Touring - to convert or not to convert that is the question.
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04-20-09, 01:11 PM
Well I plan to do allot of bike camping this summer.
I need to get some panniers but also want to use a 79 motobecane road bike to do it. The only real problem I can find with the set up on the bike is the front fork.
It is not set up for canti breaks and it also not set up to take low rider racks.
So for me the logical next step is ether to get a rack that fits that fork, and deal with the breaking, Or to find another fork for the bike. I am leaning towards getting a different fork.
This brings me to the next problem. It runs 27" wheels. I would like to run that size wheel since it is bigger and will give me a better ride. But I can see some potential problems.
If setting this bike up to ride for touring, would cost me more then 300$ then it would probably be better if I just went out and found a used touring bike, since I see them for sale around that price allot.
What are your guy’s thoughts on this?
04-20-09, 02:12 PM
You will have difficulty finding a new threaded road fork with canti-bosses and 27". Tange makes very nice and inexpensive replacement forks and it does not seem they have one in that model. Check ebay for forks and you may find one there.
04-20-09, 06:16 PM
Either use a trailer, as mentioned above, or invest in Old Man Mountain racks. The OMM racks do not need bosses and can be attached with the P-clips that come with the rack.
What model is it? I did my first bike tour five years ago on a 1977 Motobecane Grand Touring. thats more of a sports touring model, no eyelets for racks so I used p-clamps for the blackburn knockoff rear rack. It has no cantis, but rather good old Wienmann centerpulls. put some decent brake pads on it. Some elbow grease on it and I was off across the mountains with roadbike gearing and centerpulls. I lived and decided I liked it. still have the bike and still sometimes grab it for a overnighter or casual multi day ride. I have lived through braking at 50+ mph downhill.
If you are only camping, not long distance touring you may not really need front racks. by packing light I got away with just rear bags, and that was in the winter. I have put blackburn lowriders on several bikes using U bolts in place of rack mounts. Surely it has eyelets for fenders.
Lots of folks rode those old bikes on long tours back when they were new. They worked even without cantilever or U brakes. The only real problem can arise when something breaks or wears out, like the BB. Thats when it gets hard to find the right parts, since some of the threadings can be different.
I tour on 27" tires all the time, there are some pretty good tires in that size, not a huge selection, but enough. You may have to settle for a max 1 1/4 width though.
04-20-09, 08:02 PM
It is a Motobecane mirage.
I have some center pull brakes I can use on it. :) good tip they are just sitting in a box. :)
I plan to work up to a longer tour, at the end of this summer or next spring. Practicing, in a way, by going going camping.
I live in a Vally with big mountains all around me, so on the way home I am going to be going almost nothing but down hill. And the much more painful climb on the way up. :) I plan to start close to my house and then move farther and farther. Then try to make the "tour de parents" and go from Ashland, OR, to just outside mt. shasta, CA(Dads house), then from there to crescent city, CA(Moms house), finishing by going back to ashland from there.
04-20-09, 08:54 PM
My inclination is always to make do with what you've got until you have a pretty good idea of what would be your ideal set-up. Your center-pull brakes will be fine. All you need is enough clearance for fenders if you want them. 1-1/4" tires are the equivalent of 32mm -- quite adequate. If you really like the bike, you might consider investing a hundred bucks or so to have a local framebuilder braze some rack mounts and another set of eyelets onto the fork (you could have canti bosses added on at the same time for that matter, but like I said, the center-pull brakes provide plenty of stopping power and will keep the bike looking vintage if that's worth anything to you). This is what I would do.
The United Bicycle Institue framebuilding school is in Ashland, so I'd start there.
04-21-09, 08:41 AM
Ya' I hope to be going to U.B.I. soon. :)
Thanks for the advice. :)
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