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The Velo-Orange Parts Review Thread

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The Velo-Orange Parts Review Thread

Old 07-14-11, 12:07 PM
  #176  
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I am not a fan of the metal clip that holds the rear fenders up on the brake bridge. I like that it's thin and low profile, but it's difficult for me to bend it so it holds the fender tightly, which makes the fenders rattle much more when I ride. Instead, I took the black snap-on plastic clip from an old set of planet bike fenders and it holds the fender without any excess rattling.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:12 PM
  #177  
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^ I quit using those sleeves and use L-brackets now. They look much better.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:17 PM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
^ I quit using those sleeves and use L-brackets now. They look much better.
I'll probably do this in the future. I just didn't want to drill anything I didn't have to.
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Old 07-19-11, 04:15 PM
  #179  
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I'm going to have to definitely recommend against the VO saddles. The break in on the brooks' I've owned always went from comfortable to more comfortable. Out of the box, the VO feels somewhat like an old plastic bmx saddle. I was going to wait to break it in more before deciding on it's ultimate quality, but after disassembling and reassembling the springs in order to grease them (the saddle was very loud and creaky before doing this) I noticed that there is a tear in the leather at one of the rivets up front. I'm not sure if this was there from day one, or if it formed over the 3 weeks of daily use that I've subjected the saddle to, but either way it doesn't reflect positively on the thing.
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Old 07-19-11, 04:25 PM
  #180  
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I should say though, that I really like their Montmatre handlebars (both as bullhorns and as intended) and also that the threadless bottom bracket saved me from having to discard my favorite frame (which was damaged by the previous owner).
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Old 07-19-11, 05:45 PM
  #181  
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I used to have a very similar stand. It's simple and cheap. But like a previous poster said - you can't trust it and your bike will eventually go down. Basically the bike is easily knocked off the stand.
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Old 07-19-11, 06:04 PM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by Omiak View Post
I'm going to have to definitely recommend against the VO saddles. The break in on the brooks' I've owned always went from comfortable to more comfortable. Out of the box, the VO feels somewhat like an old plastic bmx saddle. I was going to wait to break it in more before deciding on it's ultimate quality, but after disassembling and reassembling the springs in order to grease them (the saddle was very loud and creaky before doing this) I noticed that there is a tear in the leather at one of the rivets up front. I'm not sure if this was there from day one, or if it formed over the 3 weeks of daily use that I've subjected the saddle to, but either way it doesn't reflect positively on the thing.
i have 3 model 8s. they are great. however, they do squeak.

what you need to do is get a small piece of leather and stick it in the bottom between the 2 large metal pieces. you may need to loosen the saddle's allen bolt first to give yourself some room to pop it in.
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Old 07-19-11, 06:35 PM
  #183  
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You have to modify a new, expensive item? I'll steer clear of this product.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:17 PM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I have the Porteur bars, and the dia compe inverse levers they sell. Super happy with the combo, they look and perform great together:


Nice handlebars/reverse levers/handgrips. I've got a similar project going but I've decided to wrap most of my albatross bars with bartape as I can picture myself putting my hands in the curved parts. I'll be doing the brake cables the same way.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:54 PM
  #185  
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I'd say that over the past few years I've been pretty pleased with all the purchases from VO that I've mounted on my '72 Gitane TdF. I've only had one item shipped that was wrong (Rear Constructeur rack), and that turned out to be an item for the same price I was going to order anyway. While VO offered to correct the order, I just decided to hang onto the rear rack and order the front rack later.

Here's the list I've used on my TdF so far:

Honjo 35mm hammered fenders (gorgeous, but best thought of as a project not a direct-fit product)
Japanese bell on a retro mount (one of my favorite additions)
Randonneur rack, undrilled (see fenders above -- this took some ingenuity to get the proper line, but the effort was well worth it)
Constructeur rear rack (no fitment issues, and looks great)
Constructeur rollers (my absolute favorite item so far)
Grand Cru French thread BB (I ordered the wrong size to mate with a Campy ISO triple crankset at first, but got it right on the second try)
VO rack to light bracket (looks flimsy at first, but is surprisingly stiff)
Stem mount decaleur (another assembly required product -- the design works fine, with nice finish, but my TdF's troll-like geometry required me to shorten the length of the arms to get the bag back some)
VO Campagne front bag (Probably the one feature that gets the most attention on the current build -- I later did some customization on the bag to stiffen up the bottom, mostly for cosmetic reasons)

I've currently got a VO Croissant bag on order -- to haul around my basic toolkit, and for times when the Campagne bag is overkill. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in person.

