25 November, 2008

Miscellaneous Bits


The photo on the left is of a prototype VO French thread bottom bracket. Back in the day, nations thought it obligatory to have their own standards for bike parts. There were French, Swiss, Italian, British, and even American standards for certain components. The British standard overtook the others and is what we see on almost all bikes today, but there are still many fine frames that require Italian (those are still made). French, or Swiss bottom brackets. So we're looking into having some made.

Please don't ask when you can order one. I don't yet know if they will be produced; we're still trying to make this project feasible. What that means is that we need to get some shops or other wholesalers to commit to buying part of the production. We would have them in 110mm, 116mm, and 122mm. There is a possibility of a Swiss version too.

We recieved the final fabric samples for the new VO handlebar, and other, bags yesterday. It is a thick finely woven cotton that appears to be amazingly waterproof. The manufacturer described it as waxed, but it does not feel overly waxy. The color is jet black. It exceeds my expectation. This was the last step before production. We still hope to see them in January.

The ring locks should be here next month.

Finally, Velo Orange will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For our overseas friends, this is a holiday that celebrates America's bounty. Most Americans spend it with extended family preparing and eating a stuffed turkey that's only slightly smaller than a Hummer. The following day is traditionally spent waddling about and shopping.

At our house we'll be having family over for dinner, oysters (local, Chesapeake Bay) duck confit, pommes sarladaise, rum baba, etc. The following day may see a trip to the beach. Are any of you doing, or eating, anything exciting for the holidays?

38 comments:

Steve Fuller said...

I am going on a two hour mountain bike ride with 60 of my closest friends, and then coming home to cook homemade macaroni and cheese along with rigatoni bolognese for our guests. Friday, I will be preparing for a weekend cyclocross race.

annette said...

Sad that our child is so strange that he'd eat duck confit but not mac and cheese...

Anonymous said...

Rigatoni Bolognese. Yum!

Anonymous said...

We will be with my grandmother and my uncles family. Leah and I are preparing garlic mashed potatoes, fresh pumpkin pie, sweet&sour beats, and with apple cider we pressed last weekend (the hard stuff won't be ready for a good while, yet), all from our favorite local farms.

Friday, I believe, we'll be back in the shop. Ahren

patates frites said...

My wife and I are going hiking at Big Bend national park in Middle of Nowhere, Texas tomorrow through Sunday. Thanksgiving dinner will be whatever we can grill at the campsite. Happy Turkey holiday, y'all!

david_nj said...

I have always wanted to go to Big Bend.

If anyone in central NJ is up for a longish little-ring late fall pace road ride saturday or sunday ring me up. Maybe 2.5-3 hours.

Gunnar Berg said...

We will eat a traditional meal at Big Dummy's, my bro-in-law. He generally prepares three turkeys - traditional, deep-fried in peanut oil, and Canjun spiced. We all have things we traditionally bring. We lost our pie maker this past year, but my daughter has been practicing making pumpkin pies from scratch - from real pumpkins and scratch made crust. I do wine, although others might bring a bottle or two. Last year it required 16 bottles.

Per the Kossack's request:
(Multiple bottles of each. All old enough to be worthwhile.)
-Macon-Villages (French white Burgundy)
-Cotes Du Rhone (French red)
-Menage a Trois (French style California red)
-Paseo Reserve Pinot Noir
for dessert:
-Rivera Botrytis Semillion (moldy grapes!)
-Osborne Late Bottled Port

-and(drum roll)because it will also be my wife's birthday and my daughter just officially graduated from college this week:
one bottle of 1993 Mondavi Opus One

For the "serious" drinkers there will be Gammel Dansk and Aquavit after the meal.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil, I don't suppose you would trade the Opus One for some shiny bike bits? :<)

Gunnar Berg said...

Hell yes. I've only been saving it for 15 years. And it's just for family stuff. Whadda got in mind? Oh, hell! I already owe you for the cable, don't I. I'll send you the Opus and we'll call it square.
The stuff is a little oaky anyway.

zman said...

Chris, I hope you and yours enjoy the holiday and I appreciate ur sentiments.
Our Union is not perfect but we are still lucky to be here, warts and all.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris:

Good food is everywhere, you just have to spend a bit of time finding it; however, reasonably priced french bottom brackets are hard and usually expensive to come by, particularly for double cranks. I hope some other organizations see the wisdom in offering the brackets and go in with you on the production.

Joel said...

Well, not nearly so lucky as Patates Frites in Big Bend, but my Dad's house is located just off the Volo Bog nature preserve in Illinois. A rare combination of naturally occurring deep acidic water pond with peat moss floating atop it.

The sibs and I used to go play there as kids before some university professors figured out what it was. Visitors have to stay on paths now. But preservation is cool and hiking there on T'Giving always brings back good memories.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Wouldn't it be easier to simply manufacture different cups and use the same catridge-axel assembly, ala phil wood?

Anonymous said...

they stitching on the bag looks inferior. Some times you get what you pay for.

annette said...

Anon 23:19

The bag is prototype.

And the happiest of Thanksgivings to you, too!

hey dude said...

I like the idea of multiple thread options! As for our holiday we are having my immediate family over. We will have a fairly traditional dinner,though almost entirely organic. We've much to be thankful for1 Enjoy everyone.

john k novack said...

yam and sweet potato cooked in gingered port wine broth with carmelized candied ginger on top. sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
and brussles sprouts vinagrette.
maybe a little turkey roll, and a pear tart.

nick said...

man oh man.

make the french bbs please! can you make them down to 109.5mm? i believe thats what i need for my veloce double cranks that are goin on my peugeot.

thank you!

