04 September, 2013

That New VO Frame Is Here

The sage green color is based on Chris's original custom Pass Hunter
The new VO frame is like a Campeur for folks who favor off road touring. It's not officially named yet, but it'll probably be called the "Camargue," after an ancient breed of French horse reputed to be especially rugged and intelligent.
Metal headbadge and bi-plane fork crown.
Here are the main points:

  • 2.1" (55mm) tires fit with fenders, 2.3" (60mm) without.
  • 700c wheels on sizes 62, 59, 56 and 26" wheels on 53, 50, 47.
  • Geometry is designed to handle like the much-praised Campeur. This frame is not suspension corrected, allowing us to better fine tune handling.
  • Super beefy horizontal dropouts (so you can use internal gear hubs).
  • Threadless 1-1/8" fork.
  • All the braze-on bits that come on the Campeur: three bottle cages, threaded fender mounts, rear brake adjuster, thru-fork low-rider mounts, double eyelets front and rear, etc.
  • Sage green color based on my original custom Pass Hunter. This color was originally inspired by an ancient type of Japanese plaster.
  • 4130 cro-mo double butted tubing.
  • Extra wide bi-plane fork crown with extra clearance (guaranteed to plane).
Heavy-duty dropouts.
These photos are of two prototypes. The orange one is a 53cm, the green is a 59cm. We hope to have the production frames ready by mid-winter. We'll post photos of built-up bikes soon. This frame does not replace the Campeur, the frame which I would choose for primarily on-road touring. Rather, it is designed for bike-packing and serious off-road touring, and for those who just like big tires.
Unfortunately, the orange looks a lot better in photos than in person.


48 comments:

Matt Lynch said...

really very nice indeed, i love the way you guys seem to keep listening to your customers and improving the product .

Invisible Hand said...

Cool! After a few injuries, I've been experimenting with some old frames to see if I can accommodate them. Fat tire all rounders look great too me now.

Andrew Schwab said...

Wow. Totally gorgeous. Love the green, and it looks like a great frame spec. Can't wait to see the Pass Hunter.

Chris said...

These look great! Ballpark MSRP yet?

Farouk Rojas said...

How much does it weight?

dana the tall said...

I live down five miles of Kansas farm road. You may've nailed me with this one. I look forward to seeing the specs.
Have you determined an optimal tire width?

VeloOrange said...

The price is not set, maybe $550 or $600.

It's heavy compared to a road bike, as a bike like this must be to survive. We'll see what the final weight is when we get the production version.

Optimal tire width is 2.1" That's what we based the geometry on.

Wes Ewell said...

Thank you for listening to our pleas for 1-1/8" headsets and horizontal rear drop-outs. I will never go back to derailleurs after using geared hubs.

Michael Drzewiecki said...

Geometry?

SW said...

This is pretty much the bike that I've been seeking for gravel riding and mixed-surface touring.

But the geometry will be the deciding factor, especially since it will determine whether I can ride the smallest 700c or the largest 26" model.

Farouk Rojas said...

Wes, why do you prefer internally geared hubs? I have read the Alfine 11 has some reliability issues. what brand do you prefer? (sorry to be off topic)

Felkerino said...

Chris & co. --

have you ruled out disk brake mounts? I know they add complexity, but they are really nice in dirty conditions.

Kyle said...

I would be regretting my recent Campeur purchase if I didn't already have a Rawland Drakkar, which is almost identical except for disc brakes.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful frame, love the green:)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! And just when I was all set to buy a Surly Ogre. The decision is much tougher now. That bike will build into a gorgeous retro MTB. Love the bi-plane fork - just like the early Stumpjumper! Well done, Chris. When do you expect to post a geo chart?

Anonymous said...

So while I'm waiting for details on the pass hunter you come out with THiS? Ay yi yi...

Doug

Blogan said...

I'd love to build one of these using all vintage MTB parts! However, what I'm really waiting on is a 650b Campeur frameset.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting looking frame you got there.

The Campeur runs 700s across all frame sizes where as this frame runs 26s for sizes 53 and smaller. Curious as to the reasons?

shmunn said...

When will they be available for sale?

Wes Ewell said...

To the question of why I like internal hubs: they shift instantly and silently, whether pedaling, coasting, or standing still; need no finicky adjustment; always keep the chain in perfect alignment, and never jam. I have used an Alfine 8 for three years with no problems. The advantage to horizontal drop-outs is that chain tension can be easily adjusted.

VeloOrange said...

Geometry charts will not be available until they go into production. This is because we may still make some changes and for "competitive reasons". But you'll get a pretty good idea of geometry as soon as I post the photos of built-up bikes.

The big tires and higher BB mean that we needed to use smaller wheels on the smaller sizes. We will also have smaller Campeur frames with 26" wheels.

We're shooting for mid-winter availability.

SamuraiFartMachine said...

sloping top tube or parallel to the ground?

Adam Booth said...

That looks like a great frame. Can't say I'm a fan of the green...but this will be tempting

Charles Brun said...

FINALLY a bike that is guaranteed to plane. Can't wait to read the BQ review! Looks like an exquisite frame, and I am a fan of the green.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations: it is beautiful. I'd love one; I might "need" one: as others here I may have been looking for something like this ......

