27 July, 2016

Projects and Ideas

By Chris

One of things I most enjoy at VO is seeing new projects come to fruition. We always have a long list of stuff that we're working on. The project list on my desk has 31 items this week, they include frames, handlebars, racks, etc. In some cases the projects are simply improvements of an existing product, but most are new. Of course not all of these will work out; we often get to the drawing or prototype stage and decide that whatever it is we were working on isn't all that great after all. In any case, I thought I'd offer a few projects for your amusement or suggestions.
  • The Cigne stem we mentioned a few weeks ago is now in production and should be here in about a month if all goes according to plan. We'll have them in 70mm and 90mm extension and black, nickle and raw finishes.
  • We're waiting for prototypes of an adapter so you can use the above stem with a threaded 1" fork.
  • The 11-speed hubs have gone through many revisions and prototypes. We're now waiting for the, hopefully, final pre-production samples. I think these are amazing hubs, comparable to any.
  • We're working on some retro "klunkery" adventure touring bars
  • We've ordered prototypes of the new disc Polyvalent. 
  • There may be a mixte version of the Polyvalent. We're still pondering the wisdom of this; while there's a very vocal pro-mixte crowd, in reality high-end mixtes don't sell well.
  • We are designing some new mounts for our bells. This is a lot harder and more expensive than you might imagine.
  • We're revising disc brake mount on the Pass hunter to make it compatible with more brakes. This is done and we're just waiting for ISO testing, but it's delayed the next production run of frames.
  • We're testing some new leather saddles and dreaming of a super secret laminated vegan saddle.
  • We've asked Rustines to make some rubber shifter and quick-release covers for us. Those should be here in a few weeks.
Obviously that's not the whole list. But as we check some of these projects off, what do you thing we should add to the project list?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really love my VO titanium-railed saddle. If you brought those back, I would buy another for sure.

Etan Heller said...

Hello! Awesome list. 2 suggestions:

1. Cigne in 1 1/8 threaded! There are a lot of early 90s MTBs out there begging for this.
2. Handlebar grips that can accommodate bar end shifters/cables! I would love to put bar ends on my Porteur bars but still use grips without cutting up some grips...

G.E. said...

I'm probably in the minority, but I am totally up for a mixte frame and hope it's something you'll introduce again into your offerings. I'm also very excited about the 11-speed hub!

Kohl Martin said...

Is the Camargue gone for good? I hope not. It was definitely something I was after. Not really possible to find a non suspension corrected rim brake compatible 29er.

geoff_tewierik said...

Still looking for that disc braked mixte.

Anonymous said...

It would be really great if you sold your Piolet forks as a separate aftermarket retrofit. Nobody sells a production disc adventure fork without suspension correction. They would sell for sure!

Scotty Mathess said...

I personally love mixte frames and believe that they fill and important gap in the bicycle fit realm. I also understand that making money is important to keep your business going and the phrase"don't sell very well" would go a long way is your decision making process. I support you either way, bit I will say if I owned a bike shop I would stock them.(I actually work in the industry.)

Anonymous said...

A low trail fork with a 1" steerer

Brent Shultz said...

For #2, I ran into the same issue... My solution? I tracked down those dia-compe grips made for their "suicide shifters" (they have a channel for the brake line!) and then for aesthetics purposes finished them with cloth bar tape and twine. Magic!

Steven Butcher said...

+1 on the mixte. I'm thinking as my body ages, something along the lines of a mixte or step-through would be ideal for stiffening hips and back.

Robby said...

Interested in those "klunker" bars. Are we talking upright cruiser type touring bars?

RandoRandy said...

I believe the request for a quil stem with detachable faceplate has been heard already...

My dream is an updated Nitto Noodle (model 177) styled drop bar. I know people are particular about 'em and I imagine there is large surplus of drop bars on our little blue planet, but darnit I can dream about a new noodle can't I?

This drop bar would have: 31.8 clamp diameter, similar tops and extensions as the Nitto (or maybe even more sweep in the tops, and a bit less extension), shallower drops with more flare (like the Salsa cyclo-cross bars), and this new fangeled decreasing (or is it increasing) radius bends for the drops. And they should be strong, maybe heat treated. Silver (or 'noir'), cable grooves (or not).

