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  1. #1
    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    First Question about Touring

    I'm a Road Cyclist. I'm a long distance, durable guy rarely falling to fatigue as long as I remain in motion. (I routinely do my own centuries.) I've always had an insatiable wander lust.

    I've never Bicycle toured. What took me so long to look into this?

    I've got an old ('80's) high tensile steel Motobecan, the frame in near perfect condition. It's currently disassembled and gathering dust. I'm wondering if it's a good bike to build up for touring. It's a pretty long bike (long chainstay) and I know this is preferable for long rides.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    See if there is a couple of inches between the seat tube and the rear wheel. Those longer chainstays are a mark of a touring grade bike. Does it have fittings for racks and 3 water bottles? Does it have a long arm rear derailleur for a wide gear range? Clean it up and get it running in any case.
    This space open

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    See if there is a couple of inches between the seat tube and the rear wheel. Those longer chainstays are a mark of a touring grade bike. Does it have fittings for racks and 3 water bottles? Does it have a long arm rear derailleur for a wide gear range? Clean it up and get it running in any case.
    Measure the chainstays from the bottom bracket to the rear axle. For a good touring bike it should be in the range of 17.5" or longer. Shorter than that and you start to have handling and fit issues when loaded. (Personally 17.5" is too short for me.) Also look to see how it compares to a Trek 520, Cannondale T800 or Fuji Touring. Although there are other touring bikes out there, these three are more readily available for comparison.

    Don't get wedded to the old bike however. Lots of people get real nostalgic about old bikes - I know I used to be one of them- but a nice modern touring bike may cost you less and work much better than some old dog you have hanging around, especially if it's a nothing special Motobecane. That bike may be a good place to get you feet wet, if you can refurb it for very little money, but if you find yourself spending more than $500 to get it up to speed, cut your losses and look for a new bike.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    What's needed for a touring bike depends on what you plan to do. Virtually any bike can be used fo rtouring so long as it has the necessary gearing for the hills and load you expect. If the rear triangle is too short for panniers, you can hook up a trailer.

    The main requirement for a touring bike is that it be comfortable enough to ride for many hours day after day. Beyond that, it's a matter of configuring it to haul what you want to haul.

  5. #5
    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    What's needed for a touring bike depends on what you plan to do. Virtually any bike can be used fo rtouring so long as it has the necessary gearing for the hills and load you expect. If the rear triangle is too short for panniers, you can hook up a trailer.

    The main requirement for a touring bike is that it be comfortable enough to ride for many hours day after day. Beyond that, it's a matter of configuring it to haul what you want to haul.
    That's what always impressed me about this bike, the comfort of the ride. I spent some alot of time on it as I built around the frame until I bought super light Ti and replaced it.

    Though I have to retrieve it from deep storage in my friends basement, I can say with certainty that there is plenty of space between the wheel and the seat tube and serious rake in the fork, again, it's a long bike though I don't know the exact measurement of the chainstay, I'd bet it was at least 17.5''.

    I've no great feelings of nostalgia for the bike but a sense that it does have potential usefullness as a tourer.

    I've the idea of going from my home in Brooklyn, (Downstate NY) to Toronto Canada in the early fall. In the meantime I gather all the info I can.

    Thanks for your comments so far.

  6. #6
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    I bet Brooklyn to Toronto would be a fun ride..... and a great place to end a ride Charge it bro.
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  7. #7
    vintage tourer
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    sounds like it would be a nice bike for touring. if it's an early 80's model it may only be capable of using a 6 cog freewheel, though most likely it'll take at least a 7 cog freewheel or cassette. i mention this because 5- and 6-speed freewheels are currently produced in only a few mid-range sizes that aren't exactly the best for touring.

    you may also want to see if it will be compatible with a triple up front or not. i still tour with my old 5 cog freewheel and double 52-40 chainring and am fine with it. however, there are a lot of people who prefer mountain gearing, and if you are one of them, it might be wise to bring it to a bike shop and see what will and what won't work before blowing your cash

  8. #8
    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philso
    sounds like it would be a nice bike for touring. if it's an early 80's model it may only be capable of using a 6 cog freewheel, though most likely it'll take at least a 7 cog freewheel or cassette. i mention this because 5- and 6-speed freewheels are currently produced in only a few mid-range sizes that aren't exactly the best for touring.

    you may also want to see if it will be compatible with a triple up front or not. i still tour with my old 5 cog freewheel and double 52-40 chainring and am fine with it. however, there are a lot of people who prefer mountain gearing, and if you are one of them, it might be wise to bring it to a bike shop and see what will and what won't work before blowing your cash
    Actually, I already had it set up with a triple crankset, 9 speed cassette, Sti shifters, 700c wheel set etc. (even briefly had a carbon fork on it) - prior I was making it into a roadie racer it could not be - which is why I ultimately switched frames for that purpose. So, I think I'm ok here.

    ...and thanks to the previous Poster for the encouragement on my trip plan. There's some beautiful country between these two cities.

  9. #9
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Bike sounds fine. Hit the road!

  10. #10
    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Bike sounds fine. Hit the road!
    Well, given that it's only a frame right now, it's not entirely road worthy yet

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGreen
    Well, given that it's only a frame right now, it's not entirely road worthy yet
    "First you have to beat the rocks together, guys!" -Hitchhiker's Guide
    Stuart Black
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  12. #12
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGreen
    Well, given that it's only a frame right now, it's not entirely road worthy yet

    What, you need WHEELS?!?! What a girly man! Ok, ok, put wheels on it then, but don't even think about inflating them!

    Seriously though, do you think you'll be road touring, or trails and paths and stuff?

  13. #13
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Touring is the best thing. There is nothing sexier than a loaded touring bike streaked with road grime. Build the bike, put a rack on and hit the road, build memories, you'll love it!

    I love looking at maps of France or Belgium and seeing where I've gone, under my own steam.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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