14 December, 2018

Squeaking in One Last Sale of the Year

by Igor

That's right! We're going to squeak in one last sale for the year!

It's a simple one, use the code: SQUEAKY15 and get 15% off your entire retail order including all in-stock frames, wheels, components, accessories - everything except gift certificates. The offer is good starting right now and ends on Sunday, December 16th at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

Here's what you need to do to get the deal:

  • When your cart is ready, click "Checkout".
  • Enter the discount code SQUEAKY15 and click apply.
  • Confirm the code has been applied, and finish checking out!

Happy Riding!

11 December, 2018

Last Minute Gift Ideas

We have you covered for those last minute, awesome gift ideas for the cyclist who has everything, needs nothing, and doesn't want anything.

They fit on every bike, they're shiny, and have a pleasant ring. What isn't there to love?!

These Finnish dishware offerings are heat and cold resistant, lightweight, and have a unique, rustic look. They're great for car and tent camping, backpacking, and are dishwasher safe. Be the envy of all your #coffeeoutside friends.

Soto makes this really neat and lightweight coffee maker designed for pour-overs. It's made from stainless steel and flat packs for easy transportation. It also makes a nice combo with the Kupilka Cup.

This bottle cage will add a touch of class to any commuter, tourer, and heck, even racer. It securely holds bottles even under the roughest of terrain and can be squeezed in or out to fit plastic or metal bottles.

Secure Your Loads

Even the most awkwardest of loads can be tamed. Full Spectrum Lashing Straps are hearty, colorful, and made in Massachusetts. 

Rustines Bungee Cords are made from very high quality rubber and are great for securing light bundles. Made in France!

A good cycling cap is an essential element for the classic cyclist. It keeps the sun out of your eyes and sweat at bay. Available in four fun colors!

While few know his actual name, Jacques is a fixture here at VO. His upright position, envy-inducing moustache, and positive vibes encourages everyone to "Enjoy Life!". It looks equally great framed in an office or tacked into a workshop wall.

This saddle bag will fit on any bike and is the perfect mate for cyclo-tourists, randonneurs, roadies, and mountain bikers alike looking for a bit more capacity during an all-day ride. It's a great size for packing an extra layer, tools, wallet, keys, camera, film, and even a mini-pump.

A gift certificate to their favorite shop will always fit perfectly.

Happy Holidays!

05 December, 2018

Kupilka is Great for Touring and Car Camping

by Igor

We're excited to add several new products from the Finnish campware brand, Kupilka, to the Camp and Cabin section of our website. This selection is great for car camping, tent camping, and especially touring and backpacking!

When we were first looking for dishware to outfit the VO Westfalia Bus, we scoured the internet looking for a lightweight, durable, and aesthetically pleasing dishware set. We finally found Kupilka, and couldn't be happier with its performance both at camp and at home. In fact, as I'm writing this blog post, I'm sipping coffee from my Cup.

A bit of background before we jump into their offerings: the iconic Cup takes its inspiration and design from the original Harakkakuppi aka "Magpie Cup" from around 1775 for tasting home-brewed beverages.
Today, that same design resonates, and includes modern manufacturing techniques. Notably, each Kupilka item is made from a strong and lightweight natural fiber composite consisting of eco-friendly cellulose fibers from certified Finnish forests and reinforced with FDA approved polypropylene. As a result, Kupilka dishware can withstand boiling hot water, sub-zero temperatures, and is dishwasher safe!

So that means you don't have to worry about burning your hands on hot coffee or transferring your hands' heat to frothy home-brewed beverages, and if/when your Kupilka has lived out it's life, recycle it.

Here's a rundown of their offerings:

The Original: Cup

Based off the Magpie Cup, this vessel holds 12.5 fl oz and has a dangling hole integrated into the handle. It's a fantastically balanced design.
A Little Bigger: Bowl

Whether you're having soup or salad, this will definitely hold your contents. It measures 15cm in diameter and 5cm deep for a total volume capacity of 18.6 fl oz.

The Platter comes in two sizes, Large and Small. The Large is suitable for entrees while the Small is better suited for hors d'oeuvres and smaller sized offerings. The Small also doubles as a saucer for the Cup. Large and Small measure roughly 30cm x 19cm and 18.6cm x 12.9cm, respectively.
Picking your food up: Spork and Utensils

Every bikepacker, hiker, and tourist has their preferred Spork. This is mine. While most traditional sporks are not great as either a spoon or a fork, the Kupilka Spork is great as both. The spoon end has a generously sized bowl, while the tines of the fork are exceptionally pokey and hold food well, even while you regale your friends with your touring adventures.

There are two points (zing!) about the Spork that make me love it: 1) no heat transfer 2) its extra length (22.5cm) means your fingers will stay clean when stirring dried-food packages and getting those last morsels in the corners of the bag.
These Utensils are sturdy and lightweight and include (pictured below from bottom to top) a tea spoon, spoon, fork, and knife. The knife, while not serrated, can cut meat without issue. It's a very nice set that will create a bit of luxury in the campsite. Remember folks, forks go to the left of the plate. Knives and spoons go to the right. We keep our campsite to very high standard.

