08 March, 2011

Product Ideas

I'll be back in Taiwan for the Taipei Cycle Show next week. This is the most important bike show of the year and one where almost every major supplier and factory exhibits. In addition to meeting with the factories we already work with, I'll be looking for new products and manufacturers.  And, as in past years, I'm asking readers for ideas.

What new stuff should I look for? Pretend that you're the buyer for VO and want to source new items. But remember that any new products must fit with our overall theme; no BMX or carbon or MTB stuff. And new products must sell in sufficient quantity. We can't stock something we'll likely only sell a few hundred of a year. The comments are open.

143 comments:

Eric said...

I like frame bags, but I also have pumps that fit between the bottom bracket and top tube, so I wouldn't mind a frame bag meant for the front of the triangle. Since I use bar end shifters, I don't need room on the down tube to shift.

I also ride 61-63cm frames, so there is room.

It'd also be neat if there were a handlebar bag specifically for mustache handlebars.

jeff said...

I'd like to see a nice but reasonably priced chromed/polished aluminum dynamo headlight/taillight set to go with all of your other shiny accessories (fenders, racks, etc). Something with a retro but updated style.

The Schmidt headlights are amazing ( (I have the Edleux) but very $$$ and maybe not quite classic looking enough. The B&M retro headlight is cool (I also have one) but the chromed plastic makes it feel cheap on a high end bike. Stylish taillights are, in my opinion, basically non-existent.

There seems to be a swift trade for vintage lights on Ebay. I wonder if this would translate into demand for an updated version of the classics from Jos/Luxor/Soubitez from VO?

adam said...

I'd like to see a cleaner alternative to zip-ties, that is reasonably durable and wont fall off easily.

Also, a water bottle cage that can hold a 40oz klean kanteen would be the bees knees.

Brian said...

A new Flick Stand! This was a little wire loop that swung down from the downtube to hold the front wheel still when the bike is parked - a Google search will pull up pictures. It lets you lean the bike against a wall or tree without the wheel flopping over and making it fall. As far as I know they were only made by Rhode Gear which is out of business.

jugdish said...

Replacement spindles for TA and Campy bottom brackets would be nice.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeff on the retro Bikelights.

And then there is the Tektro FL750 Brakelever:
http://tektro.com/_english/01_products/01_prodetail.php?pid=69&sortname=Lever&sort=1&fid=3

All silver would be fine, of course.

Regards,

Leif

Scott Loveless said...

A top rack that uses standard mid-fork braze-ons. There are lots of bikes out there these days that have them, and having a top rack that uses them would be super-duper.

Anonymous said...

you have only one little mini pump. . . maybe a nice silver frame pump, if such a thing exists? I especially like my Park adjustable frame pump which fits any bike without clips, but it would be great to have a slightly more elegant solution.

mw

Colton said...

Ditto on the lights. There are a few headlights that are classy enough, but there's a serious dearth of sexy taillights. Perhaps if the electronics were hard to source, you could make a housing to fit a popular light (like the PB Superflash), just something--anything--that's not black plastic.

Anonymous said...

Here's another vote for non-ugly and affordable lighting systems!

Chris Kulczycki said...

Regarding lighting, I'll be happy to import retro-style lights if I find them, but developing and having them manufactured is simply beyond our expertise.

Erik said...

How about a Grand Cru headset with an integrated cable hanger?

jeff said...

Chris, I understand that developing a lighting system from scratch would be a challenge. Looking around, it seems bike light makers make bike lights and little else, suggesting it is a highly specialized industry. Perhaps one day it might be possible to partner with an existing manufacturer that can handle the electronic guts (bright LEDs, stand lights, etc) and let VO handle designing an elegant polished aluminum enclosure.

For the moment, I've been sourcing vintage lights and doing the LED upgrades myself, which is a pain in the butt, for sure.

Christopher said...

Wow, that Tektro FL750 Brakelever looks great. A modern take on a classic look.
Since no one mentioned it, how about a derailleur mounted chain guard or something like it?

Travis said...

I agree that a simple classic style frame pump would be a great option. It's difficult to find a classy frame pump anymore.

Stephen said...

How about a front derailleur for half-step plus granny ... and some nice ramped chainrings to go with it.

j.schwartz said...

I've been looking for a small handlebar bag to accompany the gran-compe ENE mini rack that wouldn't need a decaleur and that isn't the Berthoud mini.

Mr Nouveau said...

No one seems to make a nice short-reach stem for threadless headsets. Those of us riding upright bars don't always need much reach, and some of those old radster stems were almost 0-reach.

Don Stevenson said...

Maybe a more ergonomic version of your Dia Compe inverse brake grips. Something that can accommodate the cable as nicely as the Dia Compe does.

Or what about bar-end hand-activated LED turn signals for riding in traffic? Could be integrated with mirrors and could be collapsible if they extend out, like car mirrors are now. May not be a VO thing, but I throuw it out there.

Also, vis-a-vis the Flik Stand, I've been wondering if anyone has ever made a stem lock/stabilizer that swings up from the top tube or down tube and over the stem when the rider is dismounted. It would both secure a loaded front end and serve as a secondary theft deterrent. Just musing.

