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Old 04-10-06, 06:31 PM   #1
Blue Order
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Classic 80s Touring Rigs

In another thread, someone mentioned these bikes as being the classic 80s touring rigs:

* Trek 720
* Specialized Expedition
* Miyata 1000
* Univega Gran Turismo

Are there others out there? This isn't meant as a request for an exhaustive list of any and every bike that somebody labelled a touring bike, or that ever had a pannier attached to it. Nor is it meant as a search for the most expensive custom rigs ever built.

But I am wondering what bikes properly deserve mention in the same breath as the classic Trek 720? And what are there respective strengths and weaknesses?
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Old 04-10-06, 06:50 PM   #2
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Schwinn Voyageur....one of the best!
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Old 04-10-06, 07:56 PM   #3
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Trek 520 and Raleigh; after about '86 or so, mtbs like Fisher, Specialized, Diamond Back &etc.
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Old 04-10-06, 08:05 PM   #4
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Which Raleigh?
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Old 04-10-06, 08:12 PM   #5
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The 1000 is about the best touring bike ever made. I had a 610 (slightly cheaper model) and even used it a couple times in road races after stripping it down. Very stiff, stable while still handling nicely around corners, and not too terribly heavy for 1982 at 23 lbs.

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Old 04-10-06, 08:13 PM   #6
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I have a repairable Miyata 1000 frame. Someday, someday. Do classic touring bike have to be from large/mainstream companies like Trek, Miyata, and Raleigh? There are a few small, even solo builders that have been making true hardcore touring bikes since the 1970s. Would some of them count?
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Old 04-10-06, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
Which Raleigh?
The Raleigh I know had [probably straight guage] Reynolds tubing (not 520--can't remember which) and a seat stay tube that was wrapped entirely around the stem-side of the seatpost tube (above the top tube) in one continuous piece from axle to axle. Never seen another bike made that way.

Also, rack and pump fittings, triple crank, high flange hubs, narrow tubing but also a heavy bike. Ugly green color tho. Actually, late 70s.

Last edited by wagathon; 04-10-06 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 04-10-06, 10:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
I have a repairable Miyata 1000 frame. Someday, someday. Do classic touring bike have to be from large/mainstream companies like Trek, Miyata, and Raleigh? There are a few small, even solo builders that have been making true hardcore touring bikes since the 1970s. Would some of them count?
I just didn't want to muddy the waters with touring bikes that were great bikes but that were out of reach for most people price-wise. Let's say if the bikes you're referring to were in the same ball-park price-wise, then they should be counted. Same with bikes from the 70s or 90s. But only bikes that were purpose-built as loaded touring bikes-- not other types of bikes, like mt. bikes, for example-- that were pressed into service for touring. Only bikes built for loaded touring.

What I'd like to get is a sense of which bikes belong in this category, and what their strengths and weaknesses were. For example, the Univega Gran Turismo is made from triple-butted CroMoly, but somebody mentioned that it has a relatively high bottom bracket.
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Old 04-10-06, 10:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wagathon
Never seen another bike made that way.
I've seen that seat stay treatment on at least one other 70s Raleigh-- I think it was a Grand Prix. Look closely at the seat stays in the attached pic...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 70-grand-prix.jpg (58.7 KB, 627 views)
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Old 04-10-06, 11:33 PM   #10
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Raleigh Alyeska
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Old 04-10-06, 11:44 PM   #11
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I have three touring bikes - 1969 Paramount - spread to 130, Campy racing triple 11-28, 50-40-26 so many 1000's of miles still going strong and looks great.

1998 Waterford 1900 " From InterBike Show" - 9 speed Durace Barends, 11-34 - Still running Ultegra triple - but bottom end is now a 26, Tubus racks - 1.25 Top Tours

3/4 Built NOS Miyata Valley Runner, Hugi Hubs 217 Mavic, Durace 8 speed barends, XT - 12-32, Black Brooks B-17 Special, Sugino AT's 48-34-24.

I had the Univerga mentioned not much of a bike - Trek 720's and Specialized Expeditions awesome, Fugi made some nice touring bikes also and I rode with a guy with Alyeska and it seemed well built
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Old 04-11-06, 09:35 AM   #12
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I have a Nishiki Cresta, from maybe 1983. It is a dedicated touring bike, and I have a picture of it up on the "loaded rig" thread.

It is lugged, butted chro-mo steel (Tange something-or-other), with 5 speed freewheel, and Suntour/Sugino except for BB and rear der, which I've replaced with Shimano, and a new Nitto stem. It had the Suntour Mountech derailleurs, of which supposedly the rear derailleur was a serious liability. Mine was just wearing out, and also not able to handle my silly 38-tooth cog.

