22 April, 2009

Grumpy Post

Here are a few questions that regularly appear in my inbox. These particular questions bug me because I think folks should know better. And I'm feeling rather grumpy this rainy morning. So I thought I'd write a grumpy post.

Can you sell me a fork for my frame?

No; we don't make custom forks and using stock replacement forks on a frame is often a mistake, which is why we don't sell them. The frame's designer, presumably, sweated bullets to get the handling of your frame just so. Now you want to install a fork that has different trail and a different length. If you change the rake, you'll change the handling. Some folks understand the way that works, but most don't. If the fork legs are longer or shorter you'll change the slope of the top tube. I know I'm a perfectionist and you are free to disregard my advice because of it, but if you need a new fork get one from a local frame builder, a frame builder who can actually measure your frame.

I know you say that fenders need at least 8-10mm of clearance, but I really want to run 32mm tires in 36mm fenders; is that OK?

No! Never! If you don't have enough fender clearance, little twigs and pebbles will get caught between you fender and tire. At best this is an annoyance, at worst something will get jammed between the tire and fork crown, stopping the front wheel and sending you skidding face first along the pavement. Proper fender clearance is far more important that the current fad to jam the largest possible tire into every frame. Only those with the most sensitive behinds will be truly bothered by the difference in ride between a 28mm and 32mm tire, but most everyone will find having their nose planed off by rough pavement to be a major inconvenience.

Can I run 42mm Hetre tires with 52mm Zeppelin fenders?

Of course you can. Hetres are only 40mm wide in real life and 12mm of clearance is fine.

Do you still have any NOS (fill in some obscure part we sold three years ago)?

Sorry; everything we sell is on our web site. I have some funny ideas about business; one of them is that we actually sell things that we have in stock, down to the last one.

There. I feel better now ;<)

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grant? Is that you?

Greg said...

Haha, nice post.

By the way, do you have any NOS 36mm fenders that will fit a 32mm tire?

Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

Refreshing!

Bob Jones said...

you are arrogant and condescending. I have no reason to buy from you anymore. You must learn to kiss the donkey of every customer no matter what you may think of yourself.

KILROY said...

Greetings,
I admire your honesty and integrity. I may purchase an item from someone who will sells me something I don't really need, but mistakenly want. But I won't be a repeat customer.

baldsue said...

Yay! I'm not the only grump today!

cleve said...

Bob, Thank you for the best laugh I've had all week.

Donkey Kisser
Eugene, OR

Anonymous said...

so 'nose planing' is bad, but 'planing' is good?

Joel said...

Funny post, grumpy or not.

Having been lucky enough to pick up some of those swell NOS components you sold in the early days, I somewhat empathize with people who bug you about it.

In the end the customers need to realize that even in the day, bike fans recognized the value of Pelissier hubs, Ideale saddles, and TA everything. The odds of any such products sitting around new and unused decreases geometrically every year.

Anonymous said...

You really need to work on your grumpy, you'll never reach cable tv with a schtick like this.
Scott G.

clyde sdale said...

Are there any documented cases of tight fender clearance actually causing actual accidents, or is this just a theoretical issue like standover? If so, was it slicks or knobbies, on road or off?

If there are maybe I should stop running fenders with just enough room to spin the wheel, but it's hard to picture a road slick carrying anything big and solid enough to jam the wheel all the way around to the fork crown.

Anonymous said...

clyde sdale - This has been covered ad nauseum on various internet forums. Yes, there are documented cases. I have two friends whose front fenders were crumpled by small sticks: between them, one broken nose, two broken arms, and two trashed forks. In both cases it was a heavy duty steel touring fork. Neither was using break-away clips at the time; both now do.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Crashes happen when stuff gets caught in fenders. It's not theoretical. I've come very close on two occasions when sticks jammed between the fender and road tire. Both times I was on a trail with lots of leaves and sticks on the ground. It's probably much rarer on clean paved roads, but still...

I tighten the R-clips just enough to hold the stays, no more. That way the stay might pull out if something gets caught.

kilroy said...