Sherlock said...

I'd like to see thumb shifters a bit more classy than the Falcons, but less pricey than the Dia-Compe Silver shifters mounted on Paul Thumbies.

A super-compact double crankset that looks similar to your Compact Double, but takes standard chainrings smaller than 34 (or 33) teeth would be nice. If I remember correctly, Sugino had a prototype of a 110/74 BCD double crankset on display in Taipeh some years ago, and there's a number of (high-end) cranks that are using the 94mm BCD. While I like the look of classic 50.4 BCD designs on vintage bikes (or recent builds capturing the appeal of those bikes), they appear a bit out of place on some more modern builds.

Finally, you should definitely sell the braze-on pivots Dia-Compe is offering for their 610 Centerpull brakes.

Peter Hamtramck said...

how about a front rack w/ integrated lighting?
:)

Anonymous said...

that tektro brake lever someone mentioned is beautiful.

How about leaning on your Porteur Double Kickstand supplier while you're there?

Yogurt said...

I would like to see a frame pump with a hose. Like a cross between a topeak morph and master blaster. I don't know if such a thing exist. I would like one though.

Jon said...

• SPD pedals with the VO aesthetic
• A silver frame pump
• sexy dynamo lights
• Water bottle cage that straps on, but looks elegant

Roger said...

-A threadless 1 1/8" needle bearing headset.

- Low Rider only racks, to supplement a permanently mounted Randonneur rack for camping trips.

All in brushed or polished finish, natch.

john said...

I'd love to see more panniers. Especially touring panniers in the Velo-Orange 'style'.

I find that many of the classic styles are tailored to commuting and not traveling.

I also second the request for some nice classic silver pumps to fit on the frame.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

One more for the light, front and rear. Also simple light weight full length frame pumps like the old silca pumps.

Greg in wausau

Chuck said...

How about a down tube clamp with bosses for mounting Dia Compe Silver shifters. Plenty of nice old frames out there without braze ons.

Anonymous said...

I would like some alloy westwood rims for my 28 inch Raleigh DL-1.

Anonymous said...

Get Dia Compe to build a center pull that will fit around your largest fenders.

Have you seen the Shimano HP-NX10 Handlebar Stoppers? Nice idea, but they would look out of place on a Porteur built up with shiny parts.

Anonymous said...

Chalk up yet another vote for vintage-style (Luxor et. al.) lights w/ modern workings -- SOMA's are close, but no cigar. And how about those flashlight holder brackets?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - and the double-ended straddle cables for the Mafac Racer/Weinmann center-pull calipers, please!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a fork crown daruma roughly the size of the lower fork ID with a female 6mm thread that already had the fender mount surface angled slightly so you didn't have to put a dent in the fender. I know there are various fork angles on different bikes but a thick leather or rubber washer could take up some of that.

camp6ell said...

Some made in USA items?

benny said...

Wider 700c tires. 700 x 32 please.
And large platform pedals.
I second the request for a middle ground thumb shifter.

S. McCune said...

Odd sized stems, for a variety of vintage bikes with non-standard fork sizes. Similar quality to your wonderful Uno seat post. I know there are plenty of old Schwinns and other even nicer steel frames out there just begging to be fixed up, but their non-standard fork-size makes it difficult.

Anonymous said...

Clear non-braided cable housing. 26.6 seatposts (to fit most Tange tubed frames and most Schwinn Voyageurs). Bags fitted for sprung saddles.

But mostly, I'd like to see your small out of stock parts, like straddle hangers, to be in stock. I was forced to buy stuff from a retailer named after a waterfall--that sucked.

Anonymous said...

* a nice taillight
* 1 1/8 threadless needle bearing headset
* a pump in all metal, good looking and well working

masmojo said...

I Agree a more Velo Orangy Light set might be good, probably no need to re-invent the whell though, I am sure it would be fairly easy to retro fit modern LED's into an old housing and possibly add a modern recharing system.

I also concur about shifting and braking duties. Most of the older shifters do not accommodate newer 9 speed drive trains and Most newer shifters that do are on the pricy side. I think VO has a nice range of brake levers and the previously mentioned Avids are not bad looking; I like the straightish leg style of the old levers, but I like the construction of the new levers. I run Paul's levers on a couple bikes, but I don't feel the kicked out dog leg style suits a classic or Retro styled bike very well. The old Dia-comp levers that came on the old Bridgestone MB-zip's were great, but hard to find now! Good examples on Ebay will run you a mint. Maybe you could get Dia-comp to make some for you, but in a high polish rather then the flat black they were before I am guessing that Grant over @ Rivendell might go in with you on some!?

nordic_68 said...

Grand Cru 9-speed rear derailleur.

Jon said...

A supple, high-performance tire in fat 700cx38mm-42mm actual width comparable to the Grand Bois Hetres.

Ken said...

I don't know if this exists, but what about a flywheel hub that stores energy when you break, and assists the rear wheel when you pedal forward. It might make the bike a little heavier, but it would help out a ton when you're riding at low speeds in the city.

Greg B said...

Check out TRP's new RRL levers. Retro-future, somehow.

A simple front chain retainer for 1xN setups. The market might be a little busy on this one, but you know better than I do.

