02 February, 2010

Picture Day


George rides a semi-custom VO Randonneur, so when he wanted a city/commuter bike he naturally got a VO Polyvalent. He writes:
I thought you might be interested in some photos of the Polyvalent build I recently finished up.  It's a complete black and silver motif with a combination of old and new components.  The bike is intended for commuting, errand running, and social rides.  So far, I've really enjoyed the bike.  The ride is stable and the low pressure tires really smooth out the bumps.

 

  

  

 I like these panniers that Kyle found. They are Swiss army surplus and look neat on his prototype Polyvalent. I understand they can sometimes be found at army surplus stores.



Finally, there is a nice review of the VO Campagne handlebar bag on the Bertin Classic Cycles blog. The rest of the blog is well worth reading too. Check out this, rather dark, photo of a Bertin Porteur Parisian.

19 comments:

WCrawford said...

I'd be careful of those panniers. I was using one for a while without much weight in it and the loop popped out, sending the pannier into my wheel. The loop was only attached with a small amount of light weight tacking.

Supposedly these bags were for soldiers to carry their bread, so maybe they were not designed to bear much weight at all.

Theron said...

Any word on the new VO Panniers? It's approaching the 5 months mark!

Chris Kulczycki said...

It may be five more months on the VO panniers, maybe much longer. We want them really right and so we are trying different hardware and making various other design changes. And each round of prototypes takes about two months. Sometimes we hit it after one or two rounds; other times we may go through five sets of prototypes. Then it takes 3-4 months to order materials and produce the first run. The fabric is made specially for us and the leather is tanned the way we want it only when we order order it. It all takes time, a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

any update on the beautiful gloves we saw a while back? I keep coming to the site hoping to see the eventual "here they are" post.

Allan

Gunnar Berg said...

Taillights? Very nice.

Anonymous said...

Ah, ye olde Swiss military surplus bread bag. You can find them from surplus shops and on ebay, $5 is the going rate though sometimes they go up to 6 or 7.

I've had mine for 12 years now. They're a bit weird as panniers as they're waterproof on the outside but not on the inside -- you can turn them the other way but you'd have to take them off to get at anything. I would agree that they should not be used to carry any real weight, they'd be fine for clothing and lunch but the design and fasteners aren't made for heavy loads -- and I say this as someone who has loaded mine down quite excessively over the years and sewn it back together many times as a result. It won't work as a saddle bag without a rack or some modification, it hangs too low. You could certainly work out other ways to mount it as a saddlebag, though all might need a support.

Honestly, I wouldn't tell anyone to buy one and expect to use it as a bike bag, it's a decent small and mostly waterproof shoulder bag but if I had enough stuff in it or was going far enough that I wouldn't want to ride with the weight on my shoulder I would reach for something tougher and more bike-specific. When all it has in it is a windbreaker, a camera, and a couple of apples, I'm happy to just have it on my shoulder for a couple of miles and not have to fiddle with attaching and detaching it from the bike.

Jason Perry said...

I'm with Gunnar: Panniers shmanniers, where can I get those jet-pack taillights?

skvidal said...

hmm - stem shifters. How interesting. Does anyone make shifter mounts that fit on threadless spacers?

Perry said...

Jason-

Soma makes those taillights, I've seen them at shops before for around $40.

Anonymous said...

Soma Silver Bullet
http://www.somafab.com/bulletlight.html

Anonymous said...

Stem shifters! ... not just any stem shifters but Suntour power ratchet.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2198/2215383403_50f3a03e13.jpg&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/philipwilliamson/2215383403/&usg=__LToAglpv9hIgt9svI0FQE_96MPQ=&h=375&w=500&sz=104&hl=en&start=60&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=7iqKJ_zS4ed4KM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsuntour%2Bpower%2Bratchet%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26start%3D54%26um%3D1

(not my pic).

Chris Kulczycki said...

I saw a very high quality prototype stem shifter mount when I was last in Taiwan. We're hoping the manufacturer finishes up the project and sells us some. They will accept any type of modern down tube shifters, even indexed.

Anonymous said...

I just had a mental picture of a racy fast bike with Dura Ace dt shifters on a stem mount. That would really be fun in a subversive and completely effective way.

mw

William said...

Ahearne has a stem with downtube shifter bosses brazed on it, so you can put any downtube shifter on the stem. Super clean.

I'm sad to hear those are taillights on that PV. I thought they were antimatter rocket boosters!

Uncle Ankle said...

I prefer thumb shifters to stem shifters for a variety of reasons:

1: They let you shift without taking your hands off the bars.

2: They are a less menacing presence, groin-wise.

3: When pushing a bike one-handedly, the stem is the best place to hold it. Unless it has stem shifters, that is.

I think there is room for improvement in the current Paul thumbies though:

1. I'd put the shifters under the bars. Without flipping front/rear shifting.

2. The cables should exit the shifters in such a way that you can mount them closer together, almost flush with the stem, without using v-brake noodles or somesuch kludgie. Which just almost works.

Anonymous said...

How much she weigh ?

Anonymous said...

This is such a nice bike, but the flat black color is plain depressing. Was it a mistake or deliberate?

Grey said...

I am interested in the VO panniers when they come in. I will watch your site in anticipation.

They will be perfect I am sure.

Anonymous said...

cool bike. does anyone know what crankset/chainrings are on it?