12 January, 2010

Rando Frame Factory Photos

The VO Rando frames are finished and packed. Now we're just waiting to get them loaded onto a ship. If there are no delays in customs they should be at our shop in a few weeks.

Here are some photos from the factory:


44 comments:

nordic_68 said...

Great job Chris. They look handsome.

Theron said...

The decals are at a different angle on the frames in the production run eh?

skvidal said...

Wow.

Good looking color and I really love the sticker on the TOP of the downtube.

well done.

Hank said...

That is a gorgeous shade of blue.

Theron said...

Actually, the image of the frame in the chair threw me off in regards to be decals...couldn't my get perspective situated.

Nice job!

EBEEP said...

Very nice! This color is perfect for a build-your-own '50s Singer rando-turned-porteur!

jan nikolajsen said...

nice...and these will cost?

patates frites said...

Very nice, glossy paint!

Anonymous said...

so what is worth the extra 300$ over a Surly frame ?

Anonymous said...

Well, it's got the Surly beat on style because of the lugs and decal placement. Also, the tubes are oddly sized on the LHT (huge downtube). Don't forget that you can use caliper brakes instead of cantis (not sure about anyone else, but aside from massize tire size, calipers got the cantis beat.

I recently sold my LHT and bought a Hillborne frameset and you can definately tell that there's quite a difference in frame flex (much more in the Surly). Any out of the saddle action on the Surly makes it feel like a floppy noodle (and I'm a pretty light guy). Besides, don't lugs make for stronger joints??

Lastly, the fork looks MUCH better on the Rando frame set. Great job VO team....I'm glad it's finally here!

johnson said...

What is worth the extra 300?
depth of paint colour, geometry, tubing spec, LUGS. LUGS. LUGS. Threaded fork.

Surlys are great. I own one, and have built countless ones for customers who love them. Touring, Mtn, Freeride, Road, Cross. All good bikes. They are however, intentionally generic in many ways, to keep costs down. Tig welds, paint that turns matte in a year or so, flimsy decals, and low cost tubing spec are all part of that package. You get what you pay for, in this case.

skvidal said...

I must have missed this somewhere else but what are the tubing specs/make?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Cost is $750.

The tubing is made in Taiwan and is very similar to Reynolds 531.

skvidal said...

Is the tubing from ECO? I think kogswell used ECO tubing in the 2004/2005 p-series. Nice bikes.

Chris Kulczycki said...

So far as I know "ECO" is not a company or a brand. It's not in any Taiwanese catalog or trade referance I've seen. "Eco" is simply a sticker used to denote economical tubing. I really don't know what sort of tubing is used by Kogswell. But my old Kogswell model-P seemed reasonably well built and rode just like a Riv Rambo, so it's probably good stuff.

skvidal said...

PRetty sure eco is:

eco/founderland:

http://www.eco.com.tw/

Matthew Grimm at kogswell talked about this a fair bit here:

http://www.kogswell.com/manu.html

Chris Kulczycki said...

I didn't realize that Eco was a brand of Founderland, and neither did Tom. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Any idea if there is enough reach on the Tektro extra long reach calipers to work with a 650B wheelset on the Rando frame?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

is there a size/geom chart
somewhere ?

Merkin for the Weekend said...

How will this frame do as a 650b platform? What would be the max width 650b tire and fender that could be used with this frame? How much would the standover height of the 51cm frame drop when using 650b wheels and tires instead of 700c? I love the look of this frame, and the price of it, considering the lugged construction, but I am concerned that even the 51cm model would be too tall for me as I have very short legs and a long torso.

Thanks!

Chris Kulczycki said...

There is a geometry chart link on the frame description page.

This frame is not for 650b wheels; don't even think about screwing up the handling that I worked so hard to perfect by using the wrong size wheels! Get a Surly or something instead!

Le Cagot said...

Why get a Surly when you can get a Polyvalent that's designed for 650b wheels?

Anonymous said...

Le Cagot, you can get a surly LHT in both 650 and 700--how 'bout that ?

Merkin for the Weekend said...