A mini-V that looks nice (rather than a BMX/MTB reject) and that definitely plays nice with road levers.

Mounts to put bar-end shifters on the flat of the bar (good for townies, snow bikes, flat-bar conversions, those who want an alternative to bar-end/DTs). It seems others beat me to this one.

Velo Orange bar plugs. The Velox are quite nice, but VO ones (that are actually orange?) would be pretty hip.

Kelvin Mulcky said...

compact bar in 26mm clamp size. tall stack stem in 26.0mm.

Mr Nouveau said...

Probably won't meet the "Only sell a few a year" test - But, rims with a 40 hole drilling would be nice. Nothing currently on the market is quite right for a vintage restoration.

Also, one more vote for pumps and lights.

ekr said...

1. more variety from ostrich bags, but perhaps with a 18oz or 22oz cotton duck. I think the VO cotton duck is a bit too thin. Same style as the current Ostrich bags.

2. a smaller non-camping pannier. Something more for commuting or long brevet/credit card touring. In the french style. In the $175/pair price range.

3. dynamo lights that are strong enough for night riding, that are chrome or classic style is good.

4. silca-syle frame pumps that are up to date and built to last.

5. perhaps a fork with lots of rake, to retrofit everyones frames, now that they all want lots of rake.
Something steel, lugged or not, 1 1/8" and 1" steerer tubes. with maybe one or two axle to crown lengths, whatever is most common these days. It would have rack mounts, fender mounts, all that crap. Maybe some wire guides down the right leg.
I think the next thing, other than buying a rando bike with lots of stuff on it, will be retrofitting your existing bike into a more rando style front load carrying thing.
You'd have to design it, and it wont work for everyone, but i think everyone will buy one and try it! It would have to priced slightly higher than the cost to re-rake a fork by a frame builder.

6. Some 700c tires in colors like those fancy Jan Heine tires, red and beige and blue or something, all good quality, in the $40 range, not built to last, but for performance, maybe around 25-30mm range? or whatever sells well. For fast sporty riding, not commuting.

Gavin said...

I'd sure like a source for 21.15mm (.833in)Quill stems of good quality.

Anonymous said...

I want a front rack. I want it to be modular. Something that gives me a nice handlebar bag rack all the time, low riders when I want them and a porteur rack when I want it. Oh, and it all needs to look nice regardless of what setup I currently have it in. That would go on a polyvalent in a heartbeat. Pumps and lights too, most offerings spoil a look pretty quickly.

Brooksie said...

27" touring tires

Classic Silca style frame pumps & umbrella clamps

Small panniers for your rack designs

Anonymous said...

A seatpost-mounted saddlebag support alternative to the Carradice Bagman (Bagmen?) for larger saddlebags, usable with saddles lacking integral bag loops. Which brings to mind lighter, semi-modern but not outrageous, non-leather saddles (think Avocet o2) that DO have bag loops.

frank said...

a white panaracer pasela 700c folding in 32-35...like the 28s VO sells.

Brad Hurley said...

I think the Wheel Stabilizer works as a Flick-Stand substitute (http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2010/08/wheel-stabilizer.html), but something a bit more minimalist would be nice.

I think there's a real need for a simple and elegant solution to stabilize the front wheel when the bike is at rest and you're carrying a load or even just a moderately heavy basket or rack up front. I have a heavy Gomoh basket and have had terrible problems with wheel flop, sometimes the whole bike flops if I try to lock to a post, and even leaning the bike against a wall is problematic.

Brooksie said...

Almost forgot:

Clamp on downtube shifters. A copy of Simplex retro-frictions would be heavenly!

Tom Horne said...

A mount to place downtube shifters next to road bar brake levers, something like Kelly Take Offs, but not standing out so far from the levers, and not requiring mounting under the brake lever body. Rivendell announced they were working on something like this a while back ( with Merry Sales), but they dropped it.
Or perhaps something like the Suntour Command shifters (I loved those!), with changeable plates inside to accomodate a variety of cog counts & spacings and a friction option.
Tom H

Kelvin Mulcky said...

lightweight 650b rims

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's out there somewhere, but how about carrying a "just right" multitool -- all the hex sizes up to 8 but no torx, a big enough flat blade screwdriver to work on older stuff, chain tool, 8mm and 10mm box wrenches, good steel, etc...

Second the calls for a mid-priced thumb shifter. Would also love to see a nice clamp-on downtube cable stop, particularly one where you could take out one boss for a 1x setup and not have an ugly nub sticking out on the left waiting to core sample your shin.

A classic looking 22.2 brake lever with modern features would be welcome -- I love the cheap VO levers but wish they had a barrel adjuster at the lever and perhaps a way to configure for direct pull brakes, though the former is a way bigger deal than the latter.

This may be a long shot, but a larger GR-9 for those of us with big ol' feet. I love those pedals in theory but in practice it feels like I'm riding around on speedplays in sneakers with my size 11 feet.

Not a new product, but can you get your saddle maker to start using nylock nuts on the bolts that secure the springs? I lost two of them and finally gave up and replaced the rest. Also, please start carrying the 10 speed KMC chains, they are the best by far and a lot of us would add them to orders when we need new chains for our go-fast bikes and don't want to have to order from another vendor. I know that's a slippery slope, but c'mon, it's a chain :)

NatMc said...

