22 December, 2011
16 December, 2011
We're also offering 20% off on everything picked up at the VO showroom Monday through Thursday of next week. But, remember, our little showroom is only open from 10am to 4pm. It's at 1819 George Avenue Annapolis MD, 21401.
Also, we'll be closed the week between Christmas and New Years. You're welcome to place orders through the store site, but they won't ship until Jan 2nd. And there will be no one here to answer phones or e-mail that week.
Posted by VeloOrange at 8:34:00 PM
13 December, 2011
Applying decals from Velo Orange on Vimeo.
Posted by VeloOrange at 12:52:00 PM
09 December, 2011
Back in the day, when we rode 5 or 6-speed freewheels, we would change freewheels to suit the terrain. A flat criterium meant fitting a "straight block", 13-14-15-16-17-18. On a mountain ride we'd fit a wide range freewheel, maybe 14-32. We serious riders also had a couple of in between freewheels, or even loose cogs to build our own custom freewheels.
These days we have 9 or 10 or 11-speed cassettes that cover such a wide range that a single cassette will probably do for everything short of touring in the mountains. But wouldn't it be neat to have exactly the right cassette for every ride, or at least one for the flats and one for the mountains, and be able to switch them in a few seconds. Here's a video that shows you how to do just that with a VO hub:
Fun with Freehub bodies from Velo Orange on Vimeo.
All you need is a spare freehub body and another cassette. You can even switch cassettes between a 130mm spaced hub and a 135mm spaced one. Or pull the cassette off to replace a broken spoke.
Posted by VeloOrange at 10:30:00 AM
07 December, 2011
I thought some of you might like updates on the various VO projects I'd mentioned previously.
- We've been testing different forks for the Polyvalent 700c/Camper frame. We even figured out how to re-rake our own forks. I think we've nailed down the geometry and we'll approve production very soon.
- The Pass Hunter 700c performance frame is up next for development. We hope to be testing prototypes in a couple of months.
- We're awaiting new prototype camping racks. I know these have been in the works for a long time, but we do want them as close to perfect as we can manage. Since the prototypes are all bent, welded, and finished by hand it takes 2-3 months to get each new generation.
- We've rethought our luggage projects and are designing a new line of premium bike luggage using the best fabrics we can find. I think we've found the right material and come up with a pretty darn nice handlebar bag design to get the line rolling. Now we'll enter the long prototyping stage. These will probably be called Grand Cru bags.
- Our first round of short reach/drop bar samples was disappointing. We have to make new tooling and try again. I'm really particular about bars and am finding that getting the hand positions right is much harder on these than on medium or long reach models.
- We hope to introduce complete, ready to ride, bikes this winter.
- We're kicking around the idea of a 26" expedition bike, something halfway between a mountain bike and a traditional camper.
- A larger porteur rack is possible, but how big? Need to haul cases of beer, pizzas, large paintings, sheets of plywood?
Posted by VeloOrange at 1:14:00 PM
06 December, 2011
freehub bodies available separately so you can slip them onto your existing wheel. It only takes about 5 seconds, and no tools, to switch from Shimano to Campy compatibility.
Just a note about one other compatibility issue. All of our cranks work with 5 to 10-speed, be it Campy, Shimano, or Sram.
Posted by VeloOrange at 1:39:00 PM
30 November, 2011
We have a new offering in our Prototype and Specials section. It's a complete 57cm VO Rando with a Shimano 105 10-speed derailleurs and brifters. This bike was used for testing and a magazine review and has very very few miles on it. It's $2000 including the rack and front bag; considering that the maxi build kit $1220, that's a pretty great deal. It would make a wonderful fast randonneur or credit card tourer.
Posted by VeloOrange at 12:09:00 PM
22 November, 2011
A guest post by Alec Burney
It’s been a bit more than a year, the calendar says, but it seems like just the other day that I shoved off from home with gear on my bike and dreams in my head.
I just got my photos back, and that brings it all into focus again. I’m reminded that I wouldn’t have seen these sights or met the folks I did if I hadn’t been inching my way a few thousand miles down the coast.
|Relaxing in the shade|
What I’m left with is a confirmation of what the bicycle is and can be. It’s a tool for going from “A” to “B,” some will tell you. Or it’s a toy for zipping around on the weekend. Or a piece of exercise equipment. Or maybe it’s a different way of thinking.
|The Pine Creek Gorge|
You can head out for a weekend or a week, and stick to the dirt roads, state forests, and country lanes where it’s quiet and there’s little traffic. Maybe you’ll find yourself on an unpaved track in the backcountry where you can go at your own speed and be contented with your own thoughts.
