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Old 08-01-10, 01:11 AM   #1
DwarvenChef
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Newbe post... Building a dedicated tour bike from used/vintage parts

First off I bite at searches, they seem to be picky about spelling

What I'm after is a down and dirty dedicated touring bike, built by a novice bike buider (me). Reasons for building it myself, "Knowing my bike", "I'm Broke", "I love older sturdy stuff".. I'm sure I can find more reasons like "Because I wanna" but that just doesn't sound right

I plan to buy this over the course of a year (shorter would be better but hey you never know). Pretty has NOTHING to do with this bike, I own nothing that can't be used or has "Bling" status. Heck I shave with vintage straight razors I fix and repair myself, How much different an attitude can this be

I have several junked road bikes at my folks place that I plan to scour for bits, cables and such, but the frames are to small for me and more road bike'ish, I'm wanting a stretched/long frame. I just don't know what ones to look for. Would be cool if I could do some trading, frame for frame but thats for another day to worry about.

Any links or info that can help me on my quest would be greatly recieved
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Old 08-01-10, 06:56 AM   #2
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Not sure about links...the search sucks for me too.

There are lots of options out there. Look for mountain bike derailleurs, like Shimano Deore LX or XT. For frames you can use older (early 90's) steel MTB frames or look for older known touring bike frames like the mid 80's Raleigh Aleyska, Portage or Kodiak. FWIW I have two tour bikes, one is a European trekking bike a Giant Excursion from 1989 the other is a Giant Iguana from 1989 which was an entry level mountain bike with no suspension. They both still have most of the original equipment on them with a few odd upgrades.


For shaving I use the old Rolls Razors, one of the ones I use belonged to my grandfather.

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Old 08-01-10, 07:22 AM   #3
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For shaving I use the old Rolls Razors, one of the ones I use belonged to my grandfather.

Aaron
Almost bought one a few days ago on a ride threw Old Town Clovis

I have a Raleigh frame at the ranch, have to look and see what it is... May get lucky enough for a trade to one you mentioned
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Old 08-01-10, 08:52 AM   #4
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I also like the idea of the late 1980s or early 1990s mountain bike frame. I used to use a bike from that era for touring and I loved it. Those bikes were robust and if the frame is in good condition, building up from there will make for a solid steed.

One note of warning, however. Some of the part sizes for a bike of that era have been discontinued and others aren't readily stocked. It won't be a problem once the bike is built, but it will mean a little scrounging and a few special orders when you're building it up. Still, it's worth the effort.
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Old 08-01-10, 03:18 PM   #5
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KHS Montana Summit Frankenbike

Thanks for starting this post because I really wanted to show someone this bike, but had no legitimate thread to post in. Hopefully it can answer some of your curiosity.

I bought two incomplete mountain bikes off CL for $50 total, and the KHS Montana Summit was only missing a 26.4 size seatpost and saddle, but the chain was rusty and rigid. (The other bike was a damaged Bridgestone MB-3.)

The only thing new on this bike is the moustache handlebar, cables, and some of the housing. Original parts from the CL purchase are frame, fork, headset, bottom bracket, crankset, wheels, tubes, and tires. This is the most frankenbike I've ever built; handlebars are still a little too low; and no front derailleur for now.
  • Origin 8 new moustache handlebar - $20 shipped online auction.
  • Shimano Sora 3x8 brifters - $23 bike swap meet.
  • Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes on front - $5 bike swap meet.
  • Non matching rear v-brakes (left arm is Avid and right arm is Koski) - $1.
  • Kalloy Uno 26.0 seat post with Coca-Cola can shim - free.
  • Kalloy Uno seat binder - free.
  • 1-inch treaded to 1-1/8-non-treaded converter stem - $5 bike swap meet.
  • Ritchey 26.0 adjustable stem - $15 shipped online auction.
  • Shimano M739 XT rear derailleur - $10 bike swap meet.
  • Shimano M737 SPD pedals (has play, but works) - $6 bike swap meet.
  • Chain came off another bike I bought used - free.
  • Delta wheel quickrelease - free.
  • Zefal plastic water bottle cage - free.
  • Zefal HP mini pump - $4 bike swap meet.
  • Housing - $1.50/foot at most of the chain shops (REI, Performance, etc.)
  • Cables - $1.50-$2.00 each online.
  • Saddle - gel saddle used to tour across the country a few years ago.

The free stuff came off a bike I bought at the flea market and then sold the wheelset for a little more than I paid for the bike. Then I gave away that frame and fork to someone looking for a free/cheap frame on CL to convert to a single speed.

I recommend buying an inexpensive tool kit, but you can do quite a bit with just a simple multi-tool.











Last edited by lancele; 08-02-10 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 08-02-10, 12:44 PM   #6
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These are the first questions that need to be answered to begin getting your bike together:

What size wheels are you planning to use?
My touring bikes use 27 x 1 1/4, but 700c these days are more common an hybrids scavenging can get you some nice strong road/path worthy wheels.

What frame? Road or Mountain?
I would NEVER build a mountain bike out as a touring bike. I like to be able to cruise. I don't like a 4x4 on the highway.

