25 March, 2011
We visited several factories that make our parts and met with many more suppliers at the Taipei Cycle Show. The longest meeting was with our rack manufacturer where we went over the myriad details required to make our new touring racks. I don't think these will be ready before fall. There is really a lot involved in getting them just right. We're also working on a new saddle bag support.
At our handlebar factory we approved the prototype stainless steel VO 25.4mm-26.0mm shims. These will be priced lower price than the only existing type and we'll have a wider version for use with threadless stems. We also discussed our new short reach drop bar and arranged to have all the logos on our city bars changed from laser etching to the engraved or stamped version.
Dia Compe has some new Campy-look shifters that we'll be stocking in down tube and bar end versions. There are a few other surprises from the folks at DC, including a new version of their touring frame that looks very nice.
Our brake manufacturer showed us some prototype cantilevers reputed to be more powerful than existing models. We'll be testing them soon and may develop a Grand Cru version.
Many of you had asked us to look for a high-end frame pump. I'm afraid that I found nothing that I thought was particularly better than models already on the market. We talked about opening tooling for a Grand Cru pump, but I doubt that sales could cover the costs. The simple fact is that mini-pumps and mini-floor pumps are now so good that most cyclists, myself included, don't bother with a frame pump. The only advantage of a frame pump is inflation speed, and I'm not in that much of a hurry.
We also scoured the show for retro-style lights. There is only one possibility so far and it would be expensive, but we'll explore it further. With so much going on I'm unwilling and unable to devote the time it would take to develop our own lights from scratch. We can't make everything and keep what little sanity remains.
One project that's been behind is the next production run of the Polyvalent frames. We're making a few small refinements including improving the bend of the fork blade; that's caused the holdup. With luck we'll have the final version of the new fork in two weeks and production can proceed. We're also working on a 700c version of the Polyvalent that will be more of a touring bike.
There's a lot more, but those are the highlights. I'll leave you to ponder, and comment on, the following photos.
Posted by Velo Orange at 12:00:00 PM