23 June, 2006

Velo Orange Frames

Now don't get excited, but what if Velo Orange had frames made. They'd be 700c rando-style lugged steel frame, but you probably guessed that. The frame geometry would be a blatant copy of the best all around old world frame I could find. There would be braze-ons for center pull brakes, a front rack, a strap type chainstay protector, fender mounts, front and rear light mounts. The lugs would be short point Italian style, unless I could find the right French style lugs, but nothing too fancy. The tubing would be modern heat treated stuff. The color might be orange, no really, or French blue. What else would you want to see on this imaginary frame?


Anonymous said...

I would like to see...

Long head tubes
Horizontal dropouts
Braze-ons for rear rack

Anonymous said...

650b for smaller size, please

Anonymous said...

Nothing against Freddy but for this type of bike vertical drops make life easier (fenderline, getting the rear wheel in and out in general). Orange would be great. Are we talking some US builder who has some extra bandwidth or Toyo, Maxway, etc? What centerpull would the braze-ons be for?

Anonymous said...

integrated everything. 650b. built-in fenders. option for cantilevers. short top tube (relatively speaking). and chrome! Lots of chrome! sounds neat!

Anonymous said...

oops--almost forgot--clearance for 32mm tyres plus fenders. i guess that's obvious. But still.

Anonymous said...

Vertical dropouts and available in size XL (64-66cm)!
French blue would get my vote. I wonder how well the geometry would scale to the large sizes? It doesn't seem like many 64cm plus frames were made back in the day so I wonder.

gvelo said...

maybe there are no 64cm frames because there were no 1.9m tall people?

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of 700c wheels, I'd be interested in a frame that could fit really big tires- like 45s... why stop at 32? Sort of like a lugged BLT...

Here's my big beef with Riv, and where you might be able to make a real difference- can you make it light? not crazy light, but lighter. I mean, if Herse and Singer were able to build 21 pound touring bikes 50 years ago, it should be possible and even somewhat affordable today... just a thought...

Velo Orange said...

I want to repeat that this is just an idea, not a plan ;<) If we did make them they'd be built in Asia.

They would probably be set up for Mafac brakes simply because those are easy to find and work well if they have modern pads. Chrome would be very expensive, but I need to learn more about chrome powder coating. 32mm tires with fenders would be the goal. We would try to make it as light as possible.


Anonymous said...

Nothing against Freddy

Lies, I see your vicious anti hub/fixed gear sentiments :p

They would probably be set up for Mafac brakes simply because those are easy to find and work well if they have modern pads

Why centre pulls over cantilevers...Are centre pulls significantly better in some way that you'd want to spec this frame for obsolete components?

C said...

Vertical dropouts (work better with fenders).

Internal routing for lighting wires.

Braze-ons for Dia Compe centerpulls. Unlike Mafac, these are still made and easy to source.

Anonymous said...

go bigger then 32, 45 would be great. I'm an American and demand bigger... ;)

Anonymous said...

This is probably not an affordable option but stainless lugs are just beautiful and might satisfy the chrome folks without incurring the liabilities with chrome. Actually, if chrome is a serious consideration then maybe nickel plating would be good to consider. I had it on my Cervelo seat stays and thought it looked great. Very durable.

650b would be great for the smaller sizes. For example 56cm and smaller.

Ofcourse, another option for brakes are the new long reach Tektros that are looking pretty spiffy.

Lastly, you might consider selling the frame unpainted and just supply a list of shops to paint the bike. For example, some might want powder and others might not.

Dad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Old-style straight front fork w/tight curve toward the hub. I don't think any other builders today are doing these.

Andrew said...

How about a Bleriot done properly with standard diameter tubing, tapped rear brake bridge, low trail?

Anonymous said...

- Geometry designed for use with a handlebar bag, and fork braze-ons for a small front rack (not the incredibly Kluge-y Riv-designed Nitto, please);

- Threaded fender bolt holes on the bottom of the fork crown, chainstay bridge, and brake bridge, all spaced so that one can obtain perfect fender spacing;

- Internal wiring that assumes the use of a front dynahub.

- I'll vote for horizontal dropouts

- No front derailleur braze-on; I'd probably offer downtube braze-ons, which will also accept adaptors for Ergo or bar-end shifters.

- Pegs to mount a pump on the left seatstay

- Flat fork crown

- Simple lugs

- Braze-ons for Mafac centerpulls

- Low BB

- Modest (no more than three m.m.) heattube extension

- Braze-ons for at a tail lamp mounted centrally, a la Weigle

- I'm intriqued with 650B, and I ride a 56. If 700, please permit at least a 32 with Hondos.

