24 February, 2010

Velo Orange Cranksets

Now that you've seen the Grand Cru crank, I thought you might be interested in the less expensive VO models. These are all 110bcd, JIS taper, 5-10 speed compatible, and fairly modern in design. Note that the logos on these prototypes will be replaced with a VO crest. Also, there are a few extra little holes in the prototype chain rings that won't appear on the production version.


This first crank is our wide range Polyvalent crank. It has 46/30 rings and comes with a high polish alloy chain ring guard. Weight is 770g and q-factor is 158mm. The 46t ring is specially designed to shift properly in the middle position. A regular 46 outer ring won't work properly because it's spaced for outer position mounting. We're shooting for a price of around $100 for this model. These are already on order.


The triple has 48/38/28 rings, weighs 740g, and has a q-factor of 164mm. The finish is high polish as on the above crank. We may upgrade to super durable CNC-cut 7051-alloy rings similar to what's on the Alpina crank, but with an even nicer finish. The price will probably be around $130 with the upgraded rings.


This is the 48/34 double. It weighs about 675g and has a q-factor of 158mm. You'll notice that this crank is wicked shiny; it's chrome plated aluminum. The finish looks great and everyone who has seen it absolutely loves it.  But, to be honest, we are not sure how well it will wear, so we probably won't use it on the initial production run. If it holds up in testing we'll introduce it later. As with the triple, we may upgrade the rings. Price should be around $120.

Individual chain rings in various sizes will also be available separately.

Our goal here was to come up with good looking cold forged cranks that were reasonably priced, but with chain rings and hardware as durable as the best cranks made. How did we do?

43 comments:

Clarke White said...

Look nice! Will these be forged or cast?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Cold forged.

Kathryn Hall said...

Very beautiful and a welcome addition to the market. Chrome, though, is not acceptable - not in this world of ecological collapse.

Dave said...

Excellent-- now I don't have to trawl eBay for 110/74 touring cranks!

Can we see the view from the bottom? Is the spacing for the small ring on the triple part of the crank body (e.g. Mavic 637 and modern triples) or done with washers (e.g. old Deore, Shimano FC-B124, Sakae, Ritchey Logic, etc.)

Eddie said...

Has anyone had any success in making a chainguard-42-28 combo work on a road triple (130-74bcd). I'm currently running a chainguard-39-30 combo on a Suntour Superbe triple and it works a treat with a Deore LX front mech and Dura Ace bar end shifter. Chris' comments on a normal 46t not working well in the middle position have got me worried...

howtostretch said...

very nice! the shape of the area around the bolt/spider is cool, reminiscent of Campy without being a copy. Do these all take 110 JIS bbs?

Mark
howtostretch.com

Chris Kulczycki said...

107 or 110mm BB on the doubles and 116mm for the triple.

The triple's inner ring is mounted on forged bosses, not spacers.

They are now mounted in display cases for NAHBS, so no more photos until we return.

Justin said...

Very nice work. When do you expect to have each in stock? I'm ready!

Joshua said...

Man, I would love something like the first crankset style shown here (wide range double with the chain ring guard) combined with the sexy good looks of the Grand Cru crank!

rivromulus said...

The cranks look great, but the q-factor on the compact double is disappointing. For a short time several years back Campagnolo made a nice standard 110 BCD crank and q-factor under 146 with 48/34 then screwed it up by going to their incompatible 110/112 BCD and dropping the 48t chainring option. I do think the new Grand Cru crank coming this summer will be awesome though.

Dustin said...

These look great, but honestly, they don't add much to what I could already do using a Sugino triple and some nice TA rings. Cheaper I guess. I'm running that setup now using a 46-30 combo, and no ring in the outer position.

Why not make a nice 94/58 crank like the "Rebelle" cranks Gilles Berthoud used to sell? That is at least something the market isn't already offering.

Alas, too bad for me there isn't a Grad Cru crank with a Q in the mid-60s that my IT band will tolerate. At 200 grams lighter than these guys, it really looks like the hot ticket for randonneuring.

Tom said...

dustin- what crank (or bike) has a Q in the 60's? BB shells are 68mm.....

alex said...

