So I recently began to repurpose a Shogun 300 into a three-speed randonneuse.

OK, so maybe randonneuse is – oh… I don’t know… maybe a bit much, but it came to me with cheap-o rando bars, so I figured it was all about the looks. The drive train got ripped out and replaced with a three-speed internally geared hub with 700 x 38 tires and fenders.

I didn’t want to wait around for cotton bar wrap to ship and deliver from across the country. So I got to thinking: cotton bar wrap is cotton twill. I visited a local fabric store and sure enough, they stock one inch wide cotton twill in natural, white, and black. (Even more colors online, but that defeated the purpose of sourcing it locally.) six coats of amber shellac covered the natural-colored twill … and at 79 cents a yard, I’m still under twenty-six bucks for the entire build!

The brake pads are simply awful, with a lot of squeal and not much grab so I need to dig through my box of pads and get a little more stop and a little less go installed. Just before dark, I put her on the road for five minutes.

What amazed me – stunned me, absolutely floored me – is how cushy the ride is on this bike. I was absolutely not prepared for this at all.

I may need to install a smaller front chainring, but it will suffice for now … so long as I avoid going up hills!


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