Raleigh Randonneur rudderless redo

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  • I bought this 1999 Raleigh Randonneur frame last year. Built it up with ebay parts and derailleurs from a dead halfords bike and added some wheels from Spa cycles. I went on a rainy tour with it and rode my first 100 miler too. I didnt get along with the quill stem as it kept moving and that scared me quite a bit. Had it in a ridiculous configuration in an effort to make it as comfy as possible. The paint deteriorated rapidly and I sold it but it never got collected.
    Fast forward to now and suddenly it's at a local frame builder's.
    Initially it was getting just a head tube replacement to 1 1/8 inch. A cheapish experiment which meant I get to keep the bike and fanny around with builds.
    Now it's getting new chain stays to hopefully increase the clearance from 32mm at the rear to 40mm+

    I got a Light Blue Cycles Darwin fork for it off ebay for cheap. A/C measurement is 405mm apparently and as it's replacing a 385mm a/c fork the geo is gonna get interesting. It should end up having a HA of 71 degrees and a SA of 71 degrees once it's done. I reckon fork has 50mm offset so I think that will work nicely.
    My hopes for the build are that I can take it on some off road touring in Scotland in the summer but the truth is I have a perfectly appropriate bike for that already.
    As of yesterday it's now also getting disc tabs put on the back so I think I will be trying to make 650b work.
    This is the only bike I've ever had pedal strike with but I think stand-over might be an issue with the longer fork so I need to be careful and find the right balance.
    This is quite directionless and definitely a bad idea but I'm having the time of my life.
    The build is going to have to be cheap and functional. I'm thinking Spa Cycles touring triple used as a super compact double and parts bin build. This is going to be ugly and unrefined. I'm sorry for writing so much. Cheers.

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  • I had an epiphany in the early hours of the morning. I'm gonna run 650b in the front and 700c in the back. The smaller front wheel should drop the front end down by 19mm and correct the geometry with the too-tall fork I'm using.
    This would get me with a rough HA of 73 and with the 50mm offset fork it means quite low trail geometry and I'm definitely down for that.

  • I'm gonna run 650b in the front and 700c in the back.

    This is the kind of 'outside the box' thinking I can get behind.

  • Yeah I'm pretty pleased with myself for that one. The whole point of this build is having the freedom to just do stuff and see where it goes. If it turns into a special bike that's great. If it's a bit of a clown mobile then that's ok too.

  • Ha I'm planning to do exactly this to my galaxy - both the headtube replacement and the smaller wheel at the front, though 26" in my case. Will the new tube be fillet brazed?

  • Nice! What's the plan? I just went through your Galaxy thread and you defo have a unique style with your mods lol
    Yeah the new tube will be fillet brazed. I asked the guy if he would just leave the joins unsmoothed but he refused :s

  • Puppy killer! Why not use a ahead/stem converter instead of the quill stem?

  • eh?

    Using a convertor wouldn't necessarily solve the problem I had that the stem wouldn't bind into the steerer tube securely enough. I also got sick of adjusting the headset. It wasn't for me. The steering felt like cack when it was adjusted properly and felt good to ride when it was dangerously loose.
    The bike needed new paint to continue on living anyway. It was flaking off at a rate of knots.
    I'm updating something old that hopefully will stay with me for a very long time. Hopefully there will be no real compromises like there was before.

  • It would've gotten rusty very quickly if I carried on riding it daily like I did through the spring and summer.

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  • Intrigued and subbed!

  • I actually went right through your Raleigh Royal thread in the middle of the night last night when I couldn't sleep. That build is everything this build wishes it was. What a beautiful bike!
    I even love the blue forks and red patchy paint. Did you do that or the frame builder?
    There's also a fair chance that this build eventually goes flat bar too because the frames a tiny bit big for me and I think it might make more sense for the handling and the riding I intend to use it for.

  • Thank you ;)

    My main motivation other than being an unorthodox wanker is to handle weight better at the front. Running a small wheel will reduce the trail (and wheel flop) both because it's a small wheel and because the head tube will steepen. But the angle could do with being even steeper, and my frame is also a bit long. Chopping down the top tube slightly & replacing the head tube could solve those problems.

    I think it makes more sense than replacing the frame. I'm torn between 1" and 1 1/8" though. Where's your frame builder based?

  • Haha, thank you!
    The fork is mismatched because I was lucky to find a new 650B canti fork with a threaded steerer that just happened to match all my needs and numbers for this bike. Pretty odd but cheaper and better than having the original fork altered.
    The red paint on the frame is just some primer. I asked Winston to put it on after he made the changes to the frame. The idea was to have some protection and test build and ride the frame for a bit to see if I really like it before spending even more money on a paint job for something that seemed like a silly experiment. The rattyness is cool but it will eventually get a proper paint job.
    I just installed some SimWorks Getaround bars and took them for a spin yesterday. I should update my thread.

