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Old 06-19-05, 09:48 PM   #1
Robbykills
Hi. I'm in Delaware.
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hows this sound for a cheap touring bike?

so I have a lugged steel schwinn MTB, probably late 80s/early 90s that I liberated from the local college campus a few days before it would of had its chain cut and been thrown in an auction or a dumpster. It's nothing special but it seems solid and rides decent.

I trued up the wheels and overhauled the bearing stuff but now I'm thinking of throwing on:

-a set of drop bars with aero brakes for the cantilevers, the set of fenders I have sitting around
-a set of slick 26x1.5 tires
-a good condition 6 speed freewheel I have to replace the badly worn, rusted one
-take the rack off my road bike (where it isnt as good because of the tight geometry and lack of eyelets) and putting it on this bike.
-a cheap shimano SIS derailleur I have thats in great condition.

I would like a better derailleur but this one will have to do as the bike is old/entry level enough not to have the derailleur tab on the drop out. The SIS derailleur worked great and shifted fine on another bike I have so thats not really a concern. I figure once this bike is cleaned up and all the parts are on it should be decent for some touring. All steel but what the hell, I'm sure people have toured on bikes a lot worse for it and for more money than I spent on mine.
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Old 06-20-05, 04:45 AM   #2
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You can tour on anything, there is link somewhere to a guy that has literally been around the world on an old 3 sp. You have one advantage...you built the bike so short of a castrophic frame failure you can repair it along the road. I would take a couple of short test tours to see how it all holds up, then hit the road. I have done this in the past...I had a NICE Bob Jackson that was liberated from my garage about a week before I was leaving on a 3 week tour. I was low on funds so built up a Motobecane basket case that I got for $50 and toured on it...still have that bike, and ride it on occasion...friction shifters 5sp freewheel and all

Aaron
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Old 06-20-05, 06:26 AM   #3
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Wahoonc is right, you can tour on anything; and I have toured on lots of bikes, including ones slated for the dumpster.

I think ungrading the brakes and adding a drop bar is good. I used to get 'pins and needles' in my hands until I started touring with drop bars. Now there are so many hand position choices it is hard to choose just one.
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Old 06-20-05, 08:25 AM   #4
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MTBs from that vintage make absolute wonderful tourers. I have toured on a '90 Specialized HardRock with drop bars and barend shifters without any probs. I once ran it with downtube shifters with a clamp I made for it. Why a 6sp freewheel and not a 7sp?
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Old 06-20-05, 09:01 AM   #5
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Just checking... but in this instance "liberated" means "stole a few days before it would ahve been removed legally", right?
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Old 06-20-05, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenrobot
Just checking... but in this instance "liberated" means "stole a few days before it would ahve been removed legally", right?
I noticed that too.

Around my town, there are loads of abondoned bikes held by the city. In fact, the train station right now has about 15 bikes with missing wheels that no one wants anymore. I felt like liberating an old Schwinn Paramount since it's been rusting for months without any wheels. But I don't steal.
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Old 06-20-05, 01:13 PM   #7
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I'm with you, Steve. But it's worth asking whoever owns the property they're locked to... I wound up with a nice Iron Horse frame that had been locked in front of my neighbor's house forever... it was abandoned by his ex-tenant, and when I asked about it he had the contractor who was there working cut it free and gave it to me, just a couple weeks before winter came (which would have destroyed it). Do you know what the city does with abandoned property? They can't hold it FOREVER, right?? Might be some good auction possibilities...
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Old 06-20-05, 01:48 PM   #8
Robbykills
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yes I did steal it but it had been left behind by a college kid whose parents probably bought it for him and they did not take care of it. My grandfather used to work for the university and all the bikes he had at his beach house were taken from the ones left behind at campus. He encouraged me to take them a few days before they come around and cut them loose because more often than not they have an auction, no one shows up and they all get trashed, that is if the maintainance (I probably didn't spell that right) people haven't already scavenged them. Why let a good bike that someone didn't care about go to waste when you can give it to someone or use it yourself? So if the person who left school didn't care to take it with them and the school itself doesn't give a damn (two public safety officers pretty much watched me take it after they told me it was indeed abandoned) then I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

If you take an abandoned bike off a bike rack, then yeah technically I guess you're stealing from the city, but for all purposes if its been there awhile it's likely that it's going no where but the dumpster, and you've freed up space once again for people to actually use the bike rack. I'm not attacking you or anything because yeah you have your beliefs and I respect them, I just don't think its that big of a deal to take an obviously abandoned bike from an owner with no face.

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Old 06-20-05, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayface
MTBs from that vintage make absolute wonderful tourers. I have toured on a '90 Specialized HardRock with drop bars and barend shifters without any probs. I once ran it with downtube shifters with a clamp I made for it. Why a 6sp freewheel and not a 7sp?
hmm good point. I just remembered I have a 7speed duraace freewheel I dumpstered in great condition. I was thinking about putting it on ebay but I think it's gotta go on this thing now.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:02 PM   #10
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Robbykills - It sounds like you spoke to security first; good on you!
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Old 06-20-05, 07:04 PM   #11
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I toured from SOuth Carolina to Abilene Texas this March on a Steel Schwinn Sidewinder bought from Walmart. Like others have said, you can tour almost on anything. Good luck.

Cheers,

http://biketour.ne1.net
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Old 06-20-05, 10:41 PM   #12
Robbykills
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that's awesome, a dude in my friends apartment building went cross country on a kmart bike.
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Old 06-20-05, 10:44 PM   #13
Robbykills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenrobot
Robbykills - It sounds like you spoke to security first; good on you!
yeah the public safety guys are pretty much just kids in the criminal justice program. I asked if it was abandoned and they said yes, and we sort of just stared at each other awkwardly as I popped the bell cable lock right off. My friend and I also tried another abandoned bike with a cable lock right near by and it didn't pop off, we looked and it was kryptonite, so keep that in mind if you ever want a new cable lock.
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