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Old 05-09-06, 05:39 PM   #1
cuda2k
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Vintage commuter/tourer ideas

I've decided to start seriously looking for a frame (again, this will be #3... yes, I'm hopeless just like the rest of you). I've got just about everything I need to build up a commuting rig - except for the frame. Need some suggestions on what makes/models to keep an eye out for. If anyone's dropped by the 'for trade' thread recently you've already seen what I'm after:

56-58cm, decent Cro-Mo frame/fork. Must have rack/fender mounts and ample tire clearance for 28mm or wider tires (in addition to fenders). And must use 700c wheels. I've seen a number of Treks and a couple Schwinn's in the past that would work fairly well, but I have a pair of 700c 36spoke wheels that I will be using. Braze-ons on the downtube highly desired as well.
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Old 05-09-06, 06:16 PM   #2
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The 531-frame Raleigh Super Course and Gran Sport models are ideal commuter/tourers, if you want to build a singlespeed, a fixie, or an internal-geared machine, for these models have plain stamped rear dropouts without derailer hangers. You can get a nice Super Course frame pretty cheap as well - and some of them have Nervex lugs to boot.

If a derailer-geared machine is what you have in mind, look no farther then the Nottingham-made, all-black Raleigh Competitions.

Unfortunately, every single one of these Raleighs require clamp-on cable stops. You can always use Campagnolo stops, of course...

-Kurt
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Old 05-09-06, 08:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions, biased to a certain brand as they may be. But you are right, all three would make fine rides.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:06 PM   #4
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I've used a Raleigh Sports 3 speed as a commuter for some time. It's been the most reliable bike I've ever owned. And you can shift gears while stopped at lights!
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Old 05-09-06, 11:26 PM   #5
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I'm working on a lesser Raleigh, a Grand Prix, for my wet weather commuter.

Its got lots of room for fenders. As a bonus, it came with a delightfully smooth loose-balled bottom bracket. I like being able to repack after a good soaking (really, I hate taking my good sealed Campy BB's out in bad weather)

These seat stays practically beg to stuff a fender between them:

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Old 05-10-06, 04:16 AM   #6
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i bought an austro daimler 531 frame and forks off ebay. it's now running 700x32s with mafac centerpulls and is a really sweet bike for just about anything. for year round commuting fixed is good and an old raleigh grand prix makes for a real pleasant workhorse. there's so many that will work.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:13 AM   #7
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Given the frame size you mention, I'm going to guess that your foot size is around size 10 or less. In this case, you would be able to use a bike with 43cm chainstays with little risk of heel strike. This is good news as it means pretty much any Sport Touring frame from back in the day will work for you. Big footed folks like me need more rooom back there.

Personally, I would prefer to stick to Japanese/US/English bikes as they are easier to find part for. Italian and French frames often pose problems due to odd sized fittings. Steer clear unless you are passionate about, say, old Peugots. Brands I would look for: Univega, Fuji, Trek, Nishiki, Centurian, Schwinn (japanese made ones), Bridgestone, Raliegh. I've got a spread sheet with some frame specs of some of the older bikes (mostly Treks) here:
http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/Dirt...kes/bikes.html


I'm also a big fan of low trail bikes as I think they deal with bumps better. The classic old-school Sport Touring design used 73 degree parallel angles with 5.5 cm of fork rake. You can often eyeball this just by looking at the sweep of the fork.

Regarding your desire for 700c wheels, remember they weren't that popular back in the day. Most bikes were set up for 27" wheels and some convert down to 700c better than others. In general, I would avoid trying to convert any 27" bike with cantilevers to 700c. The abillity to do this will depend on the placement of the bosses. There can still be problems with caliper brake frames depending on where the boss is. In general, you are looking for a bike in which the brake pads are near the center of the adjustment range for a normal long reach brake (47 - 57 mm) when set with 27" wheels. This will generally allow you to move to 700c wheels by moving the pads down to the bottom of the 57mm range. Old Treks have a good reputation in this manner.

BTW, I'm a big fan of Weinmann/DiaCompe center pulls for this sort of application.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:57 AM   #8
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How about eBay item # 724090499? I'd bid on it myself if it was smaller.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:11 AM   #9
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I'm going to buck the trend and state the I would be reluctant to use my Super Course as a tourer. The reason for this is tire clearance in the rear. Perhaps the geometry on the pre 1977 models is a little bit different, but I would want wider tires on a tourer than what my 1978 allows. I run with Bluemels TDF shorties with the original 1-1/8" 700c tires, and there's precious little clearance there now.

edit <I'd pick an International over a Competition, due to the more relaxed geometry.>

I would give it a nod as a commuter though - as long as the roads you're riding on won't abuse the skinny tires.

