In case you missed our previous announcement, click here to read about what the upcoming re-incarnation of the Rando is all about!
The Rando is a super flexible build platform to build a huge variety of styles to match your personality. Most recently, we've put together three super fun ones: Retro-Mod Racer, 2 Speed-ster, and Geared Gazelle.
Now, you might be wondering, why bother with all this retro-mod madness? Well, besides the undeniable cool factor, riding a retro-mod racer is a unique experience. It's a journey back in time, where simplicity and efficiency reign supreme. It's a chance to disconnect from the modern world of clicky shifting and conveniences and reconnect with the roots of cycling. Plus, it just looks so darn cool!
First things first, you'll need some downtube shifters. I opted for these 11sp Dia-Compe offerings. They're friction and work with anything. I mean, I could use them with Shimano Deore, Sram Red, or Campagnolo Nuovo Record. They are super easy to articulate and look awesome. I added some Rustines downtube covers from my hoard pile. No, as far as I know, Rustines isn't getting back into the bike game.
Now that you've got your downtube shifters sorted, it's time to choose the right components. And what better choice than Campagnolo? Known for their exquisite craftsmanship and timeless design, Campagnolo components are the epitome of retro-mod style. From the iconic cranksets to the smoothest derailleurs, these Italian gems will take your retro-mod racer to a whole new level.
I opted for Athena 11, one of the last fully silver and metal derailleurs Campagnolo offered. They told me they didn't sell very many of them, so they discontinued them. I have the matching integrated shifters somewhere...
Brakes are our Grand Cru Calipers. They squeeze nicely and can stop the bike on a dime. Modulation is smooth.
The bars are our Nouveau Randonneur with TRP Brake Levers. I'll be honest with you - the aesthetics of the levers are better than the ergonomics, at least to me. I'm going to put on some Sram S500 levers when I get a chance. They aren't as good looking, but they have a flatter hood transition.
All in all, I'm pretty jazzed about this build. I really dig the simplicity and stance of this build. Izzagoodbike.
It's been a hot minute since I've touched a 2 speed kickback hub. I think the last one I used was on a Pashley Guv'nor back in college. That was a weird bike. Super slack, deep drops, drum brakes... Anyway, Connor found a 2 speed hub on super sale and we had to try it out on the Rando.
If you've never used a Sturmey Archer 2 Speed Kickback, basically it is an internally geared hub with a coaster brake. You move the pedals back a little bit and it engages the other gear. One is easier, the other is harder. It's super intuitive, once you get the hang of it. If you pedal further back, it engages the coaster brake. There is a bit of a learning curve so you can engage the shifter without engaging the brake, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. It's a neat piece of low-tech that gives you a gear without adding shifters and cables and stuff.
The downside, is that it's pretty heavy. And like any internal hub, I don't know how to rebuild it. There's like a bunch of gears and springs that run on Arcane Magic to move everything smoothly.
Brakes? We don't need brakes where we're going. As stated, there is a coaster brake in the hub, so yea, I guess there is a brake. It's pretty good, but if you wanted to, you could add another front brake for extra stopping power in an emergency, but the coaster brake it pretty good.
The tires are Panaracer Gravelking 700x38 in the Cream colorway. This bike is smooooth. I'd definitely roll on this if I lived in the city. I might swap the bars for Utility Bars and Rack though for more erm...Utility. Oh wait, we did.
and last but not least...
Connor built up his in high-zoot fashion featuring lots of carbon and Campagnolo. I just realized, these three builds don't have a lick of Shimano or Sram, neat.
The wheels are our Cassette and Front Hubs laced to carbon rims. While low profile aluminum alloy rims are a personal preference in the looks department, I have to admit the deep section, shiny rims matched to a slender-tubed steel frame looks really, really good.
The brakes are our Grand Cru Calipers, but the pads are swapped out for carbon-compatible ones. If you use regular, alloy-compatible pads, you'll wear out the rims prematurely. And that would be a costly endeavor. You want to wear out the pads first, not the rim.
The components are Campagnolo Record with carbon all over. The rear dangler shifts fast and the front pusher moves seamlessly.
The bike is truly beautiful and rides supremely. With the carbon wheels and overall lighter weight, it is snappy and fun.