14 March, 2009

Showroom and Sugino


Since Tom and I will be in Taiwan and it's been super busy on the web site, we've decided to close the showroom next week. We'll re-open it on Tuesday, the 23rd. Web orders will ship as usual. Tom and I will try to answer tech question in the evenings, but we would appreciate it if you held off on non-essential questions until our return.

VOI just received a huge shipment from Sugino and have a new crank set, the XD700 with 48-34 rings. This makes a less expensive alternative to the Alpina.

We also have the Sugino chain ring guards in stock again, now in two sizes.

One new thing we will be looking at in Taiwan is a rather traditional production lugged mixte frame. A certain factory, and almost certainly not the one you're thinking of, may be offering such a frame as a stock item. It's not a VO quality frame, but if the quality and price are reasonable we may import it anyway. I'll try to convince them to add a low-trail fork and fender mounts. Maybe with lilac color paint?

If you have any last minute suggestions for other stuff we should look for (there was a post about this previously) please comment.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last minute product requests: bar mount coffee cup holder that doesn't cost $40 like the soma one, orange cotton bar tape, and a bolt on skewer that is smooth on the non-allen side (current offerings have wrench flats) for those who want a middle point between QR's and expensive locking skewers.

Michael said...

YES!! Stock Mixte frame and a resonable price? Do it!!
Please. In my eye there is a huge market for that.
Nice cranks too.
Michael

Susan B Tony said...

But the frame from surly and put your logo on it. A very successful frame company with a very enthusiastic and loyal following---Surly riders would also like many of VO accessories, so I would not go around bad mouthing them too much fellow

Le Cagot said...

Susan, See what happens when you drink and comment. Isn't it time for a nap?

Inspector Javert said...

Please offer the mixte in a large size as well! At least up to 60cm!

robatsu said...

+1 on the Mixte large sizes.

Anonymous said...

i couldn't imagine anything more nauseating or a soulless than a lilac frame. does mixte have to mean girlie??? kind of reminds me of a mid 80's terry...
chris

reverend dick said...

I think any number of techno color schemes could be imagined (say, by Trek, Giant or Specialized?) which would be more nauseating and soulless.

I also would like to see a large mixte!

But ONLY if it has twin top tubes...

Anonymous said...

Mixte? Yes! Lilac? No! How about sage green? White? Red? Just nothing too girlie (and I'm a girl). Something traditional, please. And I agree with having larger sizes (at least a 56cm).

Adrienne Johnson said...

I want a mixte frame!!! Please, please, please! Especially if it is one that I can ride (I am 6 ft tall)

Garth said...

Susan,

I don't think Chris meant offense to say the frame company is the one most people think it is. Which is exciting and cool, because it means it will be a surprise!

Your mention of Surly got me excited, but I don't see a mixte frame on their website...?

I like Mixtes, primarily the twin top tube versions. Kogswell had a Mixte program a few years ago, but I'm not sure if that got off the ground. I like how they offer color matched fenders.

IMHO, the Rivendell Mixtes were a little over the top.

If I were female, I would have two bikes and one would be a Mixte. Like the Jitensha or TOEI designs. But I'm not, which is probably why I have only one bike. And if I were a woman, maybe I'd only have the Mixte! oh boy...

My wife's only bike was stolen when she was seven, so I rebuilt a Raleigh Mixte for her. That's a rather long frame.

Good luck with the Mixte!

Oh! What would I like from Taiwan? How about an polished aluminum taillight?

Susan B Tony said...

i understand chris is a well mannered and diplomatic person. My point was that Surly Bikes are built in taiwan and they have been slammed in this blog for not having pretty welds, or sexy lugs etc..

And if Chris has some made in Taiwan ( probably the same factory as Surly) will the less rigid of you flex to accept his product, or stick to your opinion.

Not every one can afford a 1000+ frame, but once you have that frame my friends, many people find the means to put $$$pretty$$$$ part$ on their bikes.

for instance :

http://www.flickr.com/groups/417924@N22/

Anonymous said...

GREETINGS,
I FEEL THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT NEED FOR COMMUTING BIKES AND COMMUTING RELATED PARTS. FOR EXAMPLE, FULLY ENCLOSED CHAINS, MORE EFFICIENT FENDERS,....MAYBE A SMALL FARING FOR HAND PROTECTION AGAINST RAIN AND COLD,ETC.

