25 November, 2015

Thanksgiving Break, aka Ride Bikes to Work Off Dinner

by Scott

As Thanksgiving rolls around (sooner it seems every year) again, we'd just like to remind folks that we'll be closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday and recovery time. The weather here in the mid-Atlantic seems to be great for this time of year, highs in the low to mid 60's, so we're all hoping to get out and about for a ride or three over the next few days.

We'll be back in the office bright and early on Monday, well 9 am seems early after a 4 day weekend, and ready to ship out your orders and answer questions that have come in over the break.

Hope all of you have a safe and thankful Thanksgiving.

Do you have any Thanksgiving riding traditions?

23 November, 2015

Chris' Pass Hunter Disc Build List

I'm loving my new Pass Hunter Disc. These photos were taken when the frame was originally built-up. I've changed the pedals to MKS Cubes and the saddle is now a Brooks Pro Ti. I don't think the Brooks is necessarily a better saddle, but it was broken-in and unattached.

The bike rides and handles as well as any bike I've ridden, maybe better (and that includes several custom frames built for me). This is my first bike with hydraulic brakes and they do work very well. The brakes are so powerful that it takes some time to get used to them. But cable brakes work well enough, so don't think that you must have hydraulics.

This bike is built up with 11-speed. There is no need for 11-speed--it's simply planned obsolescence from the component manufacturers. It works as well as 10-speed or 9-speed, etc. I'm using it only for professional reasons, to become familiar with it and to test a new hub we are developing. Otherwise I would be riding 9 or 10-speed.

A complete build list is at the bottom of the post.

Complete build list:

19 November, 2015

Public Service Announcement: It's Beaujolais Nouveau Day!!

By Chris

French regulations prohibit Beaujolais Nouveau from being sold until the third Thursday in November. That is today! This wine is only a few weeks old and is not a "fine wine." It is an inexpensive and quaffable wine, a fun drink that can be enjoyed by anyone to celebrate the harvest. Its meant to be consumed in copious quantities in the first year of its life.  Its a light-bodied and fruity wine made from Gamay grapes, Cost is around $10 a bottle.
Scott braves the elements to bring us the first taste of 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau.
Our caped hero races toward VO World Headquarters. (Prototype cape courtesy of Rustine.)

Chris Takes His New Bike For A Ride In The Woods

By Chris

So I have this new orange bike and decided to take a day off to go for a ride. Thought you might like to see a few photos.

This is at Fair Hill in northeastern Maryland. Lots of horse trails, single track, and gravel roads.
They're not much for bridge maintenance out here.
So I don't forget which bike is mine.
Saw a few trout in Big Elk Creek.
This is my first bike with hydraulic brakes (Shimano 785).
Shimano 105 derailleurs work well.
Covered bridge.
Abandoned concrete paved road with old style steel overpass.
Trout stream.
11-speeds are silly, but I'm testing a new hub.
Old stable.
You could square dance on these big'ole hydraulic brifters.
Another abandoned bridge.
Horse trail. WTB 40mm Nanos handled dirt, pavement gravel and leaves with confidence.

17 November, 2015

Campeur: Classic Modern

by Igor

Campeur is a beautiful frameset. Its classic, french aesthetic is understated, subtle, and reliable. Handling is neutral both unloaded and loaded, which is the highest compliment for a touring bike. We built this frame up to remind audiences that you don't need through-axles, carbon forks, hydro-Di2, or even aero brakes to have a good time on your bike.

There is beauty in simplicity.

11 November, 2015

Philly Bike Expo Roundup

by Igor

This past weekend was Philly Bike Expo, an annual epicenter of bike nerdom. Exhibitors feature all manners of bike building from cargo bikes to cyclocross racers. You're guaranteed to see fillet brazing, thinned lugs, curvy tubes, and unique paint jobs. Here are some of my favorite bike details from the show. See the full album here.

