09 April, 2009

New Dyno Hubs, Skewers, Grips

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.

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.


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.

22 comments:

redcliffs said...

I feel like this came up at the time, but does the cam side have a steel face like the nut side?

Tom said...

The cam side does not have a steel face. Oddly, CPSC regulations require only one side of the skewer to be faced with steel.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Most of the torque is on the drive side. That's the side a skewer could slip on, not the on the cam side.

Gunnar Berg said...

The skewers look good. Not certain there will be much of a market- who knows. Do the grips age to coffee brown, or do they match the seat for, what, a week?

Anonymous said...

Oh good! I look forward to the highly charged opinions flying left and right...over QR SKEWERS.
mburdge

Tom said...

Like any grip, the surface will darken with use. Sweaty dirty hands.....

Anonymous said...

VO, thanks so much for making these products available. Great work on the hub - terrific to have a reasonably priced option in the field. Cheers. Tom Bonamici

robatsu said...

I'm hoping that one day you guys will start offering gum covers to go with quick release and shifter levers.

Anonymous said...

I like the pattern on the grips. Can I shellac the grips to keep them cleaner and to make them fit in with the overall "theme" of my precious ?

Raiyn said...

There's no debate, enclosed cam skewers are the standard. Exposed cams are for suckers.

Anonymous said...

Oui!

eBay # 190299163446

Anonymous said...

more great items. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Re. the skewers.
Would it be possible to re-cut the thread and shorten for use in 120mm rear spacing? Or is the threaded portion too hard?
Thanks

Robert said...

Similarly to the last anonymous,
I'm interested in shorter skewers-- seat collar length, actually. I have a folding bike (Xootr Swift) that relies on two QRs at the seatpost that have to be very tight, and open-cam skewers are a pain in the butt.

Can these be easily cut and threaded? If not, do you know of anyone who sells enclosed-cam QRs for seat tube collars?

Tom said...

there is enough thread to cut down the skewer for a 120mm spaced rear triangle.

I would not attempt to cut down our skewers to a seat binder length.
Internal cam seat binders toexist; kalloy is one name that comes to mind, but it's not going to be a low profile skewer. campag made some back in the day too.

Anonymous said...

The print on the internal cam skewer is a little disingenuous, since it makes it seem as though:

A) You guys are reintroducing the internal cam skewer, when they are widely available at any shop in the country from a variety of companies, not the least of which is Shimano.

B) That you did anything other than pick it out of a catalog. You no more made it than you made the dynamo hub on the same page, but unlike the hub, it lacks branding, so you just pretend like it's a "Velo Orange" skewer.

Anonymous said...

Chris, those frames look wonderful.

What about a full on tourer -- like the randonneur but with braze ons for racks and such? Paried with the Nitto racks it could be a thing of beauty....

Will

Anonymous said...

Annon, But VO sells Shimano skewers with their wheels. Most shops only have open cam skewers. That's probably why VO had these made. I like the small VO logo on the end.

DGT

david_nj said...

Anonyme. Chill, dude. I think we can all agree that they seem like a pretty decent design.

james said...

I won't buy a skewer unless Chris designed himself on a vintage drafting table in a draughty barn while listening to Django Rheinhard. Using recycled pencil stubs.

David said...

I noticed you've put holes in the QR handles. I assume those will align with the wheel-lock-braze-ons on the new V-O city frames. Will you be stocking tiny brass padlocks so we can lock our wheels?

Kidding.

jimmythefly said...

You might be kidding, but if I think I may be locking up for a quick bite of pie on a ride, I'll use that hole to zip-tie the skewers closed. (I currently do this with Shimano skewers). Sure, it's not a lock, but it'll make the casual druggie wheel thief pick someone else's wheel to nab.