Are you going to use friction shifting or indexed?
Especially on a touring bike having the ability to switch from index to friction is a big plus if you are looking at indexed at all. Older friction drivelines will be much cheaper also. (Choose from Mountech, LePree, ARx, Deore etc and use downtube, barcon, Control shifters.) Wheels using freewheels vice cassettes are inexpensive also.

AFTER you answer those basic questions, you can begin the hunt.
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Old 08-02-10, 01:08 PM   #7
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What frame? Road or Mountain?
I would NEVER build a mountain bike out as a touring bike. I like to be able to cruise. I don't like a 4x4 on the highway.
My reasons for suggesting a mountain bike frame are as follows.

1. The old school mountain bikes (without suspension systems) were incredibly well built and they can handle a heavy load.

2. They're great on gravel, dirt or rough pavement.

3. For on-road use, with narrower tires, they can perform quickly and efficiently.

All that said, for riding primarily on pavement, a touring bike is a better choice and that's what I use today. But a mountain bike can be adapted quite easily.
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Old 08-02-10, 01:12 PM   #8
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80-90's rigid fork hardtail mountain bike frames are a good core , I recommend spreading the rear dropouts, IE having the bike shop spread them symmetrically and re aligned,

to take a 135mm wide axle wheel will mean if you need a replacement wheel along the way, the current stuff will fit.'
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Old 08-02-10, 01:14 PM   #9
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What frame? Road or Mountain?
I would NEVER build a mountain bike out as a touring bike. I like to be able to cruise. I don't like a 4x4 on the highway.
Are you serious? The only difference between a vintage MTB and a road bike are tires and drop handle bars, of course you can use an MTB as a touring bike. if you want to go faster just dont put knobbie tires on it. If you think there is much aerodynamic advantage from a "touring bike" to an "mtb" you are mistaken. if you go into the drops you have a slight aero advantage, but if thats a concern put drops on the MTB.
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Old 08-02-10, 04:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ruffinit View Post
These are the first questions that need to be answered to begin getting your bike together:

What size wheels are you planning to use?
My touring bikes use 27 x 1 1/4, but 700c these days are more common an hybrids scavenging can get you some nice strong road/path worthy wheels.

What frame? Road or Mountain?
I would NEVER build a mountain bike out as a touring bike. I like to be able to cruise. I don't like a 4x4 on the highway.

Are you going to use friction shifting or indexed?
Especially on a touring bike having the ability to switch from index to friction is a big plus if you are looking at indexed at all. Older friction drivelines will be much cheaper also. (Choose from Mountech, LePree, ARx, Deore etc and use downtube, barcon, Control shifters.) Wheels using freewheels vice cassettes are inexpensive also.

AFTER you answer those basic questions, you can begin the hunt.
That would be the trick, answering those questions... My current bike knowledge ends around the early 80's and most of that is based on the stingray...

Currently I have a Trek 7100 with 700 wheels and I like them. So finding a good vintage frame with that clearence would be great but I doubt there are many. So really tires to me are an after thought.

I'm tall and my current frame is a 21" center post. So finding bikes with a commonly made tall bike would be a Plus.

Shifters I'm wanting SIMPLE so I'm assuming that would be the friction (less parts to worry about). So if I'm out in nowhere-ville I may be able to patch something together if I needed to.
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Old 08-02-10, 04:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lancele View Post
Thanks for starting this post because I really wanted to show someone this bike, but had no legitimate thread to post in. Hopefully it can answer some of your curiosity.

I bought two incomplete mountain bikes off CL for $50 total, and the KHS Montana Summit was only missing a 26.4 size seatpost and saddle, but the chain was rusty and rigid. (The other bike was a damaged Bridgestone MB-3.)

The only thing new on this bike is the moustache handlebar, cables, and some of the housing. Original parts from the CL purchase are frame, fork, headset, bottom bracket, crankset, wheels, tubes, and tires. This is the most frankenbike I've ever built; handlebars are still a little too low; and no front derailleur for now.
  • Origin 8 new moustache handlebar - $20 shipped online auction.
  • Shimano Sora 3x8 brifters - $23 bike swap meet.
  • Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes on front - $5 bike swap meet.
  • Non matching rear v-brakes (left arm is Avid and right arm is Koski) - $1.
  • Kalloy Uno 26.0 seat post with Coca-Cola can shim - free.
  • Kalloy Uno seat binder - free.
  • 1-inch treaded to 1-1/8-non-treaded converter stem - $5 bike swap meet.
  • Ritchey 26.0 adjustable stem - $15 shipped online auction.
  • Shimano M739 XT rear derailleur - $10 bike swap meet.
  • Shimano M737 SPD pedals (has play, but works) - $6 bike swap meet.
  • Chain came off another bike I bought used - free.
  • Delta wheel quickrelease - free.
  • Zefal plastic water bottle cage - free.
  • Zefal HP mini pump - $4 bike swap meet.
  • Housing - $1.50/foot at most of the chain shops (REI, Performance, etc.)
  • Cables - $1.50-$2.00 each online.
  • Saddle - gel saddle used to tour across the country a few years ago.
The free stuff came off a bike I bought at the flea market and then sold the wheelset for a little more than I paid for the bike. Then I gave away that frame and fork to someone looking for a free/cheap frame on CL to convert to a single speed.

