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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 08-19-16, 12:43 PM
  #76  
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I'm a sucker for 1980s touring bikes.

The upper level touring bikes have, ostensibly, the same tubesets as "racing" bikes- like 531c, 531 + CrMo, Columbus SL and SP and similar tubesets. I say "ostensibly" because my 531c framed Trek 720 feels much more beefy than my 531 framed Trek 730.

I think we've pretty much determined that you want cantis not brazed on centerpulls, there's so few models of those brakes; cantilever brakes are plentiful and come in a dazzling array of styles.

While their are lots of people that find tourers lifeless and heavy, I find them smooth and stable.
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Old 08-19-16, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
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.
Those all would have something to fit. I do ride a '72 Le Champion with 32 width rubber.

But last year I picked up late 70's or early 80's Viner Record frame for $50. Ratty. Columbus SL main tubes with Falck stays. Perfect project to play with, for grins was able to slip on a wheelset with Vittoria CX Pro file pattern tread in 32 width. Surprised me and had possibilities. Being a fairly tight geometry plus a 55 cm frame, had to remove the dropout adjuster screws. For that one, ended up building a retro-roadie w/ Campy Ergo's, widening the rear for an 8 speed.

Point being there's stuff out there for cheap and if willing to think outside the routine, could have something fun and different.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:55 PM
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Wow, that Toussaint frame is amazing. I looked at the Toussaint web site a bit. Very nice.
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Old 08-20-16, 12:54 AM
  #79  
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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.
Rustystrings perfectly described my feelings about the Rivendell Rambouillet that was my daily rider for ten years. Something about it just wasn't as much fun/lively as I expected. It was certainly very capable, stable, solid, beautiful and comfortable (1.5 degree TT upslope never bothered me), just not a bike that made me smile. But the '87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer I found three years ago has all the pluses of the Riv, and it's a bike that truly always makes me want to ride it further.

BTW, I can just fit 32mm tires under the short reach brakes of the Marinoni thanks to perfect alignment and brake bridge placement. My old Miyata 912 has fender duty, which it can take with 28's, but it isn't quite as good with panniers since the chain stays are 2cm shorter. And it also proved to be more fun than the Riv when I decided to get it back on the road. So what Rustystrings said about tubing diameter is right on the money.

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Old 08-20-16, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, that Toussaint frame is amazing. I looked at the Toussaint web site a bit. Very nice.
I've been staring at the Toussaint frames since they came out a few years ago. In the market they seem to include a unique mixture of features which I suppose can be considered "amazing." Otherwise it's just another machine-made, butted chromoly frame that I'm rather sure comes out of a mysterious factory in Asia. That fact has held me back from jumping at the opportunity of purchasing a frame set.

The fellow Mike who blogs as The Early Morning Cyclist has apparently loved his Toussaint since building it up a couple of years ago, and the few professional reviews that can be gleaned on the internet seem to be mostly positive. But it's hard to get past the Velo Routier being made from typical chromoly and gosh knows where! I suppose at the price point no one can complain about that, though...
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Old 08-20-16, 08:30 AM
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I wasn't aware that Rivendell ever used OS tubesets. I haven't seen one with OS, but the larger ones have those double top tubes now, which are kind of non-sensical to me. Do they use heavier gauge tubes? Tubesets type and gauge aren't spec'd on their site.

I think riv's are cool and all, and I like the frivolous curly lugs. I looked at them seriously, but the geometry isn't quite right for me. Besides, they're more pricey than Mercian, who are willing to adjust geometry to suit as part of the normal price.
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Old 08-20-16, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I wasn't aware that Rivendell ever used OS tubesets. I haven't seen one with OS, but the larger ones have those double top tubes now, which are kind of non-sensical to me. Do they use heavier gauge tubes? Tubesets type and gauge aren't spec'd on their site.

I think riv's are cool and all, and I like the frivolous curly lugs. I looked at them seriously, but the geometry isn't quite right for me. Besides, they're more pricey than Mercian, who are willing to adjust geometry to suit as part of the normal price.
Some Rivs are sweet and some are WTH? The double top tube frames are fugly. The Atlantis IIRC was nice. But as mentioned before, even a 1.5 deg slope is unsightly on a lugged steel frame. For some reason, it doesn't bother me on titanium, carbon, aluminum, or even non-lugged steel frames.

Right now, Mercian leads the way, followed closely by BJ.
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Old 08-21-16, 11:23 AM
  #83  
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OP what bike do you ride brevets on currently?
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Old 08-21-16, 11:38 AM
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I've done my long riding this year (one 360k ride and one 220k) on my 2003 Rivendell Romulus. Because I have a chronic pinched nerve in my neck, I need my bars up relatively high, and the Riv really is my most comfortable bike for long distances. It's not my lightest, but it does fine on the hills. The engine is the bigger issue.
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Old 08-21-16, 11:45 AM
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If Mercian, and Bob Jackson are on your short list, I would also look at "Woodrup" framesets.

