06 November, 2008

A Couple of Ideas


We've had a couple of ideas.

The first is to import a stainless steel rack that's being made in Taiwan. This is not a Velo Orange design, in fact it looks similar to, and perhaps even nicer than, a certain Tubus model. It's made of stainless steel with a mat finish. The quality is pretty darn good and it's very sturdy. There are pump pegs for a short pump. And all the hardware is very very nice. The price would be under $100, perhaps under $90. I think that there are many folks who would like a stainless steel rear rack that's bigger than the VO Constructuer racks and suited to larger panniers and bigger loads. I'm just starting work on a larger VO rack design, but it won't be ready for 6-10 months. In the meantime do you think there's interest in this rack?

Another idea is importing ring locks. Ring locks are tremendously popular in Europe. They are bolted or clamped to the seat stays of a city bike and lock the rear wheel through the spokes. They provide an almost instant way to lock your bike. Of course they won't do much good in New York city, but in many towns they are all you need. What I like about them is that they stay on the bike. The key can even stay in the lock in some models. So when you run into a shop a simple flick of a locking lever prevents the casual thief from riding off on your bike. For longer stops you can run a cable around a fixed object and lock it in the ring lock.

There are dozens of ring locks made for the European and Asian markets, but they are almost impossible to find in the USA. Ring locks are available in both basic and high end models. We're thinking of importing of importing a mid range model, $20-$25, but not necessarily the model pictured. Any interest?

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have an AXA lock with a 1 meter square link chain which I use in Chicago. I first saw them in Maastricht with a wire cable on rental bikes at the train station. The cable or the chain make them more acceptable for urban use. The cheap circle locks I have seen are equivalent to long shackle padlocks, i.e. I wouldn't put them on anything I purchased from V-O.

Bloggo said...

Chris,

I ride a recumbent so I am not your typical customer but I like the idea of the ring lock and would probably purchase it if I can get it on my bike. I live in a low-crime area and currently use a flimsy cable lock. My recumbent would be unwieldy to pick up and take away, so a lock like this which prevents someone from rolling or riding it away is very attractive and worth my consideration.

-Perry

Dartanyon Race said...

I dig the rack. Hard to get a sense from the picture, but what do you think of the disc brake compatibility of it?

brownpants. said...

awesome ideas!

Brian said...

If yer gonna stock ring locks, why not just go with the axa defender and auxillary cable?

I know it's no substitute for a good u-luck, but it does seem practical for quick trips to the store.

Joshua said...

Yes to the rack. The only other widely available steel rack I'm aware of is the Surly Nice Rack, which you'll be luck to find for $120.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I don't think the rack is disc brake compatible.

Also, note that unlike the Surly racks, this one is stainless steel, not powder coated. Stainless has a huge durability advantage over painted/coated steel.

Anonymous said...

Nice rack. I would prefer a low rider design like the Tubus Carry (this one is Titanium though and weigh 260g!).
How much does it weigh? Less than 700g?

bsk said...

The rack looks exactly like one of the Alu. ones sold under the Axiom brand. Must come from the same factory?

Note: friends of mine have had problems with the welds on the axioms

Chris Kulczycki said...

Darn; I should have weighted it before it was mounted on a bike. It didn't feel unreasonably heavy.

The Axiom rack might have come from the same factory, but there is a virtually identical aluminum rack made in China, so who knows?

Jeff said...

I love the rack, especially the pump mount. Would buy one.

Jan said...

Chris,

In Amsterdam, where I live, ring-locks are popular but only as a second lock: One heavy duty chain for the frame plus one wheel; a ring-lock for the other wheel. Nobody, but nobody, would trust a lock like this as their ONLY lock.

patates frites said...

This rack looks exactly like the Axiom. I have one on my city bike and don't like it because it is very short front to back and puts the panniers too far forward. I had never had problems with my heels hitting the panniers, but now I do with this rack.

There is a solution, though. Those steel plates at the bottom where the rack bolts to the frame come in different sizes. There is a version that is longer horizontally and curved so it puts the rack farther back. I am told it's designed for disc brake clearance, but I would try it for heel clearance.

Rob said...

I would be in for one of the racks if it will clear a 26 x 2.35 like a fat frank or MTN tire, It would also be great if the heal clearance issue is clarified, or at least dimensioned.

