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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 02-03-09, 11:40 AM
  #101  
IceNine
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I was thinking of going this direction with my 1983 Trek 620. Although it was built to be a touring bike, I think it may be better suited for this type of application.

Fame: doubled-butted Reynolds 531c
wheelbase: 108
chainstays: 44
head angle/seat angle: 73X73
trail: ~46 depending on tire size
max tire width with fenders: ~32-35
eyelets: 1 each front and rear
brakes: calipers

Despite the reputation of the Trek touring bikes, this was a little under-built for touring. However, just right for fast long distance riding.

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Old 02-03-09, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by IceNine View Post
I was thinking of going this direction with my 1983 Trek 620. Although it was built to be a touring bike, I think it may be better suited for this type of application.

Fame: doubled-butted Reynolds 531
wheelbase: 108
chainstays: 44
head angle/seat angle: 73X73
trail: ~46 depending on tire size
max tire width with fenders: ~32-35
eyelets: 1 each front and rear
brakes: calipers

Despite the reputation of the Trek touring bikes, this was a little under-built for touring. However, just right for fast long distance riding.
Just looked at the catalog at Vintage Trek. The 620 looks great. Older steel Treks are probably the largest, most suited pool of quality frames for randonneuring out there.

Did you measure your frame or is there a place with trail info for every Trek?
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Old 02-03-09, 12:05 PM
  #103  
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Click here for the Kogswell trail/flop calculator. You need to know the head angle, the fork offset, and the tire diameter. The trek catalog provided the head angle and fork offset.
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Old 02-03-09, 12:09 PM
  #104  
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Okay, the thought process begins, current plan is to use the 1973 (Schwinn) World Voyager. First off, apart from the major overhaul/regreasing/adjusting, will be to replace the rear rack and find a suitable front rack. I've got time though since any distance events around here don't start for several/many months yet. The folks in warmer climates get a jump on us up here, but we make up for lost time when their riding areas turn into humid ovens.

Handlebars will probably become Nitto Randonneur bars with bar-end shifters, seat will be replaced with something else, 27" wheelset will maybe become something else. I've got a set of metal fenders I pulled off a World Tourist woman's frame that I will have to hammer on a bit to get the front to fit between the fork legs.

Or maybe I'll use a different bike, I've got plenty of time yet....

Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
...
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.
...
What do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?
To my thinking you are on the right track, assuming my understanding is generally correct.
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Old 02-03-09, 12:17 PM
  #105  
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I don't understand the need for wider tires -- if most people actually doing this (though perhaps not with maximum efficiency or comfort) are riding racing bikes, what are the 650Bs with wide tires achieving? Presumably the load one is carrying is pared to the essentials. Is it just about shock-absorbency?

I have two, no three, frames that might be suitable. All are 63 cm: a non-DB 60s Falcon with significant fork offset that's currently being built as a fendered 3-speed commuter; and two 70s Reynolds 531 Jeunet frames. They both need repaint, and de-rusting in places; no garage queens, these two. I don't actually have one of them in my possession, it's at my brother's house on the west coast. They're identical except that one has Nervex (or Nervex-y) lugs, and the other has plainer lugs without the zoots. I haven't measured the fork offset on either, but it appears old-style. When I finally get them both in the same place, I'm going to choose the better frame and fork to build something for myself, and make the runner-up available for someone else who will reuse it "sensitively."

On dropouts: for those inclined to spend a bit of money (esp. if repainting is required anyway) it wouldn't be out of the question to refit an otherwise appropriate frame with vertical eyeletted drops.

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Old 02-03-09, 12:34 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
I don't understand the need for wider tires -- if most people actually doing this (though perhaps not with maximum efficiency or comfort) are riding racing bikes, what are the 650Bs with wide tires achieving? Presumably the load one is carrying is pared to the essentials. Is it just about shock-absorbency?

...
It accomplishes a few things.