I went over my handlebars when a rock or twig became lodged between my front wheel and fender. The fender folded in on itself and it ruined my night. This happened once, when I was younger and it won't happen again.....hopefully.

Anonymous said...

y'know, this stick in the fendir busyness is kinda like all those people who are always goin on t'me bout my drivin hammered, and all the "theoretically increased chances" of me havin an acidint. I never had no problem withit.

Joseph said...

Can you recommend a fork builder in the DC area?

Joseph said...

Also, is there a reason the blog appears in French?

Anonymous said...

Chris, I understand about the forks.
A few years back we needed a new fork
for our 1978 Mercian tandem, but
Mercian did not have the frame angles
and measurements on file, so I had
to carefully measure everything from
head angle to fork rake and trail
and email the info to Mercian.
I used a magnetic protractor to
measure head angle and plumb bobs to
help measure the rake and trail. It
took a fair amount of time and care
to do it right.
Preston

keithwwalker said...

poo.

I was all ready to brag about my tight fender line on my bike - 50mm tires and 52mm VO fenders!

Andy M-S said...

Sound effects:

Rass-a-frassa-#$!

Anonymous said...

maybe Cris is practicing to take over for the late Dr Gene Scott. Start the rant slow, show some beautiful background images, light up the cigar then, wham, dis those non believers into ordering all those things they really dont need. AKA, I like being in the cult and getting the products. our new 650b retro grouch tandem will be outfitted front to rear with many fine VO products such as cable pulleys, modernist cages, Ostrich bags, bell, decaleur, honjo fenders (50 on 42's - maybe I should run naked but the master says they are only 40 so okay.) Ranting is not the same as arrogant and condescending. Ranting is when you get it off your chest. Arrogant and Condescending is when you say "I am closing the blog and the store if you don't want what I have. Chris has every right to run the store any way he wants to and as far as I can see has gone way out of his way to find interesting, functional, oddball bits that Trekondalemongooseiant does not supply. So I can only say rant on Chris, it is your living room as some say, and say a polite thank you to those who do appreciate your efforts and endeavors. And I will make sure I have washed my donkey before I ask you to kiss it. what a show of love.

redcliffs said...

Personally, I think the tire/fender questions are especially silly -- your guidelines for fender sizing are very clearly spelled out, why would people wonder if you'd give a different answer when they ask "pretty please"?

In fairness, the fork point is very well taken, but not one I would have immediately thought of. Lots of people do sell forks independent of frames (though generally they are only custom builders or larger companies, so vendors dealing in different stuff than you).

I think you strike a very good balance between education and modesty, sharing your understanding of bikes and biking without preaching, something that Grant (that was a low blow, #1) often misses IMHO.

robatsu said...

A stick will get spun up into your fender if you ride over enough of them. It then jams against the stay, which bends, drawing the fender into the tire, which stops forward motion.

It isn't necessarily the stick getting jammed against the tire, but the stick jamming between the stay and tire, which then leverages the much more stout fender to act as a brake pad.

If you have a mud flap, this tends to increase the odds of this happening, as sticks/debris that otherwise would be ejected rearward by the tires motion bounce off of it and back into the tire, sort of a funnelling effect.

The odds also increase the faster you are going.

This isn't theorizing, but practical experience. As a result, I tend to avoid riding fast over patches of leaves as well, as therein lies the stick demon.

Not a major hassle, but basic bicycle safety and something everyone should be aware of if you are riding around with fenders, especially on woodsy trails w/lots of debris.

Ian Dickson said...

Chris, could you sell me a frame for my fork?

Anonymous said...

I believe I once emailed you about getting a fork. It is very difficult to find a good, steel replacement fork! In fact I never did find one. That frame is still forkless, hanging sadly in my shed, unusable.

Anonymous said...

will you build me a frame around my fork?

Anonymous said...

