22 August, 2006

Specials and New Products

Over the next couple of days we'll add a bunch of products to the specials section of the store. Most of these items are things I ordered as samples and decided not to stock. There are some city handlebars, Berthoud bags, lights.... There will also be few items we wish we could carry, but are no longer available.

We plan to start carrying a small selection of VAR tools in the shop section. VAR tools are regarded as among the very best bike tools available and have been hard to get in the US. We have a nice, but very economical model #22 tool for 22mm cranks (this fits almost all modern cranks) at only $7.50. We also have the two sided professional tool that fits 22mm and 23mm (TA) cranks at $25. This is one of the few TA sized tools available. We can also special order Stronglight removers.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the new version of the Kalloy Uno seat post. It is finished in a matt silver with no logos. It is very light and has an oval interior shaft profile for strength and a good bit of setback. The styling, while modern, is very attractive. At $22 this has to be one of the all best time seat post bargains.

We also have more of the Routens/Huret seatposts for those of you who like unusual designs of historic significance

Another nice new item is the Salsa tubular steel water bottle cage. It's a bit more traditional looking than the Delta cage and very nicely made.


C said...

How about adding Hozan tools in addition to VAR? Both are getting harder to find here in the US. The Hozan MC is still the best truing stand made. So much more stable than the Park.

Velo Orange said...

C, Who imports Hozan? Or do we have to?

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris: Hi! How about the VAR pry-it-back-over-the-rim tire levers? I'm currently using out-sized Simson pry-over levers on my tight-tired bikes, but would appreciate a less weighty option (I use the Soma steel core levers for prying tires OFF the rims....).

C said...

Better yet just use your hands! I've yet to find a tire that can't be wrestled back on without a tire lever - even notorious combos such as Matrix rims and Conti tires. Here's how:
1) Start putting the tire on at the valve stem.
2) Work the tire on evenly with both hands.
3) Eventually you'll hit a point where you have a few inches left directly opposite the valve stem. The key to the last few inches is to NOT try to use strength to mount the tire. Instead you want to outsmart it.
4) Find the point where the tire bead just starts to go over the top of the rim. Take your weak hand and wrap it around tire and rim at this point.
5) Take your strong hand and place it next to the weak hand. With your strong hand roll the tire onto the rim. The key here is to using a rolling motion rather than trying to push the tire up onto the rim. Imagine trying to roll the tire completely off the other side and you'll get it. This will get a small bit of the tire onto the rim.
6) Move your weaker holding hand over a bit to where the tire now comes up over the rim and repeat. The smaller a section you try to roll, the easier it will be.

Key steps here are rolling rather than pushing the tire and also not trying to mount too large a section at a time. I showed my barely rides a bike wife this technique and one year at a charity ride she showed a couple of "dudes" struggling (snapped a tire lever) with a high pressure tire how to properly fix a flat. It was pretty comical seeing the look on their face when a girl showed the "serious" cyclists how to do it right.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be swell to have some tan/honey toe straps. They appear to not exist.

Dad said...

Is there a special tool that's needed to get the dust cap off of TA pedals? If so, it would be sweet to carry that.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of nice centerpull brakes on eBay. But not enough headset cable hangers or seat binder bolt hangers. It would be nice to carry those. Also, Herse-style brake cable straddle roller thingies.

A couple nice chainguards too. Ring and full-length cover.

I have a nice waterproof notepad and forest service notebook. Something along those lines would fit nicely in the VO shop. I'll check the makers and report back.

Anonymous said...

hozan spoke wrenches are the best thing ever, if you sell them, i'll buy them.

Velo Orange said...

Anon., I've been looking for tan/honey toe straps. No luck yet.

David, I use pin pliers,the type with a bunch of extra tips from the auto parts store, for TA pedals. But I'll see about getting those tools when TA re-opens in a few weeks.

Andy, we'll have chainguards when we do the city bike, brake parts too. I wanted to have straddle cable rollers made, but most people said they were not worth the effort. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Chris, I'd pay $15-20 for a pair of custom-made straddle cable rollers. I like the idea of customizing a pair of $25 eBay Mafacs. I think they would improve performance and give me a chance to do something unique and special.

I'm still hoping for a Herse-style or Simon Firth-style (I'll e-mail a picture) stem with built-in cable guide.

When you do the city bike, will you offer a fully built bike? Or just frame/fork?

And when will a bricks-and-mortar Velo Orange shop open for business?

C said...

How about a really nice looking threadless stem with built in spacers, bell and decaleur attachments? End result would look very much like a quill stem. Here's a great example of what I'm talking about: http://tinyurl.com/px4zs

It's much cleaner looking that the usual stem and pile o' spacers. This is especially true for us non-racing types you usually want our bars up high. Plus the steel is much thinner than the aluminum used on most stems/spacers which I think looks much better.

Barring this, get Nitto to bring back the half lug/half fillet stem AND get them to make steel spacers with the same finish. As nice as my Nitto stem looked on it's own it didn't look so good on the bike perched on top of a stack of thick alloy spacers.

Anonymous said...


That pear is lovely; you're right about the stem. Nice rear brake cable stop too. And front rack mounts (on top of fork crown). And...

Anonymous said...

How about index shifting cable in something other than black? Once upon a time you could get pretty much any color of cable housing on earth; now with index it's just black, black, black. I'd vote for a nice silver (maybe the mid-'80s clearcoat), with both index and brake available. Any other colors out there people would love to have?

Anonymous said...

Anon., I'd like cable housing that is dull, flat-finished, maybe even looks like a dense string of pure rubber. Sort of a natural gum rubber color. But not shiny.

Anonymous said...

I have fragments of what I think is the original cable that was on a '73 Holdsworth I picked up last year, sort of a greyish gum color, no shine at all, slightly ridged. It would definitely look better than the current (non) choice that's out there.

Anonymous said...

Andy said he would pay $25 for straddle rollers. Jitensha has them. $75!

crawley said...

How about fenders? I know you stock Berthoud's, but how about producincing your own? What do we have? Honjo and Gilles. No moving parts; just have someone in Taiwan stamp'em out for cheap. Throw in some of the styles tha Honjo doesn't offer. The Zepplin, the trappezoid, the completely smooth. Say for $60 for the entire set with hardware.
And there needs to be a competitor for Brooks, no?
Go where there are just a few choices in the big league. Everyone needs fenders and leather saddles. Ideale is long gone.