At The Finish: Twin Six Standard Rando

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Twin Six
The Standard Rando on a hot July day in Iowa.

At The Finish: Well, the Standard Rando is all boxed up and on its way back to Twin Six HQ as I write this final verdict on the green machine. Short version of this review is as follows: “I’m going to miss this bike.” For those who would like to read on to find out why, stay with me here. First I would like to point out that my previous post on this review can be found HERE. Now, on with the review……

That Ride Feel Thing: All along I have been writing that the Standard Rando has the “steel ride feel” thing down pat. What is amazing about this is that you can get that for such a low price in comparison to the competition. Again, we never were able to get out of Twin Six exactly what butting schedule the tubes have, or if this is even anything out of the ordinary as far as the steel goes, but I can certainly confirm that whatever it is, it rides with smoothness that rivals the best in steel frames out there. Comparing the price for the Standard Rando frame and fork to others in its range and I can say that the value in ride feel alone trumps the competition handily. That said, there is more to making a great bicycle than good frame tubing and clean construction.

Standard Rando
Yes- It is a really good gravel bike.

But Is It A Gravel Road Bike? “Standard Rando” doesn’t really conjur up images of crusing long miles of country crushed rock roads, but don’t let the name fool you. The Standard Rando is a very fine gravel road going machine. That steel frame soaks up the rougher stuff, and the fork isn’t a jackhammer at all, which goes a long way in keeping the bike going forward without having to suffer undue pain or waste energy herding it down the road. The key to the Standard Rando’s great handling on gravel might just be its low- really low- bottom bracket. At 75mm of bottom bracket drop, it stands out as the bicycle with the most extreme bottom bracket drop tested on this site, or by my self, so far. I have to say that the stability this gives the Standard Rando over looser gravel, and especially in corners, is eye opening.

Those Details: The Standard Rando has all the little things- hidden fender mounts, rack mounts, removable cable guides that are configurable according to your drive train choice- It’s nice to see this in a first time offering, much more so considering Twin Six is first and foremost a cycling clothing company. The frame is very “classic” in that the main triangle is very large for any of the sizes offered and the top tube is almost level, a thing not often seen anymore in road going bicycles. This is great for those who like frame bags and classic lines. Not so good if your legs are shorter and your torso is longer than average. You are not going to need a very long seat post for the Standard Rando, most likely, and if you run a titanium post, or any of the seat posts that require a lot of exposed post to get some flex, this may not work well for you. I mentioned in my previous update that 42mm tires are a bit of a squeeze in this frame, but for dry riding, that size should be okay. Other than these minor concerns, I cannot find any faults with the Standard Rando’s feature set.

At The Finish: If you like a steel ride feel, the Standard Rando has it without feeling noodly or too stiff. The presentation is top notch, and I have enjoyed the bike from an aesthetic aspect immensely. Fortunately, the details and fit are also very good which is quite impressive for a first time offering. Gravel roads are perfectly suited to this bike, and with grippy tires, you can even hit some light single track. Highly recommended for gravel travel and the value for the buck here is outstanding.

For more on the Twin Six Standard Rando see the page on the Twin Six site HERE.

Note: Twin Six sent over a complete Standard Rando bicycle to Riding Gravel at no charge for test/review. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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9 thoughts on “At The Finish: Twin Six Standard Rando

  1. Hi again, I asked a while back about your thoughts regarding this bike vs the Space Horse and am now looking at the new run of Black Mountain Cycles cross bikes (new geometry). Since you have one of those also I’d like to know what you think of that one vs this Twin Six – excluding the geo differences. Just wondering about the feel of the tubes/ride quality, etc. Thanks again, Tom

    btw: looks like the new geo for the Black Mountain cross bikes is very similar to the Twin Six…

    1. Tom- The two main things I see that separate these two bikes is that the BMC has more tire clearance, maybe up to a true 1.95-2.0 29’er tire, depending upon what rim you use, and that the T-6 has a longer wheelbase which gives it more stability along with its 75mm BB drop.

      Factor in the ease of a vertical drop out vs a horizontal one on the BMC, and I give the edge to the T-6 bike, but only because the BMC has certain quirks that I feel make it a somewhat of an acquired taste. If you live in an area where some trail or fire road traversing is in the mix, I might steer you more toward the BMC with the higher BB.

      Both are great bikes though, and I like them both a lot.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review! I was thinking about building one of these up with a 650c wheel set. Do you think it would work, or does the frame need to be set up to accept that oddball wheel size?

      1. Ohh…. I saw “650C” Well, that would work IF you used disc brakes and a big volume tire. A traditional wheel (rim brake) wouldn’t work at all, and 23mm tires would lower the bottom bracket too much, I am afraid

    1. @Daniel Le Texier – Unless you find yourself in rutted terrain, I don’t think so. Extreme leaning while pedaling through corners would be troublesome as well.

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