Kelly Drive Amateur
? about 1990-1991 Schwinn Voyageur...
Hi everyone - first post here, after doing a LOT of reading.
After losing use of my old (and very battered) Specialized Crossroads due to a stolen rear wheel, I decided to pick up a used road bike rather than put any more into the hybrid. I talked to Curtis at Philly's Via Bicycle, and he recommended a refurb'd Schwinn Voyageur he had, and I bit. I'm very happy with it - it is a decent enough touring frame, and apparently was re-fitted with good 36-spoke wheels (don't remember the brand), and has otherwise decent components - but I can't find *ANY* information about it online. I'm just curious about it, as far as it's original specifications/price/etc., and have literally done hours of searching to no effect. It seems that I can get info about 2002-2005 bikes from Schwinn themselves, and about Chicago-era bikes from collectors, but not about bikes in the no-man's-land that 1990 seems to represent.
What I do know about it is that - due to the 1270 stamped on the badge, it's graphics, and color (dark grey) - that the frame was made in 1990. I also happened to catch a picture of one on a tourer's webpage that is it's exact twin, color and all, that was identified as a 1991 model. It has a Tange Cr-Moly double-butted lugged frame, a chromed fork that may or may not be original, Suntour XCE deraillers, a Sugino crank, and a Shimano rear cog... not sure what's original there.
Anyone know anything about this bike? I would be most appreciative!
I have not seen any specific info on the 1990 model. I looked closely at a Voyageur from around 1988 on E-Bay that seemed to be in "like new" condition. It was very similar to my 1983/84ish Centurion Pro Tour 15 in terms of the frame and the quality of wheels and components. That Voyageur appeared to be very well designed for heavy, loading touring duties.
From reading Sheldon Brown, and other sources, it seems there was a huge "boom" in loaded touring bikes between around 1982 and 1986. Then mountain bikes came along, and the market for loaded touring bikes quickly went to nearly zero in the USA...everyone wanted a mountain bike. It may have been Sheldon Brown who wrote that for a number of years, distributers and dealers were selling off touring bikes with "surplus" frames from the 1986/1987 "market crash".
Touring bikes that are well designed for heavily loaded road touring fit into a large "gap" between 18 pound racing bikes, and heavy mountain bikes with front suspension (and often, rear suspension). Cycling Plus ads show a wide variety of models being sold in the UK market, compared with the handful of models that get wide distribution in the USA. Great for touring, commuting shopping...folks without a tourer don't know what they are missing.
A little OT but I had, up until 3 weeks ago, a schwinn sierra comp circa 1989. I turned it into a superb touring bike, although in hindsight it was way too small for me. It too had a chrome fork. The salt water of Galveston, 3 winters ago, finally pierced the bullet proof chrome on the frame and I retired her (had my youngest carry it off to the dumpster and then noticed someone in the RV park pulled it back out of the dumpster. recycled?)
If the frame fits you and your happy with it I say ride it till the sun don't shine.
You might also ask up in the classic forum... they might have more insight...
Kelly Drive Amateur
Thanks for your responses!
I was digging through the picture thread here, and discovered that Meanderthal has an identical bike. I PM'd him, and he gave me the skinny on his 1991 Voyageur. I think I've now gotten a fair idea of what it originally had, which seems to have included the SunTour deraillers it currently has, and what it sold for.
Yep, there's no doubt that I'm happy with the bike, and with a tourer for inner-city commuting and longer rides. This particular bike is pushing it size-wise, as it's a 25" frame and I'm 6'2". I just clear it standing on flat feet, and was initially thinking about returning it, but it's just so damn comfortable to ride and isn't awkward stopping/starting/getting on and off. When I take the bike back to Via Bicycle, I'm definitely going to thank Curtis for recommending this one, it's absolutely perfect for my needs.
...also, I made a boo-boo. It's got a 36-spoke front wheel, but a 40-spoke rear wheel, as per (apparently) original specs, but it's not original - both wheels are new double-rimmed numbers according to Via's techs.