19 December, 2007

Toys for the Holidays


Here are a few new items we're thinking about stocking:

These canti brakes may be a new VO model. They are well made and good looking, at least to my eye, and fairly inexpensive. They will replace the Tektro "Mafac/Froggy" brakes we now stock. Our version will have nice cartridge-type brake shoes.

Here is a water bottle we're looking at. It is less expensive than the ones we now sell, it has no logo, and the caps work better. On the down side, the caps are not as well made, the shape is not as pretty, and there is no option for a flat cap. What do you think?

Next, VO presents the prototype leathered trouser bands. The ends will be sewn shut on the production version; these prototypes are just to get the sizing right. This is not a product that anyone was screaming for, but I thought that if you commute to work in nice pants you might not want to use bare metal bands.

I have just heard that the first run of Velo Orange leather handlebar tape will arrive soon. We'll have it in brown and black at prices well below Brooks leather tape.

You may have noticed that we dropped the silver expandable bar plugs. That's because we'll soon have much nicer VO expandable bar plugs made from aluminum instead of plastic.

Our agent has also informed me that handlebar bag, high-end glove, and some other prototypes will be shipped in the next couple of weeks. I'm most excited about the VO pedals and seatposts, but those might be along a bit later. Of course some projects seem to take forever. The factory making the VO battle cages is having a bit of trouble with our quality requirements after the first prototype, but they are still working on it. The Herse-style hangers arenow waiting to be made. And we did get some VO handlebar prototypes and are now just waiting our turn for the production run.

Finally, prices on VO Randonneur frames are going up to $1850 on Saturday.

Feedback is appreciated!

25 comments:

Len said...

I still like the current bottles (Kleen Kanteen) and you can get an extra cap for them at many places pretty easily. The flat caps are nice because you can use them camping, car, and bike.

As you mention elsewhere, the logos are easy to get off stainless.

Michael S said...

Thanks for the heads up on the price increase, Chris. I'll make my decision swiftly...

All the new products are very exciting! Before long, you'll be able to assemble a frame entirely of VO parts...

JackJ said...

As someone who is thinking about ordering a set of Tektro CR720s, I'm wondering if there's something about those brakes that's been less than satisfactory? The cantis shown above have a nice shape, but the finish looks crude, and it doesn't look like you can adjust for toe-in.

The Tektros have a minimal elegance that I like, but now I'm concerned about their functionality.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Jack, The CR720s are super brakes. the only issue is that some folks like more compact brakes. Our brakes will replace the Tektro Mafac/Froggy brakes, not the CR720. BTW, the finish is nicer than the photo shows.

Anonymous said...

The leather covers seem neat for the pant clips--however, as a resident of a rain forest, can you tell me if the colour of the leather will bleed into pantlegs when wet, the same way socks get discoloured by wet boots?
M Burdge

mpetry912 said...

Well I don't know, Sigg of Switzerland makes some dang fine alloy bottles, but they don't work well on a bike 'cuz you can't squeeze 'em. And they dent if you drop them. The other stuff looks good. I got my Ostrich bag, I like it, when it stops raining, I will try it on one of the rusty heaps I have around here.


Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

JackJ said...

Whoops--I hadn't realized those Froggies were Tektros. Glad to hear the good report on the CR720. Thanks!

Chris Kulczycki said...

Mark, These are stainless steel, a lot tougher than Sigg bottles. And the caps have a really big air valve on them so drinking is easy; just suck and water come out. That's the main reason I like them over the Kleen Kanteens; the valve is bigger and you can drink faster.

lamplightsg said...

Chris,

The bag you mention, is this the prototype?

Yann said...

I wish there were the same brass bits in your canti's as with the original mafac's and even the tektro's...

Anonymous said...

The finish on the brakes are horrible IMHO. It's just like the finish on the Ritchey Comp seatposts. Ugh. But that's just me.

Jon said...

I agree with the above posts; the finish on the brakes seems a bit rough. Perhaps because it is a prototype, they are not as nicely finished, but that's just my two cents. The bits that are machined out look great, and I'm sure that with cartridge-type brake shoes toe-in will be no problem.

