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  1. #1
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    Touring Geometry

    Touring Geometry

    So I have three different frames, and I'd like one of them set up more or less as a touring bike, for hauling stuff and the occasional camping trip. The lucky frame has been my Shogun 500, and it has done yeoman service, I'm not completely happy with it. In particular, I'd like more tire clearance. With fenders, it fits 700cx35s, but barely.

    So what I'm wondering is whether one of the other two frames I have might serve better in the same role. I'm listing the measurements I could make easily with a tape measure in english and (approximate) metric units.

    Bike: --------------------- Shogun 500 --------------- Sears Free Spirit --------------- Schwinn Range

    Top Tube: -------------- 22" (56cm) ---------------- 23 3/8" (59cm) ----------------- 23 1/2" (60cm)

    Brakes: ----------------- Canti ----------------------- Centerpull ----------------------- Canti

    Eyelets: ------------ Double Front + Rear -----------Single Front + Rear -------- Double Rear, Single Front

    Tubing: ------------ Tange 5 ----------------------- Reynolds 531 -------------- Cr-Mo

    Wheelbase: ---- 41 1/2" (105cm) ---------------- 42 3/4" (108cm) -------------- 42 1/4" (107cm)

    Chainstay: ------- 17 1/4" (44cm) ----------------- 17 3/4" (45cm) ----------------- 17" (43cm)

    BB Height: -------- 11 1/2" (29cm) ----------------- 10" (25cm) ------------------- 11 1/2" (29cm)

    Down Tube: ------ 24 1/2" (62cm) ---------------- 22 1/4" (57cm) ------------- 20 3/4" (52cm)

    The Shogun fits me O.K. with a 12cm stem, but is almost too tall. It is the only one with double eyelets front and rear, which is nice, since I've been using a front rack (which I could mount on the dropouts, if I needed to). All but the Schwinn are lugged.


    Unfortunately, I can't measure the tube angles, but they seem fairly similar. The components will be basically the same, since I'll be moving them from the Shogun, if I do.
    I'd appreciate advice from anyone who knows how frame geometry works.
    Schwinn Range: Attachment 215987
    Sears Free Spirit: Attachment 215988
    Shogun 500: Attachment 215989
    Last edited by storckm; 08-25-11 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Added Pictures

  2. #2
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    What about the head tube angle? That's important too.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Generic touring.. longer chainstay so you don't kick your bags .
    Since you are just buying a mass produced frame the rest of it is as is.

    oversize tubes are better. a 1.25 down tube and a 1.125" top, rather than
    1.125 down, and 1.0 top.

    if it wont fit a 35 tire , give it a pass..

    Freespirit is likely a BSO , something to use where you have to lock it up , like school.

    only two to choose?
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-25-11 at 08:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    The Sears bike kind of scares me for long distance touring, the components are shabby and wouldn't last long touring, and the frames were not assembled well enough to handle the rigors of touring.

    The Shogun is a well made bike but it's geometry is a sport not a touring geometry, which is ok, there are a lot of people that tour on sport frames; some people like a quicker more responsive ride of the sport geometry, and it can serve dual purpose as a touring bike and a road bike. The Tange 5 is the heaviest of the 5 Tanges with 1 being the lightest, but for touring you want the 5 to hold up to the rigors of touring. I think they came with Deore driveline which is a touring system. If your debating about buying this bike...get it!

    The Schwinn you didn't say what year, they made several different ones over the years, with the newer ones not being all that capable. It's also not lugged steel just welded and doesn't look as nice as the Shogun if that matters. They used cheaper Shimano components then the Shogun thus would not last as long nor be as trouble free as the Deore used on the Shogun.

    Lastly, resale value on the Shogun is higher in case that need should ever arise.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by storckm View Post
    So I have three different frames, and I'd like one of them set up more or less as a touring bike, for hauling stuff and the occasional camping trip. The lucky frame has been my Shogun 500, and it has done yeoman service, I'm not completely happy with it. In particular, I'd like more tire clearance. With fenders, 700cx35s are a tight fit.

    So what I'm wondering is whether one of the other two frames I have might serve better in the same role. I'm listing the measurements I could make easily with a tape measure in english and (approximate) metric units.