Is there a similar front rack?

Thanks for your efforts.

RussRoca said...

Yes to the ring locks!!! esp. if you can find one that isn't as humongous looking as the AXA...

Also, love the idea of the rack, esp to hold the pump! that's pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

I'd love the idea of a ring lock. Bring it on.

James said...

That's probably the best wheel lock to import. The heavier duty Axa models seem to have been designed with dutch seat stays in mind. I don't like the idea of attatching anything with rubber straps but at least it would be move versatile. Does it clamp onto the seat stays behind the top?

Dutch wheels locks make sense on dutch bicycles if you consider the way they are used and parked and the frequent lack of panniers, bags or a front rack. It's a lock for bicycles that don't have a place to put a U lock - unlike a well designed bicycle suited to american cities, but I guess it may be popular with people who want a weekend coffee bike. Say you have a Peugeot UO 8 you want to make into a PX 50-like run about, that's where a wheel lock makes the most sense.

Go to Holland and watch people ride with grocery bags on the handlebars and things poorly strapped to the rear rack. Many dutch rear racks are poorly designed and not really suited to use with bungee straps. Most dutch bikes are local transport and locked to themselves without anything to lock a bike to. In such an environment a wheel lock makes perfect sense but here less so.

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd rather see a cromo rack, maybe powdercoated silver, for a better strength/weight ratio. The Tubus racks are all heavier in their SS incarnations than in cromo.

nv said...

I'd love to see a nice, inexpensive front rack. There are so many rear racks on the market -why so very few front racks? The VO is near perfect but simply too nice and too expensive for a city bike (At least where I ride).
There must be something being produced in Taiwan that would fit the bill...
nv

Tom said...

Said James a dit… "That's probably the best wheel lock to import. The heavier duty Axa models seem to have been designed with dutch seat stays in mind. I don't like the idea of attatching anything with rubber straps but at least it would be move versatile. Does it clamp onto the seat stays behind the top? "

The ring lock attaches to the seatstays with what look like huge zip ties with a worm screw to tighten it. It sets up fairly quickly. If you are concerned about the plastic bit, radiator hose clamps can be substituted I guess, but not sure why- the plastic mount just holds the lock to the frame.
If there are rim brakes mounted on top of the stays- say dual pivot or cantilever brakes- this particular ring lock will mount under the seat stays. There are ring locks that mount on top of canti and V brakes but the hardware is cumbersome.

Anonymous said...

i have the axiom aluminum rack that is a clone of the one pictured, right down to the pump pegs. i recently used it for a short tour, and would not recommend it.

my principal problem was that the spacing of the crossbars of the platform is such that it kept my panniers too far forward, which meant heel strike and lots of it. even adjusting the angle of the rack backward did not solve the problem. the tubus racks, except for the LOCC, share this issue i would imagine by looking at them.

with my previous blackburn rack i was able to push my panniers all the way to the back. this induced some shimmy on long descents, but it was better than constant heel strike.

Michael said...

It's funny; I was actually considering writing to request you stock ring locks. I've always heard these kinds of locks referred to as latte locks, ostensibly because you'll have just enough time to order and enjoy a coffee before your bike gets snatched. For most of a person's errands, though, that's more than enough time. I've had one on my city bike for months now and haven't had any problems using it as my only means of protection (it gets parked inside at night). That may be more to do with the bike being Dutch-heavy (43 lbs unladen) than anything else, but I trust it all the same.

Rick said...

Wow...I live in LA, where the ring lock would be as useless as string for bike parking. But ti would work some places.

I like the general concept of the rack, but only if it's as light at the similar Tubus. I use a Fly, which weighs almost nothing, is rated for forty pounds, and has carried considerably more than that on occasion for me (eg. 100 yards of wool in two rolls, stuck vertically in the panniers!).

I hefted one of the Surly racks someone mentioned, and it seemed to weigh about half as much as my main bike!

skvidal said...

If the pump that fits in that area is worth having it'd be great if you stocked the rack and the pump. :)

Anonymous said...

I have an Axiom rack, too. . . the advantage of the one I got is that you don't need eyelets. It attaches to the skewer, like the more expensive Old Man Mountain racks. It's a kludge, but handy in a pinch.

