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  1. #51
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=carfart;16600399]There's this from nooneline.blogspot.com: "The boildown is that head tube angle and fork rake work against each other in order to reach an equilibrium, a sweet spot of trail measurement (60mm, according to Don Walker). Overcompensating one because of a lack of the other is counterproductive: putting a road fork on a track bike with a steep headtube angle will make the handling less stable - the higher-rake fork reduces the trail measurement. ..."

    This does not make sense. Trial is a function of 3 variables
    Wheel Radius, which Soma states is 330.5 mm for the GR charts
    HTA, via the sin and cosine, Soma states the HTA varies 72 to 73 for the GR
    Fork Rake, which Soma holds constant at 69mm for the GR, probably to keep costs low

    The Soma GR geometry charts show the trial does vary with frame size, due to the change in HTA with a constant rake
    Frame Size(cm) HTA() Rake(mm) TRAIL(mm)
    49.5 & 52 72 69 35
    58 72.5 69 32
    58 & above 73 69 29

    The trail varies by 6mm, for Small to Medium size frames. You would need to INCREASE the Rake by 55mm to get a TRAIL of 29mm (same as the Medium frame) for the 2 Small frames, i.e a new fork.

    All trails are in the "low trail' region, and less than say a Pelican at 40mm trail. It is hard to see how the handling is greatly affected due just to the HTA changes.

    It is also hard to understand the "sweet spot" argument, if the trails are so close.
    John Hawrylak
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    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
    1988 Schwinn Voyageur

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfart View Post
    This is probably my final say on the frame. Yes there will be some manufacturing flaws on a first run, but the the Grand Rando suffers significantly from design oversights, the kind that have nothing to do with its cost to produce and everything to do with a designer who doesn't get it and probably hasn't spent much time building up touring and randonneuring bikes with wide tires, fenders, and so on.
    Oh, come on, buddy. "Dear Mike Kone, Even though you are the licensed manufacturer of Rene Herse bicycles and co-designed the Soma Grand Randonneur, Carfart over on Bicycle Forums says you don't know what you're doing -- so for the love of God, please close up shop and admit that you don't know much about randonneuring bikes."

    My Grand Randonneur rides just fine. It replaced an '84 Trek 610 that had been converted to 650B and that I rode for a year and that also rode just fine. But there was only about 2 mm of clearance at the chainstays for Hetre tires, so after a ride where my wheel got out of true enough to rub, I finally decided to go with the Grand Randonneur (framesize=58). I've ridden it 900km on RUSA brevets. Works fine. Handles fine. Haven't noticed any significant shimmy problems, though I seldom ride no-hands. I don't like the looks of the seat tube extension, but really I spend very little time looking at my seat tube while riding. The only real negative is the overly-beefy fork tubes which transmit a little more road shock--what little isn't absorbed by the Hetre's. It's definitely not as nice as the Waterford fork that I had made a couple of years ago for $425. Then again, the GR is a $500 frame and fork. The only difficulty I had in building up the GR frame was that my existing handlebar rack wasn't designed for cantilevers so I had to buy a new one. The VO rack that I tried first just wouldn't work with it, and ultimately I bought the Nitto 32F that Boulder Bicycles recommended. Worked perfectly. So I'm perfectly happy with the GR. But if I were buying now, I'd have to take a careful look at the VO Pass Hunter, which wasn't available at the time. One immediately obvious downside: Only two bottle racks. Even in the winter it's not unusual to go through three bottles between controls. Oh, it's designed for a 700c wheel and it is pretty high trail, at 56mm. So not useful for the sort of riding I want to do. So ... what other frame is there in the $500 to $700 range that is designed for 650Bx42? Rawland Stag. Cycles Toussaint Velo Routier. Anything else? Not that I'm in the market :-)

    Nick Bull
    Last edited by thebulls; 03-22-14 at 08:55 PM.