Lots of outfits sell forks without frames. *Lots* of them. It's just hard to find steel ones with 1" steer tubes. I thought maybe, given VO's excellent reputation for finding and selling hard-to-find bicycle parts, there was a chance y'all might be interested in selling some with 1" steer tubes. Sorry to ruin your day. It must be my knucklehead mountain bike experience making me so obtuse. Shoot, we swap mountain bike forks all the time, without crashing and bursting into flames, but that's just 'cause we don't know any better.

You seem to value the feedback you get from some of us, but don't want to have to wade through all the comments from us unwashed types to get to the stuff you want. Kind of hard to feel sorry for ya. This is the innernets, after all. I won't be bothering you with my comments any more, or any more orders. It's been fun. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

And another thing. I understand trail at least as well as most frame builders. I have lots of bikes, with lots of different trail numbers. I have determined that it is of little consequence to me exactly how much trail a given bike has. Pretty much all bikes have what can be described as medium trail. Really low and really high trail bikes are rare. Yes I can tell the difference, but it is not important to me.

Mountain bikers are well aware that putting a 5" travel fork on a bike designed for a 3" fork is usually a bad idea, and vice versa. Many of us understand why. Road bikes are very simple machines to an experienced mountain bike mechanic.

Le Cagot said...

Annon, So you're pissed because Chris won't make just any fork for for just any bike. And you know better. Trail doesn't matter? Mountain bikes can switch forks so that means rando bikes can to? You're unwashed? Okay. That all makes perfect sense.

david_nj said...

Anon, I kind of agree with you that subtle differences in rake etc. don't really matter on most road bikes. Granted, if you're racing in an audax race or Paris-Roubaix, it would matter quite a bit.

Anyhow, one place to get a 650b or 700c steel fork with a crown is Kogswell. Matthew the owner is a little spacey but he's a first-class guy. I don't think he really cares too much whether it's going on a Kogswell frame or not, if you ask nicely.

I think he's got 'em in both threaded and unthreaded, and you can choose from a couple of different rakes. They're just Taiwanese but they have a nice traditional crown.

At any rate, I swapped in one of their high-rake forks and it made a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I had a front fender crumple on me a year or two ago. It wasn't a tight clearance, either. It just happened. I wasn't hurt, somehow, but I knew as it happened I could be about to die. I didn't have breakaway clips, and never realized how crucial they are for safety. They really matter, folks.

another time I had a shoe go into the fork (long story), and I did go down hard and shattered the collarbone. These things happen if you spend a lot of time on a bike.

Anonymous said...

As Yehuda Moon would(n't) say: "Another reason why I don't ride with fenders".
As for the fork issue, what if you break a fork on an otherwise perfectly good steel frame, then what?

Anonymous said...

I'm not "pissed because Chris won't make a fork" for me. I come from an automotive background, with a lot of racing back in the day. I have made major modifications to cars and motorcycles that greatly improved their handling. I have been messing with bikes pretty seriously for twenty years now. I have consistently said that trail is not a big deal *to me.* When all this trail debate came up, I dusted off the math part of my mind and investigated. Made lots of measurements, read everything I could find on the matter, and so on. I understand steering and suspension geometry really well because I have designed my own. The fact that I asked a question about maybe getting a fork seems to have set Chris off. Fine. It's his blog, his store, his enterprise entirely. He certainly does not need me. I will say it is probably not a great idea to assume someone is clueless just because they say things you don't agree with.

Thanks, David, for the tip on the Kogswell fork. I have heard that before, and I've been to the site and played with the trail calculator a lot, but I have not seen any information about forks being available for sale. Maybe I will check into it.

I personally think the whole trail thing and the planing idea is in the "princess and the pea" realm, but of course most people reading this will decide I am an idiot for saying something like that.

Furious and Fast said...

And I was wondering which deep-v carbon fiber aero rims, carbon fiber spokes, carbon fiber seatpost, carbon fiber cranks, carbon fiber bottom bracket, carbon fiber headset, carbon fiber stem, carbon fiber pedals, carbon fiber bars, AND carbon fiber seat would look good with my butterfly-wing light carbon fiber frame and carbon fiber fork. Since this bike will be a 53 x 11 fixie, no brakes, derailers, or brains are needed.

Garth said...

