Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

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rangersac
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby rangersac » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:22 pm

Well played to you Sir! One of Tim's handmade tourers sits about the highest on my wishlist, but unfortunately that would be a serious breach of the overdraft on my account at the bank of brownie points.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:56 am

I just got my latest 650B/randonneur/fat tyres fanboy mag in the mail yesterday, Bicycle Quarterly :lol:

One of the bikes they reviewed was the Velo Routier from Candian company, Cycles Toussaint.

The review was reasonably positive, particularly about the frames geometry and handling. Everything is not rosy though with tubing and fork being a bit stout for it's intended purpose but given that the retail for the frame is only $500 US it seems like good value.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby rangersac » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:35 pm

It's not the flashiest looking frame out there, some lugs would improve it immensely, but it certainly ticks all the boxes functionally. As for the frame and fork weight, well if it's just a pure randonneur you're after then fair play, it's a little portly. However I don't imagine a classic Rene Herse would be any lighter, and it at least does give you some gear lugging ability which is never a bad thing.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:48 am

Just as an aside. Compass are reintroducing a production version of the MAFAC raid. It looks very nice.

http://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/09/3 ... /#comments

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby wqlava1 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:15 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:I just got my latest 650B/randonneur/fat tyres fanboy mag in the mail yesterday, Bicycle Quarterly :lol:

One of the bikes they reviewed was the Velo Routier from Candian company, Cycles Toussaint.

The review was reasonably positive, particularly about the frames geometry and handling. Everything is not rosy though with tubing and fork being a bit stout for it's intended purpose but given that the retail for the frame is only $500 US it seems like good value.

Any thoughts?

Framesets that are USD500 end up at least AUD 800 with freight and the exchange rate now. Something that might actually get here in the next few months is the New Albion Privateer 700C frame to go with the Soma Champs Elysee low trail fork. The frame is 9/6/9 but at least it looks like its got standard tubing not OS. Designed for up to 41mm tyres so the Barlow Pass would fit no worries. The frame is USD280 and when the AUD was still 95 US cents, SCV said it would be about AUD400. The fork would push it up just over $650. But now with the AUD softer, it'd be a bit more but still one of the cheaper ways to get a new wider tyred low trail bike. New Albion is another Soma sub-brand like Pake. Given its a sloping top tube, I'd be a 58cm with their geometry (and I think you have said before you also prefer 61x57 or 58cm frames).

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:18 am

For me the Velo Routier is a bit more appealing. But I have to say the new Soma low trail forks look a lot better from the only picture I have seen. It's now a classic J bend rather then the old banana bend.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby wqlava1 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:27 pm

I've been riding my Stag a bit lately since I finally got it to rideable condition- still need to do the mudguards, rear dynamo light on mudguard, fiddle with stem length, and chase my SS welding contact on modifying the front rack to go over Paul brakes.

It's nice, and I've ordered one of the group buy Jeff Lyon lighter forks on the rCOG list too. I'm 95kg, so he wouldn't use the Toei Kaisei blades for me, but is still using something a little more flexible, and I get the same biplane crown as original, which I think looks excellent. I specified cable guides and lowrider mounts too.

In addition, after I wrote off a 700C frame and fork hitting a wombat back in late October, I kept an eye out for a replacement and just pulled the trigger on a Rawland Nordavinden frameset on special for USD350. They had a reasonably good price on 650B Pacenti SL23 rims too, so I got them in the same box to use the still-not-cheap postage a bit more effectively. Now a few days later Kirk Pacenti posted on the 650b Google group that he's selling the 650B SL23 rims on Amazon for a cent under $50 each!! If some of you gang up to get a few in one package it might be an excellent delivered price. Expensive time of year though for most of us.

All this, commencing with the intention to get a Rawland Stag, was triggered for me late in 2013 with the start of this thread.
Last edited by wqlava1 on Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:23 pm

Piccies please.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby wqlava1 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:38 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Piccies please.

Ok, here are some quick snaps and a few comments.

