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  1. #26
    Senior Member
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    There are probably as many ideas of what makes a good rando bike as there are rando riders, but basically what you've spec'd looks fine in principle.
    I'd tend to agree that a frame built for actual loaded touring may be too heavy and brick-like, but some riders prefer that (I am not one of them). My commuter bike is a Surly CrossCheck, and it feels like riding a cinder block. That said, I'm a fan of steel frames as long as they aren't that clunky. My brevet bike is a '70's steel road bike and I love the way it rides.

    The biggest factor in all of this is fit. If you've been riding a flat-bar commuter bike, that may be harder to determine based on what you've got. That would incline me toward suggesting something that you can test ride, or at the very least, test ride new bikes whose geometry you can then compare with the Campeur. There's all kinds of stuff that sometimes matters and sometimes doesn't, and conventional wisdom may or may not bear out in your particular case, and there is no substitute for getting on and riding. Try out different types of levers as much as you can; each brand/style has its own shape and in my opinion that's a perfectly good reason to choose which brand your drivetrain is, at least for a long distance bike. If your hands fit better on Campy Ergo levers than on Shimano or Sram, go Campy and use those as your shifters. If your hands fit better on one of the various types of non-shifting levers, use bar end or downtube shifters. Again, more reasons to test ride, even including bikes you know you aren't going to buy, just to try out various components.

    One thing to bear in mind re. triple vs. Rene Herse double is the Q-factor, or tread, as Jan Heine would say... either way, what you're talking about is how far from the center line of the bike your feet are. A typical triple puts your feet spaced pretty wide, whereas the Rene Herse puts them narrower than most doubles. It might not matter, but then again, it might. My better half absolutely hates narrow q-factor cranks, and I really hate wide q-factor cranks. My brevet bike and my touring bike both have TA cranks (they look something like the Rene Herse ones) and his bikes have triples. I got the gearing range I need on my touring bike by using 46t and 30t chainrings, and a MTB 11-34 cassette with a MTB rear derailleur. I admit that I do miss having a 53t chainring, but for what that bike gets used for, it's worth the trade-off. If it were a brevet bike, I'd probably go for a more standard double.

    I agree with the recommendation of a generator hub in front. In addition, I recommend traditional 32-spoke 3x wheels. You can use butted spokes and light rims to get the weight down if that's an issue. But if you break a spoke on a wheel that has 32 of them, you can use a fiber-fix spoke and it'll be fine. Actually, even if you don't, you can probably finish your ride anyway and the most you'll have to do is open up your brakes a bit or tweak the other spokes around it to true it a bit. If you break a spoke on a low spoke count, high tension wheel, even a fiber fix spoke might not be able to straighten it out enough and there won't be enough other spokes nearby to true it that way. Not to mention that if you get a generator hub, it'll most likely go into that kind of wheel anyway.

    Last thing to keep in mind is, if you're just starting out on long distances, it's entirely possible that you'll find yourself changing your setup as you go. You never know what you'll discover about your preferences after sitting on your bike all day, all night, and all day again.

  2. #27
    Donnie Jonhson
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    I think this bike would be a pretty good set up. Personally I would wold give serious thought to a triple, particularly a mountain/touring triple with 26/36/48. This would give you a very large range of gears to conquer most big hills when you are at the end of an extra long ride. Also the gears would be doubly beneficial if you were to tour or carry home heavy groceries. Butterfly and trekking bars are also very comfortable for long rides however they require you to use mountain gear shifters. This works for me as Shimano 10 speed Dyna-Shift is not very compatible with 10 speed road equipment. Also V-Brakes offer far more stopping power than cantilever however V-brakes are not very efficient with STI leavers. With butterfly bars you get a great spread of gears and excellent stopping power.

    Just a consideration.

  3. #28
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    Rawland's Stag, Soma's Grand Randonneur, and the Cycles Toussaint "Velo Routier" are all lower-cost routes into the world of 650b. Stag is frame only, the others can come as built-up bikes.

  4. #29
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the help & opinions. I'm now leaning towards the VO Pass Hunter but have about a month to make a decision. Pix will be posted!

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    In planning a Project be clear about Scope and Primary & Secondary Requirements.

    If the Scope is: "Build a long distance Rando bike for formal Brevet Events" and you end up w/ a Criterium bike you have not met your Scope and your project is a failure.
    Well formulated requirements keep projects well focused to meet scope on time & on budget.

    Primary requirements are "must have", secondary requirements are "nice to have".

