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  1. #1
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    Returning My Randonee

    Last August I purchased a 47cm Randonee for my girlfriend and a 52cm for myself. The only other size in stock was a 57cm which felt too big. I took the 52cm for a lengthy test ride and it actually felt pretty good. They had a sale going on so I pulled the trigger and brought it home.

    After replacing the orginal foam saddle with a Brooks B.17, I just haven't been able to get the fit right. The Brooks appears to sit about 3/4" to 1" forward compared to the original saddle, which puts my rear end right on the rivets. I've tried 3 different stems which haven't done much to solve my problem. After talking to the REI bike shop guy this morning, he said he was surprised that they let me leave with a 52cm based on my height (5' 10"ish). I should have tried a 55cm, but due to the sale and lack of stock, I got too excited and went with what they had.

    So, tonight I have to strip the saddle, fenders, pedals, bottle cages, cycle computer and everything else that I enjoyed mounting. It's a little difficult admitting defeat, but I don't see the bike ever fitting correctly. I'll get a full refund, which is nice, but I'm back to square one. I need to find a decent Trek, Surley or whatever and this time I'll take extra time to make sure it fits. Lesson(s) learned...

    Anyone have any experience with the '09 Randonee? It doesn't look quite the same.

  2. #2
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    Why don't you just exchange it for a 55cm (if one does manage to fit you)?
    Quote Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
    Hey you need to put on the bar tape. Please promise me via PM that you will put on the bar tape, because if you don't, you won't have any bar tape on your bars, and that'd be bad because you're supposed to have bar tape on your bars where the bar tape goes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    I bought the '08 Randonee, which they no longer stock (forgot to mention that), and I got it on sale. I would have to pay full retail ($300 more) for the '09 model. They don't have a single 55cm '08 Randonee in their database.

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    Can't go wrong with a LHT. The 54cm might be just the ticket.

  5. #5
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Nault View Post
    Can't go wrong with a LHT. The 54cm might be just the ticket.
    My thoughts exactly... I need to find a shop that has one I can test ride. The MSRP price is about $50 more than the '09 Randonee, and I already have all the parts I need to trick it out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member oldride's Avatar
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    asromek...I returned my 08 (55cm) Randonee to the Minneapolis store about 2 weeks ago. If it's still there you might be able to work out an exchange and have them ship between stores.

  7. #7
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    There's a 54cm LHT from last year at my LBS Hiawathacyclery.com. They're on bike vacation right now but if you call I'm sure they'll box and ship.

  8. #8
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Think about this..................... if the surly does not fit you or your not happy with it..... can you take it back months later for a full refund? Great reason to consider going that route again. Get a 09 Randonee from Rei and give it a whirl in a 55.
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

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  9. #9
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldride View Post
    asromek...I returned my 08 (55cm) Randonee to the Minneapolis store about 2 weeks ago. If it's still there you might be able to work out an exchange and have them ship between stores.
    Which store did you return it to? When I search for Minneapolis, MN I end up with 3 results: Roseville (4.69mi), Bloomington (8.39mi) and Maple Grove (11.37mi).

    Why did you return it? How many miles were on it? If you don't mind me asking.

  10. #10
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    I called the Roseville and Bloomington locations. Roseville didn't have it and Bloomington said they wouldn't have it on the floor since it was a returned used item. If it did show up and become available for sale, I would be responsible for paying to have it taken apart, shipped and reassembled, and the sale would be final (no return policy on used items, apparently). They took my name and number and will call if it becomes available. So, we'll see. I may check out an '09 this weekend.

    I was going to ask if anyone on the boards has seen one lately, but I thought "Nawww... there's no way I'd be that lucky!"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by asromzek View Post
    I'll get a full refund,
    At the risk of being accused of being an REI fanboy, this is a pretty amazing testament to their customer service policies.

    I've met other folks who have returned REI bikes, with similarly good experience.

  12. #12
    Senior Member oldride's Avatar
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    asromzek, Sorry I should have said the Bloomington store. It's all original and I rode it about 150 miles. The only problem with it is the seat tube clamp needs replacement as the seat would slide down. Depending on the cost to ship it might be a better deal than the 09. Personally I like the looks of the 08 better. Good luck either way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that I won't hear much from them. The guy I talked to a the Roseville store mentioned that the Bloomington location had a "garage sale" very recently, so it may have been sold there. If I don't hear anything by the weekend, then I'll assume it's gone.

