Sunday, February 2, 2014

Otto's Rando - Signature 650b Randonneur

Just before Christmas we finished one of the most special custom steel bikes we've built for a while - a Bilenky Signature 650b Randonneur, which we are proud to present in tribute to the style and flair of René Herse.

One of the pleasures of this build was that the customer was very specific in how he wanted the bike to look and ride, and took an active part in the design process. As a result of this ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas, the design of the bicycle evolved as we built it. The result is beautiful and unique.

And so here (as they say in England) is the full SP on the build...

  • Bilenky Signature Rando 650b x 42c
  • Handcut investment-cast lugs with a Herse-inspired profile
  • Columbus Life tubing
  • Imperial oval fork-blades with Grand Bois fork crown

Frame detail
  • stainless steel chainstays and rear dropouts
  • integrated Tony Pereira Constructeur taillight, custom mounted
  • custom rear brake cable hanger
  • internal wiring
  • custom chainstay fender mount
  • mitred-in seatstay attachment
  • custom fabricated bottom bracket shell to match Herse-tribute lugs
  • customer supplied custom headbadge
  • SonDeluxe SL fork dropouts with internal wiring
  • S&S couplers - custom cut to match lugs

  • Pearlescent Lunar Peach - gold and pink pearl over custom mixed color to emulate the moon's rising color. Fun process story- originally the customer wanted a classic grey. When he came to the shop to pick up two other bikes we had modified and repainted for him, the painter took him outside to discuss grey armed with the color books. As they were talking about color and the love of bicycling, a delivery truck arrived with a package. After running the delivery inside, the color book was randomly open to a page with some peaches and Naomi the painter pointed to it and said "one day I'd like to paint a bike a color like that because it reminds me of the moon". The customer appreciated the recommendation and seeing her other work, he enthusiastically gave her full artistic freedom.
  • color coordinated racks to decals and lug-lining to emulate twilight
  • hand-painted Bilenky stencil logo
  • pump painted to match and mounted behind seattube

Components - a mix of new and vintage
  • SKF roller-bearing bottom bracket
  • RenĂ© Herse crankset
  • Vintage Mountain Goat tapered roller bearing headset
  • Custom wheelset using Velocity A23 offset rims
  • Mafac Raid brakes (with custom braze-on mounts)
  • Grand Bois Hetre tires
  • Brooks Professional saddle
  • Rear hub: White Industries polished 36h

Custom lugged stem
  • custom Bilenky Fabrications lugged steel stem
  • twin handlebar binderbolts
  • painted to match the frame and lug detailing


  • custom Bilenky Fabrications front and rear racks
  • detachable low-rider rack at the front (to remove when you aren't carrying panniers)
  • center-mount dynamo headlight positioned beyond the tire profile
  • Honjo Hammered fenders with painted stripes to match frame and lugs
  • custom fabricated decaleur with integrated cable hanger for Berthoud bag

You might call this bike 'full custom', as the attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the frame and the components, and particularly given the number of custom items that we designed and fabricated solely for this bike. It is one of a kind. Artistry in steel.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not keen on the colour, but this is a stunning bike.