We built up the production Rando frame prototype with an old Campy 10 speed drive train and some, mostly European, racing parts. Please don't read anything into the build; it's just used stuff I had on hand that needed a home.
First the good stuff, the bike rides flawlessly. It can be ridden no-handed at very low speed. It neither dives nor wanders in fast corners. The frame is flexible enough for comfort, but does not feel at all noodley. And it planes like a Boeing 747 ;<). The lugwork is generally pretty good as is brass penetration around the BB shell. No heat distortion is evident. These are signs of a well made frame.
Now the bad stuff, The fork legs are 7-10mm too short and the bend is not right. I also think the fork may be a tiny bit too stiff. A new fork is being made even as I write this. The paint color is nice, but the quality is marginal. It can be very difficult to spray light silver and I don't think the paint shop in Taiwan has the skill to do it really well. At my old boat company we often had problems with paints that had relatively little pigment, like light yellow and light silver. The blue on the city frame is very nice and I've decided to use that color for the Rando frame. The city bike will be dark gray which should be easier to spray. The seat stay caps and the slap guard fittings will be replaced with more attractive versions. Samples are being sent.
Finally, the neutral stuff:
- This frame is designed for long reach (47 to 57mm) brakes set near the bottom of their slots.
- The ideal tires would be high quality supple 27-30mm tires such as Paselas 28mm, Grand Bois 28 or 30mm, or Challenge 27mm (which are really 29mm). 45mm fenders fit.
- The above tires will provide a comfortable ride and low rolling resistance, making this bike suitable for fast club rides as well as brevets or weekend credit card tours. It is not, however, a good loaded touring bike.
- The tubing is all double butted CR-MO in traditional, not modern oversize, diameters. Tubing specs are virtually identical to those used on our semi-custom Pass Hunter and Rando frames.
- The low trail design is prefect for a handlebar bag. There are braze-ons for a VO rando rack.