19 August, 2011

VO Porteur

Here are a few photos of a brand new VO Polyvalent built up as a Parisian-style porteur. Porteurs were the bikes of newspaper delivery riders. These guys would haul massive stacks of papers (up to 50kg) to news stands around the city. The papers had to get from the printing plant to the stands quickly, so they had to be fast and strong riders. Some engaged is porteur races on weekends. The better routes paid very well and those who rode them often had custom-built bikes by the best Constructeurs. Some images of classic porteurs can be found here.




Note the bell mounted on the shifter boss. This is a nice way to use the other boss on a bike with an an internal-gear hub.

17 comments:

Jay said...

Extremely awesome build! Totally vintage...love it

barkingelectron said...

Nice. Will this frame be offered in a 63cm now like the Rando?

Gunnar Berg said...

Very nice bike. The bell mounted down on the downtube seems rather nonfunctional though.

Anonymous said...

What that bike needs is a SA 5 speed hub with bar end shifter mounted on a the thumbie type mount. I don't know if the parts of available yet but VO should carry them.

Alan said...

Looks great! Specs?

Ned C said...

Did you use the left shifter boss to mount a cable stop and route the Sturmey Archer's shifter cable through there? How, and where is the fulcrum pulley mounted? It seems that mounting it below the bottom bracket would leave exposed to a lot of road grit, salt, etc being kicked up by the tires.

Ned C said...

The Porteur does look sweet in the green, I'm still weighing the merits of getting a new frame or putting more money into my old Raleigh sport, including a new fork and a repaint. Hmmmm.

Don said...

Isn't this the first time you've been able to ride it? How's it ride?

Anonymous said...

Nice build. I keep trying, really trying, but cannot warm to that incredibly ugly chain guard. Retro homemade, perhaps, but it's just a monstrous wart in the middle of such a lovely bike.

Is there anyway to trim or otherwise make this thing a bit less . . . cumbersome?

Anonymous said...

beautiful!

Anonymous said...

To each his own I suppose but I find that chain guard extremely ugly.

dwainedibbly said...

I have thought the same thing about that chain guard. Do what I did for my Polyvalent: Search ebay. You'll find some nice vintage chain guards among the piles of old Schwinn stuff. The hardest part is coming up with hardware that works.

Alec said...

Gunnar Berg: The downtube bell is definitely not for everyone. It's a bit of a reach, but for folks with healthy backs, it's kind of like using a downtube shifter...

Ned C: we did not use a pulley for the hub's shift cable like you see on some bikes with top-tube routed shifting. It uses a regular downtube stop and then uninterrupted bare cable to the indicator chain. The cable goes under the bottom bracket and is supported by a cable guide there.

Anonymouses: I guess it's a matter of taste. I think it's the central piece of the bike and like it a lot. We also have a more minimalist chainguard, but this one has a lot of character and will seriously prolong your chain's useful serivce, while keeping your pants safe.

And yes, you can cut them up, paint them, etc. People have done some different things with them....

M Benjamin said...

Have to agree on the chainguard front. It's true the working bike heritage, but in the modern context it looks like a prototype. It needs some /finish/! (and it would have been sooooo cool to see chainguard tabs on the frame -- more useful in my mind than the lowrider brazeons).

dwainedibbly said...

After looking that the links that Alex posted (8/21 at 2pm) I'm starting to take a different attitude about that Porter Chain Case. It might make a good Dremel project. Hmmm....

Steve said...

What Bilenky did with that chainguard is just gorgeous.

dwainedibbly said...

I agree, "Steve". You guys do great work. :)