I use ring locks in Europe and think they're pretty great. One thing that makes them handy there is that the Dutch bikes are heavy and harder to steal, so if a wheel is locked, and the owner is close, that would probably discourage the average thief. I like them. I am not sure I have an appropriate bike for one, though.

Tom said...

The rack pictured, like the tubus racks, were designed for bikes with longish chainstays- touring bikes, lower end and older hybrids or mtn bikes, etc. Newer bikes with short stays and 'racy' geometry are always going to have heel strike issues with any rack and pannier setup. We are asking the factory what options there are with the ends, so there may be a solution for some of you. At least with this rack, the ends can be changed.

Josh Mitchell said...

That rack does look pretty sweet. It looks a bit like the Tubus Cosmo, but trades the lower tubes for the pump mount.

Anonymous said...

Burners would find the ring lock really useful. In Black Rock City, you just need to make it inconvenient for someone to just walk off with it.

This one time, at Burningman, my bike WASNT stolen....!

rigelc said...

tom: i was the commenter with heel strike issues above.

this is also on a mostly-touring bike, not a racing bike. long wheelbase and all that.

of course, i do wear a size 13 shoe, so that might be an issue.

patates frites said...

This is the one I was talking about before, the one with the long "feet". Sounds like the one that anonyme 16:36 has. It's called the "Streamliner Road":

http://www.axiomgear.com/product/racks/rear_low_profile_aero_racks/product.php?id=142

It's meant for road bikes without eyelets with the feet mounted on the axle skewer. But I guess it would work with an eyelet. Maybe you would have to make the hole larger to make it work. But I still don't know if it would set the rack back enough to have good heel clearance.

patates frites said...

BTW, Tom, I have my Axiom mounted on a bike with VERY long chainstays (Koga-Miyata Road Gentleman), in fact longer than on many so-called touring bikes, and I have the heel-strike problem. I must admit that I too have size-13 feet though. :0

Gary Young said...

According to alex wetmore, the Axiom rack that looks identical may not work with some Ortlieb panniers because the lower horizontal strut interferes with the Ortlieb mounting system:

http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=touring.10801.1022.eml

Anonymous said...

Chris, I would prefer a larger VO designed rack with the usual attention to detail and fine craftsmanship so many of us have grown to love.
I am not fond of the matte finish, however, the mini-pump peg is a neat idea...
Any updates on the VO panniers?

SprocketScientist said...

I think that rack looks awesome and that is a fantastic price for it.

(ps...why would anyone care what a heavy-duty rack weighs? isn't its sole purpose to carry a bunch of weight?)

andrew said...

regarding the lock i would say NO. there arent many places in the US where this would be enough and you wouldnt have to worry.

plust my bikes (and most people here) are pretty expensive and most people probably wouldnt risk it.

regarding the rack: YES, PLEASE. it looks beautiful and that price point i imagine they'd sell really well.

William said...

I have the Axiom Streamliner Sport Tour. I like the look, the stability and the mounting. Like others I have had some heel-strike issues (size 11.5 feet, Univega Specialissima touring frame) unless I push the pannier all the way back. The rack also sits higher than I'd like (and I'm using 27" wheels). Nonetheless, a very good rack for the price ($24.88), but not nearly so attractive at the price of stainless.

PS - I'd like to second nv. A moderately priced front rack would be nice - maybe one that mounted to low-rider bosses.

PPS - The AXA lock sounds good.

david_nj said...

The ring locks are really cool, but I wonder if a bespoke-designed one wouldn't be better. You could use high quality materials, and a constructeur mentality that would allow them to integrate with, e.g., the centerpull brake braze-ons. ... or at least something better than simply clamping 'em onto the seatstays.

A high-tech Smart-card based version (a la some autos' keyless entry systems) would be ultra cool too!

Jason Nunemaker: said...

I have the aluminum Axiom version of the rack too, and the one major design issue I have with it is that lower horizontal tube should run *outside* the vertical struts (like it does on the Tubus racks that obviously inspired it), not *inside* As designed, it can get in the way of fender struts. Plus, if it were on the outside, you could hook your panniers to the rack itself rather than the bolt-on pannier hook at the dropout.

Also, the rack is a bit narrow at the top -- it's a snug fit over my 700x32 tires and a 700x45 fender.

