09 March, 2010

Back to Taipei

Tom and I will be attending the Taipei International Cycle Show next week The following week we'll be visiting factories that make VO parts. I think this trip marks a sort of transition for Velo Orange.

Velo Orange has offered a wide variety of components and accessories that I though were needed by cyclists. Some of these have proven very popular, others have sold only modestly. We are now at the point where we have a rather large crop of successful products. This means that we'll start fewer new projects this year and concentrate more on refining, and promoting our current offerings. And we'll discontinue some items that have not done as well. I feel like we're beginning a transition from start-up mode to long-term operational model.

I also don't foresee entering new products categories in the near future. You won't see VO lights or apparel or tires soon, but you may well in a year or three. This doesn't mean we'll stop working on new products, just cut back a bit. Here are a few of the things we're currently working on:

  • Cranks, as discussed in previous posts
  • Another seat post
  • Two more saddles
  • Quill stems
  • Camping/touring racks
  • Several new bags
  • Another frame or two for next year
  • Maxi-Orange hubs
  • There are also a bunch of finished projects that are ready, or almost ready, for production that you'll see over the next few months
    With all this in mind, what other items you'd like to see VO produce? And what products should we look for at the Taipei show?

    146 comments:

    Ian Dickson said...

    Rubber slap guards. Have you had any luck with that yet?

    Anonymous said...

    I really liked the lights that you show attached to the rack at the top of the page in the link below. Why don't you sell them or did you stop for some reason?

    http://www.velo-orange.com/batterylights.html

    Additionally, there is a thread over in BF where members are interested in double eyelets for VO fenders. Other than that, I have found them to be easily the equal of the Honjo fenders that I've bought.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm always looking for the "perfect" handlebar, which would be an extreme flare randonneur bar that is not so extreme in it's flare as the dirt drop type bars which put the hoods at an awkward angle for riding on. For this year, I'll be buying another Nitto Randonneur, but that's still only a good enough bar, quite a perfect bar.

    My second request would be some extra ring sizes for that delicious Grand Cru crank. 46 may be the perfect main ring, but 44 would be a nice option, and as for a granny ring, I think 28 is the magic number, as it would permit me to use a nice tight 11-26 cassette for most applications and only use the 11-28 for hilly areas.

    Finally, in the realm of pure fantasy, how about an internal gear hub with 8, 9 or 10 speeds that is reasonably light (much lighter than the Rohloff) and applicable to either a fast porteur/commuter build or a unique randonneur build. The key is to make the jumps more even than the Alfine, but to offer bar-end shifters and integrated brifters. Yeah, I know that's a bit of a stretch for little old VO, yet still I dream someone will augment the current choices.

    -Paul

    John Price said...

    Not a component, but you've shown a photo of a pair of riding gloves that look perfect to me. I'd love to see those offered soon.

    Especially if the price is lower than that of, say, Rapha's (not hard to do I should think).

    Hopefully you've not discontinued that project.

    Pierce said...

    I think I read something about this on the VO twitter but I don't even know how to use twitter to respond... anyway he was asking if you should carry that little spring that attaches the fork to the down tube, to prevent the front load from swinging around. I hope you do since I'd like one but the only online retailers carrying it are out of the UK.

    Darrell G said...

    I'd like to see a rando-type frame suitable for 700x32 tires WITH fenders. Either extra-long reach calipers for cantis.

    Also, how about a nice orange color for the Rando and Polyvalent?

    dr2chase said...

    @Anonymous Paul -

    I'm a little ignorant of the weight issues, but the SRAM 9 has relatively even steps, and Shimano has announced (and demo'd) an oil-filled 11-speed hub for later this year. Neither does brifters or bar-ends that I know of. I've put about 2000 miles on my SRAM, just this weekend repacked the bearings (the user-serviceable ones) and it generally looked clean and well-sealed. I cannot see how Spinal Tap fans will be able to resist the new Shimano Hub.

    I was wondering, what about stylish LED mounts? This is sort of an I-want item, not sure how well it sells in general, but it is not too hard to build your own circuit for running LEDs from a dynamo hub, and there's a boatload of power to be had. The problem is that the LEDs end up glued to bits of aluminum plate, with an acrylic lens glued onto that. Functional (the epoxy makes for good waterproofing, the acrylic lenses work fine too) but kinda homely. Even if the resulting light just used the same lenses, it could be better. So, a cute little light mount for LEDs, with some ability to tinker with the aiming, that would be nice.

    Mile High Mark said...

    How about non-sleeved drop handlebars? I much prefer bulge-butted 'bars, and finding comfortable ones in silver is pretty difficult.

    fmackay said...

    Can you let us know what will be discontinued? There are several items I intend to order, but have been holding off until other products arrive (a perennial problem with VO, always something desirable just round the corner) and I wouldn't want to miss out.

    Pierce - I'm also in the UK and I've had no problems buying fork stabilisers and other things like that from German online bike shops - anything utility-cycling related tends to be much cheaper.

    Rex said...

    I'm not arbitrarily being a suck-up, but I continue to be amazed at VO's product offerings. It gives me hope that I will be able to spec out the kind of bikes I want for years to come. Keep up the good work.

    I also have to agree with Darrell. A PolyValent in orange... very tasty.

    c.a.ricco said...

    I'll take a set of Maxi Orange hubs, just on namesake alone!

    Andy Reed said...

    the products you all invent are wonderful - filling a new need or replacing parts that are not otherwise available or affordable. my request to you when you go to the show is please, resist the urge to put your sticker on products that other people are already making. one example that is fairly obvious is the vo track pedals. they are literally the same pedal that SOMA and ALL CITY and a few other brands put their sticker on it. I think having products like that really dilutes your brand integrity and just clutters the market. keep doing what you are good at, please refrain from doing what everyone else is doing.
    thanks!

    c.a.ricco said...

    I'll take a set of Maxi Orange hubs, just on namesake alone!

    Anonymous said...

    a front battery led light for Raleigh 3 speed front lamp brackets--the ones that originally carried carbide lamps. something retro looking like the old sturmey-archers not required--maybe just a bracket that will attach in place of a mount on an existing light. metal or plastic?

    tig welded quality kids frames in a number of sizes. the kids bikes available weigh a ton & the kids can't keep up.

    floor pump hose that screws onto the valve stem so it doesn't leak or fly off once the gasket has worn a bit.

    Anonymous said...

    It would be nice if there could be a bit more elaboration on the Maxi Orange hubs , High flange , cassette :) ?

    Anonymous said...

    Any of the quill stem offerings have a removable or hinged faceplate? I know that there are perennial problems with those designs (e.g. cracking at the hinge, Salsa's mass recall), but the offerings from Profile Designs and others are just ugly. Nitto never made one (maybe for a reason?), but if V-O can produce a good quill that allows for handlebar swaps, then you've got my order.

    Anonymous said...

