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2018 NAHBS: Panasonic Randonneur with Shimano Ultegra

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2018 NAHBS: Panasonic Randonneur with Shimano Ultegra

In 1971, Panasonic Bicycles first began exporting bicycles to the USA and while their bikes in Japan are mostly consumer-level mamachari and other commuter cycles, this year at NAHBS, their hand-made division brought this beautiful randonneur with Shimano Ultegra, various Nitto products, and one of the wildest finishes I saw at the show.

2018 NAHBS: J. P. Weigle Concours de Machines Randonneur

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2018 NAHBS: J. P. Weigle Concours de Machines Randonneur

You know what I love about this bike? It’s been out there, getting dirty and living it up in the randonneuring trenches. It was built for the Concours de Machines, which you can read all about at Jan Heine’s blog. This competition is used to determine the best lightweight randonneuring bike and adheres to very strict rules. While this feat may sound intimidating, for Peter Weigle, it’s just another day in the shop. You see, Weigle is a master of his craft and it’s the details you can’t see that make his bikes so extraordinary. His construction techniques are second to none and his bikes are meant to get ridden, not to be hung on a wall in someone’s personal bicycle gallery. A Weigle wants to live its life to the fullest and luckily for the owners of his bicycles, the pleasure is shared between the two. To top it off, this bike, as shown here weighs 20lbs (9.1kg) on the nose and can be broken down easily to “Rinko Parts,” or the Japanese method of breaking down bikes for train travel.

Twin Six’s Standard Rando $1900 Complete Comes in High Vis

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Twin Six’s Standard Rando $1900 Complete Comes in High Vis

The Standard Rando is a great option for those looking for an all-weather commuter, or a bike to take on this year’s brevet calendar and at under $2,000 for a complete, it throws its cap in the ring as one of the more financially viable options out there. New for 2018 is this ultra high vis color, sure to keep you safe while you pedal from dawn til dusk.

See more at Twin Six!

420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter – Ultra Romance

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420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter – Ultra Romance

420.69th annual Nutmeg Nor’easter

Words by Ultra Romance, photos by Erin @erinmarie.gordon, Jon Weekes @gungywump, Jamie M @jamiemurrett, and “Big Janet”

I’ve lived in the same area of shoreline Connecticut my entire life.  My home is a garage artist’s studio that I just so happen to share with my mom’s gardening tools.  Paris, Milan, Clinton, CT.  As weather permits, I return home about 4 months out of the year; always being sure not to miss the splendor of autumn; the beauty of death as the colors fall, ushering in the grim shadows of wintär.

A Trio of Sverigetempot Bikes

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A Trio of Sverigetempot Bikes

As you might have noticed in the previous two galleries, not a lot of riders in the Sverigetempot are on traditional randonneur bikes, or even touring bikes. Rather, many of the participants are on carbon fiber road bikes, with a few select modifications to their components and of course, bikepacking bags. While there have been many excellent examples of bikes on this trip, I managed to photograph three in particular from the riders in our troop: Johan’s Focus, Daniel’s Roubaix and Johan’s Venge. Each have very similar specifications in terms of gear range and tires, but as you’ll see, are built to be lightweight, long-distance rigs.

The 2016 Length of Sweden Sverigetempot: Part 02

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The 2016 Length of Sweden Sverigetempot: Part 02

At a certain point in brevets like this, it becomes a game of catch up. You’re either catching up on sleep or mileage. Think of it as a scale. On one end is hours slept and the other, mileage ridden, with events on the road either adding to, or subtracting from the balance. In our rider’s case, mechanicals on the third day made for a long night in the saddle.

My Thomson and Ortlieb Decaleur Hack – Morgan Taylor

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My Thomson and Ortlieb Decaleur Hack – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor

Carrying stuff on bikes can be complicated – especially when you’re a notorious over-packer who likes to have a DSLR on hand. The Wolverine is my first ground-up drop bar build in a while, and I wanted to ensure that both transporting and accessing my camera would be well thought out.

Since we got married last October, Stephanie and I have been putting the pieces together to take off on a multi-month trip beginning in July. Wanting to produce galleries and stories on the road means having a bike-camping friendly way to carry my camera gear. I decided on a Swift Ozette rando bag – and the Hinterland Collection made with X-Pac VX21 had classic rando utility with a technical, modern twist.

I got talking with Martina at Swift over email, and ended up heading down to Seattle to visit their studio and pick up my bag in person. While Martina does get out on a lot of adventures herself, she also loves to live vicariously through others. Finding out that Stephanie and I were headed in the direction of the Great Divide route and planning on sticking to dirt as much as possible, she recommended finding a robust decaleur solution for my Ozette.

