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  1. #1
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    Need some Tech help on the 07' Randonee

    Hi everyone, I am new to the site and I've been researching bikes for the last 4 months now. I'm really interested in the REI Randonee both for its reviews and great price. I would like to upgrade a few things, however I don't know if its possible. I think the rear hub is a Tiagra. Is it possible to move to a XT hub instead? I know there are some issues with spacing, but the REI site does not state specifics. Is the Tiagra front hub sufficient as well? Also, I am happy with the rear derailleur, but what about the front (Tiagra)? Any other recommendations (besides the STI shifters and crankset which I am also happy with)???

    I am going to be doing a 800-900 mile bike tour of Germany this summer. Any advice on the bike or in general would be much appreciated. There's a lot of smart folks here so I thought I would ask for help

    REI SPECS

    Frame Reynolds 520 chromoly
    Fork Chromoly
    Crankset Shimano Deore 26/36/48
    Shifters Shimano Tiagra
    Brakes Shimano R550 cantilever
    Brake levers Shimano Tiagra
    Front derailleur Shimano Tiagra
    Rear derailleur Shimano LX
    Head set FSA Orbit X
    Bottom bracket Shimano Deore Octalink
    Rear cog SRAM PG-950 11/34 x9
    Front hub Shimano Tiagra
    Rims Mavic A319S
    Tires Vittoria Randonneur 700x32
    Spokes Stainless steel
    Stem Ritchey angle adjust
    Handlebar Ritchey BioMax
    Seat post Ritchey Comp V2
    Saddle Fizik Rondine
    Pedals Platform w/toe clip
    Chain Shimano HG73
    Weight 29 pounds

  2. #2
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    I'm really interested in the REI Randonee both for its reviews and great price.
    I bought one last week. There are a number of things I'll change, but the combination of the 20% discount and my member refund turned an already good buy into a spectacular one (I think).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    I think the rear hub is a Tiagra. Is it possible to move to a XT hub instead?
    That would be straightforward. However, I wouldn't make it a priority, as the wheels are strong and pretty decent as they are. I'll put some miles on them before a rebuild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    Also, I am happy with the rear derailleur, but what about the front (Tiagra)?
    I'm not at all happy with the front der. I've been unable to adjust it so that the chain doesn't rub on the cage at the extremes of the rear cluster, while in the middle chainring. My friend who works in the bike shop at my local REI tells me that they have the same problem all the time. [EDIT: This is only a problem with the indexed front shifter, of course.] Luckily, front derailleurs aren't all that expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    Any other recommendations (besides the STI shifters and crankset which I am also happy with)???
    I think the Tiagra STI levers feel really crummy. I'm going to change them to bar end shifters and standalone brake levers (but I have most of what I need lying around).

    I'm sure you'll change lots of stuff over time, but I think the Randonee is an excellent platform for both serious touring and all-around cycling. Unless you're a weight weenie, that is. This is a chunky bicycle (but I'm a big guy and I like that).
    Last edited by kalliergo; 03-08-07 at 09:57 AM.

  3. #3
    gearhead
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    I thought they stopped making the Randonee for 07???? I don't see one on rei.com, and I haven't seen any in the stores. I just bought my 06 for 20% last fall. So far it's a fun bike. I like the STI shifters alot, but have the same trouble with my front derailer.
    Richard Bryan | Clinton, NC
    2006 Randonee | 1996 Stumpjumper M2

  4. #4
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    The Tiagra hub has a spacing of 130mm, standard road bike spacing. The XT is 135mm, standard mountain bike spacing. A lot of touring frames space the rear drop-outs at 132.5mm, so you can use either road or mountain hubs.

    As you point out, REI doesn't say what the spacing is on its website. I have an old Randonee, vintage unknown because I bought it used. I have road hubs on it, but given how much space there is, I'd guess the drop-outs were 132.5's. But Novara could've changed the specs at some point, so if you really want to be sure, call up REI and ask.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    That is odd. I've been wearing the rei site out studying up on that bike. Did you look under the touring bike heading? I didn't check the year, but the Randonee is still there.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  6. #6
    gearhead
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    So it is...

