29 March, 2019

Classic Lightweight Campeur for Eroica and Custom Completes

by Igor

While the Campeur is a traditional tourer, it can also be built up to be a lightweight and comfortable day-long rider that can tackle all that Eroica California can throw at it. Here's a recent complete build we did for a good friend who is going to be riding Eroica CA this year.

The Course Handlebars have been a long time favorite for those with non-aero brake levers. The ramps have ample real estate for moving around while keeping the brake levers well within reach. The drops are generous to gain some aerodynamic advantage.

It's hard to find a polished, new derailleur but this one from Microshift is a gem. The R10 works for cassettes up to 28T and is compatible with 8, 9, and 10 speed shifters from Shimano. Note: it isn't compatible with Tiagra 4700 shifters, which uses a different pull ratio.

A bit of twine to keep the non-aero cables together. Not really needed, but it's fun.

A VO Quill with positive rise makes for a comfortable, upright position.

Retro Bottle Cages keep your bidons in place even over the roughest of terrain.

Of course downtube shifters! These little shifter covers made by Rustines provide a bit more grip.

We've had a lot more interest in completes bikes using our frames and components. While we aren't quite in the position to do completes from Taiwan (that is, not enough physical room in our facility for bikes and frames), we can definitely do custom, one-off builds. I'd estimate a well outfitted Campeur and Polyvalent with Shimano 105/Deore level of components would be around $2800 shipped within the contiguous USA. Piolet would be roughly $3000 as MTB rims and components are a bit more expensive. That includes assembly labor and shipping. 

Turn-around time is between 2-3 weeks from receiving the deposit and putting the shipping label on the box. If you're interested, shoot us an email info@velo-orange.com and we can get the conversation started!

See you at Eroica CA!

26 March, 2019

Rims on Sale!

by Igor

We have a lot of rims, and you don't have enough. So, logic dictates that we should have a rim sale. We agree. For the next week, we're offering all of our in-stock rims for 35% off. This sale is good for our wholesale dealers as well as retail customers! No coupon code or special dance required.

Now is the perfect opportunity to build up a set of beautiful wheels for your road, touring, or commuter rig.

Here is the fine print:
  • The online sale will run through March 31st, 11:59pm EDT.
  • The offer applies to all in-stock rims
  • Pre-sales, gift certificates, and items already on sale are not eligible
  • No backorders

25 March, 2019

Antonio, His Campeur, and Amazing Journeys

by Igor

Istanbul, Tehran, California Coast, Mayan Riviera, Poland, Myanmar, India. This is but a small selection of cities and regions that Antonio and his trusty Campeur have traveled in search of adventure. His passion for cycling, travel, and exploration comes through in his photography and more recently a video on his latest trip to Baja.

Antonio says it best in the description of his, personal interpretation of cyclo-tourism and how his photographic subject-matter has changed over the years, "As I got with new people and cultures, I took the photography as a visual diary. Bike touring became an important part of my subject, but after that I began to explore other variants such as urban, architecture, landscape and portrait photography. There were born these stories and photographies that finally come together in this project, that hopefully one day will become a book.

The adventures happen, most of them have come suddenly and without years of planning, so you read this, I'm probably on the other side of the planet or waiting to start a new route at home. Some people call me a globetrotter, but I still do not believe it, there is so much to be conquered in life."

While there could be so much to say and unpack into a journal, Antonio uses his photography a medium to capture the journey. Here are a selection of photos that, to me, embody the long-term cyclo-tourist lifestyle. That is, travel, good food, trying new things, meeting new people, and living outside your comfort zone.

You can find everything about Antonio's travels, photos, and prints for sale, on his blog. While Antonio's writing is mostly Spanish, your browser's translate feature does quite a good job. Be sure to follow him on Instagram, he frequently publishes a lot of great photos and content there, too.

Happy riding, Antonio!

19 March, 2019

Essentials for Eroica California

by Igor

This year's Eroica CA is April 6th and 7th. Last year's ride and show was a ton of fun, and we're looking forward to another great event. If you're getting your bike buttoned up and more comfortable, we have what you need to get your ride rolling!

Here's my Campeur that I'm going to riding this year for the new course. While it isn't a vintage road racing bike, it is allowed because it is vintage-inspired. Every component complies with the rules, fits right in along with the peloton, but stands out just enough to raise the interest of fellow riders.

Some of these climbs are pretty darn steep and sandy and you'll spend more time pushing your bike up the hill instead of conquering it. I get it, your bike looks really cool when it is fitted with a 53/43 crankset and 11-21 corncob cluster. But I guarantee you're going to feel like a million bucks when you ride up the hill past your buddies who are waving their fists into the air.

Depending on your aesthetic preferences, I'd recommend either our 50.4 crankset with 46/30 chainrings, or our Drillium with 48/34 chainrings. Either one will make your ride a lot more comfortable without losing anything on the top end.

