29 June, 2018

Be Good to Each Other

by Igor

I'm sure you heard about the shooting yesterday afternoon at the Capital Gazette here in Annapolis, Maryland. It happened less than a mile from our office. Instead of hearing our normal industrial area whirring and Naval airplanes, we heard hovering news helicopters and sirens. It was eerie watching live feeds of places we ride through everyday around town full with officials and peace keepers.

I'm aware that many of our readers pop in to nerd out on bike stuff and maybe get away from the craziness we hear from Washington and talking heads on television. Suffice it to say, we don't have the answers on how to solve this issue plaguing our country. I just want to encourage you to hug your loved ones and be good to each other.

From Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

21 June, 2018

Today is the Summer Solstice!

by Adrian

This year's Summer Solstice falls on June 21st, 2018 - today! So happy Summer Solstice to you all!

Though it's been feeling like Summer for a hot minute here (pun 100% intended), today is the first official day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Today we experience the most hours of sunlight of the whole year, when the Sun reaches both its highest and northernmost points in the sky. This of course means we have the most daylight hours to play outside!

From the Old Farmer's Almanac I learned something about the Summer Solstice I never realized. "The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (standing), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop moving in the sky as it reaches its northern- or southernmost point. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction." So it reaches it's pinnacle, and heads back home. Let's all try to live up to this notion today.

I always associate summer with a time to both relax, and ramp up your adventuring. The weather's nice, there's typically less rain, and nights are warm enough to comfortably sleep under the dome of your own tent - wherever you may choose to pitch it. Summer is when I plan out my longest cycling routes, typically at least one with two weeks of mostly camping.

Tonight we're celebrating the solstice in an entirely new fashion, by camping for the first time with our 7 month old son. Adventuring doesn't need to be contrived - just get outside and have fun. Whether you're in the middle of an epic tour, finishing up the RAAM here in Annapolis, MD (congrats to Christoph Strasser who finished yesterday with 5 wins to tie the record for most wins!), or simply going to a cruise after work, enjoy every minute of it!

Maybe it's time to be a bit more carefree. In the summer rides don't need to be so planned out. There's less clothes requirements, and many more things to do outside. Why not grab your bike, see where it takes you, and enjoy the ride. Here's one way you can cool off after a hot summer ride:

Happy Riding!

20 June, 2018

New Klunker Pads and Burrito Bags

by Igor

We just got in these super fun and super safe Crash Pads made for our Klunker Handlebars. They're made from Cordura-wrapped foam and secure to the Klunk's cross-member using hearty velcro.

Crash Pads are currently available in four colors: two radical, one subdued, and one to match your cool cargo camo pants.

In the same care package, we got in Burrito Handlebar Bags. They're sized for, you guessed it, a submarine sandwich.

They're simple, lightweight, universal, and can carry all your bits and bobs that you may need quick access to. They measure 8 inch in length and 3 inch in diameter and are available in Teal and Black.

Happy Riding!

18 June, 2018

Fun With Fender Stays

by Scott

Sometimes it's the little things that motivate you. Looking at something on your bike and wondering, how could I make this better? Now sometimes, we look at a problem/situation/quandary and create something like the Crazy Bar which requires a ton of tooling and testing. But in other cases, you're simply looking for a solution that shouldn't require a mass of tooling and trouble. Or you just want to have some fun with your bike stuff. Nothing wrong with that either!

These wonderful 5mm aluminum stays (available in silver and noir) are great for little projects around a bike. The fact that they are easy to cut - you can use a bolt cutter, a hacksaw or even saw through it with the file on your Leatherman - make them ideal for those little projects.

Our stays are simple pre-bent aluminum rod and are sized to use with our eyebolts and r-clips, so you can experiment with a whole bunch of setups that are only limited by your imagination.

So what have we used the stays for? Well for one thing, you can add one to the front of a fender if you want to stiffen it up.

Igor did this on the Campeur that he took to Eroica California. Ideally, you'd be using a front rack to secure the front of the fender, but a bent fender stay works equally well to keep everything tidy over washboard roads.