Anonymous said...

I agree heartily with the Stanford MBA marketing expert, Susan B Tony - You should bypass getting the mixte frame directly from the Taiwanese factory and instead buy it from Surly, after THEY get it from the Taiwanese factory. Then put your VO decals on it !
Or better yet, go ahead and put "Surly" decals on it in order to atone for a few not-so-nice comments on this blog.

C'mon Chris - don't be so RIGID, man !

Le Cagot said...

Twin top tubes were used mostly on cheaper mixtes like Gitanes and Peugeots. Most constructeur mixtes had single top tubes. It's funny that the bike lists have spread the idea that twin tube mixtes have some advantage when the opposite is true.

Surly does not sell lugged frames or mixte frames so I doubt this project has anything to do with them.

Sue B Tony said...

Surly makes nothing, just like VO makes nothing. A generic factory in taiwann makes it--silly boy. It is all about submission of a design and couple stickers or etchings, maybe some paint and BAM !!! you have yourself a cute little brand name.

Surly has a very large consumer base generated mostly by word of mouth-- especially in, among, and between some of this countries best bike mechanics.

the Surly crowd may not laugh at your high quality,sweetly precious frame, but they do laugh at your
soft-hands and snootier-than-thou atttitude(they are a surly bunch afterall).

These comments are in NO Way directed at the renown author/entrepreneur Christopher ---he obviously sees the light !!!

George said...

Look for some cool colored anondized parts --it adds to the ability to make one's bike unique

french fry said...

George I think you mean anodized NOT anondized ; )

Sham Wow said...

"Not every one can afford a 1000+ frame, but once you have that frame my friends, many people find the means to put $$$pretty$$$$ part$ on their bikes. "

there seems to be something in what you are saying. This bike liked below is certainly full of many interesting parts. I am not so sure the Surly clientele can't afford a 1000 dollars frame but I do think they waqnt to be able to afford multiple bikes.
And from what I see they are not afraid to drop some serious bucks on things like brooks saddles and chris king head sets. They also have an affinity for Sugino cranks ( not so expensive but damn good) I would say the Sugino crank is not unlike the Surly Frame-- it does what you want it to , when you ask it and it is not finicky.

What does this ramble have to do with VO ? Well as I sees it, the Surly Market would boost the VO market as VO sells parts that just seem to marry well with the Surly Frame.

Also, though Surly is owned by QBP the owners are very independent and would respect VO for also being a rogue.

Oui ?


http://www.flickr.com/photos/7228808@N07/2079318154/in/pool-417924@N22

Sham WOW said...

I meant LINKED below :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7228808@N07/2079318154/in/pool-417924@N22

Steve said...

Sue B. Tony said:

Surly makes nothing, just like VO makes nothing. A generic factory in taiwann makes it--silly boy. It is all about submission of a design and couple stickers or etchings, maybe some paint and BAM !!! you have yourself a cute little brand name.


If only it were that simple. You might look back in the archives of this blog to see how long the stock versions of the VO Randonneur and the VO City Bike have been in the works, and what the current hopes are for delivery. Some "Bam!!"...

Anonymous said...

Fender mounted battery powered tail lights please.

Steve said...

You mean like the Spanninga Spxba?

http://velo-orange.com/spspfeta.html

Adrienne Johnson said...

How about a Surly Orange mixte? : ) I could wear a dress while scowling from my lilac road beast with shiny fenders and lights? : )

Garth said...

LaCagot, do you know how much stronger the single top-tube Mixte's are? Style-wise, I think the twin-tube is more unique- if someone needed the strength, they might just opt for a standard diamond frame in the first place.

My personal affinity goes back to the bike of my youth, a 1988 Haro Master. Look here: http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/haro/622

Susan, thanks for the link to the Surly site. Truth be told, I see a lot more Surly commuters out here on the streets of Chicago than the boutique brands. To each their own...

If I were to suggest something really useful for the Mixte, it would be to do something to help route dynamo wiring. Perhaps a hole under the down tube and another at the inside front of the chainstay. Also a hole at the top and bottom of the fork leg.

