would definitely buy a Campee rear rack like c describes above (connecting to rack mounts rather than canti studs). Will you be stocking both kinds, Chris?

Also, are both of the new VO racks going to be available in September, or just the larger one?

Matthew said...

Also: What is the finish like on the Campee and VO racks?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil, We are trying to find a manufacturer for a smaller chainguard.

Matthew, The plan is to have both VO racks available in September. The VO racks are polished stainless steel, while the Nitto racks are nickel plated steel.

Tom said...

i fully support Courier Rack. Just right.

Anonymous said...

How well do the Nitto campee racks fit a 650B bike?

I'm afraid they'd sit too high even over a fendered 38mm 650B tire. I think I read somewhere that Nitto makes them for 26" size wheels, which might work better for 650B bikes. However, I've only ever seen the 700C version available in the US.

Chad

Adam Oooh said...

The porteur rack looks lovely. I've been waiting for a rack like this for a while. Can't wait to try it out.

I agree with asher about the loops and leslie about the provisions for the generator light. But still, such a beautiful rack, thanks for making such a fine product.

Anonymous said...

A little late to the thread but...

Chris, can you confirm (through your retail contacts) whether the Nitto Campees (front and/or rear) are also made in a 26" size? If so I'd be interested in purchasing the front.

Thanks, GregW

Chris Kulczycki said...

Nitto can make the Campee racks for 26" wheels, but I'm not sure that we'll import them. We'd have to buy a fairly large quantity and I doubt we could sell that many 26" racks.

Mike said...

Does anybody have any photos they'd be willing to email me of their Nitto Campee racks set up with bags on them? I am having a difficult time figuring out how to mount my bags on the supports. I am leaving on a tour for two months and I am wondering if I should bail and go with the Surly racks... Any help is appreciated!