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Advice on my stable of touring bikes?

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Advice on my stable of touring bikes?

Old 03-18-17, 05:43 PM
  #1  
mnmkpedals 
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Advice on my stable of touring bikes?

I have have seen other posts on here asking for advice on thinning the herd, and I know the norm seems to be "keep em all;" but that said, I'm looking for some help on what to do with the cache of five vintage tourers I have slowly assembled (pics to come later-- phone is dead, charging).

Here's what I have had for a while:
• 85 Raleigh Alyeska outfitted for full touring-- with jandd front and rear racks. I've done multi day tours on it.
• 85 Schwinn Voyageur, forest green-- with upright bars and long fenders. Has been my daily commuter

Here is what I've slowly amassed:
• 79/80 Centurion Pro Tour (burgundy with chrome lugs; the era when they had the braze-on center pulls)
• 84 Trek 620-- 531, no racks, but otherwise original and not quite minty, but almost...
• late 80s-ish "Lucas" custom made mystery tourer-- (one of a kind, I made a thread on it a while back)-- outfitted with modern brifters and drive train.

They are all my size, but how many touring bikes does one need?

I will never sell the Alyeska (long story, personal sentiment) and the Voyageur is a comfy, proven commuter. I have toyed with the idea of building the Pro Tour as a more stylish, rando-style commuter build (have some cool sackville bags that would look great with it).

The 620 and the Lucas, well... they are just cool, but havent seen much use.
I like having one more modern geared (the Lucas). Plus I like the idea of it being one of a kind....
If I have any need, it would be for a bike more dedicated to rougher touring (mixing in some gravel for our trip this year) and I'm reluctant to do that with the super clean 620...or with the Lucas.

So, what should I do?
Which would you liquidate (aside from the Alyeska, as I said) in the name of excess? Maybe turn the Voyageur into a gravelly bike and commute on the Pro Tour? Or the 620? But then.... I ride through rain a lot of the year (PNW) and would be reluctant to do that with either of them?

Help?? Thoughts?
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Old 03-18-17, 05:46 PM
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If they're my size, my advice is sell,

Honestly, I'd think about the kind of riding you do and ask yourself whether your current stable gives you the bikes you need. If not, sell, and pick up what you need.

If any of them would work for a 650b conversion, I'd give long hard thought to doing that. That will let you run plush 650b x 38c tires on one of your bikes.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
If they're my size, my advice is sell,

Honestly, I'd think about the kind of riding you do and ask yourself whether your current stable gives you the bikes you need. If not, sell, and pick up what you need.

If any of them would work for a 650b conversion, I'd give long hard thought to doing that. That will let you run plush 650b x 38c tires on one of your bikes.
Agree with that. Maybe you could loan some to a bike museum or cv bike shop.
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Old 03-18-17, 06:31 PM
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Those are all sweet. If you can keep them all, do it!


That said, if you ever must sell: keep the Voyageur and Pro-Tour. (Edit: I missed earlier that you won't give up the Raleigh. So never mind that advice!)

Voyageur because it's the one you ride the most - - that counts for a lot. If there isn't a tour coming up, sell the Raleigh. Keep the Pro-Tour because those are awesome and because chrome lugs on a touring bike! The Trek 620 is obviously a classic but you can replace if you ever miss it, it's more common than the Pro-Tour.


Customs that aren't well known are tough to let go off because sometimes they are hard to sell for what they're worth. If you love it, keep it. But I bet even with the modern components the Voyageur is more reliable and comfortable.

Last edited by artclone; 03-18-17 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 03-19-17, 04:47 AM
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You should donate the Pro Tour... To me! But no really I'd definitely hang on to the Pro Tour. I don't think I've ever heard a negative thing about them!
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Old 03-19-17, 05:39 AM
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LOL, my wife would love it if I started selling off. My stable is more race bike oriented. I keep them because finding them was fun and I like the choice of letters on the decals and what they represent!

Having said that, there is a pecking order when it comes to riding. My commuter is not my favorite but is the most practical for commuting. It can be converted in <30 min to be an off road bike so it is sort of my Swiss army knife.

What I don't have is a touring bike and I would like one but it is low on the priority list. I do have a sport tourer in the 1984 Trek 610 and maybe the 1973 Bottecchia.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mnmkpedals View Post
The 620 and the Lucas, well... they are just cool, but havent seen much use.
I think you just answered your own question. While those are both cool bikes, if you're not using them those are the ones to send on to their next owner. I'd probably sell the Trek, to someone who will appreciate it. Perhaps you could convert the Lucas into a rougher road touring bike, and stop worrying about the paint? Conventional touring bikes are fine for occasional gravel road use - assuming it's not some weird late 80s 'touring' bike that can't take tires bigger than 23c.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:21 AM
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I have an 81 Pro Tour and it runs a 42mm up front and a 37 out back so no need for a "plush" 650b conversion. Build it you will like it.
Not just chrome lugs but nice full chrome underneath the paint.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:50 AM
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You will never get enough $$ from selling to avoid future remorse, so unless you have a life changing event (like moving to another state), keep them all.

I sold my old Pro Tour with a worn out set of wheels, and also a pristine Motobecane Grand Tour, but kept the Specialized Expedition when I retired and moved. Had I stayed in Olympia, they would still be mine. Don
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Old 03-19-17, 09:21 AM
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Keep those that you ride. Break the others down to frames and store. Put the parts in project boxes and the space problem is solved.

