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!