Hey all, after a couple of months of seriously considering buying my first touring bike, i finally bought one. Eventhough i wanted the reliability of a newer model, something about this bike compelled me to buy it, and now i'm wondering if it was a worth it and how to further equip it. I paid 300$ at a yard sale this morning. Here are the specs:
Roberts frame, 1983, 53 cm, reynolds 531 ST tubing
original Campy front and rear breaks, sidepull
Campy front derailleur
Suntour bar-end shifters
Suntour rear derailleur
Specialized sealed bearing hubs
Blackburn front and rear racks
Mavic GP-4 tubular rims
My first question concerns the gearing. The bike has only 12 gears. Would it be wise to put new sprockets on and give myself some versatility? Would it be really expensive to put a more practical gear set on it? What all would i have to change in terms of components to do it?
Second, the tubular rims concern me a little, especially when i think about doing any sort of long-distance loaded touring on them. The current tires are totally busted, but look like pretty slick, narrow racing treads. Can i get a wider, somewhat knobbier sew-up tire, or will I have to change out the wheelset to get a more touring-appropriate setup? What do you all suggest?
Third, was it a mistake to buy this bike for 300 bucks, or was it a steal? It was just too damn pretty to pass up.
Any responses to these questions and other comments regarding making this bike tour-worthy are much appreciated. I can't wait to get this thing on the road.