    Can I join the chorus (no pun intended) of those who are interested, even tantalised, by the prospect of "Maxi Orange hubs" - est-ce que vous pourriez nous donner un peu plus d'information?

    Tom from London

    Tony said...

    Hi guys,
    I've been thinking of a couple of things that I'd really like, and will mention the ones that I think many others would have use for.

    BAR TAPE -- the cloth tape is really nice an all but I haven't been that much of a fan because it doesn't have the padding I like. And, I'm not really into the puttin' gel pads underneath. It would be nice to get some real, non synthetic, cork tape. Plus, it'd look really cool to have some natural cork colored tap with the stamped VO symbol (I'd buy that over Cinelli).

    HANDLE BARS -- I'd love to see a moustache bar. I find myself picking up more VO products and using less Nitto. While I love Nitto, I think the new VO stuff is just as durable, looks good, and is priced very competitively. I'm not saying I dislike Nitto....it'd just be nice to have some other gorgeous VO alternatives especially since Nitto prices are going up next year.

    BAGS -- It'd be nice to have a small front rack bag in olive, tan, blue, or gray. I know the black canvas and honey leather are a VO thing, but they deter me from purchasing them because I like more subdued colors. No disrespect to the current offerings. Of course, you guys are already working on panniers, and some of the other front rack bags, so bravo to that. I'd just really like to see some other colors.

    TOE STRAPS -- any chance in getting white? any chance in getting a double strap like the Toshis? While I'm not sure if either of these would sell that well, I imagine a number of people would like them.


    OTHER ITEMS -- wider 700c tires would be awesome. derailleurs (front and rear) would be nice. gray cable housing. maybe you could source some nice silver frame pumps (don't really care for the black/silver Park pump you guys have listed).

    Other than that, I think you guys are great. I'll definitely continue to purchase items from VO in the future. Have fun in Taipei.

    tony

    Anonymous said...

    Vote for a nice pair of riding gloves and agree with Paul's suggestion for what he describes as the "perfect" handlebar.

    Thanks,
    Jack

    Mark said...

    I will kind of third the rando frame request. I say kind of since I think it needs clearance for 700x37mm tires with fenders, and horizontal dropouts, to enable hub gear usage.

    I will also second the LED light mounts request. Thankfully there are a whole bunch of decent quality, affordable, and bright LED flashlights, but a real dearth of quality, not to mention classy, mounts for them. Preferably a mount should NOT have a quick release, as some people actually lock their bikes up at their destination...

    Not from Taipei, but maybe you should carry Wald handlebars, and even take some pictures of them. They are cheap, stylish, and take reverse levers and/or bar end shifters. If they are good enough for ANT bikes, they are good enough for anyone. Info and/or pictures of them are hard to come by, and not very many places carry them.

    A classy reverse lever that allows the use of a bar end shifter.

    Fibrax brake pads with the leather insert. The kind that allow one to actually use steel rims when wet. There are a lot of classic and classy bikes out there with steel rims.

    Le Cagot said...

    A bike that took 37mm tires and had horizontal drops would not be a rando bike, at least not a good one. The constructeurs built rando bikes around 28mm tires with vertical drops because they found, after 50 years of development, that that is exactly what works best for a fast and comfortable long distance road bike. VO is wise to follow their example.

    dr2chase said...

    re: Le Cagot, and rando bikes.

    In 50 years, materials have changed. We didn't have kevlar 50 years ago. There are 60mm 60psi tires with lower rolling resistance than 28mm 120psi tires -- I know, because I've measured my very own self. Weight and air resistance matter too, but what inspired me to measure, was noticing that I was consistently arriving a few minutes earlier riding on giant fat tires, contrary to everything I had ever heard of about bicycle tires.

    This made me somewhat more skeptical of tradition. Unless you measure, you don't really know.

    nordic_68 said...

    Grand Cru 9-speed rear derailleur compatible with Shimano cassettes and bar ends.

    Yann G.S. said...

    in the direction of refining existing products, could you look at making larger frames... upto 68cm

    Chris Kulczycki said...

    dr2chase,

    The hand made tires of the 1960s and 1970s were superior to anything made today in rolling resistance. They also often used a sew-ups which were better still. Modern 22mm tires are too narrow, but modern 37mm are two wide for a rando. It happens that 28mm has long been close to perfect for comfortable road riding, no matter if they are silk sew-ups or modern Challenge tires from Thailand.

    Oversize tires also change the trail and degrade handling, unless the frame is specifically designed for them.

    Joel said...

    Le Cagot: Those who own Grand Bois Hetres and are in line to get the new Pacenti road tires would argue things have changed. Check out J P Weigle's flickr pages for examples of both tires.

    Google Hetre to find many very happy owner stories.

    robatsu said...

    lapize style pump and shiny pump mounting pegs (not umbrellas). If you're going w/a frame pump, that is the classiest look, imo.

    Supreme Commander said...

    Rubber slap guards that last longer than six months before degrading from UV. Or better yet, a leather replacement version for the rando frames.

    Anonymous said...

    PLEASE let us know what will not be continued. And can you tell us when the front constructeur rack will be available again? thanks for all you do, as always.

    Chris Kulczycki said...

    I can't say anything about the hubs until I return from Taiwan.

    Rear derailleurs are just too hard, but we may have a front and maybe shifters. They would be modifications of existing models, not wholly new designs.

    As I wrote, new categories, including lights, are not in our plans for the near term. We have to many irons in the fire already.

    Two new, non-sleeved, Grand Cru drop bars are already in production. I wrote about them a few weeks ago.

    The gloves are still in the works, but it's taking considerable time to get them just right.

    John B. said...

    Lots of great ideas here. I'll second the request for a kids bike. Something like Polyvalent in 20" and 24" wheel sizes. Useful kids bikes are so hard to find since we can't get Islabikes in the US.

    I love your wheel offerings, but, alas, my bike has 135mm spacing. How about a wheel with the VO rim and an XL or LX hub instead of the 105 hub?

    Finally, maybe this is just me, but I'd love a lever-operated front derailler like the old Campy ones. Maybe that's too esoteric, but boy would it be cool.

    Thanks for all the great stuff you provide, Chris. Yes, you are definitely filling a need. Good luck growing the company. And, be sure to let us know what you are discontinuing so we know what to get while we can. Thanks.

    bterzini said...

    A more durable "silver" shifter. I had a seemingly minor tip-over that resulted in a snapped Silver shifter- I looked at the broken area and found there was disturbingly little material there.

    William said...

    Since you are focussing on current categories, I'd throw in a 94mm and/or a 94/58 crankset.

    Justin said...

    I agree with Mark. Wald produces many handlebars (and other products) that I would imagine would appeal to current and prospective VO customers. They are also an American (Maysville, Kentucky) company in business for nearly 100 years.

    I want the VO Grand Cru crank yesterday.