I'm sympathetic to the gent desiring a fork. He was just asking, and as it turns out, he even knows what he's talking about.

Having been a person that needed to replace the crummy fork on my crummy threadless Jamis, I sympathize even more.

I'd also thought of Kogswell, particularly how you can choose between the three forks to achieve your desired ride.

Chris is aware of the ramifications of different forks, as should be the buyer, to avoid trouble. Apparently he's annoyed that most people who write him are not.

Here in Chicago I often see poor people riding old bicycles with forks bent very amazingly far back, like several inches. They don't ride very fast, but I think they probably (out of necessity) ride more than I do. Sometimes I also see bikes with the fork and handlebars turned around 180 degrees. This is to get the flipped up drop bars closer to the rider. They also usually ride pretty slowly.

Waterford sells nice custom forks for about $250.00, I think. Or Jitensha Studios.

Good Luck!
Garth

Ev said...

Oh no!!! A small business owner has irritations.

Big deal. Spend a day at your LBS and see if they don't say some of the same things. The only bike sellers that don't have personalities are Nashbar and Performance.

But good luck finding a decaleur, porteur rack, well-made Brooks alternative or Belleville bar over there ...

Chris Kulczycki said...

Anon, You must feel pretty damn self important. I get about 3 questions about forks per week. But you seem certain that I'm referring to your particular question. (Yet you won't even sign your comment.)

As I said, feel free to ignore my advice. VO won't sell replacement forks, but others will. Trail and proper handling may not be a big deal to you, but it is to us. We also won't sell carbon frames, toasters, handlebar streamers, umbrellas, suspension seat posts...

So please go buy a fork elsewhere. Obviously your mountain bike mechanic and automotive experience give you the knowledge to choose wisely.

Sheesh! It's no wonder I get grumpy.

Steve said...

Chris said:
So please go buy a fork elsewhere. Obviously your mountain bike mechanic and automotive experience give you the knowledge to choose wisely.

And in honor of the day, let me add this little amendment: "Get thee away, and take thy beagles with thee."

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robatsu. After all, one could argue that tight spacing between tire and fender could actually prevent larger objects (likely to cause bigger problems) from entering the fender well. The problem is not fender/tire spacing, but rather the fact of having a fender on the bike in the first place (especially over the front wheel). By the way, where does one find breakaway clips?

Anonymous said...

I am not a big fan anymore of the GP tone in blogs. VO can be a pleasant experience of the interpersonal civility of exchange in the best retail stores when communicating face-to-face.

This series of comments includes some of the more confrontational and personal comments I have seen--ones that are closer to the abrasive anonymity that seems the net norm. Perhaps that norm has an inevitable gravitational pull, but I enjoy VO's blog most for its norm subverting civility.

robatsu said...

Anonyme,

I wasn't arguing for tight fender clearances, just describing one common failure mode. I agree with the standard clearance prescriptions and having good clearance does prevent some problems, both large and minor.

But you do make a point that riding with a fender does increase some the risk of some hazards on a bike. OTOH, it may reduce others by reducing wear and tear on the bike, rider fatigue by being sprayed by water for 50 miles, etc.

These days, our society tends to go berzerk over the most minor of risks. This is no reason for most people to shun fenders, it isn't at the risk level of the first wave at Tarawa or anything.

Just avoid riding over road debris, and you'll be ok.

Linden said...

Chris,

Let me cast a vote for something that without a doubt you must have considered... get rid of the anonymous comment option. I want to say "Seriously, come on guys", but its never gonna stop.

I enjoy the opinions and reading the good and bad, but you owe nothing to someone who can't sign their name to their words.

Cheers and Thank you,

PL.

Joel said...

Garth:

Chicago is not yet Portland with a custom bike builder on every corner, but there are at least two that I can think of.

Chicago bike owners considering a new fork may be well advised to look one up and bring the bike by in person.

To Chris' point, a competent builder who can actually see the bike and rider will be in a better position to judge the appropriate angle and trail of the custom fork.

jamesmallon said...

