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Old 11-17-10, 08:25 AM   #1
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Which C&V touring bike is best?

Hey fellow C&Vers,

The classic bike bug is biting at me again. I am thinking of adding to my collection a touring type model. I was going to change the gearing of my Maruishi, however, I cannot bring myself to change a thing, I just love it in all its racy goodness. So, I am casually keeping an eye peeled for a touring find as nice (and cheap!) as my last find.

I'm in no hurry so what brands or models are best or most desirable to look for?
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Old 11-17-10, 08:30 AM   #2
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That's pretty subjective. You'll see the Trek's listed a lot - especially the 520. I like those and the look of the Bianchi Volpe. However, don't rule out a nice steel vintage mtb. I converted one and it's a decent ride although I haven't had a chance to do any touring on it yet. Bought the entire, original mtb for $20.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:30 AM   #3
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I love riding my Norco Magnum GT... its a great touring bike !!
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Old 11-17-10, 08:31 AM   #4
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No correct answer here, it's personal opinion, and choice......
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Old 11-17-10, 08:31 AM   #5
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Schwinn Voyageur ('83-'90)
Miyata (various models, people go crazy over the 1000LT)
Centurion Pro Tour
Trek 520, 620, 720

There are several more I'm sure. The Surly LHT is a good value if you're not set on vintage.

When I was looking for a touring bike, I looked for cantilever brakes, more relaxed angles and ample fender/tire clearance.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:46 AM   #6
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mine
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Old 11-17-10, 08:47 AM   #7
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mine
nuh uh.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:49 AM   #8
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nuh uh.
well i think they are and that's all that matters so eat it.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:51 AM   #9
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if you are looking for a C&V tourer, consider a mid-80s japanese or american marque. by the mid-80s, most reputable bike makers had caught on and were incorporating all the best bits and pieces from classic touring bikes as well as the emerging mtb market and had all the things that would be considered essential today: braze-ons for racks and fenders, lots of water bottle mounts, long wheelbase, relaxed angles, cantilever brakes, room for wide tires and fenders, and wide gearing using durable mtb components. in addition to some of the models listed above, there were the lotus odyssey, the nishiki (riviera?), the univega specialissima (based on a miyata 1000 frame), univega gran touring (miyata 600 based), the shogun 1500/2000, and a gaggle of others.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:51 AM   #10
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I'm a little biased:

http://vintagefuji.posterous.com/198...uring-series-v

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Old 11-17-10, 08:52 AM   #11
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well i think they are and that's all that matters so eat it.
More than one? Show off.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:56 AM   #12
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Plus, don't forget the Raleigh touring bikes- also pretty good- the Alyeska and another marque or two with outdoorsey names I can't recall at the moment- Portage? Montana?
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Old 11-17-10, 08:56 AM   #13
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They don't pop up often by my main none recumbent tourer is a 80 something Lotus Eclair Touring model. It has a chromo frame, 3 water bottle braze ons, canti's, plenty of clearance for bigger tires and fenders, relaxed geometery, long chain stays, and it handles like I'd expect it to, sure footed with or without a load.

If pick something that has all or most of those characteristics If you actually plan to tour on it. There will be plenty of makers that will fit that bill. If you're not actually going to tour (which to me is packing the bike up with all of your gear in panniers and leaving home for a few days weeks or months) then maybe you don't need all of those things.

If you like vintage I'd also suggest looking at not worrying too much about keeping the entire bike vintage for a dedicated touring bike. friction shifting is fine and maybe preferred since it's easier to fix, but I'd definitely run a modern wheelset. But that's just me.
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Old 11-17-10, 08:58 AM   #14
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Schwinn Voyageur ('83-'90)
I've got an '83 Voyageur SP that I really like. Only thing with the '83 is the lack of rack bosses on the fork blades (they're higher up on the fork crown instead).
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Old 11-17-10, 08:59 AM   #15
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Specialized Expedition.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:00 AM   #16
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Plus, don't forget the Raleigh touring bikes- also pretty good- the Alyeska and another marque or two with outdoorsey names I can't recall at the moment- Portage? Montana?
I'd love to find a Portage; they came set up with 650b wheels.
Another Raleigh tourer is the Kodiak.

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Old 11-17-10, 09:01 AM   #17
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More than one? Show off.
well yeah. Touring basically brought me into C&V as I did long distance bike tours long before I ever wrenched on a vintage bike. That said my only "vintage" tourer is my lotus i guess. I don't consider rando setups to be tourers. I do all my tours that will be longer than 3 or 4 days on a long wheel base above seat steering recumbent (Vision r40), but I don't usually talk about that much here with you vintage snobs .
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Old 11-17-10, 09:02 AM   #18
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I'd love to find a Portage. They came set up with 650b wheels. There's also the Kodiak.
a portage just sold on ebay for $600-ish. It was largish, like 63 (my size) and was being sold by the same seller i purchased by Lotus from. I wasnt paying $600 for it though

edit:

here it is

http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Portage-...item3f049bc21f
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Old 11-17-10, 09:06 AM   #19
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Schwinn Voyageur ('83-'90)
Miyata (various models, people go crazy over the 1000LT)
Centurion Pro Tour
Trek 520, 620, 720

There are several more I'm sure. The Surly LHT is a good value if you're not set on vintage.