    Please consider a VO version of the La Paon fenders.

    Anonymous said...

    Well, Chris, I have to say that I'm sad. Checking your blog once a week or so for exciting new products over the last few years has been fun.

    Now you've just said that the two things for which I've been holding my breath are not going to happen, but, in case there's any possibility of change, here they are:

    Powerful LED lights in some kind of classic housing (bonus if they can use dynamo power).

    A truly elegant rear derailleur.

    I'm sure you've researched these thoroughly and have your reasons--though the light kind of baffles me ... why is it so hard to combine modern lights with the classic chrome housings that are still being manufactured in their thousands? (and it's not just you!)?

    Anyway, thanks for all you do. You will continue to get my money as it becomes available.

    Eric

    Anonymous said...

    Hopefully these "Maxi Orange" hubs will be FW hubs.

    Anonymous said...

    I wish you folks would bring back the pre-drilled stem mounted decaleur. Just consider it. The stem mounted one doesn't play well with longer stems.

    Anonymous said...

    Perhaps threaded and threadless forks with the braze-on's at both sides of the fork crown like the constructeurs did. This might require a re-tooling of your porteur racks to accommodate the added braze. In addition, how about a lowrider rack braze-on as well???

    tadd said...

    1. what is missing in your bag selection is small panniers that can hang from the sides of the front constructuer racks.

    2. inexpensive merino wool (semi) tights, with or without chamois padding. It shouldn't be that expensive to make. I only know of one currently being made, and I think it is overpriced.

    Kelly said...

    +1 for the gloves
    I would buy two pairs

    brainwashvictim said...

    Offset canti brake pads for 27" to 700c conversions (so we can finally kill off 27" rims for good).

    Also, a Paul's Thumbies type product that costs about $50 less.

    Beech said...

    +1 on the lights Eric. It would be cool to get some LED lights with a hammered casing to match hammered fenders.

    Anonymous said...

    While you are in Taiwan and sourcing things - how about some sort of power-bar type energy food, but with an Asian twist : maybe Stinky Tofu flavor, or Blood Pudding ?

    reynoldslugs said...

    Would love to see a silver handlebar, 48 cm wide, in anatomic bend - - a silver version of the Salsa Bell - Laps

    dr2chase said...

    On the lights. I've been thinking some more about this, and I think there are a few problems

    There's two ways to regard an LED. One is "as an LED", and the other is "as a lightbulb". What that means is, what do you expect from it? If you treat an LED like a lightbulb and just connect it to a battery (or batteries), you have two likely outcomes, either no light (not enough voltage), or a bright flash, followed by no light (enough voltage, but no current regulation, leading to a burnt out LED).

    If Chris sells unregulated LEDs, he'll have that problem. The world is full of people who will connect LEDs to batteries and watch them go "pop!", and then they are unhappy customers.

    BUT, the retail cost of a simple power LED and lens, is about $10. A good regulator (not a power-wasting resistor) costs $18 or more. One regulator will do for many LEDs (anywhere from 4 to 18), so an economically-minded person is going to want only one regulator, but that means selling LEDs that will go pop.

    Add to this, that people will want red, amber, and white LEDs (some of us care about netural vs cool white), and spot and flat-wide lenses. That's a lot of variety. Does he instead sell a sort of hobbyist kit, leaving it up to us to obtain the lights and lens (and to burn them out, or not)? Does that work? Won't the market be too small?

    Mr Fink said...

    I'd love to see a high quality stem shifter, or a stem mount compatible with Silver Shifter.

    Also, would you consider stocking Dia Compe Hand Rests for use in conjunction with Guidonnet brake levers? I've been searching high and low but cannot find a retailer who carries them.

    Thanks!

    Perry said...

    natto flavored energy bars!

    Steve said...

    I'd love to have more information about these Maxi Orange hubs.

    +1 on letting us know in advance what's being phased out.

    Anonymous said...

    A non leather hammock saddle would be a welcome addition, and the only one in the industry.

    amoll68 said...

    Chris and Tom:

    A front derailleur heavily inspired by the Simplex SLJ. That would play very nicely with your new G.C. 50.4 crank.

    Bon Voyage!

    Alex

    Mr Wrong said...

    I would love to see a butterfly/trekking handlebar from a shop like VO that would come with the necessary stem-length adjustment info.

    These are just so hard to get around here.

    Mr Wrong said...

    Touring Racks : there is already quite a bit of quality stuff out there. What I am missing is a rear rack with low-riders for 26in wheels (Nitto has them only for 700 and 650 and Tubus'models are one-size-fits-all).

    Unless you can match Tubus/Surly stuff a a much lower price...;^))

    Tom SVDP said...

    A plastic chain slap protector like a tube surrounding the rear stay could work as well. Of course a few bicycles have been fitted with those in the past. Not elegant but perhaps functional.

    Anonymous said...

    a nice zippy Mt bike frame, in the style of an early-90s Ritchey P-21 or Breezer. And the thumbies-knock-offs and elegant flat bar brake levers to go with it. everything else is could be VO or Shimano. You could do it in 650B, and have VO rims to put under current tires.
    M Burdge

    John said...

    Another vote for the gloves

    Pete Ruckelshaus said...

    I have a simple request that I think a lot of us would like to see. A simple, reasonably good looking seatpost in more diameters than 27.2. Start with a 25.0, 26.2, 26.6, 26.8, 27.0, and 27.2 250mm length would be good, maybe even 300 if you want to sell a few to people with older mountain bikes.

    I'm building a frame out of SPX, and finding a 27.0 seatpost is more of a problem than I thought it would be. I found one, but only after hitting ebay for a couple of weeks...but enough to make me wish that I used an SL seat tube.

    Anonymous said...

    @dr2chase re Lights

    I'll admit I don't know much about it. I do see your point on the need to provide a diversity of types, and that the engineering issues are not trivial.

    YET on the current market, decent lights are available at all price points for battery and dynamo. In fact there's remarkable diversity...

    ---with the notable exception of truly classic styling and mounting options (excluding a very small number of higher price items). And of all the design, cost and manufacturing issues, these must be surely be the most trivial. Thus my cognitive dissonance.

    I'd just like to hear more about this from someone like Chris who I'm absolutely sure has thought through it and explored the options from a manufacturer's perspective.

    Eric

    doc said...

    Solid camping racks to accomodate low-riding panniers, front and rear.

    Anonymous said...

    1. Bring back the rando rack with decaleur. I still want one!

    2. Top cap light switch (extra credit for integrating with a quill stem) as discussed here

    3. Seatpost with even more setback

    4. Full selection for 7075 chainrings for your new cranks comparable to TA but at a lower price

    It Depends said...

    I know you said no clothing, but a good quality rain cape that would stay in place without overheating you -- and would fit taller riders -- would really be welcome.

    A front der designed for your lovely new 46/30 cranks would be great.

