Twin Six Standard Rando v2; Quick Review – by Guitar Ted with additional comments from Andy
Recently Twin Six, the apparel company from Minneapolis, Minnesota, introduced their new update to the Standard Rando, a bike we have reviewed in the past. The company, known mostly for their fashionable threads, might not be on your radar for a bicycle, but after reading this review, you may change that viewpoint. (Yes- we like the new version)
Now that we’ve given away the ending, read on to see what Twin Six have done with the newest version, which we’ve dubbed “v2”, of the Standard Rando.
Much has remained the same with the Standard Rando. It still is a butted steel frame with a mono-stay rear and a uni-crown steel fork. It still cuts a classic profile with a nearly level top tube. It still supports the 700c and 650B wheel sizes. Even the paint scheme, although rendered in different colors, is the same as the original one had. (Note: A new scheme is to be unveiled Friday, September 4th, 2020) What is different is seen in the details, and in the nuances of the ride performance.
Of course, there is now a carbon fiber option for the fork. This combined with a 44mm head tube makes the new Standard Rando v2 look a bit different than the first version. There still is a steel fork available as well, so don’t fret if that appeals to you more than a carbon fork. Both steel and carbon forks also come with two sets of triple accessory bosses, one set on each fork leg. There are also two water bottle boss sets on the inside of the main triangle on the down tube- only on larger sizes- along with the seat tube mounted set. A set of bosses can also be used underneath the down tube. The brakes mount now via the new standard set by the use of flat mount brakes. Tire clearances were tweaked so that now a 700 X 43 fits with room under the rear mono-stay instead of barely clearing, as it was with the original Standard Rando.
Some things remain the same. Rack and fender mounts are to be found front and rear. Configurable clips for full-run housing are available which allows for 2X, 1X, or single speed set ups. The PF-30 bottom bracket can be set up with an eccentric for single speed, or for an internally geared hub. Painted to match fenders are an option as well.
Twin Six sells the Standard Rando v2 as a frame/fork or in several semi-built and fully built options. Base price for a steel frame and fork is $700.00 USD. A complete build with SRAM Rival Force 1 goes for just south of two-thousand dollars.
Ride Performance: The steel forked Standard Rando and the carbon forked version were purchased for myself and Andy of Andy’s Bike Shop. Andy opted for the black with steel fork and I got the carbon fork with the “Saffron” color scheme. Geometry hasn’t changed since version one, so the handling is very similar with the deep, 75mm bottom bracket drop and 72° head angle. The choice in wheel size and fork material are really the main, separating factors here.
The carbon fork is a bit stiffer than the steel one, but it does weigh less, which is fairly obvious. It doesn’t seem to make a ton of difference in ride feel, but if we’re splitting hairs, the steel fork seems to provide a slightly more compliant ride overall. In terms of compliance, we feel that the main frame, with its more traditional double triangle layout, seems to soak up the chatter quite nicely, regardless of fork choice. So, despite the forks being pretty stiff, the ride doesn’t seem to suffer much.
Obviously, tires can make a big difference here and the poofier 650B tires which can be fitted will make the ride smoother at a lower pressure than a 700c can be run at. But overall, either wheel size is good on this bike. I prefer the 700c set up over the 650B myself, having tried both on my bike. Andy is sticking with 650B for the time being. He also went geared, while I went single speed. This brings up the PF-30 eccentric to allow for the single speed chain tensioning.
I used the Wheels Manufacturing eccentric bottom bracket in my build and it has been nothing short of perfect after a month and a half of use so far. It gets my nod of approval for setting up this frame as a single speed.
At The Finish: The first Standard Rando set the stage for Twin Six as a brand that makes classically inspired bicycles reflecting the unique stamp of their style in terms of graphics and functionality. The new Standard Rando ups the level set before by the T-6 guys to a new height. We liked the old one, and this newer version obviously does all the good things that older frame did with some more features and better tire clearance. The option of a carbon fork is a welcomed one, but the steel fork is also still there for those who would rather “Ride Metal“. Plus, the value here is really quite good for the dollars spent.
