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first rando bike build- what do you think?

Old 03-05-14, 10:42 AM
  #1  
johnnyboy1
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first rando bike build- what do you think?

I have been car-free for 2 years but riding a IGH flat bar commuter. I want to start going longer distances and am thinking of this build:

Velo Orange Campeur frame set
Rene Herse double crank
SKF BB
Shimano 105 cassette & front derailleur
Ultegra rear derailleur
downtube set-up
wheel set TBD

Does this sound OK?
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Old 03-05-14, 11:40 AM
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Looks good! If you're not going to load the bike with racks and bags, take a look at the V/O Pass Hunter. That my be a bit lighter and provide a better unloaded ride. Just a guess though, I have no personal experience with either frame set. I'm also in the process of building a new rando bike. I like building bikes almost as much as I love riding them!
Enjoy,
c
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Old 03-05-14, 12:25 PM
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my prejudice is to go for an expensive frame and cheaper components, since I do occasionally change out things like cranks/wheels. I would consider one of the Waterford contracted rando bikes over the VO
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Old 03-05-14, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
. I want to start going longer distances and am thinking of this build:
I was in the same boat you are now a year ago.
It helped to apply Project Management methodology to go forward with a build w/o wasting a lot of $, time and ending up with a machine that did not meet my requirements.

Define what the Scope of your project is.
For example: Is it to build a light efficient machine for formal Brevets vs. a comfortable long distance light touring bike?

Then define Quality, Budget & Timeline.

Define Requirements:

Frame material & size
Wheel size, tire width
Fender clearance Y/N
Braking system
Gearing range
DT shifting is your requirement
Load carrying capability F/R
Lighting Y/N
And so on

Keep "scope creep" out, stick to budget, meet your requirements on time and you will be satisfied.

Having said that I'm modifying my "test mule" after putting a year on it and learning that my requirements needed a "Phase II" re-think.

Have fun w/ your project,

-Bandera
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Old 03-05-14, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
my prejudice is to go for an expensive frame and cheaper components, since I do occasionally change out things like cranks/wheels. I would consider one of the Waterford contracted rando bikes over the VO
I've got a Gunnar (built by Waterford), and would totally agree. I went out a purchased a feather weight full carbon bike last summer and ended up riding my Gunnar more. To me, nothing compares to ride of a quality steel bike.
c
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Old 03-10-14, 07:42 PM
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Nice looking frame.

Why downtube shifters?

If the bike will be for remote heavy touring, bar-cons are still a good choice. You can shift without removing hands from bars and they are reliable and less expensive than brake/shifter combos.

Have you ridden one? Looking at the rake/trail/head angle, I wonder about the handling unloaded. With loaded panniers up front, it will be stable but I wonder otherwise. This shuold be a quick steerer at low speed. Looks llike a Miyata that I had.

If you plan to load it up, look carefully at the rear eyelets. Bring some of those clamps just in case.

Finding good quill stems is not the easiest task anymore but to be honest, I like the old headsets and stems better anyway.

Cantilever bosses, 3 water bottle mounts, rack mounts on the fork, fender mounts, long wheelbase......only $600. Not bad.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:27 PM
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Don't assume that you need a "rando" bike to ride longer distances- ride what you got, and work on the perfect bike in the meantime.
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Old 03-11-14, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
Nice looking frame.

Why downtube shifters?

Have you ridden one? Looking at the rake/trail/head angle, I wonder about the handling unloaded. With loaded panniers up front, it will be stable but I wonder otherwise. This shuold be a quick steerer at low speed. Looks llike a Miyata that I had.

If you plan to load it up, look carefully at the rear eyelets. Bring some of those clamps just in case.

Finding good quill stems is not the easiest task anymore but to be honest, I like the old headsets and stems better anyway.

