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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 06-22-11, 08:06 PM   #1
dvald001
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Anyone ride a Velo Orange Rando?

Hi guys,

I just built up my Velo Orange Rando and have only put 90 miles on it--but I really love it so far. I normally ride a 54, but I used Rivendell's sizing guide and decided to go up to a 57. With a Nitto Technomic stem I have the handlebars level with the saddle, and everything seems to click in terms of comfort. With rack and everything built up it was 25lbs, but it feels like a very solid smooth ride. The bike isn't twitchy in the least, but keeps a steady line, and although I've heard people say that bikes with it's level of trail are tough to turn, I feel like it responds well enough. When I really crank down on the pedals and sprint it doesn't seem like I'm going that fast, but the speedometer says different. The bike really doesn't feel that much different going 30mph than it does going 15. The only thing that feels weird to me is that when I stand up and sprint with my hands on the hoods the bike sways left and right more than I'm used to.

With a handlebar bag it handles great. I had about 15lbs in my bag today and it rode like the bag wasn't even there. I even took it (and the bag!) up to some hard pack trails and it held its own.

Compared to my Surly Cross Check it's a much more beautiful and comfortable ride. This Saturday I'm going to take it out for a 50 mile ride to the beach and back to see how well it does long distance.

Here's the photos of it after I built it up:
http://gallery.me.com/valdez01#100153

Any other VO Rando owners out there? What are your impressions?
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Old 06-23-11, 11:54 AM   #2
RichardGlover
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Beautiful bike.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:12 PM   #3
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Nice looking bike you have there. I've had mine since last fall and it's been through an SR series and then some. I'll take it to France for PBP in a couple months.



My build is similar to yours. The details are here.

I've been very happy with mine. I'm also coming from a Cross Check, so I find the VO to be quite "lively" in comparison. My only complaint is that I occasionally get a bit of shimmy when I ride no-handed, but that's a pretty minor nit all things considered.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:17 PM   #4
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I want one badly, but I also want the VO Poly for around town. Nice build!
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Old 06-25-11, 05:15 PM   #5
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What is the shimmy like lonesomesteve? Is it just a little wobble or fear for your life/ panic attack type stuff? I am another xcheck randonneur... I'm interested in trying a low trail setup but a bit apprehensive too. I can make my crosscheck shimmy if I ride it no handed just right, but it's more like "hmm, interesting" than anything scary. And I saw a buddy get a pretty bad speed wobble on a fast descent. If you look on youtube there are super freaky videos of motorcycle riders getting about the worst shimmy you can imagine. Just interested in where the VO bike's shimmy falls into this spectrum.

Last edited by mander; 06-25-11 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:56 PM   #6
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What is the shimmy like lonesomesteve? Is it just a little wobble or fear for your life/ panic attack type stuff? I am another xcheck randonneur... I'm interested in trying a low trail setup but a bit apprehensive too. I can make my crosscheck shimmy if I ride it no handed just right, but it's more like "hmm, interesting" than anything scary. And I saw a buddy get a pretty bad speed wobble on a fast descent. If you look on youtube there are super freaky videos of motorcycle riders getting about the worst shimmy you can imagine. Just interested in where the VO bike's shimmy falls into this spectrum.
The shimmy I've experienced has been more of the "hmm, interesting" subtle wobble variety. It also seems to do it only when I have some weight in the handlebar bag. On my ride today with a nearly empty bag, it was so subtle I barely noticed it. I also hit 40 mph a couple times on today's ride and it was solid as a rock. It's been most noticeable when I've had nearly 10 lbs in the handlebar bag.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:58 PM   #7
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Aw well, sounds like no problem, or not much of one. Thanks!

