I wanted to combine the features of these post-war marvels with the many modern developments which have improved performance and practicality in recent years, and add some serious load-carrying capability, modern lighting and electrics and some other touches of my own. So this bike has a steel frame, larger 650b tyres, derailleur gears, mudguards, room for luggage, drop bars, a comfortable riding position and stable steering.
It will carry serious loads, but it's a capable and entertaining day bike too. It has powerful dynamo lighting using a high-tech Velological rim dynamo, a USB charger, full alloy mudguards. In every respect it's ready for serious distances, but it won't feel too different from a modern road bike, and it will be rather more comfortable.Frame: After a long search, I found a new and unused Ridgeback World Series frame, an experimental version that had been built expressly for 650b wheels. When I measured it, I found 73° head and 74° seat angles, more akin to a fast road bike than a tourer. It had a sloping top tube, slightly longer chainstays, and a lower-than-usual 9.75 bottom bracket.
Still in character, it had three sets of bottle bosses, down tube gear lever bosses and cable runs, and, as advertised, cantilever pivots sited for 584mm wheels - the classic 650b size. The frame even has old-school pump and chain pegs on the left and right chainstays. As built now, the key dimensions are (in mm).
Forks: I chose a Thorn Super Touring fork with Reynolds tubing, to fit 42mm tyres, mudguards and a superb Surly Nice 2.0 Cromoly front rack - capable of taking over 30kg if required. The fork is brand new, as is the oversize Tioga sealed-bearing headset. Shimano Deore hubs are laced with thirty-two black JTek 14g plain-gauge stainless spokes to SJS 650b 19mm rims with stainless eyelets and machined brake surfaces. I built these wheels myself on a Park Tool precision truing jig, using a dishing gauge and spoke tension meter. The spoke heads are supported by SAPIM brass washers, ensuring a super-snug fit of spoke to hub flange.
This should increase the fatigue life of spoke and hub flange alike. In randonneur tradition the hubs have adjustable cup-and-cone bearings, but with efficient labyrinth seals and a modern 10 speed-compatible freehub. The result is a pair of smart, light, resilient wheels, true to the randonneur tradition, built to last and with perhaps a little more style than the norm.
Sidebar I chose to build these wheels with radial spoking on both the front wheel and the non-drive side at the rear. Radial spoking is not a Randonneur tradition as far as I'm aware, but was not unusual on touring bikes in the UK in the 70s and 80s when I was growing up. I've built and used radially spoked wheels for many years now, not least because they are easier to build and true, are lighter, and place less stress on the rim ferrules, where wheels tend to fail first.Gearing is a modern "Shimergo" setup, using ten speed Campagnolo Veloce Ergo levers with Deore "Shadow" mountain bike derailleurs, a Hollowtech Deore triple chainset and 10 speed cassette. A Jtek ShiftMate allows Campag levers and Shimano groupset to work together and the changing is as good as any manual setup I've used. I prefer the Campag levers - the hoods are more comfortable and lever set-up is more intuitive. The LH shifter uses the pre-2008 Campag micro-adjust mechanism.
This isn't really indexed in the full sense, but instead allows small adjustments in the front shifter. This allows you to tune the mech position, reducing cage rub particularly for triple chainsets as here. The cassette is an 11-36 Deore XT cluster, which, with the 26-36-46 chainrings gives a gear range of 19" to 105" - about 550% overall. Gear chart using Gear Inches.
For 650 x 38B / 38-584 / 650B tire with 175 mm cranks. With Shimano 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36 10-speed bk Cassette. This set up gives more than enough gears to work with, certainly to get up our local Shropshire 1-in-5s, even with racks, panniers and a decent camping load. The long chainstays mean you can use all but the most extreme gear combinations, and I regularly use all ten rear sprockets with the middle chainring, for example, which gives an.
