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Vintage Gravel Grinders

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Vintage Gravel Grinders

Old 08-27-20, 08:11 PM
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This '74 Harry Quinn Tourist has the widest clearance of any of my last-century vintage frames. 43-622/700c nominal will fit, but with clearance pretty tight under the crown and between the chainstays. Switched to 38s for a little more breathing room. The fork crown/blades look totally optimized to cram as much rubber underneath/between as possible.

It's only got a drive-side downtube cable stop/shifter mount, so maybe it was built for a 5spd freewheel w/single ring, or maybe for an internal-gear hub? Or they knew in '74 I'd want to do a restomod 1x build in 2016?

In the studio, kinda recently, with 38-622/700c:

Previous build, in the wild, with 43s:



1st build, maybe 35s here?
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Old 08-28-20, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson
Nice lookin bike. Bet those Herse brakes cost you more than the frame!! It sure looks light!

All the components on my Trek cost more than the frame...
My mother taught me that you never ask an unmarried woman how many cats she has, and you never ask someone how much they spent on the components for their vintage bike build.
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Old 08-28-20, 11:31 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
My mother taught me that you never ask an unmarried woman how many cats she has, and you never ask someone how much they spent on the components for their vintage bike build.
Wasn't askin', just observin'
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Old 08-28-20, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb
It's only got a drive-side downtube cable stop/shifter mount, so maybe it was built for a 5spd freewheel w/single ring, or maybe for an internal-gear hub? Or they knew in '74 I'd want to do a restomod 1x build in 2016?
Maybe someone liked suicide shifters?
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Old 08-28-20, 01:44 PM
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Yeah, I had thought of that. Seems like '74 would be a little late for that, but ya never know what floats peoples' boats.

Originally Posted by scarlson
Maybe someone liked suicide shifters?
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Old 08-29-20, 10:57 AM
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My homemade neo-retro pseudo-vintage all-road bike.
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Old 08-29-20, 05:35 PM
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Vintage and gravel capable.
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Old 08-30-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
I guess my Covid project fits pretty well in this thread. I just finished putting this together a couple of weeks ago. It's a 1982 Trek 710 to which I added cantilever posts, a few other braze-on bits, and dimpled the chainstays to make some room for real tires. The end result works well with 650b x 42 Rene Herse Pumpkin Ridge knobbies. The tires are great on gravel roads, jeep trails and single track, but they're also amazingly fast on the 25 miles of pavement I need to ride before I get to the good stuff.




Love this! I have a very similar Trek 650B build ('83 620) coming in the mail tomorrow, courtesy of gugie . Your Frek builds have been a real inspiration for me, as I looked at my unmodded Trek and started to imagine possibilities. My wife and I just got back from a week-long vacation in New Mexico, where we're thinking of moving next year. This would be a great way for me to build up mine (fenderless, and with RH knobbies) to handle some of the less wild desert forest roads. Considering any rackage on yours? My frame below (pic courtesy of Gugie):
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Old 08-31-20, 12:30 AM
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Any old* bike will do.



* That is, old enough to have some big tire clearance. Early 70s Nishiki Semi Pro has enough for 700x38 tires, but I may step it down to 35s and put fenders on it. Sure I ride gravel all the time, but 38 seems like a little overkill sometimes.
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Old 08-31-20, 05:35 AM
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I picked this Competition GS up this spring. My "gravelizing" included swapping out the crankset, rear derailleur, freewheel, tires, and stem and handlebars. It is still a work in progress. I'll likely go from the downtube shifters to suntour barcons. In the meantime, it is performing admirably here in the Green Mountains, even on some of our finest "class 4" rough stuff. I like it so much that I just sold my Salsa Casseroll, as the two bikes really fit in the same niche.
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Old 08-31-20, 06:39 AM
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This is the ‘73 Raleigh Competition seen earlier in this thread, photographed Saturday morning when I finally got to really test the whole concept of the Dingle-Speed Drive. As always, the 70-in fixed gear provided by the 44x17 combo works nicely on the pavement. What I was unprepared for was just how perfect the 60-in fixed gear of the 42x19 was on the mixed gravel, hard pack and red clay mud of this area’s dirt roads. This bike exceeds all my expectations - it just rides so well on mixed and loose stuff!
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Old 08-31-20, 09:51 AM
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I'm of the mind that any bike is a gravel bike.

The tires on this measure at 26mm.....it's been to Eroica CA and Cino.



But wider is nicer.....this '66 Frejus sports 35 Paselas.

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Old 09-05-20, 09:10 PM
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I picked up a '73 Cinelli Speciale Corse a few yeras ago that is in really rough shape and is not my size. I like a 58 and this is a 61. It sat for many years and then I had the idea to make a French-fit gravel grinder out of it. Still a work in progress, as you can see, but those are 32mm Gravel King slicks on there and they feel great on the road.

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Old 09-06-20, 05:13 AM
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This 1969 Raleigh Sprite did remarkably well yesterday on the unpaved surface part of my ride. Felt very well balanced and never mired down in any of the soft stuff.

