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are '80s touring bikes more likely to use nutted calipers?

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are '80s touring bikes more likely to use nutted calipers?

Old 03-12-16, 08:15 PM
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are '80s touring bikes more likely to use nutted calipers?

... vs recessed, that is.

i saw kroozer's davidson touring bike in the american builders thread that looks like mine with basically the same paint scheme. his 'discovery' is the touring model, while my 'challenge' is the racing model. both are production bikes, of course. my brakes are recessed; his brakes are nutted:




q: do nutted brakes provide accessory options for touring bikes that recessed brakes do not? (like for fenders and whatnot?)

'84 catalogue here.
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Old 03-12-16, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc




q: do nutted brakes provide accessory options for touring bikes that recessed brakes do not? (like for fenders and whatnot?)

'84 catalogue here.
...not really any more. They might have offered easier fender mounting at one time.

You can buy sheldon fender nuts now pretty cheaply, so it's kind of a wash. Also, a lot of current fender mounting is done using a daruma on the front, which works with either.
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Old 03-12-16, 09:27 PM
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I think the 80s were a transitional period in many areas. Nutted vs recessed calipers and aero brake levers are a couple. Return to braze-ons is another. Nutted calipers might have held out longer for touring as @3alarmer said, for ease of fender (and flint flicker) mounting. It's not clear to me that recessed caliper nuts have any clear technical advantages. Their appearance was a little "cleaner," but required an extra step in the manufacture of fork crowns and brake bridges. They did contribute to the general conversion to hex wrenches for most/all fasteners, which simplified on-the-road tool selection.

I don't know if the 80s represented the real rise of marketing in the bike industry, but it would make some sense. The bike boom was over, so innovation (actual or perceived) was probably thought necessary to get people to start buying bikes again.
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Old 03-12-16, 09:33 PM
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I would say 50/50 most made in the first have had nutted stuff and the second half recessed. It seems on early and mid 80's you could see nearly anything basically stock on a mid level touring bike.
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Old 03-12-16, 09:34 PM
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80s tourers used cantis.

Early 80s tourers may have used side pulls (or centerpulls), by 83 or so, cantis were entrenched.

So think about that in terms of what was available for nutted vs recessed brakes.
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Old 03-12-16, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
80s tourers used cantis.
1984 Centurion ProTour was cantis. But that model changed over the years - might be an interesting example to follow as a Japanese manufactured (American designed?) product for the USA market (WSI and beyond?) 70s - 80s.
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Old 03-12-16, 10:05 PM
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thanks, all. additional q's:

1. why are canti's preferred over caliper brakes for touring bikes? is this a bike weight issue where more mechanical advantage is desired? or is this a clearance issue?

2. are modern steel touring bikes more likely to use canti's or calipers?

3. are modern steel road bikes offered with nutted calipers? or is this really a thing of the past?

just curious. B^)
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Old 03-12-16, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc
thanks, all. additional q's: just curious. B^)
1. clearance = easy to disconnect for cyclocross + wider widths with tires inflated.
2. either - but moving toward disc for all weather touring.
3. Past. - direct mount brakes are an improvement without going disc.

IMHO
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Old 03-12-16, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc
thanks, all. additional q's:

1. why are canti's preferred over caliper brakes for touring bikes? is this a bike weight issue where more mechanical advantage is desired? or is this a clearance issue?

2. are modern steel touring bikes more likely to use canti's or calipers?

3. are modern steel road bikes offered with nutted calipers? or is this really a thing of the past?

just curious. B^)
1. mostly a clearance issue. Put a brake and a fender over a tire, you're gonna be skimping on the tire. But also just the sheer amount of stuff. The brake bolts on my touring bike held the brake, fenders, racks, and a headlight. Or they would have, were they long enough (they weren't).

At the same time, cantilever brakes were considered better, mainly by people who thought they looked cool. That included me, but I already had a bike with calipers.

2-3, "modern"bikes have the latest and greatest thing, which today is dick breaks. No calipers, no cantis, very few V-brakes, but awesome stopping power. You can lock your wheels any time you want! Ain't progress great?
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Old 03-12-16, 10:33 PM
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ok! think my questions have been answered.

and i agree with smontanaro that recessed brakes look "cleaner."

Originally Posted by rhm
modern" bikes have the latest and greatest thing, which today is dick breaks...
freudian slip? B^)

yeah, i totally forgot about disks. shows you how submerged i am in c&v.
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Old 03-12-16, 11:14 PM
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depends what year but I always go with the cantilever brake versions.
Sheldon fender nuts are your friend
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Old 03-13-16, 12:12 AM
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1987 - Threaded fork crown all the way through. Non recessed nut to secure rack.




