20 October, 2008

A VO Fixie? UPDATED


Just an idea, but with winter coming I wonder if there would be interest in a proper fixed gear training bike from Velo Orange. Remember when fixies were primarly winter training bikes for racers? Of course you could use this bike for more than winter training, but that's where the idea comes from.

Various French constructeurs built the occasional fixed gear bike with proper mounts for fenders, long reach brakes, room for comfortable tires. This was back when racers in training still rode sensible bikes. Our thought was for a TIG welded frame, a bit like the Pass Hunter, but with a higher bottom bracket, no shifter bosses, track ends, and long reach caliper brakes. Of course it would have low-trail geometry and handle well with a handlebar bag. The track ends would make removing the wheel a hassle because of the fender. Maybe we could come up with a quick fender stay release.

Tom (VO Import's manager) is interested since he commutes on a fixie that, like so many, has no fender clearance and 23mm tires. He wants the prototype and is willing to do all the testing.

Please understand that there are no firm plans to build the VO fixie yet. We just thought we'd run the idea up the flagpole and see who salutes.

UPDATE: Thank you for all the comments and great info. We've decided to have a prototype built for Tom. If it looks good it will become a semi-custom bike and possibly a production frame.

Also, this frame by Adam Hammond is lovely, much like what we want to make. (Thanks for the link Jim)

74 comments:

Tom said...

it's fixxie with 2 x'es.... Now, where did I put my white belt?

nick said...

i dont think that it would be sensible to use a "fender quick release"...i would think that it would be easier to hinge the fenders at the apex, like on a harley (the motorcycle). next idea would be forward, horizontal dropouts without a der. hanger. otherwise the idea is a good one. as for colors, i would paint it a 'vintage' color, like something you would paint a 50's inline 8. sweet.


-dude, fixxxies are nude bikes: triple-ecks, yo.

C said...

Dunno, seems like there are already bikes like this in production. Raleigh and Bianchi both have bikes in this category. Stick to what you do best. On the frame front you have Gunnar offering just such a frame.

Russ Roca said...

personally, i'm not too interested in fixed gears as they have currently evolved...too much fad over function.

though maybe a frame that could double as a 3-speed/fixed gear would be of more interest..they both have 120 spacing in the rear

basically a bike that could be run as a "fixie" or something more austere like an old Superbe..

Anonymous said...

sounds alot like a bianchi san jose+fenders.

Anonymous said...

What would the price range be? it seems like a cool idea, especially coming from a smaller quality-centric operation like yourself.

Kevan said...

Actually sounds like a Condor Tempo.
http://www.condorcycles.com/tempo.html

I think offering something like this would be an excellent idea. It uses long horizontal dropouts w/o derailleur tab (as previously mentioned) to get around the fender issue.

Steel, two long reach brakes, cable guides, fender/rack braze-ons... Done up in V-O style, it could be a really nice frame.

scottg said...

Fixed gear bikes to me are 'orrible old French
frames with most parts from the scrap pile.
Factory fixed gear bikes are like painting
in your business suit, it just looks funny.

david said...

Raleigh has a low trail fixed bike with room for fenders & wide tires. Oh yeah - it's cheap and looks good, too.
The simple answer is to put your bike in whatever gear you would ride fixed and don't shift.

elvisVelo said...

I think that most likely purchasers are going to look to try a DIY or buy low $ production models, of which there are several already.
I would be very surprised if VO would have success with that.

Jim G said...

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the fixed gear training frame that Adam Hammond just built via Doug Fattic's frame building class. It's very akin to the V-O style already!

James said...

I was just about to suggest a hinged two piece fender but see that knick has already done so. Take a look at a vintage motorcycle book, I think it was a common feature at one time and I believe those bikes also had axle slots.

Perhaps Honjo already has such a design available for ringko applications. VO could sell it with wingnut tightened clamps.

But would you want to sell a bicycle that might be popular with stupid looking mullet wearing fashionistas who might not appreciate the more civlized geometry or care about front loads.

Rick Risemberg said...

Man, some dumb comments on this!

