19 January, 2010

A Few Notes

A few new developments:

The effort to raise money for Haiti was fairly successful. VO sent off a check for over $2000 to Doctors Without Borders. Thanks for your help.

In case you hadn't noticed, prices for Japanese components and accessories are shooting up. This is due to the rising value of the Yen, or the falling dollar. As we, and other importers, deplete our existing stocks and re-order you'll see higher prices on Nitto, Honjo, MKS, and Sugino products. So it's a good time to be developing more products in Taiwan, like the bars and stems below.




The prototypes for these two new drop bars look great. One is a medium reach bar loosely based on the Phillippe Professional, but with a longer flat behind the hoods and slightly longer drop. The second is our own design for a randonneur bar that's based on the best traits of several French and Japanese randonneur bars I've owned.

We also have the new quill stem design that should go into production in a couple of months. It's fillet brazed and chrome plated. The one in the photo has too long an extension in back, but is otherwise the right shape. A 1-1/8" threadless fillet brazed stem will also be made. You may remember that we were developing a stem and we went through a couple of designs before settling on this one, but if it sells well we'll do another model like this one.

We've made a minor modification to the VO Course and VO Moderniste bottle cages. The tangs on the mounting plate are longer to allow use with bottle cage clamps for bikes that lack cage bosses, or to add a third cage.

22 comments:

rockandrollcannibal said...

You meant bottle cages right? It would be a strange development if VO were to get into the world of mixed martial arts at this stage.

Is that the prototype stem in the photo at top? And is that a hex bolt rather than recessed allen bolt?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Yes. Bottle cage ;<)

That's the stem. The production stem will have a recessed Allen bolt. The prototype has a cap over the bolt.

eflayer said...

the upjutting quill stem looks really good. is it less expensive to do chrome or the sort of polish on the nitto techno?

if you do the upjutting quill, nothing wrong with both the upward angle of the extension and an extra longish quill.

that one somehow is so much nicer looking than the old nitto dynamic. good luck, looking forward.

eflayer said...

make sure the bar clamp portion of those chromed stems is not so wide we won't be able to get it around the curves when installing on your new bars.

Anonymous said...

2 bolts on the bar clamp would make attaching a decaleur MUCH easier and more secure.

just a suggestion . . .

Steve said...

Will those quill stems have a long quill?

Anonymous said...

the randonneur bar looks extremely comfy, just looking at it makes me want to try it.

I like the stems in the older photo a little better than the new one with extra metal . . . still, thanks.

mw

Anonymous said...

Those bars look promising.
I hope they'll come in a good range of sizes.
I've never been able to get comfy on anything narrower than 46 cm.

Anonymous said...

Just hoping you can make a stem for those of us with older French bikes.

Burton said...

Thank you for directing a portion of your sales to Haiti. I appreciate businesses that act on values beyond the bottom line, and I'll often pay more for products from socially responsible companies, and local companies, and companies that don't chase the lowest costs to China.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The bars will come in three sizes.

The stem has a long quill, though not quite as long as a Technomic.

We probably won't make a French-sized stem since it's so easy to sand 0.1mm off a regular stem to make it fit a French bike.

philcycles said...

I'll take the Phillippe bar and the stem. Good going, Chris. they'll go great with the old style bike I'm building.
Phil Brown

Anonymous said...

I will almost certainly buy the level/17 degree stem. I have been looking for something like that for a long time - the cost of getting a custom one made is prohibitive.

bterzini said...

What is the reach on that rando bar? I've got a Noodle/177 now, but I'd be happier with less reach.

Anonymous said...

great that you will be making a traditional stem with no modern style rise , looking forward to it

C said...

If you're going to do a threadless stem be sure to also do matching spacers. I had one of the Nitto fillet threadless stems and it looked terrible when paired with regular aluminum spacers. Be nice to have matching steel spacers.

Anonymous said...

Good lookin' bars. Just three questions: how wide? How much? How soon?

Tom said...

46cm ctr to ctr is the widest.
We may need another round of samples; this will push back the delivery date.
We don't have solid pricing yet- we are still playing with prototypes and samples.

Anonymous said...

Great hb project. I hope the measurement is c-c at the hoods not the drops. The lovely Nitto rando' bars are 45 but that is at the drops. The tops are quite narrow.

Anonymous said...

I "third" the request for wide bars (at least the randos) -- 44, 46, 48cm. Hope that they're priced a fair bit lower than the hardened Nittos. Eyes peeled!

Anonymous said...

Ooops. You said that 46cm is the widest. Sounds good!

Anonymous said...

Any ETA on the bars? Waiting with baited breath...