23 October, 2017

Polyvalent Updates and Builds for Philly Bike Expo

by Igor

Since we last posted about the Polyvalent, there have been a few tweaks to the frame and fork toolings - all of which allows for better geometry, handling, and clearances. Going forward, the hardest part is choosing the frame color.

The rear chainstays now have elegant S-bends to engulf big rubber and fenders. The dimpling allows the use of low-Q cranks like our 50.4 (149mm of tread) without the need for bottom bracket spacers. Though the frame is designed around a 650b tire, it clears a 26 x 2.3" tire with ease. 26 x 2.25 knobbies are no problem for those wanting to go the route untraveled.

Previous models had a 31.8mm top tube to provide extra support and stiffness for loads which made the ride a wee bit harsh. For this iteration, we've ovalized the top tube for stiffness and compliance in all the right places. Additionally, shouldering the bike up stairs or over obstacles is not uncomfortable. I don't bring a clipboard and stopwatch with me on rides but the ol' butt-dyno says it climbs nicely with a load in the front or rear, and equally well unburdened.

The fork is a completely custom, segmented design that allows us to create the ride characteristics we want without sacrificing the strength or durability the inclusion of disc brakes requires. The result is a comfortable ride, utility in droves, and an exceptional presentation from all angles.

The blades have a circular profile and are double-butted. There are triple braze-ons with diamond reinforcements with the lowest one doubling as a low-rider rack mount. There is also a forward facing hourglass eyelet to which the Randonneur or Campeur Racks mount. The dropouts have a single brazed-on eyelet underneath for fender mounting and an hourglass eyelet on top for a rack.

I can't think of a better way to blend traditional and contemporary design and styling than this 51cm Randonneur.

The paintjob has a light, red metallic flake clearcoat over a white pearlescent paint. From afar, the bike looks white, but upon close inspection the mingling of pearl and red flakes makes a lustrous depth to the paint.

I really like the design of these new decals. They have an outline of VeloORANGE, rather than our regular filled-in variant, so the paint shows through. What do you think?

We have also been teasing a drop handlebar with moderate flair, an ovalized top section, slight backsweep, and 31.8mm clamp diameter we're calling the Nouveau Rando Handlebar. It has instantly become a favorite of mine and will go into production soon.

This 54cm Polyvalent in Porteur mode has a Deep Metallic Emerald Green paintjob. It does a fantastic job of making all of the braze-ons and details pop while still keeping composure.

I really like the component combination on this one - Suntour Sprint rear derailleur, FSA circa 2007 front derailleur, Drillium Crankset, and Falcon Thumbies to make it all work.

This bike is also sporting a proto handlebar: the Curvy One Bar. It's a handlebar which looks right on just about any build. It's​ great for city and touring bikes, and it's mountain rated for offroad roughing.

We'll also have a Curvy Too bar that has a bit of rise and backsweep for a more upright position.

Both of these bikes will be on display at the upcoming Philly Bike Expo, so be sure to mark your calendars.


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13 October, 2017

Wheels, Rustines, and Bullmoose Restock

By Scott

We just got in some grippy bits, some rolly hoozits, and some fancy bars - Rustines, complete wheels, and Fairweather Bullmoose bars. The last couple of days has seen a variety of product land here at VO HQ, and we love it.

We got a resupply of wheels on Wednesday - more fixed wheel sets, 126 mm rear wheels, and Diagonale 700C wheels are back in stock.

Supplementary inventory of Rustines product arrived Thursday. The perennially popular Campy Gum Hoods. are back in stock. We've been told by many customers that the Campy Hoods also work well for Modolo levers.

Derek checking Rustines 
An addition to their line up this month is constructeur bar plugs in yellow.                                              
Finally, the long awaited return of Fairweather Bullmoose bars, both Silver and Black, rounded out a busy week for our receiving department.

We also got a sample of a Rustines "FUBAR" Cap. We think the black is pretty sharp, what do you think?

11 October, 2017

French Fender Day

by Igor

This past weekend, Adrian and I traveled up to Connecticut to check out one of our favorite events of the year: French Fender Day. It's an intimate event full of passionate cyclists, collectors, great potluck food, New England Autumn rides, and lots of beautiful bikes.

Each bike on display had to be in the traditional French style - randonneuse, porteur, city bike, etc... Some of these bikes were collection pieces to be preserved, but most were daily riders and tourers, just as these bikes were intended to be from their construction.

Rob traveled all the way from The Netherlands with his Alcyon tourer.

Peter's work is always a joy to behold in person. Exceptional lines and perfect integration. 


Even though it isn't French, this Raleigh was a favorite of mine. It's a bike that doesn't ask anything of you other than to be ridden. Peter commented that the Rustines grips on the drops are "like 650b for your hands!" It was spritely!

This Dujardine was just a lovely randonneuse.

Only his second frame, this Shu-Sin touring bike shows tremendous patience and clean craftmanship. It features lots of rinko accessories including custom racks.

RenĂ© Herse Demountable Porteur with a proper leather chaincase.

Just before lunch, rides were had through New England's back roads. The changing of leaves and good company made for a wonderful time.

Adrian and the Nutmeg gang
A wild sorcerer appears!
VO fenders were fitted on a multitude of bikes. Many of them sported customizations including shaping of the fender ends, custom hardware, and dynamo lighting integration.

What kind of Francophile gathering would it be without cheese?

When one fender mount isn't enough.

Large format - What better way to capture such a classy day?

This was a pretty clever use of a fender stay as a bag support. I think I may try something like this on my Polyvalent to support a dry bag.

Always in the big ring
Wayne's hot pink Weigle was clearly the fastest of the bunch.

Loved this randonneur by Mitch Pryor. Super clean bi-lam construction and lovely box-lining.

As the day wound down, we were greeted with a magical golden hour. This Rene Herse tandem was beautifully bathed in the natural colors of New England.

You can see the rest of the album at full resolution here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eccentricvelo/albums/72157686050295982