David said...

A more recent addition to some folks' tradition is to celebrate Friday as "Buy Nothing Day", on which, perhaps we recognize the frenzy of consumerism into which we will presently leap. Not a bad notion that.

Re: BBs
Is there merit in the idea of making both cups seperate from the bearing/axle assemblies, a la Phil Wood? From my vantage point (no knowledge at all of production methods/pricing) it seems likely to reduce costs.

Also, what is the reason for retaining the "lip" on the drive-side cup? I know it fixes the position of the BB, but is that really necessary? Without said lip, one could make fine adjustments to chain lines, etc. I recall a certain collective grumpiness when production stopped on the Shimano BB with removeable cups on both sides (BB-72?), though we seem to have gotten along ok since then.

Also, many of your chaincase samples appear to mount at the BB. Wouldn't it be nice to have a removeable ring, rather than have to remove the whole BB to mess with the case? Maybe that's not such a big deal.

Chris Kulczycki said...

There are very few companies willing to even consider making French thread BBs. The reason for this is that they know that demand would be very very small. So they would only consider taking an existing design and simply changing the threading. To do it any other way would require more tooling and a much larger minimum order. And I'm worried about being able to sell even a small production run. The days of designing a French or Swiss BB from scratch are long over.

Also BBs with two removable cups can squeak if the BB shell on the bike is not perfectly faced and the unit is not installed with a torque wrench. Some manufacturers are not willing to take the chance of returns and complaints if that turns out to be an issue.

Gunnar Berg said...

Gunnar Berg a dit...
The French BB is probably a good idea. How many Peugeots do you suppose have been pitched over the cliff because an owner couldn't justify a Phil Wood? The Phils are great, but in danger of pricing themselves out of my market. I was afraid I would have to pitch my Rene Herse over a cliff. (a lie - I only have a RH in my dreams)

Bart Newton said...

I hope to take a bike ride on country roads or a hike over several acres of farm land. After giving thanks to the Lord for His provisions and blessings, about 20 of us plan to eat Puerto Rican-style turkey prepared to perfection by my wife.

dorina said...

At the school I teach the children did a big food drive to see which class could collect the most cans. They were gung-ho, to say the least. What I didn't realize, until today, was that this food as well as frozen turkeys for which the teachers donated for, went directly, this afternoon, to the neediest families in our generally needy school. My privileged assumption was the food was going 'somewhere else'. Could I ask for people to remember those who are without? Thanks.

superfreak said...

i wish someone would make bbs from 98 to 145 in 1mm increments. maybe vello-orange will step up to the plate? thx superfreak

Tom said...

So far, we are eating 3 egg breakfasts, 6% stout lunches, 2 pie dinners and a 2 shot nightcap.
We are visiting thrift stores and local bike shops in the grand rapids MI area in between the eating.

Tom said...

Gunnar:

There's a cliff a few feet off the side of George Ave in Annapolis that would make an ideale Rene Herse recycling facility....

Anonymous said...

Do we really need french thread bottom brackets, as opposed to a source of replacement french thread bearing races?

Tom said...

http://voimports.blogspot.com/

ChrisCullum said...

Anon 23:19, inferior to what, the Berthoud that costs more than double the price? Certainly not the original TA with its vinyl trim that still goes for as much as the new VO in old used up condition. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anon 23:19 said...

Like I said, you get what you pay for. I like the best and the VO bag as displayed looks cheap.

Knock-offs are cheaper for a reason.

Nothing personal, just the way I see it. my friends

Gunnar Berg said...

Jeez, now I have to throw away my old TA too? I'm gonna replace all my bags with Guu-watanabes...unless I can find something more expensive.

Anonymous said...

As long as the cups are "removable" albeit with force, a BB that can use Phil cups is worth the minor quibbles.

The Shimano UN-72 ws MFG'd like this and was a solution for many upgrades.

Now they go for $50+ merely because they are all that is available.

For replacing cottered cranks on many old bikes, it's the UN-72 and Phil Wood cups or an outrageously expensive upgrade to a Phil BB AND cups.

Note that you've got several requests.

Were problems ever noted with UN-72s?

Think about it.

Tom said...

Ms. Anon:

What don't you like about the bag? what seems 'cheap' and not of the quality that you can afford to pay for? Is it the materials? Stitching?
this is a hand made sample, cut with scissors and run through a sewing machine. Would you recommend another stitch, or different leather? organic free range cotton duck? do you have sourcing experience? maybe we can collaborate.

lynnef said...

I wish that French thread bottom bracket had been available when I restored my Gitane. I was able to get another spindle to go with the cups and cones, and all is good, but still...

The Bleriot and credit card are quivering in anticipation of the bag!

Anonymous said...

I freaking love the bag. And I need it right now.

kanek0yuki said...

Any updates on when this will be ready? I'd love to see a final version!

peidave said...

Surely thousands of these cheap bags with obvious inferior stitching must have popped out of some bag making machine by now? With the bag experts turning up their their noses merely at the image of the prototype I must be the only person left on earth that still wants one of these BEAUTIFUL HANDLEBAR BAGS! Please good sirs - release them now!

idotel said...

wish they had a solution out there for Raleigh 26tpi.