Note: Andy and Guitar Ted paid for the Standard Rando v2 frames and forks and were not paid, nor bribed, for this review. We strive to always give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
12 thoughts on “Twin Six Standard Rando v2; Quick Review”
Thanks for writing up a review of the Rando. Difficult to learn much about the bike unless you buy one!
What did the weight of the bike come in at?
@Andrew- My single speed, with three stainless steel bottle cages, pedals, and Bike Bag Dude Top Tube Garage filled with stuff weighs a shade over 23lbs.
Dang. That’s pretty competitive from my survey of the field for steel frame carbon fork gravel specific bikes. Thanks for the reply and sharing your thoughts about the Rando!
Hello, did you get the house build or hydraulic option? What would be the difference between the two of them!
@Martin – Actually we got neither of those options. We built our bikes up from frame and fork with individually spec’ed parts. Andy T’s bike has Shimano GRX hydraulic levers and mine are Tektro mechanical levers matched up with some TRP Spyre calipers. My bike is a single speed with a mix of parts and Andy T’s is 1X GRX.
Nothing here besides the frame/forks is available as we spec’ed from Twin Six. So, I am sorry to say that I cannot comment on the ‘house build’ they use now.
got my Rando 2.0 w/steel fork in June. built with parts i had. 1x Force. use it in SoCal, so lots of climbing. in the dirt I have been riding Enve G23s with Nanos. the Nanos barely clear the fork crown and middle finger. I also did a couple weeks on some 650bs. really liked that. on the pavement been running 700×38 slicks. i’m a bit of an outcast around these parts with this bikes. all my fellow gravelers are carbon heads. they gotta make weight. the the Rando would have no chance in their quiver. it weighs 26 pounds. the frame is burly. that said, it does check a lot of boxes: 2 wheel sizes, mounts galore, accepts racks, can go singlespeed.
Looking at both the T6 Standard Rando and the Stormchaser for my SS gravel bike. Could you please describe some of the big differences or similarities between them as far as ride quality and ride position. Thanks and really appreciate your reviews.
@Scott – There are a lot of big differences with those two bikes. The Stormchaser has GOBS more clearance and a slacker, more stable head angle along with the additional stand over the design allows.
The T-6 has more limited clearances, a very slim amount of stand over, and is a touch quicker handling. Plus, I believe it has a shorter wheel base, but you may want to check the geo charts. I’m going off memory here.
At any rate, the T-6 is much more ‘road-ish’ feeling and the Salsa has a blend of MTB and gravel feel. The Salsa is more stretched out while the T-6 fits like an old school road bike. The Class V VRS on the Salsa gives that bike an edge in comfort.
The tensioning systems each uses for SS set up is vastly different as well.
Just two completely different bikes to my mind.
Thanks! Considering I’ve mostly been riding SS 29er the past 4 years… El Mariachi, Vassago Jabberwocky, and now Vassago Optimus Ti… seems the Stormchaser might be the preferred choice. Luckily my local shop has my size in stock… need to swing a leg over it. Just wish the same was true for the T6. Thanks again.
Recently purchased (second-hand) Twin Six Standard Rando frameset w/fork and Cane Creek headset. Wheelset Used is Mavic Ksyrium disc carbon with an 11 speed SRAM FORCE cassette and SRAM PC 1170 hollow pin chain. Tires are Continental SuperSport II (700×28). Rest of the group is SRAM RIVAL 1 GXP 42t single crankset and Rival 1×11 Shifter lever/brake system. Mechanical disc brakes are AVID BB5 FR/RR. Origin8 Gary Ergo Sweep OS Handlebar and pro-fit alloy seat post. Added a bit of nostalgia using a new Selle Italia Vintage 1980 Turbo Saddle (white). Finished it off with white Origin8 handlebar tape. Ride is classic steel and speaks for itself. As they say at TS, “Forever Forward.”