In all, I'd say I'm a happy VO customer, and they'll continue to get my business in the future. I've got a Maury 650b randonneuse copy I'm itching to build soon, so next orders on my list will be hubs, rims, cranks, racks, & fenders for the project.
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Old 07-19-11, 08:49 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by lutemake3 View Post
I'd say that over the past few years I've been pretty pleased with all the purchases from VO that I've mounted on my '72 Gitane TdF.

. . .

Grand Cru French thread BB (I ordered the wrong size to mate with a Campy ISO triple crankset at first, but got it right on the second try)

As I have two '71 Gitane bikes, what WAS/IS the right size to mate with a Campy ISO triple?

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-11, 09:06 PM
  #187  
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LeicaLad,

On my '72 Gitane TdF, I started out with a VO 107mm BB...it was much too wide for my 10 speed Campy Veloce triple crankset. VO's smallest French BB (the 103mm) was just about perfect, so that's what I kept on the bike.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:54 AM
  #188  
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Wow! That's confusing. The TdF came with Stronglight 93, which has the Stronglight BB & spindle that is 118mm. On my '71 Super Corsa, the Campy NR crank has the Campy BB and spindle that is 114mm. These are for doubles.

The Stronglight BB for a triple had either a 123mm or 125mm spindle, depending on period.

I'll be off to collect my TdF out of storage next week, and will be doing a major overhaul that's looong overdue. I have several bottom brackets in hand, BUT none of them are anywhere near as small as what you've used.

Hmmm. May have to take this to the wrenching thread. . . Any others have experience here?
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1984 Tom Ritchey Team Competition (NOS show bike)
(replacing the stolen 1981 Tom Ritchey Everest custom)
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Old 07-21-11, 11:21 AM
  #189  
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I've been a fan of VO for several years now, and without them my favorite bike wouldn't be anything like it is! I've purchased a lot of parts by other manufacturers from them, but I've also used some VO products quite a bit as well.

I equipped my Univega with the fillet brazed, chrome plates steel constructeur racks (which they no longer carry). This was before they pre-drilled their racks, so needless to say installation was...intense. But in the end it was well worth it, because they look great, are amazingly strong, and are custom fit to my particular bike. All I really need on this bike would be a small front rack like the Nitto, but since these fit perfectly they sit low, right on the fenders. I never liked the way the Nitto sits a good inch higher than it needs to on many bikes. I originally bought these over the stainless versions because they were cheaper, but I also like the smooth, plated fillets as opposed to welds. Not that I hate welds or anything, I just like these better.



My Long Haul Trucker utilizes several VO products, and I have no complaints about any of them. I bought a VO 1.125 threadless headset shortly after they began offering it. I can't remember if this was a Grand Cru model, but I want to say it wasn't because I don't remember it being very expensive. Regardless, in several years of commuting in every kind of weather imaginable, I would swear it was brand new if I didn't know better. The same could be said for the threadless VO stem. (Of course, how much could a stem really wear in that time?) The same bike also has a Grand Cru bottom bracket, which is still silky smooth and play-free, which I would hope would be the case with any modern bottom bracket.

I've also purchased the Belleville handlebars and a Model 1 saddle, but I haven't used them nearly enough yet to comment on them, other than to say I think they both look nice for the price. The saddle seems a tad crude in construction compared to a Brooks, and it seems like it will take far longer to break in, but I really do like the shape and the color and feel of the leather. Plus I got it on sale so it was a good $20 cheaper than even a B-17, let alone a Brooks Pro, which I'm assuming it is modeled after. I rode it only a few miles, and while it was rock hard, after a few minutes I no longer even noticed it. My brother had an early, unpolished set of VO fenders on his commuter. They were good and functioned well, but he later bought some Honjos and likes them better. Of course, they costs three times as much as those VOs, too.