No need to find made-in-USA items like camp6ell is asking for. I'm not a nationalist so I have no problem supporting honest manufacturers in any ol' country. Humans is humans last I checked. And for durable goods like bike parts, buying local just isn't a consideration the way it is for produce. Keep them good-looking, reasonably priced bike parts coming, Chris. You're doing a fine job!

Uncle Ankle said...

132,5 OLD 3-speed internal gear hub w silent roller clutch. No coaster/drum/disc brake, short Shimano-splined body for 1-3 casette sprockets.

Yeah, and guidonnnet replacement levers for those Tektro FL750:s.

Honor said...

Has anyone come up with a kit or easy method for swapping out handleabars easily? The cable splicers that are sold with S&S couplers are smart, but expensive and you have to buy a set for each handlebar, (but yet only one set per bike frame) It would be so nice to go back and forth with a stem/bar/lever/shifter depending on your riding. I think we do it anyway, but there has to be an easier, more marketable way. VO, I see this as your territory, but maybe I'm wrong.

eaglerock said...

I'd like to see the VO bags in lighter colors. Although black hides stains, it also attracts/holds heat. If you're carrying perishable items (food, medication, film; in my case, insulin), anything that jacks up the temperature drastically reduces functionality. I'd buy a Campagne today, if was in grey/tan/beige/light green. But in black, I can't ride in sunlight for more than a few hours without getting my medicine so overheated that it breaks down.

Another vote for retro-LED lights.

Anonymous 1:32/1:33 (I assume you're the same person): Wald makes the old flashlight clamps, with bands for handlebars. I'm guessing you could modify them for rackmount use with hoseclamps; I'm doing something like that with AA LED flashlights. And if you're using Mafac Racers specifically, the end of a road derailleur cable fits into the countersink in the Mafac bobbin. I cut the end off double-ended tandem derailleur cables and hoard the short bit for Racer straddle cables. The end of a mountain brake cable also works - ugly but functional.

Anonymous said...

I like the look but am not sure of the fit of jerseys with breast pockets instead of modern rear poc. How about vintage googles? And handlebar mount water bottle cages.

Joshua said...

Cogs for IGH in larger sizes for those us retrofitting cottered crank bikes that might be stuck with 52T chainrings... (I know, I'm probably the only one!)

Quickly detachable front bags designed for the VO porteur rack would also be awesome.

C said...

Cassettes with a 14t outer cog. A 14-28 and 14-32 would be great when paired with a 50x34 crank. Buying a new cassette is more affordable than buying a new crank/BB so it's a good way for people to achieve a more usable range of gears. Offer 8, 9 and 10 speed variations and ideally use the spider carrier attachment method for a lighter, nicer Grand Cru model.

kurt said...

Wooden fenders look really nice. Bar end taillights are becoming popular. They really do help with alerting motorists of your width when passing on narrow roads.

Tom Horne said...

How about narrower, tighter radius fenders for 26 inch wheels with 1.25 to 1.5 tires. There are lots of such tires out there, but no fenders that do not dwarf them. 50 cm width would be about right.

keithwwalker said...

Silca style frame pump
City Levers
Retro tail light with LED and standlight
and finally:
Nitto Crystal Fellow stem. Just get Nitto to make you a batch, imitation on this design would be an insult.
http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=6964

dwainedibbly said...

Another vote for retro-LED lights for generator hub setups, please. Those would sell really well.

The previously mentioned Tekro levers would be nice, in polished silver.

How about some more choices in chain guards/csaes? The two that you have are ok, but they're really at the extremes of coverage. For my Alfine-11 Polyvalent build I wanted something in between. I think this one will polish up nicely and it'll look good with the 50.4 single crank (or the vintage Nervar set that I've been hanging on to):

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=400190446644&frommaketrack=true&si=CrE4%252FfWddgtMWcQADKFWQfM6bis%253D&viewitem=&sspagename=VIP%3Awatchlink%3Atop%3Aen

Ivan said...

Anonymous 1:21 PM:
I am currently in South America, and there are Aluminium Westwood rims in 28 x 1 1/2 available for about 10-15 USD. These are branded "GW". I'll be getting a few pairs and

Another vote for lights and frame pump.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for a silver compact handlebar in 26.0 clamp diameter and in 44cm width. Nitto makes one (MAS106) but the largest width is 42cm. Bontrager makes a black one (SSR-VC 26.0).

Anonymous said...

I agree with the lights and "Flick-Stand" front wheel stabilizer suggestions. I'd Also love to find a convenient way to carry a U-Lock and a nice large capacity trunk bag. Chris, thank you for asking our opinions!

Nate Knutson said...

A nice quality, $25-35 LED rear light with minimal plastic, classy mounting options, zero rattle, and looks that actually work well on classic/modern-classic bikes. Ideally would have a main body that disassembles well to accommodate custom paint/powder, and be a quality level that's worthy of it. Extra ideally would come in a generator version too.

Justine Valinotti said...

