07 December, 2007

The New VO Chainguard



I just got the prototype VO chainguards. Since my last post on this subject garnered such a mixed reaction, I've decided to make two versions, an ornate model and a simple model. This is, obviously, the simple model. What do you think; there is still time to make changes?

The version you see here is made in the US and cost about $50 each. I could have them made in Taiwan with a retail price of about $15. Hmmm... But it would take months to get them. The workmanship is very good on the US made versions and they are very light, but the polishing is not up to par. The Asian version would probably be bead blasted, which actually is a more practical finish for a chainguard.

In the meantime we have some of the Sun chainguards pictured below. The Suns are not bad, but they don't work with our preferred method of mounting. We also have a few small Wald chainguards.

22 comments:

Michael S said...

USA USA USA

Anonymous said...

i agree with michael - let's have as much as possible made in the usa and use the least polluting method of transport as well. sure the difference between $15 and $50 is worth considering since money doesn't grow on trees but money isn't going to be worth much when the ice caps melt and the planet can only support life in the form of one-celled organisms, never mind trees.

Joel said...

I like the new chain guards very much.

I would pay $50.00 for one, but recognize many would not.

Will this have a derailer mount option perchance? The one problem with my Wald is that I cannot get it mounted on aught but my singlespeed bike.

James said...

As long as they match the mudguards $50 is ok - for bike geeks who build their own bikes.
Will you continue to sell the chaincase? I've come to the conclusion that the chaincase powder coated black to match the frame is the best solution.

James said...

It's good to have something available that is made here (something other than spokes) but I'd hope that at some point in the future VO imports would sell a highly adaptable and attractive $15 chaincover that could be stocked by bike shops.

The vast majority of city bicycles in this country aren't city bicycles or were cobbled together out of used parts. $50 chaincovers wouldn't make a lot of sense to most people. A taiwansese chaincover and a matching set of taiwanese fenders would make a nice alternative to yellow bike planet and rolled pant leg. You're my hero for dealing with the chaincover issue. Just about every other design issue has received attention in recent years but not this one. About fucking time.

russell said...

The VO chainguards are quite elegant. Nice work!

I, personally, would be willing to spend $50, especially for something made in the US, but lots of folks probably would not. Perhaps a line of pretty good $15 guards, made in Taiwan, as well as a more "artisanal" line, for lack of a better word, made in the US?

What size ring will these fit? My bike has a Sugino "mountain" triple, with a 46t big ring.

Thanks!

nv said...

I think that's a really elegant guard - and the workmanship & quality are visible to the discerning eye. I would also prefer domestic production whenever possible. That said, $50 for a *seemingly simple* chainguard may be a bit of a tough sell for many people.
Would it be possible to do a small-ish run on domestic units to test the waters?

James said...

How is the chain cover made? Two pieces welded together and then ground smooth?

cfg wheels said...

Chris, I would definitely spend $50 for a chainguard made in the USA. It looks like its made out of stainless steel? Anyway looks like Another great product. I have been sending customers from the bike shop I manage to your website, and they really appreciate your customer service.
Thanks, Tahn

Pam said...

I just ordered one of the suns for now, so I would probably wait on the plainish $50 chainguard and spend more bucks later for the ornate VO version. I'd be glad to spend more to buy a U.S. made product. And it's a real tribute to you, Chris, that you're going to make chainguards at all. They're terrifically useful and there's nothing out there right now.

gunner berg said...

USA, especially considering the bead blast. Practical or not, I'm simply not interested in dull finishes. The polished finish, verses bead blasted or a powder coated finish, is one of the things that set the classic components apart from contemporary. That and the fact that I'd rather buy American for what I perceive as moral reasons, but I really don't want to open that again.

ANDY said...

nice. but would love to see a simple stamped or engraved "VO" mark someplace on it.

Anonymous said...

YES to US made!

NO to logos!

this one guy said...

yes fancy style!and thankyou. yes USA! no logos no place. no thankyou.

yankee_dollar said...

Chris-I must commend your job on finding and designing durable products. Most product designers brag about how fast they can make something obsolete so it goes in the trash faster. Also see
http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Mike C said...

Is there any chance of persuading Wald to re-start production of a reasonably-priced USA-made version? Then you could have the $50 boutique version for us bike geeks and a $15 option for the people who just want to get where they're going in normal clothes with a minimum of muss.

Or would Wald require a minimum order of a bazillion units? Chris, do you have any contacts there?

Alan said...

I'll take the disenting view and say go with the $15 version. 3X+ for the cost difference is just too great a spread, even if the item in question is $50.

mpetry912 said...

First I want to say that I got the latest box of swag from Velo-Orange ! Can't wait to get home and start wrenching. Thanks Chris!

I'm probably not a candidate for a chainguard but have a look at the one on this NOS Legnano - neat!

http://tinyurl.com/3dp96l

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

Chris Kulczycki said...

To those who asked, we'll have more Sun chainguards around the end of the week.

Joel, A dérailleur mount option is not in the works yet. Sorry, but that would mean another model.

Russell, They will fit a 48t ring perfectly and a 50t ring if lifted a little.

NV, Yes, We'll try a small run.

James, Yep, welded and ground. Know anyone who can make them for less?

Mike, I don't have any contacts at Wald, but I might give them a call. I'm sure their production runs are pretty big.

Alan, I'm sending one off to tiny little place in Taiwan that might be able to make them in an Artisinal way.

Also, I'm thinking no logo on the plain one and a small "VO" in a circle on the fancy.

Mike said...

I think a on-a-bike picture would do better justice to something like a chain-gaurd.

jimmy said...

Mark-

Nice find! Reminds me of the look that the early diesel locomotives had for some reason.

David said...

I agree with many of the previous comments. I recommend having both available, I'll bet that even when the less expensive version is available, some folks will cough it up for the domestic version. Your customers seem willing to buy other items that are not wholy pragmatic, or items that are pragmatic at very-profound level.