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Old 09-06-20, 05:31 AM
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I really enjoy riding my two speed kickback Eclair





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Old 09-09-20, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Choke
I'm of the mind that any bike is a gravel bike.
So am I, but it's not a mindset that works for everyone. I did some gravel riding on my road racing bike (with 28mm tires) and told the tale on a local cycling Facebook group. Someone asked how hard it is in a way that revealed they were not experienced. Someone else said I shouldn't encourage people to do that. I said that's true, because if you don't know how to handle a fishtailing rear wheel near a cliff, well, there could be trouble.
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Old 09-09-20, 12:50 PM
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Twenty years ago, when there was an active cycling club here, I wound up leading some rides that would include short stretches of reasonably well-groomed gravel - never more than a mile or two at a stretch, and often a good example of a short cut to get to a more interesting or quieter road. I would usually warn potential riders in advance, "Hey, you're gonna want at least a 25 mm tire for this," because I had found that the actual/measured Continental Sport 1000s I used in those years were just fine. And those cyclists who DID join me on those rides had a blast. Those would be the rides through the back of beyond, off the buttery smooth asphalt but also far from traffic, and those were the rides where we'd stop in some small town and eat lunch like a bunch of British or French club cyclists before returning home. The local racer wannabes and the middle-aged guys who wanted to be wannabe racers would scowl and declare that it wasn't their kind of cycling.

Last time I checked, most of those who complained now have gravel bikes. But I bet they still don't stop for lunch ...
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Old 09-09-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jjames1452


What size are these wheels and tires? Are these 26x1.75" Paselas?
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Old 09-10-20, 04:36 PM
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My first gravel bike was a drop bar converted early 90s Univega hybrid.
I changed the bars, bar end shifters, stem, brakes, tires, and crankset.
The frame was way too small for me, but I made it work and comfortably did rides up to 45mi I think, which seemed big then.

Minimal investment to make sure i liked it before dropping more money into a nicer and better fitting frame.
It fit 40mm tires without issue and the gearing was wide enough for me to figure out what I wanted for my next gravel bike.

I ended up selling the frame to a forum member. It was such a cool color!
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Old 04-14-21, 12:25 PM
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As found
Originally Posted by jet sanchEz
I picked up a '73 Cinelli Speciale Corse a few yeras ago that is in really rough shape and is not my size. I like a 58 and this is a 61. It sat for many years and then I had the idea to make a French-fit gravel grinder out of it. Still a work in progress, as you can see, but those are 32mm Gravel King slicks on there and they feel great on the road.

Here is that 1973 Cinelli I posted before, finally sorted out, minus the pedals, obviously.

It was "leaning against a shed in Sudbury, Ontario for many years" according to the seller. Luckily, everything was well-greased and nothing was seized except the seat-post clamp.

The brake hood is a re-production campy hood and ripped within when I was putting on the bartape.

The stem is super fugly but the frame is too big for me and this was the shortest stem I had on hand.

Wheels are these black Phil Wood hubs that are 130mm but oddly take a threaded freewheel (?) laced to Mavic Open Sports that I found on CL

I am kind of enjoying it for cruising, I am going for a French fit gravel-grinder kind of thing

I wil to try to get some old Honjo fenders on there but I may have to change the tires out from 32s to 28s (I love the green with the gold, anyone know of a 28mm green gumwall tire, I don't think Panaracer makes GKs that thin)

Last pic is how I found it







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Old 04-15-21, 06:24 AM
  #71  
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Did a back road ride in southern Tennessee...

... never have I ever been chased by so many dogs. I planned on going 20 mi plus, however all the dogs spooked me into making it a 12 mile run.

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Old 04-15-21, 06:38 AM
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If plump knobbies on a touring frame get me in the door, I guess I could post this one, eh?
(NB: before/after thread and more pics)

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Old 04-15-21, 06:48 AM
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1993 Bridgestone XO 2

This bike is more modern than most of the ones on this thread but it clearly owes a lot to the French 650b constructeur bikes. The 1993 Bridgestone XO 2 has road bike geometry and 26 inch wheels since in '93 that gave you fat tires. It is a very capable gravel bike and a fine road machine. I run 26 x 1.75 tires and 3 x 8 gearing. With a 44/32/22 triple and 11-28 cassette, the bike can handle any terrain.


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Old 04-15-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
This bike is more modern than most of the ones on this thread but it clearly owes a lot to the French 650b constructeur bikes. The 1993 Bridgestone XO 2 has road bike geometry and 26 inch wheels since in '93 that give you fat tires. It is a very capable gravel bike and a fine road machine. I run 26 x 1.75 tires and 3 x 8 gearing. With a 44/32/22 triple and 11-28 cassette, the bike can handle any terrain.
Curious, how many miles have you put on that WTB seat and what's your take on it so far? I'd been looking at one similar a few years back but a lot of the fixie kids opt for them here. Hate to say that influenced my decision, but ....
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Old 04-15-21, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile
Curious, how many miles have you put on that WTB seat and what's your take on it so far? I'd been looking at one similar a few years back but a lot of the fixie kids opt for them here. Hate to say that influenced my decision, but ....
I like them a lot. I run WTB or leather saddles on pretty much all my bikes. I've put a lot of miles on WTB saddles since I've done a number of multi-day tours on the XO 2 and on a 1985 Cannondale ST 400 which also has a WTB saddle. I don't like using leather saddles on tours because of the rain. I know I can bring a saddle cover but WTB saddles work for me.
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