09 August, 2010

VO and Grand Cru Cranks Are Here


The triple looks really nice. The VO Triple Crank is a modern, stiff, cold forged crank set. It has all alloy polished chain rings, 48/36/28. The rings are pinned and ramped for easy shifting. Machined alloy dust caps - not plastic - and nice BB bolts are included. At $125 these are a great deal.


The wide range Polyvalent crank has 46/30 rings and comes with a polished alloy chain ring guard. The 46/30 rings give almost the range of a triple when used with a wide cassette, while the chain ring guard helps keep your pants clean. This is a great crank for city bikes and utility bikes.

The 46t ring is specially designed to shift properly in the middle position. (A regular 46 outer ring won't work because it's spaced for the outer position mounting.) I want to use it with a VO chain guard on my own city bike; that will be a sweet setup.

 

Classic 50.4 BCD cranks, like the TA, Stronglight 49D, and others are still sought after by randonneurs and cyclo-tourists. These cranks offer tremendous versatility (chain rings from 26t to 62t fit). They are also light and have very narrow Q-factors, or tread.

While the new Grand Cru Crank looks like the classics, we have made several important improvements. They are cold forged 7075 aluminum alloy. The rings are thicker so they don't flex as on classic cranks. The BB taper and all threading is common sizes, no need for special tools and BBs. The rings have modern shifting aids so shifting performance is much improved.

The VO double cranks are not yet available

36 comments:

Dustin said...

I'm holding out for the triple Grand Cru!

Looks great, guys. Keep it up!

Fred Zeppelin said...

Very nice work!

Can you comment on the Q of the Grand Cru? I notice you recommend a 118mmBB, or 116 with 2mm spacers, but don't say anything about the resultant Q.

On the other hand, the Polyvalent crank lists a 158mm Q on a 113mm BB. Is that as narrow as it will go (the cranks are right against the BB shell) or, assuming proper stay clearance, could a narrower BB be used?

Same question for the Grand Cru, please.

Also, I have at least 3 other cranksets currently mounted to bikes that could use those bolts and alloy dustcaps, if you're considering offering them separately.

Fred Zeppelin said...

Oh, hell. It says 139mm Q for the Grand Cru right in the product description, I totally missed it. Still curious about my other questions.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The Q for the Grand Cru is about 139mm; a 116mm BB is as short as you can go.

The two VO cranks can go on a 110mm BB, but it's very tight. We measured them with the 113mm which, I suspect, most folks will use.

Anonymous said...

I usually use Sugino XD cranks, but the polished chainrings and metal dustcaps make these much nicer looking. The shape of the arms is prettier too. Will LBSs have them?

Aaron said...

Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me that triple in the picture has a 36t middle ring, not a 38.

These really look awesome! I can't wait to get the Polyvalent crank when I re-purpose my Cross Check as a city bike.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Aaron. Thanks. It is 36t.

Ian Dickson said...

The triple would be more appealing to me if it were geared lower. With a 30t small ring on the Grand Cru double and a 28t small ring on the triple, there's little functional difference between the two.

Thanks for producing the Grand Cru. I'm putting one on my Pass Hunter.

Johan said...

Beautiful cranks the Grand Cru. Save a batch to send to freshtripe right away... I will order a pair later!

As for remade old cranks, I have a pair of nineties Shimano cranks I would _love_ seeing a "copy" of. They have a 110/74 boltpattern, and the chainring arms go on the _outside_ of the chainrings. That mean you can put a large 46 110mm ring on, and a 28 74mm directly inside, without any q-factor wasted on space for three rings. And if you want three rings, you just use spacers. This would be a modern touring crank in my opinion, with readily available chainrings and no apparent drawbacks, only advantages.

Erik said...

I may be missing something, but isn't the Polyvalent just a triple crank with a guard as an outer ring? I've been gagging for a true 110/74 bcd double, but this doesn't appear to be it. I think rolling a 46/30 (or 32) would be a great answer for my needs, but that big ol chain guard is not my style.

Dale said...

These look great! I'm waiting for the VO double, any idea when it might be available? Are chainrings in other sizes in the works? I would ideally like a 50/34 option.

Anonymous said...

Slow down there - I'm still tryin' to figger out that front wheel stabilizer !

Jonathan said...

Is the weight on the new VO triple the same as the Sugino XD, or is it heavier? Thanks.

dwainedibbly said...

Here's hoping that there is a 40 or 42 outer ring coming for the Grand Cru 50.4. I want to use one of these in a 1x9 or maybe internal gear hub setup.

Alex said...

I'm sure it's a 110/74, but it would be nice to certain what the BCD is for the Polyvalent on the VO website. But more importantly, please offer the chainring guard separately. Specialit├ęs TA stopped making their beautiful chainring guards and there is very little choice out there. Thank you!

BikeBike said...

Beautiful!

jayski said...

