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  1. #1
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Older/Cheaper Brevet Bikes

    I'm considering using my 1980's Miyata 312 as a brevet bike - not the lightest thing in the world, but it has decent fender clearance, relaxed angles, and eyelets for full fenders. Behold:


    (these days it has a brooks, bar tape, SPD pedals)

    One big thing this bike is missing is holes for a 2nd bottle-cage, but the LBS said they could drill the holes for $10 so I'll probably take them up on that - no way I can do brevets with one bottle.

    Anyone else looking forward to (or already) challenging yourself even more by riding an older/heavier bike? Then please post here.

    Anyone attempted a Brevet on an older bike and regretted it? Please do tell.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Go check out the Classic and Vintage forum. They recommend older bikes.

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    true, but i'm talking older bikes specifically used for long-distance or brevet rides, not just general toodling around town.

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    I understand - they recommend a lot of the old "sport-touring" frames for long-distance cycling. The "relaxed" frame geometries, longer wheelbases, longer-reach brakes and eyelets for racks/fenders, steel frames. This type of bike is what the classic randonneuring bikes from Rene Herse, Alex Singer, etc. were like.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Just submitted a back woods 200k dirt road permanent I intend to ride on my early 90s era mountain bike (no suspension). So yeah. By the way they do sell metal straps that allow you to strap bottle cages on as well. I am thinking of using that option on my MTB to put a third bottle on for above mentioned permanent.
    Many of the modern "boutique"/custom brevet bikes ape older bikes anyway so I would think older might be just the ticket.
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  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I did my first 300K on an old Raleigh Olympian. The weight of the bike is not a big deal.

  7. #7
    lackluster jerk
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    My 1984 Univega (unknown model) is my do-it-all road bicycle. Every time I consider getting a custom rando frame, I'm hard-pressed to find enough things to change to justify the cost, though clearance for larger than 25mm tires with fenders would be a big one.
    I'll post a pic once I get my bars re-wrapped.

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    Starting with an 80s "sport-touring" bike is a standard bit of advice, and I think it's good advice. You might want to upgrade a few parts -- wheels in particular -- and take whatever steps necessary to ensure reliability, but I don't see why it shouldn't work just fine.

    I'd be a bit leery about letting the LBS go at your frame with a power drill, though. Care needs to be taken to get the holes aligned and spaced correctly, and the thin tubing won't hold threads very well. "Doing it right" involves using a jig to drill the holes and then brazing in a couple of threaded inserts. This is a very minor job, but does involve repainting the frame. The clamp-on cage is probably the best solution all around.

    HTH!

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Starting with an 80s "sport-touring" bike is a standard bit of advice, and I think it's good advice. You might want to upgrade a few parts -- wheels in particular -- and take whatever steps necessary to ensure reliability, but I don't see why it shouldn't work just fine.

    I'd be a bit leery about letting the LBS go at your frame with a power drill, though. Care needs to be taken to get the holes aligned and spaced correctly, and the thin tubing won't hold threads very well. "Doing it right" involves using a jig to drill the holes and then brazing in a couple of threaded inserts. This is a very minor job, but does involve repainting the frame. The clamp-on cage is probably the best solution all around.

    HTH!
    I've already upgraded the wheels to mavic open-pros (w/ dynohub!), brooks saddle, new brakes/cables - I think it is indeed ready to go for a big ride. Probably ended up putting more $$ into it than it's worth, but oh well..

    Glad you mentioned about the drilling. When I spoke to the LBS about it, it sounded more in-depth than just plain drilling w/ a black-n-decker, although I don't recall mention of paint. I think I'll go with a clamp-on water bottle for now, or maybe some holders on the handlebars.

    Btw, does a bike need special setup/geometry for a 3rd cage (on the underside of the downtube)? The only thing that i can see getting in the way are the shifter cables, which run under the downtube. Anyone have experience with adding a 3rd cage?

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    You've just got to make sure that the front wheel clears it. You also have to make sure that the bottle stays in it; most cages don't grip adequately against forces in that direction and need to be reinforced with a toe strap or Velcro strip. Also, you'll probably want to protect the bottle from the grit and road-spray that seems to deposit itself on the bottle even with fenders in place.

    I personally gave up on that location for a waterbottle...

    Have fun!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    Anyone have experience with adding a 3rd cage?
    Yes, I once added a 3rd water bottle on the underside of the downtube. It was a Univega touring bike, back in the 80's. At that time, Rhode Gear made a plastic water bottle holder (it wasn't really a "cage") that you could clamp to the bike...the water bottle itself slid into a slot on the holder. I mounted it upside down on my bike and it did just fine. As I recall I just had to carefully position the derailleur cables so I didn't disturb them when I put it on; once it was installed everything worked fine.