A sensible bike will let you put on some bigger tires, for comfort, racks for your stuff, but then the rest is up to you - go have fun! When you're out rambling, you don't need much to stay happy.
|Tioga State Forest|
|My "navigation device"|
|Swimming in Pennsylvania|
|A turtle in the Genesee Valey|
Life on the bike really was life without a schedule, where I could nap and read under a shade tree in the heat of the day.
|Jersey Mills Post Office|
|Pine Creek covered wagon|
And along the way I learned to ask for directions. “Anyone seen Williamsburg? It’s over there somewhere, right?” It’s fun to let on that you’re completely lost, especially when you are.
|My "trail guide"|
|The NCR trail|
|Schuykill River Trail|
Before I knew it I was on the Jones Falls trail, an amazing part of Baltimore that could be anywhere, a serious part in the middle of a busy city.
|Gary joined me for the New York section|
Virginia is a blur of long rollers, but then the flat, calm Outer Banks of North Carolina leave a lasting memory. I’ve been back to ride this section a couple more times. It’s very strange to find yourself so surrounded by water, but riding a bike.
There’s parts of Hatteras less than 500 feet across, and it’s all sand dunes. Just a long flat road all to yourself, and a nice campground at the end of it. There’s few bad places to ride a bike, but this might be one of my favorite, if I had to choose.
After landing in southern North Carolina, and attending my sister’s beautiful wedding, I set off on another adventure. Maybe we can talk about it next time.
Posted by VeloOrange at 11:38:00 AM
17 November, 2011
- The free shipping is offered only on orders shipped to the continental USA.
- The order must be over $100.
- Frames and wheels are excluded due to their large size and, thus, higher shipping cost.
Posted by VeloOrange at 9:40:00 AM
15 November, 2011
We have a new section in our site called Prototypes and Specials. We'll use it to list some of the frames and bikes we've previously sold at our garage sales. These may be prototypes or display bikes or bikes sent to magazines for reviews. We may also have the occasional new frame with scratched paint or some other small flaw.
prototype of the VO Rando frame. This was a bike I rode for about a year, but no longer do. The ride is absolutely terrific and very similar to the Pass Hunter I now ride, but I prefer the pass hunter. Johnny Coast did a really fine job on this frame (He was trying to win our semi-custom frame business, which he did.) The Rando has a great selection of new-old-stock French components. It even has Maxi-Car hubs.
prototype VO Gentleman. This was a semi-custom frame we offered in our early years. It was built by Ahren Rogers. The frame is fillet brazed, has bosses for a chain-guard and a single down tube shifter. The build is a mix of classic and new components. This would make a great commuter or classy around-town bike.
Posted by VeloOrange at 2:22:00 PM
11 November, 2011
The Grand Cru 50.4bcd cranks are back in stock. We'd been out of them for a few months due to a production problem, but we have plenty now
We also have 50.4bcd bare crank arms which many of you have asked for. They come with BB-bolts and dust caps, but no rings. I only announced them on my own (not VO's) Twitter feed yesterday and they have been flying out the door since. An impressive number is going to shops in Japan.
We also have single ring hardware kits for 50.4bcd cranks.
Here is a very impressive transformation of a 1985 Trek 620 into a lovely city/all-arounder bike. Of course a lot of VO parts were involved. You don't need to buy a brand new frame to build a great bike, (yes I know we sell frames). Good job, Justin. The one thing that's typically missing on these sorts of transformations is low-trail geometry. But it is possible for a frame builder to re-rake a steel fork, sometimes without even damaging the paint, should you really want low trail.
I really like this Rene Andre porteur profiled on the Bikeville blog. What a cool bike! (It was also mentioned on the official VO Twitter feed.)
Posted by VeloOrange at 10:42:00 AM
04 November, 2011
A guest post by Annette Najjar
I remember well when we announced that our first business, Chesapeake Light Craft, would be taking credit cards in addition to the checks we'd always accepted. We immediately received a hand-written letter decrying our defection to the dark side; we could just see the writer tsk tsk-ing, shaking his head sorrowfully.
Posted by VeloOrange at 12:34:00 PM
02 November, 2011
Have a new build? Leave a link in the comments.
Posted by VeloOrange at 2:22:00 PM
28 October, 2011
We want them to be reasonably light, not desperately expensive, and with very long-lasting bearings. We've explored the idea of a spindle with three sealed bearings and another with a combination of needle bearings and sealed bearings. A grease port is another feature we're looking at. Maybe something like a super-premium version of the VO touring pedal.
What would your ideal pedal be like? Single sided or double? Is it worth paying more for a super-durable bearing system or is it better to just keep re-building cheaper loose bearing pedals. And do you find quill-style pedals uncomfortable with street shoes?