Sidebar 2: Why not a 1X set-up or a 2X sub-compact? For me, the steps in a 1X are too wide for comfortable use on the road, when closer ratios across the cassette allow much better matching of gradient and conditions to the steady (and in my case feeble) power output. 1X is a great idea for mountain bikes and must really appeal to people who are coming to cycling for the first time. I don't mind the complexity of a triple, and I appreciate the ability to fine-tune the gear, particularly without taking my hands of the hoods.
Brakes I like discs, but they're not a randonneur thing. It was cantilevers or v-brakes.V-brakes are much better, but don't work with Ergo or SIS levers. But there is a way, with Travel Agent-style cable pull compensators. The Box 2 V-brakes are beautifully finished, super-rigid and easy to adjust. They have a further advantage in the form of a 50mm pad height range which, along with the generous frame and fork clearances, would allow you to fit 700c wheels if you ever felt the need. The result is super-strong braking, probably the best you'll find on a rim-braked bike. Broadly speaking, this bike will suit most people between about 5'8 and 6'. As shown, the bike is set up for me, an average sized 5'11" man with a 32" inside leg.
I reckon it would work just as well or better for someone in the 5'7"-5'10" range. I use standover height as an effective lower limit when sizing a frame. This bike has a standover height of 790mm or 31. This is less than it's seat tube length would suggest, due to the lower bottom bracket height.
All the same, if your inside leg measurement, crutch to floor, is much less than 30, then this probably isn't the bike for you. Bar height is adjustable over about 75mm.
This bike uses a steerer sleeve so the stem that can be adjusted up and down very quickly with just a 5mm allen key. I often move the stem up and down depending on the kind of ride I'm on, or if I'm working into a headwind all day. In the end fit is about riding style and personal preference. By all means come and see it in Shrewsbury or in London and try it out if you like. I've fitted slightly flared Ritchey bars, which are 440mm across the hoods and 500mm across the drops, so a little wider than the norm.There is a trade-off here. It used to be said you should use bars which, if you held them up, were roughly the same width as your shoulders. I'm fairly wide but even if you aren't, wider bars give you more options and more leverage when the front end is loaded up with panniers.
I don't use the drops much but these ones are shallow and short, but they are a useful option, and the brake levers are still in easy reach. The bars have two layers of wrapping. A rubber base layer courtesy of two pensioned-off inner tubes, then perforated composite bar tape on top.
This gives a broader support for the hand as well as a little more cushioning. Does it make a difference? I think so, though for me, the position and width of the brake hoods are just as important. As I said earlier, I like the classic Campag Ergo levers.At the other end is a new Brooks B17 Standard saddle. The Standard is broader than the classic B17 Narrow, more compliant, and the leather surface absorbs sweat more readily than other foam/coating combinations.
In the long run, a well-fitting, broken-in leather saddle is less likely to produce some of the inflammations and issues that bedevil cyclists riding for long periods. If you have never tried a Brooks, this might be the time, but if you have a saddle that suits you just fine, let me know: I'll happily keep the Brooks and reduce the price accordingly. Pedals are a personal choice. XT SPDs are shown, but I also have XT Touring pedals available which combine platform and SPD fittings, with superb bearings and wide support and secure location in either mode.
There are lots of factors which affect how a bike transmits or damps out the shocks from the road or path surface. A diamond frame has no vertical compliance unless it has suspension of some kind. The only compliance you experience when riding comes from, in order of importance, the flex in your tyres, the flex in your fork blades, and lastly the flex in your saddle and handlebars. Tyres now head of my list of importance on any bike. In recent years we've got a far better understanding of tyre weight, flexibility, width, pressure, tread and profile and their combined effect on comfort and rolling resistance.
The revelations have been remarkable: wider tyres are by no means slower, and optimum tyre pressure is much lower than we had all thought: the bone-hard ride from 120psi 23mm racing tyres is fast, but at the cost of greater fatigue. So I've fitted super-light, 350g 38mm Panaracer GravelKings. These tyres easily won their category in Bierman's rolling resistance tests.I've used them extensively on other bikes. As here, I use Schwalbe SV21A lightweight presta valve tubes, at around 30psi. The ride quality is superb as is the traction. Puncture resistance is much better than you might think: there is something here about the low pressures preventing outright penetration from sharp objects, I'm sure.
