07 December, 2011

Project Update

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.

As for future projects that we're thinking about:
  • 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?

29 comments:

ron said...

i bet those "ready to rides" will be much appreciated. surely one will be appreciated by me, sooner or later. DO IT.

portajohn said...

So will the Camper replace the current generation of the Polyvalent, or are they entirely different concepts?

VeloOrange said...

The Camper will be the 700c version of the Polyvalent, not a replacement.

Zoso said...

What's a camping rack?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a saddlebag support "in the works" a while back?

VeloOrange said...

The camper racks are these: http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2011/09/racks.html

The bag support design is finished and mostly tested, but when we looked at tooling cost and potential sales we put the project aside. It seems that large saddle bags are not as popular now as in the past. And these would have to sell well to justify tooling cost, or be pretty expensive.

Honor said...

This is all great news!

I would love to see a larger (mainly taller) handlebar bag from you guys! I would buy a Grand Cru bag that fit even more than my Ostrich and met with my handlebars on my 60cm frame. Berthoud bags are beautiful but I would love to upgrade with your new project instead.

Also, I think a smaller frame polyvalent/camper/expedition would be a home run! I don't know if this is already in the works or not, but we can't find an elegant option for men and women who are ~5' and don't want a mixte, Surly, or custom frameset. I'm sure plenty of us would be interested in 46 and 48cm framesets.

As always thanks for putting the time into these things!

Honor

z-man said...

Those sound great!!! Don't forget the tall boys out here!!

Hal said...

I'm interested in the Camper and the 26" Expedition. If you have any prototypes or even just current drawings, they'd be great to see.

Anonymous said...

Do you have an update on the Dia Compe ENE microshift downtube shifters 1st mentioned in Oct'11? Still expecting to get them in or did I miss the memo....?

Thanks,
BG of GB

Adam said...

What are the details on the Pass Hunter? I like the sound of this....
Looking forward to the new bags! I hope you are planning on producing a saddle bag and rack bag. Finding a nice saddle bag ad/or rack bag is difficult.

llewellyn said...

Man a 26" that is part road part MTB would br great.I have a 26" folding MTB that is ok and a BF Pocket Llama.They both fill certain niches but neither is perfect for expedition/touring but are reasobly capable of carrying loads on all types of terrain.But remember some of us tourers ain't lightweights.

Ken said...

Do you see Velo Orange offering various models of bicycles and in stock all at once? I hope you continue with lugged bicycles. I want to get a frame like the Rando in my size which you are currently out of. I am 55 and 71 inches in height so I would need the 55cm frame. My next frame will be a Randonneuring type frame. I love all your components and will be buying some in the future. Good luck with your projects!

peddalhead said...

Looking forward to the camper model greatly, but please make sure you keep the quilled stem as on your other bikes. Also consider offering an optional version with S&S couplers.

VeloOrange said...

BG, The shifters are on order. I hope they will be in in the Feb. container.

Ken, The long term goal is to have 3-4 models of frames in stock at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I'm very excited about the passhunting and camper frames. I hope these models are available in sizes larger than the rando frames. Would VO ever make a 65cm frame? Surly maxes out at 64cm for their 2012 LHT.

Anonymous said...

Eagerly awaiting news on the Pass Hunter!

Dan

sam johnson said...

I'd love a waxed canvas bag to go with the porteur rack.

Anonymous said...

What tires and fenders do you imagine this 26" bike would ?

Anonymous said...

what has been missing is a pair of small nice looking panniers that can be hung on the front or back. The only one i see being made now is by Berthould.
it is a very nice looking bag, but expensive.

There are many handlebar bags of the French tradition already. How will the new handlebar bags be different in design or material?

Anonymous said...

What exactly is a pass hunter? After googling it lots and checking out pics it seems to be a sort of rando-cyclocross hybrid that's designed to climb and descend well, and meant to be carried while 'pass hunting' (I've read the rules... wanna know about the bike) The cantis I'm guessing are to shed mud and allow for large tires. What's the typical geometry like? Why aren't they ever seen with dynamo hubs in the pics I've seen, yet Velo Orange has a front Pass Hunter rack? Are they supposed to be very light weight? Do they carry luggage in a specific way ? I'm dying with fascination here!

-- Rolly

Mark said...

Short reach bars sound intriguing. Will they be a classically-styled bar like, say, a rando bar, or more like a modern compact drop? I'd love my rando bars even more if they had shorter reach. Sad to hear that the samples didn't work out so well.

VeloOrange said...

Rolly, The geometry on our Pass Hunter will be much like the Rando, but it will have cantis and be lighter. The idea is for an all-around performance bike.

Mark, The short bars will be more-or-less traditional shape, like the Course Bars

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer. Sounds cool.

-- Rolly

Pierce said...

as far as the bags go, please no leather! and use waxed canvas!

ha1ku said...

If you choose to pursue the expedition bike idea, I will be watching its development with much interest!

elyse said...

I second the no-leather, waxed canvas bags. (or make a vegan option, please!)

Anonymous said...

re: porter rack

I would be nice to be able to pick up pizza and a six pack of beer (or a 12 pack and 2 pizzas). The ability to carry two or more grocery bags would be helpful.

xander said...

how much longer do we need to wait to see more of the camper/availability/geometry?