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$250 budget for an Eroica eligible bike - what would you get"

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$250 budget for an Eroica eligible bike - what would you get"

Old 01-14-17, 06:14 PM
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DanBF
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$250 budget for an Eroica eligible bike - what would you get"

If you had a strict budget of $275 to set up an Eroica eligible bicycle what would you get? My question assumes that:

1) You purchase the bicycle at the average market price for that make and model of bicycle.

2) The bike is in ready to roll condition. No major repairs are needed. I included this condition because I realize that many people on this forum are so mechanically gifted that they could start with a total junker and perform miracles to produce a wonderful bicycle for $275. I am more interested in hearing about modifications that the average person could do such as upgrade to better tires, upgrade to Kool Stop brake pads, change the seat or lower the gearing.

3) The main goal of any modification is to make the bike more suitable for an Eroica event which means a 75 - 100 mile ride which includes steep hills and occasional gravel roads. The appearance of the bike is important but secondary to its function.

4) The cost of shoes and clothing is in addition to the $275 you are spending for the bike itself.

I'm asking this as a result of a conversation with a friend of mine about how cool it would be to attend the California Eroica event. He checked out the website and said that it looks great but he doesn't want to "spend $1,000+ for a qualifying bike he will only use occasionally".

I'd also like to ask what type of bike geometry would be best for this style of ride? Touring, sport tourer, racing?

I tend to think that a touring bike would be the best choice because it already comes with low gearing, strong wheels and plenty of room for fat tires. What do you think?

Last edited by DanBF; 01-14-17 at 06:23 PM. Reason: spelling and grammar corrections
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Old 01-14-17, 06:25 PM
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Motobecane Grand Touring or Grand Jubile.

Most lightweight bikes with center-pull brakes built prior to 1976 feature relaxed geometry and room for 28mm or larger tires.

Touring bikes often sell at premium prices compared to sports/touring bikes like the Grand Jubile.

.
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Old 01-14-17, 06:37 PM
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Craigslist is your friend here. Don't fixate on a particular model. Who the heck knows what will show up in your size and in your price range. Ideally the bike will not come stock with long reach side pulls or center pulls so it can take a 28c tire comfortably to ride on bad roads. A little fatter tire will be a big help in dealing with unpaved roads. There is a fair amount of climbing so ideally the bike comes with a long cage RD or you have some money in your budget to pick one up as well as a larger freewheels. All of this is very doable at this budget. A sports touring bike is pretty much ideal for this kind of ride (and for just general all purpose riding as well).

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...g-bicycle.html

I'd look around for a vintage lugged sports touring Trek (late 70s, early 80s). They're available in your price range and they are well designed for this kind of ride.

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Old 01-14-17, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Touring bikes often sell at premium prices compared to sports/touring bikes like the Grand Jubile.

.
That is a good point. There are tons of old Schwinns in the Pittsburgh area. I bet that one of the better 85-87 Schwinn sport tourers such as the Le Tour, Traveler or Prelude would be good choices. I imagine it would be tougher to buy a Voyageur because it is somewhat rare and more expensive.

edit: Not sure about the Prelude though. It has good and bad points. Good: only 24lbs, relaxed 72 degree HT and St angles. Nice Shimano Light Touch indexed shifters. Bad: 1" or 25mm rims in the later models, short wheelbase, might only be able to fit 28mm tires?

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Old 01-14-17, 06:51 PM
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I'd look for something that came with a triple crankset such as a Fuji S12-S (the later ones). I snagged one on Boston's CL for a $100 back in the fall (and gave it away to a colleague).
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Old 01-14-17, 06:56 PM
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Should be able to find a Raleigh Super Course, or possibly a Grand Sports for that.

Or for something with a triple, a Miyata 210.
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Old 01-14-17, 06:58 PM
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I think the cut off date is 85' ? And I think non aero brakes are required . $ 275. I don't think you will get a top end Italian bike , unless you could find a Maserati (not top end ) . I saw a Maser on CL the other day for cheap .
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-maserati.html
Another bike comes to mind It's not Italian but I'm sure it's legal It's the Centurion Centurion Super Elite Bicycle
Good luck , keep us posted .

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Old 01-14-17, 07:02 PM
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There's an '85 Schwinn Super Le Tour for $200 in ready-to-ride shape in my size on CL here. Looks good, too. Definitely room for larger tires and fenders, and should check all the Eroica boxes (friction shifted Suntour Symmtric units). There's also a my-size Trek 500 in RTR shape (beautiful paint, still) for $275. So I think it's totally doable for a thrifty sum, bike-wise. No delusions of Concours grandeur need apply, but hey, we're here for the fun.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:04 PM
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The cheap Maseratis are city bikes that may happen to have drop bars. They could survive E'roica, but it would be like riding a U-08. There are better choices.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:11 PM
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1987 is cutoff. Bikes below were bought from $60 to low $200s and refurbished and upgraded.

1973-74 Raleigh Super Course MKII, only 10 speeds though.


