As if I didn’t have enough bikes already, I’ve ordered a Velo Orange Randonneur frameset for delivery sometime late next year from VO in Annapolis. Unlike my wonderful Rivendell Rambouillet and Bleriot, the VO will be custom-sized to me and will have the geometry to handle a loaded front bag. It will accomodate wider tires, generator hub wiring, integrated racks and fenders, and powerful Paul caliper brakes.
I mention all this because VO owner Chris Kulczycki has announced a price increase of $200 effective Saturday. If you’ve considered a custom-sized bike designed specifically for randonneuring, his $1,650 price until then is a screaming deal. It is the about the same cost as a Waterford, with more rando-specific details, and more than $1,000 less than the ornate, custom Rivendell. Bicycle Quarterly recently issued a glowing review of the Randonneur’s handling and construction.
MG has ordered the VO Camper touring bike for herself. Even if you’re not in the market for a new frame, it’s definitely worth the time to check out the VO site or visit the VO showroom in Annapolis. Chris is working hard to offer more affordable bags, racks, and components for touring and randonneuring. VO bikes are not cheap, I admit, but the comfort of a properly fitted bike made for our kind of riding is worth every dime.