    I just Googled around for one and couldn't find one online...guess they are out of that business for now.

    Maybe if you looked around in a camping, RV or marine supplies store you could find something similar -- you just need a holder of some type that will clamp the downtube and hold a water bottle (as long as front wheel clears).

  12. #12
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    I believe one of the most important dimension is the head tube angle & trail. A lot of the 80"s bikes had steep angles, 73 to 74 degrees, for quick steering response (less trail fro a given fork rake). A trail of 60 mm and angles of 71 to 72 degrees are good since if you take your eyes off the road, you do not end up off the road.

    If the 80's bike has good trail and head angle, then using it is a good idea.

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    I never liked the idea of a third bottle down by the wheel. When two bottle aren't enough, I use a camelback. Other times I've carried an extra bottle in my seat bag, using a sealed commercial bottle of something that can't leak. Your could also perhaps get either a tri-type behind-the-seat or handelbar bottle holder. What I'm saying is there are other solutions.

  14. #14
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Jersey pockets are water bottle sized for a reason..

    Also, that looks like a great bike for a brevet. I like the older standard sized steel tubing, it's flexier and absorbs bumps and vibration better than the over sized stuff. Vertically compliant without the lateral stiffness, as they would say these days.
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  15. #15
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    Jersey pockets are water bottle sized for a reason..
    thanks, i'm pretty familiar with that technique.. too bad my wool jersey has tiny pockets that would only fit a flask, maybe. =]

    i've got a carradice bag that i'm throwing an extra bottle in for now, but i'll probably end up looking into handle-bar mounts for more water. you can never carry too much water!

  16. #16
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    Jersey pockets are water bottle sized for a reason..
    ...
    Too much weight in the jersey pockets. Tends to sag the jersey, flop around, and choke the rider.

    Last summer I got my first bike that has water bottle braze-ons below the down tube. It's a 53 cm frame with 700cx32 tires. I can fit a short water bottle there, but my extra tall ones interfere with the front tire. Road grime is an issue if you don't have fenders. It's just right down there on top of the front tire. Also, it's not really possible to access the third water bottle while riding. The best use of a bottle cage below the downtube is a short bottle of sports drink with a screw-on cap. Plan to drink it half way when you stop to stretch your legs.

    Sometimes I think it makes more sense to keep extra water bottles in a trunk bag instead of under the downtube since you have to stop to access them anyway.

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I started with a used 80's Mercier that had had the drive train upgraded to a nice 12-speed system with a freewheel the size of a dessert plate. All steel, nice and relaxed. Horrible bike for the purpose. Incredibly flexible, poor power transfer. It was like always pedaling in mud, though I never realized how bad it was until I got a modern bike that would actually accelerate when I pushed on the pedals. All that said, I rode that bike a long ways. So an older bike can be just fine if it's stiff and light, perhaps a racing frame of its day. The cogs will be widely spaced, but that's not the end of the world for brevet riding. Finding freewheels might be a problem.

  18. #18
    Senior Member limeylew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    I'm considering using my 1980's Miyata 312 as a brevet bike - not the lightest thing in the world, but it has decent fender clearance, relaxed angles, and eyelets for full fenders. Behold:


    (these days it has a brooks, bar tape, SPD pedals)

    One big thing this bike is missing is holes for a 2nd bottle-cage, but the LBS said they could drill the holes for $10 so I'll probably take them up on that - no way I can do brevets with one bottle.

    Anyone else looking forward to (or already) challenging yourself even more by riding an older/heavier bike? Then please post here.

    Anyone attempted a Brevet on an older bike and regretted it? Please do tell.
    You could probably add a 2nd water bottle cage yourself by using 'hose clamps'.

    This may not be the most aesthetically pleasing way of doing it but it would be very functional.
    Lewis.
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  19. #19
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    I rode my second PBP on a 1965 2-sp Moulton, although I had tweaked it a little, mostly with SH parts. Enjoyed the ride and still use it for brevets between 100 and 600 km with a fixed wheel.

  20. #20
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    That looks like a fine randonneuring frame, as long as it's rust-free.

    I have a third water bottle cage under the down tube on both my rando bikes. Since I run fenders nearly all the time, it doesn't get road crud on it. I can reach it while I'm riding with no problem. Just hold the empty bottle in your teeth, reach down and get the 3rd bottle and put it in the empty water bottle holder, and then put the empty down below. The hose clamp idea that someone mentioned works just fine, but put a bit of old innertube under the hose clamp if you value your paint. Not aesthetically pleasing, but the velcro-based 3rd water bottle cages slide all around. On my old rando bike, there wasn't clearance under the down tube, so I hose-clamped a third water bottle holder on the left-side seat stay. That worked fine, too.

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