So sorry I needed a new steel fork for my steel bike that came with a carbon fork. So sorry I wanted to throw more business your way; I have made several previous orders. So sorry I'd ask for parts you used to carry, because I thought I'd give you some money for them if, like other shops, you often had old things about the shop.

So sorry I've taken you out of my bookmarked shops, because your attitude to customers is too haughty to put up with.

Anonymous said...

I have not purchased anything from Peter White since he made a flaming ass of himself on the old Riv list. I was not involved, only a lurker, but it was disgusting. The list was shut down soon thereafter, and I suspect it was because that was preferable to kicking out a Riv dealer. Good luck!

Joel said...

Jamesmallon:

Still not buying your take on this.

As the blog entry says, Chris is not responding to a one off request. Rather he gets these all the times.

VO does not advertise forks for sale. Seems a stretch to expect someone just is willing to take on a whole line of business on the basis of an e-mail.

Likewise with the NOS. As I said above, I was lucky enough to get some NOS from VO back in the day. VO is a lot bigger operation than those days. Moreover, there is a lot less NOS stuff out there. As much as I like adding to my collection of vintage bike hardware, it never occurs to me that perhaps VO would be willing to surrender that piece they are harding if ask in just the right way.

It stands to reason a merchant will get annoyed at some point if people keep asking for items the merchant does not sell.

Joel said...

oops, meant to say hording.

Joel said...

"The list was shut down soon thereafter, and I suspect it was because that was preferable to kicking out a Riv dealer."

Interesting spin. To this day, the Riv site refers would be bike lighting customers to Peter White.

NatMc said...

Man, there's no question: get rid of the anonymous comment option. if you post anonymously, you are the poster child for cowardice. it's basically internet road rage: you honk, swear, then speed away before anyone can have anything even remotely resembling human contact with you. why would you even want to be any more anonymous than we already are in this computer-world we've created!

hats off to you grumpy Chris, not only do you reveal yourself, but you write your own, deeply felt opinions. even if people don't like them, it's a hell of a lot more transparency than they will ever get from any other company. i for one enjoy the commentary.

but seriously people: i'm stressing out about my fenders. can someone please explain exactly what these breakaway clips are and where i can get them? i've got planet bike freddy fenders on the bike now. i loosened up the stay-securing nuts as chris suggested so that hopefully the stays will pull out and let the fender move up and away from the tire in an emergency. I also thought to myself: that plastic brake-bridge bracket on the back fender might work on the front to be more likely to break than the metal bracket that is currently there. Maybe I can get another one of those?

Steve said...

Here's a picture of the SKS breakaway clip: http://www.sks-germany.com/images/product/rimg3/rimg3_Chromo3.jpg

Basically, it's a plastic wedge with a couple of holes for the fender stays and a hole for the screw attaching it to the fork eyelet. The stays are just stuck into the holes in the plastic wedge, and are held in by friction. If the fender is pulled backwards, the stays come out of the clip.

Probably the most use you'll make of such a thing is when mounting the bike on a roof rack of the type that has a long tray connecting the front and rear attachments. Fenders always interfere with those trays, and with a breakaway clip you can unhook the stays and pull the fender out of the way.

It won't work with metal fenders; on the other hand, you generally don't need them with metal fenders, since the fender is stiff enough to resist crumpling if a stick does get in there.

robatsu said...

I crumpled a Berthoud front fender - these are pretty stout - some years ago when one of those dreadful sticks flipped into the spokes, did a jamup against the stays and brought everything to a fairly abrupt halt.

The bike wasn't going anywhere without setting up an impromptu metal shop, beating/bending stuff back into place.

Although I've had a couple of incidents, I think the risk is overstated - I'm a lot more worried about getting creamed by a motor vehicle or wiping out on some surprise gravel/sand, and other hazards.

Nonetheless, there is probably a good case for some sort of quick release/breakaway device so long as it doesn't add lots of complexity, cost alot, substantially diminish the fender form/function, or introduce other failure modes.