My suggestions? How about a U-08? They came with larger tires, all the necessary mounting points, and if you pick one from late '70's onward, English threading. Also, a Miyata 21x, 61x or 1000, just about any Nishiki, or Panasonic that came with wider tires and mounting points would make a decent choice. U-08's and Nishikis can be had quite easily and relatively inexpensively.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:54 AM   #10
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Koga Miyata makes some awesome touring/commuting type bikes.
check marktplaats they seem to be relatively cheap.

marty
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Old 05-10-06, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotek
Koga Miyata makes some awesome touring/commuting type bikes.
check marktplaats they seem to be relatively cheap.

marty
Great place, but overseas shipping is getting pricey.
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Old 05-10-06, 09:15 AM   #12
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Do you want a fancy tourer or a theft-resistant beater/commuter? I think the ubiquitous Peugeot UO-8 is unbeatable for the latter application, but I may be biased. If you want something a bit more upscale, with a CrMo or MnMo main triangle, consider a Peugeot PR-10/PKN-10. Even my 1980 PKN-10E can take 700Cx28 tires, and it does have eyelets and a stiff enough frame to handle a load. (The Capos have eyelets and ample mudguard clearance, but these long wheelbased frames are too soft and whippy for loaded touring. When I was a UCLA grad student, riding down a hill with a Pletscher rack full of textbooks was always a bit too thrilling.)
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Old 05-10-06, 09:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clipped
i bought an austro daimler 531 frame and forks off ebay. it's now running 700x32s with mafac centerpulls and is a really sweet bike for just about anything. for year round commuting fixed is good and an old raleigh grand prix makes for a real pleasant workhorse. there's so many that will work.
Good suggestion. There is nothing like a good ol' relaxed-geometry "10-speed" road bike, rather than a twitchy super-stiff modern racing machine with super-tight geometry. Besides, Austrian bikes are cool.
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Old 05-10-06, 09:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotek
Koga Miyata makes some awesome touring/commuting type bikes.
check marktplaats they seem to be relatively cheap.

marty
+1 on the Koga Miyatas. I've got a friend living in Switzerland who was thinking about a commuter/tourer, so I researched some of the brands he might find over there. When I saw the Koga Miyata website, I loved their bikes!......Unfortunately, for the new ones at least, my friend decided they were a little out of his price range-
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Old 05-10-06, 11:23 AM   #15
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Here's a pic of my commuting bike:



It's a '71 Raleigh Competition (531 throughout) with 27" wheels (though it came to me with 700c), Bluemels Popular mudguards, and, yes, a front basket mounted on a Bor Yueh front rack. The rear wheel is built with an alloy Sturmer Archer AW hub. Call it a concept bike.

Neal
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Old 05-10-06, 08:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Thanks for the suggestions, biased to a certain brand as they may be. But you are right, all three would make fine rides.
I'll probably show the same amount of bias (based on riding experience, of course), but I've got to agree with Kurt - for what you want to do, especially if you're on a budget, you can't go wrong with a Nottingham or Carlton made Raleigh. Pick your model depending on what you want the frame materials to be, and don't be too quick to turn your nose up at a plain old "steel pipe" model. Sprints, Records, Gran Sports and Gran Prixs were really nice bikes for what they cost.

Big thing going for the marque is the overall quality: While Raleigh may never have turn out a bike quite the fashionable equal of some of those Italian marques where the owners feel they have to ride with their nose in the air as part of the ownership experience, Raleigh certainly never turned out a bad bike in the Nottingham days. I'll happily grab any inexpensive Raleigh frame in good condition, just to put away in the closet for possible future use.

My long distance ride is a '64 Gran Sport, yes it's just plain old steel with the Raleigh threaded bottom bracket. Other than the rattle-can paintjob, it's essentially a stock bike period upgraded like I would have done back in, say, 1969 on a moderate budget: Campy Record hubs with tubular rims, Blumel fenders, rear rack, stock cottered crank, stock Gran Sport drivetrain, and the GB brakes (kinda weedy) replaced with Weinmann centerpull front/sidepull rear (little matter of that rear rack). I knock off 75 mile days with two full panniers and a handlebar bag just about every Sunday, and find it a more enjoyable bike than the '03 Fuji Finest, virtually all 9-speed Ultegra modern that I finished shortly afterwards.