1. Helps eliminate toe overlap
2. Higher volume tires are more comfortable for all-day riding, do not appreciably affect rolling resistence (in fact in many instances they are an improvement), and they are less prone to pinch flats.
3. By swapping them in where a frame may have tightly accommodated a 700c x 25 tire, you can mount a 650b x 35 (or thereabouts) and also have room for the mud guard.
4. The wider tires work much better on rough roads - which are not unheard of in randonneuring events.
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Old 02-03-09, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
....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.
OMG, John!! Just did a search for Shadowfax. You got the rando-ride of my dreams right there! I'll add a Raleigh Professional, circa '70, 64cm ctc, to the list.

edit: In fact there's one on Ebay right now, when there's positively no funds available!!


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Old 02-03-09, 01:15 PM
  #108  
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It seems that the modern take on randonneuring is inspired by the classic bikes of Herse, Singer, Routens etc..., with the front loading geometry and 650B wheels. But those were very expensive machines at the time, which make me wonder what the French masses would ride during a Brevet or PBP. Similar geometry?

Another effect of the wider tires is that they grip a bit more laterally and it reduces a bit wheel flop, along with the lower trail.
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Old 02-03-09, 01:17 PM
  #109  
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I am wondering what "geometry" would a real randonneur bike have. I have been doing some searching trying to find geometry numbers on different bikes that are considered Rando/Audax bikes with not much success. I ride big bikes so I am usually comparing 62-63cm bikes from different companies and that of my own Nishiki seral. Bikes I have found geometry numbers for are the Mercian King of Mercia, Audax Special, and some of the Rivendell bikes (Sam Hillborne, A.H.H., and Rambouillet). The only things I find in common is usually 72-73 degree seat and head tubes. Everything else including chain stay length, fork rake, and of course the resulting fork trail differ depending on the frame.

I know that a big fork rake = low trail perfect for heavy front loads (porteur), and that a higher trail number will be more stable especially at speed unloaded. I was searching for what trail is good for a smaller front load=rando bike. I found this link about Kogswell's P/R that can be purchased with three different forks with 50mm, 40mm, or 30mm of trail. From that article the 30mm is the heavy loaded front option, 40mm is the sometimes loaded front option and 50mm is the not front loaded option.

And just for some info I measured my Nishiki Seral that will be the 3 speed fixed Rando build. Here are some geometry numbers from that bike. 63cm frame, 60cm top tube, 73 degree head tube, 73 degree seat, 44.5cm chainstays, 43" wheelbase, 59mm rake, and a trail of 44mm when used with my current 700x32 tires (692mm diameter).

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Old 02-03-09, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
OMG, John!! Just did a search for Shadowfax. You got the rando-ride of my dreams right there! I'll add a Raleigh Professional, circa '70, 64cm ctc, to the list.

edit: In fact there's one on Ebay right now, when there's positively no funds available!!

I know a fellow who is bidding on that one. He was actually along on both the rides I took Shadowfax on last year - including my first moving crash in 40 years. He sounded pretty motivated about it.

p.s. Shadowfax is fine - just a very light scuff on a brake hood and lever, and one minor paint chip.

The drawbacks of this frame for randonneuring are the lack of braze on fittings. That can be overcome, but I prefer to not have things clamped onto the tubes.
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Old 02-03-09, 01:28 PM
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For reference, here's a link to the specs on Jan Heine's 1962 Singer Randonneuse:

http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/singer.html

Note, 72 degree head angle, 65mm fork offset, 700 x 25c tires.

Neal
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Old 02-03-09, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post
I am wondering what "geometry" would a real randonneur bike have. I have been doing some searching trying to find geometry numbers on different bikes that are considered Rando/Audax bikes with not much success. I ride big bikes so I am usually comparing 62-63cm bikes from different companies and that of my own Nishiki seral. Bikes I have found geometry numbers for are the Mercian King of Mercia, Audax Special, and some of the Rivendell bikes (Sam Hillborne, A.H.H., and Rambouillet). The only things I find in common is usually 72-73 degree seat and head tubes. Everything else including chain stay length, fork rake, and of course the resulting fork trail differ depending on the frame.