Should we? Yeeeaaaaahhhh: Fire Steel

It's extremely useful to know how to make fire without a lighter or matches. Guaranteed to never run out of lighter fluid.

30 November, 2018

Damon's Sportie Townie Pass Hunter

by Igor

Damon bought this demo Sportif-style Pass Hunter, but he wasn't too keen on the drop bars. He liked the SRAM groupset, Facetted Fenders, Constructeur Rack, and gear-range, but the current cockpit was a no-go. So we modified it a bit to create this comfortable, upright sport-oriented townie to explore DC and all the trails the greater area has to offer.

While the Tourist Bars are a bit narrow by today's fashion, they are supremely comfortable and make sneaking by traffic in town bearable and downright pleasant.

The range of gears on this build are quite generous. The crankset is our 50.4 with 46/30T rings and the cassette is a SRAM 11speed 11-32. The rear dangler is a SRAM Force 22 which has a surprisingly strong spring which does a good job keeping chain tension over bumps, and the front gorilla is a SRAM Rival. Shifting is accomplished courtesy of SRAM's S-700 11sp offering.

The Rear Constructeur Rack is neatly mounted to the Rear Facetted Fender and the front has an extra stay to keep it secure when he goes on the C&O Canal. You may ask yourself, "Self...why is the rack not mounted to the fender?" Well, when we originally offered the bike for sale, the extra stay was already mounted. I didn't want to remove the stay and leave an unsightly hole in the fender, so I mounted the Randonneur Front Rack to the fork so that it could be removed or utilized without the hassle of unbolting the fender stay. It's like a fresh Beaujolais Nouveau wine. Don't take it too seriously or think about it too hard, just enjoy it for what it is.

Full-coverage, 45mm Facetted Fenders paired with a set of Front and Rear Mudflaps keep him, his drivetrain, and his riding friends clean from road grime and dirt. And a classic Fender Reflector keeps him visible - though it isn't a replacement for a blinkie or even better, dynamo lightset. We may or may not be working on a fender mounted dynamo. Tires are Fairweather Traveler in 32mm. Very low rolling resistance, lightweight, and stylish.

Finally, the perch is our Smooth Touring Saddle and Dajia 1b Seatpost. This is my favorite saddle. It's immediately comfortable from the get-go, lightweight, durable, and has nearly the same dimensions are our Model 3 Leather offering. Oh and it has bag loops! If you have your heart set on a leather saddle, get one now. We aren't getting more after they are gone.

All together, this makes for one super cool ride. It's lightweight, comfortable, and a bit performance oriented, and that's why I'm dubbing this one a Sportie Townie. Can't wait to see it around town, Damon!

20 November, 2018

Closed Over Thanksgiving

by Igor

We'll be closed on November 22rd and re-open on November 26th to give our awesome, hardworking staff time off to spend with their families and get in some long bike rides over the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you need an order shipped before we close, please place it before 3pm EST on November 21st and we'll get it out the door.

Please have a safe and happy Thanskgiving break, and we'll see you bright and early on Monday.

Happy riding!

15 November, 2018

Chip's 26" Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Polyvalent

by Igor

Chip runs this super cool alt and flat handlebar comparison site called Whatbars. So when we started talking about a new, super classy commuter/tourer/whatever-er, the Polyvalent with a nifty cockpit was the logical choice.

After going over builds a few times, we settled on a combo of classic and modern, silver and black. While I tend to go full silver or full black on my builds, I have to say this setup looks really great and rides supremely well. Enjoy!

Wolf Tooth provided a 110bcd narrow-wide, art-deco chainring that pairs quite nicely with our Single Crankset. I would be lying if I didn't take the bike off a few curbs and over the cobbled streets downtown without any dropped chains.

11-42 cassette and a SRAM Apex 11 rear derailleur is a great all-round shifting setup. The derailleur features a very powerful spring and clutch mechanism to ensure shifts are crisp and the chain has proper tension throughout the range. Especially useful when running a 1x drivetrain.

A single leather washer takes care of the rear fender mounting.

Chip opted for a Wald Basket in Silver, Transporteur Bag, and double Snapper Sacks for a water bottle and a compact camera. Or two drinks, or two compact cameras, or two lenses. So many possibilities!

Our new Curvy One Bars have been super popular and for good reason. Great width, perfect hand position, and terrific looks.

Foam Cork Blend Grips, Linear Pull Brake Levers, and SRAM Apex 11 Shifter.

Our Removable Faceplate Quill Stem keeps his cockpit secure and tidy. No shims here!

Mojave Cage for maximum thirst quenching.

External and internal routing. While his current build lacks a front derailleur, I left the non-driveside adjustor in case he wanted to change his setup down the line.

Non-polished Velocity Cliffhanger Rims laced to our Front and Rear Disc Touring Hubs makes a confident and elegant ride.

26" Smooth Fenders keep road muck and mud off his back.

TRP was sold out of Spyre Brakes, so we went with Spykes. That's their mountain variant. They still have an inboard and outboard piston and stop well.

Happy riding, Chip!