I've been riding--commuting, touring--for over forty years, and started riding fixed a couple of years ago. Ride my main fixie about 600 miles a month now--yes, and up hills to Mulholland Drive, on centuries, everywhere. Absolutely love it--feels more natural, more relaxing, than a multispeed or even a coasting single.

What Chris describes sounds like a path racer to me. Yes, I'd definitely consider a fixed-gear frame with room for big tires and fenders. It's what I'd have built if I could afford a custom.

As for getting the tire out, my tires jam on the chainstay bridge with forward-facing dropouts; it'd be easier to move the fender to one side for tire removal than the chainstays, yah?

And: any bike that can be run fixed can be run singlespeed or with an internal-gear hub, automatically.

Greg said...

You know Chris, I don't think that's a fixed you ran up the flagpole there.

Anonymous said...

fixxies have thier own culture for sure...as a VO fan I would not stray from what you do best and leave the fixxies to those that alreasy produce them.....
my 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

sounds like a good idea, but again, Surly is already there. Of course, the cross check has bosses, but it fits the bill in every other espect.
mb

nick said...

yes, old chain-drive motorcycles had track-style ends on them, with tensioners. bmx style.


you guys gotta get your silk undies out of the bundle they're in and chill. open your mind.

Ty said...

I have a Rivendell Quickbeam that can be set up to serve this need. It's not clear to me where the market niche is for a VO frame. As mentioned, there are Surly's, Soma's, Gunnar's, etc.

+1 on the request for a nice hinged fender!

david_nj said...

Anyhow, a VO fixie would kick much ass. But ya gotta keep it simple lest everything be lost.

I'd buy one for sure. I am trying to get back in shape and have been doing some hard road rides with a bunch of racers. Owww. Need more fitness and better spin. And there is one old-school way to get both that is better than any other.

The one thing I strongly disagree with is the high bottom bracket -- just set it at standard road height -- you don't want it to ride like a track bike -- all the angles get wonky -- and you need to learn to corner correctly anyhow. Keep it dead simple. Fenders for sure because the whole point is to ride it in the winter. Set it up for 25mm tires or a frac bigger. But no way on the handlebar bag -- w/all due respect, that's a little fey. ;-)

No Brakes Bikes said...

This Sounds Awesome! We'd love to get some down here in Atlanta!

Anonymous said...

omg! now looking for the neo-vo company! come-on...now??? aujourd'hui?

Anonymous said...

The problems will be niche and price point, as several posters have pointed out. I for one think that an old school, stylish, training fixed would be perfect- as I myself hopped on the bandwagon 4 years ago yet now the only interest I have in riding fixed in Pittsburgh is in a bad weather/winter trainer. And the usual drawback of bandwagon frames is geometry, clearance, and eyelets and such.

However, for a TIG welded frame will it beat out a steamroller at $400 or an IRO at sub $300? If it has the style and features those frames lack it just might.

A dedicated road fixie thats not a quasi track bike is always welcome imho.

I agree that bottom bracket should not be raised- why mess with geometry and handling for the sake of pedal strike (a non issue in my opinion). And consider clearance of at least 28 if not 32 and fenders. WINTER bike!
Features like a fender release might help to set it apart, and track ends also set it apart from a standard conversion.

Bottom line: I think it would be great. A classy fix always has appeal. Would would it really sell?
well...I'd buy one if the price was right. (especially frame or frame + fenders only)

Just thought I'd put this out on the porch, see if the cat lapped it up.

jason lee said...

not to throw more negativity at you, but it's a saturated market for what you speak of... to add two more in the mix:

Surly Cross check : Room for fenders, flip/flop/ 3-speed/etc. Semi-horizontal dropouts. Great geometry - I own and race one.

Surly Steamroller Clearance for 38c tyres with fenders (though they do recommend clip-on fenders.

Anonymous said...

A nice single speed or fixie frame is by no means a fad or simply current fashion. From what I can tell it's the current boom in the bicycle market. People are buying and building them because they realize that they are fun and very practical. For the first 22 years of my life all my bicycles were single speed (with the exception of the coolest Schwinn Sting Ray with a 2 speed Bendix back pedal hub). And I think I spent nearly all my waking hours from the time I was seven or eight while I was not in school on my bicycles.