I know that a big fork rake = low trail perfect for heavy front loads (porteur), and that a higher trail number will be more stable especially at speed unloaded. I was searching for what trail is good for a smaller front load=rando bike. I found this link about Kogswell's P/R that can be purchased with three different forks with 50mm, 40mm, or 30mm of trail. From that article the 30mm is the heavy loaded front option, 40mm is the sometimes loaded front option and 50mm is the not front loaded option.

And just for some info I measured my Nishiki Seral that will be the 3 speed fixed Rando build. Here are some geometry numbers from that bike. 63cm frame, 60cm top tube, 73 degree head tube, 73 degree seat, 44.5cm chainstays, 43" wheelbase, 59mm rake, and a trail of 44mm when used with my current 700x32 tires (692mm diameter).
I would think the makers at Bob Jackson would have a pretty good handle on that. Here's their off-the-shelf Audax frame. Retails for 360 pounds, which is a shade under $520.00 at today's exchange rates.



Plenty of colors and options to choose from.
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Old 02-03-09, 01:34 PM
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Here's the link: http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/pr...products_id=45

Very reasonable for a new lugged steel frame. But then again, I know nothing about BJ.

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Old 02-03-09, 01:49 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
Here's the link: http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/pr...products_id=45

Very reasonable for a new lugged steel frame. But then again, I know nothing about BJ.

I spent almost all of 2007 riding a slightly too small 1990 Bob Jackson, Grand Prix (an older off the shelf model). It had a very good finish (though in quite a garish color combination of highlighter yellow with black accents), very nice attention to detail, and the bicycle was both stable enough to inspire confidence at high speeds, and responsive enough to outcorner pretty much any other bicycle I've ever ridden. If it had been a couple cm larger, and/or a bit more tolerable color combination, I would never have parted with it. Granted, this was much closer to a criterium frame design than a randonneuring design, but my impression of the brand was quite favorable - and this from a period of time when Bob Jacksons were reputed to be a bit off their best.

I'm not trying to sell one or anything, but if you are seriously considering a frame for randonneuring, I would include them in the investigation.
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Old 02-03-09, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
For reference, here's a link to the specs on Jan Heine's 1962 Singer Randonneuse:

http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/singer.html

Note, 72 degree head angle, 65mm fork offset, 700 x 25c tires.

Neal
Interesting to take note of in that link is the apparent standover clearance (could be camera angle) and the choice of gearing (which might have been stock when the bike was new so he might have stayed with that gearing for that reason). Chainrings are 46-32, rear cluster is a 4-speed 15-17-19-21. Per the sheldonbrown.com gear calculator it gives him a range of 40.2 to 80.9 gear inches.
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Old 02-03-09, 02:19 PM
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KAPOWWWWW! One of the nicest bikes I have ever seen. Viva Vanilla
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Old 02-03-09, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post

And just for some info I measured my Nishiki Seral that will be the 3 speed fixed Rando build. Here are some geometry numbers from that bike. 63cm frame, 60cm top tube, 73 degree head tube, 73 degree seat, 44.5cm chainstays, 43" wheelbase, 59mm rake, and a trail of 44mm when used with my current 700x32 tires (692mm diameter).
Interesting. I havent measure the rake or trail, but aside from that those are the exact same measurements of the Motobecane Grand Jubilee I just picked up.I was considering making it into a rando bike for brevets this summer..

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Old 02-03-09, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by j. hughes View Post
So, would my Trek 520 (1984) make a decent rando type bike?
I'm intimately familiar with that bicycle... I still ride my '84 520 that I bought brand new off the showroom floor.