    An extra-sturdy rear fender that doubles as a saddle-bag support?

    A classy bottle cage tool storage container (like a cage rocket, but nice)?

    Classy frame bags and/or bentos? (Imagine being able to tour self-supported on a rando with just a front mini-rack and bag, plus a saddle bag and frame bag -- too cool.)

    Nice 7- and/or 8-speed cassettes in the general 13-32 genre?

    +1 for the Kids Poly.

    +1 for the additional shifter mount options (thumbies, stem mounts, maybe something like a Take-Off).

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Chris,

    One more vote for the "perfect" handlebar. Of course, what "perfect" means differs from person to person.
    As for me, the first pics in this link got me thinking:
    http://bikecentric.blogspot.com/2008/01/alt-bars.html

    It's such a great idea! Flipped north road (or similar) bars with road levers. Compared to moustache bars, they have less reach, so you can use them comfortably with a wider range of frames/stems, and flared swept back provides a more comfortable grip area.

    The problem? Current north roads are 22.2 mm. so they are just compatible with MTB levers. Not sure how this guy made it. I've heard of wrapping bars with electrical tape, but this doesn't sound like the safest thing to do.

    So, a North Road/Dove/Albatross bar with 23.8 tubing so that it takes road levers would be awesome! And I guess not very complicated to get it done(existing design, just new tubing)

    Tom said...

    The trouble with lights for VO is we would need to buy 10's of thousands to make it cost effective. And probably pay for tooling costs for a cool new chrome plated plastic housing.

    Anonymous said...

    I've been searching for months now for a backpack/pannier combo that is waterproof. It would be great if it did not look like a camping backpack, but was something I could take to work and go out at night. I'd pay up to $200.

    Anonymous said...

    my main suggestion would be simply to continue to favor a utilitarian agenda over the boutique. I know there will continue to be some demand for shiny VO bits for NAHBS-style buyers, but I think the market for utility is where the real growth will occur(also, it's the ethical thing to do).

    michael white

    Anonymous said...

    bring on the gloves!

    and a 700C frame with canti studs and semi-horiz dropouts (like the polyvalent but 700C)

    A reasonably not-so-ugly helmet would be cool. Something that would look ok with a jacket and tie. I'm tired of having two helmet options: "bike-racer guy" and "skate-board guy". Can I have a helmet that says "professional who happens to be riding a bike"?


    Allan Pollock

    Pierce said...

    fmackay - Actually I'm in NYC, the reason I'd like VO to carry those stabilizers is because I could only find them out of europe, it was like $2 item with $25 shipping, of course there is also my guilt having a small spring shipped around the world. Those things look so simplistic though, I'll probably just make one myself. L bracket + hook spring + cable housing clip.

    Ian Dickson said...

    "natto flavored energy bars!"

    Excellent idea. A bar and a goo, all in the same wrapper.

    Anonymous said...

    how about some silver thumb-shifter mounts? also, it'd be great if they had a hinge so removal of the mount wouldn't require removal of the grips and/or brakelevers.

    thanks.

    Kelvin Mulcky said...

    I'd like a Randonneur handlebar with more width that the current Nitto Grand Randonneur. I think it would be perfect for touring, rough riding and cyclocross.

    reverend dick said...

    +1 gloves

    Sami said...

    I would be interested in seeing some affordable centerpull brakes. I understand the Paul's components centerpulls are perhaps the only ones currently being produced, however they are priced higher than I could reasonably afford.
    Otherwise, I think it is extremely handy that VO is one of the few retailers that imports hard to find Japanese products such as Ostrich bags. More Japanese randonneuring theme imports would always be appreciated.

    Fred Zeppelin said...

    I second the lever-operated front derailleur request.

    Also a classy frame pump -all aluminum with zero or minimal rubber handles/moldings. A nice set of clamp-on pump pegs would be welcome, too.

    A silver/classier/brighter fender-mounted generator-powered taillight, with stand light. WITHOUT reflector, if at all possible. Most available rear fender lights would look much better without the red reflector integrated with them. And without the reflector It could be a square chunk of black plastic, and would still look OK to me because it'd be nice and small.

    Short-reach brake levers that also have a narrow lever body. Tektros are massive. Haven't tried the SRAM ones yet.

    PS -for those who like a handlebar that comes only in anodized black: It's not a big deal to sand and polish only the center section. Everything else ends up under the bar tape.

    Anonymous said...

    What is a maxi orange hub? A re-brand of the hubs Grand Bois sells or something more expensive designed for you by unknown?

    We need a new center pull

    Someone mentioned fibrax leather inset pads. I don't think there is a source anymore. I bought some for a flying pigeon once but never used them. Are they more effective than an ugly salmon pad on steel?

    Invisible Shield said...

    Chris & Tom:

    I'm curious what products you thought would see a bigger demand, but sold only modestly? I guess I'm curious what you think the touring cyclist in the states is not taking to?

    I. Birch said...

    People are paying up to $300 or more for old Ideale saddles on eBay, someone mentioned in a previous post that you should revive the brand. I think it's a great idea, as a brand it's much more alluring than Brooks. The label has great Art Nouveau flair and serious potential to become the Louis Vuitton of bicycle saddles. Seems like a great opportunity if the name can indeed be purchased for a reasonable price.

    Anonymous said...

    Your products have helped me rescue many old bikes from abandon, and anything to help in that great venture is welcome and much admired.

    I'd also like to tack on to those who'd love to see more seat post sizes. This has somehow proven to be a holy grail quest.

    Keep up the great work!

    William said...

    How about bringing in the new Sugino Mighty Tour crankset? That appears to be an upgrade over the Alpina.

    dr2chase said...

    re: Anonymous Eric and lights

    I thought about my remarks some more, and I think you are mostly right. I don't know that Chris knows the ins and outs of the electrical side as well as I do, but he certainly knows the market and style better than I do.

    But: you are right -- if the goal is to have a stylish light, idiot proof, using modern LED technology (efficient, durable, and bright), it could be done. You would in fact go ahead and put the regulator in the housing, so that the light would not just be idiot proof, it would be extremely idiot proof (depending on the regulator, you can run your regulated LED on voltages as high as 25, 32, or even 70 volts). You would still need a rectifier module for your dynamo, but those are cheap unsexy electronics that could probably hide in your fork (all my electronics hide in a plastic box wedged between front rack and fender).

    My one fear is that it would be pricey, because Dinotte sells something that is electrically about the same, for no less than $120. That's something to think about -- you'd hope that they would be very stylish indeed, for that money.

