12 October, 2012

VO Complete Campeurs Available

Since I started VO I've wanted to offer a reasonably priced, but high quality complete bike--not just any bike, but one with really well designed and matched components. That's what made the French constructeur bikes great. Not only did the constructeurs make great frames, but just as importantly they were built in the shop with perfectly matching components and accessories. Many of those components and accessories were made, or at least designed, by the constructeur himself. The difference in the bikes I've wanted to offer is that they would be affordable to the average cyclist.

Before I go on, here is the complete build list. 
Not a bad build for $1600. But there are a few other, perhaps non-obvious, differences between our build and those from other moderately priced complete touring bikes.

First off, the Campeur assembled in our shop in Annapolis MD.

Next, the components are what we would ride. I'd have no qualms about hopping on this bike and riding a three thousand mile trip into the back of beyond. And I wouldn't say that about a lot of mid-priced off-the-shelf bikes. On some of them you might find a $6 bottom bracket with plastic cups hiding behind a nice looking crank. Or you might find no-name hubs or headsets with low-end bearings. Then there is the seat post without enough setback for a leather saddle. We've tried to address all these common problems.

The final point I wanted to make about these bikes is that they are an experiment and we'll make only a very limited number. The reason for this is that we really don't have the staff or space to build them in large numbers efficiently. But if they sell well, we'll lease another warehouse bay and hire more staff so we can do them in quantity.
Also, for those of you who prefer to do your own assembly we now have Campeur build kits.


Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, it certainly looks like a nice bike with good potential. But without racks, fenders and lights I have a hard time to see this bike following the constructeur tradition...

VeloOrange said...

The problem with fenders is that it's really hard to ship a bike with installed fenders without damaging them. So you might as well order the pair you like best and put them on at home.

Racks are also tough for two reasons. The Campeur racks are still a few weeks away. And with the growing popularity of bike packing, not everyone wants racks.

Lights are also a problem because some, like me, prefer battery lights since we don't often ride at night. Others want dynamo lights.

It may be a constructeur inspired bike, but it's still a bike that must be pre-built and shipped to the customer.

William Blake Stephens said...

when will the chain guard hardware be for sale individually? you mentioned this in an earlier post and i was a bit curious as i have an old simplex guard kicking around i'd like to mount.

Anonymous said...

That's a great all-around build, especially with all those sealed cartridge bearings. Those touring hubs are super slick. Being able to select fenders and racks will allow a personalized bike, suited to individual needs. Or as you say, some people may choose not to use racks or fenders. I've been looking forward to a huge framebag on a 59cm frame and I may not even need fenders while living in New Mexico, which means more tire clearance!

Don S. said...

It's a remarkable achievement. Congratulations!

theskinnyfish said...

Monsieur, You forgot the mint on the seat!