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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 09-23-10, 12:15 AM   #1
jet16lg
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New Raleigh Randonneur bike

I stopped by a local bike shop that I've been wanting to visit today (The Peddler-awesome shop that seems to like steel bikes and stuff that most normal bike riders should ride). I was talking to one of the guys there about the Surly LHT and CrossCheck. He mentioned that there was a couple Raleigh bikes I might be interested in. One was the Clubman and he mentioned that there was a new bike they were coming out with. I forget what the bikes actual name was, however, he said it's a Randonneuring bike. They were in the middle of building one up so he let me see it on the stand. I was a low trail bike with a front rack, Compact gearing (I think), bar end shifters, steel frame, wide tires (I believe he said it had 35mm tires on it), Sora components and at a great price-$850. Now, I know that the component set is not great. However, it seems to be a really nice price point for a Low trail front load bike. Seems like a nice starting point that you could use to upgrade as components wear out.

Has anyone else heard about the bike? The shop said that it's new and he thought they were bringing it out at the bike show this week. I for one know it has me interested since I have the bug to buy a new bike and I've been thinking a randonneuring bike would fit what I'm looking for.
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Old 09-23-10, 12:28 AM   #2
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I have not studied this closely enough to say anything about it, but I am guessing that this is what he is talking about:

http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/stee...t-townsend-11/

If your budget can stretch a bit, the new Salsa Casserroll, announced today, is also more rando friendly, according to Salsa. The old bike, complete, sold for $1500-ish; this will likely be in the same range:

http://salsacycles.com/culture/intro...ted_casseroll/
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Old 09-23-10, 06:45 AM   #3
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That does look like the bike they were talking about I was thinking it had a different name and more of a lvl top tube, but, I must have been mistaken. Guess it's not that spectalure of a bike but still it seems pretty decent. But, not sure it would stop me from buying a CrossCheck or DoubleCross that I've been considering.

Thank you for the link
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Old 09-23-10, 11:35 AM   #4
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That Raleigh linked is not low trail. I get 61cm of trail using it's 72 degree, 50 mm rake and 700c x 35 tires. I personally am waiting to see the geometry numbers on the new casseroll.
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Old 09-23-10, 01:16 PM   #5
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Have you bothered to get yourself fitted first? Do you even know if either of those bikes will fit you???? It seems to me that you have the horse in front of the cart. If you're serious about doing long distance rides worring about what material the frame is and if you can get it for whatever $ should be pretty far down on the list of important things. If you're going to be doing long distances you need to be on a bike that is comfortable and meets your needs, not what someone thinks is the one that "most normal bike riders should ride." Whatever that is...
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Old 09-23-10, 01:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post
That Raleigh linked is not low trail. I get 61cm of trail using it's 72 degree, 50 mm rake and 700c x 35 tires. I personally am waiting to see the geometry numbers on the new casseroll.

I had the same question. I don't know whether folks are just putting racks on the front of bikes to make them look like rando bikes or if they are actually thinking this through.
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Old 09-23-10, 06:07 PM   #7
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<tangent>I really love the asthetics of some of the bikes Raleigh has been introducing lately. They now offer three different classic-looking lugged steel racing bikes (International, Record Ace and Grand Prix), they have a couple bikes with a classic cyclo-touring/randonneuring/country bike look (Port Townsend and Clubman), and a single speed with similar styling (One Way). I've never ridden any of them, so I can't say a thing about quality, comfort, etc. but I love the concept.

But I have to wonder... Is anyone buying any of these bikes? Randonneurs, cyclotourists, and lovers of classic lugged frames make up a pretty tiny slice of the whole bicycle buying pie.</tangent>

Back to the OP's topic... yes, it looks to me like a decent and relatively cheap bike that could work well to get you started in randonneuring assuming it fits well. [emphasis added to keep Homeba off my back , but he's right ya know] If you consider a handlebar bag essential for randonneuring then it's a plus that it comes with a front rack. And even if it has typical modern trail (60ish), that certainly doesn't rule out carrying a handlebar bag. While low trail helps with a front load, it isn't essential.
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Old 09-23-10, 10:31 PM   #8
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If you consider a handlebar bag essential for randonneuring then it's a plus that it comes with a front rack. And even if it has typical modern trail (60ish), that certainly doesn't rule out carrying a handlebar bag. While low trail helps with a front load, it isn't essential.
+1

I have a Cross Check with 60-ish mm of trail and a VO Rando rack with a Berthoud GB28 bag up front. Never had a problem with the steering. It tracks just fine, and I can ride no-hands without any issues.
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Old 09-24-10, 02:59 PM   #9
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man... that's a great deal LISTING at $850. guess it depends on how it rides ultimately-- but it seems every bit the equal of a masi speciale randonneur (and even has cantis and a front rack-- which the masi doesn't have ). and it's $300 less..

and very little gnarly tre moderne black ick.
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Old 09-27-10, 07:15 PM   #10
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For those who don't like to follow links and just want to look at pictures
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Old 10-02-10, 11:27 AM   #11
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My satisfaction with a tour inspired Raleigh single speed gives reason to ponder these Raelighs. I've an earlier generation, horizontal top tube Oneway (it fits) and use it as a commuter and winter bike. The long wheel base, B17 aged saddle and 35c tires (nice reflector stripes) give it a nice ride. I wouldn't call it nimble but I don't get beat up after a long ride. The fenders and canti brakes make it a nice off the shelf single/fixed bike for several 50 milers and one Century.

All my other centuries this year and one 250k have been on a Serotta Fierte 10 spd. steel bike with carbon seat stays and fork. Difficult to mount racks and can only use rubber banded plastic fenders. I like my Raleigh enough to take a look at their rando setup.
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Old 10-04-10, 10:49 AM   #12
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I was in my LBS this weekend and noticed they had a couple of these Port Townsends alongside a Clubman. I still like the idea, but I have to say that seeing the bike up close and personal was a bit of a disappointment. First of all, I picked it up and nearly threw out my back. This is a very heavy bike. I'm guessing it must be straight guage tubing, and that along with heavy tires and wheels and heavy-duty steel fenders make for a bike that feels about as light and lively as the Schwinn Varsity I had as a kid. Weight isn't everything, but there is a point at which it gets rediculous. Other than the weight, I thought it was just sort of sloppily put together. For example, the front rack is cheap and cheesy and sits way higher above the front wheel than it should. Since the rack was apparently designed specifically for this bike, seems like they could have made it fit much better.

For the price, I guess you can't expect too much. This bike would probably make a decent, inexpensive, classy-looking around-town bike for someone who doesn't ride a lot, but I wouldn't want to have to depend on it for brevet series. And I wouldn't want to have to haul all that weight around for 200k or more. For not a lot more money, the Raleigh Clubman looks like a legit rando-ready bike. It's also no fly-weight either but it's more respectable than the Port Townsend, plus it comes with some very cool extras like the Brooks saddle and Lezyne pump.
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Old 10-13-10, 08:37 PM   #13
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I've put over 5K miles on a Raleigh Clubman this year. Like lonesomesteve said, It's no fly weight but it handles its weight nicely. From the begining a made a few changes, purchased the larger frame (62cm I'm 6'-1"), swaped out the stem for a shorter 30 degree stem, and the set-back seat post was exchanged for a two bolt. All this was to get the handlebars set to a 1.5 drop from the saddle and to bring the saddle more over the cranks for good fit and effective ridding positon. After 2k miles I switched out the Brooks Swift for a B17 which is more comfortable and practical on longer rides. I love the ride and fit, the quality seems good. The only other modification I'd make is to add a triple.
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