Can anyone make this dream come true?

Thanks for entertaining or requests keep up the good work.

RoadieRyan said...

Would love to see the Rando Frame come back....

A.Higgins said...

Bigger VO handlebar & saddle bags for us bigger folk. My Campagne has begun to look a little funny on a 61cm Pass Hunter!

Hunter Ellis said...

Freewheels! Single and 6 and 7 spd! And high quality squeal-free brake pads for older side-pulls

Kendra said...

I'm only one person, but a disc brake mixte (single top tube or twinned is fine) is exactly what I'm looking for. For a year-round, all-weather commuter, it is relatively easy to find a steel diamond frame that ticks all the boxes. (Though for the shorter of stature like me, finding one in the right size that will take 26" or 650b wheels is less easy.) Finding a zippy bike with disc brakes, smaller wheel sizes, AND with a step-through frame is nearly impossible.

If you make that bike, I'll order it the first day it is available.

Anonymous said...

how about breaking into the cargo bike genre with a cycle truck frame?

Michael_S said...

Randorandy... look up the Ritchey Evomax bar... sound like exactly what you want

Neil Hodges said...

kendra: I'd suggest trying drum brakes if you want true all-weather brakes and don't want to deal with finding a desired frame with disc tabs. Compressionless housing makes them dangerously strong like disc brakes.

Kendra said...

Neil Hodges - Thanks. I use roller brakes on my current, loop-frame commuter. I do like how indifferent they are to the weather. That style of bike is less suited to long distance rides though. And it never wants to go as fast as I'd like. Thanks for that link. I"m using regular brake housing and do find that the braking isn't as strong as it is with rim brakes. My fork has a drum brake tab on it, so I'm good there. I"ll look into this.

I still think I'd love a mixte frame with disc brakes set up for commuting, long rides, and light touring.

Anonymous said...

that stem looks like a piece :( not a good solution for such a fine looking bike.

Jean-Francois Caron said...

My suggestions:

Quill stems with detachable faceplates.

Cotterless tandem cranks that look good on old tandems.

Anonymous said...

any hints to price for cigne stem? sorry if i missed it somewhere else

G.E. said...

Kendra said... I'm only one person, but a disc brake mixte (single top tube or twinned is fine) is exactly what I'm looking for. For a year-round, all-weather commuter, it is relatively easy to find a steel diamond frame that ticks all the boxes. (Though for the shorter of stature like me, finding one in the right size that will take 26" or 650b wheels is less easy.) Finding a zippy bike with disc brakes, smaller wheel sizes, AND with a step-through frame is nearly impossible.

If you make that bike, I'll order it the first day it is available.


I will ditto Kendra's comments. Absolutely on board with the will-purchase-immediately thought as well.

Joey said...

I can understand if it won't fly from a production / marketing standpoint, but I would love a non-disc Pokyvalent (or 650b rando). With the PV currently off the market there are only 2 other options for production 650b low-trail frames that aren't $2000 (someone correct me if I'm wrong here)-- and the PV MKIII was better than either of them in my experience as a rando / light touring frame. Agree with shortening the the top tube. Disc brakes are great and probably more marketable, but would love having a nice, affordable, "normal" 650b / low trail road bike on the market.

Anonymous said...

A disc brake Polyvalent can no longer be called Polyvalent. Just change the name to PINO (Polyvalent-in-name-only) and you've got it.

Jeff H. said...

Count me in as someone who will also buy a disc-braked Polyvalent Mixte if you put them in production.
I've almost pulled the trigger multiple times on a 47cm Camargue, but really want a Polyvalent that fits me.
Disc brakes would make it my ultimate commuter.

Anonymous said...

Klunker handlebars !! Please make this happen . Lots of rise . Mid range sweep . Cross bar for radness and luggage attachment . 😁

Joe T said...

When are the Cigne stems coming in?! Gotta have it! Soon?

Thanks
Joe T

Jeff H said...

I have a short list of mixte frames (used and new) I'm considering for a winter build.
A Polyvalent mixte tops the list.
If you decide against producing it, please let us know know on your blog, so I can go ahead with another choice.

Thanks
Jeff