I wanted to put the new bike to the test. What better way than 3 whole weeks camping in France, with panniers and pulling a trailer . . . followed by a trip to the Picos mountains in Northern Spain to see La Vuelta!
The 650b Randonneur was everything I wanted and expected it to be. Loaded on the front wheel it steered like normal, unlike my previous trips with a rear loaded bike. OK, so the trailer took some getting used to, but even that was preferable to the high-loaded rear rack, and it was ideal for all the bulky camping gear – a role endorsed wholeheartedly by my wife.
I took it along the coast of Brittany and the Nantes-Brest canal, on unmade tracks through wood and to Roman ruins. I took it to up mountains in Spain and to days at the beach, to cafes and restaurants for lunch . . . and just because I felt like a beer while sitting in the sun.
Even when I bent the derailleur hanger because the trailer wasn’t hitched properly I just switched the down-tube shifters to friction and carried on – it didn’t let me down. What more do you want from a bike?