Cantilever bosses, 3 water bottle mounts, rack mounts on the fork, fender mounts, long wheelbase......only $600. Not bad.
I'm actually rethinking the DT. Will prob change to bar end. Also, will prob have a light load up front most of the time and rarely a heavy load.
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Old 03-11-14, 10:27 PM
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so .. pictures or just a shopping list? "Campeur" is a touring frame in French.

"randos" are lighter .. carrying just that big Bar Bag ,

how about their Pass hunter ?

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-11-14 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:09 AM
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This config does not make much sense to me.

Does Rene Herse even make cranks? I thought they only made frames. And which double crank? 53/39? 50/34? Neither?

And downtube shifters? What is this, 1970? :facepalm:

My 2c:
* Frame matters only to the extent that it needs to have clearance for 700x28's and fenders. And even that applies only if you routinely rando in the rain and/or off pavement. I would not go chromoly unless I absolutely had to. If you weigh 300+ lbs, you might want to consider chromoly. If not, stick with aluminum till you can afford carbon or titanium.
* Get clip-on aero bars.
* Make sure that you can hang 4 bottle cages on the bike. This normally means 2 on the frame and 2 behind the seat. (The alternative is to get a Camelbak, but I think that it's better to keep heavy stuff hanging on the frame than on your body. Some people get handlebar-mounted water containers.)
* Since you're going mechanical (and Di2 seems outside your budget anyway), there's absolutely no reason not to get a triple crank.
* For LD events longer than 300k, it's highly recommended to have a dyno hub. It'll weigh a ton (ok, not a ton, but it adds about 1 lb to your total weight, vs. a standard front hub), but it is useful because you get to the point where all your electronic equipment, from Garmin to cell phone to lights, runs out of juice long before you're done. You can keep Garmin powered a bit longer with an extended battery pack, but you want a dyno hub to power your lights.

Finally, you need to spend as much time thinking about the accessories you're going to carry with you, as about the bike build. Far too often people spend hours agonizing about Shimano vs. SRAM drivetrain but only give a passing thought to the stuff that goes into the saddle bag. In randonneuring, one of the key objectives is being prepared for emergencies. Can you fix the bike if something goes wrong? Can you fix a flat? Can you fix two flats in a row? Will you be able to get home without calling your SO or a taxi if you fall off the bike at 20 mph?

Last edited by hamster; 03-12-14 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:15 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
so .. pictures or just a shopping list?
Will be building within the next month. Need to decide on gearing, though.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post

Does Rene Herse even make cranks? I thought they only made frames. And which double crank? 53/39? 50/34? Neither?

My 2c:
* Since you're going mechanical (and Di2 seems outside your budget anyway), there's absolutely no reason not to get a triple crank.
Yes, Compass carries them. And I am leaning towards the same conclusion re: triple.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:32 AM
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If the downtube front derailleur mount would have accommodated, I would have gone with a mountain double crank in the 42/28 range with an 11-28 (SRAM cogs) or 11-32 11 speed in the back. Work out the gear inches, it is a nice set-up.

beign able to fix a broken chain or a broken spoke is an essential skill on the road. Maybe a cable, especially on cantis.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:27 AM
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Does Rene Herse even make cranks?
the brand name is still in use , but the name is all thats left.

the new stuff looks like the old, but is not Made in France, anymore.
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Old 03-12-14, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
I'm actually rethinking the DT. Will prob change to bar end. Also, will prob have a light load up front most of the time and rarely a heavy load.
The Campeur is a touring frame designed to carry a heavy load. I'll admit I've never ridden one, but I've ridden similar bikes (Long Haul Trucker, Riv Atlantis). Without a load, they tend to ride like a brick on wheels. A good randonneuring bike is essentially a race bike, light and lively but with the ability to handle the tires, fenders, lighting and luggage that you think you'll need. I'm not fond of VO frames (used to own a VO Rando) but of their current offerings a Pass Hunter makes the most sense for randonneuring.