    There's two sensible choices for the beam shaping, and I think I know which one I like (probably the more expensive one) for stylish lights. There are relatively standardized acrylic lenses for power LEDs, about 1 inch tall by 1 inch wide at the face. I use them already. Some of these come with snap on diffusers, so that you can convert a basic 6 degree spot into an 8x25 (good for front flood and rear taillight), and that is probably the sensible choice (unscrew the face plate, snap on the lens you need, and you are good to go). BUT, there is this company, Luminit, that makes these cool optical films, that will take a laser or LED spot, and reshape it. If you did the optics right, you could put one of those right behind the faceplate, and get shaped light, but avoid the annoying point source effect that LEDs give you. It would look like a glowing faceplate, that just happened to send light to the right places.

    The other thing you want, and I am not kidding, is low beams. A good LED is too darn bright for use around civilized people (those not in cars). Yes, I have some, they are amber, and I need to do a better job of aiming them.

    Amber headlights would also be very retro-french, apparently -- that used to be the standard color in France for car headlights, so I am told. They're not as efficient as the best white LEDs, but they're still pretty good.

    Anonymous said...

    Tom said...

    The trouble with lights for VO is we would need to buy 10's of thousands to make it cost effective. And probably pay for tooling costs for a cool new chrome plated plastic housing.

    Thanks for your reply, Tom!

    Eric

    Mark said...

    With respect to lights, there are a whole bunch of decent to great LED flashlights that are reasonably priced - more so than competing "bicycle" lights, and batteries aren't much of an issue in this day of good rechargeables. The issue is mounting them. If the mount is "tool free", then it is also tool free to steal, and having to take your lights off every time you lock up your bike is no good. Even so, I haven't seen a flashlight bike mount that wasn't either ugly, unreliable at holding anything, or completely lacking in durability. I can't be the only one to run into this. I am currently using homebrew mounts, but I would love decent, sturdy, classy, non-QR flashlight mounts. Said mount(s) should be for mounting on forks, or cantilever bosses, or fenders or front racks - all of which are better places to mount headlights than handlebars.

    By the way, I have found that your dynamo bracket is pretty handy as part of a homebrew light mount.

    Tom said...

    The new Sugino Mighty Tour cranks would sell for $375; the Compe version in the mid $200's. Thats based on todays exchange rate, which will most probably drop between now and when Sugino actually ships the product.

    I doubt any of you would be willing to spend 2x+ over an Alpina. I'm not willing to lobby Chris to take a chance on it either. We have way too many things on burners to worry about another line of cranksets.

    EBEEP said...

    You've got to be kidding on this lighting business! To go to all this trouble to provide a stunning rando with painstakingly perfect components, beautiful and period faithful accessories such as constructeur racks, aluminum fenders, etc. and have us top it off with some black plastic handlebar-mounted piece of throw-away turbo pseudo-tech panther eye lighting system just aint right. There's got to be an absurd amount of people waiting for the day when they can buy a perfectly functional front and rear LED set that actually improves the aesthetic appeal of their cherished 2-wheeler. Offering just 1 or 2 design shells w/ dynamo and battery guts would fill a huge niche. Chris, who else is gonna do it if not you?

    I. Birch said...

    I agree with these comments about lights. I recently purchased some of the plastic lights from your site and while they do work well, I'm pretty disappointed aesthetically. They look pretty incongruous even ugly on a nice bike. Alloy fender mount casing would be amazing!

    Anonymous said...

    Dear everyone who wants a lighting system:

    http://peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt-headlights.asp

    There's some good looking lights on that website, and anything else for your period perfect french rando bike had better be period perfect down to the ultra-light aluminum bolts.

    The rest of us will save up for a schmidt hub and a supernova or an e6.\
    Re: road bikes with large tires: I love my panaracer t-serv 32mm tires on dyad rims: they're fast, light and soak up the bumps on the crap roads just fine. I can put 28s on there, but 4mm isn't gonna mess up the trail that much...

    robatsu said...

    What is the matter with the old Sugino Mighty Tour on ebay for 75-150 or the old Sugino Mighty, again, on ebay from 50 to 100?

    That is the competition for new models and there is still enough of the old stuff around to make this an uphill climb for reissues.

    That doesn't mean I don't love Mighty/Mighty tours, got a number of them around and on daily rider.

    Brian said...

    I would love to see some hardware to affix my VO porteur rack to the fork crown braze-ons on my P/R. Surly sells some ugly hardware for $60 which will accomplish this goal but I have to think that something cheaper and much nicer could be produced without too much trouble.

    Also, some better guidonnet levers would be nice, although they might be too laborious to design. Maybe Tektro could make you some?

    Christopher said...

    I have said it before, a skewer with wing nuts. I would love the look of wing nuts with my Phil Wood hubs.

    Angoraknitter said...

    I. Birch - your suggestion sort of touched a nerve, so I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way. I HATE HATE HATE how great brands of bicycling yore get appropriated by the likes of bikesdirect.com, Pacific, and others and wind up being used to sell things that they are not. I'm sorry, a bikesdirect bicycle is not a real Motobecane. Maybe that's snobbish, but it drives me nuts. I realize that this is endemic in the bicycle industry and everybody does it - Haro using Masi, etc. But I'm glad VO doesn't indulge in this sort of thing, and I hope they stay true to their own branding, which I believe is already very solid.

    Anonymous said...

    Pete Ruckelshaus said...
    I have a simple request that I think a lot of us would like to see. A simple, reasonably good looking seatpost in more diameters than 27.2. Start with a 25.0, 26.2, 26.6, 26.8, 27.0, and 27.2 250mm length would be good, maybe even 300 if you want to sell a few to people with older mountain bikes.

    I'm building a frame out of SPX, and finding a 27.0 seatpost is more of a problem than I thought it would be. I found one, but only after hitting ebay for a couple of weeks...but enough to make me wish that I used an SL seat tube.

    3/10/10 8:23 AM

    Mon Dieu! N'oubliez pas 26.4 mm!
    I think Bicycle Classics often has odd-sized posts available, fwiw.

    Anonymous said...

    Old Campy-style GUM HOODS please.

    Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

    Since the tire size debate went on seemingly for a couple of eternities over on the iBOB list, I did some scholarly research of my ow, and every reference I found, from Jan Heine's homebrew rolldown tests to Schwalbe's technical data pages, and others--along with my own experience--indicated that 28mm is the "sweet spot" for bicycle tire sizing. Both narrower and wider give you more rolling resistance in actual use (ie, on real, imperfect paved roads and with the tire inflated to a usable pressure).

    And 28mm is wide enough for many unpaved roads as well. (Not trails, of course.) For a randonée bike, it's an excellent choice.

    dr2chase said...

    rick, on rolling resistance -- did you measure, and if so, how? I measured rolling resistance on a bicycle by letting it coast (with me on it, obviously) down a gentle grade at low (< 13mph) speeds, and "measured" which tire took me the greatest distance before I simply could not keep the bicycle upright. I also took a video, and tried to measure speed using frame-to-frame timing. Both ways, the fat tire (60mm, 60psi) was a hair faster, and took me slightly further, than the thin tire (28mm, 120psi). Details and video of experiment here:

    http://dr2chase.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/big-vs-little-tire-resistance-test/

    It's not the result that I expected, but it's the result I got. Given a choice between my own lying eyes and "they say", I have to go with the eyes.

