650b, biking, Chilly Hilly, Cycles Toussaint, cycling, low-trail, Rawland, rivendell, Seattle, Soma Grand Randonneur, stag, Velo Routier
I have been awaiting the Soma Grand Randonneur frame I had ordered a month ago, and suddenly got a wild hair to re-think the decision. Actually, I lost patience as the rando season is swiftly approaching.
Late last year, my LBS built up a few newer arrivals in the steel bike, low-trail, 650B vein. I did some test rides, and came away with a definite feel for how these bikes differ from my existing rides. In my weekly after-work stop, I was chatting with owner Kathleen, and discussing ordering a Rawland Stag (one of the bikes in this club I hadn’t ridden) when she suggested I look at the Toussaint again. I quickly dismissed it as I recalled it being a 57cm frame, and feeling that was too small. But the seed was planted. I looked up the geometry again, and noticed it was not much different from my A. Homer Hilsen – 1cm less top tube, but the same stand over. Hmmm – that’s why it felt so right when I rode it after the Soma.
After much soul searching and pondering alternatives, it sounds like the bike I’ve been looking for was the Cycles Toussaint Velo Routier that was right under my nose for the past few months. Kathleen is pulling some of the original build off it so I can use my existing cockpit and crankset. I will pick it up this week, and I can’t wait to get it built up and out on the trail. I may try to ride it on the Chilly Hilly this weekend – that would be amazing, but possible if the chips fall in my favor…