Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB
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A few other options:
1. If you don't mind going with 650b wheels, another bike to consider is the Rawland rSogn. Keep reading great things about it! It's sold as a stock frameset at a very competitive price. I personally get a lot of joy building a bike from scratch with specific components that I like rather than going through a series of upgrades that end up being more expensive in the long term. This bike is designed for long distance riding on pavement and for gravel grinding with a front rando rack/bag. It's similar in many ways to the Casseroll without being too "mainstream" (Salsa) or "pretentious" (Rivendell.) This is a small Californian company (their stock frames are made in Taiwan though.) The owner/designer has won several design awards.
2. Have you given any thought to a custom frameset? If so, the guys at Rodriguez
in Seattle (city with a long standing tradition in randonneuring) do a fabulous job. Pricing comparable to a stock frame S. Hillborne, but given that it's custom you get a "Made in the USA" frame made out of Reynolds 725 tubing. Look into their Rainier or Adventure models built around 700c. They recently built for me rando/touring bike for 26" tires - their UTB model. I just don't have words to describe how awesome it rides! See pic below.
3. The Gunnar mentioned above (also sold as a custom frameset) gets high marks, too.
Here's my rando/touring Rodríguez UTB:
Last edited by Chris Pringle; 06-09-12 at 10:46 AM.