It would make a great rando bike... the loaded tourer ridden without the load on it should be comfy and easy to keep on the road when you're tired. It'll track straight and won't get squirrely if you reach for something out of your handlebar bag.

The only drawback that I could see is frame flex if you tend to mash rather than spin. Oh yeah... if it's still on there, dump the Maillard Helicomatic rear hub.
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Old 02-04-09, 09:06 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
It accomplishes a few things.

1. Helps eliminate toe overlap
2. Higher volume tires are more comfortable for all-day riding, do not appreciably affect rolling resistence (in fact in many instances they are an improvement), and they are less prone to pinch flats.
3. By swapping them in where a frame may have tightly accommodated a 700c x 25 tire, you can mount a 650b x 35 (or thereabouts) and also have room for the mud guard.
4. The wider tires work much better on rough roads - which are not unheard of in randonneuring events.

I haven't been able to get this thread off my mind since it started. Mostly because I am about to set up a 1983 Schwinn Super LeTour for commuting. I have been casually following radonneur/audax matters for a couple of years. It seems like a great sport. This thread motivated me to learn more about the subject (especially front racks and 650B tires) and consider making this Super LeTour more of a randonnoeur bike, but I'm not sure it will be worth my while to do so. The expense of going to 650B seems like too much for too little as I can't afford to stimulate the economy right now although I have been wanting to experience some of the 650B goodness I hear about. The tires sure do look great, what with those classic white walls. I like the front bags, but question if I need ready access to anything while riding. Beyond the map and a quick snack, what does one need ready access to during a brevet? For commuting, I won't need that ready access. My setup will use 27 1/4 Pasela TourGuard tires, a rear rack with trunk bag, and Velo Orange stainless steel fenders.

As for the OP's question, I propose the Schwinn LeTours as possible great candidates for randonneur conversion. The frame angles, chainstay length, double butted chromoly tubes, and usual cheap market value seem to fit the criteria:

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...90/index2.html

Regards,
Steve - hoping to get some of the 650B goodness in the future
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Old 02-04-09, 09:48 AM
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Using keyword "trail" I searched the iBOB archives on bikelist.org. 7757 references found. Some obviously may be irrelevant, but a quick browse indicates most are on topic. You might also search for Jan Heine, as he posts there. A great resource.

Happy reading!

http://search.bikelist.org/?SearchSt...e=internet-bob
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Old 02-06-09, 08:18 AM
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A handy trail calculator:
http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/trailcalc.php

And a good explanation of trail from Dave Moulton:
http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/20...le-bit-of.html

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Old 02-06-09, 12:37 PM
  #122  
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My touring bike/commuter has fairly classic rando geometry. It probably should have had more fork rake. I'm going on a 200k tomorrow, and I wimped out and I'm going to ride my racing bike. It just feels so much lighter and I haven't ridden over 100 miles in a number of years. I'm going to do some longer rides on the commuter later because the lighting is so much better.
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Old 02-06-09, 06:21 PM
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Check this bike out guys and tell me if this is a Touring or Randonneur. I got it a while back and it's way too small for me but the wife might want to keep it since it has fenders, lights and the rack. Here are some pics.



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Old 02-06-09, 06:26 PM
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I think calling a bike a "randonneur" might inflate eBay prices as much as attaching the "fixie" label does. At least, that's what seems to be happening with this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/56-CM-Randonneur...3%3A1|294%3A50

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Old 02-06-09, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I think calling a bike a "randonneur" might inflate eBay prices as much as attaching the "fixie" label does. At least, that's what seems to be happening with this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/56-CM-Randonneur...3%3A1|294%3A50

Neal
Well it's definitely not a constructeur bike, but it is equipped true to its period. The Berthoud bags cost a pretty penny from Wallingford. His chain is too short - Duopars shouldn't sit forward like that.

He's set up a bike and called it a randonneur, because he wants one. I don't think the term is well-enough defined here to be able to make fine distinctions.
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