- Stays that will encourage a narrow tread even while permitting those fat tires.

Having finally seen an Eibsu in person, I think you'd be hard-pressed to improve upon their spare beauty. I won't discourage you from trying, though! Everything you've done so far has been a valuable addition to the options we've had available up to now.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely: vertical dropouts. All permanently fendered bikes need them.

Keep it simple. No chrome, which sounds like a production and quality nightmare waiting to happen. Powdercoat for the win.

No internal wiring. Doesn't make sense when selling a frame. This is the territory of the priciest full-custom, completely integrated bikes. Instead, a threaded fitting for a Lumotec on the fork blade or front rack might be nice.

Braze-on for a common taillight on the chainstay might be nice. I don't like seattube mounted lights because most bags obscure them.

Keep tire size reasonable. 32 max, and even that may be too big. More clearance results in crappy fender fitment, plus, centerpull brakes won't clear. Plus, what tire bigger than 32 can you ride on the road? Pick a tire, and design around it. For a bike like this, an all-day randonneur with front bag, the 32 Pasela might fit the bill.

(An anonymous commenter wants a frame lighter than Riv, that can fit 45 tires? That makes no sense. The Rivs are not heavy, and the Singers and Herses of yesteryear were very high zoot affairs costing 2+ months' salary. Nothing has happened in the interim that would magically make that kind of bike cheap today.)

Pump mounting on seatstay would be cool.

Anonymous said...

Like Kris said:

If this frame is designed for front rack and bag, give it appropriate lowish trail front-end geometry.

Anonymous said...

I concur with the sentiments for
650B in smaller sizes
low trail for handlebar bag
Rear horizontal dropouts (less important)
integrated fenders a-la Kogswell.

Anonymous said...

definitely 700c. definitely vertical dropouts. 32c is big enough for me. a cantilever option would be great - it would make or break it for me - i just can't see myself buying a frame designed for braze-on centerpulls. maybe two or three color options? orange, french blue, mustard yellow or something.

C said...

Sounds like you're going down a rabbit hole you may not want to be doing down! The question is this: "Can I offer a frame different enough from what is available on the market today and is also going to appeal to enough customers who are willing to put down the money?"

Just judging by the different responses I think this could turn into a money pit. Not sure you'll be able to come up with a set of features that will appeal to enough people to warrant production while also being different from what Kogswell, Riv, etc. offer.

I do think you might have a niche if you go for a 700c bike made from lightweight tubing with geometry designed to work with a front rack/bag. The lighter weight and lugs would help it stand apart from the Kogswell Porteur and the front loading geometry would help differentiate it from the Rivendell bikes.

Anonymous said...

This all reminds me, one thing that'd be neat is to have a look at how some of your bikes are rigged. Is there any way to have a photo-posting facility, or would that use a prohibitive amount of bandwidth?

Velo Orange said...

The idea is to do a bike with the braze-ons and custom racks and geometry that one might expect to see on a Toei, or Singer, or Weigle. But the VO would be a production frame at a price of under $1000. It is also a very specific sort of bike, not a bike for someone who wants a porteur, or 45mm tires, or to do loaded touring. I think that there are 50 or 100 folks who want a real randonneuse and know that except for the Ebisu, there is no production bike like that available.

And to those who want a pump mount on the seatstay. I have this, probably irrational, fear of bumping the pump and having it go into the spokes. Is there any merit to that?


Anonymous said...

Nooooo! Not another bike! I have No More Room for more bikes.

1. Dia-Compe instead of Mafac. The former are still being made and are therefore easier to get.
2. 650b for smaller sizes please.
3. Lots of tire clearance, with fenders.
4. Simple = elegant.
5. and for heavens' sake, 1-inch threaded steer tube PLEASE.

C said...

Your pump concerns are probably irrational. I had a pump peg on the stay of my Rivendell cross bike and the pump never came off, even when riding off-road. Also having the pump on the stay rather than the top tube made life easier when I had to carry the bike to my third floor walk-up apartment.

Anonymous said...

with regards to the frame specifics, i'd pretty much have to concur with mr. green's sentiments altogether.

even if such a frame catered solely to a niche market, it's a niche that has not yet been filled. the ebisu, for example, is a fine allaround frame, but never intended to be a true randonneuse.

you might purpose some theoretical specs/sizes and see if you could generate enough interest to do a run of maybe 100 or so for those of us so inclined. if you were able to secure deposits, it'd seem to function more like a "group-buy" than anything.

just tossing some ideas around.


Anonymous said...

I concur that smaller frame sizes should have a smaller wheel size, but 650B isn't necessary. One could get by just fine with a regular 26incher. Tires would be cheaper, too.