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...jpg&view=large

    How is it that I've overlooked it for months now? I just looked again before my last post and didn't see it.

    Well good! I'm glad they're still making it!
    Richard Bryan | Clinton, NC
    2006 Randonee | 1996 Stumpjumper M2

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    That would be straightforward. However, I wouldn't make it a priority, as the wheels are strong and pretty decent as they are. I'll put some miles on them before a rebuild.
    Agreed. The Tiagra hubs are okay. Not anything to write home about but not and instant replacement either. I'd bet the dropouts are 132 mm which means that you could use either 130 or 135mm hubs. Even if they are 130 mm, there's enough flex in them to take a 135mm hub without coldsetting the frame. I've never cold set a frame and I probably never will. Going up one size is only increasing by 5 mm which isn't much in the grand scheme of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    I'm not at all happy with the front der. I've been unable to adjust it so that the chain doesn't rub on the cage at the extremes of the rear cluster, while in the middle chainring. My friend who works in the bike shop at my local REI tells me that they have the same problem all the time. [EDIT: This is only a problem with the indexed front shifter, of course.] Luckily, front derailleurs aren't all that expensive.
    I've had a very different experience with the Tiagra front. I actually prefer it. It's wider between the plates than the more expensive 105 or Ultegra...I've measured it an it's about 1mm wider.. and does a better job for me without rubbing. You might want to check your alignment with the chainrings, kalliergo. If the plates aren't properly aligned you can get rubbing issues. Try aligning so that the outer plate is parallel to the chainwheels and if that doesn't work, try aligning the inner plate.

    If neither of those work, try a little plier surgery on it. Gently spread the plates apart with pliers to get a bit more space.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    I think the Tiagra STI levers feel really crummy. I'm going to change them to bar end shifters and standalone brake levers (but I have most of what I need lying around).

    Again, I've had a different experience. I don't find them to be any better or worse than other STI levers. I used to have a pair of RSX from an old bike that were far superior in comfort to the newer STI. They were a little thinner and fit my rather average hands well.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    I'm sure you'll change lots of stuff over time, but I think the Randonee is an excellent platform for both serious touring and all-around cycling. Unless you're a weight weenie, that is. This is a chunky bicycle (but I'm a big guy and I like that).
    The only issue I have with the Randonee is that the chainstays are a bit too short for my tastes. I prefer an 18" stay to a 17.1" stay. It makes life a little easier for carrying a load.
    Stuart Black
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  8. #8
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    The front der. can be made to work. Take it to a regular bike shop and have them adjust it.
    Don't replace the rear hub or anything, for that matter, until it breaks or is worn out.
    All the components on the Randonee are just fine. You'll see, they'll last a long time.
    I've used Sora shifters and I think they're fine. The Tiagra's should be as good or better.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Again, I've had a different experience. I don't find [TIagra brifters] to be any better or worse than other STI levers. I used to have a pair of RSX from an old bike that were far superior in comfort to the newer STI. They were a little thinner and fit my rather average hands well.
    Maybe I just don't like STI levers ;^) My first bikes with integrated brake levers/shifters were all Ergo Levers, so my nervous system may be prejudiced. Anyway, I much prefer bar ends for touring (for anything, actually).

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    The only issue I have with the Randonee is that the chainstays are a bit too short for my tastes. I prefer an 18" stay to a 17.1" stay. It makes life a little easier for carrying a load.
    Absolutely right. I forgot this issue in my response to the OP. I prefer a trailer to heavy panniers, but longer chainstays are much better for traditional loaded touring.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I'd bet the dropouts are 132 mm which means that you could use either 130 or 135mm hubs.
    They are and you can, easily.

  11. #11
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    Don't worry about all the posts about short chainstays-- it's all talk and personal opinon-- bikes are different for many reasons. Find the right bike for you.

    I say, test ride the bike...with loaded rear panniers. See for yourself!

    If you don't want the STI sifters, sell 'em on EBAY and install barcons. It's an easy thing to fix.