Good tires are vital for mixed terrain rides like these. If your ride can fit them, the Fairweather For Cruise, 700x38 tires are a great choice for those loose climbs and washboard, gravel roads. There are also some narrower 32mm and 28mm options with slight, herringbone tread.

This may sound like sacrilege, but I don't ride with foot retention. My feet like the freedom of being able to move around and the Sabot Pedals makes this a reality. They're chunky, spinny, shiny, and toe-clip and strap compatible. What else could you want?

One of the cornerstones of bike fit is a proper stem position. The Grand Cru Quill Stem uses a -17 degree angle for a classic number 7 look. It also has a bell mount! For a more upright position, check out the VO Quill. It has a +17 degree rise and will make your back happy.

Last year I saw lots of ways to carry gear. Of course there's the classic "stuff in jersey pockets", but I also saw tube sock, the Sunday Funnies, and sewed up t-shirt sleeve. For a more, ehm, "put-together" look, our Day Tripper Saddle Bag can take everything you need for a day-trip into the country. Sound familiar?

See you at Eroica CA!

13 March, 2019

Fresh Container: Major Re-Stock and Lots o' New Stuff!

by Igor

We were greeted this morning with the most beautiful container brimming with equipment you all have been waiting so patiently for. In addition to the restock, we are introducing several new products!

Noir, 700c 63mm Fluted Fenders

Our 63mm Fluted Fenders are the perfect fit for 700c Road+ tires. Think gravel, all-road, and other buzz-worthy words. They'll swallow up tires up to 53mm to keep your backside and drivetrain clean.

Noir Fender Reflectors

Following up on more Noir offerings, we're now offering Noir Fender Reflectors!
Grand Cru Quick Release Levers
These QRs are very reminiscent of my favorite downtube shifter: the Simplex SLJ (I even have one on my keys). They feature an external cam with a lovely brass insert for durability. The opposite side has a neat, knurled barrel for easy adjustment. Did we have to make a Quick Release Set this fancy? Absolutely.

Captain Dashboard Handlebar Mount
Between strap-on handlebar bags, lights, cue-sheets, and GPS units, you might find yourself running out of room on your handlebars for gizmos and gadgets. These Handlebar Mounts are super versatile and can help position things to better serve you during rides. Each kit comes with two removable barrels, so you can utilize one or both on the bars, or detach one to use elsewhere. The barrel could then be mounted on another threaded point, for example as a light mount on your Rando Rack. Here is another idea: flip it under the bars and use it as a stand-off for a strap-on handlebar bag. The beauty is that you can get two sets and use them for vastly different applications. What will you come up with?

Course Water Bottle Cage
The keenest VO followers will note that we actually used to offer these in the past. The story is that the factory made a few hundred more than the last order cycle, and these were aged (read: sat around) waiting for the perfect opportunity to make their re-debut. Like our other cages, they're made from stainless steel and have an exceptional polish. We aren't making them again, so get them while you can. Once they're gone, they're gone (unless they find another box kicking round in 10 years).

In addition to the cool, new stuff, we had a nice restock of popular products! If you signed up for back-in-stock alerts, you should be getting an email any minute now. Here's a fairly comprehensive list of everything that is now back in stock:

01 March, 2019

Fender Hardware Hacks

By Scott

Loyal readers will recall a post I wrote last June about multiple uses of fender stays. We thought with spring rapidly approaching, that perhaps it was time to share some more little "hacks" and ideas of how to use fender hardware to spruce up your bike/clean up the overall look of your bike.

Matt, from our local Bike Doctor, recently came by on his new custom, all-road bike made by local builder, Brackish Cycles. His ride is pretty darn modern with thru-axles, hydraulic disc brakes, dropper post, dropped seatstays, and carbon fork. He cleverly decided on using several fender eyelet bolts as cable/hose guides for various external routing. I think it's a pretty slick alternative to clamps.

Igor helped him out with mounting a front fender on his carbon fork to keep the spray off him and his drivetrain. Why only a front? Because Matt is a self-proclaimed (and I quote) "selfish cyclist". This bike is specifically designed for speed; and since there isn't much room in the back, Matt opted to use one of those plastic ass-savers as a way to keep the grit and grime off his backside. When working on the fender, Matt noticed our long leather mud flaps. It was a bit longer than the ass saver he was using, so he used one of those and a long rack strut underneath to support it and voila: a more stylish and hearty ass saver, that blends in well with the finish of his new bike.

When running dynamo lighting, the routing of the wires is something that can look, well, ungainly. With a custom fork, you can always have a hole drilled at the top and bottom to run the cable through, but for those of us running stock forks, how does one keep the cables nice and neat, without having to use zip ties? R-clips of course! Screw these into the fork eyelets and run the cables through them to keep everything nice and neat. Here is Igor's setup on his Polyvalent.

Finally, we have P-clamps. Such a simple and versatile item. We used them a few years back as a way to attach a wine crate to a Porteur rack.

Does anyone have any non fender uses for fender hardware that they'd like to share? Drop us a line in the comments and we'll share your knowledge with the world.