I also vote for classic-looking lights with modern electronics and good, functional frame pumps that look classy.(Even something like the Zefal HPX in silver would be nice.) The wider platform pedals, too: The White Industries pedals are wonderful, but cost more than my first few bikes.

Etherhuffer said...

Your wheel stabilizer springy thingy to fit larger tubing(aluminum frame). Everyone I know went nuts over this gem.

I still think you should do a 1" generic fork with one long length steerer that could be cut down and threaded locally. Lots of old 25" and larger frames are fork-orphans. Bladed with canti mounts and braze-ons and large tire clearance.

And, how about a nicely finished VO head badge?

And someone needs to come up with a waterproof gore Tex saddle cover that won't condense water underneath and has a drawstring to hold it down when on the rack on a car. And without logos to reduce theft!

Michael said...

I would kill for some clamp-on downtube shifters/bosses (both front and rear would be fine, but a single sided one for 1x builds would be neat to see).

Z said...

I also would love to see a mid-level thumb shifter. What will happen when my 20 year old Deore's wear out?
I also agree that stocking some nice steel, quality replacement forks would be great. If you have fork issues on a nice vintage frame, there aren't many options out there. Sometimes the nicer tange's are easily available, but not always.

Anonymous said...

Whatabout stylin black cranks? Silver wouldn't look right on my bike but the black cranks it came with are horrid fat mtb looking things which don't suit it either.

Dave said...

+1 for large capacity frame pump with hose, like a larger Lezyne HVG or Topeak Road Morph. Extra credit for fitting where a Zefal frame pump would fit. I love these type of pumps with the hose because they never damage the valve stem. The Topeak and Lezyne models are OK with skinny tires, but take a really long time to inflate wide tires (e.g. nice 650B)

A threadless needle bearing headset would be nice (Token makes one that is hard/impossible to get in the States) for taming shimmy problems.

A fork crown mounted cable hanger that solves this problem would be nice to have.

My most desired tool would be a set of miniature metric sockets that can use an L-shaped hex wrench instead of a square-drive ratchet handle. Super-useful for travel situations where you need to remove parts to fit the bike in a box, and also for brevets and shakedown rides.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for a good set of thumb shifters.
Jack

Anonymous said...

28.6mm classic looking simple down tube cable stop in the $5-$10. Like every bike with stem shifters from the 70's and 80's had. The only thing available now is the ugly problem solvers aluminum thing that's $20. Steel would be fine.

$20-$30 Top mount, stem, and even down tube friction shifters. Would be fine if they indexed as long as they could be set to friction. Like others said in between the Falcons and the Pauls.

Gary said...

Here are some bags for the porteur rack

http://www.laplanderbags.com/products.html

And Dave,
That hex wrench tool, from the best tool co. around

http://toollady.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=1948&category_id=12&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=18

Peter said...

+1 for flick-stand
+1 for silver-colored rear blinky lights to match our classic rides
+1000 for down tube clamp-on shifter bosses (in 31.8 also please!)

Craig said...

The fillet brazed quill stems are long over due, what happened?

Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

+1 more for having B&M or similar fit LED guts into a rip of the JOS/Radios style front & rear lamps.

Dante said...

Commuter bag (laptop case that's removeable and similar to a briefcase) that doesn't require $200 of racks like the Rivendell Slicker Sack ($150)and still requires P clamps for bikes with Canti's and no mid fork braze-ons.

Alex A said...

I would like to see a refined rackaleur. One that clears cross levers and the bottom of the rackaleur secures to the quill via some method.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see mass produced polished silver threadless stems for 1 1/8" (1" too?) steerer tubes with built in stack height (30mm ?) and a positive rise (110 degree?) for 25.4 and 26.0 bars.

kilroy said...

Greetings,

A frame with internally routed brake/derailleur cables and shifter levers placed on the top tube near the fork sounds reasonable, to me.

Best regards

Tom said...

How about replacement / different size chainrings for the 50.4 BCD Grand Cru crankset.

Josh said...

Along with frames, possible a compact geometry steel frame...

Anonymous said...

two items:
1. a safety mount for straight-leg fender stays, using rare earth magnets, and a C-shaped collar on the forward part of the magnet that would allow breaking away in the case of a stick getting in there.
2. a compact flask and four stacking cups that have indents in the side of the cup to mark the right pastis: water ratio. Not an engraving shop batchelor party novelty item, but a real container for campsite hospitality.

Jesse said...

I agree that clamp-on down tube shifter bosses (both single and double sided) would be a great addition. They are so useful and so difficult to come by.

Perhaps you could carry more Sturmey-Archer hubs for use on city bicycles. The S-RF5(W) for use with rim brakes seems virtually unobtainable in North America and would slot nicely in between the more common 3 and 8-speed hubs.

Any chance of convincing someone to produce a modernized version of the Nivex touring derailleur?

Anonymous said...

I would definitely buy brake levers for my drop bars that are just as comfortable as my Shimano 105 brifters. I switch gear wit barcons on the LHT.

BrotherTrucker said...

You know what I really think would be nice? Some clamps such as the dia compe housing clips but for dynamo wire. With the same basic look and little captive nut. A couple up the fork, a few more on the frame and down the rear triangle. Say six or seven total. More flash than zip ties and reusable. Just my two cents. Thank for the forum to suggest.