Chris' thinned lugwork and paint is spot on: http://bishopbikes.com/
Fantastic front end: http://bishopbikes.com/
Clever use of a quill for Royal H's tandem: http://royalhcycles.com/
Why didn't I think of a light mount light that?! http://royalhcycles.com/
Brian Chapman had a super classy tandem with gorgeous custom fillet brazed brakes: http://www.chapmancycles.com/
JP Weigle always has beautifully integrated racks and fenders: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49353569@N00/
Loved Bilenky's bikes: http://www.bilenky.com/
Super cool colors for Moth Attack's frame: http://mothattack.com/
Eric at Winter is always on point. Here's his elegant, modern road bike: http://www.winterbicycles.com/
Groovy always has some well thought out bikes with wild paintjobs: http://www.groovycycleworks.com/
Great seat cluster and stainless S&S coupled all-rounder from Ellis: http://www.elliscycles.com/

05 November, 2015

Noir Drillium Now In Stock

by Igor

Back in the day, racers would drill out their chainrings for weight savings. Realistically, there were negligible weight savings, but it sure did look super cool, especially when matched with drilled brake levers. These are our modern interpretation of classic drillium cranks, down to the countersinking. The contrast between black and silver is striking and elegant.

Through our strict lab tests, we have even seen a decrease in aerodynamic drag due to the dimpled surface (like a golf ball). Your results will vary.

We have kept the modern conveniences of ramped and pinned shifting for excellent performance as well as a normal 110 bolt circle diameter. Arm lengths are available in 165, 170, 172.5, and 175mm.

04 November, 2015

Philly Bike Expo This Weekend

by Scott

I think folks outside the bike industry think October and November is the quiet time for us. This year has been another example of us staying busy into the fall. We had a container land last week with the new disc Pass Hunter and some other new parts. We have the Philadelphia Bike Expo this coming weekend. This means setting up the booth in our warehouse to get the display all ready to go. The new product has meant that some of the pre set up work has had to wait until the product arrived. So we've been flat out building demo bikes and new display's for the show.

Philadelphia is one of our big shows of the year, bigger in terms of size I think then NAHBS.
Philly attracts a wide selection of riders - tourists, commuters and racers even, although the focus tends to be towards the urban rider and the touring cyclist- our peeps!

We'll be having the world debut for the Disc Pass Hunter at the show this year. We've used Philly before as the debut show for frames. A few years back we introduced the Camargue there to an enthusisatic audience.

We'll also have displays of our racks, headsets and handlebars. We'll have a Piolet built up with 27.5 tires on it and the mojave cages on it. We'll also have a Camargue built up with Casey's crazy bars, so you can marvel at how many hand positions you can have. A Campeur will be set up with the Campeur racks front and rear so you can see how cool they are.

Coverage from 2014: http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/11/10/pbe14-velo-orange-has-a-new-black-new-disc-touring-hubs-giant-water-bottle-cage/

We're at booth #5001/5002 if you're using a floor map to find us.
See you there.

03 November, 2015

The Far Bar

by Scott

I've been an off road drop bar fan for over 20 years. I first got turned on to drop bars on a MTB, back in the early 90's when a friend of mine and I spoke with a shop owner up in Whistler BC, who used the WTB drop bar. Kevin bought a WTB one and I managed to get a hold of a Nitto RM-3 bar for my Brodie Catalyst bike. I used that set up for off road riding and for daily commuting for over 10 years. In fact, those bars are probably kicking about my parents garage still.
So when we started working on the Piolet, I was quick to point out the need for an off road drop bar. My definition of an off road drop bar is a drop bar that is highly flared and has a shallow drop to it. We got the Dajia Far Bars in to test and I really liked it. I used it on single track, on gravel roads and on my mixed terrain tour of Iceland. I had the top portion lined up parallel with the ground and the hoods at about the same height as my saddle. I usually leave a bit of room to move the bars up, so I have adjusted it up and down a bit over the past year or so to try and get it dialed exactly right. I have a set of old WTB drop off road bars on another bike for comparison and I like the Far Bars more. The width of the drops is more then the WTB ones and I don't find my shoulders getting cramped. On the trails around Montgomery County and Fredrick county MD, I never had issues with the bars clipping trees either.
They come in silver or noir, so you can go silver for retro MTB builds or noir for a more modern look. The bars only come in the 31.8 mm clamp size, which would fit either our tall stack stem or the 6 deg stems from VO. Sized 44 or 48 cm, the measurement is from the center of the drops where the brake lever fits.