  3. #53
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    Just a quick note on Soma, Surly and other steel sub $1000 framesets. You don't get what you pay for! Most of the time you actually get much more. Fitting fenders and racks, stopping squeaky brakes and fork shimmy, dealing with tolerances that are slightly out of whack, well, that's life in a bike shop. Even if you do buy a custom frame, there is a really good chance issues will arise during the build. Rando bikes are a pretty tough bill... lots of stuff on them and lots of riders who want non-standard drivetrains. If you want a high dollar bike, I'd just buy all the parts first and take them to a custom frame builder and tell them to build you a bike! Many would just show you the door. A DIY Soma build is reasonable way to get a bike you'll love to ride.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
    ... Rando bikes are a pretty tough bill... lots of stuff on them and lots of riders who want non-standard drivetrains. ...
    I would disagree with that. Rando bikes are not a tough bill, people make them a tough bill. You can build any bike into a rando bike and you don't need all the bells a whistles on it. Fenders, racks, dyno hubs etc are all superfluous.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I would disagree with that. Rando bikes are not a tough bill, people make them a tough bill. You can build any bike into a rando bike and you don't need all the bells a whistles on it. Fenders, racks, dyno hubs etc are all superfluous.
    Seems to me that 'rando bike' is now a term that refers that kind of bike - one with all of those bells and whistles.

    Of course, what you are referring to are regular bikes that are used by some (many? most?) for rando.

    This then means that a 'rando bike' is not particularly common at randonneuring events. At least not the ones I have participated in. The traditional rando bike with heine-approved accouterments and features is probably no more than 1 in 10, eh?

  6. #56
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    It's semantics I suppose. As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a "traditional rando bike." Show up at an international randonee and it's pretty evident. I've always considered a "rando bike" as one that you did randonee's on. If you are doing brevets in areas where there is a lot of inclement weather you will and do see a lot of the "heine-approved accouterments and features." Many other areas you won't and don't. It seems to be more of a regional thing and people adapting to the conditions that they ride it. That's why I kind of take umbrage when people try to tie specific features with what is or isn't a randoneurring bike.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    It's semantics I suppose. As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a "traditional rando bike." Show up at an international randonee and it's pretty evident. I've always considered a "rando bike" as one that you did randonee's on. If you are doing brevets in areas where there is a lot of inclement weather you will and do see a lot of the "heine-approved accouterments and features." Many other areas you won't and don't. It seems to be more of a regional thing and people adapting to the conditions that they ride it. That's why I kind of take umbrage when people try to tie specific features with what is or isn't a randoneurring bike.
    I favor functional definitions as well. Any bike a person uses for rando is their rando bike.

  8. #58
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    I sorta have a reaction against the term, "randonneuse" which is what a randonneuring bike is called. If you look through Jan Heine's book, "the golden age of French bicycles," you will see most of the randonneuring bikes were 700c with racks and light braze ons. In fact, they were as close to the racing bikes of their day as they could be made with those additions. Because they were raced. 650b is a change that makes sense, but back in the "golden age" you will see that they only used 650b tires on utility bikes and camping bikes.

    Of course, randonneuring as a word is not limited to what we do as Audax/Randonneurs. It encompasses hiking, for example. I was watching French movies in preparation for PBP, and one of the actors mentioned randonneurs in reference to a cabin used by hikers and mountain bikers.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 03-23-14 at 06:49 PM.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    ...Of course, randonneuring as a word is not limited to what we do as Audax/Randonneurs. It encompasses hiking, for example. I was watching French movies in preparation for PBP, and one of the actors mentioned randonneurs in reference to a cabin used by hikers and mountain bikers.
    Yeah, I think the actual french definition is "to walk, ride, drive, to go trekking." It's definitely not a cycling specific term. I'm not a big fan of "Heineology." He's a great rider and (from talking with him) a nice enough guy. I just don't agree with some of his ideas. I think he is very pacific NW oriented. What the heck, we are all products of our environments.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    I favor functional definitions as well. Any bike a person uses for rando is their rando bike.
    Sure, any bike you ride for rando is your rando bike. But if your rando bike is a "mountain bike" then it's a mountain bike. And if it's a "hybrid" then it's a hybrid. And if it's a "road bike" then it's a road bike. For that matter, if it's a scooter like the one someone rode in 2007, then it's a scooter. So I'm willing to allow for a specific category of bikes named "randonneur bike" ... if there is a real tradition of naming a type of bike that. I'm not sure if there really is that kind of tradition, though. The bikes in the Technical Trials of the 30's and 40's seem to have mainly been called "cyclotouring bikes", based on contemporaneous reports republished in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly vol 1 #4 and vol 2 #1 . There is a nice poster on page 6 of the latter issue that says "Avec nos Randonneurs" that has details of various bike parts. I'm not sure if the "Randonneurs" is referring to the riders or the bikes, though. Maybe someone else more familiar with French bicycle nomenclature can fill in more detail. If the French called a particular style of bike a "Randonneur bike" then that's good enough for me.

