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Recommend a classic light touring rando style frame

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Recommend a classic light touring rando style frame

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Old 08-18-16, 08:59 AM
  #51  
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You only need mid fork eyelets for low riders. No problem mounting a standard rack with one set of eyelets and spacers. Here is a VO rack on my PX10. This is fine for a rando handlebar bag and/or small panniers.



Come to think of it, I remember when lowriders came out, mid fork braze ons didn't exist yet. We used to install them with P clips mid fork and it works fine, though it's kind of ugly. If you go with braze on CP brake posts and low riders, it would be silly not to go with full braze ons for whatever kind or rack you want to use.
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Old 08-18-16, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Maybe you should look at Rivendell frames. I haven't heard of a single owner who regrets buying it. They're quite expensive but might be worth it for you. A met a guy who bought a used, damaged one for cheap. He had a chainstay replaced, and it's as good as ever, so the expensive repair was entirely worth it.
Uhhh - I would say ride a Rivendell first before going this route. My experience is that the ride quality is NOT lively or springy.

On the plus side, I liked my Riv's stability due to longer chainstays - much like certain vintage Motobecanes - and I enjoyed its stability and easy control on long fast descents. It was certainly beautiful with its near-OCD attention to detail and the exquisite Joe Bell paint job. Mine was basically what was once the LongLow, but with short reach brakes, a mistake on my part. Let me stress this - it was a beautiful and beautifully made bike, the closest thing to rideable art I had ever owned.

In time, though, I realized that I just didn't enjoy the ride of oversized tubing. It became more of an issue than I thought it would. It was really disappointing to realize that for all the money and all the exquisite Rivendell-y parts I hung on that bike (T.A. Zephyr crank, T.A. sealed pedals, Campy-hubbed-MA2 wheels, Nitto everything), I just didn't enjoy riding it very much. I love Grant and his ideas, but frankly, the ride quality of just about every standard-diameter tubed 531 bike I owned was better for me, and I eventually started taking note of how on a set route I was faster not only on my Mercians, but even on beat up old French 531 bikes like a PX-10 or a Gitane TdF. The Rivendell was just a slower bike to ride, and I attribute that to the stiffer OS tubing and to a lesser extent to the beefed-up gauges Grant was spec'ing for them.

Oh - and yeah, no matter how much I tried, I could never get past that 1.5 degree or so upslope to the top tube.

I don't recall seeing this mentioned in this thread yet, so I will say it - pay close attention to tubing diameter. I think for a rando bike you want standard diameter stuff comparable to 531, Vitus 172, or better.
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Old 08-18-16, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Regarding the Brit builders, probably should check the exchange rates considering Brexit. If the dollar price of a Mercian to your spec is below that of a Boulder, you have a great opportunity.
Exatly! With Brexit, the $-£ exchange is great for us! Delivered prices for The Mercian is ~$1200, the BJ World Tour is ~$900 (£680), and Holdsworth Cyclone is ~$760 (£580). ***edited*** sorry I keep screwing up the prices. These are the correct prices with conversion.



Originally Posted by clasher View Post
My 1000 also didn't have the room to run modern cantilevers so I had to live with the old-style kind that some people loathe to set up.
Not too familiar with old style cantis. You're not talking about center pulls are you? I want center pulls but not sure if I prefer CPs that use the the single hole attachment on modern road frames, or side posts on cantis. I think I want the side posts but not sure which is better.



Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Maybe you should look at Rivendell frames. I haven't heard of a single owner who regrets buying it. They're quite expensive but might be worth it for you. A met a guy who bought a used, damaged one for cheap. He had a chainstay replaced, and it's as good as ever, so the expensive repair was entirely worth it.
I like Rivendells, but I like the prices of the British bikes better.



Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Unless it's a top line outfit, I'd rather have Taiwan/Japan.

Also, give Simon @ Hanford cycles a buzz (firth and Wilson transport)...he's pretty reasonable, and his work is fantastic. In addition to Mercian, you'd also be surprised at how affordable a hetchins is.

Of course there are thousands of bikes from a variety of countries on the used market that fit.
I'd take a Japanese bike, if it was built by hand. But again, it will probably cost a lot more than the ones I mentioned. WRT Hetchins, I mentioned I don't like their curly stays, so I looked no further. As for used bikes, that's where I started, but finding the right kind, in the condition I want, in my size...not too fruitful.


Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Why don't you want a frame made in Asia? Some of the world's best lugged frames are made in Japan by Toei. They are,if anything, more "French" than bikes from France (excepting Singer or Berthoud). The SOMA San Marcos is a lugged frame made in Taiwan, and from what I hear is a very nice bike . It might be something like the bike you're looking for, but they might be all sold out.
Again, I'd love to have a hand made Japanese frame, but they'll be more than I'm willing to spend. I just don't want a mass produced frame made by robots. . Heck, the Bob Jackson, Mercian, and Holdsworth might be made by robots! I didn't even think of that possibility!!

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Old 08-18-16, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Exatly! With Brexit, the $-£ exchange is great for us! Delivered prices for The Mercian is ~$1200, the BJ World Tour is ~$680, and Holdsworth Cyclone is $580.





Not too familiar with old style cantis. You're not talking about center pulls are you? I want center pulls but not sure if I prefer CPs that use the the single hole attachment on modern road frames, or side posts on cantis. I think I want the side posts but not sure which is better.





I like Rivendells, but I like the prices of the British bikes better.





I'd take a Japanese bike, if it was built by hand. But again, it will probably cost a lot more than the ones I mentioned. WRT Hetchins, I mentioned I don't like their curly stays, so I looked no further. As for used bikes, that's where I started, but finding the right kind, in the condition I want, in my size...not too fruitful.




Again, I'd love to have a hand made Japanese frame, but they'll be more than I'm willing to spend. I just don't want a mass produced frame made by robots. . Heck, the Bob Jackson, Mercian, and Holdsworth might be made by robots! I didn't even think of that possibility!!
You don't HAVE to get curly fries with a Hetchins, but I agree that it sort of defeats the purpose. Call Hanford.
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Old 08-18-16, 09:47 AM
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So is there anybody making a production frame that fits ALL of the OP's criteria?

1. Lugged
2. Braze on centerpull bosses (I assume that's what hardware for centerpulls means)
3. Level top tube
4. Attachments for racks front and rear
5. 700c

The only one I can think of offhand are the Centurion ProTours, but only for a few years. Technically they were made for 27" wheels, but there are plenty of solutions with just longer reach brakes than the Gran Compes that came with them. I've got one on a hanger that I plan on putting 650b wheels, a test fit with MAFAC RAID's show that works just fine, so going from 27 to 700c you could just put a set of MAFAC Racers for a bit of extra reach.

That would be the optimum solution for you, and even though it was made in Japan, you would be hard pressed to find a better made frame. The chrome on these was about the best I've ever seen.

They are very hard to find, however, and command a premium. They only have one brazed on bottle boss, the rear brake cable is clipped on. To get exactly what you want, find a good condition vintage frame and have whatever you want brazed on.
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Old 08-18-16, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Call Hanford.
I really like this idea.

What could it hurt?

Fwiw Keep these American builders busy. They'll usually bend over backwards to get you what you want.
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Old 08-18-16, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Not too familiar with old style cantis. You're not talking about center pulls are you? I want center pulls but not sure if I prefer CPs that use the the single hole attachment on modern road frames, or side posts on cantis. I think I want the side posts but not sure which is better.
I think you may be confusing center pulls with cantilevers. While they both are pulled from the center, they are two different things.

99.9999% of the time you see brazed on posts for brakes, they are for cantilever brakes. (or "V-brakes", a variation of cantilevers)

Center pull brakes or generally mounted using a single standard brake hole. Brazed on center pulls refers to the rarer than unicorns custom variation, which mounts the two crossing arms of the brake directly to the frame. It used to mostly be seen on custom French bikes of the 60s, but has made somewhat of a comeback.

brazed on center pulls:



Standard center pulls:

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Old 08-18-16, 10:16 AM
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I don't think I've ever seen brazed on center pulls come with a production bike other than the aforementioned Centurion...that's definitely a niche sort of feature and something you'd probably have to go custom for. It's a very good feature...not knocking it.
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Old 08-18-16, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
You only need mid fork eyelets for low riders. No problem mounting a standard rack with one set of eyelets and spacers. Here is a VO rack on my PX10. This is fine for a rando handlebar bag and/or small panniers.

Come to think of it, I remember when lowriders came out, mid fork braze ons didn't exist yet. We used to install them with P clips mid fork and it works fine, though it's kind of ugly. If you go with braze on CP brake posts and low riders, it would be silly not to go with full braze ons for whatever kind or rack you want to use.