    I like the new '07 Tiagra hubs... I'm guessing they will hold up very well over time.

    Plenty of riders run MTB bike hubs on their Randonees-- it's a little tight, but they fit fine.

  12. #12
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    Wow, you guys rock. Thank you very much for all the support!

    So I think I'll be okay on the hubs given what most people are saying.

    As far as the shifters go, I think I just need to try them out myself. So far I've had one friend tell me that the Tiagras feel like "toys" and the 105 shifters have a nicer feel to them. The REI rep told him however that durability wise, they are pretty much the same.

    Still not sure what to do about the fr derail though... I am definitely not someone who can take a pair of pliers and adjust all that hahaha.

    In terms of chainstay length, We are really not taking a lot of gear. To be honest, its more like credit card touring than loaded touring. That being said, I'd like to put a couple of those grey Novara Panniers to carry the essentials. We wont be camping, just hostel-ing it.

    Any further advice from you aficionados out there would be nice

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Check out the clearance from heel to panners before you buy them. The rack on the Randonee is comes right up to the seat. Not that you can't replace a rack, but you might not want too.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    ... but I think the Randonee is an excellent platform for both serious touring and all-around cycling. Unless you're a weight weenie, that is. This is a chunky bicycle (but I'm a big guy and I like that).
    I talked my wife into test-riding a 47 cm Randonee last Saturday. She liked the feel of the bike but objected to the brakes being too far out on the drops for her hands and, most importantly to her, the WEIGHT of the bike - I think it comes in around 29 lbs. [Now she's looking at a Sequoia Elite.]

    If you're flying the bike to Europe, make sure the bike doesn't exceed the allowable weight limits when boxed...I had the bright idea of flying my steel MTB with me to Europe last fall then discovered it was waaay too heavy to justify extra shipping costs. Just bought one over there instead.
    centexwoody
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  15. #15
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    I talked my wife into test-riding a 47 cm Randonee last Saturday. She liked the feel of the bike but objected to the brakes being too far out on the drops for her hands and, most importantly to her, the WEIGHT of the bike - I think it comes in around 29 lbs.
    I certainly understand those objections. Brake lever placement can be dealt with fairly easily, but there's no getting around the fact that the Randonee is heavy (you could lighten it by spending lots of money on component changes, of course). If I were a smaller, lighter rider, it would matter to me, too.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo
    I certainly understand those objections. Brake lever placement can be dealt with fairly easily, but there's no getting around the fact that the Randonee is heavy (you could lighten it by spending lots of money on component changes, of course). If I were a smaller, lighter rider, it would matter to me, too.
    It's probably not brake placement but the actual extension of the lever from the shifter body. People with small hands have this problem all the time. Specialized sells a lever spacer called a Slim Shim (look in Equipment, Road Components, brakes...sorry but links don't work well for the Specialized website ) The shim will move the lever back towards the bar and make them a little easier to grip for small hands.
    Stuart Black
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    I talked my wife into test-riding a 47 cm Randonee last Saturday. She liked the feel of the bike ...
    I went into the REI last weekend to get a first hand look at a Randonee too but all they had left was a 55cm. I like the shorter wheelbase and chainstays but is the standover really as high as they specify on the website? 31.0 or 31.1 inches for a bike with a 47cm C-C seat tube?