As far as customer service, I can't really comment. I've never had any need to contact VO, and my parts have always shipped promptly, so I've been happy. One thing I would like to see from them though: A frame like their Rando frame, but with clearance for 42mm 650b tires, vertical dropouts, and those upper-mid fork eyelets for their Rando rack. I like their Rando frame, but it only comes in 700c and with far too little tire clearance, and I like the Polyvalent but it seems mostly designed to be a city bike with backward swept handlebars. Looking at the specs of the Poly, I'd have to get the 54cm frame to get the top tube length I want, and on that size the top tube would be a good two inches lower than my Univega, which would require me to raise the stem to odd-looking heights. The 57cm's top tube is considerably longer than I want, though, so that's out as well. I need a 55-56cm frame with a short top tube. So for now I can't consider either of their frames, although I really like them for the most part.
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Old 07-23-11, 06:23 PM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad View Post
Wow! That's confusing. The TdF came with Stronglight 93, which has the Stronglight BB & spindle that is 118mm. On my '71 Super Corsa, the Campy NR crank has the Campy BB and spindle that is 114mm. These are for doubles.

The Stronglight BB for a triple had either a 123mm or 125mm spindle, depending on period.

I'll be off to collect my TdF out of storage next week, and will be doing a major overhaul that's looong overdue. I have several bottom brackets in hand, BUT none of them are anywhere near as small as what you've used.

Hmmm. May have to take this to the wrenching thread. . . Any others have experience here?
Yep, confused the heck outta me too...did lots of research before trying to make decision on how to mount ISO cranks on a JIS bottom bracket. I even tried the 118mm Stronglight (ISO) spindle from my Stronglight 93 crankset. It was like riding a horse, and had a terrible chain line. After I sprung for the VO 107mm and it was still much too wide, I just punted and tried the VO 103mm.

IIRC, the 10sp Campy Veloce triple is ISO, and the Veloce 115mm BB is only necessary on a bike wiith oversize seat tubes. From what I've read, you're supposed to be able to use the new-ish triple cranks with the Veloce 111mm bottom bracket on a bike with standard tubes (I've no practical experience doing so, though)
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Old 07-23-11, 07:10 PM
  #191  
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Yes, it turns out that it has to do with the Veloce crank, a critter I know nothing about.

I had to go to the GitaneUSA site to have Chas (once again) give me the basics. I'm used to "true C&V", meaning if you're dealing with an early '70s Gitane, you're also using a crankset from that period. Thus, the wider spindles.

Anything newer than, say, 1985, and I'm on thin ice!

Yet another reason to be grateful to Velo Orange (thus bringing us back to topic) for having these otherwise-impossible-to-find bits & pieces for us.

I remain a fan.

And thanks for the learning lesson this little digression has offered!

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Old 07-25-11, 09:02 AM
  #192  
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Just picked up the VO half-clips... they look nice, fit.
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Old 08-10-11, 07:10 AM
  #193  
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Replaced my heat treated Noodles with VO rando bars after a crash bent the heck out of my bars. I just couldn't see spending $100 on those bars again. The VO bars are nice. 1st ride, very comfortable. Glad they were out there in my size, 48cm. I'll be getting a second pair if my first long distance ride is comfortable.

-had to edit post: thought bars were off in diameter, but after I cranked with my socket set the old superbe levers took hold.

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Old 08-10-11, 07:54 AM
  #194  
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dunno where you're shopping but Nitto Noodles shouldn't cost you $100. they typically sell for $45-55 online and $60 in shops (here in NYC).
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Old 08-10-11, 08:16 AM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
dunno where you're shopping but Nitto Noodles shouldn't cost you $100. they typically sell for $45-55 online and $60 in shops (here in NYC).
Not for the 46 or 48cm heat-treated ones: http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...t-treated.html
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Old 08-10-11, 08:17 AM
  #196  
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Recently I needed a bunch of small parts like fender stays, draw bolts, R-clips, etc, to reconfigure some bikes. It's nice that VO sells these separately from their complete fender kits, and at reasonable prices.
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Old 08-12-11, 01:07 PM
  #197  
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I have VO Porteur bars on my grocery bike. Excellent handlebars, maybe the most comfortable ever, nice quality/finish just not too great for long climbs where you need to stand up on the pedals.

Had a VO Belleville bar at one point. It was a little too narrow for me but the quality and finsh was very good. Put it on a bike I built up for a friend's daughter.

VO Chainguard on the grocery bike is great as well; installs fairly easily, looks great and it actually keeps your pants clean.