Anonymous said...

+1 on classic lights with LED innards, but with exteriors similar to the old Radios lights.

Also, how about a companion rear rack-top bag for the Campagne front bag?

Anonymous said...

All of these have been mentioned, just adding to the chorus:

Silver aluminum frame pump, or almost-frame pump but with included clamp-on pump peg. All the currently available ones seem to have some bit anodized black, or a bunch of rubbery/plasticy add-ons.

Aluminum fender-mount rear dyno light. No visible black plastic, please. Front would be nice, too.

700x42 fatty/supple tires.

bubba said...

I'd like to see a magnetic dynamo quick connector, kind of like the power cord on the Apple Macbook that you can kick out without damaging anything. Rare earth magnets should be able to make the connection and line up the terminals correctly.

imhousing said...

cantilever brake calipers that can be adjusted for high or low profiles, so they can be used on older bikes as well.
just search bike forums if you want an idea of demand :)

stands-on-stilts said...

Maybe a grand cru level of finish for handlebar mounted derailleur shifter like the falcon? I was fantasizing over a combo of Simplex Retrofriction shifters mounted to a PAUL road thumbies to the VO Montmartre handlebars.

Jane Sparrow said...

how do you use a flik stand with full fenders?

Anonymous said...

A larger bag in the style of the ostrich bags. I love those bags, but want to be able to carry more as well.

j.schwartz said...

Here's an easy one:
Old School Aluminum Centerpull brake shoe HOLDERS to hold the 4-bump or Red Kool Stop pads.

Anonymous said...

Compact handlebars in 26.0 mm please. Similar to Nitto M 106 NAS would be great. Thanks

Erich said...

I second the Nitto Crystal Fellow stem. I would definitely buy one.

Steve said...

I think we're most vulnerable right now in the area of indexed shifters. Rumors persist that 9 speed's on the chopping block, and 7 and 8 speed indexed shifters (of all types) are ebay only items these days. I'm no great fan of brifters, bar end shifters are my thing, but a solid source of good indexed shifters of all types for 7, 8 and 9 would be great.

Close behind are cassettes and chains. Right now, the full range of 7 and 9 seem to still be available, although we lost the HG70 7-speeds last year. All that seems to be left in 8 speed cassettes are super wide range with 11T small sprockets, which are useless in my book. 7 speed chains are history, although 8s do seem to work fine. If they drop the 8 and 9 speed chains, though...

Anonymous said...

Howabout a polyvalent with S&S couplers, like the Travellers Ceck from Surly?
M Burdge
(also, the fender magnet/pastis flask were my ideas too)

Laser Julius said...

Frame pump. Big, shiny, classy.

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list wanting retro-style lights and a silver, no plastic frame pump.

Also, panniers and bags in tan or khaki-no black- waxed cotton canvas in a classic style. Like Berthoud, but not as expensive.

Steve Mattson said...

I would love to see an adapter that would sit on a rear fender where you could attach a clip-mount tail light (Like the Planet Bike Super Flash or any of the many other tail lights which use a very similar quick-release).

Planet Bike has told me they are looking into it, which basically means they aren't doing anything like this. Beat them to it!

The Spanninga lights you sell that mount to the fender are not waterproof, put out only a decorative amount of light and don't flash.

I too would love to see a light which would put out the amount of light of say a NiteRider or Deal Extreme light with several modes (H/M/Flash) that looked like an old French dyno powered light. Some use a decent Li Ion battery with long life, cold weather function, etc.

Steve Mattson said...

A retro Looking stainless steel water bottle that is actually designed and sized to fit in a standard water bottle cage. I know, the Kleen Kanteen is almost there, but it isn't nor are any of the other generics out there.

Cork lids to fit these and the other SS bottles.

Steve Mattson said...

Have a rubber brake hood manufacturer (DC) make a collection of hoods that fit ALL those old brake levers still out there in circulation...

Campagnolo, Modolo, Dia Compe (I know you carry one of these for the non-aero), Shimano, Suntour. Aero and non-aero.

Black and Gum models in my ideal and perfect world.

fmackay said...

+1 for lights.

AIUI the Schmidt edelux is a B&M Cyo in a nicer casing - the reflector, LED and electrics are the same (ok, they use a different switch). If you could get B&M to supply the internals, would a VO light (closely modelled on that small Radios model (no16?)) be out of the question?

enzomatic said...

Also I'd like to see a prettier looking feed bag, clear unbraided cable housing, wider rando bars, more barcon options, oh and a 1watt front flasher that has a really wide beam and an annoying strobe pattern (us city folks don't need a light to see, we need a really bright strobe everyone else can see.)

Swamp Yankee Matt said...

Aluminum chainboards that work with front derailleurs would top my list.

Rugged and reliable thumb shifters - no plastic, cheap steel or pot-metal, smooth and lovely shift-action.

Weatherproof commuter panniers with cavernous capacity and lots'n'lots of internal and external pockets and lash-ons.

Clamp-on chainstay guard mounts, and replaceable chainstay guards.

Greg B said...