    It could be down to tire quality; other people (Morgan at cycle9) have compared Schwalbe Big Apple (2.35") to Maxxis Hookworm (2.5") and the Schwalbe comes out ahead. Perhaps my skinny tire (Bontrager Race Lite) was no good. If your direct experience (especially if it involves objective measurement, not subjective feel) is different from mine, I'd love to figure out what the heck is going on.

    There are other factors -- some people like road feel, and that kind of a difference in tire size changes geometry (note that I compared 26 x fat against 700c x thin, on a bike with disk brakes -- the final diameters are pretty close). At higher speeds, air resistance should matter (since the top of the tire meets the air at double your speed).

    Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

    dr2chase:

    As I said, I mostly reviewed results done by others--Heine's rolldown tests (similar to yours) and highly calibrated and instrumented technical tests done by Schwalbe (info available on their website), plus tests and opinions of others.

    In my own experience, I found myself covering my various standard routes fastest on 28mm tires over 32s. Since I can't buy tires willy-nilly, I kept each tire I did use till it was worn, giving it a good test. In my case it was the same brand and model tire, just in different marked and measured sizes, and filled to the proper pressure for its size and my weight.

    Plenty of tire tests, including Schwalbe's, show that fatter tires are "faster" than skinnier ones at the same pressure--but since no one runs fatties at 110psi or skinnies at 35psi, that's not a useful statement.

    Comprehensive technical testing has shown--you can look up extensive descriptions and tables on Schwalbe's site--that 28mm remains the sweet spot, but that tire construction can introduce differences in rolling resistance that are greater than the differences caused by changes in tire volume.

    Even Heine, a vocal proponent of fatter tires, admits that in his own rolldown tests the three fastest tires were 24mm and 25mm handmade sewups, and a 27mm clincher tire, IIRC.

    This supports Chris's choice of 28mm as the "standard' tire size for the randonée frame....

    Joe S. said...

    I'd love to see, and buy, a slightly more modern. lighter, touring-friendly saddle with bag loops, such as a loop-equipped resurrection of the Avocet O2 series. Also, a seatpost-mounted saddlebag standoff/support, as was briefly mentioned in the blog sometime last year. Can you tell I like saddlebags?

    James said...

    I'm sure you've noticed the LED light bulb replacements appearing on store shelves? The ones that screw into existing sockets. Could you look into having something similar made to replace the incandescent bulds in your retro lights? I imagine you would have to specify LEDs less bright than what the German companies are using to keep the light from getting too hot, but it would be easier than rewiring the lights yourself. How about LEDs for both front and rear and a more advanced standlight kit that requires some soldering?


    I have no interest in a boutique Edelux competitor. If I'm serious about a bike, then it will get good lights. B&M and Schmidts lights look good enough for me, really good if can get past a basic aesthetic assessment and recognize a good design.
    For every person who puts B&M or Schmidt lights on their bicycle and uses it in traffic there are 100k teenagers who fit custom wheels to their Civics at a prices of what thousands? I have no idea. The German lights are pretty cheap for what they do.

    However, I wouldn't want to buy German lights for every bike. Let's say if I were to do a cheap 650B conversion, say a UO 8 and turn it into a run about porteur I would probably use your retro lights and would probably try to modify the lights. An LED ready to plug in would make my life easier.

    And yes, yellow french lights look better. I'm thinking of yellow car lights. I've never use an old French bike with original bulbs but I have used some original Mazada bulbs on my 1950s Rudges and the flickering amber light was pretty cool. Remember how pleasant the old Schmidt E6 was and how harsh the first B&M LED seemed? So if you felt like throwing even more money at this, you could order some amber LEDs.

    Andrew said...

    I like the idea of a VO front derailleur. New derailleurs with 28.6 mm clamps are getting more and more rare. Also, the VO products I've used seem well designed and produced. I would trust a VO derailleur.

    Anonymous said...

    flick-stands would be handy and possibly cheap to have produced.

    dr2chase said...

    re: James/ drop-in LED bulb replacements.

    Yes and no. They make them for flashlights, and they tend to work pretty well (e.g., http://ledsupply.com/evflbu.php -- but those are not cheap ) and are available in different colors (at least from that supplier). If it fits in the halogen/incandescent socket, life is almost good.

    But there are two caveats for "dynamo" use. First, the dynamo produces AC, not DC, so you need to add some diodes (for rectification) and capacitors (to cut the ripple). It's a cheap, simple circuit, but it thwarts the drop-in wonderfulness that you might hope for. For hub dynamos, and maybe for sidewall dynamos, you also need to add a voltage limiter of some sort, because if you do not take all the power that the hub can give you, then the voltage goes up -- way up, to a level that can cook parts.

    There's various amounts of clever that you can be; probably the cheapest is to run your lights in series, build a voltage-doubling rectifier, and protect each one with a 9V zener (they are rated up to 6 batteries = 9 volts).

    Anonymous said...

    The quill stem sounds great. What kind of sizes (lengths, angles, clamp diameters) are you looking at?

    One wish I have, would be adding a 130mm threadless stem to your selection.

    Anonymous said...

    Although I'm sure nobody from VO is reading down this far, a plea:

    Please don't "discontinue some items that have not done as well." The reason why I'm a loyal VO customer--and the reason why I've spent thousands here over the years--is that you have things others do not. Along the way, I've also purchased many things that could be bought elsewhere, just because I wanted to support a company that makes the sort of odd things I need.

    I haven't read through the other 99 posts, but I'm willing to bet that substantial minority of your repeat customers made their first purchase with VO because they couldn't find a particular component anywhere else.

    M said...

    Would love a nice mattress- or padded vinyl saddle for town bikes -- something that holds up well if left out in the rain, comfortable in an upright riding position, not awfully heavy, not a theft magnet, not totally incongruous on a classic build. Pretty please!

    Todd V said...

    Thicker, slightly wider toe straps with buckle pads. I found a pair a few years back and I've been looking everywhere for more. The thin, Christophe-style straps simply don't compare. Of course, you'll want to make sure a thicker, wider strap fits through most pedals. Sometimes, they don't.

    Anonymous said...

    one item that would not be a big seller, but you would probably be the ONLY provider, would be a quill stem adaptor for older 21.1 sized bikes.
    I have found some info on the web about people turning your current adapter down to fit older bikes.
    They would allow older varsenental schwinns to be converted to durable city bikes, for one thing.
    And I could finaly get some more length on my venerable old MBT tourer.

    Anonymous said...

    How about coming up with an all-in-one substance that works as a combination bearing grease/chainlube/sunscreen/energy gel/chamois cream/tire sealant/leather saddle protectant?! Orange color and flavor of course!
    +1 on classy flashlight mounts. Flashlights are the ideal bike lights IMO, since they can be used on AND off the bike. A dynamo light is pretty useless around the campsite or when you're making a roadside repair at night.

