20 November, 2009

Frames, frames, frames



I've been working on frame drawings and specs for future models today. I won't say which projects they are, but I've also been trying to come up with a plan for future VO models. Here are a few frames we're seriously considering. Which of these would you be most interested in? And are there other models I'm missing? Do bear in mind that VO is focused on a fairly narrow style of riding, so, please, no track frames, 29ers, bike-polo frames, etc.

  • A TIG welded version of our old semi-custom Pass Hunter, basically a rando frame with canti-brakes and designed for wider tires, 32-35mm. Or should it be lugged?
  • A camper bike for loaded touring with 650b or 26" wheels. The hardest part of this would be having the right racks made for it.
  • A 700c version of the Polyvalent in large sizes
  • I wonder if a new version of a classic racing bike, perhaps modeled on the Peugeot PX-10 or on the Motobecane Team Champion would be well received. It would be a frame that could be ridden "stripped" most of the time, but would have room for fenders for winter. It would be sized for 25-28mm tires.
  • What about a fixed gear version of the rando frame for winter training? It could be TIG welded to make it less expensive.
  • The new semi-custom rando frame; this one is already in the works.
So what do you think? Anything interesting here? Which should be first?

154 comments:

Geoffrey said...

I like the "neo-Peugeot" (PX-2010?) idea best. Like a Hampsten Strada Bianca for the rest of us.

Joel said...

neo-Peugeot is a good idea.

Rick @ Bicycle Fixation said...

I really like the idea of a fixed version of the rando frame. That's basically how I spec my own bikes, but it would be nice to have one made just for that. There are loads of fixed-gear commuters who have to carry light loads over bad roads, and they would also love it.

Prefer lugged, but if the TIG welds and the alignment are Maxway-clean, I can live with welding.

bmike said...

Fixed Rando... But how about with horizontal dropouts so you can run it SS/FG/IGH or with a rear der... And room for fat tires - in the 40 or greater range. And 700c with slighlty sloping TT for getting on and off with limited luggage on mixed surfaces or snow / ice. Basically a 'club racer' meets cross bike blend. Something more roadie than a CrossCheck in geometry but with the options for wide tires for all sorts of terrain.

fritz said...

My vote goes for a loaded touring bike w/ 26" wheels. There's too few good choices when it comes to touring bikes, imo.

Using the Nitto Big Racks, front and back, would be sublime.

Anonymous said...

Neo-Peugeot: very,d very good idea.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I know some won't agree, but I don't think that tires wider than 38mm offer any advantages for the sort of bikes VO is interested in. IMO 25-32mm is the sweet spot for riding on paved roads and 32-38 is perfect for loaded touring and light off-road. If you put tires that are too wide or too narrow on a frame it degrades the handling, so we design for and recommend a narrow range of sizes for each frame. That is the only way to get really perfect handling.

Brian said...

Only problem with your neo peugeot racing style frame is that there are sooooooo many available right now. I mean, a race frame that will fit 28s describes almost every race frame made before 1990.

For me, any winter bike that can't fit studded tires isn't a winter bike.

franklyn said...

I like the idea of a 700c fixed/SS rando frame that allow tires up to 35mm with fenders. It can use either canti or sidepull (tektro R556 comes to mind) brakes. Has braze-ons for racks and fenders.

Something in the mold of a Riv Quickbeam, but has front end geometry suitable for carrying front load.

stevep33 said...

Fixed Rando. I don't think anyone has done it...or done it well yet. Bikes a la cross check attempt to satisfy too many needs while not being great at any one thing. Make it fixed/ss specific with rando geometry and features.

I would also vote for a Pass Hunter frame. That frame was brilliant and I'm kicking myself for not ordering one while they were available.

TIG is fine for the frame, as long as the fork has a proper crown.

Gunnar Berg said...

New bikes are always fun. Why a classic race bike? The originals are all over the place at reasonable prices.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the Tig welded pass hunter frame. I say tig welding instead of lugs to keep the cost down.

Guillaume said...

A neo-peugeot and a rando fixed gear, please.

stevep33 said...

For new frames, I would prefer cantilevers and centerpulls over sidepull brakes for new frames. Sidepulls introduce some tricky business when mounting fenders, racks and lights.

Jeremy said...

VO Folding Rando bike! Something on which you can ride PBP then take on the TGV.





I'm only half joking.

leaf slayer said...

All those ideas are winners. I'd love to see the camping bike come out first. A "racing bike" with clearance for 28s and fenders would be great. Good stuff.

Christopher said...

I want to second the neo PX-10.
How about a demontable option?

Anonymous said...

I'd say skip the fixed as a new model - it really is almost just a dropout change.

I'd rather see a cheap 80's touring bike remake, but rather than the PX-10, how about a Miyata 1000 as the model to revive? Or maybe something similar to a 60's road racer would be nice (I second the Strada Bianca, Hampsten is a company that gets it right).

Anonymous said...

please dont make a fixed gear!

Peter Flint said...

I'll be the lone voice in the wilderness for a lugged Pass-Hunter. I was drooling over the old Pass Hunter debating over ordering, when that ceased to be an option.

And I can live without lugs if it's got beautiful seamless joints, but my heart lies with lugs. Ideally with some choice of colors.

But I suppose if you keep the cost down, I'd be more likely to buy one.

Scott Loveless said...

The camper bike could satisfy the needs of those of us looking for an affordable 650b "cyclotouring" machine, as well as the passhunting crowd. TIG welded keeps it affordable for those of us whose wives limit our bike expenditures, and Nitto makes those beautiful campee racks. An affordable version of the traditional French camping bike that can handle randonneuring and touring would be most welcome around here.

650b seems to have stalled a bit. The former champions (both rhyme with "hell") appear to be losing interest and the rest want to call it 27.5 or some such nonsense. The Polyvalent and your efforts to bring suitable rims to market are commendable. One more production 650b frame certainly wouldn't hurt.

Julian said...

As a tall fellow, I selfishly vote for a large frame 700c polyvalent!

giant hogweed said...

I would love a low trail bike that fits 26" big apples plus fenders

Bill said...

I like the idea of a TIGged Pass Hunter. The name PX-2010, though, is almost good enough to persuade me otherwise, all by itself.

Uncle Ankle said...

