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Velo Orange components for a road bike build

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Velo Orange components for a road bike build

Old 01-24-16, 03:26 PM
  #1  
steve t.
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Velo Orange components for a road bike build

(Posted this morning in the Road Cycling forum, suggested to try here instead.)

Hello folks,

I like the classic look of several Velo Orange components, but quality is primary. Arguments pro/con can be made for any brand and part number bike component, but before I place an order I guess I'm just looking for final yea/nay from those of you who may have personal experience with the parts I'm considering. I don't need the best part that can be found, I want quality parts that will have a good service life and will continue to work well with proper maintenance. I've read up where I can but sometimes product posts inquire about a specific issue or problem, which is natural on a web forum. But sometimes those are "1 in 100" stories, not necessarily shedding light on what might otherwise be a generally good product that experienced an oddball mechanical failure. Not often enough do you see an objective post for a product that is just sharing the good news. (No news is good news?)

Crank- VO Grand Cru 34/48t double Grand Cru 110 Fluted Double Crankset, 34x48t - Cranks - Cranksets - Components (Will likely go with a Shimano UN55 bottom bracket.)

Rear wheel with the hands-free disassembly touring hub, which could be a nice thing but was not a requirement for me- Grand Cru Diagonale Rear Wheel (Touring Hub 135mm, 650b) - 650b - Complete Wheels - Wheels, Rims, Hubs & Accessories - Components

Front wheel- Grand Cru Diagonale Front Wheel (High Flange Hub, 650b) - 650b - Complete Wheels - Wheels, Rims, Hubs & Accessories - Components

Headset- 1" threaded (yep, for a threaded fork) Grand Cru 1" Sealed Bearing Headset - Headsets - Components

Seat post, 0 setback (may not need, may use a 0 setback Thompson that I have on another bike)- Grand Cru 0 Setback Seatpost, 27.2, Silver - Seatposts - Components

Threadless stem adapter- VO Threadless Stem Adaptor - Quill Stems - Stems - Components

The rest of the build will be mainly Shimano Ultegra, their 10-speed generation (with downtube Dura Ace shifters), and likely a Shimano V-brake system. Frame details another time, but it will be a steel frame and fork with cantilever brakes.

Any thoughts and experiences would be helpful, thanks much.

Steve.
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Old 01-24-16, 03:37 PM
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You can't go wrong with what you are planning. All the VO items I've bought have been as described. Good quality at a fair price. The've stayed in business for quite a few years now. That alone speaks about their abilty to provide good components.
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Old 01-24-16, 04:44 PM
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I have only bought small parts from VO and they have always been as good or better than expected.
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Old 01-24-16, 04:53 PM
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Not a huge fan of the VO headsets, especially when you can get a solid Tange for less.
Have bought several cranksets from them and been very satisfied.
Personally prefer the Profile Design adaptor slug but I run them slammed without a spacer.
No experience with their wheelsets but like others have mentioned, all of the other bits and pieces I've bought from them over the years have been very, very nice.
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Old 01-24-16, 05:06 PM
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I have VO Grand Cru headsets on two bikes, one a recent build with no real miles yet. I bought the other one used from another BF member and have ridden it a few hundred miles. I have no complaints. The crown race design makes it easy to install.

I have two VO cranksets, one a drillium Grand Cru compact double on the new unridden build, the other the less expensive compact double crank no longer listed on their website. I've ridden that one quite a bit. It's only real flaw was that the finish on the back side wasn't a pretty as on the exposed side. But of course it was much less expensive. Both cranks were well made. The Grand Cru is a jewel.

I also installed VO road pedals on the new build, and have installed VO BB's on several bikes.

All good, high-quality stuff.
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Old 01-24-16, 05:44 PM
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No idea on the quality of thebhubs, but at those prices, i would expect perfection for years.

Ive seen and used the cru drop bars and loved the bend and shape. It looked quality all around.

I think their components are great looking and overall reviews ive read have been strong.
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Old 01-24-16, 05:57 PM
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I bought lots of stuff from Velo Orange recently. I've been pleased with what I've received, and think it's a pretty safe bet.

Of the components you mention, I did get a set of touring hubs, but I haven't built them up yet. They look nice, and the price is obviously a lot less than Phil cassette hubs. There's some subtle evidence of CNC if you look at them really closely, but overall fit and finish is good. It looks to me like they are the rebranded Gran Compe ENE hubs, btw. The tool-less cassette removal feature seems to me a pretty indispensable for touring. No way I'm going to carry a chain whip.

If it's any indication the threadless stem I got from them has IMO an excellent polished finish, and quality seems comparable to old cinelli or whatever. IIRC it's forged 6061.
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Old 01-24-16, 05:58 PM
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I've bought many VO parts over the years (and recently bought a frame for commuting). To me, you get what you pay for. I've experienced rust in cartridge headsets, failed Dynamo hubs, very soft alu fenders and rims. But I have had far more parts work just fine. That's what you get for the supply chain that VO manages to cultivate.
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Old 01-24-16, 06:11 PM
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My VO experience is limited to their extra-long stainless fenders (A+++ would buy again, in fact I probably will in a couple weeks for city bike build I'm in the final stage of planning out) and their city pedals which were very nice and very light but just too tiny for my big, wide feet.

