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Recommend a Randonneur Style Vintage Bike

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Recommend a Randonneur Style Vintage Bike

Old 06-17-15, 04:38 PM
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channon01
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Recommend a Randonneur Style Vintage Bike

Hello all, first post here. I did a search and couldn't find what I was looking for so forgive me if this has already been asked.

But I am looking for an around town stylish randonneur style vintage bike. Something lugged, steel, with braze-ons for a front and rear rack with the ability to install fenders and some wider tires (~32's). It will be used primarily around town and the occasional long ride on the weekends. I want a randonneur because: 1. I like the look of them (honjo fenders, brooks saddles, etc) which I'm sure will garnish an eye roll or two. 2. Because I want something that is going to be quick and comfortable.

I live in a flat area and like the look of down tube shifters. My budget for just the bike is around $500 or so but flexible. Then I can add all the the bells and whistles afterwards. Do you have any suggestions on a vintage bike? Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-17-15, 04:55 PM
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Welcome!

Perhaps someone with better search skills can dig up Jan N.'s thread on this topic.

It's buried somewhere in the forum archives.

Might be spot on for the topic.
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Old 06-17-15, 05:15 PM
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Welcome to the C&V Forum! I recommend you start with the Show Us Your Vintage Touring Bike thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ing-bikes.html

Many of the bikes there are in Rando mode, not full on touring. So many models to choose from. Vintage touring bikes make nice Randonneuring bikes because their frame geometry favors distance and comfort, yet can still be quick. I have a Nishiki Cresta touring bike that I made into a Randonneuring bike:



1982 Nishiki Cresta
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Old 06-17-15, 05:18 PM
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One good way to approach this is to let us know what city you live in, and we can comb through your local Craigslist pages and make some recommendations based on what is available in your area. Also need to know your approximate height and inseam, for sizing.

Good old touring bikes are harder to find than good old road bikes, because they made fewer of them, but they are out there.
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Old 06-17-15, 05:59 PM
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Old 06-17-15, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Saguaro View Post
Welcome to the C&V Forum! I recommend you start with the Show Us Your Vintage Touring Bike thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ing-bikes.html

Many of the bikes there are in Rando mode, not full on touring. So many models to choose from. Vintage touring bikes make nice Randonneuring bikes because their frame geometry favors distance and comfort, yet can still be quick. I have a Nishiki Cresta touring bike that I made into a Randonneuring bike:

This is a solid suggestion...that thread really does show what is possible with a wide range of different bikes...Nishiki Cresta, Miyata 1000, several others come to mind that, with your budget, you should be able to make into a Randonneur type...and you can see a lot of possibilities in the Vintage Touring Bike thread...plus...you get to see a lot of just plain cool looking bikes!
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Old 06-17-15, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by channon01 View Post
But I am looking for an around town stylish randonneur style vintage bike.
If you live in France or Western Europe classic Rando machines will be somewhat common.
If you live in the UK classic Audax machines and/or Clubriders bikes are available (my favorite).
In the USA the original French Motobecane 531 framed models would be my recommendation, although an occasional 650B Peugeot did find it's way here.

40 years ago racks, mudguards and lighting systems were add-on/bolt on for factory machines.
Only the Constructor built bikes, stratospherically above your price range, were fitted w/ integrated accessories.


A lightweight lively frameset suitable for a fast pace on secondary roads in all conditions day and night carrying a minimal self-supported load was the recipe, and still is.

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Old 06-17-15, 06:19 PM
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Peugeot and Gitane had bikes with lighting, fenders and racks. They pop up on CL and ebay on occasion.

This Motobecane complete with 650b wheels has been on Chicago CL for months. Cool bike.
VINTAGE MOTOBECANE MEN'S TOURING BIKE
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Old 06-17-15, 06:21 PM
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I'm selling this bike, what size are you? its a classic like the miyata 1000. Specialized Expedition. sz 56. I'm 5'9 and it fits nicely.

runs as is but could use some bar end shifters. lots of room for big tires, canti brakes, built to haul gear, the list goes on.
Here is the same model built into a rando bike,

this is what i was going to do before i found a different solution. In fact, if it doesn't sell i'll just continue to find the parts to build this into a rando machine eventually anyway.
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Old 06-17-15, 06:34 PM
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This thread will give you plenty of ideas:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ear-sport.html
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Old 06-17-15, 07:13 PM
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Super Le Tour? Super Sports and sometimes Le Tours came with rando handlebars but my Ss has only fender mounts. I wonder if a Sport Tourer is better.
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Old 06-18-15, 07:04 AM
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Every time I see that Expedition, I curse my short stature...

I can't believe that bike is still available.
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Old 06-18-15, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
This thread will give you plenty of ideas:

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ear-sport.html
That's the thread I was thinking of that Jan started........

Really a great thread for sure.
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Old 06-18-15, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Every time I see that Expedition, I curse my short stature...

I can't believe that bike is still available.

And here I am cursing my tall stature for the same reason.
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Old 06-18-15, 08:56 AM
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Your original question is not easy to answer. A proper vintage Rando. bike is going to depend upon the riding conditions you tend to encounter plus your style of riding and preferences. The best way is to ride and learn....makes buying more than one bike justifiable.