Just moved a VO 48-34 crankset, the mirror finished one they had on sale a while back, from the grocery bike to a new Soma San Marcos frame. Its nice but the chainrings aren't ramped, the small ring is slightly warped (doesn't lie flat on a flat surface) and the big ring's chain catcher pin is too long to fit under the crank where it should. Basically, it looks pretty and works fine but if you're picky...

I've also been riding a VO Model 5 Flyer clone saddle. Break in was a bit longer than for a Brooks but felt pretty good out of the box. I recently cut a Brooks Imperial-style channel in the top and now its AMAZING. But one of the nuts that holds the spring assembly to the saddle frame fell off on a ride. Easy enough to fix when I got home with a lock nut and a washer.

Just picked up a VO stem adapter so I could keep my flat-top road bars on the new San Marcos. The stem adapter is the best looking stem adapter I've seen.

Lastly, I just sold a frame on which I put a honey VO deer skin chainstay protector. It looked great initially faded very quickly and very badly even though I used proofide on it. However, the black one I put on my wife's bike still looks good.

Last edited by soma2x; 08-12-11 at 01:11 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 08-12-11, 08:45 PM
  #198  
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Velo-ORANGE has lots of nice interesting stuff but... 2 criticisms:

Their French thread headset has a stack height of 41mm. The large majority of reasonable quality bikes with metric headsets that were imported into the US came with Stronglight P3 headsets with a 33mm stack height!
Those are the bikes most in need of replacement headsets.

There are still plenty of replacement Campy, Stronglight S5 Super Competition, Zeus, and other makes of metric thread headsets available for the pro level bikes that used 39mm - 42mm stack height headsets.

Secondly, I bought a Velo-ORANGE metric bottom bracket that had been lightly used. The person I bought it from wasn't very bike savvy and when they removed it the fixed cup came off of the cartridge. They switched sides on the cups.

I've messed with BB cartridges since the early Phil Wood units back in the mid 1970s.

I removed the fixed cup from the wrong side and was surprised to see how cheaply the cartridge was made. It consists of 2 ball bearings with outward facing seals pressed onto the spindle with a very thin aluminum tube that fits inside the aluminum cups, and flush with the bearings!

It acts more like a dust shield than an integral part of the cartridge. The aluminum cups slide over the bearings and the ends of the sleeve holding it in place.

Notice how thin the aluminum cups are and the thin plastic sleeve at the bottom which holds the cup in place. This construction makes for a very light BB but I'm not so sure how robust it will be under a heavy load.

Very cheaply made!





Compare the Velo-ORANGE cartridge with a standard construction cartridge with a steel center shown below.





I saw some French threaded cups to fit IRD cartridge BBs listed on eBay. I used an IRD cartridge BB a few years ago and it seemed to be on a par with the better quality Shimano cartridges.

Follow up...

To give Velo-ORANGE the benefit of the doubt, so far I haven't seen any reports of failures on their BBs.

I suspect that the Velo-ORANGE bottom brackets are made by IRD (or Tange who makes them for IRD). The IRD QB-75 has alloy cups and "body" with an average weight of 235g.

The IRD bottom bracket that I installed several years ago was the less expensive QB-55 model with steel cups. I weigh ~225 Lbs. so I wouldn't feel comfortable on the all alloy BB if it were in a bike that I planned to ride a lot, especially with lots of out of saddle hill climbing.

Chas. verktyg
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Old 11-07-11, 02:20 PM
  #199  
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anyone try these out? vo fender mounts
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Old 12-08-11, 12:23 PM
  #200  
cloudhead
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Location: San Jose, CA
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Bikes: 1985 Trek 720, 2011 custom Dale Saso, 1971 Raleigh Super Course

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I just got the VO Touring Pedals after learning I can no longer ride with cleats or clips due to a knee injury. I was looking for something with a strong grip, double-sided and can handle a wide foot, and they do the trick. Extremely light too, with a lathed-down spindle. The removable pegs at the edge of the pedals provides a wicked grip. But the grip comes at a price...they will do a number to a shoe's sole. 20 miles of riding and there's a pit where a piece of sole rubber used to be. However I think I'll keep using them--I like their feel, the weight and the chunky appearance is nice-looking on a modern bike. I will most likely designate a pair or 2 of shoes to these pedals and replenish the soles with Shoe Goo from time to time.
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