I'm in the school that believes the frame is the most important piece of the puzzle. Buy the best frame you can afford, hang cheap but functional components on it and upgrade components over time as they wear out.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:34 PM
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After a couple of years on DT shifters, I'm pining for STI again. I'm all for nostalgia, but there's a reason technology has marched on. The small upside is that DT friction shifters require almost no maintainence.
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Old 03-17-14, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
My 2c:
* Frame matters only to the extent that it needs to have clearance for 700x28's and fenders. And even that applies only if you routinely rando in the rain and/or off pavement. I would not go chromoly unless I absolutely had to. If you weigh 300+ lbs, you might want to consider chromoly. If not, stick with aluminum till you can afford carbon or titanium.
*
why not steel for normal rando duty?
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Old 03-17-14, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude View Post
After a couple of years on DT shifters, I'm pining for STI again. I'm all for nostalgia, but there's a reason technology has marched on. The small upside is that DT friction shifters require almost no maintainence.
I rode my first year of rando on DT shifters. I remember dreading every shift on my first 600k because it physically hurt to shift. It's nice to be forced to move around a little, but bar end shifters meet this need very well.

Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
why not steel for normal rando duty?
I prefer steel. I think rando bikes get beat up quite a bit, and I think steel works just as well or better in that environment. Not suggesting to go for a heavyweight though, light steel is the way to go
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Old 03-17-14, 05:44 PM
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I have also learned to define your goal in rando and then build the rando bike to suit your goal.

I've done Brevets on a Touring bike and the weight at the end of the ride is noticeable if you want to have a fast time.
I've done Brevets on a relaxed road frame but it has limited carrying capacity and doesn't do fenders. I've done fast comfortable brevets on that bike but only in the warm and dry summer months.
I've done Brevets on a Brevet bike (Raleigh Clubman) and I am comfortable over long distances in the heat, cold, and rain. However, everytime I show up on the Brevet bike the other guys are there on their road bikes and I die trying to keep up as they accelerate up hill on bikes that are 10lbs lighter.

My current plan is to do warm 200k-300k brevets on the relaxed road frame (Schwinn Le Tour Alloy with Ouza fork) and long brevets 400k+ on the Clubman and force myself to not worry about trying to ride as fast as possible (easier said than done for me).

So, what goal do you have in mind for your Rando build? Speed over comfort or comfort and storage over speed? It is my opinion that Speed, Comfort, and Storage are the three legs of the stool you have to balance in building a Brevet bike.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:08 PM
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FWIW

I just bought a new rando bike this past spring, after four years of randonneuring. I had a long list of requirements. When it came to making a purchase decision, one requirement overruled everything... basically my list went out the window. The one requirement: how is this going to feel after 1000km?

Fender eyelets, rack mounts, water bottle mounts, weight, clearance, yada yada. Where there's a will there's a way with all that stuff. I'm not saying ignore those, but be aware of the one requirement that will determine whether you want to ride a 2nd 600k.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
I have been car-free for 2 years but riding a IGH flat bar commuter. I want to start going longer distances and am thinking of this build:

Velo Orange Campeur frame set
Rene Herse double crank
SKF BB
Shimano 105 cassette & front derailleur
Ultegra rear derailleur
downtube set-up
wheel set TBD

Does this sound OK?
Camping bike is great if you're doing heavy touring. But you titled your post "first rando bike build" ... so don't buy a touring bike if you're planning to do randonneuring. The SOMA Grand Randonneur is a good choice for a budget frame ($500) designed for randonneuring. There is no point in spending boatloads of money ($1500 to $2000) buying a magnificent frame until you figure out what kind of riding you really want to do. If you later decide that randonneuring is really your thing, buy a better frame later. I've ridden 45,000 kilometers on rando events with all sorts of bikes and frames--mostly steel but the first couple years on aluminum (not recommended unless you like a jarring ride). I spent several months dithering about buying a Boulder Bikes All Road but eventually settled on the SOMA GR, partly because I've got two kids in college and I figure the GR is good enough for now. Maybe later I'll spring for something fancier. I've ridden the last seven years with down-tube shifters, which I love for their simple, direct feel. STI is just too damn fiddly and unreliable. Personally, I'd go for a triple crank unless you are absolutely confident that a double will do the job for you. It's not often that I need to drop to a 24 chainring and 32 cog, but when I do need to drop there, it's because I'm totally worn out and on a really steep pitch. How much weight do you save going from a triple to a double? A Rene Herse triple is 55 grams heavier than a double--less than two ounces. A couple of swigs of water. Deore rear derailleur to handle a 32-tooth cog. Ask Compass or whoever you buy your compact triple from what derailleur works best with it.

