This is a one-of-a-kind - the first and (so far) only Velo Esprit Randonneuse.

For a long time I've been wanting to try my hand at building a lugged steel frameset. When I found out my friend Kara's brother had built several I immediately contacted him about teaching me how to do it. Over the course of several weekends he guided me through the process from full scale blue print to mitering tubes, setting up the jig, pinning joints, cleaning and tweaking lugs, curving fork blades, checking alignment, silver brazing... It was very much a hands on experience. Kurt would show me what to do but he let me do most of it myself. When all was said and done we had built my randonneuse frameset. From there it was off to Davinci Cycles (local tandem builders) to have Brian paint her in Emerald green and Storm titanium. I designed decals with the help of William Anderson Jr. and Jen Green took my design for a headbadge and turned it into bike jewelry (it's even sterling silver). I had a grand time doing this and definitely plan to build more in the future. I think the frameset turned out quite well - not bad for a first timer whose never picked up a torch before.

The build details are as follows:

- 56x56 frameset with Henry James lugs (polished stainless steel dropouts - took a bit of work to get them good and shiny).
- Nitto 136AA bars with Cane Creek brake levers, shellac'ed tape, Purely Custom end plugs
- Ibis ti stem (with decals removed and liberally polished)
- Tektro cantis with Velo Orange brake cable hangers
- Nitto front rack (still need to make attachment for front fender)
- Honjo hammertone fenders
- Mavic rims, Campagnolo Record hubs, Grand Bois Cypres tires
- Sugino crankset with Velo Orange Grand Cru bb, Crank Bros. Eggbeater pedals
- Campagnolo Centaur front, Veloce rear derailleurs, Simplex Retrofriction shifters
- Brooks saddle, Nitto "boat tail" seat post
- Gilles Berthoud or Nigel Smythe front bag (depending on mood)
- Still need to work out the lighting

Looking forward to putting lots of miles under her wheels. Oh, about the name, "Velo Esprit" - two meanings here. Of course the most obvious being "Cycling Spirit" or "Bike Spirit" (no, not the ghostly spirit). But also, my Saluki's name is Esprit.

John Price



Velo Esprit Randonneuse - front end detail

Velo Esprit Randonneuse - side view

Velo Esprit Randonneuse - rear angle view


Velo Esprit Randonneuse - under the torch
Velo Esprit Randonneuse - main triangle and fork
Velo Esprit Randonneuse - nicely mitered
Velo Esprit Randonneuse - tacked and ready to braze

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