Camper bike, the most unique option.

Why not make it a semi-longtail, say a wheelbase of ~120 cm?

Anonymous said...

tall guy likes the sound of a TIG'd passhunter or 700c polyvalent.

I also would agree with the person asking for a re-make of a Miyata 1000/Specialized Expedition. Those are pretty scarce.

Dan

Andy M-S said...

My preference (not that I have the money to act for the next couple of years) would be a 26"-equipped touring bike. Essentially the geometry of a long-wheelbase roadbike, but able to take some MTB tires--in particular, studded tires. The selection of studded tires in 700c leaves something to be desired (though I ran an older Trek tourer with them a few years ago) while there is usually a decent tire for nearly every purpose in 26.

Build it so it can take fenders, set it up so that it can be used with an internally-geared hub, and paint it a nice orange. Oh, and fittings for racks, please. An all-weather bike.

Jim G said...

Avoid the 700c version of the Polyvalent in large sizes -- it will likely shimmy, unless you use stouter frame tubing, but then that might defeat "planing". 650B is a better wheel size for a low trail bike, even in the larger frame sizes, ATMO.

I like the idea of a low-trail 650B Campeur, especially if it has mixte-style lateral stays like Jan's bike. Nobody's doing a bike like that currently! If custom racks are problematic, design it for use with Nitto Campee racks, and call it done.

A lower-trail fixed randonneur is interesting, but is currently achievable with a Kogswell, Box Dog Pelican, or Raleigh One-Way frameset. (Yes, the One-Way is low trail!)

Winga said...

I have been thinking about my first custom frame because you can't find a Rando type fixed frame. I guess a White Industries Eno hub with the upcoming VO Rando frame would work, but a cheaper option would be great. I would suggest 130 spacing in case of bad knees and a need to switch to internal gearing.

brothersterno said...

omg a cheaper version of the pass hunter would be fantastic: lower bb, room for fatter tires, and canti + fender space. heck, one could probably even use it in the fall as a cross bike. I like my cross check, but something better for the road would be very appreciated.

Ted said...

I was checking out the VO Rando frame and would like to post a comment regarding the water cage mounting positions.
(1)The one on the seat tube is mounted too low thus forcing the one on the down tube to be too high. This not only looks odd but having the bottle cage that low on the seat tube will make reaching the water bottle difficult and it would be more subject to road debris.

I would also include retro striping with the VO on a white decal on the seat tube and down tube (kinda like Richard Sachs still does with all his custom road bikes).

I would also consider having wires installed inside the frame for rear tail lights from the front dyno hub.

The frame/bike looks too ordinary right now - kinda bland with the silver color.

Why not make the head tube decal be in the outline of France with blue white and red colors and VO imposed on that in chrome.

That would add a lot of character to the bike.

Also name it after wine regions of France - not Rando - Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, etc having the French flag again on the top tube - either near the stem or the seat. Giving the customer the option of having their name imprinted on that if they custom order the frame.

Jim G said...

@ Andy M-S: 26-inch-wheeled touring bike? Many options already exist: What about the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is now available with 26-inch wheels in all frame sizes? Or the SOMA Saga, which is also offered in 26-inch wheels in 54cm and under sizes? Or the Gunnar Rock Tour? Or a Thorn Raven or Sherpa? Or Rawland's new Ravn model? Or the Bruce Gordon Rock N' Road Tour-Ex? Many options exist already....

Tad said...

Like many who have already commented, I would love to see a fixed Rando. As someone on the tall side, I concur with Julian that a 700C Polyvolant in large sizes is desperately needed.

Joshua said...

The fixed rando sounds great, but as a guy who likes to keep the number of built bikes and frames in my possession to a minimum, I'd love to see something with vertical dropouts and a derailleur tab set up to take a tandem-style eccentric hub to allow use as a single speed, IGH or derailleur setup. I prefer being able to swap wheels and drive setups between seasons or the day before a long trip rather than having a couple of bikes kicking around the entryway.

Reynolds531 said...

Your french-threaded cartridge bottom bracket probably killed a chunk of your market for a neo-PX10. A bottom bracke, a triple crankset, leather bar wrap, and some fenders (all from VO) brought my Gitane Tour de France back to life.

The Pass Hunter would tempt me. The right price would get me. Tig welded is fine for me.

Marc said...

Despite the previous comment, I think there is more market for loaded touring bikes than the other styles. Everybody, even Rivendell, has a club racer. A nice lugged steel touring bike is really hard to find, everything I see is welded except the Atlantis and Bombadil. When I brought the subject up at my LBS, I was immediately presented with a custom titanium as the only "real" option (you know, paint scratches, it would be worth the extra 5 grand for custom titanium. I'm not afraid of 650b tires, but 26" would be more practical traveling across country.

Reynolds531 said...

And the Pass Hunter would need to be at least 64 cm c-t, preferably 66.

Anonymous said...

If no one is riding that orange bike in the photo, I'll take that...

Seriously, one more vote for a Passhunter. Same greyish-pea-green color as yours. And available in at least a 63cm size.

patates frites said...

I am 6'4", so...I vote for the 700C version of the Polyvalent in large sizes (how large is large? 63 - 66cm?).

Andy M-S said...

@JimG

Yeah, there are touring bikes with 26" wheels, but for those of us who take larger (58cm +) frames and wouldn't mind some aggressive tires, but who hate MTB geometry, there's not much (certainly not in my price range, FWIW).

Anonymous said...

I 2d the Nitto racks for a camper, and 2d, 3d, 4th the call for sizes up through at least 66cm.
Frames lugged if possible, but TIG'd if it means faster delivery.

Steve said...

Build that campeur to fit Tubus or Nitto racks.

Brian said...

I like the lugged Pass Hunter and the 700c Polyvalent. I'm just not sold on the 650 idea. Sorry

Dylan said...

Lugged hunter and neo-peugeot would be cool.

Eric said...

I love the idea of the Polyvalent, especially with long top tubes. On the other hand, I'm tall and the 650b doesn't do anything for me - they look funky on tall frames and I prefer the huge selection of 700c wheels and tires. For now my Surly LHT will have to suffice.

Justin said...