I recommend buying an inexpensive tool kit, but you can do quite a bit with just a simple multi-tool.
Thanks for the post I'm wanting bars like that as well Looks like this bike was build the same way I'm planning on doing it I currently have 2 older schwinns and a raleigh frame sitting in a pile at my folks place, Going to part them out and build my daughter a road bike and whats left is what I'm going to start my touring bike with.
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Old 08-02-10, 04:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffinit View Post
These are the first questions that need to be answered to begin getting your bike together:

What size wheels are you planning to use?
My touring bikes use 27 x 1 1/4, but 700c these days are more common an hybrids scavenging can get you some nice strong road/path worthy wheels.

What frame? Road or Mountain?
I would NEVER build a mountain bike out as a touring bike. I like to be able to cruise. I don't like a 4x4 on the highway.

Are you going to use friction shifting or indexed?
Especially on a touring bike having the ability to switch from index to friction is a big plus if you are looking at indexed at all. Older friction drivelines will be much cheaper also. (Choose from Mountech, LePree, ARx, Deore etc and use downtube, barcon, Control shifters.) Wheels using freewheels vice cassettes are inexpensive also.

AFTER you answer those basic questions, you can begin the hunt.
I have an old rigid frame MTB set up as an expedition touring bike, I have one S24O that I make on a regular basis, there is less than 2mph average speed between my MTB and my road touring bike. The old 80's vintage steel MTB's are very close cousins to the touring bike. I run 1.5" (38mm) tires on my expedition bike, unless I am planning some major off road work. My current road tour bike runs 700x35's and has had 38's on it before.

Also most off the shelf touring bikes like the Trek 520 are geared too high for loaded touring, most MTB's aren't.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-02-10, 06:44 PM   #13
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My reasons for suggesting a mountain bike frame are as follows.

1. The old school mountain bikes (without suspension systems) were incredibly well built and they can handle a heavy load.

2. They're great on gravel, dirt or rough pavement.

3. For on-road use, with narrower tires, they can perform quickly and efficiently.

All that said, for riding primarily on pavement, a touring bike is a better choice and that's what I use today. But a mountain bike can be adapted quite easily.
As always, it is personal preference. I ride an '89 converted Rockhopper Comp for all the reasons mentioned above. This bike has well over 100K on it...although nothing is original any more (not even the paint!). After a nice long day on the road, I might just see a good camping spot someplace in the field. No problem!

The best bike (IMO) is the one that fits you and the one you ride the crap out of.

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Old 08-02-10, 07:28 PM   #14
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"Are you serious? The only difference between a vintage MTB and a road bike are tires and drop handle bars, of course you can use an MTB as a touring bike."

Not true, there are lots of differences, whether these are significant to you or not is another mater, particularly for shorter stature riders MTBs could be just the ticket, other than the weight of the tubes. Between the two, nothing is different, apart from everything. So if you look at every part, dimension and angle on the bikes it's probably different.

Also, not significant if people are buying an MTB for touring, but my vintage MTB is also different than my vintage style touring bike, because I bought it one size smaller, which was certainly the plan then. But obviously I could get a larger version.
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Old 08-02-10, 07:35 PM   #15
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Old 08-03-10, 12:23 PM   #16
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All points about MTBs and touring are well taken into account and you all are right on the money except for Aquakitty's statement. I really can't wrap my head around that one.. I have toured with my mountain bike. Albeit it was specifically for a tour I did in Alaska. I rode from Anchorage around the Turnagain and eventually the Resurrection Pass on the Kenai, then back to Anchorage. It was FANTASTIC. Could I have taken the Bridgestone, Specialized or Cannondale touring bikes on this ride? Absolutely not. The full MTB getup was needed including the oversized knobby tires because of the singletrack terrain. The worst parts of the ride was getting to and from the Pass.. Fat knobbies and mtb gearing on the pavement with the limited hand positioning of a straight bar made it slow especially with loaded panniers... (high gear @ 16mph)

BUT..

I've toured all over the world in every conceivable road condition and will say that for all purposes the non-MTB touring bikes have been more than sufficient. Even on more refined single track, the Expedition with 40mm Ritchie 'cross tires did very well.

So, in defense of my statement and unless you are short (which the OP isn't) or tend towards better than 50% off road touring, I would still say that a true classic touring bike is the best way to go.

Checklist:
Frame:
Triple water bottle bosses
Cantilever brake bosses
low rider bosses (fork)
rear rack bosses
fender eyelets
dbl or triple butted cromo or T6061 frame
vertical dropouts

Components:
36/40 front to rear spoke wheels (arai 16a)
drop bars with aero clip on (for max positioning not aerodynamics)
13, 14, 17, 21, 26, 34 freewheel
50/44/28 or 30 crankset
Mountech or Deore XT rear derailleur (non-indexed)
Mountech or Deore XT front derailleur (non-indexed)
downtube Suntour Sprint shifters (non-indexed)
Dia Compe 980 or 986 brakes

That'll about do it. If you need any help finding components, just yell.
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