In general, look for an All Arounder as opposed to a racing or touring setup.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:07 AM
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Any bike can be a "rando" bike. Find an old touring bike or sport touring bike locally and then add the bits & bobs that you like. There is no one type, per se.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Any bike can be a "rando" bike. Find an old touring bike or sport touring bike locally and then add the bits & bobs that you like. There is no one type, per se.
While true that most bikes can be used for randonneuring, I wouldn't recommend touring bikes. Touring bikes tend to be overbuilt, for carrying heavy loads. They are not designed to be sprightly and quick for a long day in the saddle. I've built up a couple of old touring bikes in "rando" mode, and found that they were comfortable but didn't lend well to fast riding. I found that the better bikes for that type of riding were lightweight road bikes with room for wider tires and fenders.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
While true that most bikes can be used for randonneuring, I wouldn't recommend touring bikes. Touring bikes tend to be overbuilt, for carrying heavy loads. They are not designed to be sprightly and quick for a long day in the saddle. I've built up a couple of old touring bikes in "rando" mode, and found that they were comfortable but didn't lend well to fast riding. I found that the better bikes for that type of riding were lightweight road bikes with room for wider tires and fenders.
Very true. The OP does not plan to "randonneur" timed events etc.. He is looking for a town bike that can take, front and rear racks and ocassionally do a longer ride. With a budget of $500 no immediate plans to ride brevets, a true rando bike would be more bike than is needed. He likes the asthetic of rando bikes. BTW, you should post a pick of your Lyon. Came out great!
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Old 06-18-15, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MZilliox View Post
I'm selling this bike, what size are you? its a classic like the miyata 1000. Specialized Expedition. sz 56. I'm 5'9 and it fits nicely.

runs as is but could use some bar end shifters. lots of room for big tires, canti brakes, built to haul gear, the list goes on.
Here is the same model built into a rando bike,

this is what i was going to do before i found a different solution. In fact, if it doesn't sell i'll just continue to find the parts to build this into a rando machine eventually anyway.

Awww man, that's just a tad too small for me. In most bikes I'm a size 58. Can that one accommodate wider tires with the fenders? I love the look of the one that is built up into a rando so I will keep that bike model on my short list. That is a great looking nishiki too! Very clean.

I appreciate all of the replies, and the links; I will start reading them now! I live in Sacramento, CA (very flat) so I would think with San Francisco being so close that I would have access to a good selection of these bikes. I'm 5'11 and 1/2 with a 32 in inseam.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
While true that most bikes can be used for randonneuring, I wouldn't recommend touring bikes. Touring bikes tend to be overbuilt, for carrying heavy loads. They are not designed to be sprightly and quick for a long day in the saddle. I've built up a couple of old touring bikes in "rando" mode, and found that they were comfortable but didn't lend well to fast riding. I found that the better bikes for that type of riding were lightweight road bikes with room for wider tires and fenders.
This is 100% why I am looking at rando style bikes. I still want the quickness without feeling like the thing is built like a tank.

And Fender1 -more than I need is (unfortunately) how I buy everything! lol
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Old 06-18-15, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by channon01 View Post
Awww man, that's just a tad too small for me. In most bikes I'm a size 58. Can that one accommodate wider tires with the fenders? I love the look of the one that is built up into a rando so I will keep that bike model on my short list. That is a great looking nishiki too! Very clean.

I appreciate all of the replies, and the links; I will start reading them now! I live in Sacramento, CA (very flat) so I would think with San Francisco being so close that I would have access to a good selection of these bikes. I'm 5'11 and 1/2 with a 32 in inseam.
Yes, as you can see on the rando example there is a lot of room for fenders and wider tires. shame if its a touch too small for ya, i thought maybe it would work.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by channon01 View Post
This is 100% why I am looking at rando style bikes. I still want the quickness without feeling like the thing is built like a tank.

And Fender1 -more than I need is (unfortunately) how I buy everything! lol
Not lugged and aluminum, but some of the mid-80's Cannondale sports touring models (ST400, ST500, ST600) might be right up your alley. The came set up for sidepull brakes rather than cantilevers (which is an odd choice for full on touring), but would be ok for you. Not quite as tanklike as some true full on tourers and a bit lighter. Many of them (though I think not some of the ST500s) had forks with the mid-fork threading for a front rack.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:25 AM
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I have a Fuji Finest that would make quite the rando bike.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:35 AM
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Something like a Raleigh International might be workable - depending on what tires you plan to run.

just saw the Fuji Finest suggestion. That would work too, but again, might limit to 28's or 32's.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by channon01 View Post
I still want the quickness without feeling like the thing is built like a tank.
Old bicycles, as old cars and motorcycles, may have a Vintage cachet but the performance and range of modern drivetrains, brakes and the reliability of un-worn for decades components make for a better real world ride. Buying "behind the curve" with a slightly used 8-9-10 cog modern machine with proper geometry and fit will be in your price range. Not vintage aesthetics but arguably more functional if cycling the long miles is the requirement.

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