This is a bit fanciful, but the number of requests for some kind of shifter make me wonder if there's a place for 'friction brifters'. No indexing to klunk out, less trouble matching speeds, but the convenience of shifting-at-hand. Probably a tall order, but I thought I'd plant the seed.

Also, thanks CK for soliciting ideas/requests; VO is something great.

Francois said...

I'd like more options for 6 or 7 screw-on cogsets, to revive my old Mavic hubs !

Jesse said...

How about a bracket for attaching a bottle dynamo directly to a cantilever boss? I could swear I've seen a Daniel Rebour drawing of such a device.

You could also make a retro-styled bottle dynamo to go with the requested retro-style light.

web said...

1)Silver compact handlebar in 26.0. Let's keep it light-ish and inexpensive-ish. Origin8 offers it in black so it should be a breeze in silver.
2)Rear derailleur, all silver, short cage, good looking or better and can shift up to a 34 cog w no fuss. Can Microshift shift a 34?
3)Inexpensive, silver, good looking 74/110 BCD chainrings with no ramps/pins. Would love to have a source for 24 to 46 in even numbers. Yeah, Sugino makes em' but they are creeping up in price. An unbranded chainring for $10/small $15/large makes a lot of sense to me.

Dave said...

I'd go with lights too. Powered by a wheel driven dynamo but with a rechargeable power pack that clips to a down tube so that the lights are powered at standstill.

The light should be powerful enough for safe riding. Raleigh used to make something similar many years but it was a hub version and the bateries weren't rechargable.

SteveCrowley said...

+1 for the "vintagey"-styled lights, but with LEDs. Personally I would like to see a battery powered option.

I have been thinking about getting old Soubitez front and rear lights and pulling the old guts out and replacing them with the guts from modern LED flashlights.

A fender mounted taillight would be great as well.

I don't really know about an old style pump, as many have mentioned because there is already the Zefal Lapize. I don't have any experience with this pump, but it is very reasonably priced and I have read a few good reviews on it.

Anonymous said...

How about an accurate chain wear checker that measures just length increase not roller wear like the tl-cn41 but at a sensible price.

phpeter said...

I think there would be a market for an old school MTB frame/setup. Think the early Specialized with the Bi-plane fork...that is cool stuff and would seem to fit. Hook it up in a 650B size and it would be a great light trail bike, XC or all arounder.

Peter said...

One more:
A nice, light double-sided version of the Shimano A-520/530 pedal that has a platform on BOTH the SPD side and non-SPD side. We know VO can make great looking, light weight pedals!

masmojo said...

The retro light seems like it's getting the universal head nod and that's good, but there seems to be a difference of opinion about whether it should be battery, wheel or hub dynamo operated.

I would just say this, maybe batteries with a switch and a plug or outlet in the bottom or side or where-ever to plug a Dynamo into!? Dynamos can be hooked to any light with very little ingenuity, but a rechargeable lithium battery set-up would atke a manufacturer to do right! Maybe one with batteries and charging system and one that's empty for those who want to run Dynamo's?? This could go several ways easily!

As far as the thumb shifter goes, I think you would have to go with a ratcheting mechanisim like the old Suntours in order to satisfy everybody and definatly not plasticy as noted!

The frame tube shifter mounts are a good suggestion, but I wonder how much real need there is for something like that. They are easily and cheaply got of ebay and if you can't find the mount itself, you can always buy a cheap set of shifters that come with the mount and simply remove the crappy shifters and put them in the recycle bin!

I would also like to say how much I am enjoying the conversation and great idea's that everyone has; I would guess it makes your job as a business owner much easier AND I think is the wave of the future! I have bought a skateboard that was designed form input from customers (Comet) and a bicycle frame from another company that was formed from feedback from bloggers! Why guess at what your customers will want when all you have to do is ask and they will tell you! Sweet!!!

Anonymous said...

another vote for compact silver 26 bars, the newer style with nice flat ramps and gracefully curved drops. I have them on my two fastest bikes and love them, and would love to put them on all my bikes with quill stems.

mw

Peter said...

Brakehandles for Magura HS33 hydraulic brakes that fit a drop handlebar. Magura stopped making the HS66 in 2004 and now these handles fetch ridiculous prices on ebay.

Nate said...

Bio-Pace style chainrings. I have a couple bikes w/Bio-Pace rings on them and they're going to wear out eventually. It'd be fantastic to have solidly produced replacements.

fmackay said...

Greg B - how about some friction brifters, 1951-style - No. 8 here.

Dave - all decent dynamo lights these days have capacitors which charge up while you're riding and give a few minutes light when you stop, no need for heavy batteries.

John Hurley said...

Frame Pump: The venerable Zefal HPX is available in silver for about $30 or $35, although the grips are black.

http://www.zefal.com/zefal/produit.php?key=73

Flickstand: This is probably a dumb idea, but why not have an internal lock on the steering colum? Some sort of cleverly designed detent or clutch that would be simple, lightweight, and foolproof, to minimize the likelihood of zooming off on one's bike with the locking pin in place. (I actually think any semi-conscious person would realize the steering was locked anyway, before even trying to mount).

How about Gloves? Real leather with crochet back. Probably a very tough market.

