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Show off that Randonneur; and let's discuss the bike, the gear, the sport

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Show off that Randonneur; and let's discuss the bike, the gear, the sport

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Old 01-30-09, 12:37 PM
  #76  
nlerner
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post
It is no secret. The Ostrich and upcoming Velo Orange bags both from VO are more than half the price of a Berthoud. Jitensha studio link Neal just posted they have the Japanese made INUJIRUSHI bags for $185 or 165.
Well, Matt, I'm afraid I was overcome with longing at Jitensha. Of course, that was for an Ebisu or Toei frameset, but I settled on one of the large Inujirushi bags in grey.

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Old 01-30-09, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
Nobody said it was.
With all this talk about race/ride, I just can't resist:
Winning the Five Boro Bike Tour
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Old 01-30-09, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
The geometry chart on the Pereira link shows fork rake of 65 mm, head angle 73 degrees, and I am assuming wheel radius of 335 mm (a guesstimate, but should be within 5 mm). So its trail works out to about 34 mm, which is definitely on the "low trail" side of things. I assume it's intended for a front load? It certainly contradicts what was stated by many of us early in this thread, that higher trail was desired for better stability over long distance. This was thought to help reduce fatigue and to improve the safety of a tired rider.
Could it be that a proper Randonneuring bike could have either low or high trail, depending on how one intends to load it? If you have the front pack, then low trail works better because the weight up there gives your steering apparatus an inertia/tippiness problem. If you don't have the weight up front, then you want high/long trail, for the added stability.
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Old 01-30-09, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
Nobody said it was.
Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
To most perhaps, but not for Ken. To him it's a race<SNIP>
If only one person thinks it is a race, it isn't. So he can't win a brevet, although he may finish first in an impressive time
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Old 01-31-09, 10:53 AM
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This thread didn't prompt many currently active C&V'ers to reveal their OWN classic French randonneurs, much less tell us about how they ride.

The only member I know that actually own one is A.Winthrop (who's got two Rene Herse). Maybe they are all gone to Japan, and it is too late even if money is no concern.
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Old 01-31-09, 11:30 AM
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not mine, but i can dream! I hope to finish my Jack Taylor Tour of Britain today and take it for its inaugural ride. So excited.









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Old 01-31-09, 11:46 AM
  #83  
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So I posted it before in the 'saved from the dump' thread, but what the heck, I suppose it qualifies as a randonneur. I'm pretty chuffed with how my first rattle-can job turned out anyway:



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Old 01-31-09, 11:52 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
Could it be that a proper Randonneuring bike could have either low or high trail, depending on how one intends to load it? If you have the front pack, then low trail works better because the weight up there gives your steering apparatus an inertia/tippiness problem. If you don't have the weight up front, then you want high/long trail, for the added stability.
I initially posted that low-trail is often preferred for Randonneur bikes because with a small-to-medium-sized front load, this tends to result in better handling and you can get into the bag on the go. Getting to food or a windbreaker without having to stop is no small consideration on a long ride when you want to keep moving. But you're right that some people prefer a more rearward loading and high-trail. The stability will be greater in a straight line at higher speed, but not at lower speeds, or while leaning into a turn. Rivendell, for example, leans toward higher trail (as with my Bleriot), and their bikes are certainly used by many folks for brevets. When you're tired, the last thing you need is twitchiness, though I think Jan Heine would argue that low trail doesn't give up that much in this regard. And again, too much trail and you're looking at potential toe-clip overlap, which you also don't want when you're tired. I ride my Bleriot a lot with little-to-no-load, and I think it's a pretty flexible design, but it's not a dedicated Randonneur bike, either.
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Old 01-31-09, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
This thread didn't prompt many currently active C&V'ers to reveal their OWN classic French randonneurs, much less tell us about how they ride.
I think that what we're discovering is that not that many C&V folk have purpose-built randonneurs. There are a lot of C&V bikes with certain r.-ish features, but it's definitely a splinter sport in the cycling community. The other point to be made is that of the people who're really into randonneuring, only a small contingent are in it for the C&V style -- as some of the articles point out, it's a sport that's done on a wide variety of bike types, some at considerable variance from what we find the Herse/Singer model to be.

Like you, and apparently others here, I think that it's a very interesting bike type, and I, too, would like to see more examples. So this thread may spark interest in another type of bike to aspire to build/own, and maybe even ride in a brevet!
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Old 01-31-09, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by treebound View Post
I wonder how many miles a year some of the top road racers ride in a year.
Floyd Landis said that as a young racer trying to build power and endurance he once rode 24,000 miles in a year, "an insane volume that no one in the pro peloton even comes close to doing".


