24 August, 2010

More Shiny Stuff


In our never-ending quest to make our products shinier and shinier we asked our headset factory about doing a second round of polishing on our already polished and anodized Grand Cru headset bodies. Instead, the factory prepared samples that were highly polished then lightly chrome plate. We were amazed; it was like a mirror finish. So we have headsets with a finish like those steel Campy headsets that I used in my youth, but with light weight alloy construction and with sealed bearings. These headsets are also more scratch resistant and have nicer  graphics.



We recieved a case of each size by air freight yesterday. The remainder will arrive by ship sometime next month, so we might run out before the ship docks. We should also be getting some neat knurled headset spacers and our roller-bearing headsets in that shipment.

16 comments:

Patch said...

It's a shame these aren't needle bearing

superfreak said...

can u explain what knurled headset spacers is? i just cant vision it.
thx superfreak

Chris Kulczycki said...

These are our top-of-the-line headsets, so they are sealed bearing. Our mid-range needle-bearing (or roller bearing) headsets will arrive in a few weeks.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Knurling is a sort of diamond-pattern engraved texture. It was sometimes used on various high-end bike parts, like the stem caps on some Singer bikes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knurling

Gunnar Berg said...

I like nickel plating. I like polished aluminum. I am not quite so enthralled with the harsher look chrome plating. Maybe it's better looking in person.

-A Voice in the Wilderness

howtostretch said...

I like the looks, but if the chrome plate adds anything in diameter to the outside diameter if the cups it will lightly enlarge the head tube. I hope they compensated for that when they added the chrome instead of polish. I installed a slightly oversized (not to my knowledge, box was marked as normal and I did not measure it, shop installed it), in a steel frame, and after that set wore out, i had to find oversize headset or modify the set to replace it. I also had to use jb weld on on headset to hold it in place. yMMv.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of this super shiny stuff. I hope you'll continue to offer silver parts in non-mirror finish. I wish I'd bought an extra set on non-polished Zeppelin fenders when I had the chance!

web said...

While I understand the importance of branding, in all honesty I miss the early-days VO ethos of "no logos". While the little VO crest on the headsets is kind of nice, I find the large GC font garish. It's approaching King territory.
Nice looking bits but I would prefer little-to-no logos.

john said...

I see a chrome trend developing... we have been through raw alloy, black anodized, carbon and or carbon look, almost forgot painted, now the return of Chrome, but on alloy not steel...

This will get copied.

john said...

I see a chrome trend developing... we have been through raw alloy, black anodized, carbon and or carbon look, almost forgot painted, now the return of Chrome, but on alloy not steel...

This will get copied.

Anonymous said...

john -- you're right about chrome coming back, it's already happened on cars, just look at Fords. I like polished aluminum, but chrome seems like a maintenance headache.

Dan

Anonymous said...

These are lovely. Hope you do the same with your roller-bearing headsets.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone turning out quality parts like this SHOULD brand their items.... and I find the VO branding much more tasteful than Chris King (for example). Keep up the good work.

Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

"chrome seems like a maintenance headache"

My 42+ year old Italian racer, seeing daily use in LA for commuting, occasional rain, frequent salt air, many chrome parts showing, almost no maintenance required.

Pix of the Bambina

I'm not actually a big fan of chrome--I too prefer nickel--but it just ain't that hard to take care of.

Slow Bicycles said...

Chris .. In general, I LOVE your approach and your offerings. Classic, return to quality. But PLEASE could you get some stuff unbranded. Why does everything have to be branded? It seems like if there was one place that wouldn't brand, it would be VO. If you absolutely have to brand, please hire a really classy designer, or make it easy to get off with steel wool.

Just my 2 cents, but many others I know too, who are continually forced to shop vintage to avoid the aforementioned.

HELP US :)

Seth

Anonymous said...

I'm always impressed when I check out what VO has to offer, these headsets are no exception, really beautiful! However, I must agree with some of you that would prefer less/minimal/no branding. I would even go so far to say that classical parts had minimal branding anyway. A lot of the time I buy new parts to replace vintage ones and would prefer if they were unnoticeable as non period/group set correct parts. Besides this, keep up the great work.