29 June, 2010

Rando Photos

Bob sent some photos of his new VO Rando taken during The Cranbury 600K brevet:

He writes:
I put in 250 miles testing the bike with the combination of components I have laying around and some new parts before I decided in this final configuration. These photos were taken while I was riding a 600K brevet in NJ, "The Cranbury 600K." I am very impressed on how this bike rides, it turned out to be a fast and comfortable bike. It also climbs very well too which surprised me. So far in three week, a total of 640 miles and I am very happy with this bike. A lot of the cyclist riding with me in the brevet where very impressed with the looks and especially the frame, fenders, rack and bag. 

Thanks Bob!


Anonymous said...

Great looking bike. Congrats.

howtostretch said...

very, very nice. Tell us more about your build kit?

Ondrej said...

Dudes, that fender hardware looks *great*. So many fender makers botch the hardware. Glad to see it done right

jan nikolajsen said...

great looking bike. more details re ride quality and kit would be nice.

but.. i disagree about the fender hardware looking swell. to my eye it is very jarring how the front supporting 'strut' aims at the road and the rear at the sky.

this is off course the only way to attach these fenders, but the looks of it have kept me away so far.

Bob Torres said...

Folks, here are the parts that I used to get this bike on the road:

Both wheels are using Ultegra's "6500" hubs, with 32 holes Mavic Open Pro rims. Panaracer 28 mm Pasela Tg Road Tires. Shimano HG50, 8 spd 26-13 cassette. Sugino's Alpha Crankset. Suntour's XC Ltd Rear deraileur and a Suntour Alpha Fwd deraileur. Diacompe "Silver" D/T shifters. Nitto's 42 cm Noodle Handlerbar with Tektro Brake Levers, R200A. Grand Cru Long Reach Caliper Brakes. VO's stem, fwd rack decaleur, and Campagne Handlebar Bag. Honjo 43 mm Smooth Fluted Fenders and my 11 year old Brooks B-17 Saddle.

In regards to the ride qualities, with the combination of having a longer wheel base and 28 mm tires, this is a very smooth riding bike but almost as fast as smaller/tighter wheelbase road bike. The steering is pretty rock solid while riding fast or going down hills. It also climbs very well. On my first 250 miles of riding and testing this bike, I always get this feeling that I can ride on gear larger than my commuter and light touring bike. Plus since it feels this way while cruising on flat roads, on false flats and in climbs again I find myself using a gear higher than my older bikes. Maybe because I may be a little excited riding a new bike but after the 1st 250 miles I should have seen a drop off on speed but I did not. While riding the 600K I rode faster on the second half and I was alone!

Plain and simple, this is a great riding bike and I feel that it does roll and ride faster than my older bikes. I really love the way this bike rides and how it looks!


tony said...

The new bike looks good Bob. I'm really glad to hear that it handles well.

Any comments on steering when your front bag is fully loaded?

Do you ever get out of the saddle to sprint/climb? If so, any comments on ride characteristics?

Any shimmy when riding?

I've got a SamHillborne built up in a very similar manner (compact crank, fenders/lights, open pro wheels w/Pasela tires). The only complaints I have about the bike are the cantis (prefer calipers) and the lack of downtube shift bosses. I think the folks at VO really nailed it with the design of this bike.....looks super clean with your setup.

Seeing your Rando REALLY makes me wish that I held out for this fram. The bike looks gorgeous!

Bob Torres said...

Tony asked:
Any comments on steering when your front bag is fully loaded?

While riding I totally forgot the bag was fully loaded, I would only noticed it when I leg go of the handlebar when the bike was not moving. I never did let go of the handlebar while riding the bike.

Do I ever get out of the saddle to sprint/climb?

Yes I got off the saddle a lot to sprint and climbs. The out of the saddle accelerations reminded me of my road bike that I used for racing a few criteriums but with cushion. I would also get out of the saddle just to keep cadence from not dropping while I was in cruise control.

If so, any comments on ride characteristics?

It's really a comfy ride and it's very stable. I can almost do a track stand when stopped, most of the time I slowly rolled into a red light or stop sign and hardly had to unclip my pedals!

Another thing that I noticed about this frame is it has a lively feel to the ride, my other steel frames has a duller, heavier feel.

It takes the curves very well too!

During the first night of the 600K brevet I would see a few of the other rider's bikes lights sway left and right while riding, mine and bikes similar stayed straight.

Any shimmy when riding?"

None!!!!! Very solid, on one of my test rides I climbed Gates Hill Road in Harriman State Park New York to see how it handle going down a long steep hill and I was able to hit 51 mph with no problem with no shimming. Just a rock solid ride and it took the subtle curves while still maintaining the speed. And when I had to slow down to make a sharp right turn, it took it with no problem!

I did forget to mention that the frame size is a 53cm if this makes any difference to anyone. When I first read about this frame last year I could not wait to get it. When I had time off form work during the week I drove to Annapolis to pick it up. I am very happy with this bike!


Conor Isdell said...

Great to see some pics of a customers bike built up. You seem to get a better idea of how the bike looks in "reality" rather than a showroom picture. Keep up the good work. Any sign of the new Grand Cru crankset in yet?

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in seeing examples and ride impressions of the 63. How many of the big frames are out there?

I agree with the poster that customer shots give a better feel for how a bike looks in the real world, and this one looks like a winner.


jimmythefly said...

Very nice, Bob, thanks for the report. I know what you mean about being to stay on top of a bigger gear on some bikes.

Not sure if it's fit or that elusive "P" word, but on my old trek I can put in just a touch of extra oomph and really fly over the rollers without slowing and having to downshift.

As others have said, it's nice to see one fully kitted out.

Aaron said...

What a great looking build! If this frame would only fit 32mm tires with fenders I'd be all over it. 28mm is just a tad too small for my tastes.

sc53 said...

Aaron--I have the same frame and am using Pasela 32's on it with 45 mm VO hammered fenders with no problems. Maybe the Pasela 32's are actually smaller than actual 32but they certainly do fit!

Steve said...

I've found Paselas in 32mm are slightly smaller than Grand Bois Cypres 30mm. I put Paselas on my Velo Orange in the winter time, and for months I'd had a persistent 1.5% error in the mileage my computer was reporting. I'd set it to the roll-out for the Grand Bois. Once I took the Paselas off and put the GB Cypres back on, my mileages are now spot on again!

Sjb said...

Resurrecting an old thread.
Curious that you do not experience shimmy on your VO.
I get crazy shimmy whenever I take my hands off the handle bars. Yes, I know hands are supposed to stay attached to the bars, but on a long rider, it's nice to sit up and stretch from time to time.
FYI- I never experience shimmy with my hands on the bars. Shimmy seems worse when I carry a load Jon thr front, (VO rack and Ostrich bag.)
Otherwise, I find everything in the initial post in this thread to ring true.

Bob Torres said...

This coming June is going be two years I've been riding this bike and I still ride it mainly on brevets and long rides. The one and only thing that I really do not like to do on this bike is to ride with no hands on my bars. Everything else about this bikes is downright great but hands off, it does not feel very good. My other road bikes I have no problem riding with no hands on the bar so I can relax a little, stretch. In regards to shimming, I've never rode it long enough without hands on the bar to see if it will shim. And like I mentioned before my frame size is 53cm so I am not too sure how the larger frames will behave compare to mine. Other than that, still my favorite ride, especially on longer distance.