Project Dandonneur

My buddy Dan wants his 1971 Raleigh International converted to a 650b randonneur with a Wald front rack. Dan is a busy family man so we meet at my day job and discussed the project. He needed the rear end widened to fit a 135mm wide wheel, cantilever mounts front and rear, rack mounts and the struts to make that happen and I needed the brazing practice. Perfect!

Excited to get going I adjusted the rear end first using a BB post mounted to a Bridgeport table.

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Next it was onto brake mounts. I like this fixture and it works well but when time permits I’m going to make a better one. This was also the first time I tried Fillet Pro from Cycle Design. I’M A FAN!

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Onto the fork. The fork needed brake and rack mounts. This is the first rack I’ve mounted so it is completely new to me. I haven’t ever owned a bike with a rack either. Dan was awesome in helping me with images for examples of exactly what he wanted.

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The next thing I did was dimple the chainstays to clear the new 650b x 42 meaty tires. I made a pair of vice grips so I could dimple built frames as opposed to dimpling the tubing before assembling the frame.

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With the frame and fork done my next step was mounting the rack. I machined this headset spacer / top rack mount on a 4 axis horizontal Haas CNC milling machine.

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You’ll see how this works later.

The Wald rack came with some beastly mounting struts. I wasn’t about to use them to mount to this rack. Using some 4130 tubing and solid stock I machined the strut parts.

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Then brazed ’em up!

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MUCH nicer (and lighter) than the big ass piece of bent metal that was supplied with the rack.

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With the bottom struts taken care of it was onto the top.

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Again, confusing now but keep on scrolling and it’ll all come together.

I had to put some mounting slots in the back mounting plate of the rack and what a better way to do so than the tomb stone fixture on the Horizontal.

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Finally finished brazing the top struts so now these pics should sum that all up.

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Well, here is the finished product. Dan has already told me that he is going to get a poodle so he can carry it on the rack! Can’t wait for pics of that!

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This project brought me a load of new challenges and I greatly appreciate his patience with my learning curve and I hope he loves the bike for years!

Thanks for making it to the bottom of this post.

Ride safe!
Allan Varcoe

Here is his Flickr feed.

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