So I've found a local guy who fixes up and resells vintage bikes. I went to test ride some bikes earlier today and definitely found some that I like, though probably not for the purpose of touring (I currently have my eye on a Peugeot that rides well, but might not be suitable for touring). Problem is the guy didn't really seem to listen to my needs of a touring bike and instead had me try what he thought I needed. So I am referring to you guys for advice.
So here is what I ask of you: Do you see any bikes in there off the bat that would be good for touring/a 650b conversion? I would probably be somewhere in the 54-58 range as I am 5'8" (he occasionally mislabels the cm measurements, so don't take them too seriously). I realize that he overprices his bikes, but for a wide selection of good quality bikes that I can try out on the spot, I feel like it's not so horrible.
Thanks for any help you guys can give me! I'm having trouble finding information on some of the bikes, and was hoping the infinite storage of knowledge over here at BF would help. (Also I cross-posting in C&V. Hope that's not against the rules.)
I'm in Southern California, so maybe the prices aren't too bad for here. I only say it because there is another guy that resells vintage bikes typically for half the price of this guy. I think his prices are higher because he has a bigger selection and has to pay other people to find the bikes for him.
I'll take a look at the Raleigh (I was actually originally going to look at an 80's Raleigh Grand Prix that he had, but ended up selling the day before). I might go back today and take another look at the Peugeot too. I've been thinking of getting it to get my endurance up and get used to a road bike (plus it's just a really cool bike), while keeping my eye out for a good touring bike. I will also look out for a Miyata 1000, thanks.
But this guy has some good bikes, and I quite enjoyed spending an hour trying out all different kinds.
Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)
For 25 years I toured fully loaded on a Miyata One Hundred. Classed as a "sport touring" bike it served me perfectly - though everything but the seatpost and stem eventually got upgraded. Back in the day there was no way I could have afforded the 1000... Just saying. If a 100 turns up, give it a good long look
Wow. If I had a hankering for a vintage touring bike with 650B wheels, I'd just get a late 80's to early 90's steel unsuspended mountain bike. 26" is mighty close to 650B in diameter, and the older MTB would have a few things that a touring bike needs right from the start, at usually a very reasonable cost (Trek 820's go for about $80 here, rockhoppers for $120):
1) lower gearing than a road bike- probably pretty good gearing for touring right out of the box
2) heavy-duty wheels and frame
3) tolerates wider tires, room for fenders
4) long wheelbase
5) canti brakes
Add racks and fenders, change handlebars and maybe shifters and you're good to go! Honestly I couldn't tell the difference between a 650B bike and a converted MTB just by appearance.
I built up my own vintage(ish) tourer from a 1950s British Eagle 501 frame. Not difficult to do, and you can substitute older, less reliable parts with newer more reliable ones. Worth a thought, at least.
I have a 53/54 cm Miyata 1000 that's too small for me (I'm 5'10" and like my bikes big). I'm hoping to trade it for a similar bike that fits me. If you're up in the bay area soon you should come check it out.