Felkerino said...

Shimano index bar end shifters, if possible, 9x Shimano would be nice, so would 8x. The prices for these items are incredibly high and the Shimano 9x are not as durable as they should be. Or, downtube shifters that can be mounted to bar end pods.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the taillight and headlight requests. It's impossible to find a vintage looking LED taillight, like one you would have seen on a Rene Herse or Alex Singer bike.

masmojo said...

Maybe there is something out there like this already and I am just not aware of it, But a nice looking retro grip with a hole that runs length wise to accomodate the bar end shifter cable!? The grip could have a nice oval shape! I know Rivendellmake a cork grip with a channel,but this could be a good option as many VO customers are bar con shifter stalwarts.

Bio-pace chainrings? Nice to know somebody likes those, but what has it been like 20+ years since they made those?? I have not worked in a bike shop for almost 30 years and we used to put them in the scrap metal bin! Normal chain rings will fit fine; altough they might feel funny at first.If Bio-pace chairings were a good idea they would still be making them! ;-)

jeff said...

Glad to see so much support for retro-styled dynamo lights. Hopefully some kind of VO partnership with a light maker could eventually see our dream realized.

For anyone that's interested, I've documented my experiences with retrofitting LEDs into vintage lights here:

http://minisystem.blogspot.com/

This system described above works well, but needs to have some proper load switching implemented.

I'm working on a super-capacitor version that will power 1W front and rear LEDs to retrofit into a Luxor Martele light set.

mike said...

another vote for:

the retro lighting options. maybe it could take form in weather-proof v/o style casings and fender/rack mounting hardware for existing products. Let the lightmakers make lights and let v/o provide the style.

a quality shiny silver frame pump without plastic or black bits (hose excluded) and with secure mounts and internals that are easily and affordably serviced and/or repaired. hopefully one that reliably achieves close to the maximum rated pressure without the pounding in the ears and scarily bloated veins in the temples.

a multipurpose front rack as suggested (porteur-style, low-riders, rack bag, etc.) maybe with some side pieces that slide on or fold up/down.

any chainring options in standard bcd's would be most welcome.

chubby tires

wider pedals

clear unbraided cable housing.

and, while you're at, a reasonably priced pastis-based recovery beverage (just add water). Surely with the contacts in l'ancien pays, a house label might be possible.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris: You'd have to experiment, but maybe some of the Bagworks paint brush rolls could work as canvas, made in the USA, tool rolls. They imprint, so you can add a Velo-Orange tool roll -- and let people put in the tools they need.

squib said...

Retro Style LED dynamo lights! Including a rear fender mounted light. Something a 39' hot rod blue dot tail light would be the bees knees! There are some great LED lights on the market but none with any sort of style.

Mr Nouveau said...

Late addition: How about a half-step version of the Grand Cru triple?

dwainedibbly said...

More thoughts on the vintage-style LED lights. How about making an "insert" of a light, maybe shaped something like a Dinotte light, that could be used in any number of V/O housings. Make a red one for tail lights and a white one for headlights. That would simplify the design work that the light maker would have to do, yet give Velo Orange the ability to offer different style, mounts, etc.

Mr Nouveau said...

I used the internals from the Shimano dynamo light, that VO had on closeout last year, to upgrade a NOS lantern style light. Don't know if anyone is still making lights in that style - but it would probabaly be easy to design a drop-in cartridge with modern electronics. Also, LED bulbs for old-style flashlights are now available.

http://tinyurl.com/5w35hwe

Anonymous said...

A durable plain windbreaker of cordura nylon, in a color other than black. I'd rejoice if it a robust zipper. I'd cry if it was in 2" chest sizes.

Thanks,
Jim

Todd Teachout said...

1) Front derailleur for triple and compact cranks with 28.6 I.D. for steel frames.
2) 3 Pin 88 bcd (I think) Alloy Cotterless crank (ala Herse and early Stronglight). ISIS BB, Square Taper BB, or a modern integrated axle.
3) Alloy fender bracket for eGear Guardian LED lights.
4) Partner with LightSpin to update the efficient bottle dynamo with metal housing, remote control capable, user serviceble capstan, and vertically oriented pivot ala Soubitez, B&M.
5) Decalleur for quill-less faceplate style stem.
6) elegant clamps (downtube shifters, seat stay (female 5mm x 0.8 boss), mid fork (female 5mm x 0.8 boss)), Seat tube mount for tail light.

Katie said...

+1 on schmancy lights, modular front rack, and tall stack stem options

A selection of non-adjustable open faced quill stems.

For those in need of good thumb shifters, until VO has their own IRD makes good looking 9 speed/friction ones in a middling/high price range

J said...

I think you should look into one size fits most chain guards. Chainguards that fit a variety of bikes with different bottom tubes etc. I wouldn't mind plastic ones, either. I hate that you have to remove the BB to install these. It would be great if you could install chainguards on bikes like you install hub cap covers on cars.

Anonymous said...

Non-OS compact bars that aren't that anodized black shot-peened gross finish. Maybe offer an extra short reach and drop version as well for small-mitt gals like me. Oh, and definitely high-polished! Thank you