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Old 03-13-16, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
1984 Centurion ProTour was cantis. But that model changed over the years - might be an interesting example to follow as a Japanese manufactured (American designed?) product for the USA market (WSI and beyond?) 70s - 80s.
You'll see most of all the designed tourers having sidepulls or center pulls in the 70s. Even as late as 1982 most touring bikes didn't have cantis- the Miyata 1000 was the exception- it looks like that one changed between 80 and 81. Then again, the 1000 went to 700C long before other tourerss.

Trek was the same way- the 710 was pretty much only differentiated from the 730 by the longer chainstays. By the time the 720/728 came out, it had those glorious Gran Compe centerpulls. By 83, Trek had adopted the cantis. I think we can thank our own @JohnDThompson who built his 720 with cantis before the 720 was offered with cantis. It was HE who changed the course of history.

I hadn't had a set of dual pivot sidepulls until I got my 6400 series brakes working on my Trek 400 Elance. Although there are differences- I'd tend to think the stopping power is about on par with my canti braked machines. IMO, the single pivot sidepulls I've had do not have the stopping power of cantis or dual pivots. I can't comment on centerpulls.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
1984 Centurion ProTour was cantis. But that model changed over the years - might be an interesting example to follow as a Japanese manufactured (American designed?) product for the USA market (WSI and beyond?) 70s - 80s.
The earliest centurion Pro Tour that I've seen dates to 1976. From then through 1979, it used the uncommon (possibly unique) combination of centre-pull brakes and brazed-on studs. It went to cantilever brakes for the 1980 model year. It was discontinued at the end of the 1984 model year.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
You'll see most of all the designed tourers having sidepulls or center pulls in the 70s. Even as late as 1982 most touring bikes didn't have cantis- the Miyata 1000 was the exception- it looks like that one changed between 80 and 81. Then again, the 1000 went to 700C long before other tourerss...
FYI, the predecessor to the Miyata 1000, the Miyata Grand Touring, had cantilever brakes at least as early as the 1979 model year.
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Old 03-13-16, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The earliest centurion Pro Tour that I've seen dates to 1976. From then through 1979, it used the uncommon (possibly unique) combination of centre-pull brakes and brazed-on studs. It went to cantilever brakes for the 1980 model year. It was discontinued at the end of the 1984 model year.
Good to know the model history so succinctly.
I bought the 1984 model as my first adult bike in my mid-30s. Paid $299 on sale. Quick fit at the shop - straddle the TT with an inch or two to spare + a fist of post, check the reach to bars and off you go. Best feature was the Suntour Symmetric shifters. Sheldon rated ProTour as one of the top (mass produced) touring bikes in it's time. Cannot remember which year model he may have evaluated; looking back it seems an inflated opinion but I have no real base of experience for comparison (the Centurion ProTour was the only '80s full-on tourer I ever owned). It DID have lots of eyelets and braze-ons and long chainstays and low gears for loaded touring.
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Old 03-14-16, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
Good to know the model history so succinctly.
I bought the 1984 model as my first adult bike in my mid-30s. Paid $299 on sale. Quick fit at the shop - straddle the TT with an inch or two to spare + a fist of post, check the reach to bars and off you go. Best feature was the Suntour Symmetric shifters. Sheldon rated ProTour as one of the top (mass produced) touring bikes in it's time. Cannot remember which year model he may have evaluated; looking back it seems an inflated opinion but I have no real base of experience for comparison (the Centurion ProTour was the only '80s full-on tourer I ever owned). It DID have lots of eyelets and braze-ons and long chainstays and low gears for loaded touring.
The Pro Tour was one of the very best.
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Old 03-14-16, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
The Pro Tour was one of the very best.

I know it well, but a bit heavy with the 27" box section wheels.
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Old 03-15-16, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood

I know it well, but a bit heavy with the 27" box section wheels.
All my tourers have Super Champion / Wolber Modele 58 rims. (my 720 has 40 spoke front and rear) I would imagine a more... "gracile" wheel set might exaggerate the differences of a finer tubed bike.
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Old 03-15-16, 07:20 AM
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@The Golden Boy: How do you like those wheels? I looked at a 1987 Voyageur back in December that has those wheels. I passed because the bike wasn't cosmetically where I wanted it to be but the guy still has it and I'm re-thinking my original assessment. From what I recall the wheels seemed to be in good condition.

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Old 03-15-16, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
All my tourers have Super Champion / Wolber Modele 58 rims. (my 720 has 40 spoke front and rear) I would imagine a more... "gracile" wheel set might exaggerate the differences of a finer tubed bike.
The actual advantage of the 700C rim is that the slightly smaller diameter actually does build a marginally stronger wheel, which is a major consideration for touring. It's one of the reasons that several GT bicycles, such as the Centurion Pro Tour and Miyata 1000 were still using 5 cogs as late as 1984. The increased dish of 6 cogs resulted in a slightly weaker wheel.

