12 January, 2009

Zeppelins

This is just a quick post to let you know that the lovely VO Zeppelin fenders are back in stock. These proved very popular and we ran out much faster than we had expected.

Originally available only is 650b size, we now have them in 700c/27" size too. And the new production run is pre-drilled so installation is much faster and simpler. They are 52mm wide and cover tires up to 44mm wide. Like our other fenders they are extra-long to provide more spray protection.

The 700c size will replace the 52mm smooth VO fenders . Those are now sale priced, should you want to save a few dollars.

By the way, I've been going through our inventory and found a few other items we are slightly overstocked on. So check out the specials section for some other good deals.

We've been looking into getting some super shiny, but very scratch resistant, VO alloy fenders. These use a new process that I won't say more about yet. They would be more expensive than our current models, but still less than Honjos. Samples are being made. The biggest problem is that we already have too many fender models.

42 comments:

Jack said...

I would love to order another set of the Zeppelin fenders until I noticed that they are "pre-drilled".

I also don't understand the point of this pre-drilling.

best regards,

Jack in Eugene, Oregon

Chris Kulczycki said...

The pre-drilled fenders fit almost all bikes perfectly and they save a lot of folks a lot of time. Many cyclists are simply not comfortable with drilling holes in their fenders.

Anonymous said...

I like the pre-drilling, since my drill holes never end up where I intended!
Where are they pre-drilled?
The only place I don't think pre-drilling is a good idea is at the rear brake bridge since the distance from the chainstay bridge can vary a lot between bikes.

Michael S said...

Chris,
One vote for the scratch-resistant polished alloy fenders to be smooth/non grooved 43 mm.

Do you have any photos/information about polishing up a set of the VO alloy fenders? Simichrome and patience?

Anonymous said...

I would prefer all metal fenders to be undrilled, but I've been working metal for decades. I would not mind just getting a coil of the shaped metal, and the nice hardware, and cutting the fenders to whatever length I chose.

Having said that, I bought a set of fluted Honjos from VO last year, and they are beautiful. I groused a bit about the pre-drilling, but I could not help noticing that it only took about half as long to install them as it would an undrilled set. They are fiddly enough without having to make sure the holes are correctly placed, and if pre-drilling gets more people to buy metal fenders, then that's great.

I do like those zeppelins! Let's see, there's still a bike or two around here that don't have fenders...

Tom said...

Simichrome does a wonderful job of polishing up un anodized alloy fenders. They even brighten up Honjos to a mirror finish. there's probably other products out there, (nevr dull, auto, boast, marine polishing and buffing compounds, etc) but that's what we sell. It takes some patience, maybe while watching your brother in laws watch the stupor bowl.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Since these fenders use a sliding bracket at the brake bridge, the rear fender is drilled only at the chain stay bridge and for the stay eye bolt. That way they fit perfectly no matter what the chain stay bridge to brake bridge distance is. the front fender only has two attachment points so fit is not an issue.

I think that undrilled fenders are really needed only if you want to run the front fender far forward and mount a light on it. Or if you have a very strange frame.

Jack said...

>I think that undrilled fenders are >really needed only if you want to >run the front fender far forward
>and mount a light on it. Or if you >have a very strange frame.

Or if you want to use two eye-bolts to attach the stays to the bottom of the fender instead of one...

Chris Kulczycki said...

Jack, we made the aluminum in VO fenders a little thicker so two bolts wouldn't be needed. And the fenders are a bit more dent resistant.

john k novack said...

the dent thing is what has kept me in plastic land. but my shopping cart is loaded, and i think they'll look great on m. bleriot.

Melvin DeGaulle said...

For all the crybaby fender puristes out there that are going to whine on ad nauseum about every tiny detail (and not just of the fenders . . .),
you can always put a simple pop-rivet into the existing holes and then re-drill them to your effete heart's content.

Oh, but then what will you be able to endlessly nit-pick about ??

I'm sure you'll find something.

Anonymous said...

Did he say "pop rivet?" How gauche! Might as well use zip ties. Or rusty baling wire.

Anonymous said...

also can you imagine the horror of having an extra hole in your fender? might as well throw the damn thing away!

mw

patates frites said...

Hey! What's duct tape for? Sheesh...

Tom said...

In France, it is referred to le canard du 3M

jimmythefly said...

I like the pre-drilled, but I see the point of those asking for undrilled. Glad to know there are people out there who pay attention to these kinds of details, even if I'm not one of them (at least when it comes to bikes).

patates frites said...

la bande auto-adhésive du canard c'est magnifique pour ceci.

Dedrot said...

I will order my next set of Honjos from the place that sells the one-hole rear mount because it will be easier and allow the nut to be further from the tire.

For polishing, try Mothers Aluminum paste, available at auto parts stores. I've been using it on my motosickle, and have been super impressed. It might also be more economical. I wouldn't recommend the buffing ball, though, as it can burn holes through rather quickly...

Steve Fuller said...

I bought my first set of metal fenders this year (VO fluted), and they came undrilled. While I understand why people want predrilled fenders (quick install, perfect alignment, etc etc), I personally enjoyed the process of getting the fenders exactly where I wanted them, drilling them, and then mounting them up. My only regret was not getting a fork crown daruma for mounting the front fender. That said, my guess is that VO will sell more fenders now that they are predrilled.

Anonymous said...

Do the VO fenders not come with a fork Daruma? I wish I'd known that when placing my order!
They say all hardware is included, what exactly does that mean?

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts of offering a version with a lead-finish?

Anonymous said...