Chris- Considering the number of 650b bicycles that use frames originally designed for 700c wheels, I did not consider it an unreasonable question to ask, especially considering the number of 700c-650b converted bicycles I see pictures of on blogs and/or flickr that use your products. I would have assumed that you would be a bit more accommodating of such customers, considering so many of your products depend on people continuing to use the 650b wheel size. If you are that concerned about customers preserving the sanctity of your original vision for the bike, why not just sell complete bikes instead of just frames?

Le Cagot- The issue is that I want a lugged frame, but i do not have the loot for a Rivendell or other 'custom' frame at the moment. If I do end up having to get a tigged frame, I probably will go with Surly, as they offer a larger range of size options. I like Velo-Orange's products, and I would have been happy to purchase a frame from them if I could get a frame I liked in a size that would fit me, and if my question had not been so summarily dismissed as ridiculous or blasphemous.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Sorry if I was harsh, but putting 650b wheels on a fine frame designed for 700c flies in the face of everything I've tried to do at VO. It's like:

Ketchup with black truffle souffle.

Opus One mixed with fizzy water.

A Ferrari Lusso with flames painted on it.

An Alex Singer with "ape hanger" bars and a banana seat.

We bust our collective butts here to get the handling, proportions, and feel of a frame perfect. Putting 650b wheels on it would make it handle like a... well I actually don't know, but it wouldn't be good.

Please get a 650b TIG welded bike that handles well and is a joy to ride, like a Polyvalent. Lugs are nice, but they are not even close to the importance of proper handling, feel, and ride.

johnson said...

you put 650b's on frames like my 1983 trek road bike that has clearance for 700x25s with no fenders. that kinda bike makes a good conversion, cause its otherwise useless. the rando frame already has a useful tire size range, so.... why convert, other than to jump on the francophile band wagon.

Fred Zeppelin said...

Ha. I thought all your (Merkin) questions were answered just fine.

1.How will it do as a 650b?
A: Not designed for 650b. With a bit of thought you'll see that that sums up that Chris isn't prepared to offer speculation on how a bike will handle with a wheelsize it wasn't designed for and that he doesn't even have the frames in hand to mount 650b wheels to and try it even if he wanted to.

2.Max 650b width, etc?
A. see #1

3. Standover drop with a change to 650b?
A:Get yourself a calculator, or Google one of the many times this has already been answered. (also, 3/4"). Also, see #1 and #2.

Anonymous said...

I was curious on brake clearance because I already have a nice 650b wheelset that isn't being used.

Anyway, per the Kogswell trail calculator:

650b + 41mm tires = 46mm trail
700c + 28mm tires = 48mm trail
Wheelbase wouldn't change.

This is for the size 63 frame (73ยบ HT angle, 53mm offset fork). This is more or less the equivalent difference between running 23mm and 28mm tires in 700c wheel size. I can't speak for others, but I've never noticed a appreciable difference when switching between the two, all other factors remaining the same.

I could be missing something, so correct me if I'm wrong.

merkin said...

Chris- No worries. Unfortunately, the Polyvalent is a bit too tall for me. Thank you for elucidating. Any chance of sizes for shorter riders in the future?

Johnson- I would convert for three reasons. First and foremost, I have very short legs, like I think I mentioned, so there aren't many 700c bikes that fit me, and I don't like mixtes. The second reason is that a 650b conversion would allow wider tires, for a more comfortable ride with fewer flats. The third reason is that I have never had a bike (except when I was little) that didn't use 26 inch wheels/tires, and I would like something different for a change. The 650b size seems like an ideal compromise between 26in and 700c.

Tom said...

Merkin- if the 650b frame is 'too tall' then why are looking to convert a 700 frame to 650b? that will for sure come out taller than a dedicated 650b frame.

The 650b Polyvalent is going to run smaller than the rando frame due to the wheel size.

Tom said...

The LHT does not come in a 650b size. Surly has makes it available in 700c (622 bead dia) and 26" (559 bead dia), and it's TIG'ed, and about the same price of the PolyValent.

There are other significant differences between the LHT and PV too: Trail, brazeons, color, headset style, etc. Converting a LHT to 650b (either 26" or 700c will negatively affect the original intent of that geometry too. Surly may be less harsh in their delivery, but the answer probably would have been similar when the LHT was new- "We really don't know. Send us pictures of how the conversion went- we'd like to share that info..."