The idea that a bicycle must have 20 or 30 speeds is probably much more foolish than a bicycle that only needs one speed. I currently ride two different single speeds. One is an old Schwinn Paramount road bike with standard campy horizontal dropouts and the other is a the Milwaukee frame made by Waterford with track type dropouts. Both ride extremely well but very different feel.

I looked at the Quickbeam but Grant didn't make one in my size for some reason he really couldn't explain. However the Quickbeam is an excellent overall design. Too many people confuse a single speed or fixie frame with that of a track racing frame. And that is a big mistake.

As far as working with fenders on I think a good frame builder can simply over come this with using a horizontal slider connected to a vertical type dropout. Some of the frame builders at the most recent NAHBS show in Portland featured these. It would make much more sense than some hinged fender system.

There are excellent frame builders who are truly building some amazing and very useful frames today. But there is always room for more. Based upon what I have noticed by talking to many of these builders is simply that demand is higher than the current supply. For the price there is nothing wrong with the Surly or the Soma type production frames. I think there is room for another frame builder to offer something that would meet the specs that Chris is speaking about. And if priced somewhere just under $1200 it would have enough of a market to potential buyers.

Phillip

dave said...

What about vertical dropouts with an eccentric bottom bracket? That solves the fender problem, no? Might be more expensive to manufacture, though. Otherwise I'd go with horizontal dropouts rather than track ends instead of another fancy fender solution.

I also think that a 'normal' road bottom bracket height would be okay. Lower bottom brackets make winter riding easier because of the lower center of gravity.

Although there are other stock fixies out there, some with wide tire and fender options, let's not forget that they're ugly (bianchi, raleigh) or a poor value for the dollar (surly).

Hocam said...

Sounds like something where there is already a pretty saturated market. Fixed gears also tend to not be quite as accepted among the 'vintage crowd' as say 650b, or steel forks.

Know what I mean?

AH said...

Oh wow, someone already posted a link to my bike! Well, yes, it's modeled on a Rene Herse winter training bike from Bicycle Quarterly 5.2. If you'd like so see even more photos of my bike, which I LOVE and which is rather unlike many of the currently available offerings, go here:

http://tinyurl.com/5dxl7v

Anonymous said...

I would conservatively estimate that there are 50-100 production fixed gear road bikes available today. Of those, probably a dozen or more fit the criteria you outlined, and all of these cost several hundred dollars less than anything VO would make.

Then again, you've got a bunch of middle-aged men paying you thousands for what is essentially a Surly Cross-Check, so whose to say these same guys won't want to drop some coin on a party foul?

Anonymous said...

Yes and one important issue already mentioned are the tradeoffs between forward v. rear facing dropouts. I like the idea of having a fixie with the capability of using an internally-geared hub. Emphasis on street functions not track racing. Thanks,
Jack

david said...

All the existing models everyone above has referenced are all high trail - with the exception of the Raleigh One-Way. The One-Way is a heck of a deal and quite a looker as well - I think it would be tough to beat at or near it's price-point.

Anonymous said...

Another example--Steelwool. They have an eccentric BB and vert. dropouts. One way of looking at it is that the market is saturated. ANother is that there is 'no reason' for VO to road/touring style bikes, as that market is likewise saturated. I bet there are enough guys out there with plaid shirts, beards, and money who would find enough reasons to justify a VO fixed gear bike, just as there are plenty of guys out there (and a couple of women) who can justify owning seven or eight all-purpose, go anywhere, this-is-the-only-bike-you'll-ever-need Mariposas, Rivendells, Herons, and VO bikes. This is not a question of are there bikes out there fitting the purpose Chris describes, but will a VO bike, with colours and fittings in line with the living simply on 300k/year lifestyle sell? absolutely!
mb

Tom said...

We are not interested in making a pricepoint bike that will compete with a pake, surly, or anything you can find on bikes direct.com for $499. There will be the little details you find on a VO bike, but with a frame can be built around an internal hub, singlespeed or fixed wheelset. It will fit fenders elegantly. Our randonneur, constucteur and porteur racks will look in place. And it will be built around left bank or montemarte bars.

Anonymous said...