Cheers,
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Old 08-21-16, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I've done my long riding this year (one 360k ride and one 220k) on my 2003 Rivendell Romulus. Because I have a chronic pinched nerve in my neck, I need my bars up relatively high, and the Riv really is my most comfortable bike for long distances. It's not my lightest, but it does fine on the hills. The engine is the bigger issue.
Do you have other bikes to compare your Riv to? Wondering if your experience is similar to the two other posters regarding their Rivs.


Originally Posted by tombc View Post
OP what bike do you ride brevets on currently?
I don't do brevets...yet!. But I've done a couple of rides on my road bikes where I hit the century mark. Also done long multi day tours with the most recent being a San Fran to San Diego. The longest leg was right at 100 mi. I did that on my Dean coupled Ti roadie.

For loaded touring, I've done the Vaucluse region of France in 2013 and Estonia in 2014 on my Lynskey Cooper CX/commuter/tourer. If anything, I'd say the Cooper is the closest bike I have to fit Audax type of riding. It fits the bill, but I'm digging the lugged steel classics and hence, why I'm looking.

When I lived in Germany, I did a few organized sportif events but the mileage was no where close to 200km. I think the longest one I did was 120km sportif where we hit check points and got our cards stamped. Those were a lot of fun. Also done those on regular roadies.


Originally Posted by Chris W. View Post
If Mercian, and Bob Jackson are on your short list, I would also look at "Woodrup" framesets.

Cheers,
Chris
Thanks for the rec on Woodrup. I just checked them out and sent off an inquiry about the cost and details of their touring frame. Do you know off hand if Woodrup is a "refreshed" company like Holdsworth or have they been in continuous existence since its origin?

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Old 08-21-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Do you have other bikes to compare your Riv to? Wondering if your experience is similar to the two other posters regarding their Rivs.




I don't do brevets...yet!. But I've done a couple of rides on my road bikes where I hit the century mark. Also done long multi day tours with the most recent being a San Fran to San Diego. The longest leg was right at 100 mi. I did that on my Dean coupled Ti roadie.

For loaded touring, I've done the Vaucluse region of France in 2013 and Estonia in 2014 on my Lynskey Cooper CX/commuter/tourer. If anything, I'd say the Cooper is the closest bike I have to fit Audax type of riding. It fits the bill, but I'm digging the lugged steel classics and hence, why I'm looking.

When I lived in Germany, I did a few organized sportif events but the mileage was no where close to 200km. I think the longest one I did was 120km sportif where we hit check points and got our cards stamped. Those were a lot of fun. Also done those on regular roadies.




Thanks for the rec on Woodrup. I just checked them out and sent off an inquiry about the cost and details of their touring frame. Do you know off hand if Woodrup is a "refreshed" company like Holdsworth or have they been in continuous existence since its origin?
Woodrup is still the real deal! I've had a couple of them, pretty sure I'll have another before I die 😉
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Old 08-21-16, 07:12 PM
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This could be your road map.

Looks nice.

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Old 08-21-16, 07:28 PM
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I'm sipping the koolaid lightly recently. I put 37mm tires on my Raleigh International. I haven't ridden it far in one day yet, though.
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Old 08-21-16, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Do you have other bikes to compare your Riv to? Wondering if your experience is similar to the two other posters regarding their Rivs.
I have lots of other bikes and several that I've ridden on 100+ mile rides, and the Riv has proven itself to give me the most comfort for many hours in the saddle. Now, I've never ridden another Riv, and this one isn't OS tubing or sloping top tube or double top tubes, so I can't speak to the ride characteristics of those.
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Old 08-21-16, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
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.
Those frames are made by hand as well. They are fabricated by hand by very skilled welders in Taiwan. And TIG welding is not an easy skill to learn, whatever aesthetic qualms you may have about it. I'm sure they would not be too happy if they heard that people thought that robots were constructing these frames.

As far as I can tell, the only areas in bicycle production where robots are used is painting and component fabrication. Frames, whether metal or carbon, require a lot of hand-work from human beings. Although 3-D printing will be changing that very soon.

I think the whole marketing term "hand-made" has mislead a lot of people about what the real difference is between a small, custom workshop and a larger production operation. All of these frames are made by hand. The actual difference is how divided up the labor is. In a small workshop you have a handful of workers each individually seeing a frame through from beginning to finish or at least doing large parts of it. In a larger production setting the frames are still "hand-made" but the labor is divided up such that one person does the mitering, one person tacks, one person welds, one person does the finishing sanding and polishing, etc...

