This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A fully branded bike?

   I've been puttering around with a new build for my son and collecting parts for another project for myself lately and was ordering a few things from Velo-Orange.  Many people who bother to read my blog know who they are and there are several products they make that are of particular interest to people who ride practical bikes.  I especially like their bottom brackets, headsets and seat posts.  Not that they are revolutionary or light or claim to be fast, but they had the foresight to use over sized bearings and the seat post has a double bolted clamp which provides real micro adjustment to the seat angle.  The over sized bearings are especially nice because those parts fill a nice gap between the throw away Tange and Shimano models and the super expensive-bombproof-dare you to outlive me- Phil Wood models on the market.  
   I've been ordering stuff from them since they imported bells and scrounged the world for NOS parts sitting around in warehouses.  There was talk about producing fenders of Honjo quality at prices to compete with plastic, and they made it happen.  They've come a long way since Chris Kulczycki put a couple thousand in an account, started a website and wrote:

 "For many years some of the wonderful parts and accessories once produced by small firms in Europe for the cyclo-tourist and randonneur have been unavailable, or outrageously expensive. So I started Velo Orange to find and sell these remaining items, and to produce those that were no longer available."

   I was perusing their blog and site a little while ago and realized they now produce nearly every component necessary to build a fully branded bike!  When has that happened?  I can only think of Raleigh back in the 60's and 70's.  If VO produced their own derailleurs and shifters, one could purchase a fully branded bike from them now.  It's not that very many people would want to, but the fact that a small business can grow from such a humble beginning to produce such a comprehensive service is remarkable.  It's especially fantastic to have happened in a period of such economic turmoil when companies providing more mainstream services are struggling to stay afloat.
   Obsessive bike nuts throughout the world owe them a debt of gratitude for filling the void Chis identified.


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