08 February, 2011

Picture Day

We had our little photo studio going, so I asked Alec to shoot some of the staff bikes currently on site:

Alec's VO Rando
  Robert's custom 650b Rando, built by Robert.
Trygve's brand new Polyvalent, just finishing up the build.
Kyle's Motobecane Le Champion fixie. Kyle also has a Polyvalent at home.
Colin's Raleigh Portage, a rare 650b production bike from an English company.
Colin's VO Mixte, a brand new project.
 Alec's Crosscheck all-arounder.

This reminds me that VO is not a bad place to work. Staff members get parts and frames at cost, as well as lots of free prototypes and samples to test. So there are always a few cool builds in progress here.

Have any new builds? Add a link in the comments.

37 comments:

Dominic Dougherty said...

Those little under-the-seat tool rolls that Alec has are pretty slick! Where'd ya get 'em?

Ron Alford said...

What's the box on the fork of the Cross-check?

jimmythefly said...

Looks liek whatever it is it has an iPod cord coming from it. Homebrew charger?

jimmythefly said...

Also, looks like it's powered from athe new switchable dyno hub. Is that a black version on Alec's rando?

Tim D said...

Dominic, looks like one of these - http://www.etsy.com/shop/bikeburrito?ref=seller_info

Tim

Chris Kulczycki said...

The fork box houses the flux capacitor. If you can get to 88mph...

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about Alec's Crosscheck all-arounder. I've often heard that the handling of high trail bikes with front loads is not very desirable. Since the Crosscheck is a pretty high trail bike, I was wondering how the front loading works for Alec?

Alec said...

Anon 2:40: the crosscheck handles a lot worse at low speeds with any weight at all in the bar bag - think "wheel flop." But it works, and I've used it a whole lot, and at high speed it stabilizes, but the inertia makes it hard to change lines. I don't particularly love the handling without a load either, but it's a tough and versatile bike and we've had our times together.

Tim D, Dominic Dougherty: It's not a bike burrito - it's a swatch of reclaimed canvas duck that I sewed up into a tool roll

Jimmythefly, Ron Alford: Good spotting job! The box holds a bridge rectifier connected to 4 a AAA battery (series) bank with a USB plug on the other end. Charges batteries & iPhone off of the dynamo.

Jimmythefly: yes: those are the new dynamo hub. I've been bogarting -errr- testing the silver one for some time now. The black is a second generation prototype, but the final ones will be silver.

Chris said...

Here's a SOMA Double Cross commuter project we just finished.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/a1cyclery/sets/72157625873635627/

Anonymous said...

all really nice bikes. I especially like Colin's Raleigh. By the way Colin, is that your VO mixte posted on Ebay right now.

Etherhuffer said...

Trygve? Is there such a thing as a herring porteur? Wink wink...

Felkerino said...

MG's VO Mixte is coming along...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gersema/5402698419/

Preston said...

Has the VO mixte frame been discontinued? I no longer see it
in the store. Sure happy that I got one for my wife last summer.

William Blake Stephens said...

http://velospace.org/node/26136

Fuji ace, completely rebuilt, just put on a pair of wolber sl 19 tires, a mix of velo orange, nos parts, and a little shellac.

Matt Madden said...

I'm not much of a photographer, but here's my Lotus Odyssey with VO fenders, saddle, and bars...

http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g397/mmadden27/Lotus%20Jan2010/P1200182.jpg

http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g397/mmadden27/Lotus%20Jan2010/P1200181.jpg

Anonymous said...

The Raleigh Portage did not have anything at all to do with the English Raleigh company.

It was designed by "Raleigh USA", who had simply bought the rights to market bikes in America under the Raleigh name. I believe it was a subsidiary of (believe it or not)Huffy. Yes, Huffy. We used to call them "Ruffy's".

Anyway, it was built in Taiwan or China before Taiwan or China had become very good at building bikes (compared to Japan). The Portage was at the higher end of the line and the quality was somewhat better than the lower-priced models. The market for touring bikes in the mid-late 1980's had unfortunately all but disappeared, and to add the oddball tire size only further limited it's appeal. Nowadays of course they are desirable. Back then, well, they were a hard sell to put it mildly. I bet that Raleigh USA sold the vast majority of those bikes at the end of the season at "closeout" prices to dealers.

I worked for a large "Ruffy" dealer in 1986-1987.

RDW said...

Not sure whether I'm drooling more over Alec's Rando or Trygve's Polyvalent. Which bar is that on the Polyvalent? All beautiful bikes.

Perry Austin said...

Heres my new Box Dog Pelican I picked up in December. It is the best riding bike I've ever had!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucegoods/5399140859/

Alec said...

Dominicm Tim D: but Robert's tool roll is, in fact, a real bike burrito, sorry if my last post confused that point

Preston: we're out of Mixte frames and don't yet have solid plans for the next run.

