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  1. #1
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    My 650A Rando-Commuter Winter Build Thread.

    Hey folks, it's no secret that I've been accumulating parts for a project this winter, but I haven't posted much about the build for fear that something wouldn't fit and have to abort the project in shame. Well, the wheels are finally done, and things are looking up (if grainy)!



    Frame, rims, and rear hub are courtesy of balindamood, front hub is courtesy of 3speedslow.

    The fender clearance looks good in front and rear:




    My only concern is at the chainstays. Nothing rubs, but I'll most likely end up moving the wheels back in the dropouts to free up some room:



    These are the Panaracer Col de Vie 650A tires -- I'm not crazy about the tread, but with Panaracer's nice sidewalls, they should ride comfortably without robbing too much energy from the rider. More to come!
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 03-03-13 at 06:29 PM. Reason: attempt to make pictures work for everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  2. #2
    Seņor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    Looks like you could dimple the chainstays to gain some clearance.

    What's the difference between 650a and 650b? I could search, but I am lazy...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    Don't you mean 650B? It looks stunning so far, should be a nice ride.

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    650a = 590mm
    650b = 584mm

    Col de la vies come in both sizes, but those look like 650a.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Looks like it's going to be a cushy ride, those tires looks great!
    Last edited by Chris_in_Miami; 02-10-13 at 08:37 PM.

  6. #6
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Yep, they're 650A/ISO 590/EA3/26x1-3/8", whatever you prefer to call them. Exactly in between 700C and 26" MTB. I've been wanting to try good tires in this size for a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Dang! I've been waiting to see this, and the pics aren't working for me...;-( Can't wait to see it!

    Cheers,
    Chris

  8. #8
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    I am anxious to see it finished as well. That frame was last built with 650B's, so I figured the 650A's would be great. I wound up with two sets of NOS 650A rims (nice ones) and they have both gone to C&V members.
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  9. #9
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Not much to report lately. I decided to get the Frame Saver in there before adding too many more parts. Once this all dries, assembly should be brisk:



    I asked my girlfriend if it smelled sort of like bleu cheese to her, too. "Maybe robot bleu cheese."
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 03-07-13 at 10:08 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    THANKS! I'll continue following this because I am thinking of building my son an SS get-to-school commuter with 26 inch wheels on a 51 c-c Tri frame (Ishiwata EX). I'll be looking at what you do for brakes and ... fenders? Like yours, my son's frame has no braze-ons.
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  11. #11
    zungguzungguguzungguzeng Catnap's Avatar
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    650A was a common size for Japanese-made randonneur bikes, moreso than 650B.
    Quote Originally Posted by indiglow View Post
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
    650A was a common size for Japanese-made randonneur bikes, moreso than 650B.
    650A is still a common size for sport bikes in Japan. I have a friend with a custom made Alps built around 650A. They have access to much better tires there as a result.
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  13. #13
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support, guys. Now that the Frame Saver has dried, I'm excited to hang more parts on this thing. Lenton58's comment was a reminder that I need to invest in a better camera -- my frame *does* have fender eyelets in front and rear, so that won't be a problem. Now I'm just trying to decide which fenders to get!
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  14. #14
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    Looking forward to seeing the finished product.



    650A is still a common size for sport bikes in Japan. I have a friend with a custom made Alps built around 650A. They have access to much better tires there as a result.
    A friend of mine has a beautiful 650A Fukaya I should get pictures of... she's running marathons unfortunately since they are cheap and accessible here.


    This build looks sweet and I keep checking back on the thread.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Now I'm just trying to decide which fenders to get!
    I vote aluminum and NOT hammered.
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  16. #16
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I vote aluminum and NOT hammered.
    Smooth aluminum certainly looks less pretentious. I have about 48mm between the fork blades and less between the chainstays, so I'm either looking at hammered 45mm fenders that I don't have to manipulate, or 52mm smooth fenders that I'll have to. If only I could find ~45mm smooth fenders for 650A/650B wheels, I'd be set...
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  17. #17
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    They're easy to manipulate for a custom fit. You can handle it, I assure you. 45mm fenders would not look as good as 48 or 52mm. The VO Zeppelins have a classy profile, but smooth fenders would look as good or better on your frame, I think.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Saguaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I vote aluminum and NOT hammered.
    2 votes aluminum and not hammered. I also think the smooth fenders and not the Zeppelin (segmented) fenders would work best for this Bianchi. Sometimes simple is best.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    I took another look and I can see the braze ons. I don't know how I missed them on the rear D.O.'s.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I agree on the smooth vs segmented vs hammered fenders. Problem is that the $60 for the VO stuff was already pushing what I wanted to spend for fenders.

    Anyways, it's starting to look more like a bike now!



    The Weinmann levers I bought to go along with the centerpulls had too small of a clamp to fit on the GB (England) rando bars, so for now, I'm going with the spare RX100 levers I had lying around. I'm a little concerned they won't pull enough cable, but if they do work out, they'll be more comfortable than non-aero levers.





    At this point, the aesthetes are likely pulling out their hair at all of the mismatching gray parts. I didn't realize at first how badly the beige-ish 1056 parts would clash with the purer silver of the 1050 crankset and Sugino big ring. Time will tell if it bugs me enough to change.

    A note on my gearing scheme: the crankset is 48/39 with a 13-28T cassette, for an overall range of 37 to 97 gear-inches. I compromised on the top end because I don't need particularly tall gears for the riding I do, and this will allow me to spend the vast majority of my time in the big ring and the middle of the cassette.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  21. #21
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Looking good! I think you will like the feel more if you move the brake levers 1cm along the bar toward the stem and tilt the bar back just a smidge more. Despite the red graphics I think black cages would look better. Those levers will work very well with the centerpulls so no worries there. I use 105 levers of the same era with 610s and it's smooth sailing.
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  22. #22
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Thanks Justin! I think the red cages will make more sense once the red cable housings and bar tape go on -- I don't like too much "dark" stuff on a bike.

    I like a lot of the things Brian did when he built up this frame before me:

    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
    1987 Bianchi Sport SX converted to 650B with VO fenders:

    (Although I now see he used black cages. Heh.)
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 03-05-13 at 12:41 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lenton58's Avatar
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    That head-on shot of those rando bars makes for an interesting comparison with the Nitto version of the same type of bar. Personally, I do not see any "clash" in the hues of alloy parts. It's sorda-kinda 'machine-like', which I think is apropos.
    Me: I've learned a lot about cycling by my mistakes, and I can repeat them perfectly! My Bikes: Vitus-979, Simplon-4-Star, Gazelle-AB, Woodrup

  24. #24
    Senior Member 3speedslow's Avatar
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    Nice !

    I had completely forgotten about that front hub, great to see were it finally went with. I like the project and the direction it is going. Will this be for long distance travel or mostly close to home trips ?

    I would love to try some GB Rando bars, got close to getting some but slipped out of my hands. Looking forwards to more posts to this thread.

    3SS
    "Waiting for the crash"

  25. #25
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Hey 3SS, my plan is that this bike would be a do-nearly-everything machine: brevets, touring, commuting, club rides, gravel/trail rides, you name it. The only things it won't do are fixed-gear/winter riding (I have a bike for that) and winning races (no interest in that anyway. )

    I didn't get any good pictures last night, but I got the front brake hooked up and the braking action is surprisingly good! I also used my bench grinder to subtly reshape the outer edge of the front derailleur cage. This allows it to hug the 48T big ring closer -- it was originally designed for a 52/53T.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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