Jason Nunemaker
Des Moines, IA

Ned C said...

The rack looks very nice, but I just bought a Tubus a couple of months back, I need another for my 3 speed but the cheaper Pletscher would probably better suited for that. I would go for the ring lock, but make sure it's a model that will accommodate the plug in chains, and both Abus and Axa-Basta make cantilever/V-brake mounting boss adapters for their frame/ring locks so you might consider them. Where I live and ride I find U-locks a waste of time, there's nothing to lock them to, Detroit took out its parking meters and replaced them with little numbered posts that you can't secure a bike to, Dearborn, my suburb has hardly any parking meters, and hardly anybody has a bike rack which means you need to lock up to a utility pole which would require a U-lock as big a bike frame. So, yeah, frame/ring lock plug in chain and canti mounting adapters. Go for it!

hey dude said...

I like the idea of a slightly larger rack, but looks are important to me and this rack is UGLY!!!!! I'd never buy one on the looks alone. the ring locks seem like a great idea.

Doug said...

Chris, If you stock these racks, I would buy one. I love my Tubus rack that looks very similar. I like the stainless steel look and the durability of it.

Brian Park said...

I worked at a shop in Vancouver that sold AXA locks, and I'd say that yes, if you bring them in, people will buy them. I personally think they are only a mediocre idea (heavy, bolted right into the steel of your bike, not THAT much of a deterrent, etc.), but we ALWAYS had a ton of interest, and could have sold lots of them if we'd had the stock.

Anonymous said...

Nice rack, although I think what Velo-orange can do that has a great impact is the front rack. Tubus makes good rear racks that is affordable, and VO makes front porteur rack that are beautiful but expensive. For bikes that we already have that are more utilitarian (and just can't justify a rack that is more expensive than the bike), a niche for racks would be porteur style racks in the sub-$100 range.

Steve Fuller said...

For riding and touring where I do (Iowa and the midwest) the AXA ringlock has been a nice addition to my Surly LHT. I bought a large chain for use with mine, but I have not felt the need to use it as of yet. I think they are perfect for city and utility bikes. It's nice to always know that you have a means of locking the bike up.

Anonymous said...

that rack looks like a clone of this one:

summit rear pannier rack
wilson bike item #301-843
wholesale price around $15

i second the idea if a nice affordable solution for the front

lee.watkins said...

YES, RING LOCKS!!! It's so obviously useful they should be on every bike. YES!!

nv said...

Seems like I'm not the only one here that would like an inexpensive front rack - and unlike Anon who said "a niche for racks would be porteur style racks in the sub-$100 range" - while that may be the case, I'm much more interested in something that is a bit more svelte than a porteur rack and much less than $100.
You can see a picture of a "Bor Yeuh" branded rack on a bike I used to own here: http://tiny.cc/3inHp
I bought that rack about 4 years ago for under $15 and spent 30 minutes stripping the paint (it was black) and polishing it. If I could get one again (or something similar) anywhere near that price, I'd buy several in any color - it has a nice, clean look and has held up very well - it's now on my daily city bike.

Ego Martini said...

I really like the rack, and an amazing price - it would be a fast moving item.
I would really like to see a rear rack that would look like the Courier front rack. I have the Courier on my Bleriot and it looks great - if I where to add a rear rack that looked like this I would basically have a Rene Hearse camper bike.

Anonymous said...

anon 07/11/08 04:56----

Interesting. What bike shop do you work for? Why would you share your dealer pricing to the general public? The rack in the Wilson dealer catalog is alloy, made in china, and is rarely in stock. And it never sold for 15 bucks wholesale. Not ever.
Chris is looking at a stainless version. that's more than an alloy rack.

JimD said...

The rack looks great. I'd be very interested

Anonymous said...

The rack looks nice at first glance. But if you take a closer look at the pic, the welds are pretty gruesome. I don't think this rack measures up to VO's high standards.

The ring lock would be a good accessory to offer and would probably sell very well.

JP

El Duke said...

Chris, I think the rack is a great idea. Especially nice looking at that price.

Anonymous said...

