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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 01-29-09, 12:00 PM
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jan nikolajsen 
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Show off that Randonneur; and let's discuss the bike, the gear, the sport

The recent Alex Singer on Ebay got me very interested in these purpose built bikes.

There's almost 25000 threads on C&V, but a search for 'Randonneur' reveal a little talk about handle bars and such, totaling a dismal 5 entries on the subject!!

Given that the French originators of this type of bike are world renowned for their craftsmanship, innovative design and riding quality, AND have influenced scores of contemporary and modern builders, we ought to have a little more focus on this here at C&V (classic rendezvous' mailing list has a bit more, but our user interface is so much better).

Since the original bikes are extremely rare and priced beyond reach of most, some interesting things to discuss would be:

*Which classic frames are best suited to a randonneur conversion and why?
*Which vintage drive trains and brakes would work?
*What does low-trail mean?
*Do I have to have Maxi-Car hubs!?!

Picchio Special defined it as such:
Randonneur (or perhaps more properly Randonneuse) - a bike designed for fast long-distance riding, small-to-medium load (often low-trail for front loading, but not always), frame designed for medium-wide tires, full fenders, and lighting.

So no fully loaded touring bikes. Go here to show off those (another of our great and inspiring threads). And no Italian steeds with a handlebar bag and compact crank disguised as a rando-ride.


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Old 01-29-09, 12:37 PM
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I grew frustrated and impatient hoping to pick up either a Miyata 1000 or a Fuji America that fit me, and ended up buying a new LHT last winter. For now that's my Randonneuse, but eventually...
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Old 01-29-09, 12:38 PM
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I wonder what your LHT looks like?
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Old 01-29-09, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
...hoping to pick up either a Miyata 1000 or a Fuji America ...
Why are these two particularly desirable?
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Old 01-29-09, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
Why are these two particularly desirable?
I must confess, one of my main considerations is the budget. I did used to have a Miyata 210 (that someone else here has turned into a real gem by the way), but I felt it a bit heavy, a tad large for me, and lacking a couple details I thought would be nice to have. I loved how stable it was, and how comfortable it was on longer rides though.

I have a Fuji Finest, that is also a really sweet ride, and which I've done a century on, but it lacks appropriate braze-ons for randonneuring. The old steel version of the America looked like it might offer a good balance of lightness and function.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post

*Which classic frames are best suited to a randonneur conversion and why?
It really depends on the headtube angle and the ability of the bike to accept widish 650b tires out back with good reach for brakes (and not to much BB drop). You'll need to swap the fork out to get the right rake. Kogswell produces 3 different ones with different dimensions to get the rake you desire.
*Which vintage drive trains and brakes would work?
TA Pro 5 vis cranks or the like and Simplex SLJ or Huret Jubilee derailleurs would be my choices. Brakes? Mafac centerpull or cantilevers.
*What does low-trail mean?
Here is a good article that explains it and why you have to consider the head tube angle:
http://www.momentumplanet.com/ecstat...anic/what-fork

*Do I have to have Maxi-Car hubs!?!
No not really...They are supposedly fantastic hubs and they certainly are pretty. While I hate the look of Phil products they are very nice and long lasting...I think they would be suitable for a modernish interpretation.

Jan
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Thanks for making the thread....It's something I have been interested in for quite a while and look forward to hopefully learning something new....
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Old 01-29-09, 01:00 PM
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I had aspirations of building one, but no good reason fot it. I had a TA triple in 180mm stashed away and a campagnolo rally RD. This January I sold them because I needed the money, so I can't forsee myself having on in the future.

I think Chris at VO likes motobecane's... at least that is what I read in my blog. I think the ideal bike would be 531 with lots of clearance. My sport touring Jeunet which I used as a fixed gear would probably be a good bike aside from the fact that the fork doesn't have nearly as much clearance as the rear (much to my frustration as I can't get a fender under it with a 25c tires (maybe if I switch to centerpulls).

In anycase, I do have a LHT because I like loaded long distance touring and bike camping with friends (which are slow ambles with lots of gear for comfortable camping). It weighs over 30lbs (you're probably wondering how!) and sucks for any kind of ride where I want to achieve speed, but then so did my nishiki international. I felt like I had a saddle on a snail (not the fast ones from nevereneding story either).

Unfortunately, a randonneur is not in my near future. I will say this, the best in the pacific northwest (last years cascade 1200 champ) is 64 years old and rides a litespeed with mavic ksyrium wheels and aero bars... he's not out to get style points, he's out to win and he does, everytime. he is 64.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:05 PM
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I bought this bike 2 weeks ago and I can't ride it enough, it's only tange infinity but man it is so sweet( to me anyway, It's not like I've ridden a lot of nice bikes)

I'm putting her in the shop this weekend to slap on some bar ends I pickup ed on EBAY, and some inline levers on the flats and some aero road levers on the drops, This is going to be my everything bike, but I'd like to do a local Rando event in the Spring in addition to a little camping.

It's an 85 Nishiki Riviera GT BTW
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Old 01-29-09, 01:07 PM
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I too have been wondering what makes the Miyata 1000 so desireable. Just rack bosses, cantilevers and slack angles? The one I've been looking for is a Specialized Expedition, but I know very little about loaded tourers.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:08 PM
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is it really so much the bike as it is the riding style and tradition behind the sport?
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Old 01-29-09, 01:12 PM
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Remember on this thread we will talk about FAST bikes, that the fit cyclist can keep riding fast after 350 miles and counting.

