Map and Steelman’s S&P Randonneur Project Bikes Sep 22, 2014


Framebuilder Mitch Pryor teamed up with Brent and Katryn Steelman to join forces on a batch of half tig welded / half brazed randonneur framesets. Over the past few months, I’ve been watching the progress and finally, we’re seeing some of the final frames rolling out of production.

It’s interesting to me seeing the mix of tig and brazed construction. Something you don’t see every day coming from production batches and I for one can say that these bikes are looking superb. See more from the S&P Randonneur Project below and follow along at the Map Flickr.










  • zuhair

    these are some of the prettiest bikes you’ve posted in a while. why the mix of tig and brazed though? Just wondering what properties a mix like that would convey to the frame.

    • I think Mitch wanted to offer his Map frames at a more affordable pricepoint. Tig welding the front triangle saves prep, construction and finishing time. I doubt there’s any noticeable different as far as handling is concerned.

  • boomforeal

    very pretty frames. haven’t heard of steelman in years, glad to hear he’s/they’re still at it

    are these frames custom/pre-ordered? wondering why the steerer tubes are already cut, some of them are really short

    • They’re all custom, to fit custom stems.

      • boomforeal

        siiiiick. i had a steelman stem once, thing of beauty

  • These frames utilize 1″ threaded steers, for quill stems, and so are actually long and uncut in these photos. The frames are stock sized, but with custom options for rack, lighting, braze-on, and color configuration so are somewhere in-between custom and off the peg. Sizing chart is here:

    • boomforeal

      ah, that makes sense

  • h salinas

    These are really lovely, congrats on the beautiful work.

    Maybe a silly question, but is there a reason why you seldom (I won’t say never just because I have encountered it) see a Rando frame configured for disc brakes? I’ve always wanted a frame with this geometry, but I’ve become really committed to discs on all-weather bikes.

    • I’d say it’s mostly because a majority of randonneur frames are an homage to the bikes from the early days. Maybe Mitch can elaborate?

      • Not a silly question, but it has more to do with the way these bikes were designed to be used than any kind of throwback to the past. Folks who ride long distances (as these bikes are designed to do) want their bikes to be a combination of stiffness where it matters, but with a ride that is not jarring, and so the frame and fork are designed to flex some. The forces exerted on a frame, and especially a fork, by disc brakes doesn’t leave much if any room for this desired flex since the frame has to be built to handle disc brake forces first, not just the weight or size of the rides. It’s really just about not overbuilding for a given purpose. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, and I’m sure some builders do.

        • Alex Cheek

          Is there also something about the serviceability of disc brakes? I have very simple bar-end shifters on my Surly and the bike shop mechanic explained that these were the easiest to fix with simple or limited tools and parts. I figure that servicing disc brakes in a pinch is trickier than rim brakes, so could that be another reason to avoid disc brakes on touring bikes?

          • That’s true as well. Which is why I went barcons and cantis on my tourer.

          • I’ll second that.

          • h salinas

            Thanks, Mitch. That’s a very good point about the flex in the fork, which I didn’t consider. I had originally thought the rake of the fork wouldn’t provide a suitable mounting position of the calliper.

            Third that on the barcons, I swear by them over STI’s for anything but my road bike (that or a set of the Gevenalle levers).

            Not sure I follow the point on the serviceability of canti’s over discs. I only have my own experience to draw on, but a disc will keep working in a situation where a warped rim will negatively effect the performance of a canti, and I’m able to do most adjustments on a BB7 with my fingers or, worst case scenario, a torx/allen wrench. Again, just my experience with them.