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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 08-17-16, 10:50 AM
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Recommend a classic light touring rando style frame

I like old style, but not necessarily old frames: Lugged, level top tube, 700c wheels, eyelets for fenders and racks front and rear, and hardware for center pull brakes. I'm interested in a Mercian King of Mercia or Audax and others in that price range ($1000 US). Not interested in anything made in Asia. Any recommendations on what else I should be considering?

TIA!
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Old 08-17-16, 10:57 AM
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My recommendation is to up your budget. If you want a new rando/audax style bike not made in Asia, $1k is too low unless that is your budget for the frame. A gunnar sport with fork runs north of $1k.

If you like older bikes, then $1k will get you a heck of a bike. Here's a thread on classic sports touring bikes:

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...g-bicycle.html
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Old 08-17-16, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
My recommendation is to up your budget. If you want a new rando/audax style bike not made in Asia, $1k is too low unless that is your budget for the frame. A gunnar sport with fork runs north of $1k.

If you like older bikes, then $1k will get you a heck of a bike. Here's a thread on classic sports touring bikes:

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...g-bicycle.html
Yep, I'm looking for the frame and fork only. Got pretty much everything else needed. The $1000 range isn't really a limit though, just sort of a target. The Mercian King of Mercia is £750 which converts to $975. With the posts for center pull brakes and extra water bottle braze-ons, it will probably be another £100. With S&H to the US but no VAT, it would probably be $1200 and change.

Was wondering if anyone knew of other makers like Mercian that were in the same ballpark price-wise. Holdsworths, Hetchins, Bob Jacksons, etc - I have no idea what their prices are, and their websites aren't really helpful. Although I have to admit, I'm not a fan of Hetchins' curly stays, and also not interested in brands like Claud Butler, which is only a shell of the company it once was isn't it? But others I like are the Pashley Clubman Country and the Dawes Galaxy Classic, but unfortunately they only sell them as complete bikes.

I was looking at used bikes, but having a hard time finding one that I like, that is in my size, and in the condition I require. Although I did see a sweet Miyata 1000 and a Centurion Super Touring. But they both sold before I was able to see them.

Thanks for the link BTW- more bike porn!
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Old 08-17-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
I like old style, but not necessarily old frames: Lugged, level top tube, 700c wheels, eyelets for fenders and racks front and rear, and hardware for center pull brakes. I'm interested in a Mercian King of Mercia or Audax and others in that price range ($1000 US). Not interested in anything made in Asia. Any recommendations on what else I should be considering?

TIA!
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.
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Old 08-17-16, 11:45 AM
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I'd spring for a gunnar with the OP's budget.
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Old 08-17-16, 11:52 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.
I'll keep looking for these- I just need to be patient. Btw, I found a Holdsworth Cyclone at a good discount on Planet X Cycles. Pretty sweet frameset. It's definitely in the running. Holdsworth Cyclone Heritage Frameset | Planet X
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Old 08-17-16, 11:55 AM
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Velo Orange frames meet many of your requirements, but are designed for cantis or disk. Perhaps someone who has built one up could discuss?

A similar question was asked in 2012.

You might also ask in the long distance competition forum.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
I'll keep looking for these- I just need to be patient. Btw, I found a Holdsworth Cyclone at a good discount on Planet X Cycles. Pretty sweet frameset. It's definitely in the running. Holdsworth Cyclone Heritage Frameset | Planet X
I think the only real issue with the Motobecane frame geometry that I have found is a wobble at high speed with a large load (~40lbs) on the rear wheel. But that is mostly my fault for trying a long descent with a large load of groceries. The only weird thing about Motobecanes is an odd bottom bracket threading. Although at your budget that won't be a problem. They can be either english, swiss, or french. I know that phil wood and IRD makes swiss and french bottom bracket cups. If you are lucky a frame will come with a stronglight or sakae swiss threaded BB. If not then the cheaper IRD option is about $40, $20 for a BB spindle and bearings, $20 for swiss cups.

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Old 08-17-16, 12:14 PM
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Bob Jackson offers several styles of frames, and three that could meet the OP's needs.