My vote is for a 26" touring frame. Yes, there might be other competition out there but the 559 revival is here and alive (sorry 700c devotees). If Rivendell does in fact kill the Atlantis and abandons 559 all together, then I think the VO 26" touring frame would be a strong option. Someone does need to stand up to the mighty sway of the LHT at this point. Of course, a 650B campeur would be sweet too, but think people might lean towards a 559 for a camping frame. just my 2 cents.

Mark M. Fredrickson said...

Something for the ladies!

Make a frame spec'd for women (that is, with a shorter top tube). Perhaps even with a smaller front wheel ala Terry. No flowers, not purple, not pink. I don't love mixte's, but my wife thinks they're "cute." Perhaps there is a middle ground to be found.

The camper sounds like the most similar to this. Perhaps you could adjust it so that the top tube gets proportionally smaller on the smaller models -- as I understand it, most designs have longer top tubes relative to seat tube on the smaller models.

Nate Knutson said...

I really think having any of these be lugged wastes their potential affordability for virtually no real-word benefit. Also, the "neo-PX10" idea would be at its strongest if a modern thinwall, air-hardening tubing like OX Plat or 853 was used, which really isn't all that expensive. However, those tubes weren't designed with lugs in mind, especially not brass brazed like from an Asian factory, they benefit functionally from lugs even less because they don't lose strength at the heat affected zones, and the standard (non-custom-drawn) versions of the tubesets don't have butt lengths that work well or at all with lugs.

Guitar Ted said...

I like the Pass Hunter idea with some of the features "bmike" mentions, like the sloping top tube. Maybe a longer head tube so drop bars can be set higher, which would go along with that sloping top tube idea. Basically a "Fargo-lite" idea, if you know that bike, but with cantis and not such a wide tire.

brainwashvictim said...

26" BMX bike with front canti studs. I've never seen a lugged one.

Anonymous said...

passhunter please! tig or lug is fine!!

Joe said...

I'm all over items 1, 2 and 4. The 650b camper should be first because there's nothing really like it out there off the shelf. Something like the nitto campee racks would be great. Would 700c racks work?

Joe said...

Did I write 650b camper bike? I'd prefer that over 26". The wheels look too small on the 26". Perhaps this is out of line with a camping bike, but it'd be great if it had a lightweight tubeset. Closer to a racing bike than the Thorn, SOMA Saga, LHT, etc. I seem to recall Jan Heine writing about a Herse--or was it Singer--camping bike he had that was very lightweight and rode great.

Brian said...

How about something that is disc brake compatible w/ classic syling?

gcourt72 said...

650 b camper has a customer here, providing it's lugged and beautiful. Something De-mountable might be nice as My local Amtrak has no roll on car!

http://www.generalworks.com/toeisha/photo/photo_t5001_eg.html

Joe, I believe it was a Singer. Herse does have a good example as well. In Either case keeping the price uder 5,000 bucks and the waiting time under 8 years would be nice!

Anonymous said...

I would vote for your lugged camper option. I could live with either 26 or with 650b tires but from a practical point of view know that 26 would be better on the road. Easily installed VO front and rear racks in stainless steel at a great price will close the deal.

ablejack said...

650b Lugged Camper. No question. All other styles are available at a reasonable cost or easily built. Current Camper models are either boutique expensive or poorly thought out camper-styled rigs. I trust VO to construct a real world outfit that would impress the local fauna and leave me with enough scratch to put franks in the beans.

Tom said...

@brainwashvictim- i like your suggestion. make it a folding recumbent tadpole trike and I think we can kill 6 niches with one bike!

Anonymous said...

"VO Folding Rando bike! Something on which you can ride PBP then take on the TGV."

What would be amazing is a bike (any geared style) that already has couplers built in. I know it would cost a lot to add S&S couplers, but what about the old style that fix the frame together with QRs? Toei still makes this style. I believe there's a picture of one on the Jitensha website, and I don't think it would be too expensive to implement.

I think something like this might have a reasonable market. S&S couplers are extremely expensive, not to mention very inconvenient to install on an existing bike.

Anonymous said...

While I am admittedly biased, I would look at instead of a PX-10 a Top level LeJeune. I have a bunch of bikes Italian, french, including a PX and a LeJeune.

Ian Dickson said...

This is exciting stuff.

The first four options all sound great. I'm indifferent towards the last two, or maybe even slightly hostile towards the fixed gear.

I hope you'll do the camper bike first, because I want one. I would want a touring bike designed to be ridden at a fast pace on mixed surfaces with a light-to-moderate camping load. Ideally, the frame would have clearance for at least 40mm wide tires with fenders. A little more clearance might be good, and less would be disappointing.

I don't want a bike designed to plod along at 12mph with eighty pounds of stuff strapped all over it. There are plenty of those already.

I like the road bike idea, too.

Ian Dickson said...

Oh, and I second the request for small frames that are not marketed creepily towards women (swirls, butterflies, ethereal/goddessy names, etc.). When I showed my wife the Terry website, she was angry that they thought women should respond positively to that stuff. She just wants a nice, tasteful bike that fits her. At 5'1", there really aren't very many of those. But there are a whole lot of people out there who are 5'1" or shorter. It might be that most of your customers are men right now, but if word gets around that you're making quality, small bikes, you will get those customers.

Also, small things are cuter.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the 'semi-custom' frames. What makes them custom? What does the customer specify?

Angoraknitter said...

I don't remember what was so unique/special about the Passhunter. Can someone clue me in? It seems to me that the market is pretty well saturated with TIGed frame - Surly, Soma, Handsome, etc - but decently priced lugged frames are harder to come by. I think that's a market VO could corner.

Mr Wrong said...

A 26er touring is nice, but what would differentiate it from the successful and reasonably priced Surly LHT?

James Black said...

For a low-cost production frame made in Taiwan, I don't think it makes sense to use lugs. Lugs are an anachronism unless they are either on a custom bike or an older bike. Go TIG!

The TIG Pass Hunter sounds too much like the Polyvalent.

The Camper could be a really unique, marketable product if you can offer suitable French-style racks and fancy touches like the lateral stays - then you could charge a relatively high price for it.