You can also bend one to support a front bundle.

Or bend one up to create a standoff for a rear bag. This one also doubles as a tube or jacket holder.

Creating the bend can be done by hand or by using something solid like a pivot point on a vise.

Using a vise to bend a stay. I like using a vise, but a pair of pliers could do the same job

We sell the stays in pairs for three reasons: 1) for those who are mounting vintage fenders without stays 2) transferring fenders from one bike to another and the length required is different 3) if you just need one, it would be a huge bummer cutting it too short and having to order another - plus it's nice to have a spare for improptu projects.

I'm sure there are lots of things people have used stays for. Anyone have a good story of what they used one or two for?

11 June, 2018

650b Wavy Fenders Arrive!

by Igor

The Wavy Fenders have arrived! No longer will those of you with road+ tires have skunk-tail or fiendishly spray your riding friends with speckles of moist gravel.

In case you missed previous posts and teasers about them, they're 58mm wide, designed for 650b/27.5"/584 wheels, and cover tires up to 50mm - the meat 'n potatoes of gravel and all-road bikes.

While a high polished silver finish has always been our MO, the Noir line has been wildly popular, and so of course we're going to offer it, too! Who could have thought black components would have stuck?

The pattern tooling involved in these is more sophisticated than any other fender tooling we've invested in. Our other fendersets use a single roller, but the Wavys use two - a male and female pair working in tandem, with a very specific amount of pressure to make sure the fender receives the pattern properly without deforming the metal or damaging its mate. It's a delicate balance that leaves a ... lasting impression. Puns aside, they're gorgeous and we're super excited to add them to our extensive fender lineup.

04 June, 2018

15% Off Just Because!

by Igor

The sale has concluded. Thanks to everyone who participated. Happy riding!

Why are we having a sale? Just 'cuz!

So from this very moment through Friday, June 8th (6/8/18) 11:59pm EDT, save 15% off your retail order with the coupon code JUSTCUZ. All orders get free shipping over $150.

Here is the fine print:

  • The 15% off deal is available only to retail customers.
  • Retail and wholesale orders get free shipping on orders with subtotals over $150 within the contiguous USA - no coupon code needed for this deal!
  • 15% applies to all in-stock items.
  • Pre-sales, gift certificates, and items already on sale are not eligible.
  • No backorders.
  • Not applicable to shipping or tax.
To get the deal, follow the instructions below:
  • Click on your cart
  • Once you've confirmed everything is in your cart, select CHECKOUT
  • On the righthand side of the page, enter the coupon code JUSTCUZ and click Apply

  • Confirm the code has been applied, finish checking out, and enjoy your savings!

01 June, 2018

French Soaps Are Back In Stock

By Scott

Our favorite soap is now back in stock! Savon de Marseille soaps are made in the traditional manner near Marseille, France from a mixture of olive and vegetable oils, alkaline ash, and salted water from the nearby Mediterranean Sea. The resulting soap is cut into blocks and put out to dry in the local salty air. All told, it takes the soap masters two weeks to make a block of soap. Truly, an artisanal undertaking, that has been going on in this time honored style since 1683.

We bring in two sizes of the olive oil based soap - a hard milled 300g size (hard milling is where it goes through the milling machine more then once, so there is less moisture in the soap bar than a traditional method) and the 1kg size (that's 2.2 lbs worth of soap!) in the traditional/rustic finish. In the spirit of French companies, we use this soap in our bathrooms here at VO. We cut some off the big block, using an Opinel knife or a wire cutter, put a small amount in each bathroom here and leave the left over soap in a cool, dry place until we need it again. 

Cutting chunks off the 1 kilo, rustic-style soap has been a mainstay of our bike touring kits. Not only can you use it in the shower for your body, hair, and normal washroom routines, it makes a great soap for hand-washing clothes. Keep it in a ziplock plastic bag and throw it in your handlebar bag.

All in all, Savon de Marseille Soap gets the VO Seal of Approval and we know you'll enjoy it, too.