25 June, 2013

Rule #8 - Saddles, bars, and tires shall be carefully matched

by Igor

I was taking a refresher of The Rules and came to the realization that leather can be a difficult one to match. Leather is a natural material that (even when dyed) can range in color.

Quick recap: 
  • Espresso Perforated Tape and Espresso Elkhide Wrap matches our brown Saddles.
  • Macchiato Perforated Tape most closely matches our Honey Saddles. Macchiato Elkhide can be treated with Saddle Care or Neatsfoot Oil to get the desired shade.

I'm a real big fan of our newest batch of leather tape. It is softer and more supple than previous iterations meaning it is easier to wrap and is easier on the hands with or without gloves.

For tires, the Panaracers Tourguards and Col De La Vie match either Espresso or Macchiato well. The Dia-Compe Gran Compe tires match Espresso bits perfectly. 

If all else fails: black, is the new black.

Brown, espresso, macchiato, honey, black? What's your favorite?

20 June, 2013

Customer Submitted Bike Hacks

by Igor

Alright so grab your hacksaw. Kidding...

Dan asked us if the Gran Compe Barrel Adjusters fit our City Levers by replacing the cable stop that comes with the lever set. We tried it out wouldn't you know, they fit. The adjusters also fit the Dia-Compe Guidonnet Levers. You get an easy, convenient way to adjust brake cable tension on the fly.

In response to an earlier post with regards to Info Overload, Don sent us a picture of his decaleur turned info center complete with temperature and time.

Do you have any products that have more than one intended use?

A few submitted hacks in comments:

18 June, 2013

Pass Hunter Testing

by Scott

I took the opportunity this past weekend to head out and do some more testing of the pass hunter prototype. I knew of some gravel roads that circumnavigated Sugar Loaf mountain west of Gaithersburg MD, that would make a great testing ground.

I was using the set up we'd had on the bike since we built it up- 32mm wide Pasela tires and 45mm smooth fenders. It worked out great. Only in one or two small  rocky sections did I think I could use a slightly knobbier tire. Even on the steep descents, the bike handled great. I think the major limiting factor was my leg strength (or lack thereof)
As you can tell, I tend to ride on the hoods and flats :)

By the way, we have a Polyvalent on special here-
Update- The Polyvalent has been sold

11 June, 2013

Saddle Loops in stock

We just got a shipment of our new Saddle Loops and they are now in stock at long last. Scott is jumping up and down for joy.

Stainless steel construction and easy installation. Sorry carbon fans, these are not recommended on carbon rails.


07 June, 2013

New Handlebars - Keeping it Weird

A guest post by Casey:

"It never got weird enough for me" ~ Hunter S. Thompson

About a month and a half ago I wrote a post about my current cockpit setup on my touring rig. I mentioned that my ideal setup would have the swept back hand position of funky mountain bars along with the flats and hoods hand positions of drop bars. I also alluded to the fact that I was getting a prototype of a bar that would provide all of those hand positions. Well it's here, and I'm pretty sure the whole office has become concerned for my sanity.
The initial inspiration for these bars came from looking at pictures or old condorino bars and more modern bullhorns in too rapid of succession.
The swept back portion of the new bars will provide a similar hand position to the VO Postinos
We may end up slightly changing the look of the bar but, testing withstanding, the production model should be functionally similar to the prototype. Here's the nitty gritty: The clamp diameter is 25.4, these bars can only be used on stems with removable faceplates (obviously). The swept back mountain portion of the bars have a 45 degree sweep and 22.2 outer diameter. This means that most flat bar brake levers will fit on it. For my setup I'm using the Tektro FL750's. The bullhorn portion of the bars will have a 23.8 outer diameter. This means  that you can put bar end shifters at the end, or most inverse brake levers. Like the Tektro RX4.1 inverse levers. Cross levers can also be mounted on the flats. You can also put the VO thumb shifter mounts anywhere that your heart desires.

06 June, 2013

The Sample Box

Once every few weeks our agent in Taiwan packs up samples and prototypes from various factories and sends them to us. Sometimes it's just odd bits, new hardware for fenders, a new color of cable housing, etc. But this time we got some really interesting stuff.

Here is a nice 10-tooth jockey wheel. It comes with shims to fit many derailleurs. Modern derailleurs use 11-tooth wheels, so it's getting hard to find replacements for vintage derailleurs.
This is the new black Grand Cru headset. I think it's rather handsome.
How about this stainless steel cable housing? It should be perfect for restoring older bikes. It has a modern low-friction lining, but no plastic coating on the outside.
A Velo Orange expedition rim? What were we thinking?
Neat stuff, but we're saving the best for last. Casey will explain tomorrow.