The Polyvalent is really nice - I would be glad to have one. I would suggest that the ideal companion to it would be something like a cross between a PX10 ("sportif") and a randonneur bike - a lightweight, TIG-welded bike with a double-plate crown fork; and the key touches would be braze-ons for Dia-Compe centerpull brakes, and fork blades with the super low and tight radius bend, like the Toei forks. 73 HA and 63mm offset. 1" threaded headset, non-oversize tubing. Mid-fork eyelets for a handlebar bag rack. I would spec it with gloss black paint and some kind of box lining or decorative lining, if that's even possible to get done in Taiwan these days. Otherwise, metallic pewter paint. The bike described above would replace the Taiwanese rando frame that was upcoming.

James Black

Mr. Fink said...

I'm throwing my lot in with the classic racer. There are plenty of used examples available on Craiglist and other venues BUT if you want to upgrade it's hard to find components (like decent 126mm hubs for example), I have a hard time finding a decent used bike in the uber common 56cm frame size, and (most importantly) I don't trust my life 100% to a used frame that's seen god-knows-what for the last 25+ years.

Tom SVDP said...

The Motobecane Le Champion sounds good, btw, in the International Game, Republic of Ireland did get a raw deal, that's what happens in International Soccer and the dunderheads don't use instant replay, our MLS doesn't either or very little if they do. That's in part why we are seeing the LA Galaxy play Utah Real Salt Lake I believe Sunday night, but the Houston team scored a goal I thought versus LA that should have won that game...so it goes.... we spent some time in Crystal City in DC playing in a soccer tournament, fun...though I do like the idea of reviving some classic frames, I think what would be by far a most cracking ride, would be to make a facsimile of the high tensiled steel Raleigh Carlton Grand Prix, pie plate on the cogs, foam grips which by the way, all satire and irony aside, as unclassy as foam looks, which it does, you can not persuade me that there is anything more comfortable, tried them all. With most of those others, I'd need to think about gel gloves but would admit that aesthetically, some of the elkhide are artworks in their own right. And a lot of those Raleighs had a problem with those lacquered applied decals, for some reason, not the GP by any means.

Just one last question, since so many "cyclists" are green, and many are vegetarians, what is their take on all the leather used in cycling?? I have seen Buddhist Monks, vegetarians but still, I think they had the leather sandals.

Christopher said...

Surly has the Travelers Check, with the SS couplers installed at the factory. It isn't much more than the standard 'check. A welded Rando frame or neo PX10 with SS couplers wouldn't be too much...

Joshua said...

Brian said...
How about something that is disc brake compatible w/ classic syling?

Ooh! Seconded. One of the things I love about ANT Bikes.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a 650b version of VO Rando frame that would have internal wiring and a mount to run a generator along the rear wheel...not everyone is a fan of dynamo hubs. Something that looks like it should be built up using classic french components. Something that doesn't necessary look like a modern frame...think toei.

Far fetched I know but someone had to say it.

Gary said...

650b camper.

If you had a frame, that retailed at <$650 I would be in the market.

Racks that are similar to the Nitto Campee with the low riders would be perfect.

just drill some holes to make the wiring for the taillight run inside the frame.

Lugged or Tig, but price is a factor.

Long dropouts for IGH, single, or derailleur setup.

Weld a 5mm threaded tab under the fork crown so no need for a daruma.

Canti brakes.

Extra waterbottle bosses, to carrry cooking water.

I know you could sell at least one.

Make it a 61-63.

Anonymous said...

Whay about an elegant and lightweight kid's road bike? The Specialized is about the only option on this continent. All the other options are limited to BMXes or 40 lb MTBs with at least boingy end. I would love to find a nice road bike for my nearly-eight year old (that would be handed down to the four then the nine month old) that would take fenders, she could ride to school, and could go on fun rides with her mum or me.
M Burdge

Newbflat said...

From what your offering.... Pass Hunter for me. I see no point in a "neo- Peugeot" as there everywhere .... Simple lugs would be nice but not a big deal.

What i want is a Light- ish rando/ sport touring bike that will take 35 mm tires with fenders and has disk mounts.... I am really really sick of pathetic wet weather braking. A Pass hunter with disk brakes..!?

Or..... a folding BMX bike that works with 700c 650 and 26" wheels and with side pull, cant studs and disk brake mounts. It should have polished stainless lugs and the rest Ti... Be easily adjusted between time trial, long distance and beach cruiser riding positions...... and have every braze on known to man. Not having polished stainless lugs is a deal breaker!

Anonymous said...

Neo-peugeot and ted's 'outline of france' logo are both great ideas.

And though I never would have mentioned it until you did, I would actually buy a VO polo bike. Waterford makes the only polo-specific frame out there.

Uncle Ankle said...

This might interest a few people here.

I'd also like to say that I'm getting quite exited by the thought of a 650b, low BB, drop bar geometry, looong wheelbase camper bike. A super heavy tarmac tourer/fast semi-cargo bike.

Uncle Ankle said...

This is so much fun.

Reynolds531 said...

Neugeot PX 2010, white with black and white checkerboard. Complete bike with mafac centerpull knockoffs, non-aero levers, clearance for 28 mm tires with fenders, VO model 6 saddle, a nice crankset like Sugino
xd600 or 700(or even better a 50.4 bcd crank), Diagonale rims $1500 or less.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to see some "race" geometry bikes in the works. The neo-Peugeot in a lugged form would be perfect! I was thinking about it and realized that, while the extra money for lugs would hurt the wallet in the short run, I'd be so happy after a couple years having purchased a lugged bike. I really put a lot of time in the saddle on my touring bike, and I also spend time looking at it. It'd be really nice to have a gorgeous lugged bike to ride and gaze at.

Also, a sporty (not necessarily race geometry) FG/SS bike would be AWESOME. I'd really love to see track dropouts, 2 sets of rear eyelets, and space for 650b wheels/tires. Also, it'd be nice to see the new VO rims built up a FG/SS wheels.


On a side note, I really enjoy the "aesthetic" of VO's style. I like seeing gorgeous bikes. I like polishing up the silver parts on my bikes and accessorizing with nice racks and bags. With that in mind, I find myself wanting to spend an extra couple hundred dollars on a fancier looking materials. As mentioned above, dropping extra coin now on a nice paint job or lugs versus welds is well worth it to me. I don't mind saving up for an extra couple of months just to purchase the frame that I want. I wouldn't mind spending a little extra for a better paint job (can I get a cream colored headtube??).