My happiness would be complete if you called it "Cevenna" : the location of a "classic of outdoor lit". And quite a mountainous region also (cfr flatter Camargue) Or better still, "Modestine": after of R.L Stevenson's she-ass over there..;-)

"There was something neat and high-bred, a quakerish elegance, about the rogue that hit my fancy on the spot.'"

Wes Ewell said...

The more I study this frame, the more I think you have created a real winner. This frame will suit everything from an urban fixie to a cross-country tourer. I especially like the fat-tire ability, high head tube, wide range of sizes, and horizontal drop-outs. But please reconsider the insipid color.

Anonymous said...

This bike looks awesome. The fork is the same as what Mountain Tour- a newish bike company in San Francisco is using. Can't wait to see as this project develops.

VeloOrange said...

There is some slope to the top tube. With the high BB and tire size a level TT would put certain parts of one's anatomy in great peril.

There are some minor advantages to disc brakes, but getting them fixed in remote areas is the big drawback as I see it. Any shop will have a v-brake or canti in stock.

The fork was designed by VO, though it's not hard to design similar one.



Anonymous said...

Mountain Tour, if I recall, was the name of a crappy brand of ATBs sold by now-defunct Canadian department store Eaton's. I would like to see the offerings from this new SF-based company. Do you have a link?
M Burdge

Anonymous said...

I like the green.
M Burdge

semi serious cyclist said...

That is one fantastic looking frame!!! Kudos to what looks to be a real winner.The headset spec makes solid sense in more ways than one.... a good decision. An impressive frameset that fits a developing - and underserved - niche in bicycle design. Impressive. Can't wait to see them available for purchase.

rusty said...

this is exactly what i've been looking for! I cannot wait! Is there a red color in the works?

Eric Daume said...

Is the green frame really a 59cm? The head tube looks the same length as the 53cm orange frame. It just looks too small...

James said...

It's a lovely frame.

I really dig the "biplane" fork crown. That is a masterful touch.

If only I had more room in my house I'd buy one of each of your frames when they come out and build them up.

Wes Ewell said...

Chris: Delighted to see you built your new bike with internal gears. Please post your impressions.

Brian S. said...

Dear VO,

I am looking for a frame primarily for long distance road riding, commuting, maybe a longer brevet, and light weight road touring, but also want the ability to ride mixed surface routes and some bikepacking. Off-road use will be on fireroads and easier singletrack. Think White Rim or ACA Utah Cliffs Loop. Loaded weight will be pretty low, my base weight is around 15-20 pounds of gear (including bags and racks). Between road and dirt, road will be the primary use.

Based on these interests would you recommend this new frame or the Campeur?

It seems this new frame is more dirt first and road second, whereas the Campeur is the opposite. Both frames can ride either surface well but each is more oriented towards one versus the other?

PS, I love the green color and biplane fork! +1 on the red over orange; your red is really nice.

Wes Ewell said...

How about a classy steel-blue or a deep carmine color? That green will cost you sales for sure.

Anonymous said...

I believe the different wheel sizes 53cm-26", 59cm-700c, would account for the similarity in headtube sizes. Yes?

Anonymous said...

is the top tube length going to be short enough to run drop bars?

VeloOrange said...

Brian, I'd pick the Campeur based on your use. But, shoot us an e-mail or call if you need more info.

This frame is designed with drop bars in mind.

nordic_68 said...

I've been pondering a low trail 650b dirt path racer, maybe 3 or 5 IGH, 2" tires, flat/swept bars, with a porteur rack. This Camargue looks more like a mid-trail(?) design and perhaps the slack head angle is less appropriate for front-only loads? For basic usage, I could settle for a rear rack if that's better for the Camargue. But if it's top tube length is based on drop bars, then perhaps swept/flat bars just wouldn't pencil out for a typical 59cm fit?

Chris, your comments above seem to point me in a different direction, yet your photos of the IGH and wacky flat bars tempt me to consider this frame based on my wants. Comments?

Anonymous said...

Well done. All the appropriate braze-ons and clearance for a true all-rounder. This could possibly be a replacement for my beloved 700c LHT which is pretty perfect.

Tom in Delaware said...

So...you'll be offering 26" wheels then?

Eric Daume said...

Any word on the tubing spec? I would like to see a non-OS top tube (25.4mm OD), which rode very well on my Rawland Sogn while still being pretty tough. Yet I fear this will be OS...

RGB Nameless said...

Is there a possibility, that I could fit Sram Omnium 48T crankset on this frame ?

And, if possible, could you post maximum and optimum tire size in millimeters, because "inches" differ from one manufacturer to another.

VeloOrange said...

@RGB Nameless,

Omniums will not work. They are track cranksets designed for small tire clearances and narrow chainlines, both of which are not this frame.

The frame is designed around 29x2.1 and that is a true, ideal world 2.1. Clement XC XLV measure 53mm and they are great all-rounders.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great frame, some interesting ideas. I would make a few tweaks, not least of while would be 6mm bolts for the rack mounts. The 5 is derived from the original fenders. Racks went on with p clips, or something of the sort. However, it is unlikely anyone would thank you for the change.

Better get this baby out before the stock market craters again.

Anonymous said...

Nice interesting frame.

Like the orange OK. Wish more for something like a French blue and hate that particular shade of green.

But I've got too much going to build a gravel grinder for another year or so anyway....Someday.