    Uncle Ankle said...

    Inexpensive index/friction thumbshifters of exquisite quality and appearance.

    Attractive-looking twist-shifters?

    Forged and sturdy band-clamp brake levers for city/flat bars, reach and pull adjustable, barrel adjusters. Optional interchangable guidonnet lever blades.

    Mid-flare (15 degree?) compact, gradual-curve drop bars with Noodle-bent tops.

    Al Mallozzi said...

    Please Quill Stems!

    Al Mallozzi

    John B. said...

    Anon who wants the all-in-one substance - try lanolin. The ducttape of lubricants. Safe to eat (though not very tasty). And all natural to boot!

    Pete Ruckelshaus said...

    I've got to disagree with a lot of the suggestions here, because many of them (lights, bars, fenders, front derailleurs) are already available on the market in a pretty broad range of designs. My LBS has a dozen different light sets on display. Handlebars are a borderline emerging "market need" item, but there are a good number of them out there. Front derailleurs, yes, the 28.6mm clamp models are getting tough to find, but braze-on front derailleur clamps are readily available. I _could_ see perhaps making a Suntour endless clamp-style braze-on front derailleur clamp that would work with standard English and Metric seat tubes, though.

    The areas where there IS a need, and one where VO has started to address the need, is those components that are not universal to all frames -- headsets, bottom brackets, stems, and seatposts. VO is well on their way with the headsets and seatposts, though I can't say the Grand Cru headset design is my fave (I'd prefer a classic Campy NR style), but it's there. The next area that I think they need to hit is stems (or threadless stem adapters) and seatposts. A threadless stem adapter would, I think, be pretty easy to do, since it's a lathe/machined item. Same holds true for seatposts. Make a threadless stem adapter that allows for some quill height adjustability, and make it in those "other" sizes -- .877", 22.0, 22.1mm, etc., so that people trying to modernize a "classic" Schwinn Continental have stem options. Same goes for seatposts. I have 2 road bikes in my house that don't take a 27.2 -- a Vitus 979 that takes a 25.0, and a steel frame that takes a 27.0. Then there are the legions of people riding old Cinelli's, Peugeots, Gitanes, Raleighs, etc. that have to scour spare parts bins or ebay in order to find a replacement part that fits.

    I also think that a complete range of rampless (so they can be used as inner, middle, or outer) 110mm chainrings, from 32 to 54 teeth, would be useful. Yeah, there are loads of other BCD's out there, but 110mm is the de facto rando standard, just like 130mm is the de facto racing standard.

    I know what a lot of you are saying, and I don't necessarily disagree. However, having a desire for a VO manufactured part where a readily available alternative exists only fills an aesthetic need; VO manufacturing alternatives for parts that no longer exist and no alternatives exist but there is still a demand for, fills an actual need.

    Just my $.02

    Pete

    Philippe said...

    -Classic panniers for front low-rider (like Nitto Campee rack);

    -Stem mounted decaleur for treadless stem (fork mounted decaleur does'nt work on Surly Long Haul Trucker);

    -Classic fender mounted rear reflector;

    -Handlebar with short reach and average round drop (in 45 mm);

    -Waterproof bicycle radio powered by 6V dynamo (what a dream!)

    Tom SVDP said...

    It is understandable to hear the dismay over lighting systems nowadays and if they appear period-proper with the bike. I in fact, cringe a little that most systems out there too are that black rubbery-soft plastic and now there are a number of "flea" lamps by different makers too but I'm sure the main market out there is for the Freds who want light weight. But some of those makes are too, very convenient to apply and remove. One could argue that when you are really using those lights, in the dark of the night, it isn't going to matter what those headlights look like. So, it's a close call.

    The Fred Zeppelin post on pumps is a good shout or at least interesting along with pump pegs though maybe these Aardvark pump ties do the trick that VO has. I don't absolutely look at all technological developments as unacceptable.

    Also, maybe a Velo-Orange marked pepper spray pouch.

    Tom said...

    Phillipe said: "Stem mounted decaleur for treadless stem (fork mounted decaleur does'nt work on Surly Long Haul Trucker)"

    I've seen our 1 1/8" decaleurs installed on plenty of LHT's. What problems are you having with it?

    Philippe said...

    To answer to Tom:

    Sorry, I should have said: "Stem mounted decaleur for treadless stem (fork mounted decaleur does'nt work on Surly Long Haul Trucker with campagne handlebar bag)".

    When I mount the decaleur there is to much clearance between the buttom of the bag and the rack. I need an other decaleur system or a really tall bag.

    Le Cagot said...

    Phillipe, Just bend the decaleur down.

    Tom SVDP said...

    Stating only a simple question, has anyone ever used the Rackaluer ( http://www.velo-orange.com/rackaleur.html ) with brake safety/suicide levers? Or have you used perhaps another system? That rackaluer is a beaut, I definitely have one bike that does not have the levers it would work on. Carrying up front really is the way to go imho. That's a great component and like someone said, it'd be nice to be notified if a component is getting low on stock. The Simplex rear derailleur is just one such item but my fault for not getting it.

    Oh, yes, and the Velo-Orange pie plate too in the future.

    keithwwalker said...

    One request, do a bicycle travel blog article on Taiwan, let us know your secrets!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9DuPohfTpn76UCRliX1OVg?authkey=Gv1sRgCOmJ6J7G_5SlSQ&feat=directlink

    William said...

    Tom said: The new Sugino Mighty Tour cranks would sell for $375..I'm not willing to lobby Chris to take a chance on it either. We have way too many things on burners to worry about another line of cranksets.

    Thanks for that, Tom. Rivendell says they are bringing in a $300 Sugino. Perhaps it's the Mighty Tour. We'll see. Do you ever bring in the Alpina Triple?

    Steve said...

    Philippe said:

    When I mount the decaleur there is to much clearance between the buttom of the bag and the rack. I need an other decaleur system or a really tall bag.


    Yes, that's why I use the Berthoud GB28 bag on my Kogswell P/R. There's a certain amount of space between the rack and the decaleur, and the bag's got to be tall enough to fit it. On a 61.6 cm P/R, that space is much larger than the VO, the Acorn or the Ostrich.

    Fred Zeppelin said...

    Ps -I love pics of all the interesting stuff at these bike shows. Even if it's stuff that you won't carry, or is non-VOish carbon or tricycle or whatever, it's fun to looks at pics of the madness.

    Brian said...

    Kuryakyn makes some chrome P-clamps for motorcycles that come in big sizes only. I would love to be able to buy some 1/2 inch diameter or 10 mm diameter hinged steel or alloy P-clamps to attach things like lights to my racks. The current P-clamps that VO sells are fine, but rubber wears out eventually and they are pretty hideous to look at.

