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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 09-05-16, 10:48 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
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.
I vote to get the BJ! Ahem... the cost difference is not that huge, you get everything you want and the bike will come with 2 or 3 sets of bottle mounts depending on what you spec. The Holdsworth only has one set and if you are really going to do distances on the bike, you will need the fluid. Yes you can use a camelback but that is one more thing to carry/deal with. Also check the top tube specs on those Holdworths and make sure it will fit. They were a little wonky if I remember correctly.
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Old 09-05-16, 10:50 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I vote to get the BJ! Ahem... the cost difference is not that huge, you get everything you want and the bike will come with 2 or 3 sets of bottle mounts depending on what you spec. The Holdsworth only has one set and if you are really going to do distances on the bike, you will need the fluid. Yes you can use a camelback but that is one more thing to carry/deal with. Also check the top tube specs on those Holdworths and make sure it will fit. They were a little wonky if I remember correctly.
Touchdown.

That's my choice from this list as well.
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Old 09-05-16, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I vote to get the BJ! Ahem... the cost difference is not that huge, you get everything you want and the bike will come with 2 or 3 sets of bottle mounts depending on what you spec. The Holdsworth only has one set and if you are really going to do distances on the bike, you will need the fluid. Yes you can use a camelback but that is one more thing to carry/deal with.
I don't know if that's a good argument. Many frames come without braze-on mounts and you can still have as many bottle cages as can fit with the simple use of clips.
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Old 09-05-16, 11:20 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Touchdown.

That's my choice from this list as well.
Never gonna go wrong with a BJ, IMHO
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Old 09-05-16, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by spock345 View Post
It will be an older frame but I would recommend a mid to late 70's Motobecane Grand Jubile or Grand Record. It would be either Vitus 172 or Reynolds 531 double butted tubing depending on the year. They can generally be had for about $200-ish for a bare frame (including headset and BB) or up to $400-500 for a full bike (all assuming very good condition). That would leave you at least half your budget for components, frame modifications, and upgrades of your choice.

A grand record.


A grand jubile.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qY4m5hgA7...0/IMG_6416.JPG

I have also seen people turn older Raleigh competitions into 650b rando bikes.
Sidebar, Mighty Sugino Mighty! Really the best IMHO
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Old 09-05-16, 11:25 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I don't know if that's a good argument. Many frames come without braze-on mounts and you can still have as many bottle cages as can fit with the simple use of clips.
Very true. That said, clips can scratch paint, clips are more likely to slip with repeated use, metal clips can break/crack from vibration and rust.

When looking at a rando bike, part of what you are trying to do is to reduce possible problems before they arise. Its not that a cage can't come loose but it is a bit less likely to be a problem on the side of the road at 2AM, 100 miles from home. A
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Old 09-05-16, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Very true. That said, clips can scratch paint, clips are more likely to slip with repeated use, metal clips can break/crack from vibration and rust.
I always put a small piece of light fabric between my clips and the frame. One time I used some black wool and it lasted almost ten years before I removed it, holding the clips securely with no damage to the frame, and hardly even any wear on the fabric after uncounted washings, thousands of miles of hard riding, etc.

There are always ways to do such things efficiently with a bit of thought!
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Old 09-05-16, 12:31 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I vote to get the BJ! Ahem... the cost difference is not that huge, you get everything you want and the bike will come with 2 or 3 sets of bottle mounts depending on what you spec. The Holdsworth only has one set and if you are really going to do distances on the bike, you will need the fluid. Yes you can use a camelback but that is one more thing to carry/deal with. Also check the top tube specs on those Holdworths and make sure it will fit. They were a little wonky if I remember correctly.
Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Touchdown.

That's my choice from this list as well.
Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Never gonna go wrong with a BJ, IMHO
Haha! Everyone wants BJ!



Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I don't know if that's a good argument. Many frames come without braze-on mounts and you can still have as many bottle cages as can fit with the simple use of clips.
Good point, but I prefer actual bosses instead using bands around the paint. Oddly, I never noticed there was only one set of bosses in the pics. In the Specifications tab, it says there are two sets of bosses. Two sets are actually a fairly important feature for me. If the Cyclone were to have only one set of h2o bosses, I'm choosing the BJ.


Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Sidebar, Mighty Sugino Mighty! Really the best IMHO
What's the Mighty Sugino? That pic of the Motobecane Grand Record in purple and red is why I like the Holdsworth. That color combo screams old school!
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Old 09-05-16, 12:39 PM
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I think the deal-breaker on the Holdsworth Cyclone heritage would be that it only has clearance for 28mm tires. That's too slender for a proper touring rig.
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Old 09-05-16, 01:21 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I think the deal-breaker on the Holdsworth Cyclone heritage would be that it only has clearance for 28mm tires. That's too slender for a proper touring rig.
True, but I doubt I'll. ever use this as a full touring rig. Maybe a CC tourer and carry a change of clothes. Regardless, I prefer 32s for this bike, but on my CX/tourer I've done two loaded tours and I've run 30mm CX tires. What about 30s? Can't find much in 30s but something to consider for frames designed for 28s
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Old 09-05-16, 02:56 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
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.
I wouldn't get too hung up on "legendary ride quality". Considering the MOE of every kind of steel is essentially the same, ride quality is going to depend more on geometry and gauge choices than the grade of steel. The fancier steels get much stronger though, allowing thinner tubes to be used. Lighter gauge tubes tend to make the ride more compliant, but also they make the frame less stiff. It's all a balancing act.

Anyhow, 631 is better than 525, or at least higher up in the hierarchy according to Reynolds. The higher the number, the fancier the steel. 525 is their entry level tubing. (actually 520 is but that is 525 made under license in the far east)

531 is somewhat less susceptible to rust than 525 BTW. It's a characteristic of manganese alloy steels, including 631 and 853.


Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
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.
It's a King of Mercia with touring geometry. I already posted pics when the frame came in.
Stay tuned, I'm working on putting it together now. Still waiting for a couple parts to get here.
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Old 09-05-16, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Haha! Everyone wants BJ!





Good point, but I prefer actual bosses instead using bands around the paint. Oddly, I never noticed there was only one set of bosses in the pics. In the Specifications tab, it says there are two sets of bosses. Two sets are actually a fairly important feature for me. If the Cyclone were to have only one set of h2o bosses, I'm choosing the BJ.




What's the Mighty Sugino? That pic of the Motobecane Grand Record in purple and red is why I like the Holdsworth. That color combo screams old school!
Agreed, and tell me that crank doesn't help plenty.

The crank on the Moto is a Sugino Mighty, easily as good as any other if not better and my all time favorite when it comes right down to it. Had one 30 years ago that outlived 2 or 3 bikes until it was stolen with the Super Course it was on after surviving many PDX washouts and overhauls was still going strong. Have 5 or 6 of them in stock now and may have to put them on a couple of blasphemous builds in the future just for fun.
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Old 09-05-16, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Agreed, and tell me that crank doesn't help plenty.

The crank on the Moto is a Sugino Mighty, easily as good as any other if not better and my all time favorite when it comes right down to it. Had one 30 years ago that outlived 2 or 3 bikes until it was stolen with the Super Course it was on after surviving many PDX washouts and overhauls was still going strong. Have 5 or 6 of them in stock now and may have to put them on a couple of blasphemous builds in the future just for fun.
Yes that is a mighty fine crankset!!! At first look, I thought it was a custom piece. Hmm, I will be on the lookout for one of those in the future.
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Old 09-05-16, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Yes that is a mighty fine crankset!!! At first look, I thought it was a custom piece. Hmm, I will be on the lookout for one of those in the future.
The red dust caps are the main indicator and they have silver slotted and allen hole as well, black bmx too(very rare), also S crown between flute and dust cap. When you see one of these in fine condition I think they easily rival Campy even though Campy is Campy. Just look what it does for this Moto, Campy derailleurs and all.

Be aware that one has Campy rings I think. Stock Suginos looked just like Campy rings for the most part and were/are at least as tough IMHO.

Again, All Hail the Mighty Sugino Mighty!

And another one, post #47 in Show your Motobecane Grand record

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Old 09-06-16, 12:10 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by spock345 View Post
It will be an older frame but I would recommend a mid to late 70's Motobecane Grand Jubile or Grand Record. It would be either Vitus 172 or Reynolds 531 double butted tubing depending on the year. They can generally be had for about $200-ish for a bare frame (including headset and BB) or up to $400-500 for a full bike (all assuming very good condition).
I have also seen people turn older Raleigh competitions into 650b rando bikes.
After having done 2 Motobecane Grand Sport rando conversions in a row (not mine), I'm on the hunt for a 60cm/24" frame. The workmanship on them is outstanding. Where are you finding frames for $200? Recently they've been harder to find.

Yeah, that guy in Connecticut cranks out a Raleigh Competition conversion now and then...
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Old 09-06-16, 06:21 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
It has the same legendary ride as the 531.

It's supposedly stronger and lighter than regular 531 while maintaining its legendary ride quality.

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.
I've got 4 531 framed bikes- one rides completely different than the other 3 and out of those- 2 have nearly identical geometries, but still feel different. I don't know that I'd attribute a ride quality to 531 (IME), but more of an indication of quality of materials.