I'll buy a ring lock for my commuter. I'd prefer one that the key can stay in without falling out while riding. I'd also prefer a silver-ish colored one. What is special about the "high end" ring locks you mentioned? I'd pay extra for a fancy one, if it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
I think the rack needs a little work to make it truly stand out. The pump pegs are a great idea but the rest of it looks like any other rack. I suggest eliminating the overlap at the bottom where the two pecies join together. This would get rid of the plastic covers and give it a more streamlined appearance. I'd rethink the lip closest to the seat stays, this may be functional to a certain degree, but kills the design for me. Lastly, the mounting hardware is OK, pretty standard, it would be great to incorporate the mounting blocks into the design.
Good luck,
Michael

Tom said...

The idea behind selling these racks is to offer something that will be acceptable while we develop our own VO spec rack that is elegant but more contemporary so it will fit larger pannier bags.

Asking the factory to shorten the pannier sides here, fillet braze the welds, instead of TIG welding, etc is not what we want to do. It's called feature creep. We want something off the shelf, not involving a lot of design and spec work to suss out every last detail.

That design and spec work definitely has it's place and we all see the issues with this rack. If we ask to modify an existing design will end up paying tooling costs. It would be better to go with our own design that is completely different, instead of making little changes here and there to someone elses rack.

We can change some of the materials, hardware and finish, but that's about it. The factory is not willing to make any changes to their design that they sell to other customers without some sort of up front tooling cost. Velo Orange does not yet have the same pull as Trek.

hal said...

Tom/Chris:

From reading the comments and following the links, it does look like the rack resembles some of the Axiom offerings and the Summit. Likely they all have the same manufacturer. I personally like SS and the pump pegs, and I think the finish is decent. I do worry about heel strike, but if the Axiom Streamliner is any indication, you may be able to get the longer lower bracket that would put the body of the rack back a few centimeters. If so, I would be interested. As for the issue of the interior strut interfering with fenders, it is a problem (I have the same issue with my old Eclipse rack), but its manageable, at least with a 45mm fender.

I have no particular comment on the lock. It looks nice enough, but I, too, worry about how secure it would be. I guess if the choice were between a cheap cable lock and a ring lock, I would probably choose the ring lock for convenience sake.

Thanks for all your efforts to bring new products forward.

hal.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes yes to the ring locks! I have one on my Dutch city bike here in D.C. -- no, of course it would be silly as the only lock for the bike, but, being in a city where you really do need to lock up your frame and both your wheels, it's so much better/easier than carrying around either two U-locks or a U-lock and cable.

I was so enamored of it that a few years ago when visiting Germany I searched one out to put on one of my other bikes. Wouldn't leave home without it... I think they would absolutely sell to anyone riding in the city as an auxiliary lock / alternative to a cable.

Len Gilbert said...

Ring locks are interesting. Most of my errands only require a simple cable lock, so the ring lock would be an upgrade, more stylish, and don't need to remember to bring it.

A decent front rack somewhere between a VO Porteur at $190 and my Wald messenger basket at $13 would be perfect. Ideally a simple front rack at the $100 price point.

BTW: the VO Porteur, even with recent increases, is really nice and a good value for the right bike, but like the other commenter, it's hard to justify $190 for a bike that's worth $250....

Andy M-S said...

I like the look of that rack...but here are a couple of questions...

1. Is it high enough to fit over fenders? I've had some racks that rest right on the fender, and that's noisy. Higher is better (maybe those plates come in sizes).

2. Can it handle a 3-point mount? My Kogswell D doesn't have rack mounts on the seatstays, and while I can always use rubber-core P-clamps, they look awkward and can interfere with the rear brake. These days I have a mounting arm that fits back of the brake...no muss, no fuss. Can this one be set up the same way?

Anonymous said...

Len wrote:
"A decent front rack somewhere between a VO Porteur at $190 and my Wald messenger basket at $13 would be perfect. Ideally a simple front rack at the $100 price point."
VO offers a great front rack in the Constructeur at $95. I'm looking for a serviceable and decent looking front rack for less than half of that. I would only hope VO could/would source such an item because apparently nobody else will.

Anonymous said...

Yeap I want one, maybe two!