When I was looking for a touring bike, I looked for cantilever brakes, more relaxed angles and ample fender/tire clearance.
+1.

Excluding the rare and unusual I'd only add the Univega Gran Turismo and Specialissima, as well as the Specialized Expedition, all of which as I understand it in their best years, were really Miyata frames.

I sort of bothers me to reinforce all the hype, but having recently gone through a more than one year search for real tourer, with much learning along the way, I have to say I head over heals love my Miyata 1000. For a long time I was of the opinion that other bikes were just steps toward eventually landing a Rivendell , a Peter Mooney tourer, a Rene Herse or the like. Now that I've settled in with the 1000 (and spruced her up with some hammered Honjo's) I'm very comfortable with the idea of never buying another tourer (and hope it stays that way!). It's not a particularly pretty bike (particularly mine, which has some frame blemishes that need work) but it is one of those bikes that very simply is all that it was meant to be.

Ok - I'm probably stilll infatuated, and I'm certain there are many other great tourers out there that I have less experience with, but hey, love needs to be declared...
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Old 11-17-10, 09:20 AM   #20
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Plus, don't forget the Raleigh touring bikes- also pretty good- the Alyeska and another marque or two with outdoorsey names I can't recall at the moment- Portage? Montana?
The Wyoming was another one. I recently restored an Alyeska and the owner loves it. The Portage is really cool, but somewhat rare. That combined with the in vogue 650B wheels puts a price premium on the Portage.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:22 AM   #21
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a portage just sold on ebay for $600-ish. It was largish, like 63 (my size) and was being sold by the same seller i purchased by Lotus from. I wasnt paying $600 for it though

edit:

here it is

http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Portage-...item3f049bc21f
yikes! several months ago, an identical 63 cm portage frameset + all components (only the wheels and saddle were missing) couldn't fetch the $175 reserve. i opted not to bid in that auction, but in retrospect i should have
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Old 11-17-10, 09:24 AM   #22
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yikes! several months ago, an identical 63 cm portage frameset + all components (only the wheels and saddle were missing) couldn't fetch the $175 reserve. i opted not to bid in that auction, but in retrospect i should have
that was the same bike and the seller yanked it a day before the end of the auction because he wasnt happy with the bids he was getting. He put it together and resold it via my link above.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:26 AM   #23
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This list appeared here a while back, and I made a few additions. Some are more suitable to loaded touring than others.

Touring Bicycles

Bridgestone RB-T
Bridgestone T-500
Bridgestone T-700
Centurion Pro Tour
Fuji Touring Series IV
Fuji Touring Series V
Kuwahara Caravan
Lotus Odyssey
Miyata 610
Miyata 1000
Nishiki Continental
Nishiki Cresta GT
Nishiki International
Nishiki Riviera GT
Nishiki Seral
Novara Randonee
Panasonic PT-3500
Panasonic PT-5000
Raleigh Alyeska
Raleigh Kodiak
Raleigh Portage
Raleigh Super Tourer
Raleigh Touring 18
Schwinn Paramount P15-9 Tourer
Schwinn Passage
Schwinn Voyageur/Voyageur SP
Specialized Expedition
Takara Overland
Trek 520
Trek 620
Trek 720
Univega Gran Tourismo
Univega Specialisima
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Old 11-17-10, 09:30 AM   #24
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I'd add some of the Mercian models, I think King of Mercia, and the Woodrup Giro Touring. One has to be careful about the Woodrups, because they seem to have used the same nomenclature for a wide range of geometries. But my early '80s model has 44 cm chainstays, 56 mm fork offset clearance for 700x 32 tires with mudguards, decent front-load handling, and 73/74 head/seat angles. It has a cushy fork, but a pretty stiff rear end, with stout 18 mm seatstays. I'd expect it's at least as stiff as a Trek 720 tourer.

Bob Jackson also offerred touring models.

A little more modern, one finds Charles Roberts frames. I've seen one, but I don't know much about them.

Even more modern, Bruce Gordon Cycles.

Staying in the UK, Thorn and Dawes currently offer tourers, and there's still Koga Miyata.

I don't know what's C&V and what's not, but the Trek 520 is both current and not current. Same for Woodrup, Mercian, Koga Miyata, and Bruce Gordon, not to mention many more.

Last edited by Road Fan; 11-17-10 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:31 AM   #25
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This list appeared here a while back, and I made a few additions. Some are more suitable to loaded touring than others.

Touring Bicycles


Lotus Odyssey
I've seen a lot of Odyssey's and not one of them was a tourer. No canti's or any of the touring braze ones. My Eclair is however, a tourer. Sure you don't have the wrong model here?
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