    A primary requirement based on your specific fit must not be compromised as D_42 notes above.
    A secondary requirement for a blue frame can be met or not w/o affecting Scope.

    Quality, Budget & Time

    -Bandera
    wow, dinner time at your house must be really fun. approaching life in this way is certainly efficient, but its not living. Hopefully the OP sees utility in your attempts to organize his life. I chuckled a bit, thats for sure.

  6. #31
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    Might also want to consider a Gunnar or Soma frame to build on...

  7. #32
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MZilliox View Post
    wow, dinner time at your house must be really fun. approaching life in this way is certainly efficient, but its not living.
    Putting dinner on the table can be a Project in that: "It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result."-PMI
    One can use PM methodology for producing a delicious dinner: Quality ingredients, properly seasoned and prepared, on time and budget:
    Feeding others a good meal is "living".
    - 029 (2).jpg- 257 (2).jpgFOS.jpgphoto 3.jpg

    Dinner conversation is not a project, unless one invites the wrong guests....

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 05-02-15 at 10:11 AM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  8. #33
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Putting dinner on the table can be a Project in that: "It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result."-PMI
    One can use PM methodology for producing a delicious dinner: Quality ingredients, properly seasoned and prepared, on time and budget:
    Feeding others a good meal is "living".
    - 029 (2).jpg- 257 (2).jpgFOS.jpgphoto 3.jpg

    Dinner conversation is not a project, unless one invites the wrong guests....

    -Bandera
    Nice! you are funny. I like that. dinner looks amazing by the way.

  9. #34
    Has opinion, will express
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    Bandera is right in a way. My major bike builds have involved Excel spreadsheets, costings and specifications, and sourcing information. Any sort of touring and even participation in a randonnee involves one degree or another of project management, whether that is formal as in written down, or in the head of the rider.

    I am very much a lists person, as in written in pen on a sheet of paper (or three or four).

    As to the OP, I don't have much to offer. Much in the decision-making process will depend on what experience the guy has in riding already. My randonneuring bikes have ranged from a Fuji Touring on which I have done three 1200s, two 1000s and innumerable lesser rides, to a Ti roadbike and a CF roadbike.

    I am not an odd size or have outlandish dimensions in torso, legs and arms, so off-the-shelf frames suit me, and I tailor the add-ons to get the fit right, and that has come from years of practice (I also subscribe to the notion that fit is dynamic and can change over the years depending on my weight, fitness and flexibility).

    I considered getting a custom frame once, but backed away because the price was more than I wanted to pay. Having said that, the most enjoyable riding bike for me so far has been an old steel Shogun 400 frame that was picked up from a dump for free, and is now my fixed gear. I haven't ridden it in a while, so maybe I should get it out and see if it still ranks with the Ti, CF and steel touring bikes...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #35
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Bandera is right in a way. My major bike builds have involved Excel spreadsheets, costings and specifications, and sourcing information. Any sort of touring and even participation in a randonnee involves one degree or another of project management, whether that is formal as in written down, or in the head of the rider.

    I am very much a lists person, as in written in pen on a sheet of paper (or three or four).

    As to the OP, I don't have much to offer. Much in the decision-making process will depend on what experience the guy has in riding already. My randonneuring bikes have ranged from a Fuji Touring on which I have done three 1200s, two 1000s and innumerable lesser rides, to a Ti roadbike and a CF roadbike.

    I am not an odd size or have outlandish dimensions in torso, legs and arms, so off-the-shelf frames suit me, and I tailor the add-ons to get the fit right, and that has come from years of practice (I also subscribe to the notion that fit is dynamic and can change over the years depending on my weight, fitness and flexibility).

    I considered getting a custom frame once, but backed away because the price was more than I wanted to pay. Having said that, the most enjoyable riding bike for me so far has been an old steel Shogun 400 frame that was picked up from a dump for free, and is now my fixed gear. I haven't ridden it in a while, so maybe I should get it out and see if it still ranks with the Ti, CF and steel touring bikes...
    I wonder if it is possible to lock threads once they are over a year old so that dead threads do not get resurrected with advice to OP's who are no longer active or who no longer need the advice. That also saves current forum participants from getting halfway through a thread before realizing that it is a year old and they are wasting their time.

    Nick

  11. #36
    Randomhead
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    I made the suggestion that zombie threads be displayed with a increasingly disgusting green background, but nobody on the development team is listening.

    We do lock old threads, but usually not one that is only a year old

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