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The C17 saddle is really comfortable. XTR 110/74BCD crankset with 44/28 rings, although I may go up 2 teeth for both. The bash guard (which is all I could get, and a bit ugly, but quite thin) is just to use up the step for the outer ring. The bars are actually a few cm lower than the saddle, but the angle of this shot doesn't show it. I'm still mucking around with saddle and bar positions. RSX front derailleur (good for triples with smaller big rings from 46 teeth like it came with on the '96 Giant Kronos that I rode into a wombat, down to maybe 42 teeth). XT rear long cage derailleur. Sora 8 speed shifters (though I may fit some almost unused 600 STI shifters I have, if I can get good cable lines around the front bag with some flexible noodles). I forget whether they are Nitto B135 or B136 randonneur bars - two similar variations. The Prologo double-something bar tape is quite cushy.

Even though this frame has about the same rough geometry (59.5x59.5) as my Velosmith (60x60) it seems much bigger. I've got another stem a cm or 2 shorter I'll be fitting, and the seat is pushed forward noticeably. Tim Stredwick made the Velosmith after asking for various measurements of the bikes that I normally rode, and his 60x60cm fits nicely. I haven't sussed out why i feel a little stretched out on the XL Stag.

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i like this biplane fork crown. Miche Primato needle roller headset.

The light (later version Edelux) is meant to be one of the best factory dynamo lights, and is better than my Trelock 885 or early Supernova E3 Pro, but I think I've now got motivation to modify one of the XM-L2 battery lights I have - I was expecting more from the Edelux. I've got all the components (and good circuit ideas and links to more ideas thanks mainly to find_bruce) so need to extract the digit and get out the soldering iron.

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The Hope Mono RS rear hub is 135mm OLD and 36H to go with the only available drilling for the Confreriale Keba rims. XTR M900 12-32 8 speed cassette, partly Ti. I got Hope skewers for both hubs. You can see the edge of the brass bearing on the rear - it has such a good feeling as you operate it - just feels properly engineered.

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Front hub is the lower-powered SP SV-8 dynamo. I've also got the higher-powered PV-8 in another wheelset. You can see the rack mounting adaptors that go on the front of the Paul brakes. I really have to use the Paul brakes as the family bought them for me as a birthday present, even though it pushes the front rack forward an inch and means I need to arrange some custom welding.
Last edited by wqlava1 on Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:07 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:12 pm

Nice
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed May 13, 2015 2:52 pm

The new Soma Grand Randonneur V2 is looking a lot better than last years model.

A top tube thats sitting higher on the seat tube junction which should have a little less slope to it.

And a fork with a much nicer bend.

I think I my have found a suitable candidate :D .

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http://www.somafab.com/archives/product ... -frame-set

Our Grand Randonneur is a true low trail geometry randonneuring frame set, which means it rides better with a front load than other touring and road bikes. Co-designed with Mike Kone of Rene Herse/Boulder Bicycles. It will fit all the gadgets a good rando bike should have. The traditional diameter tubes lend a smooth comfortable ride. We have tweaked the geometry for 2015. We increased frame stack by 15-20mm. Seat tube extension has been reduced.

- Tange Prestige CrMo tubes, double-butted, non-oversized
- Threaded 1" lugged fork with low rider pannier bosses, mini rack eyelets and double eyelets at the dropouts
- Rear rack and fender eyelets
- Pump peg
- 3 sets of water bosses
- Designed for 650b wheels and cantilever brakes
- Max. tire fit: 650 x 42mm slick tires w/fenders
- Max. fender width: 50mm
- Needle bearing headset recommended
- Paint: Cream (it's a tinge less yellow from last year's ivory)
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby rangersac » Wed May 13, 2015 3:22 pm

A very nice looking frameset with flexible options for bolt-ons. The only thing I'd ask for are slightly longer chainstays as heel clearance might be a bit limited for large of hoof types.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Espresso_ » Wed May 13, 2015 3:56 pm

rangersac wrote:A very nice looking frameset with flexible options for bolt-ons. The only thing I'd ask for are slightly longer chainstays as heel clearance might be a bit limited for large of hoof types.


Rando = front load only!

But I know what you mean. This does seem a notable improvement on version 1.

Why keep the 1" threaded fork though?

Ps I want disc brakes, too (especially if we're not going with skinny tubes) but I think that's just me.

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Blakeylonger » Wed May 13, 2015 4:17 pm

Espresso_ wrote:Why keep the 1" threaded fork though?


fop charioteerism. rivendorking. retrogrouchitude. iBOBishness

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed May 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Blakeylonger wrote:
Espresso_ wrote:Why keep the 1" threaded fork though?


fop charioteerism. rivendorking. retrogrouchitude. iBOBishness

Because I prefer them and they look better on a non oversized frame.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:29 pm

I'm still dithering on this one.