Regardless, I agree that the 1984 Centurion Pro Tour was a great GT bicycle. Even in hindsight, it lacked very little. In addition to 700c wheels and 6 cogs, about the only other amenity it lacked were bar end shifters. Still, at the $500 price barrier, some concessions do have to be made and WSI made excellent choices that resulted in great value.

What is curious, is WSI's decision to drop the Pro Tour. For 1985 WSI brought out the Centurion Cinelli Equipe, sponsored the Texas Metros racing team and entered into a 5 year deal to license the Ironman and Dave Scott names for the replacement of the Comp TA. It would appear that they were attempting to harness a more upscale, competition orientated image and perhaps the Pro Tour no longer fit their vision.
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Old 03-15-16, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The actual advantage of the 700C rim is that the slightly smaller diameter actually does build a marginally stronger wheel, which is a major consideration for touring. It's one of the reasons that several GT bicycles, such as the Centurion Pro Tour and Miyata 1000 were still using 5 cogs as late as 1984. The increased dish of 6 cogs resulted in a slightly weaker wheel.

Regardless, I agree that the 1984 Centurion Pro Tour was a great GT bicycle. Even in hindsight, it lacked very little. In addition to 700c wheels and 6 cogs, about the only other amenity it lacked were bar end shifters. Still, at the $500 price barrier, some concessions do have to be made and WSI made excellent choices that resulted in great value.

What is curious, is WSI's decision to drop the Pro Tour. For 1985 WSI brought out the Centurion Cinelli Equipe, sponsored the Texas Metros racing team and entered into a 5 year deal to license the Ironman and Dave Scott names for the replacement of the Comp TA. It would appear that they were attempting to harness a more upscale, competition orientated image and perhaps the Pro Tour no longer fit their vision.
To me, that goes hand in hand with the nearly industry-wide "abandonment" of touring bikes. Trek dropped the 720 and 620, and the 520 was changed back to a sport bike. Schwinn wrapped the Voyageur program into one model, instead of the upscale Voyageur SP and the more mainstream Voyageur, and renamed the LeTour Luxe to the Passage.

I can guess that the "touring" buzzword was old- and the ATB and MTB buzzwords were new- WSI was both Centurion and Diamond Back, correct? They pushed the 1980s "modern" thing pretty hard- just looking at the paint...
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Old 03-15-16, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006
@The Golden Boy: How do you like those wheels? I looked at a 1987 Voyageur back in December that has those wheels. I passed because the bike wasn't cosmetically where I wanted it to be but the guy still has it and I'm re-thinking my original assessment. Fro what I recall the wheel seemed to be in good condition.
I would ask @badger_biker. He's got that bike.

I do know the 87 Voyageur came with Maillard hubs- whether that's good or bad or indifferent for that period of time.

The rims are fantastic.
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Old 03-15-16, 09:28 AM
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Well, I think you'll all be happy to hear, that I found 2 pairs of cantilevers, for my Peugeot Vagabond. I guess this one was only made in '84 & '85, so apparently, they were smart enough to wait & learn from others' mistakes, lol. It seems like a good frame though, just not on the cutting edge of innovation.
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Old 03-15-16, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
To me, that goes hand in hand with the nearly industry-wide "abandonment" of touring bikes. Trek dropped the 720 and 620, and the 520 was changed back to a sport bike. Schwinn wrapped the Voyageur program into one model, instead of the upscale Voyageur SP and the more mainstream Voyageur, and renamed the LeTour Luxe to the Passage.

I can guess that the "touring" buzzword was old- and the ATB and MTB buzzwords were new- WSI was both Centurion and Diamond Back, correct? They pushed the 1980s "modern" thing pretty hard- just looking at the paint...
Yes, WSI owned the Centurion, Cycle Pro and Diamond Back brands. There is no doubt that ATBs were seen the wave of the future but there was also a perfect storm that led to a resurgence of interest in competitive road cycling.

Triathlon got a big push in 1980 with the start of Ironman television coverage in 1980, along with a run of Dave Scott supremacy. LeMond was performing well on the European circuit which led to mid-1980s TV coverage of races like the TdF and CC beyond highlights. After LeMond won the World Championships in 1983, he got to show off his rainbow jersey in Taco Bell commericials, which showed the public that fame and fortune could be had through competitive cycling. However, everything solidified in 1984 when LeMond took 3rd at the TdF and Grewal won gold at the LA Olympics. There was even some CANCON, with Bauer taking silver at the Olympics and quickly following up with bronze at the World Championships. I believe I've read that USCF licenses had quadrupled by mid-1980s versus what they were in 1980.

As long as (North) Americans like Scott, LeMond and Bauer were performing well and getting television coverage, road bicycle sales would continue to rise. It's pretty hard for bicycle companies to ignore that kind of writing on the wall. If you've got a limited amount of finances to use for advertising campaigns and placing orders with your contract manufacturers, you want to use it on models with the best sales prospects (and bigger margins). In the late 1980s, that was ATBs and competition road models.
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