27 June, 2008

Production Samples and New Bits

As I promised, the next few months will bring a lot of new Velo Orange components. We just received production samples of a few of them.

On the left is the new VO "Grand Cru" headset. It is a highly polished alloy headset using very high-quality angular-contact sealed cartridge bearings. We'll have a similar headset in 1-1/8". We feel the quality of this headset is among the best available.

The other headset is an alloy and steel ball bearing headset that is very nicely made and polished. It should sell at a great price.

The bottom bracket at the top is the new VO standard BB. It has alloy cups, and a steel body with sealed bearings. The lower BB is the "Grand Cru" version with an alloy body and cups and a hollow boron axle. The bearings are over-sized and of super quality.

The new VO Grand Cru derailleur jockey wheels are made from a special Swiss nylon that we believe is far superior to that found in other jockey wheels. They use sealed cartridge bearings and, this is the best part, they come with a set of shims that will allow them to fit almost any modern or classic derailleur. The sample is black, but I'm trying for orange or red.

We also recieved two new VO products this week. The first is a good quality replacment jockey wheel set for Shimano and other Japanese deraileurs in stylish bright red. These are normal bushing-type wheels, not sealed bearing, but still very good quality and only $4 a set.

And we have some new basic front cable stops with an adjusters.


Michael S said...

Looks great Chris. Do you have an approximate price for the BB and HS? Is the BB going to be available in the proper length for a TA Cyclotourist double?

K Matthias said...

Chris, those are great additions to your offerings! I'm very interested in the bottom brackets as decent quality square taper stuff is getting harder (and pricier) to find. I'll be ordering some new jockey wheels.


Chris Kulczycki said...

They will be available in all common lengths, including those for TA cranks. The prices are still hard to determine, at least for me. With up-charges for bearings, logos, extra polishing, hollow axle, etc, I may have lost track. But they will cost than that what's out there now of similar quality.

toxonix said...

Alloy cups are the downfall of every bottom bracket I've ever had. Stainless cups should be more expensive to produce as it's more expensive material and a pain in the butt to machine compared to aluminum.
It would be worth it to have bb cups that didn't disintegrate after a few seasons of abuse.

Kevan said...

Chris -

Everything looks great. Kudos for bringing out new products. Just a few questions/comments:

1) Headsets: you mentioned a 1-1/8" version. Is it safe to assume that's threadless?

2) Bottom brackets: please, please, please offer a 102mm ISO option for the Chorus/Record people. Phil is expensive, Campy is too expensive for what it is, and Token is just questionable. Can we assume both English and Italian cups? And what exactly is a 'boron' spindle?

3) Jockey wheels: will the Grand Cru be 10 speed compatible? Is the upper pulley 'floating' ala Shimano? Those ribs look like crud catchers to me... Although the red is nice, for that faux-ceramic look ;-)

Aaron said...

I wholeheartedly second Kevan's request for a 102 ISO BB for Chorus/Record, in both Italian and English threading, if possible.

Chris Kulczycki said...

We will only have JIS British BBs to start. We are concentrating on BB for our bikes and for the cranks we sell.

There will be a threadless 1-1/8" headset.

The jockey wheels will be 10-spd compatible.

Toxonix, I don't understand why you have trouble with alloy BB cups, unless you repeatedly install and remove them. I just install the bottom bracket and forget about it; the cups never move.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,
I too say it all looks good! Keep it up buddy!!

A product you may have considered, and totally lacking in today's offerings, is old style all leather cycling shoes. A cleatless Touring style, complete with heels, would be awesome. Of course, an inventory nightmare.

p.s. The VO fenders are an incredible value - nicely made with top notch fasteners.

K Matthias said...

Bruce a dit....
"p.s. The VO fenders are an incredible value - nicely made with top notch fasteners."

+1! Love mine.

rory said...

while you say the new jockey wheels are 10 speed compatible, are they the large jockey wheel size like the new shimano have, or are they the smaller jockey wheel size like campagnolo has?

Anonymous said...

What did we do without you?

jimmythefly said...

Fantastic looking stuff! If you have time, I'm quite curious as to what "very high-quality" and "super quality" and "among the best available" really mean. Are we talking about how precisely the races are ground and the quality of the alloys used? What are we comparing against, and is it hard numbers or a more general "feeling" of quality? I understand that at some point increasing precision does nothing for what I can actually sense as a person, just more curious because manufacturers always talk about these things without any references. I'd love to hear about the process of getting these produced from your perspective.

meade said...

could the bottom brackets be made without the collar on one of the retaining rings so the BB could be adjusted similar to a Phil?

mpetry912 said...

Fantastic stuff. Your best effort to date. Kudos for taking this on, finding market opportunities and getting high quality stuff made. Awesome!

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA

Gunnar Berg said...

Resist the temptation to spec red jockey wheels. Black or gray are good.

Ian Dickson said...

I'm with Gunnar. I don't want to call attention to my jockey wheels. Also, not all of us keep our bikes perfectly clean all the time, and that's really going to show on colored wheels. It looks like a great product, though.

Anonymous said...

High quality jockey wheels in orange = excellent idea!

nordic_68 said...

I'd also like to hear more about the boron application in the bottom bracket spindle. Is this a metal matrix composite (MMC)? What are the benefits, tradeoffs?

GhostRider said...

The BB axle is almost certainly boron-steel, not straight boron. Boron is added to steel for hardening purposes in the same way that other elements are added to steels for their inherent properties ( such as chromium for corrosion-resistance).

There have been similar BB axles on the market, particularly in the early 90s "heyday" of CNC-machined MTB components.

keithwwalker said...


Most likely an alloying element in another. From wiki:

At a lesser degree, certain boronized (or borided) metals and alloys, through means of ion implantation or only ion beam deposition of Boron ions, show a spectacular increase in surface resistance and microhardness

It is either a iron-boron (common in U-locks) or aluminum boron?

Jeff said...

Looks like good stuff.

I echo the comments about the BB: if you spec both cups as adjustable then the chainline can be fine-tuned.

Also, I hope the pulleys have some sort of seal/cap over the bearings, as it's been my experience that the rubber seal alone isn't enough. (Look at the old Suntour sealed pulleys, those hold up great.)

Alex said...


you're absolutely right: decent looking leather shoes are very hard to come by these days. Watch for Rapha or Velo Orange making a move here . . . or you follow Grant Peterson's advice and just wear Tevas! Marresi still make very good & good looking leather cycling shoes (mod. storica & eroica, no SPD), as does taiwanese firm Exustar (mod. Stelvio). all have been well reviewed here and there. Carnac used to have the Carlit, but it is no longer made. A simple pair of Campers will do in a pinch, if you don't need SPD.