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The Velo-Orange Parts Review Thread

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The Velo-Orange Parts Review Thread

Old 03-02-11, 07:04 AM
  #1  
trueno92
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The Velo-Orange Parts Review Thread

I figured a few of us here have looked at and even purchased a few velo-orange items. Why not have a searchable thread for us to reference?

I recently picked up a set of the Fluted 48mm fenders and will def post up a review/install as soon as they come in! I have read nothing but great things about their stuff (unless u guys can pipe up and suggest otherwise)

slowly building up (read: accessorizing) a randonneur, velo-orange inspired tourer machine.... be it only classy-fenders, for now..
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Old 03-02-11, 07:08 AM
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I have the Moderniste bottle cage. Aesthetically it is great. I've yet to test it on a ride with a bottle. The construction looks good though. With something that looks the way it does, one has to expect some drawbacks with function. But the looks far outweigh those drawbacks.
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Old 03-02-11, 07:25 AM
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Velo-Orange Roller Bearing Headsets

The short of it is:

Pros:
Works like a headset should.
Cost 1/3 of a current production Campagnolo Record with a very similar stack height, weight only 4g heavier.
Roller bearings!

Cons:
Not quite as polished as the Record HS.
Black plastic piece on top of lock nut (will have to look to see if this can be removed, appears to be a seal or something)

For the price, I'd certainly buy more.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:40 AM
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Fenders:

Moderately difficult to install. But only moderately.

Beautiful, strong, silent, and functional.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:57 AM
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I have 17 degree stem and some other one. Love it. Love it. 17 degree stems are hard to find and if you do find one in your length and price..good luck.
I'm about to order 2, yes 2 French bottom brackets. I know, I thought I'd only live long enough to really want to work on French bikes but now I have 2!
Oh, I also have their porteur bar. Wow, love it love it. Actually gonna get another one for said French bike. Yikes, darn French.
...wishlist......porteur rack. wow, work of art.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:28 AM
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Ah, great idea for a thread, since so many C&Vers look to VO for parts and accessories.

Below are things I've personally bought and used by VO, categorized by yay or nay:

Yay:
  • 37mm polished aluminum fenders: great finish and quality, all the necessary hardware, great price
  • 54mm zeppelin fenders: great finish and quality, all the necessary hardware, great price
  • Bottle cages: classic, retro, moderniste: I've used them all, and I like them all: lightweight, great finish, decent price
  • Toe clips: every bit as nice as MKS, at less cost
  • Toe clip straps: their leather ones are very nice at a reasonable price
  • Porteur rack: excellent design, pretty, and well built and sturdy. Difficult to install, but that's to be expected. Good overall finish. Price is reasonable when you consider what custom-made would cost.
  • Passhunter rack: copy of the Nitto M12, well built and sturdy. Finish is not as nice as Nitto's, with thick globular brazed junctions. However, for the price, it's acceptable.
  • Headset bell mount: nice little bracket to mount a bell without using an ugly clamp. Excellent stainless finish.
  • Porteur bars: excellent copy of the classic French porteur bars, and inexpensive. Seem sturdy for non-hardened aluminum, and the finish is good.

Nay:
  • Porteur double kickstand: it's heavy, it wobbles, and mine fell apart after just a couple of months. It wasn't expensive, but still a waste of money.
  • Fork-mounted decaleur receiver: incompatible with many threaded steerer tubes, as it requires an extra spacer otherwise it interferes with the brake hanger. If you don't have a lot of stack height, you're out of luck.
  • Headlight bracket: it wobbles if you have a heavy headlight, such as my Cateye HL-EL540 which takes four AA batteries.
  • Front wheel stabilizer: if your fender comes right up to the within a couple of mm of the fork crown, the mounting bracket will hit the fender.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:46 AM
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- rackaleur, front bag mount: it seems well made and does its job
- leather perf'ed bar tape - love it! it's only $39 right now! Normally $55.
- VO deep half clips - well made, work well for me.
- 48 fluted aluminum fenders - i havent installed these yet, but i stole some of the hardware for another install. The allen bolts are cheap, and two have broken on me. I'll still recommend the fender itself.

