I've been pondering the Rando frame and its possible successor. Before I go on, let me say that we still have plenty of Rando frames available and plan to continue to offer them. They get great reviews and the folks who bought them seem to love them. Check out the nice article on the Chasing Mailboxes blog about Mark B's VO rando. Nonetheless, after the new VO 650b Polyvalent (due in late summer) and the 700c Polyvalent tourer (due in early 2012) we'll need a new frame project to work on.
The next model may be a TIG welded VO Pass Hunter based on my own bike. Here are a few of my thoughts and ideas:
- It will be a low-trail design with geometry much like a Rando's.
- Ideal tire size would be 32mm, though 35mm would fit.
- It will have canti brakes since a pass hunter is meant to be ridden up and down mountains.
- Being TIG welded, it'll be a little lighter than the Rando. As much as I love lugs it's hard to get over the fact that they add $200-$400 to the price of a frame while offering only aesthetic benefits.
- We may use a lighter, and more expensive, tube set. This is a bit of a trade-off since thinner wall tubing is also easier to dent. We've even talked about using Reynolds 953. Still not sure if this is really worthwhile.
- Vertical dropouts, of course.