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Old 02-01-09, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, Matt, I'm afraid I was overcome with longing at Jitensha. Of course, that was for an Ebisu or Toei frameset, but I settled on one of the large Inujirushi bags in grey.

Neal
I've been looking at that as well. Here is the large handlebar bag on their website. Jitensha calls it a medium but Inujirushi calls it a large and I don't see a medium on their website. You can get a monogram for 630 yen--not bad.

Inujirushi also makes a $400 saddlebag as well.

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Old 02-01-09, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
Could it be that a proper Randonneuring bike could have either low or high trail, depending on how one intends to load it? If you have the front pack, then low trail works better because the weight up there gives your steering apparatus an inertia/tippiness problem. If you don't have the weight up front, then you want high/long trail, for the added stability.
Of course, Charles, that is a good way to look at it.

But I'm always amazed at how, from a design point of view, there really aren't many, if any, simple prescriptions in designing something as simple as a bicycle.
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Old 02-01-09, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
I think that what we're discovering is that not that many C&V folk have purpose-built randonneurs. There are a lot of C&V bikes with certain r.-ish features, but it's definitely a splinter sport in the cycling community. The other point to be made is that of the people who're really into randonneuring, only a small contingent are in it for the C&V style -- as some of the articles point out, it's a sport that's done on a wide variety of bike types, some at considerable variance from what we find the Herse/Singer model to be.

Like you, and apparently others here, I think that it's a very interesting bike type, and I, too, would like to see more examples. So this thread may spark interest in another type of bike to aspire to build/own, and maybe even ride in a brevet!

What you've just said here is why I suggested our readers look at this thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=270172)
in the Long Distance forum. I illustrates that not many distance riders use purpose-built bikes, though there is a lot of steel shown, and vintage. But also we'll find people who actually ride these long events using Madones and other more race-oriented machines.
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Old 02-01-09, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Of course, Charles, that is a good way to look at it.

But I'm always amazed at how, from a design point of view, there really aren't many, if any, simple prescriptions in designing something as simple as a bicycle.
Studying craftsmanship in a variety of forms, it's evident that the "perfect" whatever does not, and cannot exist, for the simple reason that every product represents compromise in some degree, consciously accepted and adopted by the craftsperson or people involved.
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Old 02-01-09, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
But I'm always amazed at how, from a design point of view, there really aren't many, if any, simple prescriptions in designing something as simple as a bicycle.
What?! a bicycle simple??!! You're pulling my leg, right? We spend an inordinate amount of time discussing all the subtleties of geometry, size, various types of tubing, and the sorts of ride that combinations give -- and that's leaving components other than the frame itself out of it entirely.
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Old 02-01-09, 11:41 AM
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No, CW, I meant mechanically simple, not that the results or the design space are simple.

At the end of the day it has only two wheels, a few other spinny things for propulsion, a minimized structure to hold it all together, and the smallest possible human contact points.

So yah, consider your leg pulled!!!!!
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Old 02-01-09, 02:10 PM
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I am still riding my sport tourer built in the earlly to mid 70's. It has the same wheel base as my 70 ish mirelli (sp) road bike that was about 5 years older. I did not like the way my sport tourer handled with a handle bar bag even when it was lightly loaded such as just 3 or 4 bananas for snacks. I have never had a rear rack on it so I don't know if I would like a rear bag better but I think I will try it just to find out. I need to get off the bike for a stretch anyway. It is not a race as stated above.
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Old 02-02-09, 08:48 PM
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Speaking of randonneuse:

http://cgi.ebay.com/French-construct...3%3A1|294%3A50

If I were only shorter and richer and in France.

Neal
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Old 02-02-09, 10:06 PM
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you guys got me started here, I'm thinking about riding 200k this weekend
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Old 02-02-09, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
This thread didn't prompt many currently active C&V'ers to reveal their OWN classic French randonneurs, much less tell us about how they ride.
...
I'm an aspirant, and have found - as you have, that while the LHT is a go anywhere, do anything bicycle, it isn't ideal for randonneuring. I'm still trying to sort this one out. I'm tempted to either go back to my Fuji Finest, or try pressing Shadowfax into service, or maybe even the Super Course, but I'm going to give the Surly a chance on a 200k first.
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Old 02-03-09, 06:57 AM
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So on to the C&V DIY nuggets:

What frames would be a good basis for a proper randonneuse with front-load?