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Old 08-21-16, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm sipping the koolaid lightly recently. I put 37mm tires on my Raleigh International. I haven't ridden it far in one day yet, though.
Keep going fatter, if you can. My "73" turned out to be a "71", and the longer chainstays allowed 42's. It was a bit squirrely downhill until I added some rake (yes, counter to current thought).
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Old 08-22-16, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
This could be your road map.

Looks nice.

Bob Jackson 650B Randonneur - BRAZEN BICYCLES

Yes that is very nice! But I'm all about the 700c!

I sent off an email to BJ, Mercian, and Woodrup. BJ got back to me already. Will keep you all apprised of what they say.


Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Those frames are made by hand as well. They are fabricated by hand by very skilled welders in Taiwan. And TIG welding is not an easy skill to learn, whatever aesthetic qualms you may have about it. I'm sure they would not be too happy if they heard that people thought that robots were constructing these frames.

As far as I can tell, the only areas in bicycle production where robots are used is painting and component fabrication. Frames, whether metal or carbon, require a lot of hand-work from human beings. Although 3-D printing will be changing that very soon.

I think the whole marketing term "hand-made" has mislead a lot of people about what the real difference is between a small, custom workshop and a larger production operation. All of these frames are made by hand. The actual difference is how divided up the labor is. In a small workshop you have a handful of workers each individually seeing a frame through from beginning to finish or at least doing large parts of it. In a larger production setting the frames are still "hand-made" but the labor is divided up such that one person does the mitering, one person tacks, one person welds, one person does the finishing sanding and polishing, etc...
Good to know about the Taiwan and China frames. I still don't want a mass produced made by hand frame from anywhere in Asia except for Japan. this is coming from an Asian too!
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Old 08-22-16, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Yes that is very nice! But I'm all about the 700c!
Ahh yes, forgot that!

Sorry.

Still, that's a sweet rig and it would be so easy to follow that model.

At $850ish for the World Tour frameset, it's still a value.
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Old 08-22-16, 05:49 AM
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I wonder who will realize there is a market for a moderately priced lugged randonneur bicycle. I'd like one in 650B because I don't ride a big frame. But the larger frames could be for 700C. Pricewise it would probably have to be made in Taiwan. From what I've seen and heard, Maxway makes the best frames there and they are equal to the best production frames.

If I were younger I'd think about doing it myself.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
I wonder who will realize there is a market for a moderately priced lugged randonneur bicycle.
There was the Soma Stanyan, now discontinued. Not enough demand?
Works a treat w/ 700X28mm tires, mudguards & Carradice seatbag.

Made in Taiwan w/ Prestige main frame.
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Old 09-05-16, 07:05 AM
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Well, after a week or so of more pondering, I don't know if I am any closer to a decision!!! 😊 I have some of you to thank for that!!! Now, I've been drooling on about Ellis-Briggs, Woodrups, and even Hetchins (but without the curly stays &#128522. But price is a factor in this purchase, so as much as like Ellis-Briggs and Mercian, I will likely choose between the BJ and the Holdsworth Cyclone. Between these two, the sticking points are minor but they are there.

The Cyclone has 525 tubing, which is better than 531 from what I understand, primarily because the 531 tubing was never meant to be welded. It has the same legendary ride as the 531. The downside is that it is also sold as-is in that I can't request CP posts or CP bridge if I wanted to. But it comes with lowrider points, and double eyelets front and back. Also, max tire size is 28 w/ fenders. I also happen to like the looks of the Cyclone better than the BJ, with its sweet, chrome lugs, and old style pump pegs. Another slight downside is the history of the company (as I brought up in another thread here: http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...otobecane.html)

The BJ Audax has 631 which is the air hardened version of 531. It's supposedly stronger and lighter than regular 531 while maintaining its legendary ride quality. I can also get CP posts and bridge, lowrider points, and special stays added for less than $200 extra.

One question I need to have answered is which tube set is better- 525 or 631? Which has better ride compliance, better strength and durability (531 is more susceptible to rust. How about 525 vs 631?), etc.

Then I have to determine if the BJ, with the customization is worth the extra $$$. The Cyclone is $750, while the BJ is $960 (delivered prices).

Maybe I am closer to a decision. 😎✌️

Attached is a pic of someone's Cyclone. Love the color scheme too- it's very old school.
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Old 09-05-16, 07:13 AM
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I don't know why I can't post more than one pic at a time.
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Old 09-05-16, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Besides, they're more pricey than Mercian, who are willing to adjust geometry to suit as part of the normal price.
Hey which Mercian did you order and when is going to be completed? I really like the Mercian KoM the most, but for my first audax/rando frame, I want to go cheaper.

Be sure to post pics!!!
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Old 09-05-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
I don't know why I can't post more than one pic at a time.
Great color!
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