A very intersting thought, indeed. I like the idea of a clean, stylish, function fixed gear commuter with all the other VO advantages. I ride around on a '76 raleigh sprite that I retrofitted as a fixed gear equipped with 700mm rims and 35mm tires. Say what you will about blossoming popularity of fixed gear bicycles, but I can say that the all weather performance of a fixed gear is unmatched by anything that coasts. We had over 100 inches of snow in Madison WI last winter, and the control of this bike was far superior to my single speed mtn bike, which I have since sold. Fenders don't cause too many complications with the front facing dropouts - just deflate the tire before removing.

Be sure to allow for wide tires - 35s or studs, for that matter. some promenade handlebars, a B68 a chainguard to protect fugitive pant legs, and maybe a rear rack for panniers/basket and you are in business. The market for sophisticated innovation is never saturated.

Lesli L said...

I ride with a friend who has a lovely Vanilla fixed gear with centerpulls, rear facing drop-outs and honjo (I think) fenders. Here are two photos:

http://flickr.com/photos/archivalclothing/417665293/

http://flickr.com/photos/archivalclothing/456605368/

I've thought about having a bike like this made up for me by a custom builder. Since I'm relatively short, the stock models listed so far are not really options.

I'm definitely a fan of the Rene Herse "winter fixie" mentioned in VBQ.

Ed said...

OUTSTANDING IDEA!!!!! Please produce this bike! There are no other frame buliders out there that offer a semi-cutom/stock french style fixd gear bike.I commute nearly every day and a SS/fixie makes perfect sense, especially in winter. I've recently been in direct contact with Toei to build such a bike (along the same lines as the Rene Herse fixed gear winter bike). But I will gladly hold off if VO offers a similer frameset. Great idea. This bike needs to be built.

Josh Mitchell said...

I suspect this would be an outstanding idea. Tire + Fender clearance is the one issue I have with my current SS/FG... I'd love to see a utlity SS/FG rather than a repurposed track / road bike...

ditto the comments on Eccentric Bottom Brackets...

mcscholt said...

AH, that paint job is absolutely perfect.

As for a winter fixed gear- make sure it has room for studded tires and fenders. This means 35 mm at least...

Anonymous said...

I'm just in the process of building a fixed town bike. I'm using a lot of VO parts with a Bike direct Jury frame. I've been really wanting this type of bike for ages, a fixe with Promenade bars, a front brake, fenders and front basket. The Jury frame is close to fitting the bill but it has many flaws but very much a step in the right direction. I like the idea of a fixie that can have fenders and a wider tire. I don't think you need to design a frame for wider than 38c. Anything more is diminishing returns with fewer available brakes, tires and fenders, fitting cranks & BB plus it makes the bike heavy which is goes away of why you have a single gear in the first place. I think long reach center pull brakes would be a good choice over using cantilever bosses.

One reason fixie's are popular is because they're minimal. I see no reason why you can't have a french version of this with a nice finish and fitting. If you try to make it a commuter bike with all the possible bells & whistles I think you'll loose a big portion of market and just please commuters.

I like to see a light and fast fixie bike that is comfortable, reliable and practical.

Cheers

Lesli L said...

Since this is all speculation--does the bike have to be tig welded? Seems like it would be more VO appropriate to offer a fillet brazed version (like the rando mixte frame).

geoff said...

Horizontal dropouts. I think you should look to the many fixed/hub gear/SS on the Classic Lightweights page for inspiration. These are indeed classics of form and function. Perhaps a VO bike patterned after one of those could be called L'Anglaise or L'Angleterre.

Anonymous said...

Harris Cyclery has a fixed gear with long Salsa semi-horizontal dropouts on their website. This allows for fenders plus you can use a rear brake if it is a single speed or internal gear hub without adjusting brakes. Another plus of these dropouts is they are nice and long allowing for a 2-3 tooth difference on a flip-flop.

Anonymous said...

Wow ... I read many great comments and was super impressed by A. Hammond's own custom made ride. This is why I like reading this blog. It's interesting to see what's on other riders' minds when it comes to their new ideas of bicycles. So Chris ... I think the verdict is that there is some serious interest from many on this idea ... and I think what most readers are saying is they want a classic (French style) fixie (or single speed or Rohloff type hub) design that can accommodate commuting and daily riding in all conditions. To me it sounds like something you can design and there should be enough customers.