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Old 02-03-09, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
So on the C&V DIY nuggets:

What frames would be a good basis for a proper randonneuse with front-load?
This is really the question. Since we like old bikes, and in this connection especially the French originators, we need not discuss the merit of simply choosing the carbon job with an oversize saddlebag. Most riders do this, though. I looked thru the entire 'Show Your Rando Bike' thread on the Long Distance forum, a mere 15 pages, and only a couple of folks had adopted the philosophies of Singer et al. The rest are riding racing bikes.

Finding a vintage frame with the appropriate fork trail might be difficult. I am not sure if I entirely understand this complex issue, but it seems to be the single most important design aspect that sets the old French randonneurs apart from the rest. What does a proper fork trail accomplish? Correct handling with a moderately heavy front load is one thing. Else?

In choosing a suitable conversion frame one may therefore have to divide the load between a medium sized front bag, resting on a low rack, and some sort of saddlebag or even, but in my eyes less aesthetically pleasing, a rear rack with a small pannier. The front storage is for items needed on the go, while spare tubes, tools, emergency supplies and such can be tucked away in the rear.

I'm becoming fascinated with the whole concept of riding far and long, non-stop brevet style, on a vintage bicycle. There's a lot of tempting old frames out there, most really inexpensive, to try and convert to a randonneuse. I don't know all the answers, but this is what I look for:

*Tall frame. Several centimeters bigger than a race frame for the same person. Something with barely enough stand-over height would be ideal. Why so big? So the handlebars can get up high enough for a comfy riding position, without awkward, unstable long stems.

*Relaxed but not lanquid geometry. Touring bikes are not particularly easily driven, mostly unexciting and solid, designed for stability under heavy loads. Not what I want for my randonneur. Racing frames from the eighties and onward are, generally speaking, stiff, twitchy, fast and efficient, but can get tiring in the long run due to steering issues and a hard, bouncy ride. Older racing bikes and high end socalled 'sports tour' frames may have the right geometry. In the latter catagory there seems to be a wide variety of quality. I wouldn't waste my time on anything below at least Reynolds 531, or equivalent, in the main triangle.

*Fender bosses are not essential, but signals a possible suitable geometry. Cantilever bosses, on the other hand, may mean a touring rig, so beware. Get used to spotting the right space between the rear tire and the seat tube, to quickly judge the frame angles.

*Don't worry too much about clearance for bigger tires and fenders. Most likely this is not a real option on sportier frames with stock 700c wheels anyway, so a 650b conversion might have to happen in almost all cases. If doing this, nearly all steel frames will accept up to 35mm tires and fenders. My Trek 600, a very viable rando candidate, have fender bosses and a somewhat stretched out frame, but the fork and rear brake bridge clearances are very tight. Skinny fenders and 23mm tires are the limit, but it takes hours of fiddling to avoid tire rub. Switch to 650b wheels and this is a non issue.

*Be prepared to experiment with several frames. Once you have the specialized components (long reach brakes, 650b wheels, fenders, 110 bcd crank and so on) it is simple and fun to move them from bike to bike.

* Edit: Horizontal drop-outs and fenders on a somewhat racing oriented frame makes it hard to remove the wheel without letting the air out of the tire. But ruling out horizontal drop-outs seriously limits the choices...

*Or just get the folks at the Alex Singer shop in Paris to make you a proper bicycle.

What do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?

Last edited by jan nikolajsen; 02-03-09 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 02-03-09, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
Get used to spotting the right space between the rear tire and the seat tube, to quickly judge the frame angles.
Won't this just tell you approximate chainstay length? Of course, a bike with longer chainstays will probably have slacker angles, but the gap b/w the tire and the seat tube doesn't technically have anything to do with seat tube angle AFAIK.
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Old 02-03-09, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalbicycle View Post
Won't this just tell you approximate chainstay length? Of course, a bike with longer chainstays will probably have slacker angles, but the gap b/w the tire and the seat tube doesn't technically have anything to do with seat tube angle AFAIK.
You're right. Maybe not a viable approach.

Anyway, these are some affordable but charismatic frames I'm checking into for a Randonneur conversion:

* Seventies Gazelle Champion Mondial, A-frame. The one with fender bosses.

* Mondia or Super Mondia. Threading issues (Swiss), but that's part of the game.

* Peugeot PX-10, seventies version.

* Gitane TdF, older model.

* High end Velosolex?

* Austro-Daimler Vent Noir or Superleicht

* Any old French steel, like Follis or Jeunet and others.

Comments?
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