1985 Raleigh Alyeska


Miyata 610, as purchased


1981 Schwinn Super Sport


Moto GT


1983 Trek 520

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Old 01-14-17, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
1987 is cutoff. Bikes below were bought from $60 to low $200s and refurbished and upgraded...
I see you led with the one that would best contribute to a photo with an E'roica vibe.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'd look around for a vintage lugged sports touring Trek (late 70s, early 80s). They're available in your price range and they are well designed for this kind of ride.
Just curious - did the mid to late 80's Trek's have sportier geometry or less tire clearance?
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Old 01-14-17, 07:46 PM
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What about something a little different. For example, can you find a vintage Stumpjumper within budget, or are there rules against that?

1986 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport - $300 (noe valley)



Ok, so maybe a different paint job, but there have to be others.

Maybe try to find a bike that would compliment your current ensemble of bikes. For example, a "touring" bike. If you actually choose a bike you'd like to ride, you might even change your budget constraints.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:48 PM
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I'm digging that Alyeska and Miyata 610 (the curve of the front forks looks so elegant). Looks like they would give you plenty of tire options. Like the Moto GT too but no fork eyelets

Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
1987 is cutoff. Bikes below were bought from $60 to low $200s and refurbished and upgraded.

1973-74 Raleigh Super Course MKII, only 10 speeds though.


1985 Raleigh Alyeska


Miyata 610, as purchased


1981 Schwinn Super Sport


Moto GT


1983 Trek 520

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Old 01-14-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBF View Post
Just curious - did the mid to late 80's Trek's have sportier geometry or less tire clearance?
Trek made racing bikes, touring bikes and sports touring bikes. The sports touring models have an ideal geometry for a ride like the eroica and general all purpose riding. The vintage trek website has all the info you may want about the bike. And they're easy peasy to find parts for. I picked up this 1979 Trek 510 for $150 recently; this is a pic of the bike as found in the wild:
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Old 01-14-17, 07:53 PM
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Imo you could do it for $150 even, if you took your time on CL. Lot's of options out there in the used market.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:57 PM
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Louison Bobet all original Vintage survivor from the 1960's | eBay
200 plus 90 cdollars shipping but maybe the shipping shouldn't count. I can't figure how to put a picture of it here. It's not yellow but blue.
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Old 01-14-17, 07:58 PM
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To get back to the final questions asked by the OP.

I think sport touring geometry is well suited to the event. Touring bicycles do provide generous gearing inherent in what you get when you purchase the bike, but I'm not convinced that the geometry is ideal for descents with sharp turns on unpaved surfaces. On the other side of the geometry spectrum, a bike with a short wheelbase could introduce toeclip overlap (which in turn could lead to low speed communions with gravel), and twitchiness of handling.
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Old 01-14-17, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBF View Post
Just curious - did the mid to late 80's Trek's have sportier geometry or less tire clearance?
Depends. The 520 above is a touring bike with clearance. My sons 85 560, not so much.
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Old 01-14-17, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBF View Post
If you had a strict budget of $275 to set up an Eroica eligible bicycle what would you get? My question assumes that:

I'd also like to ask what type of bike geometry would be best for this style of ride? Touring, sport tourer, racing?

I tend to think that a touring bike would be the best choice because it already comes with low gearing, strong wheels and plenty of room for fat tires. What do you think?
The idea is to ride a vintage race bike and suffer. I don't think the idea is to spin up the hills with a triple. Of course you can, but that is not the idea of Eroica. I met a guy last year who took his wife along and her bike had flat bars and thumb shifters. They both had a great ride and a wonderful weekend but I suspect she has drop bars and DT shifters this year. I don't intend to start a squabble. THE CIURSE calls for one of those "All Road" "Gravel Bike" 1x11 things and if it is raining, of course a smart rider would bring disks. Get in the spirit. This is not a century. This is Eroica.
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Old 01-14-17, 08:35 PM
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There's a Raleigh Competition GS on my local CL, asking price $300. Looks ready to ride, but you'd probably want wider tires.

[I even have a ready to ride '82 nice bike on my CL at your budget, may not have much tire clearance though, also no takers locally.]

So CL is your friend.
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Old 01-14-17, 09:05 PM
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This is not hard, especially in the winter. In Pittsburgh (said, with respect, as I lived there once).

Practically ANY decent Japanese made bike from the mid-late 80's will do the trick: Nishiki, Lotus, Univega, Schwinn Tempo/Prelude/Super Sport etc., Centurion, whatever. Expect to install new 28's, a chain, and a larger rear freewheel or cassette.

Anything else, you can suffer through.
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Old 01-14-17, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Louison Bobet all original Vintage survivor from the 1960's | eBay
200 plus 90 cdollars shipping but maybe the shipping shouldn't count. I can't figure how to put a picture of it here. It's not yellow but blue.
That's the most heroic suggestion yet.
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Old 01-14-17, 09:17 PM
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Actually my ride will fit this bill.
Bike $200.
Downgrade to Mafac racers from Campagnolo, toss bar and stem that came with bike, toss saddle, buy toe clips and straps, one new cable, 6' of housing, tires, tubes.
Will come in at about $280 before I sell off unused parts.
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Old 01-14-17, 09:32 PM
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Well this cheap pickup this summer would fit the bill. Only mod was adding the 700 x 30c tires. Cushy ride from the tires yet plenty fast with decent gearing.

The bike looks good in the pic:



But up close it's pretty beat up, hence the cheap purchase.

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