At 8:08 AM -0700 10/11/06, Chris Kulczycki wrote:
>Mike Kone wrote:
>Many folks confuse randonneur bikes with touring bikes. Randonneur
>bikes have lighting, typically a front rack, and fenders. These
>machines do not carry much weight other than a handlebar bag, so
>these bikes can be built increadibly light - comfort is key. So
>while the bike looks touring in nature, it can take advantage of
>super light tube guages......
>I think it's important to point out that there are some who consider
>randonneur bikes primarily machines for rondonneur events. But in
>the older, French, context they may be bikes that are used for long
>day rides and light touring. Unlike today, many riders in the past
>could only afford one good bike so the rando bike needed to be light
>enough for events and robust enough for a few days of inn-to-inn
>touring. Actually, that sort of all-around bike and its implied
>simplicity is very welcoming, at least to me.
If you place the load well, you don't need a sturdy (heavy-gauge) frame to carry what you need for a weekend or B&B tour. After all randonneurs also carry food, spare clothes, etc. Good design can go a long way to creating a bike that is fun and versatile.
I fondly remember a Rene Herse camping bike that I got to ride at the 2005 Cirque that rode very nicely unloaded, despite being designed to haul heavy loads. While I doubt that bike used superthin tubing the overall weight suggests that the gauges aren't heavy, either. -- Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com