Decided to de convert my '87 Kuwahara Cascade from a fixed gear tourer to a fully geared tourer (and somewhere an angel got it's wings) and am getting really close to having her finished.
I have a 1988 Shasta which is almost identical that is living life as a fixed gear and could not see the sense in having two nearly identical bikes.
The Cascade really is an expedition bike with it's hand built quad butted Ishiwata frame and touring geometry and was sold / marketed as an mtb with flat bars and an 18 speed drivetrain back in '87.
I test rode a later model Miyata 1000 and found that it just did not compare in the ride department... Kuwahara made some really nice lugged frames in the mid to late 80's and this was the crown jewel in their line up.
The Cascade rides better dry, the 26 inch wheels offer a very nice ride and are bombproof, and know from experience that this bike loves to be loaded up... with a gear range of 21 to 109 it should take me anywhere I want to go be that for 100 or 1000 miles.
I always joke that as long as I have my Kuwaharas I won't need to look at a Surly.
Crappy cel phone pic...
Now...to find or fabricate some nicer racks and wait for spring.
Here is a picture of my loaded rig at the begining of a 400 mile jaunt up the Sunshine Coast of BC & back down through Vancouver Island; summer 2009. I actually started this tour down near Seattle, WA. sunshine bike small.jpg
How do you like the deuters so far?
I saw some for sale when I was on tour in New Zealand and almost picked up a set for the front. They seem really nice quality, and I have used deuter backpacks before which were great, but I haven't managed to find them in person again.
I'm sure you will get a better feel for them once you are out on the road, but any early impressions on how they are going to work?
I have used the front panniers for a few years on four short tours. The rears are new to me for Christmas They attach easily with the Ortleib system, and they are very secure when mounted.
I like the volume of the front bags at 1900 ci and on my Jandd Extreme front rack, they ride low and feel very stable on the road. The rear bags are 2900 ci and have the same secure mounting system. Both bags have a yellow rain cover zipped into the bottom of the bag. I liked the fact that with the exception of my tent and sleeping bag, these bags provide enough room to hold everything I would need for a backpacking trip. Fabric is coated, nicely stitched and tough.
2 Serottas/Serotta tandem/Riv. Sauki/RB-1/Ritchey BrkAway/B Gordon BLT
My winter project. Not loaded...yet!
Bruce Gordon BLT-T. 56 effective TT, 700 c wheels. Tweaked it a little but it's pretty much Bruce's BLT-T package. The bike went together very well. It's still winter here but I have been out for a few shakedown cruises and it feels sooo stable compared to the frisky beasts I've been on since '85. I need to add an "out of print" basic S. I. Flite saddle (as soon as I can lay my hands on one) and I am beginning to digest bag options. I am and have been a roadie since '85 so this is my first "touring rig" and I am looking forward to a new format and a new adventure.