Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Randonneuring Bicycle, PART 1: The sum of her parts

My current randonneuring bicycle, or Randonneuse, is pictured here. She's an old pal, a Fuji Finest (See Part 2: More than the sum of her parts and Part 3: First Tease). I bought her in grand anticipation--with zero follow through--of the 1976 BikeCentennial. So I bought her in the Fall/Winter of 1975-76 but I worked the summer of 1976 instead of cycling across our nation. Ah, regrets!

She's an old favorite--ah, young love!--who's about to be replaced by a new Pereira custom-made Randonneuse so I want to give her her due now before I get all hot and bothered about my new flame. Ah, raw lust!

She was a Fixie for a while, but when I discovered randonneuring just after the 2007 Paris Brest Paris, I reconverted her back to her multi-geared origins. Here are her current specs:

  • "Fuji Double Butted Chrome Molybdenum Steel Tubing"
  • 73 degree Seat Angle
  • 73 degree Head Angle
  • 58.5 cm Top Tube (center to center)
  • 6 cm Bottom Bracket drop
  • 43.5 cm chain stays
  • 5 cm fork rake
  • Off-the-shelf replacement fork
  • 144 mm Tread or Q-Factor
  • Matrix 32 hole Front Rim
  • Shimano 600 Front HubGentleman 81, 36 hole Rear Rim
  • Suzue High Flange Rear Hub
  • Grand Bois Cypress 700c 32mm Tires
  • SKS Plastic Fenders
  • TA Pro 5 Vis 170 cm Cranks
  • Shimano PD A520 Pedals
  • Technomic Stem
  • Grand Bois "Randonneur" Handlebars
  • Selle Anatomica Saddle
  • Nitto Saddle Post
  • Clamp-on Water Bottle Holders (no braze-ons)
  • Weinmann Vainqueur 999 Brakes
  • Tektro Brake Levers
  • TA Cyclotouriste 32-44-52 Chainrings
  • 14-28T five speed freewheel
  • Suntour 7 Front Derailleur
  • Suntour VX Rear Derailleur
  • Suntour Shifters
  • Chris King Headset
  • TA Bottom Bracket
  • Velo Orange Decaleur
  • Velo Orange Front Rack
  • ViVa Saddlebag Support
  • Ostrich Handlebar Bag
  • Ostrich Saddle Bag (not used on 200k or 300k brevets to date)
  • Cateye Strada Cadence Cyclocomputer
  • Planet Bike Blinky's
  • Busch & Muller Ixon IQ headlight (not pictured)
Here she is in her original condition in a pic from a cyclotouring trip in 1977 along the Scioto River in Ohio. Note the Kirtland Panniers.

Discerning eyes will note the old red/white lenses on the "French" flashlight hanging from the left pannier. I also had a small handlebar bag mounted on a removeable handlebar rack. Non-aero brake levers. A Silca pump. Campy Record pedals with toe-clips. And a really heavy sleeping bag!

The tires were sew-ups and the saddle was a Unicanitor plastic saddle covered in Buffalo hide. I also had a Cinelli Stem and Handlebar. The original fork rake was 7 cm.

I'm a sucker for chrome, but alas will not go for it on the new Randonneuse. Too environmentally damaging. The Fuji was and is a good bike. And she's the only one since my Schwinn Continental, so I guess I'm about ready for my Pereira.

But she's got to get me through this season still. She and I are getting set for my next challenge: the 400k. Let's see how we do together.

Keep it, and keep it, and keep it...


UPDATE: For a post on my early thoughts about the new randonneuring bicycle I'm having built up, check this out. And also: Part 4: Let the Build Begin!


  1. Wow, the "French" light brings back memories. You could strap it around your leg for those late-night rides. And 2 C batteries. Light weight and functional, for the '70's!

  2. To think we were mounting lights on our calves before mounting them on our helmets. Then again, we didn't wear helmets!

  3. Hi CurioRando . . . enjoyed your blog post and pictures, and referenced them this morning in my post on vintage and retro bicycling and camping equipment.