09 April, 2010

Odds and Ends

A few new products and miscellaneous notes.



We have a small quantity of the new Kool Stop 4-bump Mafac-style brake pads. This style of pad has been very hard to find and we think it's great that they are being made again. So you can now rejuvenate those great old Mafac Raid brakes and put them on your new VP Rando or Mixte frame. We have only a small quantity now, but more are on the way.


 Our VO brake pads are now brick red (except the MTB straight-post). They are the same compound as the black and stop equally well; we simply like the look of the red pads.


Simplex retro-friction shifters may well be the best downtube shifters of all time, but they used an odd cylinder-shaped cable end. And replacement cables have been hard to find. Fortunately the new VO shift cables have a Simplex and and a standard end; cut off the one you don't need. Simplex produced shifters for several other companies, so if you have old shifters that require funny cable ends, try these. BTW, this was Tom's idea so all of us Simplex fans should thank him.


We have three new VO wheels, a 650b Diagonale/Formula fixie rear wheel, 700c Diagonale/Novatech dynamo, and 650b Diagonale/Shimano Nexus 8-speed. Several of you asked for the fixie wheel; let us know how you like them.

We are working to post better photos of our components. Kyle shot new VO and Grand Cru headset photos that I think are are a big improvement over the originals. There are also photos of the headsets dissembled so you can see the bearing and races. Now he'll have to shoot the rest of our components; see what happens when you do a good job.

On another subject, communication with VO, there have been some small changes of late. As we keep growing my duties here are shifting. For example, I no longer have time to personally answer technical and product information e-mails. That task has fallen to Kyle, Perry, and Pat. I think you'll find that they can take more time and provide a more thorough answer. Also, if you have questions specific to your bike, rather than general questions/comments related to a blog post, please e-mail rather than asking in the comments section.

That's all for now.

20 comments:

ablejack said...

Nexus 8sp Diagonals? Oh no! How am I to decide how to build a Polyvalent Porteur now? There are simply too many good choices.
/wanted to see this for a while- thanks guys

rob hawks said...

To what degree will the pattern of the 4 bump supply different braking characteristics than the force in Campy compatible Kool Stop inserts for MAFAC brake pad holders?

Was it strictly the material used in MAFAC's own brake pads that caused the telltale squeal? I'll find out for myself by ordering these anyway but there is always someone else way more knowledgeable about components than I am.

Tom said...

Personally, I think much of the squealing has to do with the plastic bushings wearing out on MAFAC's but I don;t see anyone making those any time soon.

Anonymous said...

I am kicking myself in the behind so hard right now. Two weeks ago I custom-ordered a set of Diagonale 650B wheels with an Alfine-8 hub on the rear from a custom builder to use on a Polyvalent build, and it was very costly in comparison to the Nexus-8 offered here. I wish I had known this was coming. I probably should have asked. Oh well.

Joshua said...

The page you link to for the 8 Speed Nexus wheel says 650b in the title (as you mention here) but 700c in the description...

Chris Kulczycki said...

Thanks Joshua. Fixed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the Simplex cables!

Anonymous said...

The simplex cables the standard ones that come with the kits now, or do they need to be ordered seperately?

Dan

Anonymous said...

Minor pet peeve: I think 'fixed' is far and away the more preferred term as opposed to 'fixie'. I would argue that 'fixie' only took hold of the common vernacular in 2007 or 2008 er so, not cooincidentally the time fixed gear became more popular among consumers and the major companies. In my mind at least, 'fixie' symbolizes the crazed fad aspect of it all.

maximus said...

Just wanted to say I really admire the way you guys do business. I visit this blog (and order) from time to time - and I have to say you guys really make your customers feel close to your process. It's a transparency in product development and marketing that I have not seen anywhere else in the cycling community. Look forward to seeing you guys evolve for a long time to come.

Joshua said...

Wow, quick fix! The fixed wheelset page has the same incongruity between the title and body text that the 8 spd. had.

I'll stop nit-picking and say thanks for bringing these out, though! Particularly the simplex cables, always nice to find something formerly hard to get is now easier to find.

Joshua said...

I will say though, it'd be nice if the 8spd wheelset came sans shifter - I know I'd much rather have the trigger shifter, but others would much rather the twist shifter shown in the picture...

Seth said...

Any plans to make VO brake pads for traditional center-pull/caliper brakes?

Jack said...

I think it's great that you're looking into putting up better product images. I've often found that the current pictures don't showcase VO gear accurately, and the actual product is usually nicer in reality than it appeared in the photo. The new Grand Cru headset images look fantastic. I particularly appreciate that they show the product in multiple positions/states of assembly, and would like encourage that for the future.

dolan said...

Great to see the new wheels, especially with the Nexus hub! Any chances of offering the Nexus and 3N72 with the PBP rim?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing out a fixed wheel in 650b. 650b fixed is so much fun! And nowhere else can you find a ready-made wheel. Now that one is available, maybe more people will try it out.

Thanks for making it happen. Now my friends can find out for themselves what I'm always fussing about.

-ScottFree

Garth said...

Good move on the brake cables.

Almost ordered your salmon pads because I'm disappointed the black ones dissolve in the rain. But your caption says the salmon are the same formula as the black? I believe the Kool Stop salmon are marketed as better in the wet- not sure if that includes also not dissolving (?).

I also agree with your assessment on squeel, Tom. The cantilevers I used before had very sloppy bushings and always vibrated/squeeled. The old fashioned cantis VO carries have very little play in the bushing. They do not squeel (with black pads) and have beautiful modulation.

My wife's bike has grey kool stop pads on dia-compe center pulls with bumps like the mafac. They work as great as all the others. I wouldn't worry about "less area".

Thanks Velo-Orange!

Anonymous said...

I have an old pair of simplex retro-friction levers I'm planning to put to use. At least on my pair, it seems like they take the normally shaped cable end, however with a sub-normally sized barrel at the end. Do these VO cables have the normal shape, but smaller size end I need?

Patrick Barber said...

Headset looks great- I remember seeing a prototype with more generic (Arial -- aagh!) lasercut type. Glad you managed to get your logo on there. It's gorgeous. Cheers -- patrick

Peter Adler said...

The big question on the Simplex shifter cables: Are they long enough to get out to the rear derailleur if you're using barcons (as I almost always do)? I've usually been forced to get tandem cables to get enough length.