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VO getting a little bit "touchy"

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VO getting a little bit "touchy"

Old 04-22-10, 03:21 PM
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VO getting a little bit "touchy"

from a reply from a comment on the new VO cranks form Chris K. on the VO blog:

The Grand Cru cranks are not the same as Electra's cranks. They are made in a different factory to a different design. GC cranks are made for serious cyclists and are of the highest possible quality. They are not just stylized "cruiser cranks".

I have seen the Electra stuff close up, while it is derived from historical parts, so are other importers/marketers/specifiers too. I would not call it "cruiser".
Electra does have a seat crank relationship that they continue beyond their cruiser line, but for around town bikes may not be a bad idea. Not my taste.

Couple this with a few other comments on this forum from the VO bunch, maybe they are getting a bit touchy that others have found a parallel market?
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Old 04-22-10, 03:32 PM
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Jan Heine's latest review in Bicycle Quarterly had similar reviews for Electra's components. Low quality, not up to snuff.

That said, you can't blame VO for trying to make their products distinct in the market.

-Kurt
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Old 04-22-10, 03:42 PM
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Sounds like he was answering a question?

I agree that some of Tom's posts here in C&V have been less than politic, but I doubt it's impacted VO's bottom line all that much.
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Old 04-22-10, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Jan Heine's latest review in Bicycle Quarterly had similar reviews for Electra's components. Low quality, not up to snuff.

That said, you can't blame VO for trying to make their products distinct in the market.

-Kurt
And you believe Jan Heine? A one man band bicycle writer / publisher (and part importer/specifier) who thinks that bicycle design had its zenith in France in the late 40's and early 50's?
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Old 04-22-10, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
And you believe Jan Heine? A one man band bicycle writer / publisher (and part importer/specifier) who thinks that bicycle design had its zenith in France in the late 40's and early 50's?
No, I don't, I think he's full of hot air 99% of the time. Grant Peterson of the C&V world.

Nevertheless, I'm inclined to believe him in regards to the Electra crankset. It doesn't look that spectacular, neither in finish, execution, or hardware.

-Kurt
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Old 04-22-10, 03:50 PM
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You guys are referring to the Ticino line of products from Electra right?

Hubs are pretty damn expensive.
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Old 04-22-10, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
No, I don't, I think he's full of hot air 99% of the time. Grant Peterson of the C&V world.

Nevertheless, I'm inclined to believe him in regards to the Electra crankset. It doesn't look that spectacular, neither in finish, execution, or hardware.

-Kurt
You have held one in your hands yet?
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Old 04-22-10, 04:15 PM
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I would be a little touchy too if my product was compared to the Electra components. I have seen those up close, and they are not up to VO standards.
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Old 04-22-10, 04:18 PM
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which crank is he talking about? I don't see a Grand Cru crankset on their page.
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Old 04-22-10, 04:20 PM
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Got to go to their blog pages
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Old 04-22-10, 04:21 PM
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it is a recent blog entry
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Old 04-22-10, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
which crank is he talking about? I don't see a Grand Cru crankset on their page.

Here:

https://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2010...cru-crank.html

To be delivered in the "future". Stronglight 49D copy with hideous VO branding on the rings of unknown origin and unknown weight and material. MSPR: $175
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Old 04-22-10, 04:39 PM
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This thread should never have seen the light of day. It promises to make the carbon fork thread seem enlightened.
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Old 04-22-10, 04:47 PM
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hee hee.

Incidentally, I kinda like 'em. I think I'd like them better if they had etched "VO" on the oval, instead of the decals he was talking about doing (if anything at all - I'd rather have them just have straight piping and maybe a VO on the rings). As far as the electra cranks, I don't even see where you can buy them separately on the Electra website, but either way, Chris seems to know what he's doing as far as quality. For big purchases, like cranks, etc, he's one of two or three websites that I trust to have quality stuff.
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Old 04-22-10, 04:54 PM
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I don't have any opinion on whether or not VO is "touchy," but their graphics are hideous atmo and that has kept me from buying things from them that I otherwise would have.
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Old 04-22-10, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dr. spectrum
I don't have any opinion on whether or not VO is "touchy," but their graphics are hideous atmo and that has kept me from buying things from them that I otherwise would have.
Use Goof Off.

-Kurt
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Old 04-22-10, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
You have held one in your hands yet?
Thanks for the interrogation.

