11 November, 2009

New Wheels and Basket

We've had some new wheels built with the polished Velo Orange PBP rims. We have them laced to the Novatron dyno hub. They are also available with Shimano 105 hubs, both front and rear.

We'll soon be getting more 650b Velo Orange Diagonale rims as well as the new 700c version of that rim. These will also be built with the above hubs, as well as with Strumey Archer 3-speed hubs.

Wald baskets have been popular with commuters and delivery persons for decades. We just started stocking the "woody" version of their popular 139 model. These are not nearly as well made or as sturdy as a porteur rack, but then they are less then half the price.


nordic_68 said...

Nice job with the Wald basket. I was just browsing their website last week looking for this exact product. Didn't realize the wood was an option. I won't be able to resist this for long...

Velouria said...

I love that Wald basket; glad to see you're stocking it.

Unknown said...

Hi Chris -- how long until the 32h version of the diagonal is available?

Velo Orange said...

The rims should be here in a few days.

Anonymous said...

uh $70 for a Wald basket??????

shamil said...

I'm a big fan of Wald's baskets and racks. Rivendell has been selling the baskets for awhile. Of course they're not nearly as sturdy or beautiful as VO racks, but they have a humble charm to them. And sometimes a cheaper part fits the need better than a better part; I choose Walds over VO or Nitto for my city bike here in NYC to limit my potential distress in case of theft.

Tom said...

The basket is made in Kentucky. The wood is White Oak, sourced from Ohio. The finish of the slats is well executed- not drippy, corners are rounded, cuts are square. Not sure if the finish is 'hand made' and applied by brush or sprayed from some automated machine, but the wood is inlaid and fastened to the basket itself by The Workers in Maysville KY.

Wald made a pretty significant upgrade with this basket too- they increased the handlebar clamps to fit bars up to 25.4mm, made the clamps longer to clear brake levers and leave room for brake and shift cables. The connecting bolts are a little longer too. Installation will be easier than with a normal #139 basket. You won't be going into battle with 2 pairs of channel locks, squeezing the clamp over too short bolts.

Is it worth $70? That's for all yall to decide.

Joel said...

Agree 100% the rack is not as well made as the Porteur. Not so sure about the sturdy claim.

The Wald support struts, handlebar rack and undermount, basic they may be, are rather thick pieces of metal. I had just finished installing the all metal predecessor to that rack on an old Schwinn Typhoon when I managed to drop the bike. The rack took a nasty gouge out of the cement patio without any noticeable dings or sratches.

I am glad you are carrying it and think $70.00 is a fair price to pay for something that will probably outlast the bike it is attached to.

Anonymous said...

I have the metal version. Maybe you should carry it too. It could be a good project to make the wood base. I'm probably not the only one who rides a built-up cheap (minty) Schwinn for local errands.

lee.watkins said...

I've had my eye on the woody basket ever since I noticed it on the wald site. My only reservation is with the support legs. If we could get some of wald's more heavy-duty legs on this thing, I'd be all for it.

The baskets themselves will last forever - the weak link is the support legs... on some baskets like the drop-top Wald model I use specifically because the drop top avoids all the cables better, plus it looks cool (see bottom link) the legs are don't stand up to heavier items like, say a 6-pack of beer bottles on a bumpy ride, which is really too bad because it's exactly the same size as a 6-pack or two jugs of milk. Once you bend a leg, you can bend it back but it keeps wanting to bend into your spoke for any reason, which isn't really very safe. However some Wald racks, like the 157 giant delivery, come with much more heavy-duty support legs that seemingly could stand up to anything - FWI you can buy the heavier legs separately!

I have a 535 twin rear basket/rack - that think is absolutely bomb-proof. It will carry passengers even, no problem. You can fit 4-6 bags of groceries in there if you make use of the cargo net. Of course it does make the bike look like a shopping cart... luckily they recently started making it available in black as well. There is a company called Husky that makes a liner for the 535 that uses that heavy-duty rip-stop nylon used on airport luggage, with brass fittings & drain-holes. Unfortunately, they chose to use neon yellow/green color for the nylon so it's ugly as sin. If some brilliant person got them to make the liner in black, and combined it with the black version of the 535, you could actually have a really nice looking heavy-duty shopper.

I noticed recently on a trip to Manhattan, and it seems like nearly literally every other bike on the street is sporting the 157 GIANT DELIVERY BASKET. This one has the really heavy-duty support legs on it, plus extra supports that go all the way around the basket. It would be really really awesome if Wald (or someone else) had a woody version of this one. I noticed in Manhattan that around 1/2 of the 157's have the front face cut along the edges to the front drops flat (supported by a bungee) to carry larger loads. Seems like Wald should design a hinged drop-front version of the 157 basket, with an optional woody kit! At least now they do have the 157 available in a mesh version and in black, which looks really amazing!


patates frites said...


I was in NYC last month and noticed the delivery guys on their cheap bikes with Wald 157 baskets. How could you miss them?!? They are all over the freaking place! In four days roaming the city, I may have seen two or three of the famous NYC messengers on their fixies, but dozens upon dozens of the Wald basket guys. I figure there must be thousands of them all over the city.

Also, I recently picked up the black mesh version of the 157 that you mention, and it is definitely NOT as sturdy as the regular 157. I got it used knowing it was cracked around the strut supports due to overloading. But I'm going to make a thin plywood base to reinforce it and it will be better than new.

