Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Vintage Gravel Grinders

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Vintage Gravel Grinders

Old 08-24-20, 02:15 PM
  #1  
cs1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
cs1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clev Oh
Posts: 7,069

Bikes: Specialized, Schwinn

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Vintage Gravel Grinders

As if there’s really such a thing. But let’s play along. Anyone care to post a pic of there bikes? Honestly, I think a Schwann Varsity with knobby tires is probably the ultimate vintage version.
cs1 is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 02:20 PM
  #2  
rustystrings61 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1974 Allegro No. 76, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1973 Raleigh GS, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
Liked 499 Times in 288 Posts
My favorite one from the past - Ian Hibell's bike - 1975 - Timetrialling Forum



rustystrings61 is online now  
Likes For rustystrings61:
Old 08-24-20, 02:22 PM
  #3  
TenGrainBread 
Senior Member
 
TenGrainBread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,589

Bikes: Cherubim, Alps, a few Schwinns

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1070 Post(s)
Liked 395 Times in 253 Posts
The ultimate vintage version would be one of the wide-tired pass-hunting machines from the high-end French framebuilders of the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The constructeurs were some of the few framebuilders making bicycles that take wide tires (650b) and wide gear ranges that were also very lightweight and sporty, meant for racing through the French Alps. They are probably the closest analogues to the modern gravel bike.


Last edited by TenGrainBread; 08-24-20 at 02:25 PM.
TenGrainBread is offline  
Likes For TenGrainBread:
Old 08-24-20, 02:27 PM
  #4  
rustystrings61 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 1,496

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1974 Allegro No. 76, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1973 Raleigh GS, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
Liked 499 Times in 288 Posts
And then there's this one of mine - '73 Raleigh Competition Mk. II running 42/44T chainrings against a Surly Dingle 17/19T fixed cogset on 35 mm Continental Cyclocross tires -

rustystrings61 is online now  
Likes For rustystrings61:
Old 08-24-20, 02:52 PM
  #5  
Sluggo
Senior Member
 
Sluggo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Left bank, Knoxville TN
Posts: 584
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 41 Posts
Everybody rode on gravel until the '60s or '70s.

This is Anquetil and Bahamontes, TDF 1963.
Sluggo is offline  
Likes For Sluggo:
Old 08-24-20, 02:53 PM
  #6  
mechanicmatt
Hoards Thumbshifters
 
mechanicmatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Signal Mountain, TN
Posts: 1,018

Bikes: '87 Bruce Gordon Chinook, '08 Jamis Aurora, '86 Trek 560, '97 Mongoose Rockadile, & '07 Stumpjumper

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 185 Post(s)
Liked 200 Times in 120 Posts
All bikes are gravel bikes...



...well at least most tourish.
mechanicmatt is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 03:04 PM
  #7  
clubman
Youngman Grand
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 7,338

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1730 Post(s)
Liked 878 Times in 582 Posts
'91 Crossroads


clubman is offline  
Likes For clubman:
Old 08-24-20, 03:06 PM
  #8  
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Posts: 5,203

Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard, Greg Lemond, Andre Bertin

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 468 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 287 Times in 155 Posts
These are my designated gravel bikes

Dirty Bike by L Travers, on Flickr

Katy Machens 23 mi 2 res by L Travers, on Flickr
__________________
Please do not "like" my posts. This isn't Facebook.

Lynn Travers

Photos

CV-6 is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 03:10 PM
  #9  
nlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 14,358
Mentioned: 350 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2250 Post(s)
Liked 1,930 Times in 971 Posts
https://www.rsf.org.uk/about-us/hist...eginnings.html
nlerner is offline  
Likes For nlerner:
Old 08-24-20, 04:10 PM
  #10  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,775
Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2202 Post(s)
Liked 1,361 Times in 637 Posts
Valetti-Bartali, 1939

SI3 by iabisdb, on Flickr
iab is offline  
Likes For iab:
Old 08-24-20, 04:13 PM
  #11  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,775
Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2202 Post(s)
Liked 1,361 Times in 637 Posts
Passo Rolle - 1938

