Ken L.’s randonneur

I’ve known Ken for many years and I was excited to build (another) bike for him. He had me build him a single speed when I worked at Circle A Cycles and he purchased my personal light touring bike back in 2011. We ride together quite a bit and after many discussions about a new bike, he had me build him this 650b randonneur.

The first thing people notice about the bike is the color. It’s from a late 60s Peugeot catalog and is simply called Beige Céramique. The brown leather of the tape and saddle bring out a certain earthy tone in the color as well adding a little dimension to the overall palette. The aged Brooks B17 Ti saddle was custom made for Ken by Simon at Firth and Wilson Transport Cycles in Philadelphia as he is the North American Brooks repair person.

The stem is a custom quill with bell mount in a faux lugged style that complements the curvature of the lugs. The lugs were heavily modified by adding brass to change each radius. I do this especially on lugs with super sharp transitions like these Long Shen ones.

To fulfill my definition of a randonneur, there’s a front rack, dynamo, headlight, taillight, and an integrated matching pump. Other fun details include the rubber chain stay protector, brake hanger off of the seat binder, a custom hanger for the front brake, and the Schmidt SL connectorless fork dropout system.

The build on this bike is a combination of old and new. The brakes are vintage MAFAC Raid with some new hardware. The wheels are Velocity/Wheelsmith/Schmidt/White Industries and the drivetrain is 11-speed Campagnolo Athena. The Athena long cage rear derailleur was a hard one to track down. Because of the large range on both the crankset and cassette, the long cage was needed.

Ken has already put many miles on this bike on all types of terrain. I look forward to exploring lots of new old roads and trails with him in the future!

See the slideshow of the build process.