Garth said...

oops. I meant "my personal affinity for twin top tubes goes back to my 1988 Haro Master freestyle bike..."

Garth said...

Check out the Soma Mixte. Not here yet. The one thing I don't like about it is the crazy 1-1/8" threadless stem set up. What a horrible experience...

http://somafab.blogspot.com/2008/04/soma-mixte-frame.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?o=3&f=/c/a/2008/06/29/LV6Q11EVSR.DTL

Anonymous said...

twin top tubes: leaving function behind in pursuit of form. . . with twin top tubes or curved top tubes, it's getting to the point where some no longer bother emphasizing function. I was looking at the Zullo Metro the other day, a city bike with manly level top tube, but also twin top tubes, and . . . uh, why not just wear a cool scarf or something.

michael white

Pete Ruckelshaus said...

I realize that VO feels that there's little point in stocking the 172.5mm crank length, but there is. Many people prefer the length, average people just like me who feel the 170 isn't quite enough, and the 175 is too much. Perhaps someday VO will dare to stock cranks like the 700's and Alpina's and realize that they will, in fact, sell.

I find that I can only hit my preferred cadence & effort with 172.5mm arms; 170's are too short, forcing me to spin faster than I like, and 175's slow me down. You may think it sounds silly, but IMO, it's not.

ktz said...

12 JUIN, 2007
While we have been trying to get silver inverse brake levers made, Soma has done it and we have the result in stock. Now make no mistake; these are not as elegant as the eventual VO levers...


Whatever happened to the VO inverse levers? I for one would love to buy a pair. The Tektro and Dia Compe ones arent really doing it for me (and waiting for a Mafac set to come up on ebay only to see them going for $200+ is killing me, softly).

Modesto said...

A bit off-topic, but I'd really like to buy a 7- or 8-speed Shimano Nexus internal geared hub laced into a 26" wheel. A whole kit plus instructions would be very cool (at a reasonable price). I'd love to get my ten-year old daughter and/or my wife onto a mixte frame (anything but pink) with such a hub. Fiddly derailers for casual urban riders are not always the best match, IMHO.

And c'mon people, let's be a bit more polite to each other, oui?

Ian Dickson said...

"does mixte have to mean girlie???"

Does lilac have to mean girlie? It's a nice color.

The frame is a great idea. Just last week, my mother-in-law asked me to find her a bicycle for her two-mile commute. Something like this would be perfect.

Gabriel said...

A inexpensive mixte frame sounds great.

It would be even better if you could get it in smaller sizes. There just aren't very many options for riders 5' 2" and smaller. Typically 46–48cm 700c frames are still too big--especially in top tube length.

Maybe the smaller sizes could even have smaller wheels? 26" or 650b/c.

robatsu said...

In the 80's, when I lived in Hawaii, I had my Trek 760 painted hot pink. I used this to commute to my job as submarine officer at Pearl Harbor.

I dearly wish I still had that pink bike. Make them lilac, electric blue, whatever. Just have fun.

Oh yeah, and make enough money to stay in business.

Ma Vie En Rose; Ma Velo En Lilac said...

It just happens that lilac is my favourite colour. OK, so I'm girly. But a lot of you guys would never ride with me because, well, you don't want to be left in the dust by a girly girl--on a lilac bike, yet!

I agree that the hardest paint jobs on the eyes are all those crazy neon "fade" schemes on any number of '80's bikes. They used to make me so happy that I had my classic Colnago and Peugeot.

reverend dick said...

@michael white:
Your comment was not very nice in spirit.

Few mixtes are going to see service as race machines or under tree-trunk legged racers. The twisting resultant from having twin lateral tubes is not a big deal for the intended use. If people would like some style, they are welcome to it.
Are you truly suggesting that form has no merit, and are you really trying that HERE? Any of us is free to buy whatever strikes our fancy- or our logically reasoned requirement of human powered transport.
Come on, man. Be friendly.

Or, we can fight with tooth and claw and deadly seriousness over this- the most important issue of our day.

Joel said...

Michael White: The Zullo Metro is a single speed with single top tube and - talk about form over function - bull horn bars on a bike meant for commuting.