Phillip

keithwwalker said...

Regarding frames that were already mentioned:
Surly's Cross Check and Steamroller

The problem with the Steamroller is that it will not fit Schwalbe Big Apple 50mm tires (my preference) and lack of fittings for fenders/racks and brakes.

It remains to be seen whether the Cross Check will fit Big Apples with Berthoud fenders (I have them on order).

Nice features about the Cross Check are 132.5mm axle spacing that can take an internal hub (also a consideration for larger tires), it also has eyelets for fenders and braze-ons for cantilever brakes.

What I don't like about the Cross Check?

Cheap seat stay, no included headset, and it needs reverse dropouts - I don't care what anyone else thinks.

I think there is a niche market for a VO fixie, but it has to offer what other fixxies do not: big tire clearance (650 or 700) with fenders.

Anonymous said...

Another fixed/gear single speed offering in the market? For the love of god and all that is unholy, please, no. As stated previously, an older steel road frame with horizontal drop outs works just fine for this application. Many have eyelets for fenders and plenty of clearance for larger tires.

Seems to me you are coming in on the tail end of the "fad" portion of things. Folks who ride fixed( I will never use the term FIXXIE)or single speed and I include myself in this category, understand that in reality, this style of bike has a limited utility. In many cases these bikes seem to be style over substance. I "vote" no for fixed gear VO frame, there are already a slew of choices available.

Lesli L said...

In the world of long distance cycling, I know of a number of riders using fixed geared bicycles, including Emily O'Brian who completed PBP on a retrofitted Raleigh international:

http://sheldonbrown.com/pbp-emily-obrien.html

So I question the assertion that fixed geared bicycles are of limited utility.

For shorter riders like myself, stock options and retro-fitted frames are not always a happy option. I would have purchased a Riv Quickbean years ago but it was never offered in my size. For me the option of a "semi-custom" fixed gear frame (in the VO style) would be a welcome development.

tex said...

Saaaaaaaa-looot!

VO has carved out an enviable niche, and I think they could sell pretty much anything Chris might dream up. A VO fixie would be unique and very useful for enough people to make it a success.

I have an old Nishiki all tricked out as a single speed/fixie with Berthoud fenders and other French type parts and some actual old French parts, and it's beautiful and lots of fun. It has fairly low trail, too, not that I care. Anyway, I think it's quite a lot like what Chris has in mind. I really like the idea of vertical dropouts and eccentric BB, but the hinged rear fender would be neat too. Such a bike is a luxury item, truth be told, so why not make it more interesting?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Tom should lace up
some 650B wheels for his Fixxie.

He could get pretty large tires
in the clearance he has -
622 +(23*2)= 584 + (42*2)

That would put him into the
demi-ballon range.

Anonymous said...

You know it would be a niche market, but I think there would be demand. A lot of randonneurs and others ride fixed, and as long as it wasn't crazy expensive, I think there would be some demand. I would love to see it. Joe

Anonymous said...

I say go for it. Classy fixed gear bikes are a hot ticket right now. Masi's (the new Haro-owned version) best selling bike is their Speciale Fixed. Raleigh can't hardly keep up with demand for the One Way. I think an upscale option to the major OEM's offerings, i.e. VO, would sell well. Though, I admit, I find it amusing that we're talking about buying a fancy and rather expensive VO fixie to ride in the rain and winter muck. I always thought that's what crappy old mountain bikes were for.

Tom said...

Anon @ 21:35-
if I put 650b wheels on my fixed commuter, it would drop the cranks about 20mm closer to the pavement. that's 20mm too close for me, and it would negatively affect trail, and finding a front brake with 20mm longer reach that actually stops is non-existant.

Sorrry, no.

I like hacks and all sorts of interesting 'concept bikes' but I like my commute to be normally safe. I'll leave the Safety 3rd type bikes for others to play with.

armb said...

> What about vertical dropouts with an eccentric bottom bracket?

Like the Thorn Raven, though that's aimed at internal gear hubs rather than fixed.

