Many col.umn inches are written on the List vaunting the qualities of the Randonneur frames of Alex Singer and Rene Herse but as we all know these frames cost top dollar and more. For anyone who lusts after such a top quality frame in true randonneur style with 26" wheels and bronze-welded construction, I suggest that you should take a look at the Gilles Berthoud frame and fork set-up currently offered for sale on Ebay.
The 57cms frame is offered on the Sports/Cycling/Road bikes/frames section - item 3679070637. The frame is new but was built back in 1994 and apparently has hung in a cycle shop somewhere awaitng a buyer. The frame also includes a full set of F and R panniers which, I assume, were welded up by Gilles himself in the style of the Jack Taylor ones.
Perhaps Berthoud is not well known in the States but he is much respected in his native France where he is often assumed to be the undisputed successor to Herse and Singer. Some of his bilaminated frames - here we go again -are quite beautiful. His seat stay clusters are much to be admired and use the "triangulation" style of the hellenics, GT, etc but in a far more restrained way.
It would seem to me that the buyer cannot go wrong because the seller is offering full refund facilities if not satisfied.
The current price is around $345 with the best part of 1 day and 20 hours to go.
If you buy it you wouldn't be disappointed I guarantee that.