    Shogun 500 Sears Free Spirit Schwinn Range

    Top Tube 22" (56cm) 23 3/8" (59cm) 23 1/2" (60cm)

    Brakes Canti Centerpull Canti

    Eyelets Double Front + Rear Single Front + Rear Double Rear, Single Front

    Tubing Tange 5 Reynolds 531 Cr-Mo

    Wheelbase 41 1/2" (105cm) 42 3/4" (108cm) 42 1/4" (107cm)

    Chainstay 17 1/4" (44cm) 17 3/4" (45cm) 17" (43cm)

    BB Height 11 1/2" (29cm) 10" (25cm) 11 1/2" (29cm)

    Down Tube 24 1/2" (62cm) 22 1/4" (57cm) 20 3/4" (52cm)

    The Shogun fits me O.K. with a 12cm stem, but is almost too tall. It is the only one with double eyelets front and rear, which is nice, since I've been using a front rack (which I could mount on the dropouts, if I needed to).

    I'd appreciate advice from anyone who knows how frame geometry works.
    As the other two bikes have longer TTs, I suspect the Shogun is the best of the three for you. How is it "almost too tall"? Stand over?

    Brad

  6. #6
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    They're all frames I own. I got the Shogun at a yard sale 4 or 5 years ago, my father-in-law gave me the Free Spirit when I had a bike stolen--he wasn't using it--and I bought the Schwinn at a police auction.

    The standover height is the issue for the Shogun, and if anything, I could use a little bit longer top tube. Also, tire clearance is a bit tight, and I wouldn't mind a slightly more stable geometry and a longer stays. I occasionally knock the generator with my heel.

    The components will be the same for all, since they'll be moved from the Shogun. You don't think the Free Spirit frame will hold up?

  7. #7
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    You can't get everything, so decide what's most important to you. If you've ridden all the bikes you have a sense of handling and comfort. Tire/fender clearance is easy to determine, and as feitsbob pointed out chanistay length may be a factor with panniers.

    Frame angles are to measure on level floors with a roof angle finder costing less than $10.00. But that won't tell you more than you already know from having ridden the bikes. (experience trumps empirical measurement).

    In your shoes, I'd probably use the bike I had originally planned on using and living with the narrower clearances. Often there's more clearance in the rear, so you might consider 28mm front, 35mm rear. IMO, if riding paved roads only, or at least mostly, 28mm tires have sufficient section for loaded touring and that might be the right solution, especially if it improves chainstay width clearance, which IMO, is more important than radial fender clearance.
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  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Plan on prepping for a self contained tour? hard tail , rigid fork MTB's get the job done nicely.

    Just change the bars seat and so forth to maximize comfort on multiple day long rides.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by storckm View Post
    The components will be the same for all, since they'll be moved from the Shogun. You don't think the Free Spirit frame will hold up?
    The Sears frame is a very low end poorly built frame, I wouldn't ride it touring that's for sure, but you do what you ever you want. I would try to get the Shogun to work. A bottle generator is not the best thing for generating power anyways, you should get a Shimano generator hub instead, it works a lot better and does not wear the sidewall out, but it will cost more because you need to get the new Shimano generator hub and have a wheel built to fit it, your current rim may work but you'll need all new spokes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    The Sears frame is a very low end poorly built frame, I wouldn't ride it touring that's for sure, but you do what you ever you want.
    What are you basing this on? The OP, lists the frame as made from Reynolds 531 steel which is the highest quality material of any of his bikes. Have you opened up the attachment picture of it? That is not a low end frame.

    @ the OP, the Shogun looks like the best candidate to continue on in the touring role. It certainly looks the role of a touring bike, with the canti's.
    Last edited by mparker326; 08-25-11 at 09:17 AM.

  11. #11
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    If the Free Spirit is really Reynolds 531 tubing it's way out of character for the bikes that normally have that name. All the ones I'm familair with are Hi-Ten, heavy and not very well made.

  12. #12
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    I disagree about the bottle generator... It has no drag when disengaged, and it only is needed sporadically when touring- only when being caught out at night somewhere, which is an unusual situation. A little sidewall wear is no problem in that case. A generator hub has some extra drag all the time, and will be more reliable. I'd get a generator hub if I were doing lots of overnight rando's or commuting in the dark with an aversion to rechargeable batteries. .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    In your shoes, I'd probably use the bike I had originally planned on using and living with the narrower clearances. Often there's more clearance in the rear, so you might consider 28mm front, 35mm rear. IMO, if riding paved roads only, or at least mostly, 28mm tires have sufficient section for loaded touring and that might be the right solution, especially if it improves chainstay width clearance, which IMO, is more important than radial fender clearance.
    A really common sense reply.

    Narrower tires will also improve stand over and a longer quill and/or deeper drop handle bars with more reach can improve your fit.

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 08-25-11 at 10:05 AM.

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    Some Free Spirit frames were made by the same people that made Panasonics if I remember correctly.The had 531 tubing,lugs and forged dropouts,pretty nice frames.

