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My Story/My Goal/My Ideal Bike

Old 10-01-20, 02:10 PM
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My Story/My Goal/My Ideal Bike

Thanks for all the advice so far in previous threads. I thought, as I solicit (and greatly appreciate) more advice, it might be more helpful to start fresh, share where I am and what it is I'm trying to accomplish. Forgive me if this is an overshare. I'm 51, living in San Diego, and have always been a below average athlete. Given that, I'm looking to accomplish many rando series on my way to (and including) PBP in 2023. This is an above average goal I know, but it might be the entirety of my bucket list. I am prepared to do the work and have some local riding/training support. I'm no bike mechanic, but am willing and eager to learn.

Back in 2017-18 (as I set my sights on PBP 2019) I got some great advice and leads on even greater bikes. Through some bad luck and even worse decisions, I'm now bikeless. A custom build is cost-prohibitive, and I've looked into the usual suspects for a new rando bike...Riv, Crust, Velo, Soma, Masi, QBPs...and all of those are going to easily put me north of 2k. I'D LOVE TO SPEND HALF THAT or less. I'd also love to tackle a frame-up build, but feel it's likely smarter to try to find as complete a bike as possible and use my time to start turning the pedals as often as possible--the idea of riding 100kms is daunting, to say nothing of 12 of them IN A ROW. I'd love to explore this hobby further and go the DIY route in the future, but right now I'm looking to get up and running as soon as possible. (Maybe get a placeholder bike for training and build something concurrently? That's likely an option.)

I've owned a 62 cm Centurion Super Elite that was likely perfect (see bad decisions comment above), 63 cm Schwinn and Motobecane tourers, and those were nice too. Other than my XXL Fuji Feather (61 cm), that's about it since I was a kid. I know my greatest value lies likely in American and Japanese bikes (maybe British), and feel strongly those machines loffer a less steep learning/spending curve with wrenching and pricey/scarce parts with European models. (Though I am a sucker for a pretty face.) Below are what I've found online as starting points--any thoughts or advice would be sincerely appreciated. I know there's a lot here, but I also know you probably like looking at bikes. Lastly, should anyone know of someone looking to part with something in my SoCal area, I'm all ears. AND THANKS!

Raleigh (Ticks all the boxes but feels overpriced?)














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Old 10-01-20, 07:55 PM
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Don’t overthink this. Buy something from a well know brand like that Miyata 1000, set it up to fit you properly, and then ride, ride, ride.

And then ride some more.

When you get to the point that a 65 mile ride is no big deal, when you lose the bike under you on an all day ride, you’ll be ready to train.

Until then, all PBP talk is merely smoke in the wind.
Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...
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Old 10-02-20, 06:01 AM
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TL : DR. What is your budget? Do any of those bikes fit you? Buy the one that leaves enough budget room to re-do the drivetrain to meet your long-distance riding goals. Think this part through carefully. Develop a plan. Write it down. Follow it until the unforeseen curve ball arrives. Adapt. Build. Ride.

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Old 10-02-20, 07:45 AM
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Get a really good sense of what FIT dimensions you need, both seat and top tube wise. Because you want to do rando rides, I would recommend you step back from anything that won't take at least a 28 mm tire with fender clearance, so that leaves you with classic road racing machines from before what, 1980? It also opens you up to touring bikes built before it was decided that touring bikes must be stiff and stout and strong enough to carry one on an unsupported Trans-Siberian trek, many of which verge into what is often termed "Sports-Touring."

My take is you are going to want something that finds a happy balance between spirited and performance handling with stability and comfort all day, especially when you're tired. You don't want to beat yourself up riding an overly-stiff machine designed to carry camping gear across the continent, neither will you desire something built with no fender eyelets and cigarette paper clearances between its skinny tires and close-coupled frames. Right off the bat, as revered as the Centurion Iron Man Dave Scott bikes are, they're probably NOT what you seek here. You're probably going to want steel of some sort. I don't know what your weight is, but I can tell you my experience is that traditional diameter steel tubing works better for me on long rides than oversized stuff - but my weight topped out around 175 lbs on my 5'9" frame, and I'm back under 160. This realization is why I sold my lovely, stupidly expensive Joe Starck-built Rivendell Road Custom that I had hung with all the bling bling T.A. Zephyr/Campagnolo/Nitto/Brooks/Mavic MA2 goodness - as lovely as it was, and as stable as it was, it felt sluggish under me. By comparison, all of my traditional Reynolds 531 tubed frames felt light and springy and were more comfortable and felt better under me. That remains true both for the stuff built with Imperial gauge and metric gauge. YMMV.