Do you have any plans to offer these undrilled also? How about a wider 650b fender also, I think that would be a hit with the Hetre owners, esp if undrilled. How about Stainless 650b fenders in wider widths?

Anonymous said...

Yes! 60mm fenders would be perfect with my Hetres, do it Chris!

Chris Kulczycki said...

Did you read that last sentence about too many fender models already?

Actually 52mm fenders fit over Hertes nicely. We have tried that combination on a shop bike.

And I don't think Hetres will remain popular. They were cool for a while, but then they just felt like I was riding a beach cruiser. Wider tires are good, but as in all things moderation is the key.

Anonymous said...

get it--lead? Zeppelin? not funny?

Anonymous said...

No.

Anonymous said...

"And I don't think Hetres will remain popular. They were cool for a while, but then they just felt like I was riding a beach cruiser."

Now you've gone and done it. Prepare for a nerd attack.

Fred Zeppelin said...

Kind of funny.

Anonymous said...

It seems a lot of people are having bikes built around the Hetre tire, myself included, and we need fenders badly! I think it will be popular for a good while. 52mm will work, but 57-58 would be ideal. I bet if you made a 58mm 650B fender, it would sell out pretty quickly. The Honjo 58mm model seems to be vaporware.
Yours is the first report I've heard of someone not caring for the Hetres. They're my tire of choice, even for go-fast road rides. I'll ride my stash of Trimlines til they wear out, but then it will be the Hetre for all my bikes that will fit them. Unless something even more fabulous comes out. Speaking of wide tires, I'd love to see a true 50+mm 650B baloon tire!

Andrew said...

I've done over 5000km on a pair of Hetres so far, and I'm still in love with them.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Why not a 70mm wide 650b tire? Or a 90mm? Or even 100mm? ;-)

Many like the Herte tires. But I happen to think that a tire around 36-38mm is ideal for 650b. For 700c is it's 28-32mm. This is for riding on American paved back roads, which are, admittedly, not as smooth as those in Western Europe. That's just my opinion; feel free to have your own. Just please don't drink the "wider is always better" Kool-Aid; try various tires and see what you like.

If everyone like the same things we wouldn't need to stock 15 different fender models and my job would be much simpler.

Anonymous said...

funny . . . there is definitely right now a trend toward a kind of "practical" bike with wide tires, lots of bags and racks . . . which stay on the bike for a while till the rider realizes, hey, do I really need all this stuff? for myself, I have to admit I just love all thus stuff, bags especially, but have some I've only used once or twice. Some of my bags taunt me.

mw

Anonymous said...

Chris,
have you reached your 'Madone-tipping point,' where you say 'ahhhh,' and remember why most bike brands veer toward uniformity? Will we now start to see price point be the sole distinguisher between VO products?
mb

Anonymous said...

I don't think wider is better indefinitely, but I'd like to see a 50-55mm 650B slick tire for use on the 650B Mountain frames that are available. (Bombadil, Rawland for example)
Not for randonneuring or general road riding, but more for a cruiser type bike.
Something like the Schwalbe Fat Frank, but in 584bsd.

Gino Zahnd said...

I would love to see a high quality 35-38mm 650B tire. Right now, that's the big gap. I run the CDLV because it's about the only tire in that neighborhood.

A 36mm Hetre... now you're talking. And, there are so many Salukis and Kogswells out there ripe for that size.

Jack Fortune said...

Is there any word on the Grand Bois Oursons? Same tread as CDV, but different casing.

Jack in Eugene

Jim G said...

"For 700c is it's 28-32mm."

I've really enjoyed riding my bike fitted with 700x35 Paselas both on paved roads and on dirt/gravel roads. The extra grip and cushion those tires provide on pavement is amazing, and the extra volume is appreciated off-road.

I recently switched my bike to 700x32 Paselas and while those are lighter, they do not offer the same great ride of the 35s.

There is a discussion on the iBOB list that parallels this topic: http://tinyurl.com/7nnmtw

Anonymous said...

I know Chris rides the C&O canal, he's got a picture on his home page. I can tell you from experience that 50mm tires are sooo much better than 35mm tires on the C&O. Fatter is better!

Mid volume (32-28) tires don't always make sense to me. The typical club road rides are on smooth enough roads that the 28mm tires are just fine by me. But when I get on dirt roads or the C&O, 50mm tires are vastly superior. I guess if I were to do a S24O up the WO&D (very nicely paved) and back on the C&O (dirt) I might want to run a tire that was faster on pavement and adequate on dirt like the Col d vie.... Naaaa, I'd just go with the slick 2" on my Atlantis. Smooth on dirt and adequate on pavement.

Anonymous said...

above I meant mid volume is 32-38mm true width.

Dave Johnston

Carl Magruder said...

For me the issue with pre-drilled fenders is: where is the front fender stay hole? I like to put it very low, so that the fender is stabilized at the end, near where the heavy leather mudflap may waggle it, and below the point closest to my toe, so that I don't have toeverlap right at the fender stay--a formula for disaster. That said, I can put a piece of duct tape inside the fender over the pre-drilled hole and drill my own just fine, thank you. Love the Zeppelins.

Anonymous said...

Is ther a chance that we will see a fender in this size, 70 x 50 or 52, with Hammered finish?

john k novack said...

just installed the 650 zeppelins on my bleriot. a couple of hours of pleasant work, and man, they fit great! solid as a rock, way less wiggle and shake than the planet bikes that they replaced, i never noticed that the plastic fenders were less than solid until now. and the look is so fine. you really have to see them in person.i thought the leather washers would be included, as the site says that they are essential, and the fender description says that all hardware is included. so i made some from a wine cork. good to go!