BTW you could run this wheel-tyre combination tubeless, too: you'd need a Stan's kit but it would work. I've fitted top-quality steel-tubed pannier racks. The front is a Surly, the rear a Tubus.
Both have four point fittings, and are attached with M6 bolts. Both will take panniers in low or normal positions. There's a wooden 6-bottle wine box which clips to the front rack for use in town.It's hardly world-tour gear but it's great if you're just going to the post office. The mudguards are super high-quality 52mm Velo Orange alloy models. They are rigid and extra-long to reduce road spray to a minimum. You do not need to fit mudflaps to ride in company in the wet, and your feet will be drier. Condition This bike, like all the bikes I build, is made up using new and used parts. As it happens, this one looks pretty much like a new bike: there are small chips and scratches if you look, but nothing rough or unfinished.
Cables, chain, brake blocks, wheels, tyres and tubes are all new or at the most a couple of months old. The oldest items on the bike are the Campagnolo Ergo levers, which are probably fifteen years old - but they too are in good nick and certainly they function perfectly.
Like everything else, they have been stripped down, cleaned and lubricated before fitting. I will deliver the bike myself for a reasonable sum, provided you can give me 2-4 weeks to fit in the trip with my own professional travels.
I'm very happy to let you take it for a twenty-minute ride, but please be prepared to leave me with something you value in return while you do so. Ridgeback World Series Voyager frame. ISO threaded bottom bracket (68mm). Head tube for 1 1/8 steerer and external headset. 21 seat tube (27.2mm internal diameter).
Braze on fittings for 3x bottle cages, rack, mudguards, pump (seatstay), chain retainer. F&R derailleur cable guides, downtube lever bosses (fitted with Shimano adjustable cable stops for drop-bar gear leavers).
V/Cantilever brake bosses sited for 650b wheels. Threaded bosses for rear mudguard fitting at seatstay and chainstay bridges. Clearance for 55mm rear tyre maximum. Twin plate fork crown drilled and tapped M6 Front and Rear.
Bosses for mudguards, rack, dynamo etc. Wheels - new, hand-built using professional truing jig, offset gauge, spoke tension meter etc.
SJS 650B 32h alloy rims. DT Swiss 14g spokes with 2BA brass spoke head washers. Rear laced 3x drive side, radial non-drive side. Panaracer Gravelking 650x 38c semi-slick tyres.
Schwalbe 21A lightweight inner tubes. Shimano XT HollowTech 2 sealed bearing bottom bracket. Shimano Deore triple chainset (46/36/26), alloy rings. Shimano Deore triple front derailleur.
Deore Triple Mountain rear derailleur. Campagnolo Veloce 10spd brake levers/shifters. JTek ShiftMate cable pull adjuster. New stainless cables, Jagwire outers, ferrules. Box Model 2 V-brakes with Kool-stop pads.
LitePro cable pull adjusters (enables use of road brake levers with direct-pull brakes). New stainless cables, Jagwire outers, ferrules etc. Brooks B17 Standard saddle (or other saddle by arrangement).Seatpost - Alloy Microadjust 27.2mm. Ritchey 460mm Touring handlebars 31.8mm. Shimano XT double-sided SPD/platform pedals. Front - Surly Cromoly 2.0, four-point mounting to fork bosses. Rear - Tubus Logo Evo. 3 x alloy bottle cages. 52mm Velo Orange alloy mudguards, plain black finish, alloy stays, stainless fixings. Velological high-power rim dynamo (fitted to RH front cantilever boss).
Fischer 80 lux LED headlight with daylight sensor and standlight. B&M rear LED with standlight. B&M cabling with spade connectors, marine grade heat-shrink tubing and routing via mudguards. This item is in the category "Sporting Goods\Cycling\Bikes". The seller is "argyller" and is located in this country: GB.This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.