Florian’s Troica Disc All Road

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Florian’s Troica Disc All Road

When in Berlin, photograph German frame builders, right? Troica Cycles is a Berlin-based builder, specializing in tig-welded, steel cyclocross and road bikes. While their website’s offerings look beautiful, Florian‘s bike is a little different. This all-road, light tourer, randonneur, or what have you, features a beautiful segmented fork with a custom rack to boot. Its paint job is accented by the sour apple Chris King, ENVE M50 wheels and a bright turquoise Chris King headset. This bike is colorful, yet subdued at the same time…

Today I got to spend four hours with Florian and his Troica, admiring its subtle style and capabilities. Check out more for yourself in the Gallery!

2016 NAHBS: Map Bicycles Rambonneur

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2016 NAHBS: Map Bicycles Rambonneur

Mitch from Map Biycles in Chico, California has always been one of my favorite builders. The dude just oozes a cool, confidence that always shows in his work. From customer builds to his own, Map never ceases to impress. Even when his bikes have digi camo on them. The Rambonneur has popped up on this site before, but it was nice seeing it in person for the first time…

Velo Cult Introduces their Custom Program with a Mosiac and a Mark Nobilette Randonneur

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Velo Cult Introduces their Custom Program with a Mosiac and a Mark Nobilette Randonneur

New for 2016, long-time supporter of US framebuilders, Velo Cult announced their new Custom Program. This initiative launched with two flagship models: a steel Mark Nobilette randonneur and a custom Mosaic frameset. One, inspired by vintage lines and the other a modern day precision machine, crafted from steel or titanium. You could say that there’s something for everyone in there…

See more at Velo Cult and check out some beautiful detail photos below!

The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Norther Cycles Randonneur

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The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Norther Cycles Randonneur

I’m here in Portland, Oregon attending the Bike and Beer festival at HopWorks Urban Brewery. While I’ll be documenting many of the frames, I’ll also be capturing the general vibes. For now, let’s just check out some bikes!

The new shop on the block at the Bike and Beer Festival were Norther Cycles, a shop in Portland that is making in-house frames from road to randonneur. With competitive pricing, classic aesthetics and the option to build out the frame from their in-house parts and accessories, Norther Cycles is your new one-stop shop for randonneuring in the Rose City.

Since everyone’s a fan of raw bikes with silver components, I couldn’t help myself from geeking out over this beauty. With 10-speed Dura Ace, TA, Gran Bois, Mafac, Berthoud and Nitto, this bike would easily cause any serious or enthusiastic randonneur rider to salivate. Just don’t drip too much on that frame… don’t want it to rust!

If you’re in Portland, swing by and see the guys at Norther Cycles. Next time I’m in town, I’ll be doing exactly that! Or if you’d like to know more about pricing, head to their pricing list.

Compass Randonneur Handlebars

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Compass Randonneur Handlebars

After vigorous testing, a full run at PBP and seeking out Japan’s Nitto for production, the Compass Randonneur handlebars are now available. These Extralight bars are light. More light than any of Nitto’s current offerings, yet strong enough to take on fire roads, cobbles or whatever you can throw at them. They are available in widths of 400, 420, 440 mm and are in stock now at Compass.

James’ PBP Soma GR v1 Randonneur

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James’ PBP Soma GR v1 Randonneur

You don’t necessarily need a custom frame to compete in PBP. In fact, you don’t even need a true randonneuring frame. James started that way, with a Trek touring bike which he converted to a 650b wheel size. After that didn’t work out as planned, he sought out an affordable 650b frameset before finally landing on the Soma GR v1, which he promptly stripped it of its logos and repainted.

Now that he had a frame, he wanted to make the build something unique. You see, he has a penchant for customizing otherwise overlooked details with his bikes. Logos stripped, levers and derailleurs polished. In fact, one of the only logos visible on his bike are the Rene Herse cranks.

This year James competed in PBP and after he landed back stateside, he reassembled his bike and promptly dropped it off at Golden Saddle Cyclery, where the guys fixed an issue with his rear Powertap hub.

My favorite details on this bike happen to be the brake dust swirls on the tires and the dented fenders. This bike has been through the shit, for sure.

Icarus Frames: Commuterando for Blue Lug

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Icarus Frames: Commuterando for Blue Lug

For frame builders, randonneuring, or commuter frames can present a bit of a headache with all of the braze-ons and clearance concerns. It certainly takes a bit of planning, fittings and patience. Ian Sutton at Icarus Frames recently published one such project on his blog.

This “commuterando” frame features unique bottom bracket cable routing, a custom stem with internal brake hanger and a bell mount. The classic proportions, round tubing and 650b 38mm tires make it comfortable for bumping around the city or cruising down a dirt path.

Kudos to Ben Falcon for the paint and a cross-Pacific high five goes to the crew at Blue Lug Tokyo for the build. See more detailed photos at the Icarus blog.