Sue B Tony said...

Bull Horns are GREAT for commuting. Many,many commuters and bike couriers use bullhorns in the city and they are all about function.

Garth said...

Yes, let's definitely be more friendly here. I'm glad people chimed in on that.

I like how the homemade bullhorn bars recycle the drop bars into something, in my opinion, more practical.

I agree with Gabriel about a really small frame size. I wouldn't mind such a frame for my daughter when she is of that age.

Super Girl said...

Joel said : " The Zullo Metro is a single speed with single top tube and - talk about form over function - bull horn bars on a bike meant for commuting."

you are just plain misinformed !!!




http://picasaweb.google.com/zullo.maso/METRO#slideshow

Hercule Peugeot said...

What no diamond frame to match? Is this a touring or a road frame? What about a taiwanese frame made for the japanese market? Maruishi Emperor, or whatever lugged frame some shops sell as a house brand bike.

Are there no small shops in taiwan that could do semi custom bikes? Nothing like Toei, Royal Norton or whoever does Jitensha Studio's bikes?

Joel said...

Supergirl: I thought the o.p was referring to double top tubes one over the other a-la the Rivendell Bombadill. Still, not sure why Michael White thinks split tubes are a problem.

Sue B Tony: Disagree whole heartedly that bull horn make a good commuter bar. Leastways not for a commuter who carries things with them.

Bullhorns, designed for racing as they are, pull the rider down into a tuck position that is neither comfortable day in and day out, nor condusive to riding with loaded racks.

Yes, I know those few bike couriers left - if not the rise of PDF and Adobe the financial services slow down - use back packs over racks. And I know for a time young hipsters aped the couriers.

Fortunately, saner heads are prevailing. Many young commuters are seeing the advantage - as those of us who have commuted for years long knew - of putting your stuff in a pack on a rack rather than weighing down your back. For which the lovely narrow swept back city bars Velo-Orange (we, are, of course on a Velo-Orange blog) sells are imminently more sound than bullhorns.

By the way many of the remaining bike couriers themselves are beginning to lose the old track bikes in favor of good old fashioned cargo bikes. Makes sense as models, computers, and food and stuff cannot be transmitted electronically yet anyway. You should know this, as the Surly Pugsly drew off the trend.

Uncle Ankle said...

I find I keep banging my knees on mixtes with double top tubes. And they're a nuisance to clean. And they're more difficult to lift.

I think I'd like the look of a single top tube mixte with wishbone upper seat stays

Uncle Ankle said...

This might not be Taiwan-related, but I have run across a potentially interesting 17c rim, the Rodi T420 (http://www.rodi.pt/cyclinguk/main.htm).

Ben Franklin said...

Susan B. Tony sez:

"Bull Horns are GREAT for commuting. Many,many commuters and bike couriers use bullhorns..."

No they're not. They're all about trendiness. Where's Bikesnobnyc when you need him? Many, many commuters in this country are on dual suspension department store MTB's. That doesn't make them "GREAT".

Joel said...

"I find I keep banging my knees on mixtes with double top tubes. And they're a nuisance to clean. And they're more difficult to lift.

I think I'd like the look of a single top tube mixte with wishbone upper seat stays"

My commuter is a Retrotec Triple:

http://ingliscycles.com/bikes/tag.php?tid=17

What I like and find very practical about the design is that I can easily velcro my DiNotte battery, and tie down cup holders, extra cable and what not between the top and the bottom tubes. The split in the top tubes provides a convenient place to double wrap the velcro and tie downs.

Certainly there are other solutions, but this works well for me. Of course the Retrotec split bars are on top, and so well above my knees.

Ben Franklin: I had thought to mention BSNYC.blogspot He certainly has had a lot to say about the impracticality of bullhorns and back packs for commuters.

I guess it is for each their own. Seems to me most any one who commutes a decent number of miles over the years will eventually gravitate away from carrying their cargo on their backs.

Bullhorns put the rider in the wrong position to effectively balance a bike with racks and panniers.

Sue B. Tony said...

You people make good points that were not articulate in the initial flippant post.

Anonymous said...