1939_Giro032 by iabisdb, on Flickr
iab is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 04:16 PM
  #12  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,775
Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2202 Post(s)
Liked 1,361 Times in 637 Posts
Umberto Dei 01 by iabisdb, on Flickr
iab is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 04:26 PM
  #13  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 7,982

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 112 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1066 Post(s)
Liked 496 Times in 353 Posts
This one is almost entirely original, early-90's Performance Parabola "Road Hybrid". Bought a pair of them from Goodwill for $80 about 15 years ago.
It uses huge dual-pivot calipers with cable-release QR arrangement to accommodate huge tires. Tange Infinity DB CrMo tubing and unicrown fork w/1" steerer.

I used it for lots of mtb trail riding and a half-dozen CX races over the years.


Also bought, rode and raced this one from around the same time:



My current all-round road/gravel bike is this 1977 Pro-Tour, which gets by using Pasela tires maesuring only 26mm wide:


Then versus now, six months of abuse on said 1" Paselas:

Last edited by dddd; 08-24-20 at 05:01 PM.
dddd is offline  
Likes For dddd:
Old 08-24-20, 04:50 PM
  #14  
obrentharris 
Senior Member
 
obrentharris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Point Reyes Station, California
Posts: 3,459

Bikes: Indeed!

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 992 Post(s)
Liked 1,134 Times in 453 Posts

Motobecane Le Champion



Some sort of Diamondback hybrid (I think.)



Carré Lejeune

Brent
obrentharris is offline  
Likes For obrentharris:
Old 08-24-20, 05:00 PM
  #15  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 10,743

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 186 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1082 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 865 Times in 520 Posts
I keep this early eighties Bianchi Touring in Jamaica and, generally, put about 3000km on the bike each winter. Did not do that this years, though, as I had to leave the island six weeks ahead of schedule. Anyway, what a great, solid, dependable and ugly old bike. I love it..!


__________________
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Likes For randyjawa:
Old 08-24-20, 05:04 PM
  #16  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,448

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5081 Post(s)
Liked 1,649 Times in 1,085 Posts
Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
Everybody rode on gravel until the '60s or '70s.

This is Anquetil and Bahamontes, TDF 1963.
Great pic and good point as well. Older road racing bikes can handle rough stuff. Most of the racing bikes I’ve seen from the 70s and earlier can handle 32c or 35c tires. A few can handle 38c tires.

Last edited by bikemig; 08-24-20 at 05:09 PM.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 08-24-20, 05:15 PM
  #17  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,448

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5081 Post(s)
Liked 1,649 Times in 1,085 Posts
Bridgestone, Bianchi, and GT

Before gravel bikes became a thing, they reminded me a lot of the the early days of MTBs. Old bikes were repurposed to handle gravel and it was a way of avoiding cars.

Vintage MTBs obviously make good gravel grinders. There are also some bikes that pushed the design envelope: the Bridgestone XO series (many of these had road geometry with 26 inch wheels), the Bianchi project bikes that were early forerunners of the 29ers, and the GT Tachyon bikes.

Here is a good piece on the Bianchi Project and GT tachyon bikes

https://www.bikehugger.com/posts/the...at-wasnt-700d/

I have a 1992 Bridgestone XO 2. The bike is a great gravel and all around bike with plush 26 inch tires and road geometry:


Last edited by bikemig; 08-24-20 at 05:28 PM.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 08-24-20, 06:34 PM
  #18  
Pompiere
Senior Member
 
Pompiere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,762

Bikes: 1984 Miyata 310, 1986 Schwinn Sierra, 2011 Jamis Quest, 1980 Peugeot TH8 Tandem, 1992 Performance Parabola, 1987 Ross Mt. Hood, 1988 Schwinn LeTour, 1988 Trek 400T, 1981 Fuji S12-S LTD

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 304 Post(s)
Liked 144 Times in 107 Posts
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
This one is almost entirely original, early-90's Performance Parabola "Road Hybrid". Bought a pair of them from Goodwill for $80 about 15 years ago.
It uses huge dual-pivot calipers with cable-release QR arrangement to accommodate huge tires. Tange Infinity DB CrMo tubing and unicrown fork w/1" steerer.