From the components you're considering, I can see you're no weight weenie. If fenders are on your list, you could do much worse than the ones I linked to. Super strong and look fantastic. The hardware mounting kit is complete and well thought-out.
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Old 01-24-16, 06:28 PM
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i prefer vintage items acquired from bikeforums, co-ops and ebay. they always look better on vintage bikes. fortunately, i know how to polish things to make them look new.
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Old 01-24-16, 06:38 PM
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I just bought a Grand Cru 48-34 crankset and bottom bracket for an Eroica California build.
Rode it this morning for the first time and no complaints.

Quality is excellent, the big ring is modern style 10 speed with pins and shifting is crisp with an old Super Record front derailleur.
For my taste the anodized finish is a little brash, looks like the parts were electro-polished prior to anodize which comes off a little bright.
But, for the price and the Velo-Orange service it's a good deal and will serve well.

I've bought a few bits from them before and was happy with price, parts and service as well.
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Old 01-24-16, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
i prefer vintage items acquired from bikeforums, co-ops and ebay. they always look better on vintage bikes. fortunately, i know how to polish things to make them look new.
Indeed
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Old 01-24-16, 09:33 PM
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My LBS does a lot of VO business*. Everything I've seen there looks great and the shop owner reports excellent reliability and fit. Just no-problem stuff.


*Who knew you could find their frames and parts in stores.
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Old 01-24-16, 09:40 PM
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Okay, thanks for the feedback, folks.

I just climbed back up out of the deep end of the pool. I've ordered the headset, crank, F&R wheels, and a can of Frame Saver from Velo Orange. These, and the other parts I'll be obtaining, are being mounted to a new 57cm VO Polyvalent frame that was on the same order. This frame is on sale right now, $399, regularly $570. This frame is being discontinued and at some point possibly replaced with a similar version, something that can "fit larger tires," read about it here: The Velo ORANGE Blog: Frame News and 30% Off Camargues and Polyvalents I intend to run 42mm tires, which will mount in this frame with fenders, says the product info. The Camargue frame is being discontinued, too, and is also on sale.

Now to order up the rest of the parts. Some will be online, some will be LBS. Buying these big-ticket components along with the frame also saved me 10% on the components. Other smaller, lower cost VO parts can be sourced at some local shops.

Those stainless steel fenders mentioned above would be sweet, but they are only sized by VO for 700c bikes. But I may shop around for something like those.

At some point down the road I'll post a photo or two. It's mid-winter in my Minnesota so I'll have plenty of time to savor this project. This is going to be fun. I haven't built up a fresh bicycle since my bike shop days of over 20 years ago.

Thanks again,
Steve.
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Old 01-24-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
i prefer vintage items acquired from bikeforums, co-ops and ebay. they always look better on vintage bikes. fortunately, i know how to polish things to make them look new.
My thoughts exactly, I know VO sells great stuff, but I have little reason to buy any of it.
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Old 01-25-16, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
I know VO sells great stuff, but I have little reason to buy any of it.
It all depends on the project. When I started the Grandis build from a bare frame and fork I had few components, certainly not the big stuff like crankset. In fact, I have two unused cranksets, one a triple, which would have worked but nothing worthy of the frame's aesthetics. I could have started a long ebay or CL search but none of the usual suspects would have provided the right combination of aesthetics and compact double gearing. The VO Grand Cru was the ideal solution, not one I would have put on most of my other bikes though.

Expensive, yes. But it gives me the preferred gearing, modern rings, great styling that looks retro without trying to hide its identity or be repro. Extravagant, yes. But then, building up and owning that bike at all is extravagant, and not all that extravagant compared to what other things people spend money on.
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Old 01-25-16, 07:04 AM
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put a new vo crank on a friend's c&v bike recently and noticed right off it looked a lot better without the dust caps.

looked kinda silly, gaudy with them.

on vintage cranks, i always like them in there.
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Old 01-09-22, 08:46 PM
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I'm going back and forth over a new Drillium set for an older ti build I had professionally polished and it's a mirror now. I can't get the vision of how a shiny VO drilled crankset would look on it. My only concern is that I'm replacing an Ultegra triple 52-42-30 with a 48-34 double and don't think the 11-25 nine speed cassette is going to be a good match. I have an Ultegra RD6500 handling shifting duties and know it can accomodate a few larger cogs but just not sure how much larger.
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Old 01-09-22, 09:02 PM
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Did you say VO, drilled, 48/34?
here is what it looks like.
no idea if it works with your front derailleur, my gears are friction. Is your BB
square taper spindle?

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Old 01-16-22, 06:39 PM
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I'm using downtube shifters so the three speed front derailleur would probably be fine. Or I could change it since they're plentiful on ebay. The shimano octalink bottom bracket has been pulled and will be replaced with a square taper. Just haven't decided what to replace it with yet. I like the look of the drilled double but it'll mean switching cassettes so as not to lose climbing gears and that will require another derailleur. I may go with the VO triple instead. It's the winter project so in no hurry to decide.
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