You can do anything you want with our frames- make them into a tall bike for all we care. It's yours. But please realize we've spent years working on dedicated and purpose built 700c and 650b bikes to handle excellently; tinkering with wheel and component swaps for hypothetical situations is something we (and by WE, I mean any bike company) could not concern ourselves with at the conceptual and prototype level. Once we (or our customers) have some time with the bikes, can we expect the speculation of how a 700 to 650b rando conversion to be borne out.

If you truly want a good handling 650b bike, the options are a little narrow. If you want lugged, expect to pay $2,000 or more and wait weeks or months. If you can deal with a very well constructed and great handling TIG welded 650b frameset with low trail geometry, then a Kog P/R or PolyValent is ready to go now.

Anonymous said...

Chris/Tom: What gauge of double-butted tubing was used(i.e., 9/6/9, 8/5/8, etc.)?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The tubing varies by size. Exact specs won't be published: they are a trade secret ;<).

Anonymous said...

Sorry, definitely don't wish to divulge any trade secrets here! However, am seriously considering a 57cm, but at my weight (195lbs) a standard (non-OS) tubing spec with 8/5/8 may be less than ideal for me.

Pierce said...

The fact that it's a secret is making me think it's really thin. My fixed gear bike is .9/.6/.9 and it looks like a tin can thats been kicked around, and it's not even a year old.

Can you at least say it's not going to be a disposable bike that'll dent to hell? haha

Jim G said...

Anon wrote:

"I recently sold my LHT and bought a Hillborne frameset and you can definately tell that there's quite a difference in frame flex (much more in the Surly)."

That's quite entertaining, because I'm pretty sure that the Surly LHT uses stouter tubes than the Riv Hillborne! LHTs have a rep as being quite stout, to boot!

Steve said...

To Anonymous who weighs 195 lb. and is considering a 57cm VO Randonneur and is worried that standard diameter 8/5/8 would be "less than ideal": my Coast-built semi-custom is a 59, I was around 220 when I got it (down to a mere 0.1 tons at present). It's 8/5/8 standard diameter 531, and a nicer feeling bike I couldn't imagine. "Ideal" is exactly how I'd describe it.

Anonymous said...

If the Rando frame was designed around 650b, I would buy one. I'm no longer interested in 700c bikes...(or tig welded ones!)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to put in a vote for a 700c, lugged, fixed gear rando frameset. You build it, in 63cm size, within the next 9 months and I'll buy one.

Anonymous said...

I am really interested in this frameset, but every calculation I've tried for trail with a 73HT and 57 fork offset with a 30mm tire shows it to be in the 50 range. That's way more trail than the bike that was evaluated by Bicycle Quarterly. Is the fork offset correctly posted on this bike?

Anonymous said...

Correction on that last post; I calculated the 53 fork rake listed... still interested and curious about the "low" trail.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, Trail is actually 45mm with 28mm tires. You must have made a math error.

Anonymous said...

Surly does not make frames for 650b wheels! Nor do they want you to convert. I have a surly lht and would have gladly preferred a bike that can take 650b wheels lugged or not. I have not been happy with the lht either partly because it has 26 inch wheels which are too small. One can convert but I do not have the money to change wheels and put cantelliever brakes on which the lbs had switched to pivot brakes.
Some bikes are meant for 700 c wheels and I have a few that are mixtes/lady frames which I can stand over, but being short requires one to sometimes have bikes that are too small because of the stand over height.

Anonymous said...

No, surly does not make a 650B frame and do not recommend doing a conversion. I have a lht which I am dying to put 650B wheels but have yet to find anyone on the web who has successfully done it with photos and review to prove it. Apparently is very doable if you have 26" wheels and the right brakes.
I'd like a 650b bike mainly because I am short, but I hate 26" wheel for anything other than mountain bikes, and even then I ride 27" and 700 wheeled bikes on dirt roads and trails with no problem. I do have a trek 420 that I might convert as there is plenty of evidence of how to do it and how it works.
But man, wish I had bought a velo orange instead of surly lht. The lht is like a mountain bike and my husband teases me to no end about that.