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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 11-11-07, 12:51 PM   #1
sneekyjesus
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Basic touring frames

Any ideas on decent entry level touring frames? I heard some good things about Nashbar's but they only have it in a 52cm. Any alternatives?
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Old 11-11-07, 01:02 PM   #2
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Surly Long Haul Trucker. Lots of info on that frame here if you do a search.
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Old 11-11-07, 01:09 PM   #3
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+1 on the surly LHT, probably the best in my opinion for the money.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:52 PM   #4
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anything a little cheaper than the LHT?
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Old 11-11-07, 05:45 PM   #5
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Anything you can find on craigslist or eBay, REI's Novara Randonee, the Fuji Touring, or the Trek 520.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:51 PM   #6
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Check local thrift stores, pawn shops etc... for a good lugged steel frame.
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Old 11-11-07, 08:47 PM   #7
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It's really tough to find a better deal than Surly--- the LHT is less than a $1000 US for a complete bike, $400 for a frame.

For a low budget build.... try old an MTB frame. The 26 inch wheels are stronger, cheaper and easier to find than the 700c ones.

It's possible to find an older steel touring bike frame, but there are some real pitfalls to look out for. There is 27 wheel problem, rear dropout spacing problem and general frame flexiness. Plus these 80's and 70's frames are worth money to kids building fixed gear bikes, so it's tough to find a cheaper one.
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Old 11-11-07, 09:16 PM   #8
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damn fixies
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Old 11-11-07, 09:25 PM   #9
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If you are going to scour CL I'd look for older Miyata and Fuji bikes / frames as these are probably some of the finest mass produce touring bikes ever made.

I would also give a big thumbs up to the lugged Trek touring frames...the 520 is a beautiful bike and I can say that my 1982 Trek 750 is one of the finest bikes I own.
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Old 11-11-07, 09:38 PM   #10
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I'd do the nashbar, maybe. It has a really high BB, which is odd, you could almost run 26" wheels, not counting the brakes. So I would get them to confirm the BB height/drop for you before wadding in. I'm sure the Nashbars will be restocked before the touring season returns up here.
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Old 11-11-07, 10:05 PM   #11
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I'm seeing an unused LHT frame on an auction website, says theres a pea sized dent in the top tube but it won't affect the frame, does that said kosher?
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Old 11-11-07, 10:13 PM   #12
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Should certainly affect the price. Depends how deep it is and how it was caused. Is it really deep like a pea, or just a slight nearly invisible depression.

What is harder to determine over the internet is whether the frame has any bend to it. It's the kind of thing an average owner might not even be able to see.
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Old 11-11-07, 10:54 PM   #13
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Any recommendations? I don't wanna waste my money on an unusable frame.
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Old 11-12-07, 12:02 AM   #14
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I wouldn't want a dent there since it is about the most important point on the tube. However, if I had done the denting, I can't imagine I would throw the frame out and start all over. I don't think it will actually break on you. The dropped fork explanation is convincing enough and not a shattering load. I assume he hasn't cut the fork on this one. Best check.

The problem to me is the price. If you are in Canada, this would be an opportunity to save some shipping and get a cheap frame. In the US, with what they cost new, and where the price is now with 3 bids and 3 days to go, I would be surprised if it stayed a good deal.
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Old 11-12-07, 06:45 AM   #15
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What size frame are you looking for sneekyjesus? Maybe if you post a size, somebody reading this forum might sell you one they already have.

If I had say, a 56 cm Miyata touring frame from the '80s, I could sell it locally for $200 or even more. I could sell an old steel Trek 720 frame for enough to get a new Surly frame! But sometimes deals can be found....keep looking. Remember that the folks at Goodwill have no idea what a good bike is.

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-07, 09:46 AM   #16
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I saw that frame on Ebay. If I wanted it, I'd be bidding on it. I don't think the dent the owner described would be an issue. I don't need it, so there's one less person to worry about bidding against.
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Old 11-12-07, 02:09 PM   #17
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Thanks Bigblue and tacomee, I'm a 54cm though i think, though I haven't gotten fitted for a touring frame yet.
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Old 11-12-07, 10:14 PM   #18
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saw this ad on craigslist by me for two miyata touring frames, size 30 and 32 inches? http://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/476788508.html
can anyone offer some input on the frames or what i should ask the guy regarding the size? im looking for 52-54CM, i dunno where 30 inches comes from, ground to top tube?
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Old 11-12-07, 11:08 PM   #19
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Those frames are not nearly that tall so I would ask the seller to re-measure them as I think he/she was measuring from the ground up.

At a glance I would say those are 21 - 22 inch or 52.5 -55 cm frames.
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Old 11-12-07, 11:22 PM   #20
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I think one of those miyatas is gonna be your best bet. Miyata touring frames were well regarded. if the wheels aren't shot you could get a full tuneup and good new tires and be rolling for under $400. Even if you had to get new wheels these are still a good deal - unless they're real beaters. might want to spend a little extra during the tune up and get bar end shifters.
I'd buy them both if they were in Portland. Shoot, they look unridden!
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Old 11-12-07, 11:24 PM   #21
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oh, and sixtyfiver's probably right about the sizes. The larger one should fit nicely.
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Old 11-12-07, 11:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
It's really tough to find a better deal than Surly--- the LHT is less than a $1000 US for a complete bike, $400 for a frame.

For a low budget build.... try old an MTB frame. The 26 inch wheels are stronger, cheaper and easier to find than the 700c ones.

It's possible to find an older steel touring bike frame, but there are some real pitfalls to look out for. There is 27 wheel problem, rear dropout spacing problem and general frame flexiness. Plus these 80's and 70's frames are worth money to kids building fixed gear bikes, so it's tough to find a cheaper one.
Fixie kids don't want touring bikes, they're looking for tighter road or even track geometry. I got my 620 off ebay for $149 as a semi-complete bike. You just have to know what you're looking for.

The 27" wheel problem is a non-problem and the dropout spacing problem is almost trivially overcome.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:58 AM   #23
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They didn't even last a day on craigslist. Unreal.
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Old 11-13-07, 09:49 AM   #24
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Nahbar told me they would be restocking their touring bike this month. I ended up going the old steel mountain bike route instead.
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Old 11-13-07, 12:07 PM   #25
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Do what these folks did and recycle a steel mtn bike.
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