Anonymous said...

I will take two.

Matt R said...

Why not use the old-school horizontal dropouts instead of track ends (like the quickbeam or track bikes like the Bianchi Pista.

The key to a clean SS/FG is getting rid of braze ons. But if you just replicated the old Peugeot PX-10 without the crazy headset/BB/seatpost threading, you would have a winner. I have a PX-10 as a FG, and I LOVE it. I use a Midge bar and a Sella An-Atomica seat with Campy cranks and a Mavic brake up front. It is incredibly light and I just love to be on it.

But I think much of the appeal is that I don't have cable guides or shifter bosses on the frame. In fact, even my bottle bosses are clamp-on not braze-on. Keeps it super-clan looking.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of frames out there that will do the trick, although I'm sure VO could add something to the design that would contribute something that is not in production currently. But I would say skip making a VO fixed gear frame.
But please do stock the Sturmey-Archer S3X 3-speed fixed rear hub and a nice matching dyno front hub with VO switchgear!

Anonymous said...

Some cruisers that come either as coaster brake single speeds or coasters with three speeds and such have threaded bosses in the frames for cable guides. They are just single bottle cage bosses brazed in in the appropriate locations. That way, the same frame can be used either with cables or no cables. Neat way to do it, especially with some tidy stops that are made for the application. A couple of such bosses on the bottom of the top tube, some nifty stops to fit them, and a nice cable stop to clamp on the chainstay would make for a versatile and clean looking system.

Matt, how can a clamp-on bottle cage boss be super clean looking? Please share! I have a couple of frames in need of such cleanliness.

Mike and Nancy said...

I for one would like to see a VO fixie. I have a Lemond fixie now but I find on longer rides that a low trail, tire and fender clearance is really needed. I have neither on this bike. I also want to be able to put on some nice fenders with clean fender lines.

I second Phillip 21/10/08 04:19 on the horizontal slider with vertical drops. My singlespeed mountain bike has this and works great. It would also give you an easy option of having a separate dropout made for Rohloff if anyone wants that later.

Mike

nordic_68 said...

just what the world needs, more fixies...

Anonymous said...

As one can see I'm really into single speed specific frames and I personally would like to see a high quality semi-custom frame design that I think Chris could create. About two years ago I really researched the the new frames and found that the Rivendell Quickbeam was about the most well thought out design. One can google the "Quickbeam" and find Sheldon Brown's articles amongst many others. I understand that Grant is no longer taking orders for this frame and I'm not really sure why. It was made for him by Panasonic in Japan. From what I can tell it was one of Rivendell's better sellers if not the best. And like another reader said was not offered in the smaller sizes which left me out of the picture.

I think one can take this design and put on the the horizontal sliders with the vertical dropouts and maybe included some extra little touches and it would be the best of the breed. I thinking road geometry with big tire clearance and all of the right features. The Quickbeam was all this with the exception of simple fender installation. Anyway it's a good place to start. And with Rivendell no longer offering this frame it might be a good market opportunity.

K Matthias said...

I wouldn't be interested in a fixie. But judging by the 100's of them I see around Portland (some very expensive frames, too) I think there is a market for a good quality frame like VO produces. It would be a shame if it interfered with the production of other bikes, though, IMHO.

Cheers,
Karl

Anonymous said...

somebody said it earlier, but this bicycle concept would be a rider's 3rd, 4th or 5th bicycle - i.e. a luxury item. there are so many many 70s/80s racing frames that make outstanding, functional fixed gear rides. I have a '73 team raleigh that is full 531, has nice lugs, long campy dropouts, minimal braze-ons and when converted to 650b (which is easily done), will comfortably fit 35mm tires with fenders.

so, if VO goes to production with such a bike, make it special because there's just too many old bikes out there that already serve the purpose very well and can be had for a song.

Flagpole McIntyre said...

Clearly, Chris, we all agree that you should stop making new bikes altogether.

After all, other bikes have been built in the past and are still rideable. Not only that, but AT THIS VERY MOMENT there are dozens, perhaps millions, of bike companies building and planning to build new bikes of their own.