    Good luck with this build. I will follow it with excitement.

  • Look forward to seeing this build progress. I'd been thinking about a 650b RR conversion for a while now.

    That old advert is incredibly charming.

  • If you drop your front end it will steepen your seat tube angle too which for me would be very undesirable. I use a 30mm layback seat post and the saddle slammed all the way back and still cant get it in the right place on a 74 degree seat post. I've got no idea what I'm talking about though.
    When you get the head tube replaced you could get a custom fork built too with a high rake. Now that would be special. I'd love a custom segmented fork one day.
    The frame builder is based in Sheffield.

  • Yeah being patient and test riding as you go is definitely the way to do it to make sure you get everything right. I'm really quite impatient and impulsive and need to try and fight that with this project so I'm not just throwing money away.

    @MrBaklava Well it's not going to be pretty but hopefully it just functions fine

  • Yeah I haven't found anything that ticks all the boxes and I've been watching ebay for a long time, so it'll probably be a custom fork or at least a modified one. I'm looking forward to seeing your frame back from the builder!

  • Great thread! Following with interest. I actually have a slightly earlier Randonneur that needs a new fork…hadn’t thought of changing the head tube, great idea.

  • I've been feeling a bit down about this project the last few days. It's like I started pulling on a thread at the edges of a jumper and now I'm suddenly left with a pile of string. I get carried away way too easily. Nothing is lost though.
    I've been collecting a few parts. I managed to pick up a mountain bike front wheel off marketplace from the next village over. 27.5" wheel with an internal width of 30mm. Maybe that's a shit idea? I don't know but the wheel is in perfect nick, has flawless tubeless tape on it and is surprisingly not that heavy. It looks really strong! I got it for 40 quid and the idea was it would be a placeholder wheel to test out the geometry and tyre clearance but if it works out maybe I could just use it long term anyway.
    I also won an auction on ebay this evening for an old deore lx crankset (sellers photo). £21 fuckin quid! I really didn't expect to be getting such a deal. There are so many overpriced old cranksets on ebay. Ok maybe it isn't the best deal ever but I'm just so glad I didn't overpay. Thinking about getting stainless steel rings when I know what ratios I want.
    I also snagged a single TRP Spyre-C for the fork before I asked for disc tabs on the back and now need another one for the rear if anyone has one going.
    Ive got Tiagra 4700 front and rear derailleurs hanging around and either a 10 speed or 8 speed 11-32 cassette so I just need to work out shifters.
    I want to go friction and would love to try downtube shifters but I don't think it's going to be practical for fully loaded off road touring. Maybe I'm wrong? I want Gevenalle shifters cause I love em to bits but they cost too much so its probably bar ends which is fine.
    I genuinely enjoy buying and using used parts more than new parts because there is far less guilt both over the amount of money spent and the amount of carbon in the air and plastic in the ground. Cheers.

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  • The frame builder sent some photos over with an invoice. I did not expect the hose guides to be along the top tube at all but it makes sense with the disc tab where it is. I got over it pretty quick. This is going to be a very functional, reliable bike and it's not really about aesthetics.
    Because the paint is already off most of the hard to remove areas I think I'm going to have a go at painting it myself.

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  • It's going to be good.

  • Imo wavering on a big project like this is normal. I went through a similar journey with a bike, changing it loads, sending it to a framebuilder etc. Still wonder sometimes if it was the right thing to do but ultimately ended up with a unique bike I absolutely love and I think that's going to be the end result here too. Stick with it!

  • Disc tabs are going to make it so much easier to switch between 700c and 650b wheels. Good call!
    What I think is a bit weird is the cable guides on the left seat stay. Its has to go over the rack mount?
    Also, I've seen this with a lot of disc retro mods. Don't you need additional support?

    src: https://www.peterverdone.com/wiki/index.­php?title=Disc_Brake_Retrofits

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  • Thanks for the support @karolk @yoshy

    @Oddo The very first thing I noticed after the hose guides on the top tube were the 2 things you mentioned.
    I didn't get the impression that this guy was a master of his craft from the short conversation we had. We were talking about angles and he suggested that head angle/trail doesn't really matter for the handling of the bike 'despite what you might read on the internet'. He kept eyeing up the frame suspiciously and telling me it was probably fake somehow. Asking me if it had been resprayed. I'm not sure what his thought process was with that. There were a few other things that made me wonder what he was on about. He seemed like a perfectly nice bloke though.
    Anyway I know nothing about building or repairing bike frames and I am happy to put a fair amount of trust in his experience. I will ask about the support strut and I think the brake cable will be able to get past the rack mount without too much fuss.

  • If you are looking for a second opinion maybe ask here: I am a frame builder AMA

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Raleigh Randonneur rudderless redo

Posted by Avatar for Crunty @Crunty