The chrome looks nice. Given how much a crank arm flexes, I suspect that the chrome will crack and will provide a starting point for the aluminum to crack. Cranks are better off anodized.

Dustin said...

Tom-- Reading my comment and giving me the benefit of the assumption that I'm not mentally deranged, it seems safe to assume "60s" refers to 160s. :)

And let me tell you, a crank with a Q that was truly in the 060s would really wreak havoc with my IT band!

Cheers,

Dustin

Felkerino said...

Please offer the best rings possible, especially on the triple. The middle ring is so key to good shifting.

Also, please consider offering a few tandem sets with 175 captain arms and 170 stoker, among other sizes. Other than Sugino, there are no more affordable square taper tandem cranksets right now. I'd pay in advance to offset your costs.

Anonymous said...

Any chance in offering the Polyvalent crankset in a 48/34? I just love the idea of a chainguard, but think the chosen gearing is a bit too low. Sure, it's for a city bike but it would be nice to have options.

rperks said...

Beautiful, but I will second the cry for a 94/58 BCD. The competition fo rthe old Ritcheys is steep on ebay. Thank you fo ryour efforts

Chris Kulczycki said...

We hope to have them in early summer.

The chrome won't crack. The concern is that as it wears off the teeth it could flake.

Regarding 46t vs 48t rings. With a 46t and an 11-28 cassette, for example, I spin out at around 30mph. And I'm happy to stop peddling at 30mph, but maybe I'm just getting old. At the same time I can climb most hills without without shifting into the small ring, that's for mountains. For me, at least, 46t is the perfect size.

patates frites said...

What crank lengths? Tha usual 165, 170, 175 on all of them?

Ian Dickson said...

I would like to see lower gearing on the triple. You're putting two cranks on the market with 30t small rings, which isn't substantially different from the small 28t ring on the triple. Why not, say, 46/36/24?

Beautiful cranks, though. I'm really glad that they don't have a hidden arm, like the XD does.

No on chrome, for me.

alex said...

The chrome will crack. Chrome has over 3 times the modulus of elasticity of aluminum, and the exterior surface of the crank will be stressed the most. I suspect the chrome will be less than 1 mil thick, so the very thin chrome surface will be forced to carry much of the load applied to the crank, overstressing the material, causing it to crack.

There's a good reason nobody else does this.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen another one, but I do have an old Sugino crank that is chromed. The chrome has bubbled and is flaking. Not a good choice. Also, I think rings with beveled edges that aren't polished would be sharp. Otherwise they're kind of monochromatic-looking.

Nice cranks at a great price point.

Dan

Justin said...

Can I use the Polyvalent crank set without the chain guard? What would be the weight sans chain guard?

skvidal said...

I think I agree with Kathryn, polish them, but don't produce the chrome ones. The chroming process is a nasty for the environment.

Rex said...

I'm not smart enough to comment on the ratios and material details but I am thrilled to see more traditional looking square-tapered cranksets on the market. If I had the coin I would buy a few just to have around... keep it up VO!

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

When I first saw the touring crank, I thought I was it was a Campy model. The design is appealing. I'm still holding out for the Hearse spin off. With the gentle curves, it's hard to beat. Chrome "anything" leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Bicycles are by nature positive for the person and the environment. From what I am hearing, chrome production is like "DDT"-bad for the environment. It may appeal to our vanity, but then again doesn't any metal (aluminum, chrome moly, etc) carry a high pollution factor? Maybe we should live with "chrome in moderation". How about stainless steel as a chrome substitute?

Best regards

Fred Blasdel said...

Hell yes for the Crest Logo!

The Herse-style "VeloORANGE" is an alright logo, but the small lopsided "VO" is awful-looking, and since it's laser-engraved I can't easily remove it...

Could you use the crest logo on the 50.4 cranks too?

keithwwalker said...

Chris

A better question is whether the 'chrome' crank is a actually a chromate conversion coating, or a modified zinc coating. These may be more durable and less of an environmental impact.

yankee_dollar said...

Chris-these are great but I need a 45.3t and a 27.8t chainring set to fit my highly specialized emotional/physical consumer needs.

Tony said...