Bob Jackson Cycles
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Old 08-17-16, 12:15 PM
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I'm building up a Claud Butler frame that came to me free. There are many many options that would suit your requirements.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Yep, I'm looking for the frame and fork only. Got pretty much everything else needed. The $1000 range isn't really a limit though, just sort of a target. The Mercian King of Mercia is £750 which converts to $975. With the posts for center pull brakes and extra water bottle braze-ons, it will probably be another £100. With S&H to the US but no VAT, it would probably be $1200 and change.

Was wondering if anyone knew of other makers like Mercian that were in the same ballpark price-wise. Holdsworths, Hetchins, Bob Jacksons, etc - I have no idea what their prices are, and their websites aren't really helpful. Although I have to admit, I'm not a fan of Hetchins' curly stays, and also not interested in brands like Claud Butler, which is only a shell of the company it once was isn't it? But others I like are the Pashley Clubman Country and the Dawes Galaxy Classic, but unfortunately they only sell them as complete bikes.

I was looking at used bikes, but having a hard time finding one that I like, that is in my size, and in the condition I require. Although I did see a sweet Miyata 1000 and a Centurion Super Touring. But they both sold before I was able to see them.

Thanks for the link BTW- more bike porn!

What size you looking for?
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Old 08-17-16, 12:21 PM
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Old 08-17-16, 12:23 PM
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Besides Mercian, the obvious one is Bob Jackson. Prices are a bit less than Mercian, especially if one of their "off the peg" frames is right for you. I went for the Mercian in my quest for a light touring bike frame. FWIW they do really nice finish work.

Miyata 1000 as well as the Univega branded version the Specialissima were rare BITD and are even more scarce now. Even so, you might find one if you are patient. Trek 720 and other vintage high end touring bikes of the 70s and 80s were produced in fair numbers, so if you don't mind vintage and waiting they are out there.

Most modern non-boutique touring frames tend to be heavier than the classic touring frames of the past.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:27 PM
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I love the work of Mitch Pryor at MAP Cycles, but their pricing page indicates that base custom framesets start at $4000 and go up from there with add-ons.
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Old 08-17-16, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
What size you looking for?
I ride a 55 ETT in a road bike. Not really sure if I should get a slightly longer TT with taller Hat for a Rando. What's the consensus?


Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
Velo Orange frames meet many of your requirements, but are designed for cantis or disk. Perhaps someone who has built one up could discuss?

A similar question was asked in 2012.

You might also ask in the long distance competition forum.
Thanks for the link!


Originally Posted by spock345 View Post
I think the only real issue with the Motobecane frame geometry that I have found is a wobble at high speed with a large load (~40lbs) on the rear wheel. But that is mostly my fault for trying a long descent with a large load of groceries. The only weird thing about Motobecanes is an odd bottom bracket threading. Although at your budget that won't be a problem. They can be either english, swiss, or french. I know that phil wood and IRD makes swiss and french bottom bracket cups. If you are lucky a frame will come with a stronglight or sakae swiss threaded BB. If not then the cheaper IRD option is about $40, $20 for a BB spindle and bearings, $20 for swiss cups.
Interesting about the speed wobble. Hopefully it was just too much load. I'd use this with a very light load- stuff like going into downtown PDX for lunch, or the doctors etc.

Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Besides Mercian, the obvious one is Bob Jackson. Prices are a bit less than Mercian, especially if one of their "off the peg" frames is right for you. I went for the Mercian in my quest for a light touring bike frame. FWIW they do really nice finish work.

Miyata 1000 as well as the Univega branded version the Specialissima were rare BITD and are even more scarce now. Even so, you might find one if you are patient. Trek 720 and other vintage high end touring bikes of the 70s and 80s were produced in fair numbers, so if you don't mind vintage and waiting they are out there.

Most modern non-boutique touring frames tend to be heavier than the classic touring frames of the past.
Thanks for the link to Bob Jackson! I did a search for it and i didn't see it. I thougth they were in the same ball park for prices but they are good deal lower. So now, BJ, Mercian, and the Holdsworth Cyclone are at the top of my list.