Last minute product requests: See about getting some saddle covers and front basket covers. I checked the local Japanese discount place -- a two pack of shower-cappy black vinyle elastic-fitted saddle covers was $1.69. Same price for a single faux-tartan imprint front basket cover. I'm not sure how sales would go on-line, but your in-store clientele, especially the all-weather city bike riders caught in a shower, might light it. Oh, and the place also had front fork mounted plastic umbrella holders, but that might be a bit TOO far to go.

Anonymous said...

I thought that for a bike to be a mixte it HAD to have twin tubes, otherwise it's a "step-through", not a mixte. No?

Joel said...

Anonyme 15:45: Sheldon Brown's glossary backs you up:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_m.html

(interesting also to note where he says the split tubes makes a stronger bike)

Wonder if the terminology restriction is still the case. I have heard and read the term mixte for both split tube and single tube step through bikes.

Then you have the design such as VO uses with a single downsloping top tube that connects with the chain stays at the seat tube. (which I understand is also a very sturdy design)

Anonymous said...

For those who think my post on form vs. function wasn't nice, I'm sorry, but it's the truth, and needed to be said. There's a reason the mixte was abandoned. It was designed to seem less intimidating to women, who feared catching something on the top tube. It's a different look, and perhaps we have memories of jaunty French mixte's, but if you remember actually riding those things, as I do, they rode badly. They were heavy and flexy. The metal is used in the wrong way. The extra stays in the back do nothing. The top tubes can't be butted, and are extremely flexible due to lack of diameter, which all the extra bridges can't correct. It's a bad design. When Rivendell came out with their mixte, I emailed Grant and discussed all this with him: I asked him why the single top tube, etc, and he told me quite bluntly and in an interesting, informed way what was up. Even that bike, (the Riv) though it is much, much better than a twin top tube design, is still a pound heavier than a normal frame, and no stronger. Look, if you want a dropped top tube now, you can drop the top tube. You don't have to compromise the frame design. My description of a mixte as: form leaving function behind is, in my view, and in the view of people like Grant P, simply the truth. If that's what one wants, if the bike is not for riding but for some sort of memory of jauntier times when we were young and full of p. and vinegar, well, fine, but as I said, why not just wear a nice scarf for that and buy a good bike for riding? I can say this, because I was just in London for a couple of weeks, and one of the things I bought was a very cool houndstooth check scarf, which I enjoy wearing much more than I would ever enjoy riding a mixte.

cheers,
michael white

Anonymous said...

Getting back on track to the wish list business...I would love to see a return of the

"Bata Biker" shoe!!

Lilac optional. Have a nice trip and don't lose any sleep over frame colors, top tubes, tube tops or any other trivialities.

AWG.

Anonymous said...

Michael White: Excellent points on the mixte design! There's just one BIG problem with the non-twin top tube design. If it has a single dropped top tube it's a GIRL'S BIKE!!! There's no way my fragile male ego could handle that.

Did someone mention a Sugino crank?

M said...

At Mr. White:

You don't have to ride a mixte if you don't want to, and you make it pretty clear you wouldn't.

Fine. But what about those ladies who like to wear a skirt? Would you demand that practically speaking they should wear pants so they can ride a "regular" bicycle?

Anonymous said...

well, there's nothing wrong with girl's bikes. If you ride a bike in the Netherlands, it's usually what we call a girl's bike. I've rented those bikes for weeks at a time and they're great... the Dutch don't think much about the bike; it's just a tool for them.

mw

Anonymous said...

(Just to add to what MW said about the Netherlands)

Strange, but traditional Dutch bicyles or "fiets" are called the following...

omafiets - oma means "grandma"
opafiets - opa means "grandpa"

Omafiets have down swooping top tubes for a step through design. Lots and lots of dudes on grandma bikes in the Netherlands! I guess they don't get too uptight about the terminology. I LOVE THE NETHERLANDS!!!

Garth said...

Michael,

Nobody said you had to ride a mixte, much less purchase one.

To many of us they are a aesthetically nice design. By no means are they all about to self-implode upon the first pothole.

I would caution that production ceased because of additional labor and material costs. Not design failure.

You caution against sentimental "memories of jaunty French Mixtes..." Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't sentimentality for another time when things were "wool and leather" play a key part of the Rivendell experience? Thus verifying your friend Grant's decision to make a very fancily painted Mixte? Clearly the mixte was not "abandoned".