Anonymous said...

since we are both anon i guess it's hard to address your concerns off list. i will say i admire the work chris is doing with velo-orange. he brings unique items to the market, he does thorough research, he has an eye for quality, and he is as transparent and honest as any businessman i've ever seen. i have ordered from him and will continue to order from him. there are some bike shops that hold wholesale prices as secrets, but the lbs's i frequent are often very honest about the pricing...i understand people need a margin to operate.

i understand that chris is proposing a higher-quality stainless rack.

i was only re-iterating that it looks strikingly similar to the aforementioned summit rack.

also

i am looking at the 2007 wilson catalog as i type this and yes, indeed, it was that price.

Anonymous said...

"I would only hope VO could/would source such an item because apparently nobody else will."

at 40 bucks, it's gonna be as servicable as a wald rack and a milk crate on top.

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-WALD-FRONT-BIKE-RACK_W0QQitemZ230214433996QQcmdZViewItem

nv said...

"at 40 bucks, it's gonna be as servicable as a wald rack and a milk crate on top."

I disagree. Look at the pictures I posted further up the thread. This was a $12 rack - granted it was likely a blowout but I'm sure it would still be very inexpensive at full retail. I have Wald baskets - which I like very much - but the attachment hardware and support arms that come with the Walds are junk. The baskets themselves are very good and quite good looking. And for the Wald racks, they are poorly made, tend to bend and rust.
The Bor Yeuh is good looking and rock solid - infinitely better than the support arms from a Wald or a Wald rack.
I'm not asking for or expecting Tubus/Nitto/VO quality from a cheap rack - but there are cheap racks out there that are very practical and that I wish could be easily sourced. The Bor Yeuh or it's clone is at the top of my list.
nv

Anonymous said...

Is a $15 retail alloy rack appropriate for a business like Velo Orange? What else should Chris sell- a pricepoint singlewall 650b rim? A nylon seat bag for less than 10 bucks? Plastic fenders with steel stays?

Someone will always have a cheaper price out there. I don't think this is what Velo Orange is all about.

Rick said...

As for Sprocketman's comment, that no one should care what a rack weighs as it's made for carrying weight: well, I don't carry things on the rack all the time, or even most of the time. Panniers and other loads can come on and off; the rack stays with the bike. I like it to be light for days I'm riding unburdened; strong for days I'm carrying stuff. The Tubus fulfills both requirements.

Hank said...

Much interest in the rack. Not sure about the lock, though. Too many pickup trucks in this neck of the woods, so I'd still worry about it getting grabbed.

Jerome said...

i would totaly buy this rack if you import it. if you were thinking about bringing in just a few to start, let me know. i would buy one of these!

cheers

Gunnar Berg said...

68 comments on racks and locks. Whodda thunk? It seems there are two factions here. One wants a purely functional economical rack (Bobs?)and others want something a little special in both finish and general appearance. I'm not certain where the rack fits in, though it's nice enough.

On locks, I only use a light cable. I am not willing to carry a heavy, secure lock in the relatively safe area I live. I kind of hope to stop the casual thief, not the pro. So maybe the little clamp is okay. Ugly as sin though.

Anonymous said...

If the aim is to carry heavy pannier loads and have nice-looking rear rack that fits the style of your city or rando bikes, I'd recommend one similar in shape to your contructeur rear rack but not attached to the fender. If it were a couple inches above the fender with short, very stiff attachment bars to the frame braze-ons, it would be strong enough for heavy shopping or camping and be a lot better looking than the tubus style rack pictured. I have a custom chromed-steel rack of this sort on my Ebisu, and at first I was disappointed that it wasn't the more Herse-like fender-attached type, but after getting Ortleib large rear panniers and loading very heavy grocery bags in them, I'm very glad to have the frame-attached rear rack. This is exactly the kind of use that Jan Heine describes in his latest issue of BQ with regard to the Urban Bike. I find that with a large rando-style front bag and the two rear Orleib panniers, I can carry very large shopping loads on a bike that looks very classic and well integrated.

t.hudson said...

I love ring locks.. I need one for my townie and polo bike in the worst way.

Tim K said...

Yes on the lock ring, but make sure it's compatible with the single pin chain (and carry the chains) -- pretty much as the first comment mentioned.

My wife has one on her azor oma and it's super quick and easy for coffee stops and the like around town. I wouldn't leave my bike at train station over night locked that way (well, I wouldn't do that locked _any_ way), but the combo of the beefy chain and unfamiliarity of the ringlock setup to thieves means it's _fairly_ safe for local stops.