    The '09 Randonee is not nearly as attractive as the '08 version. I'm also a little skeptical about the stem, since I already have 3 spare stems (from screwing around) and it doesn't look easy to mount any them. Aside from that, I think it's worth a shot. I think I can look past some of the... ugliness... as long as it fits correctly.

  14. #14
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Just swap out the stem with one you have and problem solved. I just checked it out online and I think it looks pretty sharp. At least when compared to a LHT
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

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    Brooks saddles have short rails. You can try a long set-back seatpost, which will allow you to move the saddle further back than your current setup. Maybe this in combination with a long stem will make the reach feel better for you.

    Good luck!

  16. #16
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    I'm going to test ride a 55cm '09 Randonee this weekend. I'd like to compare the '08 vs. '09 specs side by side, but I can't find the '08 specs now that they don't sell the bike anymore. Anyone have them lying around? Geometry, drive train and brake specs is what I'm really after.

    I also did an experiment and put my girlfriend on the 52cm frame after making a few adjustments. She didn't want to try since she thought the 47cm felt fine, but I managed to talk her into it. Sure enough, she felt a lot more comfortable on the 52cm. After a few more adjustments she said the 52cm was much better than the 47cm and that I was right (which happens once in a while!). So, the smaller frame will be going back.

    I talked to a couple of bike shops yesterday about Surlys, and they all agreed that I would probably fit best on a 54cm or maybe better on a 56cm, based roughly on my height and build. After a few visits to my LBS, I'm not so sure about how well they'll be able to correctly fit a touring bike. I just didn't get a good... vibe... when talking with them. The shops I called were all more than an hour away (closest Surly dealers) and all seemed like they were much more on the ball when it came to fitting a touring bicycle. I'm getting the impression that it will be worth the drive and money to visit one of them for a fitting.

  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asromzek View Post
    I'm going to test ride a 55cm '09 Randonee this weekend. I'd like to compare the '08 vs. '09 specs side by side, but I can't find the '08 specs now that they don't sell the bike anymore. Anyone have them lying around? Geometry, drive train and brake specs is what I'm really after.
    Here is the 2008 catalogue - you can get the specs from it on pg 55.

    Don't you still have two 2008 Randonees to look at to confirm the spec from that year?
    safe riding - Vik
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by asromzek View Post
    I talked to a couple of bike shops yesterday about Surlys, and they all agreed that I would probably fit best on a 54cm or maybe better on a 56cm, based roughly on my height and build. After a few visits to my LBS, I'm not so sure about how well they'll be able to correctly fit a touring bike. I just didn't get a good... vibe... when talking with them. The shops I called were all more than an hour away (closest Surly dealers) and all seemed like they were much more on the ball when it came to fitting a touring bicycle. I'm getting the impression that it will be worth the drive and money to visit one of them for a fitting.
    there seems to be a tendency to fit folks on too small of bikes after the mtn biking boom where high bb and large crotch clearance required smaller frames. I recall in the 70's and 80's a lot of folks getting road bikes were getting larger frames than ideal simply because they weren't accustomed to drop bars and a road position.

    I'm 5'9 1/2" and ride a 56cm road bike and LHT. I have size 11 ft and long arms and the fit is perfect. I've known guys taller than me with short legs who rode 54cm frames with 125cm road stems who were also fitted perfectly.


    It's too bad the LHT doesn't come with a 26" wheel version in the larger sizes. I'm fine with the 700c wheels but a 26" wheel is a better overall compromise for strength and weight in the fatter tire sizes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    there seems to be a tendency to fit folks on too small of bikes after the mtn biking boom where high bb and large crotch clearance required smaller frames. I recall in the 70's and 80's a lot of folks getting road bikes were getting larger frames than ideal simply because they weren't accustomed to drop bars and a road position.
    Different strokes. I tend to think that folks in the touring community are buying larger frames than I personally would prefer and then still adding all kinds of spacers and stuff to get the bars even higher.