Beautiful bike Sal. I really like the low rider look but a front rack like yours would work.


Originally Posted by gugie View Post
So is there anybody making a production frame that fits ALL of the OP's criteria?

1. Lugged
2. Braze on centerpull bosses (I assume that's what hardware for centerpulls means)
3. Level top tube
4. Attachments for racks front and rear
5. 700c

The only one I can think of offhand are the Centurion ProTours, but only for a few years. Technically they were made for 27" wheels, but there are plenty of solutions with just longer reach brakes than the Gran Compes that came with them. I've got one on a hanger that I plan on putting 650b wheels, a test fit with MAFAC RAID's show that works just fine, so going from 27 to 700c you could just put a set of MAFAC Racers for a bit of extra reach.

That would be the optimum solution for you, and even though it was made in Japan, you would be hard pressed to find a better made frame. The chrome on these was about the best I've ever seen.

They are very hard to find, however, and command a premium. They only have one brazed on bottle boss, the rear brake cable is clipped on. To get exactly what you want, find a good condition vintage frame and have whatever you want brazed on.
Arghh! I missed out on a Centurion Pro Tour that I found on CL. I was a day late!

I may not be accurately describing what I want in a rando bike because, the BJ WT seems to have everything I want. (Sorry but I'm new to the rando bike world). The picture below seems to have everything I want- by CP hardware, i mean the bridge between the seat stays that the cable attaches to. I know you can buy a clip that attaches to the seat binder bolt, but I like the clean look of the bridge. Also, just so I have it right in my mind, traditional CP brakes use the single center hole found on most frames correct? CP brakes that use the braze-on side posts are also considered cantilevers correct? What is it when CPs (that looked more like CPs than cantis) use braze-on side posts, like the one n your pic of JYL's Bianchi?

Anyhow, thanks to everyone for this discussion. I'm learning a lot about a whole new genre of bikes- and that's always a good thing!!!
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Old 08-18-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I think you may be confusing center pulls with cantilevers. While they both are pulled from the center, they are two different things.

99.9999% of the time you see brazed on posts for brakes, they are for cantilever brakes. (or "V-brakes", a variation of cantilevers)

Center pull brakes or generally mounted using a single standard brake hole. Brazed on center pulls refers to the rarer than unicorns custom variation, which mounts the two crossing arms of the brake directly to the frame. It used to mostly be seen on custom French bikes of the 60s, but has made somewhat of a comeback.

brazed on center pulls:



Standard center pulls:

You cleared up the confusion I was having with CP brakes!! You are the man!!! Thanks Sal!!

So back to the BJ WT, those posts are for true cantis, not CPs that uses posts. I think I can live with that. I just want to ensure that whichever frame I get, it can take up to 32mm tires with fenders, and racks.

The bridge for the CP, while nice to have, isn't a must for me, so maybe the Mercian and Holdsworth are back to equal with the BJ WT.
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Old 08-18-16, 10:59 AM
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I bought a Bob Jackson World Tour direct from England about 6 years ago. Mine was off-the-peg, or non custom, and cost about $600 including shipping. Prices have gone up since then, but the USD has been doing well against the Pound and that helps bring down the price.

I got my BJ for commuting but have also used for touring, including a 400-mile loaded trip on the GAP-C&O Canal trails.

The nice things about Bob Jackson are the prices, option to choose among many colors and decal variations, and lots of braze-ons. Even if you buy one off-the-peg, they will paint it any color at no extra costs (although panels and strips cost more). The downside is that they don't publish frame geometries and getting that information out of them is like pulling teeth. I ended up having to call them and talk on the phone before deciding on the correct size, and that was difficult due to the British accents. Even so, my frame had a headtube that was about 2 cm shorter than I was told, but I worked around that.
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Old 08-18-16, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Not too familiar with old style cantis. You're not talking about center pulls are you? I want center pulls but not sure if I prefer CPs that use the the single hole attachment on modern road frames, or side posts on cantis. I think I want the side posts but not sure which is better.
I just mean the cantilevers that use smooth (or unthreaded) posts on the brakes. Modern cantilevers tend to use v-brake style pads and work on posts that are spaced farther apart. I don't think there are centrepull brakes that work on canti posts since the location of the pivots point is below the rim and CP brakes need it above the rim. Only thing that might work is using 650B wheels on a 700C frame and the Paul CP brakes that mount to canti posts rather than regular CP braze-ons. If I were getting a custom frame I would seriously consider CP braze-ons
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Old 08-18-16, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Beautiful bike Sal. I really like the low rider look but a front rack like yours would work.




