12 December, 2013

Nude Frames

Once in a while we receive unpainted frames. Today we received three nude Camargue prototypes. This allows us to better check brazing and welding quality. Here are a few photos. Note how clean the work is. There are no gaps, pinholes, or signs of overheating. I've seen a few unpainted custom frames that don't look this nice.

There's a lot you can learn from seeing a frame in the nude. A few years ago we ordered samples from a different factory. Well, we soon found out why that other factory had faster build times and lower prices. There were gaps and pinholes in the brazing and discolored areas from too much heat. (Many frames from that factory are sold in the USA; some cost more than ours.)

These are the last of the Camargue prototypes. There are some minor changes in geometry; we also changed a few things to make them stronger. There is a gusset under the down tube, for example. Once they weather the frame fatigue testing machine they will go into production.
The brass under the fork crown is for the fender mount.
We changed to fastback seat stays, which should be a little stronger.
Not an issue on most bikes, but when riding off pavement...
Neat and strong.

16 comments:

Wes Ewell said...

The latest issue of Adventure Cycling reviews a Camargue-style bike selling for more than $6,000. You may be bringing this frame to market at just the right time, and will surely be competitive. Have you firmed up geometry yet?

dr2chase said...

So are they clearcoated and sold with all the metal and brazes showing? That would be fun.

!= said...

I'm very much looking forward to this frame to replace one or both of my Surly Cross-Checks.

Once the geometry is posted, I'll have a better idea of what size to get. Currently I ride a 58cm cross-check, but feel like I am too stretched out.

I also read the review of the Co-Motion Divide in the Adventure Cyclist. I think the Camargue would be able to do most of what that bike could do with the exception of braking power in really bad conditions, as the Divide is equipped with Disc brakes. Maybe there should be a disc specific Camargue in the future... ;)

Everett said...

^^dr2chase, yes please offer a clear-coated nude frame! Those are gorgeous.

Unknown said...

Those look real nice! I second the call for clearcoat over raw finish.

Anonymous said...

The problem with clear powder coat over raw finish is that it still rusts. I've heard this for years, but figured it was BS. Now I've got a 2013 Kona Unit with a clear powder coat, and I'm seeing it for myself.

VeloOrange said...

Annon is right. Clear coated bikes rust. These prototypes are already at the powder-coat shop getting a mat black finish.

dr2chase said...

Anon, you are making us very sad with your harsh tales of reality. Sigh.

John I said...

What powder coat shop do you use in the Annapolis area? I have had decent results from Baltimore Powder Coat Finishes, but would be interested to know of alternatives.

gypsybytrade said...

This frame looks like a capable hunk of steel! Nice to see such clean, consistent work from the factory.

Could you share actual measurements between the blades, and in the rear stays, where the tire would rest. The Campeur had exact 50mm clearances all around, which was a nice touch.

Brian said...

Will these frames be for sale at some point?

VeloOrange said...

John, that's the shop we're using.

Brian, the prototype frames will be used by VO employees until the production frames arrive in spring.

Nic, The clearance is 70mm all around.

Adam Booth said...

I know we all get hot & bothered by brass and the contrast it gives...we're probably on some level genetically hard wired to see contrasts..but I really want to see the quality of the coin stacks on the tig joins (which on this frame downtube and BB cluster are the more critical joins anyway) Got any pics Chris?

VeloOrange said...

@Adam, put one more of the bottom bracket and downtube for you.

Adam Booth said...

Very nice!

Edwin Traynor said...

I clear coated a sandblasted frame and would say it oxidized beautifully opposed to rusted. Miss that thing