Will chainrings be available separately for the Classic 50.4 BCD cranks?

Anonymous said...

When will you be releasing the 26 tooth chainring? A 26x34 on my 26" road bike will be a 19.88 inch gear. Just what I need without having to go triple.

Anonymous said...

The 110 cranks look chrome plated. I take it they are not actually chrome plated as you didn't mention it. I hope you plan on offering the chain guard by itself in more than one size.
Are the cranks going to be available by themselves, as in without chainrings? Are you planning on a full range of chainrings?

Samuel said...

Hi Chris, do I understand correctly that the crank arms are polished rather than anodized? just been reading what Jobst Brandt has to say about anodizing and crank failure so polished seems like a good idea! also please clarify, you suggest using polyvalent cranks with the chain guard - which i agree would look great - but that wouldn't work with a front derailer - or would it?

Chris Kulczycki said...

We will be making a few other sizes of 50.4bcd rings in a few months. We're still deciding on exactly which sizes. Initially we'll only make the few sizes of rings that we think will sell best. If there is demand we'll introduce more sizes.

We are also introducing a single ring version of the crank. There are no plans to sell the arms without rings yet, but bolts to convert to a triple will be available eventually.

One of the problems with a project like this is that there are so darn many possible combinations and permutations, crank arm length, single/double/triple, plus all the ring sizes. Of course the factory needs a high minimum order for each variation. And customers overwhelmingly want complete crank sets, not separate rings and arms. We could soon have all of our development capital tied up in crank inventory. That's why we have to go slow and stick to what's most popular.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The GC cranks are polished non-anodized alloy. They are made from 7075 alloy, which is much stronger than what is normally used for cranks. The VO cranks are anodized, just like Sugino XD and others, but unlike the XD the rings are also polished. I think the photos make them look shinier than they are.

The VO chain guard-Polyvalent crank combination would be a single speed. I'd remove the inner ring since a front derailleur wouldn't fit.

Kathryn Hall said...

Sorry if I've missed this somewhere but - are the VO cranks cold forged and anodized?

Dwainedibbly said...

Thanks for the info on the 50.4 single, Chris. Make it a 42 +/- 2 teeth and it would be great for IGH conversions.

Anonymous said...

Could you tell us the q factor of the VO cranks as double and single?
I hope we see a 50t 50.4 ring from VO.

DC Brewer said...

I got my Polyvalent cranks Thursday and put them on last night. They look sweet and rode very nicely this morning. Nice work VO!

Anonymous said...

there so pretty. The are much shinier than the ones on my bike.

Anonymous said...

Chris, can you get away with a short cage rear derailleur matched with the Polyvalent crank? Or do you need a long cage?

Jed Beppelin said...

since when does the length of a derailleur cage have anything to do with the cranks ?

Chris Kulczycki said...

I'm currently using a short cage derailleur on one of my bikes with a wide-range 48/30 double and a 14/28 rear and a long cage on the other with a 12/27. Both work, but the long cage is probably slightly better.

Jed, the length of the derailleur cage required depends on how much chain you need "wrapped" . This is based on both the chain rings and the cassette or freewheel. If you have a lot of range you'll need a long cage.

grwoodworking said...

I received my Grand Cru 50.4 BCD Cranks and they are stunning. I put them on a 1980 Richard Sachs NOS! frame I recently purchased and they complement it beautifully. I have one disappointment. the dust caps, while impressive looking do not sit flush inside the opening but instead straddle the hole. it doesn't look as "thought out" as the rest. Otherwise they are really quite nice, thanks so much for producing them!

grwoodworking said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciclismo_jewelry/

Photos of my Grand Cru crank on a stunning bike may be seen here!

Anonymous said...

Chris, The VO Imports site needs to be corrected in regards to the VO Triple crankset. I was all set to get one, thinking the rings were 24/36/48 as stated there. The actual 28/36/48 is the oddest I've ever seen, and much less useful, and killed the deal for me.

I acknowledge what you must go through when placing orders from the factory, but from a consumer point of view, I'd rather just buy the armset and buy my own rings. The model of buying a complete crank with no choice of rings is outdated , in my opinion, but everyone still does it. sigh .....

Mike said...

"I want to use it with a VO chain guard on my own city bike; that will be a sweet setup."

I bought the polyvalent crankset and would love to set it up with the VO chain guard. Is there some trick to setting up a front derailleur to work with the chain guard?

Mike said...

Chris, you said "I want to use it with a VO chain guard on my own city bike; that will be a sweet setup."

I bought the Polyvalent Crankset and would love to use it with the VO Chainguard. Is there enough clearance on the chainguard for a front derailleur, or do you have a tip you can share for getting this to work?

Thanks!

Chris Kulczycki said...

Mike, As I said in the comment above, I'd use it as a single speed, front derailleur won't work with a solid chainguard.