Also, please see the update to the last post for the winner of the brake name contest.
Posted by VeloOrange at 2:14:00 PM
26 October, 2011
Unlike V-brakes, they use regular brake levers. So you can use your favorite classic levers or non-classic brifters. They have tension adjustment screws and a straddle wire adjuster. They even have slots so you can move the pads up-and-down about 15mm. And they come with toe-in adjustable pads.
About the only feature they lack is a good name. If you come up with the name we use we'll offer you a $100 VO gift certificate. Put your suggestion in a comment, but remember to use your name so we can identify the winner.
BTW, the high profile Grand Cru MK2 brakes are not being discontinued. In fact, they've been selling so well that we ran out again.
Update: Thanks for all the great suggestions. It took a lot of time and more than a few laughs to make a choice. Eventually we picked "Zeste" as in "Velo Orange Zeste". Greg, please send us an e-mail so we can issue your gift certificate.
Posted by VeloOrange at 10:32:00 AM
20 October, 2011
Posted by VeloOrange at 11:16:00 AM
18 October, 2011
We get occasional requests for 27" rims or wheels. It wouldn't be hard for us to make 27" rims, but I don't think it's a good idea. Converting old 27" bikes to 700c is simple and almost always my preference.
A bit of background; 27" wheels were used mostly on American market mid and lower-range production bikes. There are some exceptions, but top-end frames with 27" wheels are relatively rare. The popularity of 27" wheels waned in the late '70s or early '80s when 700c became the near-universal road bike size. Today there are few choices of good quality 27" rims or tires and I don't know of a single new bike that still uses that size. The main reason to switch to 700c is to gain access to many more high quality tires and rims in more widths. 700c rims and tires are available in almost any bike shop anywhere in the world. You'll also gain a bit of extra tire or fender clearance.
|A 27" wheel hiding behind a 700c rim|
|Determining required brake reach|
I'm sure that there are some who will want to keep their bikes as original as possible. For a high-end production or custom frame that you view as more of a collectible than a user, this makes sense. Otherwise I would get a second set of 700c wheels for riding and keep the originals for display.
Posted by VeloOrange at 1:03:00 PM
11 October, 2011
VO sells a lot of fenders and gets a lot of questions about installing them. We've updated the fender instructions, both the paper and on-line versions.
Velo-Retro at Interbike. His company offers reprints of old bike catalogs as well as some cool t-shirts, and musettes. Worth a visit.
Posted by VeloOrange at 11:00:00 AM
07 October, 2011
The Polyvalent maxi build kits are back in stock and have been selling fast. The maxi kit includes:
- A Polyvalent frame set
- Grand Cru seat post
- Tektro CR-720 brakes
- Cable hangers for the brakes
- Grand Cru sealed bearing headset
- Grand Cru Touring Wheels
- Zeppelin 58mm fenders
- Porteur Handlebars or course handlebars. Your choice.
- VO quill stem
- Polyvalent crankset
- Grand Cru bottom bracket
- Headset & bottom bracket installation, if you want
- Any other components ordered at the same time are 10% off.
We have 650b wheels again. They are built with the Grand Cru touring hubs and Diagonale rims. Front and rear (in both 130mm and 135mm spacing) are available.
Most other wheels are back in stock, including our fixed and touring 700c wheels.
This is a photo of Robert unloading the wheel truck with our new pallet-stacker. It's like a muscle powered forklift. We call him Pepe, our little mule (the pallet-stacker, not Robert). We'd been borrowing a forklift from Chesapeake Light Craft, but felt we finally needed our own. Instead of getting a carbon spewing LPG powered forklift we got Pepe. It's actually a pretty good quad workout pumping that pedal to raise the forks. So Robert may still spew a fair bit of carbon.
Posted by VeloOrange at 10:58:00 AM
06 October, 2011
We're working on a print ad for the Polyvalent. Here are our top three versions. Which one do you like best? Or do you have a better idea?
Come to think of it, should we even bother with this? Some of us think that VO should only advertise online. Ten years ago I read about 20 magazines and two newspapers. Today I read all periodicals on line (but still prefer paper books). Is print advertising still worthwhile or are we just wasting trees?
Posted by VeloOrange at 1:20:00 PM
In this magazine, the publisher introduced Mr.Otsuki. Mr.Otsuki is the store manager of 'Velocraft'.The 'Velocraft' is one of the famous touring bike shop in Japan and Mr.Otsuki is the technical adviser and business partner for my company 'M's Collection'. He is very enthusiastic to Velo Orange products.
Posted by VeloOrange at 10:23:00 AM