- Vo champagne handlebar bag/Criossant Saddle bag: these bags are good, there arent a lot of other options in that price point that have the look of the old TA stuff. I'll recommend them for that, but the quality definitely isnt the same as the old TA stuff. I'm not sure they'll stand up to years of abuse. I've had mine for maybe 2 years though, of mild use and they're doing ok. I've had the Ostrich stuff they sell too, and it looks different, but I'll venture to say it's a little better made.
- vo moderniste bottle cage - good stuff, and pretty.
- vo retro bottle cages - my favorite cages to use, love em.
- vo handlebar cage mount - well made, but they hold the bottles too high.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:53 AM
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I have used two of the cheap alloy headsets for a few years now. No complaints.

The retro bottle cage is holding my handlebar bottle more securely than other options I've tried.

Just used the Grand Cru seat post for a month or so, but it was easy to adjust and the polish is very nice.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:28 AM
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I've been using a Montmartre Handlebar, Elkhide Wrap and Inverted brake levers for a few years now on this bike. Works just fine, holds up well to all sorts of abuse.



I just installed some fluted fenders 2 weeks ago and have been enjoying them problem free since. I didn't find them any harder than SKS fenders to install.

I'm a big fan of the Elkhide wrap. Its durable and looks great and feels really nice in hand, and when it starts to wear in the color changes and darkens very nicely.
I had a set of the VO Jockey Wheels and couldn't get them to fit on any number of Suntour Derailleurs...I dont know what derailleurs they were made for but they didn't fit those.
The Grand Cru Roller wire hangers are really awesome looking and are a total PITA to install, but are worth it for the look.

They've got some nice products and IME they deliver stuff quickly and respond sensibly to customer service problems.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:32 AM
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52mm Zep fenders: got 'em on two bikes, 650b and 700c, love 'em. No harder to install than Honjos, and WAAAAAY less expensive. I recommend getting an extra pair of drawbolts and attaching the stays to the fenders with two drawbolts (ala Honjo) instead of one. Much more rigid and sturdy.

Tall-stack stem: been using one on my Kog P/R since they first came out. Functionally, hey, it's a stem. Aesthetically, I love the "no spacers" look. Works great with my Nitto B115 bar and 25.4 VO spacers

Decaleur (old style, 1/4" stainless, fork mount): been using it for a few years, no complaints, except that it tends to slip a bit with a threadless hs. Does seem to be pretty overbuilt.

TA-style chainring bolts: work fine w/TA rings, nicely finished, probably heavier than TA's.

Spanninga Micro FF led headlight: better than any halogen I've used, adequate for around town, but not for more "serious" (ie, rando) night riding. Nice standlight.

Spanninga Pixeo fender mount taillight: Bright, good standlight, a pain in the @$$ to wire.

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Old 03-02-11, 10:33 AM
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I have the fenders (48 fluted) and so far am very happy with the results. I also got some cables and a cable stop (headset) from them and am equally pleased.

Has anyone used "Chris's Rando bar"? It's on my to buy list
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Old 03-02-11, 11:10 AM
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thanks for starting this thread!

Southpawboston- I'm not going to quibble with you: the TIG welds on our stainless racks are not as pretty as the fillet brazed joints on cromoly Nitto racks. It should be pointed out that you are comparing different materials and processes with racks that *should be* at different prices (whether or not retailers are doing that is a different story entirely). The Nitto racks cost much more (to us) which is one of the reasons we moved our racks from Japan to Taiwan, in addition to a upgrade in material. We are working with our TIG welders to get a cleaner joint, among other improvements.
 
Old 03-02-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by velo-orange View Post
thanks for starting this thread!

