12 December, 2008

Community Component Ideas


One of the great things about this blog is getting ideas for products. Thank you! Several of the products we've decided to start stocking or making are a direct result of comment on this blog and e-mails from customers. For example:

  • We should have 17-degree VO stems in 2-3 months. I would not have guessed that so many folks wanted them. Quill stems are another matter and will take some serious research.
  • Minnihaha bags will be in stock at VO next week. These are fairly inexpensive cotton panniers and saddle bags with leather trim.
  • Tom has finished testing the economical dynamo hubs I wrote about some weeks ago and we have decided to put in an order for them. While they are not as nice as the more expensive SON and Shimano hubs, the VO community has convinced us that there is a need for a basic dynamo hub. We will have a quick release version in stock sometime this winter.
  • It seems that the VO French thread bottom brackets will actually be made.
This listening to customers idea is working out pretty well. I wonder if the big American auto companies should start blogs?

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

i will definitely buy a -17 vo stem. exactly what i am looking for. bravo

Anonymous said...

one question about the vo stem. is it safe for a carbon steer tube? i was using a nitto ui-5 and found the clamp are so sharp that it dug into my steer tube. my ritchey stem does not do this, but it is not attractive to me

Anonymous said...

The Minehaha bags are very nice for the money, nice products.

Like to see an economical dynamo hub as well.

patates frites said...

GM, Chrysler and Ford blogs? Yeah, I bet you they would do it...to give you the impression that they actually listen! :-)

BTW, the Minnehaha bags look great. And I can't wait to see this economical dynohub.

Terry said...

I am very excited about the dynamo hub. Seems like it will be a good fit short commutes and general city riding. Thanks for the good work.

Anonymous said...

Great news! I might start using VO stems and quill adapters instead of traditional quills. They're so convenient for stem and bar changes, and it seems I'm always changing things around.

Anonymous said...

I'm serious about this: we need an off-the-shelf dynohub-to-USB port adapter!
I rarely ride at night, but I'd love a way to keep my phone, ipod, and camera charged up while touring.

Tom said...

any electrical engineers want t o hack a prototype together for us? we will name it after you!

jimmythefly said...

I think the Auto companies get enough of the enthusiast community's comments through varoious clubs, websites, events, etc. I think that's closer to what VO commenters are -a community of enthusiasts. Thanks for listening, and for commenting on the behind-the-scenes stuff.

PS any movement on 29er/fatty 700c fenders? 60mm zeppelins, please!

rory said...

will you be stocking LED dynamo lights as well? I know planet bike has one on their website, but havent seen it locally. if you could do that light with a mount that would make it front rack-friendly, I'd buy one...

Lee said...

Ditto on the LED dynamo light. It would be nice to have an option for one with a capacitor so that the light will stay on during stops for red lights and stop signs. A city light for city riding.

Chris Kulczycki said...

We may stock a new Spanninga LED headlight called the "Luceo" that has a standlight. I saw it at Eurobike and it looked nice.

I'm not yet convinced there is demand for a 700c x 60mm fender, but we are looking into it.

Joshua said...

So, for suggesting the Minnihaha bags, do I get a free one? Huh? Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?

Anonymous said...

finally someone that ships to canada selling the minehaha bags! I can't wait!

Allan

lynnef said...

I'd like an economical dynamo hub 700C wheel hanging around the garage. How different are the connectors from the SON? Of course, the lights themselves cost a fair bit as well.

TwoWheels said...

Any more info on those french BB? Will they be cheaper than the Phil ones that I can't bring myself to buy? I've had good luck with the cheap Shimano UN 54 & 72 BBs on my commuting bikes and would love to see something similar in a French thread for my fixed gear Peugeot that is in serious need of a replacement.

Hal said...

Excellent news on the Minnehaha bags! I apologize for getting the country-of-origin wrong on my previous post about them.

Anonymous said...

Very much looking forward to the french thread BB

BG's Blog said...

It's been nice to see new chain guards styled after the old French ones. Today I was browsing the eBay for vintage bike parts and came across a bike that, although not a NOS 50's Cinelli, was still many a young boy's dream back in the day:

eBay item #290282386337

nv said...