  11. #61
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I would assert that term "classic randonneur" as used to define a bike is a manufacture of the Pacific NW, more specifically from BQ. When I started doing brevets back in the early 90's there was no such animal. I've only seen that term used in the last ten years or so.

    btw, the scooter guy was 2003.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
    Maybe someone else more familiar with French bicycle nomenclature can fill in more detail. If the French called a particular style of bike a "Randonneur bike" then that's good enough for me.
    if you look at French bicycle catalogs, the bikes that were referred to as "randonneur" were often fairly inexpensive bikes, sometimes with fenders and racks -- obviously intended for day rides, I had a Gitane like that. More like a sports-touring bike

  13. #63
    Senior Member carfart's Avatar
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    "So ... what other frame is there in the $500 to $700 range that is designed for 650Bx42?" Again the specs on on this frame don't really measure up. It's supposed to fit 42 with fenders, but in reality it fits 38 with fenders.

    I really don't think that Mike Kone gets it. Or--shocker--his name is attached to a frame he didn't have all that much to do with. I haven't seen a Boulder All Road in the flesh, but I've seen the Grand Rando, and it's an early 80s sport tour bike without the good sense of style. If this is representative of the much vaunted Boulder Bicycles All Road then no thanks. If I wanted another sport tour frame I would have just kept looking for another used one that fits a bit better than the ones I already have and converted that.

    There's a lot of unnecessary kludge on this bike. I have to wonder if the vast majority people who put out touring and light touring frames are just locked in to years and years of kludge and can't conceive of doing things any other way. This **** isn't rocket science.

  14. #64
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    Seems to me the main reason to have Boulder Bikes build your brevet bike is to have somebody else mess around to get the racks, fenders, and lights, and perhaps USB charging hub, if you want to have all that on your brevet bike, fit together and don't want to do it yourself. Of course, that leaves open the question of how you get the bike if you're not within a day's drive of Boulder; how much must be disassembled to ship? or what you're going to do for a non-local brevet, whether it's SIR's 1200, TRS, or PBP.

    I'm waiting to see, after the "new bike smell" has worn off, how many of the people who've bought low trail (and possibly 650B) bikes still love them after 3-5 years. Or maybe I'll win the lottery and spend $2-8K to order one for delivery next winter. (There's a brevet this weekend in a state that sells lottery tickets!)

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I would assert that term "classic randonneur" as used to define a bike is a manufacture of the Pacific NW, more specifically from BQ. When I started doing brevets back in the early 90's there was no such animal. I've only seen that term used in the last ten years or so.

    btw, the scooter guy was 2003.

    Pretty much same here.

    I had many bikes in the 75-90's timeframe. In the USA, I don't remember seeing any other or few bikes that look like today's randonneur bikes back 20-30 years ago. None as in zero. I had one that came pretty close that I purchased in London in the late 70's. I toured extensively on it and put fenders on it for going to wet places like the New Zealand, UK, and other such rainy places that I can't even remember now. Otherwise, the fenders stayed home and I put them on in the fall and winter. Randonneur bikes more often said Gitane, DeRosa, Vitus, or other names on the downtube. Most riders in the Brevets that I did rode what they had. Mostly road bikes with a few touring or sport touring bikes in there.

    Anyway.....is randonnee or randonneur an adjective....don't the terms describe a person or event.....isn't the adventure much more than the machine and isn't the rig just a tool to the experience?

  16. #66
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Having started this thread I find it interesting in how it is evolving.

    My motto has been "It's Not About the Hardware" for quite awhile.
    This applies in cycling or any other endeavor, although I have my preferences based on use over several decades.

    The Sunbeam T-20 toaster is one, good kit that and lovely to boot.
    You may all proceed discussing proper LD bicycles while I have a nice slice of toast.

    Get on with it!

    -Bandera
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  17. #67
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Having started this thread I find it interesting in how it is evolving...
    It's called thread drift. Stay with us here!!! This is important stuff!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    We could have asked how you would go about butting another Soma? SOMA (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant.

    Fat tires are more comfortable. At slow speeds, they absolutely roll better than skinny tires over rough pavement and since aerodynamics are somewhat irrelevant at 10-14mph, these 650B tired bikes can be much more efficient than a skinny tired 700C (622) tired road bike over the long haul on rough pave. These is no debate about these facts? Long and slow equates to riding wide, supple walled tires.

    Interesting, the quality of my Soma Stanyan is very good. I'd but another Soma without qualms.
    A relatively inexpensive frameset to see what all the 650B shouting is about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Having started this thread I find it interesting in how it is evolving.

    My motto has been "It's Not About the Hardware" for quite awhile.
    This applies in cycling or any other endeavor, although I have my preferences based on use over several decades.

