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Old 08-18-11, 09:19 AM   #1
larry_llama
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Looking for a large, strong vintage touring frame..what bikes should I consider?

I used to have a Long Haul Trucker but I sold it in order to fund a Big Dummy purchase. I have done a few tours on the Dummy and I love it. I originally bought the LHT used and it turned out to be a size too small for me anyways so I don't regret selling it - but now I want to build up a comparable replacement.

I recently did a short tour which involved a bus ride at the end. That meant building up a touring bike that was box-able (no Big Dummies allowed).

I built it up based on an old CCM 5 speed city frame. I chose it because it was tall and had a very slack seat tube angle with long chainstays. It was very comfortable but it was WAY too flexy. Three days in I had to ditch my handlebar bag because I was getting frame shimmy even on level ground and occasionally even on uphills.

I am a tall rider who prefers a larger frame (60-62cm). I also carry a lot of weight on tour. So while I prefer the feel of steel, for my loaded bike I will need something on the stiffer side of things.

I could get another LHT frame but I would much prefer the thrill of the chase to find an older touring frame that suits my needs - and of course I hope to find an old gem for a much lower price than a new frameset.

I have encountered a bunch of very lucky touring bike finds lately but sadly they are ALL too small. I have a Trek and a Cramerotti, both fantastic machines with canti brakes. I also have a matched pair of Panasonics but they are lower end bikes without brake bosses. As time permits I will fix these up and sell them to fund my own touring bike, but so far the monster size frame I need has eluded me.

I'm hoping to get some ideas of makes and models I should consider. I prefer long chainstays, slack seat tubes and as mentioned, I need something sturdy.

Any ideas for bikes that I should be watching for?

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-11, 09:32 AM   #2
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you just need to be patient or up your the ammount you are willing to pay. both of there are lots of great bikes out there. can you handel a 25" this looks like a great deal. I don't think you'll find a much better 'off the rack' tourer.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Frame-and-Fork
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Old 08-18-11, 09:46 AM   #3
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I have an '83 Voyageur SP just like the one in BGs link and it's great...but I haven't toured on it. As far as something sturdy, just be sure to build a strong set of wheels and you should be good.
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Old 08-18-11, 10:17 AM   #4
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Second or third generation (1983-85, 1986-88?) Lotus Odyssey or Eclair (ay-klair) Sizes up to a 63cm frame on the Odyssey or 26" on the Eclair.

Specs on a 60cm Odyssey (Eclair similar):
Top tube 21.75", chain stay 17.25", seat/head tube angles 73 degrees, fork rake 2", wheelbase 42.4".

Odyssey came with cantilever brakes, 2 sets of bottle bosses, braze-on's for the racks (came with factory front and rear racks), and a 40 spoke rear wheel. 82-85 used Columbus tubing, 86-88-ish used Tange Infinity tubing. The Eclair was just a step down the touring model line from the Odyssey. The Eclair skipped a few years of production in the mid-80's but seem easier to find than the Odyssey. The Eclair page on the website gets more hits than the Odyssey page, I'm assuming more folks are researching Eclairs.

More info on the website.
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Old 08-18-11, 10:36 AM   #5
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Any of the 1980s Japanese touring frames should fit the bill. Look for Tange #2, Tange Infinity or Tange 900 tubing, all of which are relatively thick-walled and compares with the tubing used in the LHT-- well suited for touring. Plus, they made plenty of frames in that larger size back then.

Some models to look for:

Schwinn Voyageur (made in Japan)
Specialized Expedition
Bianchi San Remo (made in Japan)
Shogun 1500/2000
Lotus Odyssey

All of these bikes have stout tubing as well as touring-specific braze-ons for fenders, bottle cages, cantilever brakes, etc... These bikes were made either for 700c or 27" wheels.
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Old 08-18-11, 11:20 AM   #6
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Miyata 1000. Sheldon called it the finest off-the-shelf touring bike ever produced.
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Old 08-18-11, 11:27 AM   #7
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look in the for sale section........ there is a NOS Scwinn voyager tange no 2 25 inch
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Old 08-18-11, 12:17 PM   #8
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"The mid-80s Miyata 1000 was possibly the finest off-the-shelf touring bike available at the time." ~~ Sheldon Brown ~~

"possibly"

Using 1984 as a reference, The Odyssey is equipped equivalent to the Miyata 1000, with similar frame geometry (1-degree head tube difference). The Odyssey was made from Columbus SL or SP tubing and the Miyata was made with Miyata tubing. The 1984 Lotus Eclair was built with Tange Mangaloy 2001.