I really think skimping just to save $100-300 on a frame misses the whole point.

nixie the mighty said...

700c lugged disc brake frame for loaded touring??? eh??? eh???

Pete Ruckelshaus said...

My vote is for the Neugeot (go ahead, say it with me...), especially if you can source some Nervex-style lugs (my guess is that Newvex would bring the price up too much). Modern amenities, braze-on wise (double bottle bosses, vertical dropouts, etc.), would be nice, but I would also expect to see downtube shifter bosses, 1" threaded headset (at least as an option) a single set of dropout eyelets, and 49mm brake drop. Price it between $750 and $1,000 and you've got a winner. Traitor Cycles has a similar model with the Exile (http://www.traitorcycles.com/Bikes_Exile.cfm), but I really don't like the fork.

Anonymous said...

Please offer frames without cantilever studs, at least as an option. Or removable studs if you can find an elegant way to do it.
I'm personally not interested in 700C or 26" bikes.
I'd buy a demountable (S&S couplers or otherwise) 650B frame in a second!
Ditto for a $1000 or less "Long John" style cargo frame.

RoadieRyan said...

Like the idea of Lugs over TIG although maybe Lugs could be available as an up charge. A light weight "racer" that can take fenders and 28mm is a good idea especially if based on a classic frame like those you mentioned although a bump up to 32mm would improve the versiatlity.

Looking forward to your Rando being available next year! Which is, wow, only 45 days away

Anonymous said...

I would vote a tig Pass Hunter or the Polyvalent in 700c. Either choice make them in big sizes as often the tall guys get the short end of the stick (6'6" here). Oh ya make them for 1 1/8" threadless. Threaded looks nice, but threadless is easier to swap stems, stiffer, and has more choices in stems.

David said...

I would like a 650B frame for a short wife, or a 700c with slightly sloping top tube, lugged. Long wheelbase with all the braze ons. Naked steel and I can powder coat in her color for her. Unless you have a nice green!

M said...

As others have said, a reasonably priced demontable of any type (probably using quick releases) would be unique (at least until Electra copies it), extremely useful, and probably garner good sales, not to mention attention.

700c would probably be the best bet if you were to go this route so as not to scare customers off with 650B (rightly or wrongly).

Complete bike option(s) would also be useful. I've tried to convince several people to wait for the VO frames, but none of them want to build a bike from the ground up, even if I'm helping.

Anonymous said...

I would be most interested in the Pass Hunter and semi custom Rando frame. Personally, since I can't afford to have a dozen bikes, I want the one or two I have to be nice to look at. Lugged for me.

Great to hear new frames are on the way.

Greg said...

If we're voting, my vote is for the PX-2010 and the tigged Pass Hunter. Am I right in thinking that the only difference between these bikes would be cantilever brakes and a few more mm clearance?

For my riding these days I think the Pass Hunter would suit me better.

Fred Zeppelin said...

Brian said...
How about something that is disc brake compatible w/ classic syling?

Ooh! Seconded. One of the things I love about ANT Bikes.

Thirded. Very difficult to find a production frame like that, especially if by "classic styling" you mean
1.standard-dia. tubes
2.horizontal top tube
3.curved-blade fork

Throw in low-trail geometry and/or lugs and you'd have something wholly unique.

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

As we speak, I'm counting my pennies for that lugged camper.


Best regards,

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

A repro of the Singer camper. I'd buy one in a minute.

Best regards.

Jim G said...

This is an interesting discussion -- it's enjoyable hearing about all the different ideas for the next VO frame that folks are proposing. Lugged long-tail cargo cycle, indeed!

For everyone who's lusting after a lugged passhunter-type frame, have you considered an Ebisu All-Rounder, and if so, what about it doesn't meet your expectations?

V-O's MO seems to be "French Inspired", and in keeping with that theme, a modern 650b campeur seems to be the ticket. No one else is doing anything like that at the moment -- it'd make quite a statement, I think.

Anonymous said...

A checkered Neugeot!!! I would get excited as a schoolgirl about that! Actually, I think I already am!

Anonymous said...

Will the neo-Peugeot come complete with the myth? That's pretty much all the original Peugeot had going for it.

No sloped top tubes. These only look proportionally-acceptable if the saddle is high and the handlebars low. For the guy who said "with slightly sloping TT for getting on and off", you must ride your bike without a saddle on it, because sloping or not, the saddle is still in the same place, and you have to someone get your derrière over it. Even otherwise nice Rivendells look a little goofy because of the slightly-sloping top tube.

Welds are for people who don't care about attention to detail. They are sloppy work. If I was going to buy a bike from a company that sells nicer-than-average bikes, it's got to be nicely-lugged, or seamless, like the 1980's Peugeots.

Jim G said...

"Welds are for people who don't care about attention to detail. They are sloppy work"

That is the dumbest thing I've read in a long time. Apparently you don't know the difference betwixt a good weld and a shoddy one.

Cycling Sam said...

I would love to see a classic road bike frame with comfortable geometry. Something versatile that could be used for touring, commuting and weekend road rides. This frame would include a tall head tube and a top tube a bit shorter than normal. A bottom bracket high enough to allow one to peddle through turns. Room for fenders would be nice. In order to keep the wheel base short and snappy, I would speck it to fit 700 X 25mm tires. Braze-on’s for fenders and rack’s would be spectacular. Standard road bike brake calipers would work well. A classic color with vintage inspired decals would add some much needed pizzazz. A TIG welded frame would keep it affordable so maybe even a poor bike tech like myself could afford one. Finally as a finishing touch, a fork with straight blades would contribute to the attractiveness of this classy yet versatile machine. Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion.

Tom SVDP said...

"That is the dumbest thing I've read in a long time. Apparently you don't know the difference betwixt a good weld and a shoddy one."

It's like a 1970s attitude when Lugged frames ruled, but the times have changed with brazed frames, etc. I don't know my welding technology but yes, you are correct, this is outdated thinking from articles I have read.

Anonymous said...

My top vote goes to a lugged Sportif frame. For general road riding, it seems the best, most versatile style.

If the Pass Hunter is what I think it is -- basically a lightweight fire-trail/cyclocross frame with cantilever brakes -- then it would be my second choice.

