The construction of a randonneur bicycle requires far more design and fabrication than, say, a track bike, due to the extra functionality required by a cycle tour. Add-ons like integrated lighting, pannier racks or decaleurs and extra water bottle bosses can easily mean up a lot more time behind the torch and file. A Bishop Bike will take even longer, due to Chris Bishop’s remarkable level of finishing.
Just as we love track bikes for their simplicity, a well-constructed randonneur is an elaborate and impressive thing. Chris built this 650B rando for a San Franciscan who is planning on riding it around California. That ‘love bus’ paint, applied by Bryan Myers of Fresh Frame, will help it to blend into the background, especially around its hometown.
The tubing is a true mixed bag: Chris had an old stock set of Reynolds Imperial Oval fork blades on the shelf that were commissioned into service, along with a custom tapered Reynolds down tube that increases stiffness at the bottom bracket while still enabling the use of traditional lugs. The lugs are a vintage Cherubim set that were filleted and filed.
A True Temper OX Platinum head tube is up front; the rest of the ensemble consists of a Columbus Life seat tube, and chain and seat stays of Columbus Nivacrom. Chris fabricated the stainless steel rack and integrated a cable hanger and decaleur. The stem is nickel-plated and also custom. The SON SL hub is contacting a pickup on the fork dropout, powering an Edelux light.
I asked Chris how many hours went into this build, and the answer, “about 160 hours”, is a fair explanation as to why it is so spectacular. Special thanks to Shannon Ayres for the photography. See more on the Bishop Bikes Flickr.