    Anonymous said...

    How about going Euro for a change - think about importing some of the nice stuff Zefal makes. I'm not sure much of that stuff makes it over statewise anymore. I think the company is located somewhere in that country with all the cheese and wine and stuff.

    Stronglight chainrings, too !

    And what about Berets and Edith Piaf records ? Striped shirts ?
    Uh-Oh, stereotype alert !

    Tom said...

    much of the Zefal stuff is made in china. same with stronglight.

    uh-oh. bubble bursting moment......

    Anonymous said...

    Heres a vote for soft leather gloves. Also, it'd be cool if you guys offered a stylish headlight with a quality mount (as opposed to cheap plastic ones).

    Anonymous said...

    Glad to hear about the quill stems. I'd also be interested in a leather bar tape in the brooks honey colour. Your tapes more comfortable and better priced but I can't match it on my bikes that have the honey colour. A handlebar like this would also be very popular:

    http://i41.tinypic.com/104rbwh.jpg

    Anonymous said...

    Regarding those handlebars, Anonymous @ 3/14/10 4:47 AM, I really don't know how popular they would be, but I know I would want them. Those are beautiful. Though not practical for a rando or touring type bike, but for a showy, cool fixie or a retro roadie for middle distance rides, those would be perfect.

    Anonymous said...

    leather cycling shoes compatible with your pedals/clips please..

    lee.watkins said...

    1. The market for electric assist is growing rapidly. I'd like to see an electric assist package that is designed with an eye for classic French style and high quality. the current offerings have very modern look and are not necessarily of the best quality.

    2. Coat / Skirt Guard. These are just impossible to get in the USA, but really useful. Make some really pretty ones in different sizes and colors! Could be plastic or metal, or steel mesh. There are also string versions and vinyl / pleather ones. The string ones go along with a rear fender with drilled holes and hooks. Vinyl ones usually velcro on. An unpolished aluminum one would pair nicely with the porteur chainguard.

    3. VO wire baskets with some distinctive pattern would be cool. Racks that have baskets built-in like wald sells, but more interesting and better quality?

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with lee.watkins re: electric-assist! Hadn't thought of mentioning that here, but since it was already mentioned, why not second it? I have been looking at what's out there, and it seems like it wouldn't take much to improve the aesthetics and quality. And it would make my bicycle tons more useful as I have a very hilly commute that time limits my using my bicycle on.

    Dan

    mike said...

    +1 for the flashlight mounts (for Porteur rack attachment).

    Thanks for all you do.

    Anonymous said...

    Great site - just stumbled across it.
    How about some alloy campagnolo brake and "gear" levers for retro fiting to the new campy ergos such as Athena?

    Joshua said...

    One thing i'd love to see is some narrower 650b fenders - I've been liking the Nifty Swifty Tire a lot, and it's a 33mm size.

    The fenderlines of the Polyvalent build at Old Spokes Home, (my local LBS) with the Tanaka fenders and the Maxy Fasty tires (basically the Nifty Swifty sans some of the toughness) was spot on. Soma carries Tanaka fenders down to 40mm in 650b - but I'd love some VO fenders on my coming-together polyvalent. But I'm just not sold on 50-52mm fenders with 33mm tires.

    Anyone have some detailed pics of such a setup (33mm tires with larger fenders) as I'm leaning towards it just because I like the VO fenders so much (specially the Zeppelins)

    I suppose it would mean no swapping out fenders when I put the winter tires on...

    Anonymous said...

    I would really like to know what "might" be discontinued. There are a number of Velo Orange items on my wish list. I would certainly hate it if I missed out on some of my more esoteric wishes.

    Tom SVDP said...

    Combing through the Taipei Cycling website, http://www.taipeicycle.com.tw/en_US/product/info.html?id=7473256166FF813CCAD82D8FA15DF00F

    UV Detectors, I have seen those before, I guess the thing is most of us know to just get a good sun block protection, high SPF really.

    Uncle Ankle said...

    This looks like a no-brainer. I mean, come on, it's orange.

    Uncle Ankle said...

    Funky grips?

    Seriously, I'd be interested in a big, flat pedal that doesn't look too gung-ho. Kind of like this one. Nice and thin, too.

    Uncle Ankle said...

    Just one more: cute LED light. (slightly bigger image)

    Anonymous said...

    hard to get (Harris doesn't stock them) parts for old english 3speeds. like bars, stems, and pumps that fit between the pegs. Maybe rims, hubs, and tires also.

    Don Gillies said...

    Did you realize that lapize-style pumps were available from xxcycle just a few months ago, and have been sold all decade long by xxcycle? I have read that Zefal has discontinued them, but I really wonder if the product was moving why would they discontinue it? It's still listed on the Zefal website.

    http://www.zefal.com/zefal/produit.php?key=068001

    Don Gillies said...

    An absolutely complete centerpull brakeset with "the works", including 2 calipers, jagwire-type generic pads but also with tire guides, straddle carriers, 2 brake levers (144 pattern) with barrel adjusters, hoods, QRs, 3 cable clips, chromed front and rear cable stops, maybe out the door for ~$75 from dia compe? It's a hassle to "roll your own" from ebay and the shipping is egregious. I find it astonishing that modern barcons cost as much as a centerpull set.

    Steve said...

    You can find tires to fit English 3-speeds (650A, 26 x 1 3/8") in every WalMart, so I'm told.

    Anonymous said...

    An exact copy of the original Cinelli Valencia(aka Pope aka Priest) handlebar in polished ali with standard clamp size as opposed to the black finish and 31.8 clampsize of the new Cinelli version.

    They are selling for silly money and are VERY rare so there's definitely a market for them.

    Tom said...

    Don:
    whut?

    Anonymous said...

    Please please please make your fantastically classy seatpost in more sizes! I'm just chomping at the bit to get one in 26.8, which I think a lot of slightly older road frames (including mine) had. I don't know how simple or hard it would be, but you have the design, all that might be needed is resizing the tube.

    Thanks!

    Joshua said...

    Haven't read this thread in a while, so maybe it's been mentioned, and maybe it's available elsewhere:

    On the LED light thing, I stumbled across these folks the other day:

    http://www.bikelight.ch/

    I don't read much German, but I believe they're selling LED drop-in replacements for normal bulbs...

    ekr said...

    Steel 36mm fenders. Not hammered.
    Something simple and clean.
    Two bolt mounting for the struts to the fender, simmilar to the berthoud design.
    Nice and long in the front and rear.

    Dewber said...

    I had a thought earlier in the day, wrenching at the shop: an elegant liner pull brake. Any other takers on this? I am sorry to say that the only reason I still like canti's is because they look so darn perdy, but no rim brake stops like a v-brake.

    frankie said...

    I would love to have a set of full size VO touring panniers in hunter green with brown leather straps to go with my daija rack and VO saddle.