I am SO gettin' that double crank with the chain guard as soon as it's available! Great idea Chris! And to think I was going to try and ghetto rig one of my old Sugino cranks with a 74mm 32t ring.... sigh.

tony <--eagerly awaiting these cranks

Anonymous said...

Love the Grand Cru crank! I will probably order one this summer. These; not so much. They are too much like existing cranks: aero, rounded off bars of soap styling.
I would love to see more "squared-off' design cranks like the old Campy NR/SR, Mavic SSC, Sugino Mighty, T/A Tevano, etc, etc (more like the Grand Cru) in 110 and 130 sizes. -Tony

Anonymous said...

nice, but i think over half of society would be better off with something like a 36/24 double. I'm talking about loaded tourists, fairly serious recreational riders, commuters, "throw away your big chainring" randonneurs and casual cyclists who coast down hills and need low gears because they ride slow or have bad knees. these types use the big ring so infrequently that the weight, expense, high q-factor, and front shifting problems caused by having the big ring aren't worth the very limited benefits. TA pro vis 5 and grand cru are too expensive, 110 double rings are too big. most obvious solution is a 100/74 double--kind of a 110/74 triple with outer ring left off and the place for it ground away and the rhs arm moved in for a lower q factor. but would a 74 double be cheaper to make (would need 74 36-tooth outer rings)? probably would be a lot more useful for this as oe than aftermarket but that's typical anyway.

Tom said...

anon- it wouldn't be any cheaper- it's still a double. Chainrings wouldnt need to be re-invented, but the mods you are talking about would require new tooling for the crankarm, and that's where the cost comes in.

Ian Dickson said...

Isn't anon pretty much describing this crank (scroll down):

http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2009/03/taipei-cycle-show-update-3.html

The response to this one was generally negative, and I guess maybe you guys decided not to import it? I really like it, and I think its usefulness would win people over in the end.

Tom SVDP said...

On the net someone puts all of those olde English companies cranks side by side in pictures because they were so unique and indeed very distinguished. I don't know where that page is, but for example; http://www.jimlangley.net/ride/rudgecrank.jpg . I'd have to think those old cranks were chromed for at least some of those companies like Raleigh.

David said...

Will that 46t wide-range double ring be available on its own?

Joshua said...

@ Tom SVDP -

Those old cottered cranks where often steel, rather than aluminum. I'd imagine that would be better resistant to the stresses others have mentioned that would lead to cracking chrome, but I could be wrong. I've still only seen the arm, not the rings, chromed on the models I've encountered.

I have run across a few chromed rings on one-piece crank-arm ("Ashtabula") cranks, but these were all for fancy "low-rider" style bikes where a certain sense of style trumps all else, and which I'd imagine probably don't see the same sort of stress that a heavy-use bike would get.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Old chrome cranks were steel, not aluminum and chrome has better adhesion to steel. As I wrote before, cracking is not an issue. These cranks are very very stiff. What we worry about is flaking on the teeth, but only after considerable wear.

We will eventually sell the 46t rings as replacements. Folks will need them in time, but that won't be for some years.

David said...

Only tangentially related--in the "What's old is new" file--have you seen FSA's new MTB compact double, 40/27, with three-bolt chainrings, and outboard bearings? The styling is hardly what you'd call classic, but it's interesting nonetheless. Search for "FSA Afterburner 386".

ChrisW said...

This still isn't the 110/74 double that I was hoping for. The one shown from the Taipei show would be perfect for me:
http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2009/03/taipei-cycle-show-update-3.html
Where can I get that Sugino 110/74 with integrated axle?

I'm not into the old-school look, so the new Grand Cru crank is also of no interest.

Anonymous said...

They're very nice. I like the chrome version, but I would suspect the rings will probably flake around the teeth. Didn't have a great experience with Truvativ Rouleur, which a few years ago came with carbon arms and chromed rings.

Dale said...

I really love the VO cranks and wondered when the 48/34 will be available? I also wondered if they will have the shimano type pins and ramps that people talk about? I'm planning on some mountain climbing in September...can I get one in time...please?

Zarniwoop said...

The double with a chainguard scheme is what I used, a Gipiemme 144 triple and a Campag 222 cyclocross chainguard to make a shiny 52 36 combination