Saturday, September 7, 2013

Velo Orange Rando

So last winter something that rarely happens occurred- there was a 1/3 off closeout sale on a bike frame that A) Was new, B) Lugged Steel, C) a color I liked and D) it was actually my size!   A-C happen frequently, D never happens.  Velo Orange was closing out the last of their Rando framesets and the ones left were 59cm! I have an issue with having legs too short for my height (according to bike fit standards anyway) but I compensate with an extra long torso so this bike had the length I needed and who says you need to show a fist full of seat post?

Oh and I got a few goodies along the way-thank you 10% discount on components with frame purchase.  Now one minor gripe I had was that this bike had a decal instead of a real metal badge, but I was in luck as VO had just introduced metal head badges on their bikes and when I asked if they could send me one they very kindly did. They even checked to be sure it would cover the decal before sending it.  Good folks at Velo Orange.
I did have a few issues along they way.  I had intended to go old school with down tube shifters like this
But I had an issue with the right side shifter boss in that the threads wouldn't allow the shifter bolt to go in all the way so instead of taking it to a shop to have the threads chased I tried to do it myself  with a stainless steel bolt...bad idea.
Hey bar end shifters work great! I had a less dramatic problem with the headset and steerer tube.  I didn't really want to cut the steerer tube but something seemed wrong when I got it all assembled....
Yeah gonna need some spacers but I was in luck as VO had some cool knurled ones.  I had this bike most of the way assembled months ago and then for one reason and another it sat for a long while.

I recently came to the realization that I was bike rich and cash poor so I decided on a bit of whim to list the Soma Smoothie I had just built to see if I got any takers.   I did, good for my pocket book but I did really like how the Soma turned out and was sad to see it go,  but I realized I had a pretty darn cool bike that was mostly finished if I would just get off my duff.   So I put the Rando back in the stand to get the fenders mounted and then to finish it off.
I love the fenders but man they had to be the most time consuming PIA part of this project.  One of my favorite parts of this bike are the lugs-they are gorgeous.
BB cluster and cable guides

Seat post lug- love this one!

There are even details on the inside of the fork blades
All in all I am really happy with how it came together.  I still have a few things to dial in and a front rack I haven't mounted yet but this is one bike I plan to hang onto and hopefully do some credit card touring with.  Now I just need to start riding it!

Until next time ride smile and repeat.


  1. Ryan, I really like this bike!
    "bike rich, cash poor" So true. How is it that I usually seem to always find myself "cash poor" and so rarely "bike rich"!!
    I went back and re-read the post on the Soma Smoothie and I can imagine that it was hard to let go of. Such a sweet looking ride. But, I think this Velo Orange will serve you so well especially for some light touring. I really like the orange cable housing, so apt for this bike!!
    It has been a bit strange as I have zero bike projects going right now. I am very happy with my stable right now and I have my family members who want a bike, pretty fixed up. My oldest son has expressed an interest after reading Cass's bikepacking adventures from Peru. He is an avid backpacker so I am not sure where he wants to take this and if I can help him. He is also talking about something to just bomb around town on and commute on. That would be more my skill level to build something up for that.
    Anyway, let me know how this Velo rides after you have some miles on it!

    1. Hey Jim,

      Thanks for stopping, I should caveat that bike "rich" is all relative ;-). Thanks for your nice comments I thought the Orange housing would look good and I am happy with how it turned out.

      I just finished a Raleigh that I will be posting about soon. I am sure that if you build it - the riders will come ;-) If your son is looking for something newer I have to recommend building up a bike from all new parts - You did that with your Oger?- a much different experience than reviving an old bike. Fun either way.

      Yes I will do a ride report after I have some miles under my belt.


  2. Man I'm hatin' life and left my bicycle at home this time...twelve hour days leave little riding time but it would make me feel sooo much better just to glance up from the keyboard and see her sitting there...

    So I am reduced to my other hobby of looking at pictures of bicycles on the internet.

    What a treat it was looking at yours! You really have some nice rides, Ryan! Would you consider doing a "My Rides" guest post, a photo shoot of your amazing stable?


    1. Tim Joe to do a "my rides" guest post I would have to actually RIDE! When I get off my a$$ and start riding for any distance > 1 mile again I would love to do a guest post and photo shoot on the TPC.

      My stable right now is the VO Rando and the Handsome Devil...really. Oh I have a Peugeot Course in the bathroom but I plan to rebuild and sell and I have a bone yard on my balcony of 4 old school road frames (Raleigh, Schwinn, Fiorelli and Motobecane)that need the rebuild treatment. Oh and one Raleigh Record completed project (a miracle I know) that is on Craigslist as we speak and as I alluded to Jim will "soon" be on the blog. Yeah its a scene man. Did I mention the park bike stand where a dining room table would normally be?

      Sorry you are hating life brother but hope you are reunited with Lil Miss Dangerous soon.


      PS- Crap forgot about the $5 ride (Raleigh Reliant)-its on the porch too so make the boneyard total 5. I think I may have issues.

  3. Ryan, I hope you can help me out. I've got a VO Rando f/f I'm trying to sell. Inevitably the question is asked what is the max size tire both with and without fenders. I was using 700x30 Grand Bois tires and to me I could have used 35s. I never installed fenders. Can you let me know how what you ended up with on your bike? It looks great by the way. Thanks, Skip

    1. Skip let me say I always regretted selling mine but I needed the money at the time. To your question thanks to photos I can tell you I had mine set up with Panaracer Pasela 700x28c with VO hammered fenders and a look at the VO archives for the frames shows "45mm fenders with 30mm tires or 32mm tires without fenders" so in theory you could mount fenders with your current tires. Hope that helps.

    2. Hey Ryan, thanks for the quick reply. That's what I'll note moving forward with the sale. I'll regret selling this bike, it really is a nice. But I need the bucks as well.