TORRAGAR

Since returning from the Transcontinental Race in 2015 this bicycle has been on my mind. In racing solitude I critiqued every corner of my Albannach RATHAD, though a fine weapon for the road, it’s not totally ideal for the rigours of ultra randonneuring. I wanted to create a comfortable, adaptable rando bicycle but at the same time I wanted it to enable me to ride and explore where my Albannach dCROIS, being a pure, no bottle cage mounts race machine,  couldn’t. It’s not all out ‘cross and it’s not your traditional randonneur, it’s more of a radge rando*, step forward the TORRAGAR.

The frame

The frame shape is based heavily on the CROIS/dCROIS geometry allowing for slightly more stack to promote comfort with a slightly less horizontal top tube. By raising the top tube you maximise the potential for frame bag + bottle space within the frame however you also reduce the size (potentially remove entirely) of seat bag possibilities. Therefore it needs to be balanced between traditional and compact.      

In terms of the build, the tube sections used were identical to the CROIS and RATHAD builds. a tapered head tube (to house a 1 1/8″ to 1 1/2″ tapered fork steerer), 44.5mm Ø DT, 34.9mm Ø TT & ST and a PF30 bottom bracket shell.

The chain and seat stays have increased in length slightly to accomodate fashionably large tyres. The TORRAGAR can fit up to a 50mm wide tyre in the rear on a 622mm Ø rim (or 700c x 50mm) or if you’re so inclined a 54mm wide tyre on a 584mm Ø rim (27.5″ x 2.125″ / 650b x 54mm). The drive side chainstay has also been shaped to allow either up to a 53t-39t double crankset or a 46t single crankset.

 

As is the Albannach standard now, routing to the deraillers and rear brake caliper are internally ducted with the rear derailler via the TT > SS, rear brake via the DT > CS and front derailler via the DT.

For the rear brake mount I’ve adopted flat mount standard, not only is this standard lighter than post mount, component manufacturers are leaning towards ending post mount caliper production therefore the frame is future proofed (for now…).

As with the Albannach BEINN I’ve included a 142mm x 12mm rear through axle to lock the wheel in place. The biggest advantage for me of this system over 135mm quick release is the guaranteed caliper – rotor position mitigating pad rub.

And finally I’ve included mounting potential for three bottle cages, rear pannier racks and fenders.

All of the above makes the TORRAGAR an incredibly versatile machine. Summer lanes, winter roads, ‘cross parcours, forestry tracks, rough ribinoù, mountain trails, abandoned pavé, whatever your flavour the TORRAGAR has it covered.

The build

In order to document the TORRAGAR in as many of it’s guises as possible the builds went something like this –

1 x 11 – 700c setup

  • SRAM Rival 22 hydraulic disc brake shifters and calipers (PM up front, FM out back),
  • SRAM Apex 1 long cage rear derailer,
  • SRAM Rival 1 42t crankset,
  • SRAM 11-32t cassette,
  • KMC X11SL GOLD chain,
  • Light Bicycle 45mm carbon rims laced onto Hope Pro4 hubs 32h,
  • Shoed up with Challenge Open Tubular Limus and Schwalbe Smart Sam tyres,
  • Niner RDO fork nestled in with a Hope 2 up top, Hope E down below,
  • Shimano XT PD-M780 pedals,
  • Fizik Arione Vs saddle,
  • 3T Pro finishing kit,
  • Wrapped up with Lizards Skins DSP black tape, and
  • Topped off with some Hope 160mm Ø rotors,  clamps, spacers & bolts.

1 x 11 – 650b setup

  • Hope Tech Enduro rims onto Hope Pro4 hubs 32h,
  • Shoed up with WTB Ranger tyres,
  • SRAM 11-42t cassette!

2 x 11 setup

  • SRAM Rival 22 front and rear deraillers,
  • Light Bicycle 45mm carbon rims laced onto Hope Pro4 hubs 32h,
  • Vittoria Hyper 32mm tyres (heavy randonneuring),
  • Vittoria Corsa G+ 28mm tyres (heavy lane mincing),

A special thanks to my boy Euan Lindsay  (i : @euanlindsay), painter at Shand Cycles who safety ninja’d up my Niner RDO.

Hunners more photos of my prototype TORRAGAR available in this gallery.

 

 

The name

TORRAGAR /tɔRagər/ pronounced torrah-gir – in English, traveller.

The geometry

For those interested this is a ’52’ TORRAGAR. Details on the geometry can be seen in the table below.


 


*radge ~ anyone or anything that has gone beyond the bounds of regular behaviours.

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