Arghh! I missed out on a Centurion Pro Tour that I found on CL. I was a day late!

I may not be accurately describing what I want in a rando bike because, the BJ WT seems to have everything I want. (Sorry but I'm new to the rando bike world). The picture below seems to have everything I want- by CP hardware, i mean the bridge between the seat stays that the cable attaches to. I know you can buy a clip that attaches to the seat binder bolt, but I like the clean look of the bridge. Also, just so I have it right in my mind, traditional CP brakes use the single center hole found on most frames correct? CP brakes that use the braze-on side posts are also considered cantilevers correct? What is it when CPs (that looked more like CPs than cantis) use braze-on side posts, like the one n your pic of JYL's Bianchi?
Centerpulls with brazed on posts are called centerpulls with brazed on posts

I have two bikes with the exact same brake - MAFAC RAID's. One has brazed on centerpull posts, the other bolts on. The bolt in is significantly less stiff. I can stand over the "bolt on" bike, grab the front brake, and wiggle the bike back and forth and you can see the brake bridge (the part of the brake that the arms are attached to) flex a lot. The one with brazed on posts only flexes the arms. In practice, there's more braking force for the same "grab" on the brake levers with the brazed on posts.

But this doesn't define a "rando" bike. I guess a randonneur bike is the bike you ride on a randonneuring event? These are typically long distance rides, self supported, that isn't a race-riders are typically very cooperative and work together to get to the finish, and although they want to finish in a good time, the majority stop for lunch, stop and take a few pictures, and smell the roses along the way.

Just as Grant Petersen made it cool to ride lugged, steel frames with leather saddles and platform pedals, Jan Heine has become the standard for randonneuring bikes. Grant's bikes are beautiful, and are built to be mules, IMO. A mule is a very useful thing, you can load it down and take it just about anywhere. Jan's idea of a bike is more like a grand touring car. He wants it to ride fast without compromising on comfort. Grant's bikes are made to be rear loaded, Jan puts it all up front. Go on a randonneuring event with the Seattle randonneuring club, you'll see a lot of handlebar bags and few, if any saddle bags. Proper handling on a front loaded bike begs low trail geometry-"more rake in the fork" is a simplified way to describee it.

This is a very complicated subject, best way to describe it is to ride a low trail bike and see if it's your cup of tea. There are some local Portland people who would be happy to let you test ride one, including myself.
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Old 08-18-16, 12:31 PM
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Another thing to keep in mind is that 70's/80's touring bikes were built for loads. Jan recommends a light and responsive frame for the long-distance rando stuff he does. And one drawback of centerpulls or cantis with brazed posts is wheel size flexibility - you're stuck with 700c or whatever the posts are spaced for. I have a ~1980 Hodsworth Special that was specced for 700c, and with longer centerpulls it fits 650b wheels (and fenders) nicely. If I want to go back to 700c, I'll just swap brakes out.
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Old 08-18-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that 70's/80's touring bikes were built for loads. Jan recommends a light and responsive frame for the long-distance rando stuff he does. And one drawback of centerpulls or cantis with brazed posts is wheel size flexibility - you're stuck with 700c or whatever the posts are spaced for. I have a ~1980 Hodsworth Special that was specced for 700c, and with longer centerpulls it fits 650b wheels (and fenders) nicely. If I want to go back to 700c, I'll just swap brakes out.
Correct for cantilevers.

But I'm pretty sure you could do both wheel sizes using centerpulls with brazed posts. For a given brake, you can't go from 650b to 700c, even with RAID's - they're a few mm short on adjustability between the two. But you could just swap the brakes out. Short racers are 48.5mm reach (from the bolt), RAID's go all the way to 80mm reach. That's more than enough range to bridge the two wheel sizes. The nominal CTC distance of the posts is different, but you could braze them on at 75mm spacing (RAID spec), but if you wanted to ride 700c, put a set of spacers on the brake posts.

