11 February, 2017

Velo Orange has Been Sold

By Chris

Note: This post is cross-posted on Chris's Blog

I wanted to announce that I've just sold Velo Orange.

The new owners, Adrian and Igor, are longtime employees. Rest assured that the company is in good hands. In fact, except for myself and Annette, the staff remains intact.

I also wanted to share some of my reasons for selling VO:

One of the main reasons I'm selling is that I had this little epiphany when I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. I underwent surgery, chemo, and radiation.  (There is no sign of the cancer returning and the odds are that it won't. But there's still a fair chance that it could.) That experience brought home something I already knew. I no longer want be a businessman; it's time for new adventures.

Velo Orange has always been and remains a very successful and profitable enterprise. It's a company that I'm proud of. It's also a company that I enjoyed building and growing, very much so. I also enjoyed hanging with the VO staff, who are the best group of folks I've ever worked with. But running a company, I didn't enjoy that so much.

I'm also selling because I like being retired. I know this because I first retired when I was 41 years old, after starting and selling Chesapeake Light Craft. I launched VO six years later. The plan was for a little part time gig based on importing a few odd bike bits from Europe and Japan. It was my retirement hobby, one that I hoped might turn a small profit. Such are the best laid plans... Anyway I've just turned 59 and now I really am retired. Really. Though I do have this one idea...

Our plans include lots of travel (I'm building out a camper van), fly fishing, catching up on a lot of reading, visiting friends all over the country, and maybe getting involved in local politics. I'll write more about this, and about business and the bike industry later on my personal blog, should anyone care. You can also follow me on Instagram and on Twitter.

Enough rambling; thanks for your support over the years and for making VO what it is. And best of luck to Adrian and Igor.


33 comments:

Mike Binnix said...

Congratulations Chris on your retirement and to Adrian and Igor on your new venture!

Bicycle John said...

Congratulations to all of you! We think the company is in good hands and wish Adrian & Igor the best! Sounds like a visit with us in Mexico is in order! John & Kate

Mike Smith said...

Enjoy your retirement Chris! I have tried it a couple of times. Maybe next time :-)
Congratulations to Adrian and Igor. I am sure they will continue to do a great job and they can rely on our continued support.
Mike & Jan
Velo Duo Cycles

Keith Moore said...

Thanks for all you've done over the years, Chris. Enjoy your retirement!

Anonymous said...

Happy trails! I noticed that VO had started move in a slightly different direction over the last 15 months or so; not better, not worse, just different. That left me wondering what was going on; now I know. Good for you!

George Swain said...

Tailwinds, Chris! Thanks for you've done to improve the retail experience for randonneurs and others interested in high quality timeless cycling equipment and gear.

J.Dible said...

You have created a great product and great company. I wish you continued health and the vigor to adventure on. Good choice of only two bikes BTW.

Mark Drury said...

Thanks for everything, Chris, and perhaps especially for the Campeur, my forever-favorite bicycle (https://twitter.com/markdrury/status/722891251431768067/photo/1). As a fellow cyclist, fly fisherman and person afflicted with the travel bug I'll definitely follow your blog and your social media accounts. All the best!

Mark Drury

Coline said...

VO has always been a breath of fresh air in an age of plastic bicycles, thanks for that. There was no mention of bicycles in your future, hope that was just a given.

If I have learned anything it is enjoy life while you can, go for it.

Andy Church said...

Thanks for growing your retirement hobby into a unique resource for so many avid cycling enthusiasts. So happy I found my way to VO. Continued good health to you both as you head off on new adventures!

teamdarb said...

I like retired too. I retired at 24, then at 33, and currently semi retired still at 38. So I know how you feel. I spend my days exploring and inspiring others to remember to live. I've not ever purchased anything of sufficient expense, but I love reading the blogs and window shopping. Now bring back the Canti post and caliper mount frames already!
Wilson

Anonymous said...

Best wishes Chris for your future Chris from an Aussie retiree.

I remember years ago coming across VO and just loving its approach to cycling and gear. It was so nice to find I could buy functional and beautiful gear rather than being forced down the every changing roads of the latest fads. I’ve got bits of VO kit on all my bikes, just added Grand Cru Sabot pedals to my light touring bike because they work just so well.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all. Over the years I've followed Velo Orange for the great bicycle components offered, and out of an interest of watching VO grow as a business operation. It's a great story, and VO has become a valuable resource for many. Best wishes on your retirement (again) and to Adrian, Igor, and the rest of the VO team.