The leather trouser bands are excellent! Classy way for me to stop rolling up my pants leg! My only question is will they have some type of clasping mechanism? I've got skinny chicken legs, so that would be good for all the chicken-leggers out there.

Aluminum bar plugs; nice! The gloves, seatposts and pedals all sound exciting. Waiting for updates!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Those cantis appear identical to some tektros that appeared briefly under the 'Origin 8' label except the Origin 8's were polished rather than sandblasted as those in the photo you show appear to be. I have been looking for the Origins for some time now and would be interested in your version of the same. A nice update to the old Mafacs for those of us that have been around long enough to still have skills in adjusting toe in with a large crescent.

-BB

Anonymous said...

On my screen, those brakes come up about 3x actual size. I think they are probably bead blasted. I have some old Mafacs, and they are not polished. I would bet that the two brakes, in person, would look like they have about the same amount of sheen. I like the looks of bead blasted aluminum, but polished aluminum is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the brakes (how much will they cost?).

Can they be fitted with Salmon pads instead of black. The Koolstops I purchased this year are like grippy velvet unlike the black Shimano pads they replaced which chewed up my rims.

The only problem is that the Koolstops needed to be trimmed to fit my Atlantis in front (or am I missing something?).

Bruno

Anonymous said...

I run what looks to be these brakes (marketed as Empella Frogleggs) on one bike and the Tektros on another bike. Both look to be made by the same folks with only the outer portions different (fenestrated or non-fenestrated). Toe-in and out can't be adjusted without a vise and a hammer. Work OK with stock pads but with Cool-Stop pads they squeal. For what its worth.
Jerry

nv said...

I'd love to see some pix of the VO production handlebars!
Thanks!
nv

C said...

"Toe-in and out can't be adjusted without a vise and a hammer."

Not true. I've adjusted many pairs of Frogglegs (including those on CX World Champion Erwin Vervecken's bike) and similar brakes using a rag and a crescent wrench. You need a large, good quality crescent wrench - I have a nice 12" Snap-On model that works like a charm. Do take care not to bend the canti stud or the brake pad post!

Chris Kulczycki said...

NV, The first VO bars look just like the Nitto Promenade bars that we now sell, but they take inverse brake levers. The second type are similar, but have zero rise. The third type are our Milan bars, which we already have. BTW, the next shipment of Milan bars will be 2cm narrower.

nv said...

Thanks Chris...
I'm especially interested in version 2 - especially if Belleri's can no longer be sourced.
Any ideas if more Belleri bars will be available and/or when the VO promenades will be produced?
Cheers,
nv

Anonymous said...

I like the shape and style of the "kleen canteen". In the summer I fill it with a double shot mocha and some ice ( sometimes with a shot of vodka)It gets nice and frosty on the outside and so good going down. Makes my day.---Leather pant clips look alright as long as they are cheap enough, otherwise I'll continue to use a nylon toe clip strap. Can't say enough about your quality goods and shipping. keep up the good work. Hey how bout some more czech flashlights! THose were way retro and I wished I had bought one when I had the chance. DG

Anonymous said...

I really like the look of the leather trouser band, very classy. The brakes have a unrefined look to them(let me guess made in taiwan by tektro or lee chi?)Please stick to high-end parts, most people don't mind paying more for higher quality. The kleen kanteen is a great product already. Can you please start importing some more high end euro parts(middleburn cranks, basil baskets, lepper saddles, bigger selection of stronglight cranks,edco hubs,sigg waterbottles, etc.) Chris I hope VO continues to import quality products from japan and europe instead of just making cheap copies from china and taiwan.

cfg wheels said...

I just installed my polished pauls canti brakes, that I ordered from VO............just can't say enough great things about them....WOW! I had previously tried spookys from the netherlands, and tektro. Hands down, the pauls blow the others cantis out of the water. And did I mention the finish?BEAUTIFUL....

Chris Kulczycki said...

Annon, My idea is that VO will have range of expensive and inexpensive parts available. We will carry both Paul brakes and good Taiwanese brakes, for example.

It's important to realize that some of the parts coming out of Taiwan are among the best available today. It's no longer a case of "stuff from Europe is better".

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to have a water bottle that had volume markings, e.g. 20oz., 24oz.

I like the new proposed shape.