But the OP has already stated his preference for 700c.
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Old 08-18-16, 08:33 PM
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A stock Marinoni touring frame (the Tourismo) runs about $900 US (after conversion from $CDN). It looks like about $100 extra for a custom built one. Perhaps another builder to consider?

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Old 08-18-16, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Heck, the Bob Jackson, Mercian, and Holdsworth might be made by robots! I didn't even think of that possibility!!
Perhaps this was tongue-in-cheek, but just to be clear, I don't think you have to worry about that! However, they aren't all made in England:

Holdsworth Cyclone Heritage Frameset | Planet X

"Made in Italy, hand-crafted, lugged steel frame"

Mercian Craftsmanship

"One frame-builder builds each frame from start to finish, each builder has his own number which you will find on the bottom bracket shell near to the unique frame number."

Bob Jackson Cycles

"Unlike some so called bike frame manufacturers, we manufacture & paint all our frames in house, using dedicated staff, who have been trained in house to the high standards that a specialist such as ourselves requires."

I would personally recommend the Mercian because they are still a small company that has an unbroken history of production. Holdsworth is a "refreshed" name and doesn't seem to have much historical relevance in its current guise. I don't know much about Bob Jackson but their frames are mostly sold "off the peg," which doesn't seem to compete with Mercian's exclusively custom sizing and options. I know that a Mercian is near the top of my list for the next opportunity I have to get a nice bicycle!

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Old 08-19-16, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I don't think I've ever seen brazed on center pulls come with a production bike other than the aforementioned Centurion...
Now you have:



On sale right now for $525.

Jan Heine gave the Velo Routier a favorable "first ride" review as an entry-level rando bike in Bicycle Quarterly.

Speaking of, I think you should check out BQ, I get the strong feeling you are leaning toward the allroad bike. But then I have drunk the koolaide and have most of my bikes spec'ed with no less than 38mm tires now, even if that means doing 650b conversions. I don't have a true "low-trail" bike, but I'm feeling my way there. Light touring can be done with front bags on very lively, comfortable bikes. As mentioned, true touring bikes are intended for fully loaded touring. You could easily get low-rider front packs and tour on the above bike and be very happy commuting, club riding, or gravel grinding (hence Jan's allroad moniker).

And for the record, the mid 80's Japanese bikes I have are not built by robots. You're thinking cars, not bikes. Miyata, early Specialized and Nashbar, Centurion, Bridgestone: all very decent, hand-built, Japanese bikes. Production, yes, but not built by robots.

If you really want your mind blown, check out J.P. Weigle's bikes. He's so expensive he doesn't even have a web page, just a flickr account.



I heard there was a guy who auctioned off his soul on eBay...
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Old 08-19-16, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...&1433279890952


This may work. 1979 Trek 910.
Sorry about the other photos.
Didn't work, but early Treks are another good suggestion. Here's my '79 710 set up as a 650b randonneuse. 38mm tires with room for fenders (obviously not installed yet).

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Old 08-19-16, 10:34 AM
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For the OP budget, could easily shop and find a racy and light frameset, then mod to whatever you desire. Piles of them available. Say a $200 frame, capable for 32-34 width rubber. Then add rack braze-ons, lighting bracket bosses, even canti bosses. DIY paint or powdercoat under $150, add a $40 decal package. Done.
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Old 08-19-16, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
For the OP budget, could easily shop and find a racy and light frameset, then mod to whatever you desire. Piles of them available. Say a $200 frame, capable for 32-34 width rubber. Then add rack braze-ons, lighting bracket bosses, even canti bosses. DIY paint or powdercoat under $150, add a $40 decal package. Done.
What did you have in mind that fits 32-34mm tires? I'm thinking only bike-boom era bikes fit that bill: Gitane, Motobecane, Peugeot, Raleigh, Schwinn, etc.
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Old 08-19-16, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Uhhh - I would say ride a Rivendell first before going this route. My experience is that the ride quality is NOT lively or springy.

On the plus side, I liked my Riv's stability due to longer chainstays - much like certain vintage Motobecanes - and I enjoyed its stability and easy control on long fast descents. It was certainly beautiful with its near-OCD attention to detail and the exquisite Joe Bell paint job. Mine was basically what was once the LongLow, but with short reach brakes, a mistake on my part. Let me stress this - it was a beautiful and beautifully made bike, the closest thing to rideable art I had ever owned.