VO Randonneur owners, how do you like the way yours handles? With stuff in the bag, can you put on/ remove a jacket while riding no handsies?
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Old 06-25-11, 08:25 PM   #8
dvald001
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Today I did about 80 miles with about 10-12 lbs in my handlebar bag--I didn't feel as comfortable with my hands off the bars as I normally do because of the slight shimmy. I took off my gloves using my teeth, for example. Without the bag riding without my hands wouldn't be an issue though. Then again, I'm still new to the bike, and maybe over time I'll get a better feel for how it handles.
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Old 06-26-11, 01:29 AM   #9
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Pretty interesting topic... My XCheck seems to be in no trouble no matter how much weight is in the bar bad or the large carradice behind. yes if the bar bag is a little weighed in then the bike does tend to go a little to the left, which after many tries I found that there was just about a little off center fork dropout.
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Old 06-26-11, 11:31 AM   #10
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Pretty interesting topic... My XCheck seems to be in no trouble no matter how much weight is in the bar bad or the large carradice behind. yes if the bar bag is a little weighed in then the bike does tend to go a little to the left, which after many tries I found that there was just about a little off center fork dropout.
I have never had a real problem front loading my xcheck. You can steer it, it goes where you want it to, there is no appreciable shimmy. it has carried me quite faithfully over many kms. Its handling just feels really "meh" compared to my Marinoni road frame, which dives sportily into corners and yet can be ridden no hands really easily. The weighted xcheck's turning is more like the slow tipping over of a large land mammal than a dive, and when going no handsies with weight in the bag there is a tendency to wander off the straight line.
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Old 06-27-11, 03:03 PM   #11
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I did some informal testing on my ride home today. My handlebar bag had about 12lbs of stuff total. At 7-9 mph I felt like the wheel flopped way too for me to leave my hands off the bars for too long. At 9-11it was much better. At 12 on up it straightened out pretty well and I wasn't worried at all. Could peel a banana at that point. Again, I only have 200 miles on the bike, and I'm sure there's experienced riders with a much stronger sense of balance than I currently have. But that's just my impressions as it stands right now. I need to test the same kind of riding with my Xcheck and see how that compares...
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Old 06-27-11, 09:17 PM   #12
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Cool thanks. I know this is really anecdotal and rider-relative but would be very interested in hearing how your xcheck compares. I have personally put on a coat from my bar bag on the xcheck, but that was on a downhill at about 13 and still needed some finessing. I wouldn't want to try it at much slower speeds than that, and it was more of a fun trick than something I would want to do as a habit or around other traffic.
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Old 06-28-11, 04:09 PM   #13
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I did some informal testing on my ride home today. My handlebar bag had about 12lbs of stuff total. At 7-9 mph I felt like the wheel flopped way too for me to leave my hands off the bars for too long. At 9-11it was much better. At 12 on up it straightened out pretty well and I wasn't worried at all. Could peel a banana at that point. Again, I only have 200 miles on the bike, and I'm sure there's experienced riders with a much stronger sense of balance than I currently have. But that's just my impressions as it stands right now. I need to test the same kind of riding with my Xcheck and see how that compares...
That's pretty consistent with my experience on my VO Rando. About 12 mph is the magic number for me with a loaded bag. Anything below that and I keep my hands on the wheel... er, bars.

On my Cross Check I remember needing about 15 mph with a loaded bag before I was comfortable riding no-hands. Even then, I had to keep an eye on it.

Of course riding no-hands with a front load isn't everything. The things I really appreciate about the VO Rando are the supple ride over rough roads, stability at high speeds, and nice predictable cornering. Overall, I think it's just a really nice handling bike. Predictable, solid, comfortable... the characteristics I want out of a long distance bike.
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Old 06-30-11, 12:29 PM   #14
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Yeah, I agree lonesomesteve, I think riding no-hands with a loaded front bag shouldn't be the barometer for how good a bike is. I'm much happier with the stability the bike has over the long haul than whether I can knit a sweater while going 11mph. I like how I've been able to ride my Rando all day without wobbling from side to side once I start getting tired, but can still take the bike out for a 20 mile spin and keep up with my Dad on his carbon fiber wunderbike.

Also, it's a beautiful bike, with its rich dark blue and minimalist graphics, and that matters to me. I rode a Fuji Cross Comp for a long time, and while it was a very sturdy and practical bike for what I wanted to do with it, it was an ugly bastard. MY Rando is not only more durable and comfortable, but when it's clean, shining, with the chrome buffed, I WANT to ride the hell out of it. My bike is my main form of transportation--considering the amount of time I spend on it I don't think it's vain to want it to be both practical and beautiful.
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Old 06-30-11, 06:52 PM   #15
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Yeah, I agree lonesomesteve, I think riding no-hands with a loaded front bag shouldn't be the barometer for how good a bike is.
Of course, but that 73/ ~6.0 front end is there so that the bike will handle somewhat better than a crosscheck when there is weight on the front. Like is aid earlier, the weirdness of the crosscheck's handling when front loaded manifests itself in a tendency to wander off line when riding no hands, as well as a general reluctance to dive into corners. It's not missing the point for me to want to talk about this issue, if that's what you're saying.

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Old 06-30-11, 08:57 PM   #16
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the weirdness of the crosscheck's handling ............., as well as a general reluctance to dive into corners.
Yes this is one thing I've noticed & have spoken many times with my ride partner, it's simply pathetic at cornering & also on Down Hills. Cornering on Xcheck is like persuasion almost as if asking the bike itself to put an extra bit of effort at it .
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