01 July, 2010

Grand Cru Crank Update

I know that a lot of you have been waiting for the Grand Cru 50.4bcd cranks. I had thought they would be here by now, but the factory has had some delays in testing the new tooling. Also, factory offices moved to a new location which slowed things down. In any case, the latest estimate is that they will be done about July 25th. We'll have a few hundred shipped by air and the rest by sea. Details on these cranks can be found at this post.

The VO 110bcd cranks should be done a few weeks later. We still don't have a firm ETA on the Grand Cru 110bcd cranks, but they are in production.

We've had some major delays in getting other products here on time because of new packaging. As we sell to more and more shops all over the world we find we need more refined retail packaging. And having those boxes and tags and backing cards made has been a real bottleneck. I would really prefer to have minimal packaging, just a poly bag and header card, but shops displaying VO products are asking for packaging that's more like Campy's and Shimano's.

I do apologize for being out of so many items. The super busy spring season really cleaned us out and we've once again seen growth beyond what I'd anticipated and planned for. The good news is that we should have two containers of products, including several new items, sailing in July.

22 comments:

Nate said...

The v-o carryin' shop I work at hates Shimano (and other companies like them) overpacking. Have you seen how large of a box their rapid fire shifters come in? We definitely prefer as minimal as possible, poly bag and cardboard head tag is more than adequate.

BACK TO BASICS!!!

Nate said...

The shop I work at definitely prefers minimal packaging. Ideally no more than a poly bag and a header card. Shimano is insane with how much packaging they use. I can't think of a cyclist that purchases components for the packaging, but I guess they may exist.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I may have overstated the level packaging. Basically we are going from bags to boxes on a lot of items. Some big parts, like fenders, require more cardboard and complexity, but generally the boxes will be no bigger than required to fit the item and always made from recycled paper. We are looking into cloth bags for saddles and a few other things.

Scott said...

Less plastic means less oil and less plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean. Try to use no plastic in your packaging, your kids kids will thank you.

Glad to hear you are spec'ing recycled, thats very important.

You might want to consider demanding soy based ink. This makes a huge impact on lowering the levels of toxins your job emits into the environment.

Now if only the big giants took steps like this, we might have a chance to stick around for a few more generations. Sadly our steel frames will probably outlast us as a species.

Have a great weekend!

Cycles J Bryant said...

It's a bummer that retailers can't come up with ways of merchandising products without ample packaging. C'est la Vie. I, as an end user of products, vastly prefer minimal packaging. Having my recycling bin more full when sanitary services come by is a bit of an eye-opener on how much we're wasting.

Anonymous said...

So does this mean we will be seeing the MAFAC style mini-racks and VO's homebrew Randonneur handlebars sometime this summer?

Michael_S said...

that crankset looks fantastic. I'm sure they will sell like hotcakes on Sunday morning. What size rings were they going to come with?

Sami said...

I definitely appreciate minimalist biodegradable packaging. Not only is it easier to open than say plastic clam shells, but I also don't feel like quite as much of a jackass when throwing the packaging away. I will say cotton bags would be both classy and useful for organizational purposes.

Garth said...

recycled paper/cardboard is preferable to plastic, IMHO, too.

My summer school kids are doing a special project on the Gulf Oil Disaster. First we explored the problem (99% of birds covered with oil die) and now we are coming up with solutions (the giant oil-recovery ship, A Whale, is like a miracle). It makes me want to never drive a car again and to limit my use of petroleum based products to near nil.

robatsu said...

Those cranks are dead sexy.

QuickDraw said...

I would change the lettering position on the chainrings, but not if it means a production delay. the lettering should be centered between the spider so you can read the lettering on the small chainring. otherwise they're perfect, i love the fluting in the spider, nice touch! as for packaging, I like the minimal packaging that VO currently uses, something biodegradable would be nice.

Can't wait to roll with some Grand Cru Cranks on my Kogswell.

Anonymous said...

would you consider having two packaging options?

LBSs that need point of purchase displays can have nice packaging, but the online sales could have low-cost and enviro-freindly packaging.

This would keep most folks happy but could increase your average costs a bit. You could offset these costs by charging a small premium for premium packaging. (but you could market the pricing in reverse: you give a discount to folks who don't want the premium packaging).

Allan Pollock

Nick Cecchi said...

I personally don't care too much about packaging as long as i'm buying a quality product.

That said, to be a competitive business (in anything) you have to have an image, a good image. One that projects quality and design in both product and marketing.

I wouldn't go balls out like some of the super-overpackaged stuff you see now, but rather look at the classic campy or dura-ace groupos from the 60's and 70's when the packaging was simple, yet well designed, and helped to showcase the product.

Amani576 said...

Glad to hear VO is doing well.
-Gene-

tony said...

Chris,
You should have a look at the SKS fender packaging if you haven't already. I think they've got it down when using a minimum amount of material. It's literally a semicircle and a couple of zip ties. I think you can even hang them from a shelf, which will be good for any LBS wishing to display VO product.


BTW, I'm super excited to hear that the new cranks are coming out. I'm going to be ALL OVER the 110bcd double crank with integrated chainguard!

c.a.ricco said...

just wondering if you will be seeling the grand cru as sets...arms, rings et.al? Or might one be able to purchase just arms etc....??

Pete Ruckelshaus said...

Lack of 172.5's in those cranks make them a no-go for me, which is a shame. And, yes, I can tell the difference.

CrankyCyclist said...

Any recommendations for bottom bracket spindle widths with this crank?

Anonymous said...

Great looking cranks...I'll be snapping up a set once the triple version is in stock.

Andy Griffith said...

in so much as you are growing when do you think you will re-locate in search of a larger, cheaper place ? Annapolis is hardly economical.

Anonymous said...

Any more news on the Sugino 110/74 double cranks?

BTW, I really think you need to offer 172.5mm cranks. You might think we can't tell the difference, but I can tell you I definitely won't buy 170/175mm. I'm sure I'm not the only one...

Mike said...

Just noticed this post. Please please please don't add more packaging than necessary. I actually get excited when things are packaged simply without embossed cardboard or colored plastic.