Paula said...

Congratulation, Chris! and congratulations to Adrian and Igor! I'll look forward to your travel adventures, hoping that visiting friends includes some in upstate NY.
Paula

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris enjoy the retirement and the camper van. All I can say is thanks for all the great products, frames and stuff you brought to my backdoor. Enjoy yourself. Its time well deserved.

i-Observer said...

Happy Retirement! Noe go catch some fish!

bsimon said...

That's a pretty nice pair of successes under your belt. Enjoy the next phase! And post here if you start a camper-van related startup...

Al Hickey said...

I discovered VO online -purely by accident (or fate)- several years ago, on exactly the same day that the catalog I'd requested arrived from CLC. Chris, you're a man after my own heart. Thanks for everything. Happy trails.

ell bee said...

Congrats, enjoy, and thanks for creating a great company!

bill said...

Thank you Chris. I wish you the best and can't even begin to thank you and the VO team for all the great products and culture. Much appreciated!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Chris and thank you for your work--the Campeur I bought last years remains one of my all-time favorite bicycles. Glad to know you sold "in house" and VO will stay in the family--best of luck to Igor and Adrian and keep up the good work!

Owen

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Have a Supercampeurpioletjalisticexpolyvalientdocious retirement!

Thanks for all your contributions.

MT cyclist said...

Best of luck, on the next leg of your journey, Chris.
I enjoyed your kayak designs and have purchased several items from Chesapeake Light Craft over the years. I've also been an enthusiastic purchaser of Velo Orange products ever since I set about restoring my wife's 1975 Raleigh Sprite about seven years ago. Since then, I've fixed up a whole bunch of bikes, and have used VO parts in just about every one.
And best of luck to the new owners. The bicycle industry is better off because of your efforts.

Andrew T T Chong said...

Enjoy yourself.

Philip Kim said...

nice! glad it's staying in-house. had limited interaction from igor, but I headed to the VO headquarters to size up for a camargue a few years ago. i thought i needed a 50cm, but igor thought maybe a 53cm might be better.

they had a 53cm prototype that was stripped lying around, and igor went and put wheels, shifters, etc to get it running again. All so I could have a ride around the block. ended up buying it of course.

Zack Stender said...

Congratulations from all the folks at Huckleberry Bicycles.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Hey, This is Chris. I wanted to thank everyone for all the kind comments and wishes. They are really nice and make me feel great.

I also wanted to make sure that everyone knows that I couldn't have built VO without Annette, who did all the financial and managerial grunt work while I played with bikes, traveled around, and took care of the fun stuff. Thank you Annette!

If you see some guy standing in a creek wavin' a stick with a Piolet propped nearby, please say HI.

Nicholas Carman said...

Congrats Chris! Just don't have any bright ideas if you want to stay retired this time, best to stick with fishing and Sudoku.

mike said...

Chris, thanks for creating a company that has brought so many great ideas and products to the market. Best wishes in your 2nd retirement. And congratulations to Igor and Adrian! Thanks for picking up the torch!

peddalhead said...

Chris,
Thanks for starting something really great. Of the four bicycles I own my favorites are my Polyvalent MK2 and my Pass Hunter with cantilevers. You have done very well in bringing quality parts at an affordable price to the masses of us bicycle addicts and I hope you and Annette thoroughly enjoy your retirement.

Justine Valinotti said...

Chris and Annette--

Thank you for not only making some nice, classy and functional parts, accessories and bikes readily available, but also for the joy you brought into the cycling world.

Though we will miss you, we are happy for you two: You certainly deserve to retire.

Thank you, also, for leaving VO in good hands.

Be well!

Dave Ellis said...

Hala if you're in Helena, MT. I'll show you some fishing spots

Tim said...

Chris, I'd like to thank you for creating such a great company and carrying some really terrific products over the years. I've been a very happy customer for years, as both a retail and wholesale (bikes@vienna) customer. Best wishes on your next chapter!

Tim Fricker