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Old 02-13-08, 01:16 PM   #1
1-track-mind
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Noodly vintage touring frames

In researching vintage touring frames, I was surprised to hear reports of the Cannondale ST600 and Trek 720 being overly flexible in the larger sizes unloaded, which makes me woner how these bikes will hold up on a fully loaded tour given their age. Can anyone comment on either of these ?
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Old 02-13-08, 03:55 PM   #2
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1-track-mind,

It's actually true. I'm partial to the vintage steel classics and have toured on several vintage touring-specific frames thru the years. (They weren't "vintage" back when I was riding some of them!) My first tour was in 1982 on a Nishiki Cresta, a very fine bike. I currently tour on a 1983 Specialized Expedition, one of the great touring classics. But, I ride a 56-58 cm frame and at that size (or smaller) most vintage tourers don't exhibit the problem. But, at 60-65 cm some of them can display too much flex, especially under heavy loads. Modern touring frames have larger 1-1/8" tubes and therefore, usually don't have the problem. The squirrelly behavior can be especially bad on the vintage "pseudo-tourers" or "sport" touring models. These frames weren't really intended for loaded touring.

If you look for the real standard bearers from the day, like the Miyata 1000 and Specialized Expedition, Univega Gran Turismo, and 1 or 2 others, you run the least risk of any of the flex problems that you've heard about.

I hope this helps.

Best,
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Old 02-13-08, 04:07 PM   #3
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Ted
Thank you, that's exactly the kind if info I'm looking for.
I'm a little perplexed about all the hoopla over 720's, when you talk to people that actually own them.
It occurred to me that for an XL, I might be better off with a mountain bike.
I'll definitely look into those bikes you mentioned.
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Old 02-13-08, 05:35 PM   #4
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Ted
Thank you, that's exactly the kind if info I'm looking for.
I'm a little perplexed about all the hoopla over 720's, when you talk to people that actually own them.
It occurred to me that for an XL, I might be better off with a mountain bike.
I'll definitely look into those bikes you mentioned.
Considering what you can get a Surly LHT complete for...or even a new Cannondale T2...and comparing them to what it costs to refurb an old bike, you might be better off just looking at new. The LHT compares favorably with the old touring bikes. The Cannondale, in my opinion, beats the tar out of them, especially if you are a big guy with a heavy load.
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Old 02-13-08, 05:45 PM   #5
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Cy, somehow I knew the word noodly would get a rise out of you.
Do you know anything about the cannondale ST600 ?
You are probably right about getting a new bike, but I just want to be sure that it's not overkill for the short duration of my tours.
If I don't find something in the next month, I just might be riding an olive LHT.
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Old 02-13-08, 07:53 PM   #6
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I have an 84 trek 720 that I have not noticed any noodly or excessive flex in it. I only have ridden it for commutes though, but have carried some heavy load of books on without issue.

it is a 22.5" frame (or 58cm if you prefer).
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Old 02-14-08, 12:54 PM   #7
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Well, I'm talking about a complete (bike/person/gear) weight of 260+pounds.
I don't suppose there's anyway to strengthen a frame after it's made with something like a fiberglass wrap is there ?
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Old 02-14-08, 05:29 PM   #8
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Cy, somehow I knew the word noodly would get a rise out of you.
Do you know anything about the cannondale ST600 ?
You are probably right about getting a new bike, but I just want to be sure that it's not overkill for the short duration of my tours.
If I don't find something in the next month, I just might be riding an olive LHT.
I had a similar vintage Cannondale (1989) race bike and I'd never describe it as noodly. The thing would beat the crap out of me every time I took it out. I'm not sure about the touring bike, however. I'd suspect that older Cannondales were overengineered compared to newer ones so, if anything it might be stiffer...thicker tubes and all that. Looking at this one, it sure looks about the same as my T800. Fork is a little longer perhaps but that might be a blessing.

If you can get it for cheap, it'd probably be worth upgrading.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:45 PM   #9
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Wait a minute these bikes are steel, so therefore they must be great, only aluminum is bad, conform man, conform.
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