A SS/fixed frame that can accommodate 25-32 tires, fenders and racks would be a close third -- such a bike would make an ideal winter commuting/training bike.

As for lugged versus TIG, there are already quite a few TIG frames out there -- Surly, Soma, etc. -- so as long as the upcharge isn't too much, I'd like to see VO concentrate on lugged frames.

Anon of Florida said...

One more vote for the 26"/650b camper with the caveat of using the short dropouts the Polyvalent has for us who tour on SS/IGH.

Alternatively, keep the vertical dropouts and stretch the chainstays a millimeter or two to fit a 'magic gear' combination

TIG welded to keep down costs.

skvidal said...

I'm sure this isn't in the offing but how about a tandem? :)

Anonymous said...

Fred Zeppelin said...
Brian said...
How about something that is disc brake compatible w/ classic syling?

Ooh! Seconded. One of the things I love about ANT Bikes.

Thirded. Very difficult to find a production frame like that, especially if by "classic styling" you mean
1.standard-dia. tubes
2.horizontal top tube
3.curved-blade fork

Throw in low-trail geometry and/or lugs and you'd have something wholly unique.

Fourthed. Camper/touring 26/650b with discs (gives wheel options), lugs and couplers. In dark green.

Sami said...

How about a tig welded camping bike with geometry for a 26" up front and a 700c in the back. The 26" wheel up front might alleviate toeclip overlap, while still having more tire choices than a 650b. Keeping the back 700c might help with making a smoother ride and more rack options. Plus it would just be novel to see a bike actually designed for two wheel sizes.

tracy said...

lugged bur affordable Pass hunter. 73/73, 130mm rear, 28-32mm tires with a fender. available nude for those that want to paint/powder coat themselves. maybe with adjustable rear drop outs from IRD just so we got options.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a PX2010. Lugged of course with 1" threaded steerer and made from Reynolds tubing. I would suggest 631 to keep the cost down and the frame dent free. Some nice long horizontal dropouts with eyelets, with a rear spacing of 128mm. Long dropouts will give some useful wheelbase adjustment as well as allow for a fixed gear conversion. 128mm OLD will allow me to use modern or older rear hubs. It would also be nice to have it setup to allow 57mm drop brakes. I can then run 32mm tyres with no problems. I know everyone has said that these can be easily found but most of the 57mm reach models require nutted fittings and it would be nice to own a new frame and not worry about any internal rust damage or cracked tubing.

jonesthebiker said...

I like the idea of a lugged Pass Hunter.

F said...

All neat ideas! Touring bikes are gaining in popularity at the moment. Surly LHT is cheapest at $1100, but wheelbase is too long (handles like a pig). Also the geometry is rear-loading instead of front. Address these issues and I think you could sell lotsa tourers.
I think the px-2010 sounds cool too. Some fairly compliant tubing would help replicate that butter smooth old 531 ride quality - made to ride over cobbles and such.
Awesome file work on the seatpost lug on your new rando frame!

Old House Gazette said...

# A TIG welded version of our old semi-custom Pass Hunter, basically a rando frame with canti-brakes and designed for wider tires, 32-35mm. Or should it be lugged?

Lugged. And I like this.

# A camper bike for loaded touring with 650b or 26" wheels. The hardest part of this would be having the right racks made for it.

Most definitely. 650B gets my vote.


# I wonder if a new version of a classic racing bike, perhaps modeled on the Peugeot PX-10 or on the Motobecane Team Champion would be well received. It would be a frame that could be ridden "stripped" most of the time, but would have room for fenders for winter. It would be sized for 25-28mm tires.

DEFINITELY!

Andrew said...

I would gladly trade my columbus sl tube-ed/super record and Cinelli spec-ed out italian "classic racer" for a tig welded pass hunter smeared with nitto and sugino. Seriously. Just the thought makes me want to put my racer on ebay.

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

One good reason for the neo-Peugeot or Le Champion is that although classic race bikes are still out there, they tend to be available in a limited number of sizes. Plus, an updated version of one of those bikes would allow for the use of modern components, as one wishes. That's more or less what I have with my modern Mercian (lugged) road bike.

I also like the idea of a cross or rando bike that could be used with a derailleur or fixed gear.

Definitely lugs!

Phil Miller said...

I'd love to see the a Neugot-PX10, but you have to *really* nail it on the handling. Don't even think about it not being lugged. The handling on my brother's old PX-10 was so unique...
The pass hunter would be a more wide-open thing. Lugs would be worth $3-400 more to me; but if the welding looked like the old constructeur frames (which were brazed) then the premium drops to very little. Surly quality is the _minimal_ acceptable - though they are very strong.

surlyjoe said...

I think the camper bike would be awesome. If that ended up happening it would HAVE to be 650b, with lugs of course.
And a green color, maybe a little darker than that Pass Hunter, would look great on the tourer. Like, and army green.

Ned C said...

I'd vote for the Polyvalent in 700c, maybe even considering a 26" for the smaller sizes because there are simply a lot more tires available in those sizes. Even studded tires for winter;)

Anonymous said...

700 wheels, lugged, steel, curved fork, front/rear eyelets, long head tube/short top tube, horizontal top tube, 32 mm tires with fenders, modern 130 mm rear wheel spacing, quill 1" stem, non-Surly colors ;-), chromed chainstay and fork ends.

Just copy my pretzeled Motobecane Grand Jubilee, but make it fit like my Roubaix. :-)

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

I really want the 650b camper. Like the current Singer. Soon.

Best regards.

David said...

Missed in all this posting is forks, forks, forks.

I have lots of older frames I like, but no modern forks with 1" steerers.

I would like a really pretty, lugged, long rake, bladed fork with a 1" steerer, extra long for those old huge frames, no coating, standard bearing race. These are 300 to 400 as custom one offs. Not worth it for an old frame. But if there was a generic long steerer that I could cut and powder coat, I would get several.

mark said...

Other than the fixie model, they all sound good. On the neo-ovPX10, I'd vote for horizontal rear dropouts.

Anonymous said...

650B CAMPER/TOURER!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd LOVE to see a lugged racebike (neo-Peugeot)....hopefully in white.

I'd also love to see a 650b SS/FG frame available. I'd want room for FAT tires, fenders, and cantilever brakes....hopefully available in celeste (yeah...I know it doesn't go with the French theme...).