Here's some food for thought. Let's consider Jan Heine's theory and research on the usefulness of frame flex; that that energy is not lost, but stored in the frame as a spring, and smooths out pedaling. Perhaps because of the more leisurely nature of the Mixte's purpose, it is appropriate that it has a greater amount of torsional flexibility?

Pray tell, what frame do you ride?

Garth said...

"the Dutch don't think much about the bike"

I don't buy this. These are some of the most eloquently thought out bikes in the world. The fact that they are also willing to invest a good amount of money into something they will use for a long time, on a regular basis is a further sign of their high level of commitment. What may be missing is that the everyday usage of their bicycles negates the luxury fetish aspect of the bicycle.

Garth Again said...

Michael,

One more thing. Check out the "Betty Foy"- Rivendell's latest Mixte. Mr. Peterson says it's good for all of the following:

"What's it for?
any kind of road rides--solo, club rides, fitness rides, whatever
weekend touring
fully loaded touring
commuting
fire trails
bike camping."

That's pretty encouraging. I look forward to the V-O Mixte :)

Anonymous said...

You all are killing Independent George.

Knock it off.Take the soap and the boxes you rode in on and

Anonymous said...

Garth,

really, for the Dutch, a bike is a bike. They spend more on the lock than the bike most of the time. When one bike gets stolen, they get another on the street for twenty-five bucks or so. Yeah, there are are some nice bikes (The RIH, especially), and you still see very old lugged bikes in good shape, but on the whole, a Dutch bike is a tool, and they don't think much about it, any more than they think much about the bus, for instance. They don't bring them inside, ever, and there's a refreshing (to me) pragmatism about it all. Which itself is very Dutch and wholesome.

I do really like the Betty Foy, like just about all Grant's designs. It's interesting that there's such a strong market for thousand dollar mass-produced Taiwanese frames . . . just sayin.

mw

patates frites said...

The purpose of mixtes and other "girl" frames is to allow step-through mounting, whether it's due to wearing a skirt or having a bad hip, or anything else that prevents you from swinging a leg over the bike. That's it. If you don't ride in skirts or have any physical impediments, you don't need one. Rest assured nobody will force you to buy one. Why all the fuss?

Anonymous said...

Re: Sheldon's definition of a Mixte, he actually calls a single top tube but 3 pairs of stays a "variation", and as Chris noted a lot of the constructeur mixtes were single top tube. The whole idea of a mixte, as Sheldon notes, is that the extra set of stays brace against what is otherwise a very awkward set of forces, with the seat tube getting pushed backward in the middle and pushed forward at the seat lug. This is the root of the design, and to my knowledge at first it simply involved brazing on an extra set of stays. Double tubes are a later design that required a much more specialized lug and a longer small diameter tube that would have had to have been procured specially. The design is far from ideal, but works quite well enough for a city bike and some people just like the look. I built one up this week, and test rides indicate that the city bars are a much bigger impediment to efficient high speed riding than any flex the poor frame might be accused of. No matter, as the rider isn't interested in speed.

The really nice thing about bullhorns for commuting is that they don't come stock on many bikes, so only those of us who like them have a reason to use them. They give all the same positions as drop bars save for being in the drops themselves. BSNY's mockery was mostly targeted at people who put aero or STI levers on them. They are light, which helps the handling of any bike, and for a fixed gear setup with one brake they eliminate having a dummy lever on the other side, which never stopped feeling weird to me. They can be as comfortable as a drop can ever be, and they give a faster and more maneuverable position than a swept back city bar. Some of us don't mind a bit of speed in the city, and the ability to accelerate quickly can get you out of as many jams as can good brakes.

All I'm saying is don't knock them until you've tried them. They're no more of a "race" bar than drops are, though their race applications (sections that require maneuvering on a TT bike, acceleration on a pursuit bike) speak well for their uses in the city (snaking through the urban obstacle course, accelerating from the frequent stops required in city riding).

Uncle Ankle said...

Bullhorns and city bars like the Belleville provide pretty much the same hand positions, albeit at different distances from the saddle. They are probably most appropriate for frames that respectively are too short or too long for you.