I've done one short trip, and lots of local riding. I'm happy with it, although I lust for a new bike. Ken Kifer had one, but was not too enthusiastic about it (kenkifer.com). They are/were a middling-to-good production bike, but not too common now, I guess. If anyone knows more about them, I'd be interested.
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Old 04-11-06, 09:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
I've seen that seat stay treatment on at least one other 70s Raleigh-- I think it was a Grand Prix. Look closely at the seat stays in the attached pic...
That would be it. As you can see, it has a long wheelbase. That's what you're looking for, e.g., any older bike that has slack angles (instead of more compact "upright" 73-74 degree angles) and, longish chainstay length.
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Old 04-11-06, 11:09 AM   #14
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I really think you have to include the the Miyata 610 touring bike as one of the classic touring rigs, with essentially the same great equipment as the 1000, but with a frame that was considered as strong if not stronger than the 1000. Also for consideration was the Fuji America touring bikes in the 80s, including quality components as well as touring details such as brazed-on spoke holders, 40 spoke rear wheel, triple bottle mounts and fork lowrider mounts.
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Old 04-11-06, 02:48 PM   #15
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I rode a Nishiki international (mid 80s I think) with biopace rings up front with the remainder of the drivetrain being 6spd suntour accushift stuff. I rode the wheels of the thing, but I still have the frame. The frame has canti-mounts, eyelets for fenders racks, and front low-rider mounts.
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Old 04-11-06, 04:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by KLW2
Schwinn Voyageur....one of the best!
Not a good bike in the 25" size. It would wobble like it was made out of rubber bands. Mine was finally stolen and I (finally) replaced it with a '90 Atala cyclocross bike that has NONE of the shaking problems that the Voyageur had though I believe it may be a tad heavier. Also the Atala doesn't sting your hands when you ride over a railroad track but that might have to do with the handlebars.
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Old 04-11-06, 05:25 PM   #17
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Also the Atala doesn't sting your hands when you ride over a railroad track but that might have to do with the handlebars.
In what way (might it have to do with the handlebars)?
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Old 04-11-06, 05:29 PM   #18
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Not a good bike in the 25" size. It would wobble like it was made out of rubber bands. Mine was finally stolen and I (finally) replaced it with a '90 Atala cyclocross bike that has NONE of the shaking problems that the Voyageur had though I believe it may be a tad heavier.
Have people found that it makes any difference, or no difference, to use a bike other than a bike with touring geometry? What I mean is if you've toured with both bikes purpose-built for loaded touring, and other, non-touring bikes, did you notice any appreciable difference?
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Old 04-12-06, 09:40 AM   #19
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I have toured on bikes with touring geometry and with racing geometry. There are differences. Touring bikes have rack mounts and clearences designed for comfort. Racing bikes are about being effcient and quick handling. I never really noticed much in the road shock transmission, but the relaxed handling of the touring bikes (low BB, longish fork rake and stays) makes eating and drinking under way much easier and steadyer, and less "swervey". Its also much easier to control the tourng bike in heavy winds with traffic flying by you. They are less likely to try to fly under the 18 wheeler that just blew past. Also, on the mecanical side, its a pain in the butt to try and rig racks on a bike with no eylets, and the rigged rack tends to losten, slide, and come detached.
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Old 04-12-06, 11:25 AM   #20
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This is my 80's Trek 620, with a few updates. It's a full-on touring bike in every sense.
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Old 04-12-06, 03:12 PM   #21
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Fun thread! The three all-time 1980's classic standard bearers (for production touring bikes) have to be the Miyata 1000, Specialized Expedition, and the Trek 720. These three land cruisers got the touring specs just right--awesome touring bikes, even by today's standards. Others that follow include the Nishiki Cresta and Nishiki Continental, Raleigh Alyeska, Univega Gran Turismo, Schwinn Voyager, Fuji America.....Trek 520. The Dawes Galaxy has been around forever and fits right in here too, as well as nice touring-specific models from Centurian and Panasonic (can't remember their names). In the early '90s the Bridgestone RB-T entered the picture carrying the lugged-steel production touring standard for awhile.

Here and here are pics of my '83 Specialized Expedition--an awesome touring rig!

Ted Phelps
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Old 04-12-06, 05:44 PM   #22
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If you want to get a bit exotic, the Rene Herse marque in France, now lost to history offered some classic touring bikes http://www.pianosromantiques.com/projetRH.html

The great "King of Mercia" is still made in the UK--and at a pretty reasonable price, all things considered: http://www.merciancycles.com/bikes.asp

I'm sure there are other classic British bikes as well.
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Old 04-12-06, 05:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
I just didn't want to muddy the waters with touring bikes that were great bikes but that were out of reach for most people price-wise. Let's say if the bikes you're referring to were in the same ball-park price-wise, then they should be counted. Same with bikes from the 70s or 90s. But only bikes that were purpose-built as loaded touring bikes-- not other types of bikes, like mt. bikes, for example-- that were pressed into service for touring. Only bikes built for loaded touring.

What I'd like to get is a sense of which bikes belong in this category, and what their strengths and weaknesses were. For example, the Univega Gran Turismo is made from triple-butted CroMoly, but somebody mentioned that it has a relatively high bottom bracket.
Thanks for the excellent reply. It is fair for the general public to sent a loose limit. Yet, on a recent ride a visitor asked a small group what their bikes cost. At $1,600 my Bruce Gordon was the least expensive out of six bikes. The top was some $3,400. I've bought four tourers and pay a bit more each time.
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Old 04-12-06, 06:59 PM   #24
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We got a lot of Peugeot bikes in the late 70s and 80s, not sure what the touring models were called. I had one in the 70s.

I also wonder if during the 80s Nashbar had their touring frame out already. Rings a bell but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-13-06, 09:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
Have people found that it makes any difference, or no difference, to use a bike other than a bike with touring geometry? What I mean is if you've toured with both bikes purpose-built for loaded touring, and other, non-touring bikes, did you notice any appreciable difference?
I should note that my Atala cyclocross bike is from circa '90 and back then the cyclocross geometry was quite close to touring geometry so I can't tell any difference.

The old touring handlebars were made quite heavily compared to modern handlebars and they were much narrower (38 cm normal width if memory serves) making them a great deal stiffer. Consequently they didn't bend at all and transmitted road shocks straight to your hands. When you rode over railroad tracks you'd almost scream from the shock to your palms.

People tended to let loose of the bars over tracks because of that and would crash more often. Today I haven't had that problem. Bars are wider and lighter and flex a little.
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