Does this mean I'll see that inexpensive front rack I've been whining about in the near future?
;)
nv

minisystem said...

oh! i'm excited about the dynohub too! i want to build a winter beater, but dynamo lighting is essential for my winter commute and i always felt that dropping $100 on a shimano nexus or alfine hub seemed in contrast to the spirit of a beater.

with respect to USB charging, some students have knocked up a crude version: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Charge-Any-USB-Device-by-Riding-Your-Bike/

apparently, they'd never heard of dynohubs, but a bridge rectifier between a dynohub and a mintyboost should do the trick.

i spent quite a bit of time designing a dyno powered lithium ion battery charger for my wife's bike:

http://minisystem.blogspot.com/

minisystem said...

oh. i buggered up the first link. here it is in html:

link

Anonymous said...

Old steel Cinelli type quill stem please. I bet you would be able to sell a ton of these. Only way get a new one is to have one custom made at a very dear price.

Cheers

Ps photo link:
http://tinyurl.com/Steelcinellistem

nick said...

yay french bbs! and amen on the usb charger! possibly a ipod version? (maybe not necessary, but maybe a female usb port to plug your own proprietary cord into)

Anonymous said...

http://www.velostuf.com/cinellistembadgealluminum.jpg


"Old steel Cinelli type quill stem please. I bet you would be able to sell a ton of these. Only way get a new one is to have one custom made at a very dear price."

hey anon 15:32: I couldn't open your link. Does it look like the one above? I agree any sort of nice steel stem would sell a ton to go with the lugged steel bikes so beloved around here. I think it needs a slightly longer quill than the old track stems due to the more versatile use these stems are likely to see. But yeah.

m. white

Tex said...

That USB adaptor sounds like a great idea. In addition to charging phones and ipods and the like, some rechargeable headlights are now made to charge on a USB outlet, and a cheap LED light with four AA nicads in it would be easy to set up for charging during the day. I have a friend who is an endurance racer, and we have talked for years about using a dynamo hub to charge a helmet light during the day, then powering a standard headlight with it at night. I have considered cobbling something together for him, but it would not be user friendly even without fatigue factored in. The USB thing would make it clean and straightforward.

Anonymous said...

I really hope someone makes the USB thing happen! It seem most phones are USB chargeable these days, many cameras, almost all MP3 players, GPS units, etc.
That would be really handy.

K Matthias said...

Two thumbs up for French-threaded components!

waded said...

Chris, have you checkd out the new Planet Bike LD/Blaze Dynamo headlight?
http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3048.html
Attractive price and I've been pretty happy with most the PB stuff I've used.
I haven't seen any independent reviews but looks like a good match for your new dyno hub

bmike said...

check out the B&M ride and charge... works with the Ixon battery lights.

And there are 'instructables' for doing a USB charger for iPods and iPhones and such... do a search and homebrew one if you are adventurous.

I bought the Ixon and will pick up a ride and charge for next season's brevet. Ixon will be backup light and charging station. AAs will go into a camera or headlamp...

david_nj said...

The Planet Bike light is okay but it's unthinkable to mount a permanent light on your handlebars. Perhaps there's a way to have a different type of mount made up, so that it will fit onto the bike like a traditional dynamo headlight.

Tom said...

you guys are forgetting about the VO lowdown mount, and the new Paul comp. mount for lights.....

http://velo-orange.com/lowdolimoty1.html

Tom said...

anon 12/12 11:35- I'm gonna play it safe and say no. The VO stem, like any stem with the pinch bolts in parallel, are not going to be ideal. The pinch bolts draw the stem into the steerer and there is usu a sharp edge like you described.

lynnef- we should put photos of the hub up soon. we will take a couple shots of the connectors. They are different than the SON hub.They are closer to a shimano or sturmey type connector.
The connecting cable will NOT have a USB port on it!

All: French BBsets will sell for under $50. They will be available through your LBS as well as Velo Orange. The right side cup is permanently pressed on the hubshell. More details (and possibly photos) will be posted as we get closer to shipment.

Anonymous said...

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3561856/2007/11/13/cinelli_steel_100_nos.jpg

Or Try this link to see the photo:

http://43bikes.com/%7e/cinelli-web/firenze_stem.jpg


A classic steel quill stem would go very well with any steel lugged frame. I've looked and there virtually been no production of this type for years.

There beautiful & classic!

Having a production run oversea's or in the US should make the price desirable for many who have had it on there wish list.

A reprod. of the Sheriff hubs would also be good.

Cheers

QuickDraw said...

It would be cool if VO put out a version of the old Guidonnet brake levers. I'd buy a set or 2. seems like the cheap city bike levers could be adapted somehow.

Tom said...

quick draw- the VO city levers are quite long so they would adapt well with some creative readjustment.

Anonymous said...

dynamo powered USB charger exists. made in germany. 59 euros. english description here:

http://bla.obda.net/wordpress/?p=155