Also, did you know that some of those existing bikes can be used in multiple ways? It really makes me wonder why anyone would bother to design something for a particular purpose! Why buy a swimsuit when you can just take some scissors to your jeans?

Also, did you know that you can get really good day-old bagels out of the dumpster behind the bakery? Why do they make new bagels every morning, if there are all those perfectly-edible bagels in the trash at night?

Anyway, please limit your new bike offerings to a niche for which nobody has yet built a bike. For example, I find that my 1975 Schwinn Collegiate does not function well as a hat. Though I carefully followed Sheldon Brown's instructions, it just flops around up there and fails to protect my ears from the wind. Maybe that's something you could explore?

Of course, once all existing bikes are gone and everyone else has stopped making them, you should feel free to do whatever you'd like.

seaneee said...

Chris-

I would love to see VO build a proper Path Racer in the tradition of Malvern Star, Speedwell, Jack Taylor, etc. Would go perfect with the Sturmey Archer 2sp fixed reproduction.

patates frites said...

I don't really see what the big deal is with fixed gear bikes. I have tried them and they've made no big impression on me. On top of that, they are extremely popular right now, and there's a lot of snobbery attached to it with the "messenger" BS--a definite turn off. You can keep them.

david_nj said...

Patates -

Sorry you didn't like fixed gears. But if you set one up with a fairly low gear (I always used 42x17 as do many in my area) and take it for a long hilly ride, you won't believe how much it can help improve your spin. When you get back on a road bike after 1k miles on the fixie, it will seem like riding a tricycle!

I don't know anything about this messenger stuff, I have just used the fixed gear in a pinch to get in shape fast. Speaking of which, it's about time to do that again.

Anonymous said...

You guys make and offer very classy products at very reasonable prices. I look forward to seeing the fixed gear frame you propose.

There are a number of "fixed" frames out there that people have mentioned in this thread that are similar to what you have proposed, but there are very few of them that have that classy, understated edge consistent with the VO brand.

You guys would probably do very well with this frame... for example, the Soma Delancey is a very classy lugged fixed gear frame that isn't too terribly expensive--and they are consistently on backorder.

XO-1.ORG said...

I think this is a fantastic idea, Chris, especially since some other people seem to just not "get it" or only see the fixed gear aspect of your potential bike, rather than the whole package. A fixed gear bike with fenders, clearance, low trail for a low handlebar bag, and the now legendary VO quality and attention to detail? Consider me a customer in waiting!

(I "vote" for lugs or at least fillet-brazed, though. Also, long dropouts which keep the rim and brake pads in synch while sliding the wheel either direction should be part of the design.)

Anonymous said...

Do it. Here's whats wrong with everyone else's product.

Surly Steamroller-No fender braze ons, have to run a front brake on the rear, horrible graphics
Iro Angus-Funny sizing, ugly drop-outs, no means for rear brake
Milwaukee Orange One-Sloping top tube
Mikwaukee Cream City-Track geos, no fenders
Soma Delancy-Not bad, but why only only chrome 2 lugs?
Soma Rush-No fenders, Track geos
Rivendell Quickbeam-Not currently in production
Gunnar Street Dog-Sloping top tube
Raleigh One Way-Sloping top tube and not available as a frameset.
Raleigh Rush hour-No waterbottle or fender mounts
Bianchi Pista-Not available as a frameset

Anonymous said...

That Hammond sure is pretty. I will never make enough money to be able to divert enough to go with something that pretty--especially for what would (for me) be a specialty bike. I have had fixed gear bikes for almost 20 years, and they have always been parts bin queens. But perhaps if I had 4 or 5 thousand dollars to put toward a 4th or 5th bike and found riding an older road bike with vestigial brazeons was offensive to me, I would love to have something like that, the same way I would find having three homes or a classic car collection or even being an avid pen collector a nice enough thing to do.

Tom said...

Anon 24/10/08 11:34 said:

Surly Steamroller-No fender braze ons, have to run a front brake on the rear, horrible graphics
I KINDA LIKE THE PUNK RAWK BLBC STICKERS. NOT THAT I THINK IT'S VO APPROPRIATE.