Nick
Downtube s
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Old 03-17-14, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
FWIW

I just bought a new rando bike this past spring, after four years of randonneuring. I had a long list of requirements. When it came to making a purchase decision, one requirement overruled everything... basically my list went out the window. The one requirement: how is this going to feel after 1000km?
I'm curious what this means to you and how you think it should inform a bike purchase decision. I happen to think that as long as a frame does not preclude you from a comfortable and powerful position, that it is suitable for randonneuring. But that's not very helpful when purchasing a bike.
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Old 03-18-14, 05:49 AM
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Tires, saddle, and shoes are larger determinents of overall comfort on long rides then frame material or geometry assuming proper fit. For me.....getting big tires AND fenders was the key criteria for frame selection.

I recently went thru the decision process of what frame to get. Fitting fenders and wide tires was the hardest requirement to meet or maybe I did not do enough research. I ended up buying a used cycle-cross frame with a long wheelbase and wide stays that can take tires as wide as I want with fenders if needed. There really are not many off the shelf frames or suitable road bikes that meet that requirement unless one spends a lot of money. The Specialized Roubaix or Trek Domaine cannot mount 28mm tires and fenders, which render both useless to me. I wanted carbon and bought a Trek Ultimate CX frame and mounted the parts up on it. Just need to buy a cyclecomputer and a set of fenders.
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Old 03-18-14, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
W

I just bought a new rando bike this past spring, after four years of randonneuring. I had a long list of requirements. When it came to making a purchase decision, one requirement overruled everything... basically my list went out the window. The one requirement: how is this going to feel after 1000km?

Fender eyelets, rack mounts, water bottle mounts, weight, clearance, yada yada. Where there's a will there's a way with all that stuff. I'm not saying ignore those, but be aware of the one requirement that will determine whether you want to ride a 2nd 600k.
In planning a Project be clear about Scope and Primary & Secondary Requirements.

If the Scope is: "Build a long distance Rando bike for formal Brevet Events" and you end up w/ a Criterium bike you have not met your Scope and your project is a failure.
Well formulated requirements keep projects well focused to meet scope on time & on budget.

Primary requirements are "must have", secondary requirements are "nice to have".

A primary requirement based on your specific fit must not be compromised as D_42 notes above.
A secondary requirement for a blue frame can be met or not w/o affecting Scope.

Quality, Budget & Time

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Last edited by Bandera; 03-18-14 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 03-18-14, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
I have been car-free for 2 years but riding a IGH flat bar commuter. I want to start going longer distances and am thinking of this build:

Velo Orange Campeur frame set
Rene Herse double crank
SKF BB
Shimano 105 cassette & front derailleur
Ultegra rear derailleur
downtube set-up
wheel set TBD

Does this sound OK?
It'd certainly be OK. It may or may not be what you end up wanting long term.

After my first several 200ks, I went to a hybrid 105 + Shimano mountain drivetrain (Deore Shadow XT, works with 105 10-speed bar-end shifters) to have 50/34 up front and 11-36 on the back, which is awesome (I'm not that picky about being in the "perfect" gear so the wide gaps don't bother me). Would especially be useful if you do use the "camping/touring" side of that frame.

I like my Velocity A23 rims (105 rear hub, SONdelux front).
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