I actually comparison shopped for both of these bikes in the mid 1980's and there was details about the bikes then as new that shifted in Lotus' favor. Those details probably don't apply now to a used bike. (Paint, tires, accessories . . .)

Anyway, I think it's pretty cool that Lotus spec'd many of their 1983-85 bikes with Columbus tubing. (Supreme, Competition, Odyssey, and Legend).
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Old 08-18-11, 01:20 PM   #9
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How about a vintage mountain bike converted into a touring frame? I've seen many nice (even a few lugged) 80s vintage mtb frames that have all the braze-ons for touring and the 559 wheelsize is well-suited to heavy loads, lots of nice tires in that size. I've converted a couple of frames and they usually work well with clamp-on DT shifters, bar-ends or even stem shifters for some.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:23 PM   #10
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Because of the name, you'll pay an (IMO) unjustified premium for a Miyata 1000. I recently sold a mint Shogun Alpine GT on eBay at what was a bargain price compared to a 1000. In component spec it was a twin to the 1000. The only major difference was that the Miyata had tubing one notch higher on the food chain. I'm not saying the 1000 isn't great, just that since every one thinks that's what they should have, they cost more.

I really like my late-80s Cannondale ST600.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:35 PM   #11
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The Univega Specialissma and Gran Turismo are rebadged Miyata 1000 and 610's. Well, not completely, but close enough- my Gran Turismo is Miyata-made and spec'ed identically to the 610 of the same year (1984), with the addition of low-rider mounts on the fork. Very nice, stable bike. I was able to use 700 wheels in place of the original 27" with just brake adjustment.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:57 PM   #12
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These are all great ideas - thanks everyone! I will try to post more when I have a bit more time including pictures of the wobbly CCM just for interest sake. I am mostly interested in geometry and strength, so it's good to hear about the alternatives to the big name ones that fetch the bucks (miyata etc).

I like the idea of using an MTB but it's often harder to find large frame sizes... I will be hand building the wheels so I'm not 100% fixed on any given wheel size. The main advantage of 700c though is that my girlfriend's tourer is 700c so it would simplify spare tube carrying..
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Old 08-18-11, 02:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_llama View Post
I like the idea of using an MTB but it's often harder to find large frame sizes... I will be hand building the wheels so I'm not 100% fixed on any given wheel size. The main advantage of 700c though is that my girlfriend's tourer is 700c so it would simplify spare tube carrying..
I've got a Schwinn High Sierra- chainstays are 18" long, it's got rack and fender eyelets on the front and back, lowrider braze-ons on the fork, and it's a whole lot of cool.
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Old 08-18-11, 02:35 PM   #14
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Difficulty of using a MTB in a road/touring conversion is that most vintage MTB have freakishly long top-tubes in relation to the seattube length. You wind up eithor too streched out if you select a MTB by your typical road bike seattube length or else the stem and bars are uncomfortably low if you select via toptube length. A high MTB bottom bracket is not particularly desireable for a road touring bike eithor.
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Old 08-18-11, 02:44 PM   #15
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Here's a Cimarron in touring mode (not mine). Pretty sweet...http://www.flickr.com/photos/almajun...n/photostream/

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Old 08-18-11, 02:58 PM   #16
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Fuji Touring Series V is the finest combination of beauty, quality and thoughtful design I've ever seen. All its antecedents are worthy of consideration as well.

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Old 08-18-11, 03:21 PM   #17
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1984 centurion pro tour 15

(although I have wondered if the 120mm rear spacing would limit your options here. Could you cold set such a frame to 126, 130, or even 135?)



I don't know why I don't have a drive side pic of that bike
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