Touring - Best frame for touring: '77 Fuji S10-S, '84 Raleigh Olympian, '74 Raleigh Gran Prix?
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07-26-11, 07:14 AM
One thing always leads to another, and in the course of gathering up parts to fix up one old bike, I ended up with three. [Eight, actually, but the others don't matter here.] I thought to build up a dedicated long-distance touring bike, and I have three bare frames that might suit. One is a '74 Gazelle-made Raleigh Gran Prix [straight-gauge tubing], one is a Taiwanese '84 Raleigh Olympian [proprietary Raleigh DB main tubes], and one is a '77 Fuji S10-S [proprietary Fuji/Tange DB main tubes]. I don't want to build up all three, so the question comes, which one would be the best choice for a touring bike? I'm less concerned with a few ounces of weight here or there, and more with the ride, stability, responsiveness, and durability. The components don't matter** since I'm going to use the best of what I have anyway. Thanks, Z
** I know about the Raleigh GP threading issues, and believe I have them solved if I want to use that frame.
07-26-11, 08:36 AM
If you're starting from the frame, and really want a "dedicated, long-distance tourer," I don't think any of those three make sense. You'd be better off selling/trading one, two, or all of them and picking up a dedicated touring frame from the 1980's. Especially if you want things like front low-rider racks, three+ water bottles (or even two, none of those bikes have more than one water bottle boss, right?), seat stay rack braze-ons, long chainstays, etc. Any of those frames, being on the sport-road side of things, would be fine for light touring or to p-clamp some racks to for a little while, but if you're going to build something up I'd start with the right frame.
07-26-11, 08:30 PM
I have a Raleigh Team USA which I believe is similar to the Olympian. Before I got a 70's Super Sport that is closer to my size, I thought that Raleigh was the bee's knees. Its fast and fairly sturdy. I'm a clyde at 230 lbs, with a two pannier commute load, and a lunch box on top. I use an Axiom Streamliner on the back, a Delta low rider in the front. On a whim, I placed my commute load on the front and seemed to not have any problem steering the bike. It handled well on rough gravel roads using 27 x 1 1/4 Pasela TG's. I have it outfitted with a compact crank, and Megarange 7 speed freewheel using a Sora FD and Alivio RD shifting with Sunrace friction front/index rear downtube shifters. That combo works purty well, although I wouldn't go crazy on the touring weight, its no LHT.
07-26-11, 08:45 PM
My best stock touring bike? 1987 Lotus Odyssey, Tange Infinity DB tubing, full braze-ons for 2 water bottles, cantilever brakes, pump peg, factory equipped with front and rear aluminum racks with brazed-on bosses, factory 40 spoke rear wheel, 43 in wheelbase, 30f-32r gearing and all for under 600 dollars in 1987.
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