Get yourself a nice MTB and make a drop bar off road touring rig.

If you never think or need those stored frames anymore, sell.

Works for me, hope this helps.
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Old 03-19-17, 09:44 AM
  #11  
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Why do you need 5 tourers?
Why do I need 10 racy ones?
Why is the world round?
Why are married women smarter than married men?

Because.

sorry, no help.
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Old 03-19-17, 09:46 AM
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I'm in the process of downsizing my fleet. Just sold two bikes and planning to sell another, to make room and get parts for a new sport touring frame. My process is to sell the bikes that get ridden the least, which was a simple decision for the first two bikes I sold.

The third bike is a harder decision because I've owned it the longest and ridden it the most. It's my Bob Jackson World Tour, which was my primary commuter and good all-arounder. However, I retired recently and no longer need it for commuting, and I have a better bike for loaded touring (Soma Saga). So I plan to sell it to make more space in my garage and reduce bike maintenance costs.

Anyway, the simplest guideline for me is to sell the bike(s) that get ridden the least.
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Old 03-19-17, 09:53 AM
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My advice will depend on the size of your frames...

That said, a fleet always has room for a heavy tourer (like a Miyata 1000), weekender (a little lighter setup like the 620) and a credit card tourer (with maybe just a handlebar and saddle bag).

Even at that, the odds of me using a heavy tourer the way it was meant to be (for months' long journeys) are slim enough that it hangs on the rack just to keep the flame alive.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:07 AM
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How about buy a new bike for the riding you do now that's better than all your old bikes put together-- if you can, then... there'd be no reason to look back.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:09 AM
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I found your post on the "Lucas." Nice bike. Keep that one.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrome Molly View Post
My advice will depend on the size of your frames....
Oh yeaaah! Especially given the Puget Sound location.
Anything near a 60?

Wait, is it even legal to solicit a sales in this Forum???

edit: @mnmkpedals - Does this qualify as 'help'.
my wife would say NO.

mnmk = Minnesota Mark???
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Old 03-19-17, 10:31 AM
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I'd probably sell the Raleigh and Schwinn first, but that doesn't seem the direction you want to go. Those are certainly the two least interesting of the 5.

I'd keep the Centurion and Lucas for sure.
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Old 03-19-17, 10:40 AM
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Depending on the commute and security, I would maybe sell the Schwinn and Trek, and commute on the Centurion.

Also ymmv but I have not had many regrets about letting go of bikes. In fact it probably bothers me more to have bikes around that I don't ride.

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Old 03-19-17, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Depending on the commute and security, I would maybe sell the Schwinn and Trek, and commute on the Centurion.

Also ymmv but I have not had many regrets about letting go of bikes. In fact it probably bothers me more to have bikes around that I don't ride.
True, true... I'd have 13 bikes if I'd kept every on- and off road bike I've owned (including the one I have now).
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Old 03-19-17, 01:21 PM
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You all are the best! Exactly the kind of brainstorm feedback I was hoping for.

So, assuming the Alyeska will stay forever... after mulling over things, I agree the Lucas is the most interesting, both for maker and provenance to me; and the Centurion is probably in some ways the coolest and the most scarce (I think I see 3x620s as I do this old model of Pro Tour)...

So, my current inclination and plan is to:
1. Keep the Lucas, outfit it for gravel or full road touring
2. Keep the Pro Tour and fit it with rando front/rear racks and hammered fenders (thanks to @bwilli88 for the inspiration photo-- pretty spot on the PT I have and forgot I have some nice fenders stashed).
3. Put racks on the 620 and try to give it more ride time by mixing it in on dry days for my commute.... then, after that, decide if maybe it or the Voyageur goes to a better home where it will get more road time.

And @Wildwood yep, they are all pretty much 60s. So if it comes to liquidating, yes, I much prefer local!

Thanks for all the great input and advice!
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Old 03-19-17, 01:55 PM
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If you commute regularly it's always a good idea to have one --and preferably two-- back-up commuters, so that takes care of three bikes right there. One more for gravel/rough riding, and another as a full tourer. You're welcome.
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Old 03-19-17, 04:25 PM
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Have you rotated through them on your commute, or some other ride with some distance that you do regularly? I did that when I had three similar bikes and a 38-mile round trip commute, and after a few rotations it became pretty clear which one could go.

I also found that making one of the keepers into a dedicated fender bike really opened up more riding days. Note that I'm also in Puget Sound, where wet roads are a fact of riding life.
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Old 03-20-17, 05:55 PM
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I don't have any specific advice but I will tell you FWIW my fleet consists of 4 commuting workhorses used in rotation, plus 3 sentimental bikes for pleasure rides (one not yet built); and two more-or-less stopgap acquisitions that don't fit me that well, which consequently are marked for herd thinning and have hence been modded for disposal, such that I no longer ride them.
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Old 03-20-17, 06:56 PM
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620 is easily sourced again if wanted, seems like an easy first sale. Then the custom if you had to. Sometimes selling off non riders feels really good and makes you enjoy the keepers/riders for just that.
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Old 03-20-17, 07:38 PM
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I think you should loan each and every one of them (in turn) to me. I feel I cannot give you the best advice on this thorny subject without firsthand experience. Heck, we're practically next door neighbors, so this will be easy.
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