    The Sunbeam T-20 toaster is one, good kit that and lovely to boot.
    You may all proceed discussing proper LD bicycles while I have a nice slice of toast.

    Get on with it!

    -Bandera

  19. #69
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    Riding home in the dark last night with frostbite on my fingers, I was happy to be riding a frame that tracks so solid and true on all sorts of pavement that I could ride mile upon mile over country roads, up and down over poor surfaces with my hands under my armpits.

    Any bike to be ridden long distances should pass the armpit test.

  20. #70
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    Low trail bikes are wonderfully stable and easy to steer......crawling up 10% graded hills at 3mph that is.

    Put wide, low inflation tires on such a bike and they should be stable at speed. Put narrow, high pressure tires OR a poorly adjusted headset and prepare for some fun on the downside of that 10% hill. A rider's weight and how they are set-up on the bike can impact stability. I'd take high speed stability over lower speed stability but I suspect the squishy tires on a 650B is what should give you a much wider stability margin coupled with good steering response. The wide and more flexible tires change the transfer function entirely, a whole different ballgame.

    This presentation seems to do a good job explaining handling and by keeping it simple...

    http://www.control.lth.se/media/Staf...alkKTH2006.pdf

    The equations for decent modeling of the overall control system for the bike and rider are pretty intense.......but this rider probably figured it out.

    Einstein_Bicycle-600x400.jpg

  21. #71
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    We could have asked how you would go about butting another Soma? SOMA (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant.
    W_by,

    I assume that you meant "building" another, fair enough.
    Anyone who names a bike company after the drug that kept the "Betas" placid in Huxley's "Brave New World" is OK w/ me.

    The lugged Prestige frame Stanyan that I built as a modern substitute for my Internat'l suits me quite well. It has the virtues of a classic British club riders' bike w/ 130 spacing, braze-ons and clearance for 28mm tires w/ mudguards. If marketed in the UK it would be an "Audax", familiar territory. I've been plootering about on this sort of design for decades. It is versatile, comfortable & efficient. Remove mudguards fit tubulars and compete in the club race series. Install Carradice bag and go for a weekend tour.

    As my mileage increases I'm doing a "Phase II" modification this Spring but here's a pic of the current winter set-up.
    I'll be keeping an eye on the low-trail 650B thing, N+1 is always a possibility, but I'm good to go as is.

    If the roads are dry I do have something a bit lighter as well as a trusty fixed gear.

    -Bandera
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    Last edited by Bandera; 03-25-14 at 10:02 AM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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    $500 is a steel for such a lug.

  23. #73
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    $500 is a steel for such a lug.
    $730 for a Stanyan, still quite reasonable in my opinion.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  24. #74
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Since this thread has already drifted far afield...

    Bandera, I'm wondering how you think your Stanyan compares with classic steel bikes like your '74 Raleigh and your '77 Trek? That is, other than the obvious modern conveniences like vertical dropouts, 130mm spacing and threadless steerer.
    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
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  25. #75
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
    Since this thread has already drifted far afield...

    Bandera, I'm wondering how you think your Stanyan compares with classic steel bikes like your '74 Raleigh and your '77 Trek? That is, other than the obvious modern conveniences like vertical dropouts, 130mm spacing and threadless steerer.
    lonesome,

    The Stanyan isn't in the same design class as the Trek, which is a stage racing frameset now set-up as a fixed gear.
    Getting out on a non-gale force wind day this week I found the old FG Columbus Trek to be lively & well-mannered as always, and hope the weather allows more FG riding.

    It is comparable to the Internat'l which was designed to be an all around club rider's machine, and fills the bill nicely w/ modern accoutrements. It's been fitting w/ mudguards & a Carradice seatbag all winter so I've been alternating riding it & the Internat'l set-up as a town bike w/ the windy nasty weather. It's a bit tighter in clearance & w/ the 1 1/8" threadless fork it is pleasant but solid feeling on our Hill Country roads which can be a bit rough. I even took it up the local "nasty bits" climb/descent w/ no drama in full winter-kit-mode. I consider it a functional substitute for the Internat'l and appreciate being able to run a modern drivetrain.

    I'll be doing a Phase II re-config & plan to use it for some long rides where I need load capacity this season.
    Aesthetically lugged steel frames get it for me, the welded kit looks inelegant and clumsy to my eyes.

    Hope that answers your question,

    -Bandera
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    Last edited by Bandera; 03-25-14 at 06:43 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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