    Personally I like a smallish frame with the bars 4-5" below the saddle. This works fine for me for everything from short around town rides to centuries to multi-month tours. But as I said, different strokes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Different strokes. I tend to think that folks in the touring community are buying larger frames than I personally would prefer and then still adding all kinds of spacers and stuff to get the bars even higher.

    Personally I like a smallish frame with the bars 4-5" below the saddle. This works fine for me for everything from short around town rides to centuries to multi-month tours. But as I said, different strokes.

    whew,,when I weighed 50lbs less my road bike had the stem 3 1/2" below the seat,,,I'm now at 1" below.

  21. #21
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    This is the comparison that betweent the '08 and '09 models. The differences that really pop out at me are between the rear derailleur, rear cog and chain. If any of these components on the '09 model are less than desirable, I wonder if they would let me swap the parts from the '08 I'm returning? Also, there's a completely different rear rack on the '09 model. I like the one that's mounted on my '08 Randonee, so I'll have to get a first hand look at the '09 rack to see if it's worthy. The geometry between the two are identical.

    Edit: Apparently my webhost is having some issues... image attached...
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    Last edited by asromzek; 06-04-09 at 06:39 AM.

  22. #22
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to think long and hard about what frame size you need and a bit less about the components right now. If you originally felt like you needed a 57cm yet purchased a 52cm you might have your priorities in the wrong place. Now those of us members of the REI co-op have to absorb the loss to the co-op. Go to a reputable bicycle shop or seek out an REI employee who is very knowledgeable about bike fitting, not some kid working there for the summer who just happens to kind of like the outdoors. Your most important concern is the fit - everything else is secondary. Parts can be switched out pretty inexpensively (save wheels, difters, and a few other high ticket items) and most good shops will let you swap things out at the time of purchase.

    Once you get a frame that most closely fit your dimensions, go get a professional fitting. It will be the best ~$100 you will spend on your bike. You have to figure you will be sitting on the bike for hours/days/weeks/months/years/decades on the bike spinning little repetitive circles. If things don't fit right you have a classic case of repetitive stress injury.

    Good luck with your biking adventure.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  23. #23
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    I don't think there is much of a difference in quality of components. Both setups will work fine for thousands of miles. Your issue is whether or not you want a lower gear than 28 tooth in the rear. Then you might have to add links to the chain and figure out whether the derailleurs will work with that setup or not.

  24. #24
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
    My recommendation is to think long and hard about what frame size you need and a bit less about the components right now. If you originally felt like you needed a 57cm yet purchased a 52cm you might have your priorities in the wrong place. Now those of us members of the REI co-op have to absorb the loss to the co-op.
    Getting the correct frame size is definitely my main concern. I never did feel comfortable when testing the 57cm frame. In fact, it felt too large no matter how we played with the saddle/handlebar position so I went to the next side down that they had in stock. The 52cm it was very close with the original saddle, but turned into a different bicycle when I put the Brooks on. Even though I'm confident the 55cm will be right, I'm going to try the Brooks on both the 55cm and 57cm frames to see how they react.

    If I do manage to find a frame size that makes me happy, the next stop is a fitting for both me and my girlfriend at a reputable bike shop closer to home. I have one in mind already, and may go directly there if I end up buying a new bike.

    And I wouldn't worry about REI losing out. I'm returning a bicycle I bought on sale last year and paying full price (up $100 from last year) for a new one. Not to mention... I have my eye on a set of front panniers... for two bikes... By having that return policy in place, they've guaranteed quite a bit of future business from me.

  25. #25
    Senior Member asromzek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    I don't think there is much of a difference in quality of components. Both setups will work fine for thousands of miles. Your issue is whether or not you want a lower gear than 28 tooth in the rear. Then you might have to add links to the chain and figure out whether the derailleurs will work with that setup or not.
    I figured there wasn't much of a difference in quality, but the lower gearing would be nice. I just called REI and they have never had anyone ask if they could swap parts from a returned bike to a new one. I suppose asking to put used parts on a brand new bike is kind of an odd question. There would be labor costs involved, so I'm probably better off buying new parts and putting them on myself if I need to.

    I just found out that the paid week I normally have off around the 4th of july will be surrounded by 2 weeks of unpaid "vacation". I have 3 consecutive weeks off! I hate to get ahead of myself in planning a tour, but it'll be tough to pass up the opportunity...

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