16 February, 2007

Velo Orange Fenders

Some of you know that we've been trying to develop a line of less expensive metal fenders. With the samples that arrived yesterday, we now have seven sets of fenders in three different profiles from two factories. Six are aluminum and one is steel. I would not hesitate to put any of the six aluminum sets on a custom Randonneur. The quality and finish are really very nice. They are all brushed aluminum and either a smooth round or fluted profile.

Though the fenders themselves look great, the struts and other hardware are not as nice. But I think we can solve that problem.

We'll put some of the samples in the specials section later.

So the decision I have to make is whether to have these made in aluminum, or try to convince the factory to do a run in stainless steel. Also, I like the brushed aluminum finish, but I wonder if there are folks who just have to have a polished finish?


Joel said...

Brushed metal tends to retain its good looks longer than polished.

Aluminum is nice, but if there is only one choice, stainless steel seems more adaptable.

Anonymous said...

However, Taiwanese SS requires significantly more metellurogical screening and inspection capabilities, where as AL seems to be something they have experience with. Just alignment need inspecting on AL, if only random samples.

As a rule Taiwanese and Chinese SS is the lowest grade SS made for ginsu knives and rust/pits unless wiped off immediately upon getting wet. I have not yet seen a SS grade 302 yet from China or Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

I like the brushed aluminum. It makes a lot of sense to me to add a product or a finihs, at least, that's not already out there. Good idea. I'd buy a set.

Where do the wood fender guys get their hardware?


Anonymous said...

Which would best lend itself to being painted to match a bike frame, brushed or polished?

Joel said...

I think the brushed would paint better.

if you are looking to paint, you may want to go with the less expensive plastic SKS fenders though.

peter b said...

I'll buy a fluted silver set for my sister's Batavus mixte! just let me know how much and when they'll be available.

Would SS be significantly more expensive?

Anonymous said...


You better start demanding grades of materials. There are many, and if it is not disclosed, you may be getting something not suited for your purposes. Weikapedia has decent information on Google for different materials. Of course, Velo Orange goods are filtered by expert builders so materials is second hand to them. But just as a general note for the year of the Pig in China.

Anon PixR^2

joshua said...

I think of a couple deciding factors when looking at purchasing fenders. First, what type of use is the bike going to be put to. Touring and daily commuting, then stainless steel it is. They are more durable and less scratch prone. If the bike is to be a lightweight randonneur then by all means aluminum. As for AL finish, the brushed finish looks nice, and anyone wanting a high-polished look can take the extra time to polish them before installing. I think all three have a place in the market and since Berthoud has the stainless and Honjo the high polish AL, why not offer something that isn't out there.

Anonymous said...

Can annodized AL be polished? I didn't think so, because didn't do any good on my rims.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I think this talk about the quality of stainless overstates the problem. These days 304 stainless, for example, is common in Taiwan and in China as well. 15 years ago, when I was shopping for one, companies in Taiwan were making some of the best state-of-the-art CNC machines in the world, some of the most advanced machinery in the world. This is not to say they don't also make junk in Taiwan, but then we also make a lot of junk in America. The trick is to work with a good company that understands your needs.

Anonymous said...

Stainless Steel, please.
Easier to customize, drill holes into, etc.

Anonymous said...

What are the size options?

700c, 650b, 26"

The steel fenders are chromed, no?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the overstating was due to pure chance alone, and you have personally inspected sites from sourced connections. From what I understand, Chinese use Western tools off shift for own products, and nothing companies can do about that: but Western companies (including Japan) safeguard lock their materials up on offshifts. And that is where alot of faulty products are getting mixed even with frequent and routine large Toyota recalls; and generally, no one utilizes the Chinese better than the Japanese.

So all I was saying is buyer beware, and stratified random inspections are not to bold to suggest in the year of the Pig. I'll admit US quality sucked on average, except you had a chain of command to get warranties and to voice how much sucky quality cost you as a consumer. A Chinese warranty is an ebay id with 14 recs telling he will warranty, until he changes id's maybe.

The main difference, except some part upgrades between a Breezer and a Koga - Miyata is Koga 100% inspects frames from the same Tawainese vendor, and they charge 3 times more than a Breezer for almost identical bikes.

Speaking as a student of Quality Systems from different country and political systems, China's system can not theoretically ever have a quality oriented system because quality starts from the top, and not the bottom. Taiwan on the other hand seems to be more autonomous and I went to school with one of the first Tawainese Quality engineer students at GA Tech in late 80's. They really seem commited to quality. America was never fully commited, but at least they gave lip service from the top so it was a start and easy to make process improvements justified by their lip service :-) (that never quite developed because they 'really' never had a clue).

Anonymous said...

Would the untreated brushed aluminum oxidize quickly. Perhaps certain a certain alloy would be more corrosion resistant. It's easy enough to brush with some scotchbrite.

Polished doesn't oxidize as quickly, I think. Smoother surface doesn't allow water and debris to build up as easily. If you place a drop of water on a polished sheet of aluminum, it would bead and roll right off. Do that on a brushed sheet and the water would disperse, untill if enough was added, it would become heavy and roll off.

Anonymous said...


The Soubitez 89 dynamos is a fine crafted little French doo-dad! This has to be the deal of deals in 3W maintenance-free lighting.

Any help on size of stranded wire in case of moving the bulb?

The bulb relocated from the tirewall vibration would seem advantageous for the lamp life and candlelight efficiency as well.


Anonymous said...

That is one heck of a spring on Soubitez 89 dynamo which will put a good drag on tire. New wheel bearings and lube job may help though.