-tony

Tom SVDP said...

Viscount Aerospaces are the bees-knees, some day, someone will retro them if they haven't. I've got a Minnehaha saddle bag on one and it's a good way to travel.

I'm sure the PX10 is as good as people say, some bikes mentioned are very elite that many don't know what they are like.

Still, lower level bikes have their charms too.

Tom SVDP said...

I should have said this originally, what I have problems with is when someone does a retro bike, for ex. a PX 10, unless it is done in the same 531 tubing, Nervex professional lugs, is it really a reasonable facsimile of the original at face value. This seems to be a tricky topic.

People mentioned Soma, Surly etc. I've got to think some Lemond steel bikes must be of the high quality. For a looker, the Salsa Casserol seems a rather faithful rendition of classic bikes though welded.

Anonymous said...

Never mind future models. How about the frames that are pictured on the website now? I've been waiting to order a Rando frameset for months. C'mon Chris, give us the goods.

scott said...

Just found this:

http://www.kevincyr.net/files/gimgs/5_motherland.jpg

Looks like a very low-trail camper.

Anonymous said...

Better link:

http://www.kevincyr.net/index.php?/project/camper-bike/

Sorry for the double post, this is just to awesome to ignore in light of the subject.

bmike said...

quote anonymous "No sloped top tubes. These only look proportionally-acceptable if the saddle is high and the handlebars low. For the guy who said "with slightly sloping TT for getting on and off", you must ride your bike without a saddle on it, because sloping or not, the saddle is still in the same place, and you have to someone get your derrière over it. Even otherwise nice Rivendells look a little goofy because of the slightly-sloping top tube."



hey anonymous - have you ridden mixed terrain with luggage in the rain / slop / maybe even snow or ice?

with a trad top tube, loaded bike, and questionable surface a sloping tt makes plenty of sense... put a foot down on 1 side. keep the other foot in the clips or straps or on the pedal to keep some forward pressure on the rear wheel... and do it all without strain.

it makes sense when you RIDE a bike in all sorts of conditions. i could care less for lugs or polished bits of silver and leather trim. if i can get stopped and get moving and keep moving without breaking open a nut sack or pulling my quads or twisting a knee... this is important.

regardless of how one might think a sloping TT is cheap, looks disproportionate, or that i don't know how to properly mount / dismount - there is a place for them, when function counts on a bike that is not ridden soley on the pave...

Dale Brigham said...

Chris:

I am liking a bike that would be a sort of middle ground between the Pass Hunter and the upcoming Rando frame. It would be designed to ride on both pavement and unpaved roads/paths, and it would be perfect for weekend "credit card touring." It would work with 32-37 mm tires with 45 mm fenders, have mid- or long-reach caliper brakes (or cantis, if that seems more practical), and have braze-on points for front and rear racks. It could be either lugged or TIG welded. It would be designed to work with specific Nitto and/or VO racks and bags, such that it could be a sort of "demi-constructeur" bike. Set up a build kit option, and you would open up the world of French constructeurs to many more cyclists than would otherwise entertain that possibility.

Regardless, as a loyal customer, I am thankful for Velo Orange, and I wish you and your colleagues a Happy Thanksgiving.

amabele said...

left field! how about an affordable dutch bike. bolt upright geometry. i had to import a frame to build to my taste and think it's pretty safe to assume it can be done alot lighter.

Anonymous said...

Please please please bring a 650b camping bike to market!

Ian Dickson said...

Dale:

The bike that you're describing is not "a sort of middle ground between the Pass Hunter and the upcoming Rando frame"; it is the Pass Hunter.

Mine accepts 45mm fenders and whatever tires you feel comfortable running with 45mm fenders. With 35mm tires it handles unpaved roads very well, but the bike is light, fast, and very much at home on pavement. It does not have braze-ons for a rear rack, but otherwise, it is just the bike you're asking for.

In earlier threads, some people compared the Pass Hunter to the Surly Cross Check. These were misguided comparisons.

Having owned (and loved) both bikes, I can say that the Pass Hunter is much lighter and more responsive than the Cross Check, with better looks and instant perfect fender lines. The Cross Check handles nicely enough, and it seems indestructible, and it can handle a camping load without getting too squirrely.

Whereas the Cross Check is a true All Rounder, the Pass Hunter is a fast bike that accepts wide tires.

Opus the Poet said...

Well since this is a brainstorming session combined with a wish list: 559 dual big wheel LWB recumbent tourer with disk brakes and fenders and built in rack as part of the frame. Racks for 'bents either have to be hacked beyond recognition to fit, look ugly, or are so unstable that you can't carry a full load. I'm not a real fan of underseat racks either. Something like a Tour Easy with a big front wheel and a rear rack that is designed to look like an integral part of the frame.

Anonymous said...

CK, we love you for creating unique, affordable, historically aware bikes to fill holes in the market, and we know you want to sell these bikes, so this is a no-brainer:

650B cyclotouriste with camp/tour DNA.

Dale Brigham said...

Ian:

Thanks for strring me straight. Yes, the Pass Hunter sounds perfect. Ask the man who owns one, I would say, and it sounds like you think yours is just peachy.

Andy said...

A proper child's bicycle.

jerrymoos said...

I really don't like TIGed frames that much, although I understand the cost savings. I miss the semi-custom frames. I'd like to see an all-around touring bike with lots of brazeons and vertical DOs that could be configured as tourer/ commuter/ randonneur/ camper/ pass hunter. 650B or 700C wheels, lugged or fillet brazed frame

Jerry Moos

Nathan said...

650 Camper please!!!

Anonymous said...

If 650B can qualify, how about 27 inch. I regularly ride an 80's lugged steel tourer with 27 inch wheels. I've grown to love the big wheels with 1-1/2 inch wide tires, and the long wheelbase. So smooth and stable.

Lugged or nicely-brazed yes. Welding may have become acceptable in the cycling world, but it's still crude construction. Leave the welding to the cheap bike companies.

And for the guy who desperately needs to get his parts over a sloping top tube so he can ride in snow, mud or whatever (or is it really only ridden on living room carpet?), next time you buy a bike, consider getting a level top tube frame of the right size.

lee.watkins said...