Epicycler 2 said...

Ring locks are very useful for bikes that are used for local errands and quick stops. I also use a Kryptoflex 4 ft cable that was permanently affixed to the lock when it was installed to keep people from throwing my bike in the back of a pickup truck. I bought a Axa-Basta Defender lock but I thought it was overkill and increased the weight of the bike too much(I use bus racks alot). I live in Indiana and ring locks are very uncommon here(which is good). I use a u-lock and the ring lock when I park at work or for an extended time. I have 3 bikes equipped with these locks.

nv said...

anon wrote in response (I guess) to my comment:
"Is a $15 retail alloy rack appropriate for a business like Velo Orange?"

To which I respond - I'm not asking for a $15 rack. I simply cited my $15 front rack as an example of a useful and inexpensive rack. What I'm asking for is a front rack that costs less and likely attracts less attention than than the current $95 VO rack. I ride in Brooklyn and Manhattan. While the VO rack is super, sorry, there is no way I'm putting that on my [NYC] city bike.

and
"... Someone will always have a cheaper price out there."

If somebody was offering this elsewhere, I wouldn't be so vocal in asking for it here. I can't seem to find this item anywhere. I don't really understand the resistance to this idea - I'm not asking Chris to sell garbage, just another practical alternative. It can be good looking and relatively inexpensive - the two do not need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I think many of the items VO currently sells fall into this category. Take the recent stem adapter - it's well made, good looking, apparently selling well and I don't think anybody would argue that it is expensive.

TwoWheels said...

I was thinking of buying one of these ring locks just the other day. I had to take some items to the post office and didn't have a lock with me. I was watching the bike with one eye the entire time I was in line, even though it was in a fairly safe location and it was a cheap older Schwinn. An immobilizing lock would have made me feel much better!

Anonymous said...

Ring Locks all the way, I'll take two right now.

Adrienne said...

I have an AXA Defender on my bike. I use it all the time in a busy urban environment. If I am running in and out of the store or the café, it is the perfect lock. It prevents someone from ghost riding off with it (it is way too heavy and has a step through frame, so carrying it is not practical). I use it with a long U-lock if I am in a situation requiring more security. I wish all my bikes had one of these on them.

Mandi said...

I think that now would be a good time to introduce more racks, touring, commuting, porteur, etc. The present economic situation/gas prices favors this sort of thing.

I would personally like to see a good SS front and rear rack combo intended for heavy touring. I particularly like the idea of being able to carry front panniers and also have a shelf on the top of the rack to strap on a small bag or whatever; sort of like the Surly front Nice Rack. A braze-on for a light would be really nice too.

Dominic Dougherty said...

I've been using nothing BUT a ring lock on a custom-built Franklin touring bike here in Long Beach, CA (LA County) for more than 3 months, and on a tandem for more than 10 years... and I still have both bikes.

The idea of the ring lock isn't to lean your bike up on a tree, set your lock and head inside for bed.

It's to keep honest people honest.

You lean it on a tree and walk in to the corner store with the big windows; You lean it on the patio railing at a sidewalk cafe, then grab a seat right next to it; You lean it on a building to run in and grab your take-out.

Chris, if you stock these, I will buy 5. Honest.

Bart Newton said...

What is the weight capacity of the rack?

Bragi said...

About the ring locks -- what some people seem to miss is the fact that you can use it in tandem with a sturdy chain that locks into it. I have one on my Dutch bike (a Batavus Personal Delivery bike, which attracts a lot of attention), in Washington DC, and it works great. Built-in locks, built-in lights -- the Dutch know a thing or two.

Margaret said...

I like the ring lock with a crude button combination lock. Not only do you not have to remember your lock, you don't have to remember a key!

Anonymous said...

Bragi: I certainly know your bike, have seen it around town. You have any pics to post?

daniel said...

I would love to find a ring lock for my rear wheel, to be used in conjunction with a U lock for the front wheel and frame. To my knowledge, none are available in the US; you have to order from overseas and pay ridiculous shipping. Please carry these.

S. cerevisiae said...

I realize that this is several months after posting, but I would use this rack. Looking for something classic and lasting for the 1970's vintage Raleigh Record Ace for touring and utility riding.