29 May, 2015

The Grand Cruz and other News

By Chris

The VO Grand Cruz is underway with stops at a couple of dozen shops in Seattle and Portland over the past few weeks. Stops in Seattle included: Free Range Cycles, Defiance, 20/20 Cycles, Alki Bike & Board, Ride Bicycles, Montlake Bicycle Shop, Dutch Bike Company, and others. In Portland John and Kate visited: The Bike Commuter, 21st Ave Bikes, Clever Cycles, Velo Cult , Kenton Cycle Repair, Glady's Bikes, River City Bicycles, and City Bikes/ John has written about some of these shops on the Grand Cruz blog, worth checking out (frequently!)

This first leg was done sans the 1962 Airstream, which was undergoing final maintenance and repairs. But next week John and Kate will be in California working their way south, with Airstream, and they'll be visiting lots more dealers. Send them an e-mail if you'd like to arrange a visit at your local shop to see some of our bikes, components, and accessories.

In other news: This is one of those frustrating periods when several projects are almost done and we're just waiting for samples or minor final changes. We have a new seat post, a second disc-brake bike frame, a rack, a new stem, new hubs, and a handlebar that are almost, but not quite, ready for production. I hate waiting!

On the other hand, some new stuff should arrive in the next two weeks, including black Course handlebars, 31.8mm stems, Grand Cru stem caps, and lots of out-of-stock stuff.

The Piolet frames are done and have been shipped; they should arrive in a month. And we've already upgraded them (over the original prototypes) with lighter double butted forks.


21 May, 2015

Stella's Favorite Things

by Stella, as told to Adrian and Igor

Even as a dog, there is absolutely no reason why I can’t enjoy cycling just as much as my 2-legged counterparts. In addition to long walks on the beach and playing fetch, I enjoy going on bicycle rides in my spare time. These are some of my favorite VO products for tagging along on bicycle rides:
50.4 Crank, allowing my owners to climb with my extra 60 lbs holding them down. Spinning in a low gear is a lot easier than mashing on the pedals. If you live in a more hilly area, the Triple would be your best bet.
Campeur, my chauffeur's ride of choice. Going downtown or on a weekend tour with Adrian and Igor, it gets me everywhere I need to go in style and comfort. The Burley Tail Wagon is my ride of choice.
Campeur Front Rack and Grand Cru Handlebar Bag. What else can hold all of my treats and toys?
50mm Snakeskin Fenders to prevent spray back on me when the weather turns sour.
Bell. Was that a bell? Where's the bell? Ahh it's a bell!

Mojave Water Bottle Cage and Klean Kanteen 40oz bottle because it can get hot out there.
After a hard day’s work at the office, I like nothing more than going for a long ride with Igor.

19 May, 2015

Drillium Noir


Coming this fall, a retro black version of our drillium crank. It's like the 1980's are back. But we'll make the logo the Grand Cru crest on the production version. Waddya think?

Also, later today we'll have a small quantity of the new style long setback seat posts in black.

13 May, 2015

The Grand Cruz, on the Road with VO

We're doing a road trip, a Grand Cruz, this summer. Well, not all of us, but our friends John Byfield and Kate Heber will be taking their solar-powered 1962 Air Stream trailer and SUV to dozens of shops out west.

It'll be loaded with VO stuff, including a few built-up bikes. They'll also have a pop-up canopy and display items for small bike shows. This will give folks out West a chance to see how VO frames compare to often more expensive brands--we think you'll be amazed. And while they can't take every VO component, they will have a nice sampling to examine first hand.

It's so different for Velo Orange to operate outside our website and this blog, but we're excited to know that bicycle veterans will be sharing our products face-to-face with shop employees and their customers, that a shop can get one-on-one attention outside a huge consumer show. We're also not a little envious of the Air Stream.

Here's the tentative schedule:
  • Through end of May - Seattle, Portland, and various smaller metropolitan areas.
  • June - Full swing through California including NorCal, SoCal, Central Coast, etc.
  • July-Mid August - Bend, Boise, Salt Lake, Colorado, on to RAGBRAI.  Return through Chicago, WI, MN, SD, MT, then eastern WA.
  • Late August - Giant Bicycle Festival outside Seattle; Seattle, Portland, etc.
  • Sept - No & SoCal-main metro areas, Phoenix, Tuscon, TX.  Return through OK, NM, Las Vegas (Interbike as guest), Reno etc.
Dealer visits may include everything from simple product presentations to in-store sales training and consumer shows. Current or new VO dealers who'd like a visit should contact the Grand Cruz at 541-408-5754 or info@thegrandcruz.com. Or ask you local shop to request a stop-by. We've already had interest from many shops, and John and Kate are itching to get on the road. 


08 May, 2015

This and That and New Stuff

By Chris

The Piolet frames are finished and painted. Unfortunately decals are still being printed and need to be applied. Since Piolets use a larger down tube than other VO frames our regular decals wouldn't look quite right, and I didn't think of that as soon as I might have. We still expect them to be available mid to late June. I can't wait since I want one to ride to remote fly fishing streams. Mine will use  650b x 3" tires; the outer diameter will be close to the 700c x 2.5" tires that the frame was designed around, so handling should be as we intended.

You may have noticed that we've been out of long setback seat posts. That's because we'll have a new version in a few weeks. It will be easier to adjust and stronger. There will still be over 30mm of setback. I've been kicking around the idea of a 45mm setback post, but maybe that's just silly?

We'll soon have these cool Grand Cru constructeur-style stem caps. And, yes, we are planning to offer a custom engraving option. That was something Constructeurs did to personalize the bikes they built.

In other retro news we hope to soon stock real gum rubber hoods for old Campy brake levers; they also fit other similar shape levers. We'll also have full-hoods and half-hoods for Mafac-style brake levers.

The E3 light brackets now come in silver as well as black in both the large and the small versions.

The classic Grand Cru Course bars will soon be available in Noir and the super popular Dajia Shallow Drop bars will soon be available in 46cm size.