I like getting into the intricacies of the little stuff, and as much as I'd argue against it- I think there's more to be said about "preference" than something being quantitatively "better."
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Old 09-06-16, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I've got 4 531 framed bikes- one rides completely different than the other 3 and out of those- 2 have nearly identical geometries, but still feel different. I don't know that I'd attribute a ride quality to 531 (IME), but more of an indication of quality of materials.
I like getting into the intricacies of the little stuff, and as much as I'd argue against it- I think there's more to be said about "preference" than something being quantitatively "better."
Indeed. I've been following this thread with some interest. I have bought dozens of nice old steel bikes that measured pretty much the same size (and on paper fit me well), with 531 or Columbus tubing, and some felt fabulous (kept those) and some just didn't click, no matter how I fine tuned saddle/stem positions - you know it when you ride it. What keeps me in the vintage market, rather than getting a new custom steel frame, is: what if you order it, build it, and it doesn't click? There are so many intangibles in frame geometry and construction that affect ride. With vintage, you're out maybe $300 tops, and you sell it and move on it's a wash at worst. I'm not trying to seed doubt in your decision making process, just offering my take.
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Old 09-06-16, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
After having done 2 Motobecane Grand Sport rando conversions in a row (not mine), I'm on the hunt for a 60cm/24" frame. The workmanship on them is outstanding. Where are you finding frames for $200? Recently they've been harder to find.

Yeah, that guy in Connecticut cranks out a Raleigh Competition conversion now and then...
There's a 57cm frameset on portland CL right now.

Last edited by nazcalines; 09-06-16 at 10:33 AM. Reason: edit: Grand Record
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Old 09-06-16, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by nazcalines View Post
There's a 57cm frameset on portland CL right now.
Yeah, but I ride a 60...
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Old 09-06-16, 10:51 AM
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Not my size either, but at $50 I should pick it up for braze on practice.

Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Yeah, but I ride a 60...
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Old 09-06-16, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nazcalines View Post
Not my size either, but at $50 I should pick it up for braze on practice.
Good point, but unfortunately my company blocks Craigslist...if it's still around when I get home, I might call...
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Old 09-06-16, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Good point, but unfortunately my company blocks Craigslist...if it's still around when I get home, I might call...

I have a 59cm C-T Grand Record frame or complete bike....needs some love....
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Old 09-06-16, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Good point, but unfortunately my company blocks Craigslist...if it's still around when I get home, I might call...
You need a smartphone.
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Old 09-06-16, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
You need a smartphone.
My company provides me with one. And they block Craigslist on it too.

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Don't tell me to get a personal one, I'm an engineer, ergo I'm a cheap bastard.
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Old 09-30-16, 02:52 PM
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Bikes: Colnago Ext C, Colnago C40, Colnago Mix, Fondriest TF1 Top Carbon, Dean El Diente Ti S&S, Lynskey Cooper CX Disc Ti S&S, Mondonico Futura Legerro, DeRosa Primato, Tommaisini Tecno, Ciöcc Mokva80, Colnago Classic, Brompton M6L, Bob Jackson Audax End-E

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Update:

I've decided on my audax frame- It was a tough choice- I was oscillating with each one being the leader at some point.

Initially the Holdsworth led, because I loved the look of the chrome lugs, chainstays, and fork stays, as well as the purple and red paint. Plus, it was only $750 shipped. I decided against it because of a couple of reasons, with one being on the silly side: it was made in Italy instead of England. I know, I know!!!- What's wrong with made in Italy you ask??? I want my English branded bike to be made in England, just as I've only bought Italian branded bikes made in Italy. The other reason was that it only had one set of water bottle bosses.

I was really tempted to go with the Mercian even though it was 50% more than the comparable BJ. The main reason was that I read on their site that they pin their frames before welding. Pinning lugs is a technique that very few builders use, with Richard Sachs being the most well known. Antonio Mondonico pinned when he was building- I have one of the last frames he built before retiring, and it is my favorite riding bike. What ultimately caused me cross them off was their poor communication. I asked questions about tubing and paint and never got a response- asked twice about which tubes are used for the stays and fork on a 631 KOM (wanted to confirm if the stays were downgraded to 525 or the whole frame was 631) and 3 times about trying to match their standard paints with cardinal red and zinc yellow gold (Fight On Trojans!! Even though we are in a downward spiral ) I got tired of trying to extract info from them. It almost felt like they didn't need my business. Cool, they won't get it.

BJ has been great with answering questions. They (Donald) were very accommodating with special requests (willing to use oval stays instead of the standard round-oval-round of the audax frames in order to fit 32s with fenders is just one example). Then I found a pic of an absolutely stunning BJ Audax E-E in Amber flamboyant that sealed the deal. Their paintwork is amazing. The only thing I'm still working on is trying to match their standard colors with the USC colors. Anyhow, check out this Amber baby:
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