21 October, 2021

Happenings and Updates Around VO

by Igor

It's no secret that between product designing, testing, the uptick in order processing from our restock, and life, we've all been extremely busy. And since it's been a bit since we've done a "general happenings" around HQ and since I have a few minutes here to catch my breath, I thought it would be a good time to update our readers and followers.

Shipping

We'll start off with some of the boring but important stuff (for visibility). If you live in New Zealand or Australia, shipping is going up. US Postal Service has discontinued First Class and Priority shipping, so the only options to send packages is Postal Express or Fedex - both of which are quite pricey and sometimes go over the price of the order. So if you need larger items like fenders, handlebars, racks, etc... please contact your local VO Dealer. They order in larger quantities, and can often accommodate customer requests:

Shipping around the US is slower than it has been in the past, due to natural disasters, staffing issues at the shipping companies, and just a high overall volume of items moving around the country. Please be patient. There have been several shipments that are marked as delivered, but are not. I've experienced this personally for my own stuff. They often times get delivered the next day. Sometimes weird things happen in their system. Sorry for the potential delays, but rest assured we will ensure your package will get to you!

Fedex has very calculated shipping routes so if you live in Chicago, don't be surprised if your package goes through Memphis. These are major hubs and transition packages to different areas of the US.

Ok, now for the fun stuff!

Crazy Bar Review on Bikepacking


Miles tested out a pre-production version of the Crazy Bars and had some really nice words! 
The redesigned Velo Orange Crazy Bars are pretty wacky looking, but when broken down, actually make quite a lot of sense. The combination of rise, sweep, and width hits a sweet spot and could work for many styles of bikes and riding styles. It’s also great to see Velo Orange manufacturing them out of a lightweight 6061 Aluminum, because some steel bars seem excessively heavy by comparison. So, yeah, they’re crazy, but I actually think they have the potential to add another dimension of comfort to a wide variety of rigs.

While they are currently sold out, we are getting a lot more around mid/late December 2021. 

Rubbery Bar Tape Review


Seven Day Cyclist reviewed the Rubbery Bar Tape and gave it a very high score! It has quickly become a top seller for us. In addition to classic black, the tape also comes in a light, rich brown - a nice alternative for an almost-leather look. 
The Velo Orange Rubbery Bar Tape is, as the name implies, made from a textured rubbery compound and is long enough for the biggest flared drops. Generous length is only rivalled by its 3.5mm density, which lends itself perfectly, not only to gravel but drop bar mountain bike conversions, rough stuff touring lorries and frankly, anyone else who wants the best of grip and damping. 

Randos - The Rumors Are True!

We have next generation prototype Rando framesets. They are rim brake, 700c, and very spritely. I built mine (below) with 2x12sp with no lightweight bits (but I'm getting carbon wheels soon!) and it sits at 23lbs. The design of the frameset was truly an exercise in minimalism and only has what is absolutely necessary. 

Our friend Matt suggested we keep a "Frame Diary" of the design, prototyping, and production process. I think that's an awesome idea.


We also have a bunch more colors and sizes that are in the process of being built and tested.

Granola-Moose Bars

We actually teased these on an Instagram post a bit back and the stoke was high. We're making a couple small tweaks to the angle relative to the stem for a better position.

We're also doing away with the tall clamp. We had an overwhelming number of requests for a model that could be used with a stem adaptor for older mtbs, so it only makes sense. This is the way. 

More Sensah

The Sensah products we've brought in have been very popular. We recently got some more Sensah products in to test, specifically this 12sp Empire group. It's really good and it has some carbon bits because, you know, carbon.

The neat thing about the front shifter is that it has 4 trim positions, kind of like the older Campagnolo integrated shifters. The shifting is very tactile, just like the SRX 11sp stuff, and is crisp. I'm pleased.

New Digs!


We're moving! We've been in our current spot for 8 years and it's become very apparent that we've grown out of it. We're doubling our square footage to 15,000 sq ft with over 11,000 sq ft dedicated to just warehousing and shipping. It will allow us to keep more inventory on hand, hire more awesome people, and provide consumers and shops with more product availability and cool, new designs.

It's a brand new build and everything needs to go through permitting, so it's been a little longer of a process than we hoped. At any rate, we're in the final stretch and the ORANGE racking is going up as I type this out. 


We should actually be moving within the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out for more info.

We'll also be posting a couple warehouse job openings, so if you're in the Glen Burnie, MD and surrounding areas, keep your eyes peeled. 

That's all for now.

Happy Riding!

16 comments:

Mike Bx said...

Leaving Annapolis?!!! Mayor Gavin B will not be happy.

But it's great to see your biz thriving and growing, congratulations!

Thom Batty said...

Really happy to see a rim brake bike back in the lineup! What is the tire clearance for the new rando frame?

Zeno Lee said...

Why not canti bosses?

Anonymous said...

Will you guys ever be making a frame with a horizontal top tube again???

dmg said...

Seconded! Rim brakes for life.

Anonymous said...

Love the look of the new Rando frame! Is it going to be low, mid or high trail?

Mr Fernandez said...

What’s the thinking behind the wishbone seatstays? Extra rigidity and Bontrager style 90s goodness?

Igor Shteynbuk said...

@Mike,

Thank you! We hope to have an open house at some point.

@Betty,

700x28 w fenders, about 35mm without.

@Zeno,

Caliper brakes are so simple and light with exceptional stopping power.

@Anonymous,

Probably not. Riders today want extra stack for comfort and clean front end lines.

@Anonymous,

It is the lower end of high trail.

@Mr. Fernandez,

We wanted to keep the rear end super simple and light. No need for rear rack mounts, so you don't need two stays! Same reason the Pass Hunter has it too. It's a slick way to connect the rear end to the seat tube.

-Igor

Johnathan Daniel M. said...

Igor,

Excellent look for the new Rando bike. How would the geometry (or feel rather) compare to the Passhunter? Is this going to be more focused on longer rides (e.g. AUDAX rides) with more comfort focus? Other than the obvious features like brakes, why would someone choose one over the other?

Daniel

Anonymous said...

The new frame looks perfect! Is the rear spacing 130 or 135?

Igor Shteynbuk said...

@Johnathan Daniel,

That's a good question. I would say they are similar and different. Both are spritely, but the Rando is further unburdened by any disc brake requirements. It makes the frame and fork that much lighter. If you're primarily riding on pavement and crushed limestone rail trails, the Rando will be perfect. If you plan on doing more and need more tire, the Pass Hunter is a great option.

To be honest, they aren't necessarily replacements for each other, rather complements.

@Anonymous,

130 for vertical, 120 for the rear-facing insert.

David Feldman said...

What tire size v fender clearance in that new frame? Please don't become one of those bike designers who think " pair of fenders" means two guitars!

Alex Putz said...

Dear @Igor Shteynbuk

Is it possible to get on a mailing list for the new randonneur frames, for when they become available?
They look fabulous and I would absolutely love to pick one up/ have a ship in Europe order one for me asap.
Thanks and cheers, Alex

Igor Shteynbuk said...

@David Feldman,

We take mudguard clearance seriously :)

@Alex Putz,

We don't really have a mailing list specifically for the Rando frames, but join the VO Bulletin for updates as they come!

Maxi said...

Possible with lowrider mount?. Would be in my eyes the perfect road bike

Brady said...

Any idea what the new Randonneur frameset will cost? I've been hoping for someone to come out with a nice steel rim-brake frameset. I have the parts--I just need the bike!