650B/650A size - or 26" with room for fat frank tires - heavy duty camping/tourist bike something like the Raleigh Tourist that can have double top tubes or the half-moon shaped top tube you see on the ladies model - set up for a VO full chaincase.

Chromed lugs and dropouts. Powdercoated. Any color, as long as it's black.

Build it around the Steceo Racks used on dutch/danish and old english bikes that are strong enough to carry passengers - like the "pick-up" Steceo racks that slide into the downtube slots, etc.

Drum brakes, like the SRAM iBrake system, with a SRAM 3 speed or 5 speed internal gear hub.

Bryan said...

Here's another vote for a 650b camper.
LUGGED! and able to take a 42c tire. I think you could get the proper racks made, you have so far, just make it a frame/fork/rack package and of course, present the designs to me before hand for approval!;)

Forget the vintage racer remake, it ain't, and lots of them 531 gems around if one only looks.

I also like the Fixie Rando but please use real drop outs and not track ends! Fenders don't like track ends!!

Tim said...

A camper bike, please. In the style of the LHT, but with lugs. 26" wheels, however vulgar, are really vastly easier to find than 650B in my neighborhood.

And if you make a lugged camper, you'd naturally need lugged racks:
http://racknroll.blogspot.com/2009/02/getting-closer.html

Tom SVDP said...

Make sure those swift Aduprax cranks fit any frames under consideration, I agree with the posting I was reading in the original blog entry http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-vo-crank.html and Handy is right, the feel of steel pedals rolling is great, it's like going through butter, I've always liked the whole drivetrain on this bike I have starting with the Solida cottered cranks and Huret derailleurs and likewise, they've gone through some tough weather and look fine. I wonder when we will see those cranks again. Did they sell out or what? That wasn't that long ago.

mike said...

Anon Said:
"And for the guy who desperately needs to get his parts over a sloping top tube so he can ride in snow, mud or whatever (or is it really only ridden on living room carpet?), next time you buy a bike, consider getting a level top tube frame of the right size."

Hmm. Guess that pro fit I paid for didn't really work out. Countless brevets and centuries and solo rides through the mountains later...

Sure, I'll take the advice of someone on the interwebs. Move bikes from living room to snow / ice / mud. Check. Trade in for small frame that needs really long stem so I can mount / dismount comfortable per your suggestion. Check. Now what?

As I stated before - it is not about getting on or off the bike. Its about handling the bike when semi loaded, on rough surfaces, surfaces that are not predictable, without bodily contortions.

But, have at it. There is no 1 bike for everyone. A dropped TT is a useful thing on a bike, despite what the classics show us, and despite what some folks one on the interwebs thinks.

Cheers. RYOR. YMMV. Etc. Etc.

Charlie said...

I'd be more interested the size range of the models you know have expanded than in having a new model. Particularly, I'd like to see the polyvalent line expanded--or maybe contracted is the right word, down to 46 cm or so. That's one of the big advantages of 650's is that you can make small frame sizes without compromise on geometry or toe-clip overlap. I'd be interested in one of those for a small friend. From the comments it also sounds like expanding the rando line up one size would make sense, though the 63 would fit me.

It would also make sense to have the mixte line include smaller size, 650 wheel models.

For new frames lines, it makes sense to use 26 or 650 on smaller sizes, 650 or 700 on bigger ones.

scott said...

Have you guys seen the recent Bruce Gordon touring frame set with racks and stem? Its a Taiwanese TIG welded frame set, and I think the racks are made by Bruce Gordon.

http://bgcycles.com/BasicLoadedTouring.html

Just thought you would be interested in light of offering a 650b camping bike with a custom rack set.

veloChine said...

I am willing to spend more for a non TIG pass hunter.

Would also be nice that you made smaller sizes 650B for us shorties

Anonymous said...

fixed rando sounds gread. long hoiz dropouts for fixed/IGH use.

also, 700c polyvalent.

brandon said...

My 61cm Miyata 610 touring frame is too small. Id like to see a lugged 700c camping/touring frame in 63-64cm (c-c) at an affordable price....My legs are too long for 650b:(

Scott said...

As someone who is 6'4" and constantly dismayed at how many bike models aren't made in frame sizes that will fit me, I vote for a 700c version of the Polyvalent for larger sized frames. Clearance for tires up to 37 mm with fenders would also be great!

Jim G said...

All you guys clamoring for a 700C Polyvalent in large sizes just don't get it -- big tires, flexible frames, and low trail don't work well together. Have you ever seen a French porteur built for wide 700C tires? No. Have you ever seen a French randonneuse with wide 700C tires? NO. There is absolutely no reason (aside from misguided aesthetics) why 650B wheels won't work on a larger frame. And it probably won't be as prone to shimmy, either.

jeronimo said...

I like the camper bike idea, but:

What would separate a 650b Camper from a Rivendell Bombadil?

What would separate a 26" Camper from a Surly LHT?

Anonymous said...

VO bikes are very different from a Surly or even a Riv. The geometry and details are based on French custom bikes built during the "golden age". The latter are basically 1980's Japanese touring bikes.

Jim G said...

@Jeronimo:

"What would separate a 650b Camper from a Rivendell Bombadil?"


What would separate a 26" Camper from a Surly LHT?"

Neither of those bikes are French-style, low trail designs. This is an example of a "proper" campeur: http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/images/CascadeBlewett.jpg -- note the mixte-style lateral stays for increased strength and rigidity under a full camping load.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see domestic availability of a "kruisframe" design with luged fork and brazons for cantilevers or direct pull canti's constructed of 4130 or even some other butted steel tubing. Maby just use your TekTro Xtra long reach brakes and loose the brazons, like for the VOMixte.

jeff said...

I would love to see a classic road bike remake, so I really like the PX-10 idea. Several people have mentioned Hampsten. I would go for the Hampsten "Classic" model, rather than the Strada Bianca. 47-57 mm sidepulls, with the tire clearance maxed. Nice nimble handling. Please have at least a 62cm size, if not larger. The problem with the vintage bikes (and most current production road frames) is that they weren't designed with fender mounting in mind, even if they had good clearance. I know VO would consider all the fender friendly details in the design.

B L said...

I second Julian's comment. I would eagerly await a large size 700c polyvalent. Thanks for considering it.

Anonymous said...

The new semi-custom rando frame; this one is already in the works!