I have done a few dirt road rides of late and my mate Smithstreet has invited me to join him on his redo attempt of the 600km Victorian High Plain Super Randonnee early next year. His attempt a few weeks back was 3 hours short on the time limit :(

http://www.melbournerandonneur.org.au/super-randonnee.

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I don't really have the bike for this sort of activity and I am unsure whether the Soma would be up to the task. As recommended earlier in the thread maybe I should look at something like the stock version of the Elephant National Forest Explorer. The Radavist has had a few nice overviews of it.

Bicycle Quarterly also has a review in the latest issue but I am still waiting for it to arrive :evil:

God knows what it would cost to get the frame to OZ with the current crap Aussie dollar.

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Espresso_ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:02 pm

The NFE is a great value for money option. If anything happened to my Double Cross, I think the NFE is what I would replace it with.

E

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:31 pm

It does tick a few boxes and I have to say the frame has grown on me. I pretty much have all the parts I need its just getting the frame and wheels
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Espresso_ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:37 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:It does tick a few boxes and I have to say the frame has grown on me. I pretty much have all the parts I need its just getting the frame and wheels


What type of wheel set are you thinking of?

E

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:33 pm

Espresso_ wrote:
singlespeedscott wrote:It does tick a few boxes and I have to say the frame has grown on me. I pretty much have all the parts I need its just getting the frame and wheels


What type of wheel set are you thinking of?

E

Just a boring old 32 hole Shimano Deore XT 756 hubs laced three cross to some form of Mavic disc rim.

An unexciting build but the Shimano hub/Mavic rim combo has worked for me for the last 25 years both on and off road and I'm not about to change for fashion or some minuscule weight loss.

The Shimano hubs are easy to service, the freehub is steel and near indestructible and can be cheaply replaced if it ever dies. The QR skewers are the business and have had no problems holding the rear wheel of my single speed mtbs for the last 17 years. The spokes can be replaced any where. Mavic rims are the only rims that I haven't broken over the years. I have no interest in running tubeless either.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Espresso_ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:54 pm

I've the same hubs on my Double Cross, and I can't complain one bit. Seems to be a good price vs quality trade off.

Agree on the skewers too!

E

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby LugNut » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:51 pm

Small derail, but word is that Mavic rims are not what they have been for the last 25 years. Rim quality has suffered since they moved to making predominantly proprietary wheel sets. Since it's disc, there's a lot of choice, I'd pick something else.

Also no dynamo? It's only an extra $100 over an XT hub for an SP Dynamo, lightweight and very reliable. I'd definitely be putting one on anything that I'd be using to commute regularly and ride night audax events on.

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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:16 pm

LugNut wrote:Small derail, but word is that Mavic rims are not what they have been for the last 25 years. Rim quality has suffered since they moved to making predominantly proprietary wheel sets. Since it's disc, there's a lot of choice, I'd pick something else.

Also no dynamo? It's only an extra $100 over an XT hub for an SP Dynamo, lightweight and very reliable. I'd definitely be putting one on anything that I'd be using to commute regularly and ride night audax events on.

Ive had no problems with the Mavic rims I have had laced up in the last couple of years. I am split on the dyno thing.

I like the idea of the constant power thing but I am put off by the cables running in the breeze waiting to be ripped off. Modern booster packs will give me more than enough power for 48hrs plus with the gps/phone/light battery charge.
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Re: Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:36 pm

Bit late on the scene with this one but...
Espresso_ wrote: Rando = front load only!

Since when has this been so? I ask from ignorance here....

Espresso_ wrote: Why keep the 1" threaded fork though?

Why not? It's a perfectly good engineering solution, if not wildly fashionable.

Espresso_ wrote: I want disc brakes, too

Or at least the option would be nice.

Richard

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Thoughts on modern mass produced 650B randonneurs

Postby Espresso_ » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:16 pm

WyvernRH wrote:Since when has this been so? I ask from ignorance here....

Richard


I was partly taking the p!ss - you can do what you like of course.

But if in the case of the Soma we were discussing you're going to go out of your way to design and market it as low trail, you presume the user will at least mostly front load the bike, right?

E

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