Chris proposes not tightening clamps too hard. I'm ambivalent about this solution - I like any fender nuts/bolts to be firmly snugged down to prevent anything vibrating loose. Losing fender hardware on a ride is at best an annoyance and a suddenly loose fender flopping around could cause other more serious problems. I suppose if you run a stud from the inside of the eyelet and use nyloc nuts, that would work.

Another thing that helps is to try to set your fender clearance so that it does not decrease, if possible increases slightly, in the direction of wheel rotation. That way, if something is small enough to make it through the entry portal, it is less likely to become jammed and will tend to be swept out by the wheel rotation. This definitely reduces the incidence of irritating leaves/twigs, at a minimum.

One more recommendation is that if you are riding where you really depend on the bike to get you home, pack enough tools so that you can completely remove a mangled fender. Just a few small items that are generally useful elsewhere, might not need them for years, but pretty invaluable when you do.

The other credible fender failure mode is fatigue. During routine maintenance, it is worth giving your fenders a little scrutiny once in a while around the mounting points, see if any cracks are developing.

None of this is anything to get in a real lather about, but if you do a lot of unpaved riding probably warrants a little extra attention.

And I agree w/banning anonymous users and hats off to Chris to giving the public an unvarnished look inside the sausage factory.

As a closing thought on flame wars, one general principle that is often ignored by interwebs users is, "never argue with an idiot because people watching may not be able to tell the difference".

david_nj said...

Perhaps, if Rivendell refers people to Peter White for lights, VO could just refer people to some place for forks! Seems like a lot of grumping is revolving around forks.

Hey, can I totally hijack the thread and talk of happy things: since VO doesn't offer the Coast/bespoke randonneuse frames any more, I was thinking of having one made up by Jeff Lyon. Anyone have any experience there?

Garth said...

I like Jeff Lyon's website.

I was glad to see Chris get grumpy and did not take it personally.

James Mallon has a valid point, and quite frankly, I'd like to see a requirement that people use their names.

I order things for my ancient Volkswagen and will occasionally ask for certain unlisted parts. Sometimes they have them, or reference my in the correct direction.

Being a teacher, I certainly become annoyed with parents, but find it unprofessional to rant at them.

Sure, it's Chris's website, business, blog- or is it? Doe the tree falling in the forest make a noise if no one is there?

Everyone has a right to be grumpy every once in a while, but don't expect too many people to come to your party if it's a regular thing. (not saying it is...)

Thing is, people don't just buy stuff for the object, they buy stuff for the experience. So, I like to think of this whole thing as mutually participative. Which, I think is a big reason Chris started it.

I recently wrote Jon Peter White the twentieth an email and received a rather slightly curmudgeon response. I've yet to finish the order.

Let's get rid of anonymous posting and check the egos!

Garth

david_nj said...

Garth, agreed that JPW is curmudgeonly. Also, ordering things from his store is a major pain in the neck. Lastly, one time, I purchased a wheel from him; it tacoed on the first ride and he refused to stand behind it! That wasn't my favorite phone call.

I totally agree that it is the experience as much as the product. That even pertains to VO. Or so it seems to me. Some of the products that I adored have simply disappeared. It was fun that people could write in and basically have things custom made for them, like that fellow with the collar for his track bike. While initially I found it very sweet to join in the experience, I guess one inevitable price of growth is that it has become a bit more generic -- the products don't seem to stand nearly as far from the mainstream as they once did. I could be wrong; it's just a feeling. And I well understand that it is almost impossible to keep that feeling in a rapid growth environment.

Ian Dickson said...

In defense of PJW, it does say on his site that the telephone is the best way to place an order. I've ordered from them twice, by phone, and both times it was pleasant and very easy.

Joel said...

My experience with PJW have been quite positive.

PJW's is a small operation. PJW is the primary U.S. supplier for several high end German light companies, Pitlock, Tout bicycles, and a couple other items.

Along with individual customer orders, PJW handles local bike store orders, maintenance questions and warranty issues.

I guess he could Bike Nashbar and hire minimum wage internet correspondents to sell volume generic stuff. The minimum wage kids could give a swell 'buyer experience' (whatever the heck that is) but the buyer would just be getting junk everyone else has.