I used it for lots of mtb trail riding and a half-dozen CX races over the years.
I've got one too. I just wish I had some gravel nearby to ride it on.


1992 Performance Parabola

The aforementioned brakes with 28 mm tires. I mounted fenders over 32mm tires with room to spare.
Pompiere is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 06:51 PM
  #19  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,321

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Liked 686 Times in 397 Posts
For the budget-minded, a lot of these '80s tourers make great gravel bikes!



But I'll give a plug for Jack Taylor's work as well. He was making purpose-built mountain bikes for his customers while Gary Fisher was still messing about with old Schwinns! And I still take this old '59 Taylor tandem on gravel.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Likes For scarlson:
Old 08-24-20, 07:37 PM
  #20  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 15,726
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1843 Post(s)
Liked 683 Times in 535 Posts
Originally Posted by iab View Post
Umberto Dei 01 by iabisdb, on Flickr
I am not a proponent of single ring, but this looks well planned.
The shift paddle on the LH side just an artifact?
repechage is offline  
Old 08-24-20, 08:00 PM
  #21  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 10,775
Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2202 Post(s)
Liked 1,361 Times in 637 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I am not a proponent of single ring, but this looks well planned.
The shift paddle on the LH side just an artifact?
Yup. Don't need it. No major climbs. Nothing really steep. I didn't want the clutter up front.
iab is offline  
Likes For iab:
Old 08-24-20, 08:20 PM
  #22  
ascherer 
Senior Member
 
ascherer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 1,899

Bikes: 1987 Mercian Pro, 1971 Raleigh International, 1971 Peugeot PX-10E, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mk1

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
Liked 930 Times in 411 Posts
My Mark I happily eats dirt all day.

Paused at Hastings-On-Hudson
__________________
1987 Mercian Pro, 1971 Raleigh International, 1971 Peugeot PX-10E, 1970 Raleigh Professional Mark I
Curator/Team Mechanic: 1984 Lotus Eclair, 1974 Raleigh Sports, 1972 Raleigh Super Course
ascherer is offline  
Likes For ascherer:
Old 08-24-20, 08:53 PM
  #23  
droppedandlost 
small ring
 
droppedandlost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: PNW
Posts: 659
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 273 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 152 Posts
Univega is for shorter rides 700x38, Rockhopper is for longer self supported rides, usually has a rack on the back, 26x2.0


__________________
droppedandlost is offline  
Old 08-25-20, 09:01 AM
  #24  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,448

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5081 Post(s)
Liked 1,649 Times in 1,085 Posts
Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
As if there’s really such a thing. But let’s play along. Anyone care to post a pic of there bikes? Honestly, I think a Schwann Varsity with knobby tires is probably the ultimate vintage version.
A schwinn varsity with knobby tires would be cool.

But what about a Schwinn Excelsior Klunker?

Schwinn Excelsior Klunker

That would make a cool vintage gravel bike.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 08-25-20, 09:08 AM
  #25  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,448

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5081 Post(s)
Liked 1,649 Times in 1,085 Posts
Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
Univega is for shorter rides 700x38, Rockhopper is for longer self supported rides, usually has a rack on the back, 26x2.0


I like both of these set ups a lot. I'm in the process of doing a dropped bar conversion with a 1992 Specialized Stumpjumper. A drop bar MTB is likely the most capable of all the various vintage gravel bikes you could set up especially since you can run 2 inch tires and fenders.

How the heck did you get 38c tires mounted on the univega? Just asking because not a lot of road bikes can handle a 38c which is one reason why 650b has become popular.

I started a thread on this a while back:
700 x 38c tires on a vintage bike?
bikemig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.