TSVDP said...

My question: do the Wald baskets work well with drop bar road bikes??

Now, onto a soapbox a bit. Is a Wald basket worth it?? Those things are as stable as can be, I once purchased a 3 speed, I still have it, from what I understand a dept. store knockoff, a black 'Royal Scot' but very nice and very classique looking, anyway it came with one of those front baskets and from first hand experience carry everything. This wood bottom may be a bit of an artistic touch but my basket seems a bit deeper, wired on the bottom as well.

To me, the baskets are not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the V-O racks, not like I'd put the Wald's basket on a show bike but functionally, they are the best, some bungee cords or a cargo net with it and you can take home a week's groceries. They are awesome. No balancing acrobatics as I've had to do with some racks.

I think the front baskets are in a big way, similar to your English butcher/work bikes. Lots of carrying room but it is up to what are your priorities.

Tom Cieszinski

skvidal said...

Any chance of making the pbp/105 wheels with 36 hole hubs/wheels instead?

Velo Orange said...

The wheels are 36h rear and 32h front. I think that's the best of both.

Lisa Aliamo said...

Yeah, $70 is steep!

Alex W. said...

just for the record, as facts on dynamo hubs are rare here: the Novatec hub does indeed have roughly the same drag (measured in watts needed to turn the axle at a certain speed) as many other dynamos hub out there: about 6W at 20kmh and 8W at 30kmh. only the SON 20R is noticeably better (roughly 4W and 6W, respectively).

The big difference is when you cycle with the lights off: because the Novatec hub has its excess voltage inhibitor IN the hub and has to 'swallow' all that energy no longer being sent to the lights, you are using more power with the lights off: a whopping 9W at 30kmh. (ideally the resistance of bearings and seals in such a hub would be ca. .5W; The SON 20R is 1W).

for more info see Aktiv Radfahren, issue 1-2/09. there's a PDF summary of all this (in german . . .) but the charts are there too.

Andy "What?" M-S said...

This is in response to Alex on the Nova dynamo...I just got a set of wheels from VO with one of these hubs and I'm very happy with it. It behaves in exactly the same way as my 4+ year old Shimano '70 hub. That is, if I raise the front wheel and spin it, there's very little resistance. When I switch on the light (two 3W LEDs in series, running off a bridge rectifier), resistance increases a little. When switched off, the light is completely isolated from the hub by an SPST switch.

I don't know where people get this idea about dumping power when the switch is off and that increasing resistance. It doesn't happen. To limit current effectively, you'd probably have a DC circuit in the hub, and hence DC output...but that would add significantly to the cost for what is really a very simple machine.

I can't speak to what the article says. I will say I think that the resistance may be a little higher than that of my Shimano hub (but that's had many thousand miles to loosen up a little). But I will also say that it's virtually impossible to tell the difference at commuting (25 MPH and below) speeds.

Oh, and by the way? The PBP rims are beautiful!

Alex W. said...

Andy M-S,

most dynamo hubs made today do not include an excess voltage inhibitor (or 'ueberspannungsschutz') because they increase resistance unnecessarily when the light is off. most modern lights have them, and they are thus not necessary in the hub. Two examples of hub dynamos that DO have the 'US' (required by german law to avoid blown bulbs if a front or rear bulb fails, limits hub power to 9W: see square symbol on hub with a U and a diagonal line) are the Novatec EDH-2 and the Suntour DHCT630. It's still a good hub and better than a tire dynamo any day, and more practical than battery lights in many aspects. I feel it's important that people know what they're buying. because dynamo lights are required here by law on any bike over 11kg, the prices tend to be lower, so it's easier to buy a 'better' one.

one very neat little gadget that i have installed on one of my bikes is a tiny LED bulb that screws into any old light. so i have a really really bright rear light, no chance of a blowout, and when i stop, it stays on. and all that in the old classic mudguard housing my dutch bike came with. best of both worlds: classic looks, modern function.

on another note: Chris, wouldn't the Novatec quick release QR224F-AC/QR224R-AC be a bit more attractive for classic bikes than the one VO now sells? it has that little ring on the non-lever side that's quite attractive . . .

and those rims do indeed look beautiful. are they narrower than the old super champions?


Andy "What?" M-S said...


Above you wrote:

"The big difference is when you cycle with the lights off: because the Novatec hub has its excess voltage inhibitor IN the hub and has to 'swallow' all that energy no longer being sent to the lights, you are using more power with the lights off: a whopping 9W at 30kmh. (ideally the resistance of bearings and seals in such a hub would be ca. .5W; The SON 20R is 1W)."

But if this is true, I would expect a disconnected Novatec hub to spin down more quickly than one attached to a load. In fact, I observe just the opposite--adding a load significantly speeds spindown of a free-spinning wheel. Unless I misunderstand you, what I am seeing and what you said are at odds.

It is possible that the hubs that Chris imports do not have the circuit you describe, I suppose.

I've never used/seen Super Champions, so I can't say anything there...internally, the PBP rims look to be on a par with my now-retired CXP33s (based on the way the Velox tape fits). The nicest non-aesthetic feature is the non-area nature of the rims, which gives a good-sized braking surface. Come to think of it, some folks might object that the sidewalls are *too* high, but the strength of the rims (for someone of my weight) seems worth it.