As it is, I appreciate the unique items he has sold to me, and the assistance he has provided my LBS with lighting and bike security issues.

I guess we would need details on the broken wheel, as PJW's site insists they come with a life time warranty.

Joel said...

"Some of the products that I adored have simply disappeared."

David: I have been here pretty much from the beginning.

The NOS stuff disappeared. Well within reason. The factories that made the NOS stuff are either closed or changed markedly since their glory days. How could VO get more when sources do not exist?

The Amish baskets are no more, but my understanding is the family that made them could no longer ship.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,

Sorry to hear about your grumpytimes.

I won't add to your vexations by asking for a fork. I understand why you do not want to sell them.

I was however wondering if you would think about just selling us the VO frames unpainted and without ANY braze-ons ? Then none of us oh-so-picky customers would get their panties all in a knot over such incredibly important details like the chainstay cable stop braze-ons, or the make-or-break / all-or-nothing decision-killing downtube stops and /or headtube extensions.

You could be like Cino Cinelli and tell everyone that braze-ons might potentially cause weak points on the frame. In order to satisfy everyone you could simply have a variety of clamp-on cable stops and guides made so that the BUYER can make all of the AGONIZINGLY difficult decisions such as full cable housing for the rear brake, or two cable stops.

Think about how much better this might work and how much it might improve the "customer experience".
It would also be easier for the factory and you because there would be less to go wrong with the fabrication. And just like back in the 1970's and 80's, when the customer takes her bike to eventually get re-painted THEN they can get any and all braze-ons done exactly as they want them. No more knotted up panties for VO customers, and you'll make a fortune on selling replacement decals and cable stops. Charge the same as a full painted and brazed-on one. Oh hell, charge MORE for giving them less - (J)IvyLeague Business Schools will fall all over themselves trying to award you an honarary MBA.

It's a big WIN-WIN for everyone !
Please cue up that old Devo song: "Freedom of Choice" in the background !

Anonymous said...

I posted this earlier:

"I believe I once emailed you about getting a fork. It is very difficult to find a good, steel replacement fork! In fact I never did find one. That frame is still forkless, hanging sadly in my shed, unusable."

I am not the same "Anon" who posted more about forks later, though I too understand geometric trail, rake, etc. I certainly have no ill feelings toward Chris for not selling just a fork by itself. In fact he was just one of many people I contacted at the time trying to find a decent fork, and I've bought plenty of products from VO since then and will continue to do so, with enthusiasm!

The original fork on this particular bike had an average trail measurement, but heaps of tire clearance at the crown. The aftermarket forks I found at the time all had very little clearance. Not only would this have prevented me from using the tires I wanted and fenders of any sort, but it would have also increased the already steep head angle even more. I should also add that I feel a high-rake fork would have likely improved the stability of this bike's handling, particularly with a handlebar bag which I had planned to use on it. Not matter though, because shortly after that I found a high end early 80s touring bike that worked out considerably nicer than the other bike would have. It even has a mere 38mm of trail. :D Although I do still have a decent frame longing for a nice fork hanging in my barn. ;)

-Ben

Steve said...

david_nj said:
Garth, agreed that JPW is curmudgeonly. Also, ordering things from his store is a major pain in the neck. Lastly, one time, I purchased a wheel from him; it tacoed on the first ride and he refused to stand behind it!
My experience couldn't be more different. I find Peter wonderful to deal with, and buying things from his store is as easy as buying from Velo Orange. I have two sets of wheels of his, both at around 10,000 mi and both perfect, never needed even the slightest touch of a spoke wrench.

What makes a wheel taco on the first ride?

Tom said...

get offa my lawn!

patrick said...

I'm not sure if this will make you grumpy, but until just a month ago you had the Basil Memphis Pannier's listed and I've been wanting to buy one.

Now they're gone and I'm not sure if it's a temporary shortage or if you're not going to carry them anymore.

If you've discontinued them then I'll buy them on the Web but I'd rather buy them from someone (relatively) local.

Thanks.