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Old 05-19-07, 11:10 AM   #1
SaddleUp
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Goodbye, Old Friend

I finally sold my 1983 Velo Sport Alpin bike made in Quebec. It was a true touring bike: big cogs, small granny gear, spoke holders, multiple water bottle bosses and eyelets, deore.

I designed the gears myself by graphing out the inches on graph paper to avoid double shifting. (These days I guess double shifting is a non-issue.)

The bike came with dropped bars and shifters on the downtube. I switched those to hybrid bars and shifters mounted on the stem.

Great, beautiful bike. Sold it for $75. The buyer seemed delighted. I'm glad to see the old nag out of my basement, but I wanted to pay tribute to the trusty steed that took me all around Canada and New England. Did y'all know that there were once good touring bikes made in Quebec?

This bike is irreplacable. I will never be able to afford Rivendale etc. My next tour will be on a cheap hybrid or my Trek 1000.
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Old 05-19-07, 01:28 PM   #2
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I can't help but feel that you'll regret this for a long time!
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Originally Posted by SaddleUp
I finally sold my 1983 Velo Sport Alpin bike made in Quebec. It was a true touring bike: big cogs, small granny gear, spoke holders, multiple water bottle bosses and eyelets, deore.

I designed the gears myself by graphing out the inches on graph paper to avoid double shifting. (These days I guess double shifting is a non-issue.)

The bike came with dropped bars and shifters on the downtube. I switched those to hybrid bars and shifters mounted on the stem.

Great, beautiful bike. Sold it for $75. The buyer seemed delighted. I'm glad to see the old nag out of my basement, but I wanted to pay tribute to the trusty steed that took me all around Canada and New England. Did y'all know that there were once good touring bikes made in Quebec?

This bike is irreplacable. I will never be able to afford Rivendale etc. My next tour will be on a cheap hybrid or my Trek 1000.
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Old 05-19-07, 01:55 PM   #3
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If it's any consolation those new bikes are often better. Maybe not as full of character, but the parts have improved somewhat since 1983.

They are still making touring bikes in Quebec, if that is any consolation.
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Old 05-19-07, 02:37 PM   #4
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Hiya, commiserations. I hate to ask as it's a bit late, but for such a small amount of money versus the memories and beauty of this old beast, wouldn't you rather have kept it?
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Old 05-19-07, 02:37 PM   #5
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Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!!! I could never get rid of my 80's touring bike. We've been through so much together. It's like shooting ol' Yeller
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Old 05-19-07, 02:41 PM   #6
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Agreed, I' still riding my Mid 80's touring bike! I'll ride it til one of us is dead!
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Old 05-19-07, 05:34 PM   #7
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I kept my mid-1980s touring bike after buying my custom tourer. I nearly sold the old bike more than once, and for almost four years I rarely rode it.. until this year. The custom is getting a facelift -- two tubes were badly dinged, and the builder is replacing them. This is taking time, so I am riding my old bike. The down-tube shifters are a bit of a bother compared to the STIs on my custom bike, but in all other respects, wow, what a great bike!
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Old 05-19-07, 08:17 PM   #8
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I have one just like your former bike, that I used for a few years as a commuter.

The sad fact is that Procycles inc., who used to build the great Vélo Sport and the very good Mikado, now only builds hybrid and low cost bikes. But the bright news is that Cycles DeVinci builds great touring bikes in Chicoutimi, Québec. I'm not their greatest fan, because they build touring bikes with a high bottom bracket and a sloping top tube (think unsuspended mountain bike), so this is not the greatest configuration for a guy who is all legs. But if you forget that point, they have great features like :
- very rigid yet lively frame ;
- good compromise between on road and off road touring (depending on the tires you install) and cyclocross ;
- most or all their touring frames are compatible with canti (or v-) brakes and disc brakes.


Besides that one, Marinoni has one or two offerings, which are more in the "sports touring" or "randonneuring" category.

As for my 198x Vélo Sport Alpin, it is much less rigid than my 2000 Trek 520. While that's great when riding solo on the streets of Montréal, I dearly feel the lack of rigidity when I stash a few liters of milk in the rear panniers. These days, I use it more as a city bike, and it still has the 700x37 studded tires I used last Winter.
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Old 05-20-07, 06:35 PM   #9
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I wanted to hang my first tourer (all rebuilt from a 1972 Atala 'giro-de) in our living room, wife said "no" so in the shed it went, double chain locked. stolen in 1995 among 5 other "better" bikes, hard to say goodbye :-( . replacement BN-6000t that has better components, frame, and maybe even ride, for less $.
bitter/sweet for me, a choice i would not have made.
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Old 05-20-07, 06:41 PM   #10
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I must say, derailleurs/gears in those days were pretty crappy. Frame geometry was often great, though - one of the most comfortable bikes I've ridden is my Gitane fixed-gear, with its old gas-pipe frame and flexy fork.
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Old 05-20-07, 06:55 PM   #11
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Michel Gagnon, j'ai acheté mon Vélo Sport Alpin chez Quilicot à Montréal. Est-ce que ce magasin existe encore? Ils étaient bien fins avec moi. Je me souviens qu'une fois lorsque j'étais très pauvre et j'avais besoin d'une réparation de $25---c'était beaucoup dans le temps, mais j'avais pas le choix alors j'ai fait faire le travail chex Quilicot et je l'ai payé. Une fois sortie avec mon vélo sur St Denis j'ai senti une main dans ma poche arrière. C'était monsieur Quilicot lui-même qui avait remis mon $25 dans ma poche. Il était comme ça. Tu es peut-être trop jeune pour l'avoir connu? Le Québec me manque beaucoup et j'espère y retourner bientôt pour faire du vélo sur les belles pistes qui n'existaient pas lorsque j'habitais à Montréal.
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Old 05-20-07, 06:59 PM   #12
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Like you, I nearly sold my 1982 Miyata 1000 three or four times. What a great bike! Absolutely the equal in ride to my Rivendell. Again like you, I'm going to have some work done on the frame and have it repainted.
This bike took me on my first European tour. I ride it often.
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Old 05-20-07, 08:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUp
Michel Gagnon, j'ai acheté mon Vélo Sport Alpin chez Quilicot à Montréal. Est-ce que ce magasin existe encore? Ils étaient bien fins avec moi. Je me souviens qu'une fois lorsque j'étais très pauvre et j'avais besoin d'une réparation de $25---c'était beaucoup dans le temps, mais j'avais pas le choix alors j'ai fait faire le travail chex Quilicot et je l'ai payé. Une fois sortie avec mon vélo sur St Denis j'ai senti une main dans ma poche arrière. C'était monsieur Quilicot lui-même qui avait remis mon $25 dans ma poche. Il était comme ça. Tu es peut-être trop jeune pour l'avoir connu? Le Québec me manque beaucoup et j'espère y retourner bientôt pour faire du vélo sur les belles pistes qui n'existaient pas lorsque j'habitais à Montréal.
M. Quilicot a vendu dans les années 1980 à quelqu'un qui a fermé le magasin en 2004 ou 2005. Le nom a été racheté depuis, de sorte qu'il existe depuis 2 ans un magasin Quilicot sur la rue Masson.
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Old 05-20-07, 08:38 PM   #14
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I wonder if people in 2027 will be saying this about the current Trek 520's and LHT etc; just at thought. Remind me to check back here in 20 years time
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