Matt: the lotus is slick!

ED: yay! the mixte!

Anonymous said...

Nice collection of builds. I've had a CC for about 4.5 yrs and it's been through a lot of changes. The CC is a great bike that's very versatile. Don't underestimate it's capabilities. It's also best not to perseverate on it's handling, just throw a leg over it and head down the road. I'll always have a soft spot for the CC as it's the first bike I used for bike camping and introduced me to the world of 700x>25 tires.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41335973@N00/sets/72157616301718838/

Leaf S.

Anonymous said...

Hmm ... 650b is the same 584 ERD as the English 3-speed 26 x 1&3/8" tyre size that was on most Raleigh and other English three-speeds that were sold by the millions back in the day.

Maybe England and the 650b tyre size are not so uncommon after all ?

Le Cagot said...

Anonymous commenter,

26 x 1-3/8-inch British tires have an ERD of 590mm, not 584mm. They are not 650b. 650b is unusual in Blighty. Schwinn did make some 650b bikes, but they called the size "26 x 1-1/2-inch"

Mason said...

Just picked up an '09 Masi Speciale Randonneur frame, fork, headset, stem, seatpost and brakes for $400. Looks like I'll be doing some shopping very soon.

Tom said...

British 26x1 3/8" (590mm Bead dia) and 650b (584mm bead dia) rims and tires have a radius difference of 3mm. 650b fenders will fit on bikes with 26x1 3/8" tyres.

z-man said...

Darn Chris, I wish I could talk you into a limited run of larger size Rando frames!!!!

MGR said...

I was just wondering what VO hadle bars are on Kyle's Motobecane Le Champion fixie? Thanks.

Nurse Fuzzy Wuzzy said...

That cross-check is very masculine and rugged looking. Seriously. Give that guy a raise.

Honor said...

Great post.
I loved Alec's take on his 'touring cross-check' when I visited a few months ago. Those shifters are shameless and rightly so, maybe that will catch on after this post.

Here's my current build. It's a 650B take on a 'sport touring/city bike'. Built with the Bridgestone XO-1 in mind. It's my main bike here in Philadelphia. Took these pictures just now, just for this post. Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59325880@N03/5432811118/in/photostream/

The Flying Dutchman said...

this is a question for alec:

how is that supernova mounted on the rando bike? is it upside down from the front rack? if so, have you had any issues with water getting into the housing? i've been looking into getting a supernova and have been thinking about different ways to mount it with a front rack/bag setup. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Like Leaf said, the CC is to be honored:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainamerika/4379268413/in/set-72157623874403987/

But I prefer the 650Beast:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainamerika/sets/72157625495559902/

Ryan McNabb said...

I love the Raleigh Portage. I also am a Portage owner - my wife and I bought a pair of them in 1987 and we still have them and ride them a lot. It's a superb all purpose "country" bicycle. Thanks for posting your photo, Colin.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Preston, we may bring the mixte back in 2012.

MGR, Kyle's Motobecane Le Champion has VO Porteur bars.

Alec said...

Don't get me wrong - the crosscheck has been good to me, and it's very versatile, but it's not great at any specific task.

The supernova is a warranty replacement for one that quit working in Iceland. That one was mounted right side up, but it was an early one and the seals have been redone since and I'd be very surprised if I had any problems with water. You're not supposed to mount them upside down, supernova says it'll let water in and it'll make the beam real funny on an asymmetrical lamp, but since it fit under the rack better upside down, I thought I'd try it. It's on a VO rack to light bracket on a Rando rack. There hasn't been much rain here, but the roads have been wet from snow. No problems yet.

Honor - neat ride. Are you the guy that came down to help a friend get a Mixte?

Perry! The pelican! Tell us all about it!

PantsPants said...

Here's my VO Polyvalent. I went a little nuts on it and copper plated the fork and rear triangle and refinished it with gun blue and a clear powdercoat. It's my daily commuter and go-to tourer. It really is polyvalent. Great ride - thanks for putting it out there!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/reefflop/sets/72157624058389949/

Alec said...

PantsPants;

Slow-rust Blue & Copper plating is definitely the coolest bike finish combination ever.

You've been by the shop with that bike a couple times, right? I think we chatted about it.

Mke Dean said...

Thanks VO! Here's my Mixte 'Vivien'. We're fresh back from the Portland "Worst Day of the Year" Ride, yesterday.
Just a wonderful day with nary a drop of Rain - Oh well maybe next year.

http://mikedean.zenfolio.com/p333917304/h272e236#h272e236

Hands down the most fun & comfortable Bike I've owned in the past 55 odd years

mary Westmacott said...

Love the - Colin's VO Mixte- really lovely looking Bike, keep up with the great pics, always a good read.