I have a 1986 Shogun Alpine touring bike that I enjoy riding. I need to know if this is a light touring bike or built for loaded touring. Anyone know anything about these bikes? My friends are after to me to buy a new one for this summer's trip, and I will only if I have to. I have read other threads in this forum and have plenty of info on what to buy--but only if I have to. Anyone?
I'm not familiar with that model. The terms "loaded" tourer versus "sports tourer" was usually used to refer to differences in frame design. A "loaded" tourer often had long chain stays (up to 18 inches) and a long wheelbase (up to 42 inches). This provides more room for large saddlebags, a more comfortable ride on bad roads, and greater stability under loads.
A "sports" tourer typically was closer in design to a racing bike, with shorter chainstays and a shorter wheelbase, such as a 40 inch wheelbase. That provided quicker handling, but less stability under loads.
Further, a true "loaded" tourer typically had braze-ons for rear fenders, for a rear rack, plus braze-ons for front fenders and a front rack. Lots of room under the brake calipers for fenders. A "sports" tourer was lacking some, or all of these features, as many fast "day" tours could be done with just a handlebar bag and a large bag attached to the back of the saddle.
So, measure your bike from the bolt in the rear quick release to the center of the bottom bracket bolt. If that distance is 17 to 18 inches, there is a lot of room for saddle bags. Then measure from the center of the bottom bracket bolt to the bolt in the center of the front quick release. If that distance is around 23 or 24 inches, you end up with a wheelbase of around 41 or 42 inches, which provides the ride and stability that "loaded" tourers are noted for.
Lots of folks have taken loooong tours on bikes that are "wrong"...short chainstays and a short wheelbase. If you can get all the gear you need loaded onto your bike, and it rides and handles well, the "book" measurements don't mean much.
Some of the Shogun's were extremely well built and not cheap ! I bought an XT model 7 speed, 135 spacing in 1986 for around $1,000 on sale - I thought it was called the Ground Breaker 1. Still have it today but loaned out to by son in Houston. Orginally it had flat bars which I switched out to road - short SKS fenders and added racks - it had more Braze On's than my current touring bike. Not familar withe the Alpine, but it might be a great bike