In time, though, I realized that I just didn't enjoy the ride of oversized tubing. It became more of an issue than I thought it would. It was really disappointing to realize that for all the money and all the exquisite Rivendell-y parts I hung on that bike (T.A. Zephyr crank, T.A. sealed pedals, Campy-hubbed-MA2 wheels, Nitto everything), I just didn't enjoy riding it very much. I love Grant and his ideas, but frankly, the ride quality of just about every standard-diameter tubed 531 bike I owned was better for me, and I eventually started taking note of how on a set route I was faster not only on my Mercians, but even on beat up old French 531 bikes like a PX-10 or a Gitane TdF. The Rivendell was just a slower bike to ride, and I attribute that to the stiffer OS tubing and to a lesser extent to the beefed-up gauges Grant was spec'ing for them.

Oh - and yeah, no matter how much I tried, I could never get past that 1.5 degree or so upslope to the top tube.

I don't recall seeing this mentioned in this thread yet, so I will say it - pay close attention to tubing diameter. I think for a rando bike you want standard diameter stuff comparable to 531, Vitus 172, or better.
Awesome points Rusty! I love the way Rivs look, except for the 1.5 slope! Why why why? 1.5 does hardly anything for extending the headtube. Should be 0 deg with 5mm of headtube extension.

Your comment about OS tubing is interesting. I have two EL OS frames and love the ride. Wonder if the Rivs are oversized too much.


Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I bought a Bob Jackson World Tour direct from England about 6 years ago. Mine was off-the-peg, or non custom, and cost about $600 including shipping. Prices have gone up since then, but the USD has been doing well against the Pound and that helps bring down the price.

I got my BJ for commuting but have also used for touring, including a 400-mile loaded trip on the GAP-C&O Canal trails.

The nice things about Bob Jackson are the prices, option to choose among many colors and decal variations, and lots of braze-ons. Even if you buy one off-the-peg, they will paint it any color at no extra costs (although panels and strips cost more). The downside is that they don't publish frame geometries and getting that information out of them is like pulling teeth. I ended up having to call them and talk on the phone before deciding on the correct size, and that was difficult due to the British accents. Even so, my frame had a headtube that was about 2 cm shorter than I was told, but I worked around that.
You got a great deal. It's now 50% more in just 6 years! Wow. I also like that I can get the colors I want. I have in mind Cardinal & Gold! Can I get a Fight On Trojans???✌️


Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I just mean the cantilevers that use smooth (or unthreaded) posts on the brakes. Modern cantilevers tend to use v-brake style pads and work on posts that are spaced farther apart. I don't think there are centrepull brakes that work on canti posts since the location of the pivots point is below the rim and CP brakes need it above the rim. Only thing that might work is using 650B wheels on a 700C frame and the Paul CP brakes that mount to canti posts rather than regular CP braze-ons. If I were getting a custom frame I would seriously consider CP braze-ons
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Centerpulls with brazed on posts are called centerpulls with brazed on posts

I have two bikes with the exact same brake - MAFAC RAID's. One has brazed on centerpull posts, the other bolts on. The bolt in is significantly less stiff. I can stand over the "bolt on" bike, grab the front brake, and wiggle the bike back and forth and you can see the brake bridge (the part of the brake that the arms are attached to) flex a lot. The one with brazed on posts only flexes the arms. In practice, there's more braking force for the same "grab" on the brake levers with the brazed on posts.

But this doesn't define a "rando" bike. I guess a randonneur bike is the bike you ride on a randonneuring event? These are typically long distance rides, self supported, that isn't a race-riders are typically very cooperative and work together to get to the finish, and although they want to finish in a good time, the majority stop for lunch, stop and take a few pictures, and smell the roses along the way.

Just as Grant Petersen made it cool to ride lugged, steel frames with leather saddles and platform pedals, Jan Heine has become the standard for randonneuring bikes. Grant's bikes are beautiful, and are built to be mules, IMO. A mule is a very useful thing, you can load it down and take it just about anywhere. Jan's idea of a bike is more like a grand touring car. He wants it to ride fast without compromising on comfort. Grant's bikes are made to be rear loaded, Jan puts it all up front. Go on a randonneuring event with the Seattle randonneuring club, you'll see a lot of handlebar bags and few, if any saddle bags. Proper handling on a front loaded bike begs low trail geometry-"more rake in the fork" is a simplified way to describee it.