Not only does it ride nice, but it's got that gorgeous vintage 50's/early 60's look to it, like almost all English road bikes appeared before the 10-speed craze doomed mudguards.

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Old 05-11-06, 10:22 AM   #17
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Based on the replies above, I'll add this information:

I'm 6'0", with overly long legs (34" inseam) and wear a 11.5-12 shoe. So, longer chainstays probably a good idea! Primarly I'll only be running a rack trunk for commutes, with full panniers down the road for longer travels.

Thanks to the above for the warning on the canti-levers & 27" to 700c conversion. I'm tempted to go canti/V-brake route regardless and build a set of 27" wheels if needs be though. We'll see.

Currently, I'm looking at the following two frames:

Schwinn Passage:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

Japanese made Chimayo Backroads
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

The schwinn states 27", while the Chimayo claims to be for 700c wheels. Both frames will fit me well so not sure which to lean towards. Or just hold off till I'm back in town to start bidding on frames. In Michigan right now, getting married on Saturday and will not be getting back to Texas for a couple more weeks. But both frames are oh so tempting!
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Old 05-11-06, 10:32 AM   #18
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I think most of the imported boom bikes of the 70's came with generous clearances and dropout eyelets especially from England, France and Japan. The bikes were sold in U.S. stores with fenders as an add-on and the vast majority of buyers never thought to get them. Maybe it was because bikes were viewed as a recreational thing done only in good weather. In Europe and Japan cyclists didn't let a little rain slow them down. By the 80's the clearances started to shrink and eyelets disappear until the situation we have today where fenders, racks, decent size tires are just not possible on most road bikes.

A European writer riding on TOSRV in the seventies thought it curious that so many people would ride in the rain without fenders. In thirty years we haven't learned anything, in two days 3000 riders will be riding TOSRV in the rain and 95% will be fenderless.
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Old 05-11-06, 06:25 PM   #19
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I think most of the imported boom bikes of the 70's came with generous clearances and dropout eyelets especially from England, France and Japan. ...
Don't forget Italy.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:27 PM   #20
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I don't think that running 700c wheels on that Schwinn would be a problem. Most cantis and v brakes have lots of room for adjustment. It would just give you more room for fat touring tires and fenders.

Both the Chimayo and the Schwinn look like serious touring bikes to me, but I don't see front rack mounts on the Schwinn.

I've bought lots of stuff from The Sultan. Never a problem.
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Old 05-11-06, 09:45 PM   #21
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Dirtdrop - thanks for weighing in. Indeed, both are full on touring rigs and probably more "touring" than I really need, but the clearance for bigger tires and fenders is certainly what I want. Being able to use cantis or v-brakes for panic stops in traffic will be very welcomed as well.
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Old 05-11-06, 11:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by John E
Don't forget Italy.

LOL! We all show our cycling affections here.

If I could just find an Italian bike (please -please- please) I'm sure I'd be echoing your request.
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Old 05-12-06, 04:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Based on the replies above, I'll add this information:

I'm 6'0", with overly long legs (34" inseam) and wear a 11.5-12 shoe. So, longer chainstays probably a good idea! Primarly I'll only be running a rack trunk for commutes, with full panniers down the road for longer travels.

Thanks to the above for the warning on the canti-levers & 27" to 700c conversion. I'm tempted to go canti/V-brake route regardless and build a set of 27" wheels if needs be though. We'll see.

Currently, I'm looking at the following two frames:

Schwinn Passage:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

Japanese made Chimayo Backroads
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT

The schwinn states 27", while the Chimayo claims to be for 700c wheels. Both frames will fit me well so not sure which to lean towards. Or just hold off till I'm back in town to start bidding on frames. In Michigan right now, getting married on Saturday and will not be getting back to Texas for a couple more weeks. But both frames are oh so tempting!

I was gonna bid on the Chimayo,,,,but you saw it first and don't want to drive the bid up on a forum user --JJ
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Old 05-12-06, 05:58 AM   #24
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I'm 9/10ths done on a Miyata Triplecross set up with drops and v-brakes. 700x32 and lots of room for fenders and hard points for racks. Something like that would fit the bill nicely.
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Old 05-14-06, 06:19 AM   #25
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Cuda,
I'm in the middle of rebuilding a 1985 Trek 520 for cummuting. You did great job on your other bikes and I'll be eagerly watching this project. Keep us informed on the progress.
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