Most bullhorns, though, has a longer reach than most drop bars, and can thus be said to be racier. On the other hand, they provide better braking ergonomics from the "ramps" than drop bars do.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
An inexpensive mixte frame would
be great. I am now 69 and despite
stretches and exercises to maintain
flexibility, I can see my future
and it will be a mixte bike.
Preston

Joel said...

Assuming your bike is proportionally correct for the rider, riders using Bullhorns will be in the tuck position. Not surprising, as that is what they are designed for.

A good riding position for quick bursts of speed. Not so good for city riders carrying racks with panniers full of office items or groceries or other heavy items.

If the bullhorn bar rider rides without gear and does not use the bike to shop, drop off laundry and the mail, carry changes of clothes, etc., then it would not seem to be a problem.

If the rider regularly takes any sort of load with them, bullhorn bars and the more race oriented drops, tend to be impractical.

Swept back bars and drops designed for load carrying, such as the Nitto Noodle and classic Randoneur bars make more sense on such a bike. Heck, along with weight balance issues, bull horn and race drops make it difficult to have any sort of basket or decent sized handle bar up front.

While I am sure someone can point to the contra example person who regularly carries 50 pounds of stuff on a bull horned bike, the fact of the matter is that cargo carrying bikes have always used swept back bars or randoneur type bars. They make it easier for the rider to maintain a torque position and are designed to accommodate cargo holding devices.

Uncle Ankle said...

Let me introduce the belt-and-suspenders approach.

Sue B Tony said...

When Chris is gone and does not post, I feel so very, very empty inside.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Pete, here's why we don't carry all the crank models in 172.5, I challenge anyone to ride two bikes, one with 170 and one with a 172.5 cranks and identify which is which consistently. I'd guess only one in 100 riders can do it. I can't.

All, The Mixte has twin tubes. You animals who can snap cranks for fun might find it too flexible. But it'll be fine for most of us, at least in sizes up to 56 or 57cm.

Also, What's wrong with lilac? We have this little rustic lilac table next to our kitchen door. I always thought it would make a cool bike color.

KTZ, The inverse lever project sort of stalled. The factory didn't really work on it, too many other products I guess. We are now trying to get it going again and even have a new design.

Anonymous said...

well, I can tell a difference between 170 and 172.5. And most of the time, given a choice, I think 170 is better. Spins easier and more smoothly. I think we were sold a bill of goods about this issue. Cranks were shorter in the 70s, and that was better for most, except maybe for the pros, who are smooth anyway because of all the miles.

Ma Vie En Rose, Ma Velo En Lilac said...

I'm going to really mess with you guys (and girls!) now.

I have two Mercian bikes in a "flip-flop" color scheme. Looked at from an obtuse angle, it;s a metallic green. But as you move in line with the bike it's--ready for this?--lilac. Both bikes are diamond framed.

My other bike has a dropped down tube bike I got for a song when a neighbor was cleaning out his garage. It's what most of you call a women's bike. I use it as my commuter and errand bike: It's not built for speed or distance. Sometimes I ride in a skirt, so this frame is a convenience for me.

The funny thing is that bike is a more "butchy" color: a blue that's slightly more luminescent than the royal blue on some of the old English three-speed.

And, yes, that bike has VO fenders and pedals on it. Great stuff!

reverend dick said...

Chris,
Please consider going up to 60cm on the mixte frame.

Retro on the Metro said...

who is gonna buy these mixte things ? maybe you ought to take non-refundable deposits before you consider going forward with this project .

I would love to buy a 1970's sears free spirit red white and blue edition with banana seat, when can we start production ? And anything with a sissy bar.

Focus Chris , Focus.

Anonymous said...

"who is gonna buy these mixte things"

Did you happen to read all the comments above?

David H. said...

I have a Pashley Guv'Nor with 28" wheels and 1.5" tires. I need fenders! Help! I like the Honjo hammered ones. The bike has drum brakes front & back and a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed rear hub.

Anonymous said...

I would like MA2 type rims in 26", as well as the 700C. I would like high hole spacings, like 36 or 40, though I don't expect them. It would be cool if one could drill one's own, though clearly a looser in the marketplace, I would guess