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?
06 November, 2008
Posted by Velo Orange at 11:04:00 AM