-Kurt
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Old 04-22-10, 05:34 PM
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I just purchased one of the Ticino hubsets and built it into some wheels. The rear hub was on the heavy side, but it is high flange - I think they wanted to insure against the sheriff's star "death hub" stuff. Although time will tell for durability, they seemed very high quality in manufacture beyond a few nits I had.

If you want to see some close up pics of the hubs:

https://nihonmaru.blogspot.com/2010/0...s-on-road.html

I've got about 100 miles on this wheelset this week, no complaints. My impression is that Electra is moving a little upmarket from the wacky cruiser stuff and is testing the water with a few components to see if anyone bites. Hubs are a good place to try this - reallly, pretty simple object, especially with cartridge bearings, just make a lightweight durable body w/a strong axle.

VO seems a little hacked off because Electra has imitated their products and sold them to a broader market. However, a lot of people, and in fairness to VO, they allow this stuff in their blog comments, point out that by some interpretations that this has been a common activity at VO, taking "inspiration" from contemporaries like Berthoud, Honjo, etc, as well as the legendary Constructeurs, and cutting production costs and employing better marketing. Sauce for the goose and gander.

As for the graphics and fueling the VO vs. Electra flame, the Electra logo is roll-stamped on the hub, something basically nobody does anymore - they all laser etch like VO. But the roll stamped stuff is just like the good old days engraving.

Anyhow, IMO, the whole francophilic randonneur look is at its peak now. I just sold my original VO (hand-brazed in Japan) front rack on Ebay for substantially more than I paid for it. I figured now would be a good time while they are out of stock at VO while they (imo) are probably figuring out how to get them made much more cheaply in Taiwan.
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Old 04-22-10, 05:50 PM
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Ya know, as far as I'm concerned, if I was given an old French rando bike, like a Herse or Singer, I'd probably wet myself, but I'm not worried about spending bunches and bunches of cash to make my Fuji look like a French bike. It's not. Likewise, while I'll probably end up building my Raleigh Pro into an English/Italian hybrid as far as styling goes (Campy components, big honkin' saddlebag, leather bar tape, etc), I'm not too concerned about going for a "look." YMMV.
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Old 04-22-10, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by robatsu
this has been a common activity at VO, taking "inspiration" from contemporaries like Berthoud, Honjo, etc, as well as the legendary Constructeurs, and cutting production costs and employing better marketing. Sauce for the goose and gander.
This particular crank is not a matter of inspiration... It is a matter of blatant copying and if there were coryright on the Stronglight 49D, VO would have been under some hot water.

The VO crank:






Stronglight 49D:





Draw your own conclusions whether that is "inspiration" or simple copy...
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Old 04-22-10, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
Draw your own conclusions whether that is "inspiration" or simple copy...
That is why I put inspiration in quotation marks.
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Old 04-22-10, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
This particular crank is not a matter of inspiration... It is a matter of blatant copying and if there were coryright on the Stronglight 49D, VO would have been under some hot water.

Was the Stronglight 49 D first or was that just a copy of another crank. Bike companies have been "borrowing" others designs since the first bike. The 50.4mm BCD 5 pin crankset has been around for decades and was copied by many companies. Similiar 50.4mm cranks include: TA Cyclotouriste, TA Criterium, Stronglight 49D, Nervar 631/633, Magistroni (cottered), Lambert, Sugino Pro Dynamic, Sugino PX, and the Shimano Deore FC-DE20/21/30/31. All used the similar 50.4mm arm to ring attachment and some had different ways to attach the other rings to each other. Most of the rings can be interchanged between different brands as well. Both the VO and Electra design can use original TA and Stronglight rings if one chooses.

TA or Stronglight isn't making them now so I have no problem with someone else doing it. TA still makes the rings for them, but not the cranks. They did a anniversary run and weren't a set of arms only a few hundred bucks! The Electra hubs were made thicker at the flanges because of the original's exploding flanges.
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Old 04-22-10, 09:30 PM
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That VO crank is a bargain at that price. They've also improved on the originals by making additional space between the arm and the rings so that modern derailers with shaped cages can be used.

Some people just don't get it and never will.

Exploding flanges?

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Old 04-22-10, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois

Exploding flanges?

Must have been mounted on a Japanese bike.
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Old 04-23-10, 02:58 AM
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a copy is a copy is a copy, no high ground here..
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