    The Shogun 500 is a sport/touring frame.Longer chainstays than a racer but retains most of the quick steering of a racer,plus cantis for extra stopping power like a tourer.
    Just for the record,when you bought a Shogun years ago,you could have ANY combo of stuff you wanted if you were willing to wait.So you can see Shoguns with all kinds of different stuff hanging on them,no matter what came on them in the books.If you wanted to wait longer,the bike shop would measure you and Shogun would custom make frames to fit.

    If the Free Spirit has forged dropouts,than it's a toss up between those two.

    I've had a custom made Shogun tourer for 35 years,so if you ask me personally......Shogun for the win!
    Last edited by Booger1; 08-25-11 at 11:26 AM.
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  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I've had a custom made Shogun tourer
    Custom doesn't mean frame made in a factory to my mind..
    maybe the Build up of parts from various sources, was to suit the needs of a customer.

    "bike" is a sum of its parts..

  16. #16
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    A bottle generator is not the best thing for generating power anyways, you should get a Shimano generator hub instead, it works a lot better and does not wear the sidewall out, but it will cost more because you need to get the new Shimano generator hub and have a wheel built to fit it, your current rim may work but you'll need all new spokes.
    There is the cost. And the main thing is, since I only ride at night occasionally, the generator is not used enough to make a difference to the sidewall wear--at least I've never noticed any sidewall wear.

    As to the Free Spirit, it seems to have been made by Puch. My father-in-law bought it in the early 70's before deciding bicycle commuting wasn't for him. He told me it cost him over $1,000. It was an odd mix of some quite nice parts (like the cranks, derailleurs, and wheels) and some pretty cheap ones (like the pedals and stem shifters). I'm curious to know what the basis for criticizing its quality is.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
    I disagree about the bottle generator... It has no drag when disengaged, and it only is needed sporadically when touring- only when being caught out at night somewhere, which is an unusual situation. A little sidewall wear is no problem in that case. A generator hub has some extra drag all the time, and will be more reliable. I'd get a generator hub if I were doing lots of overnight rando's or commuting in the dark with an aversion to rechargeable batteries. .
    To clarify:
    THe extra drag from a generator hub is close enough to zero to make no difference when there is no load (light is off), and the drag is usually slightly less when on than with the drag from a bottle generator. THe advantage of bottle generators is that they are a cheap and simple add-on for a bike that already has wheels.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by storckm View Post
    I'm curious to know what the basis for criticizing its quality is.
    I don't know much about Free Spirits, but I have never seen even a marginally good quality one until looking at the posted pics. 'Crapola' is not an unusual assumption when someone says they have a Free Spirit bike.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Sears/Huffy sort of stuff, but they dont attract crime waves , to steal ,
    so for get around transport and a simple cable lock have some merit.
    wont shed a tear if it is nicked.

  20. #20
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    The Free Spirit frame was likely built by Puch for Sears, if it's a '70's or maybe very early '80's frame. I've seen some of these Sears 531 bikes, they are built from 531 but the components are crummy. Weird bikes IMO.

    I spoke to a guy who bought one new, and he said he purchased it at a discount while he worked at Sears in the '70's. It was a catalog-only item according to him.

  21. #21
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Does this look anything like the free spirit? http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/vie...p?f=10&t=14431
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

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    Your right,custom means to fit me,stumpy legs and long arms.Not ,you get to chose from a 21" or 23" frame.

    Custom as in,I get to help decide what I wanted in tubing,lugs,dropouts,chainstay lenght,BB drop,trail angles,silver brazed or brass,what brake mounts,how many braze on's where,on and on....That kind of custom.

    Most of the people that you here of building customs now were not around 35 years ago.There were Italian and French companies that would fly you over to fit you if you had enough money(haven't heard of anybody doing that lately).I didn't have that kind of money,so I had to settle for a tape measure.
    Last edited by Booger1; 08-25-11 at 02:59 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blamp28 View Post
    Does this look anything like the free spirit? http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/vie...p?f=10&t=14431
    That's the exact model we've had in our shop.

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    There was a "Ted Williams" version of the Free Spirit that was pretty good, IIRC. Made by Puch, fairly light, not terrible componentry, OK geometry. Certainly better than the Varsity of the same era, possibly worth upgrading.

  25. #25
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
    There was a "Ted Williams" version of the Free Spirit that was pretty good, IIRC. Made by Puch, fairly light, not terrible componentry, OK geometry. Certainly better than the Varsity of the same era, possibly worth upgrading.
    That's the bike in blamp28's link. The frame anyway.

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