Southpawboston- I'm not going to quibble with you: the TIG welds on our stainless racks are not as pretty as the fillet brazed joints on cromoly Nitto racks. It should be pointed out that you are comparing different materials and processes with racks that *should be* at different prices (whether or not retailers are doing that is a different story entirely). The Nitto racks cost much more (to us) which is one of the reasons we moved our racks from Japan to Taiwan, in addition to a upgrade in material. We are working with our TIG welders to get a cleaner joint, among other improvements.
VO Tom, sure I understand that... and out of fairness, that's why I qualified my comment with:

However, for the price, it's acceptable.
One suggestion I'd like to make is that you flesh out some of your product descriptions more thoroughly. Often times, I'm left wondering about a product technical detail and have to either make a guess or give you guys a call. For example, if I had known that your fork-mount decaleur receiver requires a spacer, else it interferes with the brake hanger (I tried it with three different brake hangers, two of which were purchased from VO), I would have opted for the stem-mount version since I don't have the extra stack height on my threaded steerer to accommodate both the mount and an extra spacer (your staff was kind enough to allow me to do an even exchange of the fork-mount for the stem-mount, and that's appreciated!).

You know, it's the little technical tidbits and caveats that would help buyers choose stuff more confidently. You probably know that a good percentage of your customer base are technically savvy and won't get lost in the technical details. You've done a wonderful job updating the photos of your products recently, and seeing a similar upgrade in the product descriptions would improve your web-front even more.
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Old 03-02-11, 01:07 PM
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I have purchased, installed and used a good deal of products from Velo Orange. I have sent them numerous emails over the last year or so and have always received a prompt response. I am pleased with their customer service.
  • Bottom brackets: English, French and Italian. They're not Phil or SKF. They are perfectly functioning units at a great price. I have not put a great deal of miles on any of them, but I have no reason to believe they won't hold up to any similar BB unit.
  • Brakes: I'd like to try the Grand Cru calipers. I have the Grand Cru cantilevers and they are beautiful and easy to set up and fine tune. You get a lot for the money.
  • Adjustable Cantilever Brake Pads: If they'll fit with your brake/wheel combination you will love them. They are a blessing to a bike with Mafac Racers and <20mm wide rims. The pads are replaceable.
  • Brake Levers: So glad they sell the Dia Compe Gran Compe non-aero levers. They're great.
  • Cranks: I used and loved the Grand Cru 50.4 crankset. Super-nice crankset. Too bad that I goofed and bought 175mm. I've replaced that with the chrome plated VO Compact Double (couldn't resist the price). I've not yet used it, but the finish looks nice. The back of the arms are not chrome plated. For the price, I'm not complaining.
  • Handlebars: They offer handlebar bends you can't find elsewhere. I've used and like the porteur bar. I recently purchased the 42cm Course bar and it's nice. As a fan of the Nitto Noodle, I can tell I'm going to like it. The engraved crest and sleeveless design is nice.
  • Handlebar wraps: If you've considered the sew-on elkhide stuff, get off the fence. I got the hang of the baseball stitch by the second installation. It's a great product and the comfort is the best of any wrap I've used. The seamless, perforated leather wrap is as nice as Brooks and the fact that it is seamless puts it ahead in my book. I'm also a fan of the black, faux cork grips.
  • Headsets: I've used the less expensive (JIS and French) headsets and, for the money, they're a fine headset. The Grand Cru sealed bearing unit is a cut above. It's the smoothest headset I've ever felt.
  • Clips & Straps: Show me toe straps as nice as the new Grand Cru leather straps. I'm sold. I love them. The VO deep clips are great. I prefer the MKS deep clips with my clunky running shoes, however, because they are a tad taller.
  • Cables & Housing: I've used several of the cable kits. They're high quality. The braided SS housing is beautiful. I probably over use it.
  • Saddles: I've purchased the Model 8 (sprung, wide) and Model 1 (Brooks Pro-ish). Both were made by Gyes. The Model 8 can stay on my Sports. My other bikes will have Brooks or Ideale saddles. The fact is, the quality of the leather is not comparable to that of Brooks and I've decided my sit bones deserve Brooks.
  • Seatposts: The UNO SP-248 seatposts are a great value. I had an issue with my first one slipping at inopportune times (ouch, my junk!). I wrote VO and they recommend scuffing the two clamp surfaces with sandpaper. I've not had an issue since.
  • Racks: I have installed and used the constructeur front rack and both versions of the Pass Hunter. They are beautiful, strong racks and I will continue to put them on bikes. There's likely a porteur rack in my future.
  • Bottle cages: I own and use the Moderniste and Retro cages. I'm happy. No metal bottle cage I've used works great with those SS bottles unless you wrap the bottle or cage itself.
  • Rims: I have wheelsets built with the Diagonale and PBP rims. They're very attractive rims, no doubt. I didn't do the wheel builds. I've had no durability or maintenance issues with them and would purchase them again.
  • Dia Compe ENE rack: A cute little rack that mounts to many centerpull brakes. It'll support a smaller handlebar bag and has four threaded bosses for lights. Nothing awfully special about it, but at least someone is making them again. I put it on my wife's mixte. Right now it's just bike jewelery.

Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
You've done a wonderful job updating the photos of your products recently, and seeing a similar upgrade in the product descriptions would improve your web-front even more.
+1
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Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 03-02-11 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 03-02-11, 01:54 PM
  #15  
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glad everyone enjoys this thread and i have been out of the C/V scene for a bit after finishing my bianchi and didn't really put any time into the 2 miele's i had... i guess i was smitten with brief roadie-fever..

with that said... getting back into it and fitting this newer used miele (20kms on her) with fenders has me pretty excited..

surprised this thread didn't already exist! maybe we can field product-requests in here as well.. can always dream, right?

Colonel Loydd seems to be a frequent customer!
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Old 03-02-11, 01:57 PM
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While not VO Specifically I did have three Cardiff Mercia saddles which are supposedly the same as the VO model 3. The reason I had 3 was all of them broke at the weld on the rails where it meets the seat rail. Also, the copper finish wore off quickly but that is well known. Spend the extra $10 and get a Brooks....VO sells Brooks too.

I also have the VO hammered fenders on my commuting bike. The finish is nice but not "hammered" unless you count "stamped" as hammered. It's obviously a production piece and the price reflects that, which I think is fair. I would reccomend them but I don't care for the design of this type of fender personally after having used them. They utilize one large 5mm (I think) stay and my rear has always worked flawlessly but my front fender has always been a bit troublesome.....personally, I prefer the design of the plastic SKS fenders with the two small stays in the front, it seems to work better. Otherwise, for some sexy style on the cheap they work well.

Not that I have one, but as others have mentioned here I have avoided purchasing a front rack from VO due to weld issues. Similar to what happened with my Cardiff saddles, I am afraid the quality on the welds just isn't there yet on these racks. If it were why would VO have them discounted right now with the following disclaimer:

"Note: This is the first production run from a new factory and the welding on the light eyelets is not quite up to our usual standards, but for now it's all we have."


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Old 03-02-11, 02:32 PM
  #17  
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I got a set of the dirt-cheap chromed cranks; 175mm and 34/48. Super nice and affordable. I hit gravel, fell and broke my clavicle with only about 30 mi on 'em. They held-up fine in the crash. They seem a step up from the OEM Sugino.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:16 PM
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I ordered a set of the brown cable housings, arrived fast, and a pleasure to install.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:20 PM
  #19  
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Great thread!
I've been very happy with my V-O purchases thus far, and feel they offer good value.

Grand Cru Seatpost - nice finish, easy to cinch down. It would be nice if the carrier (rail grips) spacing was a bit longer to put less strain on the saddle rails, but I haven't had any trouble thus far.