This is a very complicated subject, best way to describe it is to ride a low trail bike and see if it's your cup of tea. There are some local Portland people who would be happy to let you test ride one, including myself.
Both of you guys make great points about CP brakes with braze-ons. I'll have to ask Mercian and BJ if they could do those, as they can customize for very little extra. The Mercian King of Mercia, and the BJ Audax End-End are made for 28mm tires with fenders. I know they can make it to fit 32mm with fenders for a slight up charge, which would be worth it IMO. If either can do the braze-ons fro CPs, and make it allow 32s, I'll have a WINNER!!!


Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Perhaps this was tongue-in-cheek, but just to be clear, I don't think you have to worry about that! However, they aren't all made in England:

I would personally recommend the Mercian because they are still a small company that has an unbroken history of production. Holdsworth is a "refreshed" name and doesn't seem to have much historical relevance in its current guise. I don't know much about Bob Jackson but their frames are mostly sold "off the peg," which doesn't seem to compete with Mercian's exclusively custom sizing and options. I know that a Mercian is near the top of my list for the next opportunity I have to get a nice bicycle!
I was absolutely being TIC..

I saw that the Holdsworth is made in Italy, and although I love Italian frames, the fact that this is a British company that makes this particular frame in Italy, holds nothing special for me. It's not that I dislike it, it's just that it doesn't make it anymore special. As for y recommendation for the Mercian, that's where I'm leaning to. I like the unbroken history. That's also why I like the Pashleys- it's the oldest continuous manufacturer of bicycles in England. Again, too bad that they don't sell frame sets.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
Now you have:



On sale right now for $525.

Jan Heine gave the Velo Routier a favorable "first ride" review as an entry-level rando bike in Bicycle Quarterly.

Speaking of, I think you should check out BQ, I get the strong feeling you are leaning toward the allroad bike. But then I have drunk the koolaide and have most of my bikes spec'ed with no less than 38mm tires now, even if that means doing 650b conversions. I don't have a true "low-trail" bike, but I'm feeling my way there. Light touring can be done with front bags on very lively, comfortable bikes. As mentioned, true touring bikes are intended for fully loaded touring. You could easily get low-rider front packs and tour on the above bike and be very happy commuting, club riding, or gravel grinding (hence Jan's allroad moniker).

And for the record, the mid 80's Japanese bikes I have are not built by robots. You're thinking cars, not bikes. Miyata, early Specialized and Nashbar, Centurion, Bridgestone: all very decent, hand-built, Japanese bikes. Production, yes, but not built by robots.

If you really want your mind blown, check out J.P. Weigle's bikes. He's so expensive he doesn't even have a web page, just a flickr account.



I heard there was a guy who auctioned off his soul on eBay...
Wow, that Toussaint for $525 is smoking! Maybe, one day, I'll get to a point where I feel the need and want for a 650b. But for now, I'm sticking with 700c.

I'm going to have to pick up a BQ today for my flight to Auckland. Need something to read.

I knew about Japanese frames being built by hand. I meant the robot thing for the Taiwan and Chinese "made in Asia" frames such as Soma, Surly, All City, etc. and for the record, I'm not knocking those bikes either. I know they're solid bikes, just not my for my soul-stirring.

J.P. Weigle makes incredible bikes! In fact, there was another thread on a different forum about "money no object" bikes, and the example I put up was a beautiful light blue JPW rando bike. LOVE his work.

Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
For the OP budget, could easily shop and find a racy and light frameset, then mod to whatever you desire. Piles of them available. Say a $200 frame, capable for 32-34 width rubber. Then add rack braze-ons, lighting bracket bosses, even canti bosses. DIY paint or powdercoat under $150, add a $40 decal package. Done.
Yep, I'm going to see Gugie next week to see what he has to offer. Also continuously checking CL. Bike shopping is fun.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
Early Treks are another good suggestion. Here's my '79 710 set up as a 650b randonneuse. 38mm tires with room for fenders (obviously not installed yet).

Seconded. My '78 Trek 930 w/Columbus is my current all-round favorite. A great lively ride. Not easy to find, but worth a look.
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Old 08-19-16, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
Didn't work, but early Treks are another good suggestion. Here's my '79 710 set up as a 650b randonneuse. 38mm tires with room for fenders (obviously not installed yet).


Thanks for the heads up. I'm at work and can't see it.
This has been happening to me a lot lately when I post from photo bucket.
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