A few new items have found their way to our warehouse. In fact we received 52 cases of parts from Taiwan this morning and our staff is still sorting through it, but here are the highlights.
We now have the Novatec dynamo hub I mentioned last July. Tom has been commuting with one since then and it has proven to be 100% reliable. These have a little more resistance than the Shimano or Son dyno hubs, but then they only cost $50. At this price they'll make a reasonably priced wheel for city bikes and commuters. Randonneurs and cyclo tourists on a budget will also find them attractive.
Like most dynamos, they generate 3w at 6V and so work with almost any dynamo headlight and taillight. They include a VO quick release skewer and wire with plug. 36-hole only.
Speaking of VO quick release skewers, those arrived as well. They are designed for 130-135mm rear spacing. As I wrote in January:
Signore Campagnolo got the design right the first time. His skewer had an internal cam that gripped well and was protected from dirt. But in the 1980s someone decided to "improve" his design by using an exposed cam. This made the skewers a few grams lighter and they looked more modern. But they required a larger cam that offered considerably less holding power when the same amount of force was used on the locking lever. Riders found that they sometimes slipped on bikes with horizontal dropouts or track ends. In addition the cam was exposed to road grime. Unfortunately exposed cam skewers have become the norm.We also have some new soft Kraton rubber grips. They have a basket weave pattern that we think looks nice on classic-style bars. The color was specially mixed for us to match Brooks honey saddles. They fit 22.2mm bars easily and 23.8mm (road sized) bars with a little effort.
So we decided to make reasonably light, well made, and inexpensive internal cam quick release skewer.... The acorn nut, the one without the lever, is alloy, but it has a chrome steel face pressed on for better grip and durability. It also has a nylon insert to prevent loosening. The other end also features an alloy housing, however the lever and cam are chromed steel so they won't break when you over-tighten them.