For the time being, look to see what you can find that FITS you physically and has some decent clearances with a reasonably long wheelbase - something around 40 inches or more would be good. This is your for-the-time-being bike, and zoot factor means not a whit right now, this is something to ride while you do the research. For now, if it has 27-in wheels in decent shape, if/when the tires need replacing get some Panaracer Paselas in 27 x 1 1/4 and run them around 70 psi, depending on your weight, and be done with it. Later on, by the time you start doing 200 km and longer you can start thinking about 700C - or not. 27 is a better wheel size than the industry wants to let on, it just means you might need to carry a spare 27-in tire coiled up and lashed in place on longer rides. Don't worry, Ian Hibell rode around the world like that.

For whatever it's worth, as I get back into riding again, I switch back and forth between my nice Mercian Vincitore custom I bought before I had kids and responsibilities and a handful of early to mid-70s road bikes that look like varying degrees of home-made hell. The first bike you listed was a Raleigh International, which is a lovely bike that commands a hefty premium - chromed Nervex lugs, full Campagnolo and lotsa nostalgia. A very comparable ride can be had with the '72-76 Raleigh Gran Sport, which has plain lugs and (usually) stamped dropout requiring a mounting claw for the rear derailleur, BUT is full Reynolds 531 tubing and has very comfortable all-day geometry with a 41.5-in wheelbase. Requiring perhaps a bit of ingenuity to adapt the rear derailleur hanger, there is the next step up, the Raleigh Competition Mk. II from c.1973-76 that has the same geometry and long wheel base coupled with gobs of tire clearance in case you decide to go with a larger diameter tire with a supple sidewall and lower pressure. I have one of these now as an all-roads fixed-gear, and before that I had its immediate predecessor, a white/lagoon blue Competition from c.1971 that I literally pulled from a trashpile as a frameset with cranks, covered in Krylon and brown exterior latex. That one I got to work with a SunTour derailleur set in the course of building it up various ways, and I still regret selling it.
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Old 10-03-20, 09:40 PM
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I have a 1986 Miyata 1000, 60 cm, for 1,000$.
It is near mint condition.

64 cm 1987 Schwinn Prologue
61 cm 1976 Schwinn Superior
64 cm 1987 Schwinn Prelude
65 cm 1986 Raleigh Alyeska touring bike
and a 1986 or so Schwinn Voyageur touring bike, large frame I need to measure, but the seat post is stucked.
'81 Schwinn Super Sport;

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Old 10-03-20, 10:56 PM
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Of the ones listed that are still available the only one that I would bother with is this one
While I do believe that 27" was a good tire size really good replacement rims and tires aren't readily available unlike 700c which builds a stronger wheel to begin with. Its not a 5sp, resizing a frame from 5sp to anything modern is much more difficult then 6sp to modern. There isn't a huge difference between them but everything helps. The trek should also be able to take a decent sized tire.
If cost and time weren't too great an issue I'd get a Bob Jackson Audax frame and fork which ships for 775.00 and takes about 5 weeks to get. I'd really end up spending a bit over 900 since I'd want disc mounting front and rear as I do consider it a better braking system. From There I'd spec it out with a 10sp Tiagra group and while waiting for it to arrive would keep an eye out for a 3-400 lightly used King, White Industries, Phil Wood or i9 wheelset on ebay. I'm gussing that without worrying about disc the cost can be kept below 1500 for a practically new bike in the right size, desired color, respected brand and nothing to worry about parts wise for a long time.
I've already decided that should my current touring bike frame crack I'm doing one of the frames with couplings and just swapping parts.
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