Porteur Handlebars. I like 'em. Nice finish, nice bend.

Elk hide grips. Tremendous value, and a complete kit. I ended up wrapping my bars with cotton tape to ensure good grip an to give a bit more grip diameter.

Porteur Rack. Very well made and beautiful. My only complaint is that the threaded bosses for the front bracket/fenders aren't drilled through, so the bolts will bottom out and require spacers/washers under the bolt heads. This is a minor quibble.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:58 PM
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Has anyone used these: Dia Compe Gran Compe ENE Ciclo Tire, 700c x 28mm from V.O. ?

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...0c-x-28mm.html

-Thanks.
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Old 03-02-11, 06:12 PM
  #21  
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I used them. I bought them for the looks. I sold them after about 50 miles for the same reason. I decided I wanted skinwalls on that bike. The sidewalls did not feel as supple as a Panaracer Pasela, for reference. They mounted easily and were comfortable tires, but 50 miles isn't enough to really evaluate a tire. If I wanted that color scheme again I wouldn't hesitate to reorder. As with any tire, the contact patch was black within two blocks.

Other VO products in these photos:
  • VO track pedals: Too narrow for me (my issue, not the pedal's) and I didn't like that the sealed bearings weren't as loose as traditional cup/cone based pedals. It made it more difficult to get in the straps. They probably loosen over time and it wouldn't really be an issue out the gate on a platform pedal.
  • VO Flip/Flop wheelset: Rims referenced in my earlier post. The hubs are a-ok. It's a good value wheelset and one I'd buy again.
  • VO leather straps: They're fine but do not compare to the Grand Cru laminated straps. That's all I'm using from now on!
  • VO Model 1 saddle: FIRM. It wasn't comfortable to me from the beginning. My Brooks Team Pro was comfortable out of the box. Saddle comfort is a personal thing and I don't wear butt pads so consider that.
  • Tektro R559: I bought them from VO. They're awesome.




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Old 03-02-11, 07:17 PM
  #22  
mickey85
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I got a set of the 48mm fluted fenders, and absolutely love them.

Pros:
* Easy to install
* beautiful
* Very long - good coverage
* Fits well on 27" wheels (wearing cheap-o Bell Streetster 27X1-1/4 tires)
* Silent

Cons:
* no hole for the seatstay bridge (more my problem than theirs - the clip would be sufficient on other bikes)
* super long stays - you have to cut them off.
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Old 03-02-11, 07:38 PM
  #23  
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I recently purchased a VO Wheel Stabilizer for my utility bike project. http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...tabilizer.html I works very well.

One thing though, It was designed for a bike with thinner diameter tubing. With the included spacer, it would not fit. With the spacer removed, it was too big. I used a wrap of cloth handle bar tape and that was the right fit.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 03-02-11, 07:41 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
- leather perf'ed bar tape - love it! it's only $39 right now! Normally $55.
- Vo champagne handlebar bag/Criossant Saddle bag: these bags are good, there arent a lot of other options in that price point that have the look of the old TA stuff. I'll recommend them for that, but the quality definitely isnt the same as the old TA stuff. I'm not sure they'll stand up to years of abuse. I've had mine for maybe 2 years though, of mild use and they're doing ok. I've had the Ostrich stuff they sell too, and it looks different, but I'll venture to say it's a little better made.
+1 on the bar tape, front and rear Champagne bags. My only gripe about the bags is that they have not yet developed matching panniers (yes, a silly gripe, but still). I think they're still about 6 mos or so out.
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Old 03-02-11, 07:52 PM
  #25  
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Never heard of Gran Compe tires. Looks like a Panaracer. If it is, it's like to be a winner of a tire.

Zaphod, that handlebar wrap is out of character for that bike. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you're treating your hands nicely but certainly not your butt! That saddle is awful, at least for me.
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