I also had a LHT (purpose built touring bike), and while I certainly could ride it for a long time, I couldn't ride it fast for a long time without hurting.

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Old 01-29-09, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rotharpunc View Post
is it really so much the bike as it is the riding style and tradition behind the sport?

Yes....The bike is designed for front loads and have different geometry to compensate for that load....They are not the same as frames designed for loaded touring....
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Old 01-29-09, 01:17 PM
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Isn't randonnuering just about going fast enough? you just have to finish within a certain amount of time right? it doesn't matter so much if your first or last? or are their dif. rando cultures out there?
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Old 01-29-09, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kpug505 View Post
Yes....The bike is designed for front loads
why front loads? and also how is a bike designed to carry front loads? other than higher spoke count on the front ?
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Old 01-29-09, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kbpfister View Post
why front loads? and also how is a bike designed to carry front loads? other than higher spoke count on the front ?
The French (we are talking about a French sport) preferred front loads and designed the geometry of the bike to suit that. The rake of the fork and headtube angles are different than just about every bike out there....They are very purpose built.

The link with an explanation:
http://www.momentumplanet.com/ecstat...anic/what-fork
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Old 01-29-09, 01:23 PM
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Jan Heine argues that an easily driven bike which comfortably can be ridden at higher speeds will allow you more breaks and possibly time to sleep:

http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/BQRandonneurBike.pdf

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Old 01-29-09, 01:30 PM
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I thought randonnuering was about a mix of going fast, and being able to support yourself for a few days. You're not full on camping, but you have clothes and food to last you during that time.

The differences between touring and rando is that I would expect a rando bike to have:

shorter wheelbases and less steering trail than a full on touring bike. You dont need full on panniers so the extra heel clearance isnt needed and the wheelbase is kept short so the bike is more responsive than a touring bike. the steering would also be "quicker" with less trail in the steering.

Overall I guess what I'm saying it Rando bikes seem to be more performance oriented than touring bikes, while carrying over a lot of the comfort and practical traits like lights, fenders, and racks, yet not pannier racks.

I think this is why converting an 80's "sport" bike to 650b and rando type bars is a really nice way to get all of those things. That said, I havent done that yet, although I've come close with my Gitane, minus the 650b conversion.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jan nikolajsen View Post
Jan Heine argues that an easily driven bike which comfortably can be ridden at higher speeds will allow you more breaks and possibly time to sleep:

http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/BQRandonneurBike.pdf

Very true...Singer,Herse and others were able to make bikes with full fenders, lights and a front rack that were right around (and sometimes less than) 20 LBS. Pretty amazing!
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Old 01-29-09, 01:35 PM
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So who's gonna post a picture of a real Rando bike then?
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Old 01-29-09, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kbpfister View Post
Isn't randonnuering just about going fast enough? you just have to finish within a certain amount of time right? it doesn't matter so much if your first or last? or are their dif. rando cultures out there?
I'd say so. There are the "ironman" type of mentality, pushing you limits. The 64 year old fellow is constantly trying to best his time, he holds the world record for most kms covered in a year on a bicycle (documented anyway) and he pre-rides the annual vancouver island randonneur 1200 before re-riding it with everyone else to make sure there are no surprises on the route.

Then there are the people out to have good time and just cover the distance. EVeryone has difference priorities.
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Old 01-29-09, 01:46 PM
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You can do a conversion. Mine was fast and dirty:
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Old 01-29-09, 01:49 PM
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Not mine although I wish it was.....


http://www.43bikes.com/herse-randonneur.html
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Old 01-29-09, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kpug505 View Post
Very true...Singer,Herse and others were able to make bikes with full fenders, lights and a front rack that were right around (and sometimes less than) 20 LBS. Pretty amazing!
Do you happen to have any photos or build lists of any of those? I'm just curious what exactly you have to do to get one of these bikes that light considering that the Singer and Rivendell in Jan Heine's article both weighed in around 25lbs, and those seemed to be pretty well built bikes!
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Old 01-29-09, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kbpfister View Post
why front loads? and also how is a bike designed to carry front loads? other than higher spoke count on the front ?
Better handling with front loads, and you can grab stuff from a front bag without having to get off and rummage. A bike designed for front loads will have lower trail, which means the contact patch for the front tire falls relatively closer to where the centerline of the headtube, extended theoretically, meets the road. It will steer a bit more from the bars and less from weight shift - remember, you don't to be doing a lot of leaning to turn with extra weight. Greater fork rake creates less trail, as does a steeper heattube angle (the greater rake also dampens road vibrations). Some folks still don't like the way lower trail designs handle.
A good vintage bike for a Randonneur conversion is one of the Trek sport models from the 80's - good fender clearance, but not all the added braze-ons a full touring bike would have. Lots of frames from the 50's and 60's would make decent randonneur conversions.
For vintage-type brakes, Mafac centerpulls are often the brake of choice, sometimes with braze-on mounting. TA cranks are also common for the retro-randonneuring set. You can often get away with either a triple or a compact double. Simplex Super LJ derailleurs are also popular. Franch parts make sense, given their influence in Randonneuring history, but an original "deer's head" Deore group from Shimano might also be cool.
My randonneuring bike is a 650B Rivendell Bleriot - it's a work in progress.
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Old 01-29-09, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
You can do a conversion. Mine was fast and dirty:
As I've posted before, that's not a Randonneur. Sorry.
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