Thanks everybody for the suggestions and thoughts!
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Old 08-17-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Trek 720 and other vintage high end touring bikes of the 70s and 80s were produced in fair numbers, so if you don't mind vintage and waiting they are out there.
That's what I was going to say. You can find those (if you're patient!) for waay below your budget, which leaves funds in your account to pay for lodging, so you can credit card tour without 50 lbs of camping gear. What size frame are you looking for?
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Old 08-17-16, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
That's what I was going to say. You can find those (if you're patient!) for waay below your budget, which leaves funds in your account to pay for lodging, so you can credit card tour without 50 lbs of camping gear. What size frame are you looking for?
50 lbs of camping gear would definitely take us out of the "light touring/rando" category.
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Old 08-17-16, 01:42 PM
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VO would be an inexpensive route to go and probably build up to be a great looking bike, but the frames are made in Asia. From the OP's posts, the interest is directed towards Anglo made frames only.
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Old 08-17-16, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
50 lbs of camping gear would definitely take us out of the "light touring/rando" category.
Camping gear is pretty light these days compared to when I went on my first backpack and bike camping trips. For whatever reason today's bike tourists seem to want to make up for it by carrying tons of laptops and cameras and chargers and stuff instead.

Old school touring bikes were fine for multi week loaded (not credit card) touring if you were halfway sensible about it.
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Old 08-17-16, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
Thanks for the link to Bob Jackson! I did a search for it and i didn't see it.
Thank USAZorro, he's the one that posted the link...
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Old 08-17-16, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ride-Fly View Post
I ride a 55 ETT in a road bike. Not really sure if I should get a slightly longer TT with taller Hat for a Rando. What's the consensus?
IMHO for level top tube bikes go with the traditional sizing of a bigger frame, especially for touring. It will give you a smoother ride. Head tube extensions just look dumb to me. Consider going with something between 'eddy fit' and 'french fit' on the calculator, perhaps a bit closer to eddy. IMO set it up about the same as your regular road bike WRT position. Top tube length, well it depends on you.
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Old 08-17-16, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I love the work of Mitch Pryor at MAP Cycles, but their pricing page indicates that base custom framesets start at $4000 and go up from there with add-ons.

He also has his joint project with Brent Steelman.

Still $3,000 but it comes with a load of nice for the $$$$.

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Old 08-17-16, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
That's what I was going to say. You can find those (if you're patient!) for waay below your budget, which leaves funds in your account to pay for lodging, so you can credit card tour without 50 lbs of camping gear. What size frame are you looking for?
I ride a 55 ETT in a roadie. Do you size up for rando?

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
VO would be an inexpensive route to go and probably build up to be a great looking bike, but the frames are made in Asia. From the OP's posts, the interest is directed towards Anglo made frames only.
Yep, I prefer made in Italy, France, Germany, or England. But I have to admit the VO Pass Hunter has everything I want in the frame, and it would be $300 cheaper than the Bob Jackson World Tour, which is probably my leader at this point. But the VO PH is out of stock in my size, and the BJ WT would be in the color that I want at $887 (£682) delivered.


This question is for all of you- between the British brands, which one tugs at your heart? Since I'm still just paring the list, and these three are in my field of view, between the Bob Jackson, the Mercian, and the Holdsworth, which brand speaks to you the most? I think I like the Mercian the most, but the price of a BJ WT and the Holdsworth are about half that of the comparable Mercian.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-17-16, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Thank USAZorro, he's the one that posted the link...
Thanks for setting me straight Sal!!


Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Bob Jackson offers several styles of frames, and three that could meet the OP's needs.

Bob Jackson Cycles
I owe you due gratis Zorro-man!! Thanks for the link!!!
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Old 08-17-16, 02:41 PM
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I have no experience with the new Holdsworth, and I have never ridden a Bob Jackson - but I can tell you that a dozen years later I still love my Mercian Vincitore custom road fixed-gear. I got to spec just about everything on it, including a relatively subtle head tube extension, fork blade lamp boss, seat tube angle, etc. I wanted a long-distance road fixed-gear for rides that I haven't yet given up on getting to do, like brevets, long credit card tours, etc. It was worth the money and it has never disappointed me, and I only wish I had more time to ride it.
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