    My Soma Double Cross is awesome for commuting and credit card touring but gets a bit flexy when I carry more than 30-40 lbs. I'd like to find something heavier to keep in the stable alongside the other horses. I have a second pair of sweet, 36-spoke light touring wheels from the Soma as well as Ultegra crank with TA 26/38/48 rings to upgrade whatever I end up getting.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    As far as the shifters go, I think I just need to try them out myself. So far I've had one friend tell me that the Tiagras feel like "toys" and the 105 shifters have a nicer feel to them. The REI rep told him however that durability wise, they are pretty much the same.
    For that matter, I think the Sora shifters have a more solid feel than Tiagras, lacking as they do the plastic.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker
    I went into the REI last weekend to get a first hand look at a Randonee too but all they had left was a 55cm. I like the shorter wheelbase and chainstays but is the standover really as high as they specify on the website? 31.0 or 31.1 inches for a bike with a 47cm C-C seat tube?
    I bought the Randonee in the smallest size this past weekend, and I believe the standover is as represented. I mean, if I hadn't had the thickness of a pair of shoes to add to my inseam, that baby would have hurt.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal
    I bought the Randonee in the smallest size this past weekend, and I believe the standover is as represented. I mean, if I hadn't had the thickness of a pair of shoes to add to my inseam, that baby would have hurt.
    Nermal, would you mind giving the exact measured standover of your 47cm Randonee just forward of the seat? I know it's a slant top tube, but the local REI has never gotten in a 47cm, and I sure would like to know if REI's sizing chart for the 47cm's standover is accurate. Thanks!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    I talked my wife into test-riding a 47 cm Randonee last Saturday. She liked the feel of the bike but objected to the brakes being too far out on the drops for her hands and, most importantly to her, the WEIGHT of the bike - I think it comes in around 29 lbs. [Now she's looking at a Sequoia Elite.]

    If you're flying the bike to Europe, make sure the bike doesn't exceed the allowable weight limits when boxed...I had the bright idea of flying my steel MTB with me to Europe last fall then discovered it was waaay too heavy to justify extra shipping costs. Just bought one over there instead.
    Not sure what kind of riding your wife is looking into doing, but that bike is only good for light touring/all day riding IMO. I looked at both the 2005 Sequoia Comp which had Ultegra/DA components on it and the 2007 sequoia elite, and I just dont feel that's going to handle any of the rough stuff that you may come across. I'm not sure you can even fit 32 size tires on there. Very beautiful bikes, but not just true touring quality.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lankadragon
    Not sure what kind of riding your wife is looking into doing, but that bike is only good for light touring/all day riding IMO. I looked at both the 2005 Sequoia Comp which had Ultegra/DA components on it and the 2007 sequoia elite, and I just dont feel that's going to handle any of the rough stuff that you may come across. I'm not sure you can even fit 32 size tires on there. Very beautiful bikes, but not just true touring quality.
    Good points - she has put several thousand miles on a ladies' Giant Boulder SE steel bike and we're looking to upgrade, investing around a 1000 bucks (+/-). I thought we were going to build out a Surly LHT for her but her concern with weight has her tending towards the Sequoia Elite. Our LBS just found one of the 2006 47 cm SE and is bringing it in for her to try. Yes, she's concerned about road vibration and I've told her that if we tour, that I'll need to carry most the stuff on my LHT. Of course she agreed to that, not realizing it gives me an excuse to buy a front rack and panniers (). We'll only do credit card touring probably. Whether the SE has suffience flexibility to allow changing tires, etc for different conditions (Rail/Trail, road) is something I've got to investigate more closely.

    The max size of tires is a concern, though, although 28's are a reasonable compromise between lightness and stability. She's only ridden on 26" 1.5 tires up until now. I guess people tour on 28's?
    centexwoody
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal
    I believe the standover is as represented.
    I guess that means no buying sight unseen. I really really need to stay close to 30". I suspect the current 49cm Fugi Touring geometry will be as good as I'll find for less than $1000. I would appreciate exact measurements regardless of whether or not I think this will be the bike for me though.

    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    I guess people tour on 28's?
    I prefer 32's for touring and marginal weather conditions and 28's for summer commuting. I've had no problem carrying 25-30 lbs. in addition to my own 160 lbs. on the 28's but would rather not push them past 40 lbs. As an ultralight backpacker, an solo overnighter with a one man tent and 35F sleeping bag adds up to a little less than 30 lbs. if there's potable water available at the destination.
    Last edited by cachehiker; 03-13-07 at 08:52 AM.

  24. #24
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    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=017

    Someone on ebay just measured 74cm or 29.1" standover to the center of the top tube. Although it sounds too low, this makes me feel a bit better. I wonder if REI is specifying standover at the front of the top tube. Assuming a 217 cm wheel circumference, a little trig indicates the standover at the rear of the top tube would have to come in somewhere close to 29".

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