Iro Angus-Funny sizing, ugly drop-outs, no means for rear brake
THE IRO'S ARE A HACK BUT THEY ARE CHEAP.

Milwaukee Orange One-Sloping top tube
IT'S A CONTEMPOARY DESIGN TO LIMIT A HUGE SIZE RANGE.

Mikwaukee Cream City-Track geos, no fenders
TRACK GEO HAS IT'S PLACE IN DOWNTOWN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC- BROAKLAND BIKES (MY BRO'S IN OAK-TOWN) BUILD THEIR FIXED BIKES FOR SUPER QUICK HANDLING. NOTHING WRONG WITH IT IN THAT APPLICATION, BUT NOT EVERYONE NEEDS OR APPRECIATES THAT. AND A LOADED BIKE HANDLES MUCH DIFFERENTLY AND TWITCHY GEO MAKES IT HANDLE LIKE CRAP.


Soma Delancy-Not bad, but why only only chrome 2 lugs?
COST.

Soma Rush-No fenders, Track geos
IT'S NOT EVEN A CHEAP OPTION ANY MORE, AND THE FORK IS AN ADDITIONAL $225

Rivendell Quickbeam-Not currently in production
NOT SA BAD EXECUTION, BUT IT'S NOT EXACTLY A BARGAIN, AND LIKE YOU SAID, IT;S NO LONGER BEING PRODUCED.

Gunnar Street Dog-Sloping top tube
SEE MILWAKEE NOTE.

Raleigh One Way-Sloping top tube and not available as a frameset.
SEE MILWAUKIE NOTE, AND THE BIKE IS SO CHEAP A FRAMESET WOULD CANNIBALIZE COMPLETE BIKE SALES PROLLY.

Raleigh Rush hour-No waterbottle or fender mounts
DUMB - NO FENDER MOUNTS FOR A BIKE MADE BY SA CO IN SEATTLE....

Bianchi Pista-Not available as a frameset
SEE ONE WAY NOTE.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TORELLI TIPO UNO? NARROWISH TIRES, ROAD GEO, MINIMUM FENDER CLERANCE, BRAZEONS IN ODD PLACES, NOT QUITE VO LEVEL IN MY OPINION.

Anonymous said...

Great discussion and I think there were some good ideas presented. I really look forward to what Chris & VO can do creating a classic fixxie/single speed frame with all the right details. And even though there are quite a few attempts from various bicycle manufacturers & builders most do not come close to getting what some of us would truly appreciate. Thanks Chris for asking & listening. I'm quite sure you will come up with something really cool.

Phillip

Scott Loveless said...

Hey, Chris. I know you have the French bicycle thing going on, but I have been absolutely begging for someone to recreate a 49/50/51 Raleigh Clubman. The bike you're suggesting has existed for quite some time. It's just that no one makes it anymore. The angles on those Clubmans aren't standard anymore, but it should be easy enough to duplicate with fillet brazing or TIG welding. Pretty please?

Anonymous said...

Who needs a replica of a 1949 Raleigh Clubman when you can buy an existing VO frame that is a lot like the vastly superior 1952 (and later)Clubman, which has what a 73° headtube and 65-70mm or so of rake, light, plane-tastic 531 tubing and is imensely comfortable and insensitive to a tired or drunk rider.

Both the VO randonneur and the path hunter would work perfectly as the basis for a 1950s "lightweight" replica.
The low trail geometry that some americans think of as french really wasn't unique to france in the 1950s and 60s. The Raleigh DL1 and pre-war style low end "lightweights" shouldn't be used to define the British bicycle industry. Av
tually germans and the dutch often call low trail geometry "british geometry" because of the popular bikes from this period that were exporter in greater numbers than french bikes of the period.

James

Anonymous said...

This Harris - Inleheart frame is pretty neat ... take a look at the rear Salsa drop-outs

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/igleheart/harris-igleheart-fixie/index.html

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/igleheart/harris-igleheart-fixie/pages/harris-igleheart-fixie06.html

I think this is close to what many are talking about. It would be nice as a lugged frame ...

Personally I don't like the paint on this example. But those rear Salsa drop outs are pretty cool.

Phillip

david_nj said...

That Hammond is amazing. Spot-on.