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Vintage or modern for serious touring?

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Vintage or modern for serious touring?

Old 10-14-20, 12:24 AM
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The end state is a steel touring bike is a steel touring bike, unless you need/want some of newer mounts modern bikes have. I don't generally do old chit but there are benefits 7/8/9 speed era like cheap cassettes and chains and they're available everywhere. STI's/Ergo's don't do anything for me on a touring bike since I'd rather have the flexibility to use different wheels with different cassette brands and sizes but both systems at this point are bullet proof.

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Old 10-14-20, 07:28 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Soody
You can have a sporty touring bike that is fun to ride unloaded with an old frame or a new frame. My gunnar crosshairs is great as a road bike. Many modern 'gravel bikes' 'cx bikes' make great sport touring rides.
Also new v old, I reckon the best modern advance for touring is a dynamo hub & led light. Not Discs or STI. Rather not have em.
Are these three pics a time-series - I'm looking at the saddle(s) and it seems to show before/after/after-that-I-got-a-new-one.
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Old 10-14-20, 08:11 AM
  #78  
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Late to the party, but being the 250lb pound guy with gear, I found my 90's Koga Miyata touring hybrid to be like riding a slinky with any kind of load on the back. I'm pretty sure it has the same tubing as a Miyata 1000. I've rode the heck out of it this summer unloaded and its been great. I have a mid 90's Cannondale T700 that I'm going to transfer the cockpit, drivetrain and racks over to. I'm assuming the Cannondale will take a load as well as a Surly frame, and the the Koga will get drop bars and eventually a lighter wheelset. So while its obvious that you need both bikes, I will throw out 250lbs as an arbitrary weight limit on the touring vintage frames, but they are a great Sport tourer for a larger person. I do have a unridden for 30 years Bridgestone T700 with a full set of Rhode Gear luggage that I want to keep as a period piece, but my assumption is that any touring would be overnighters with lightweight gear.

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Old 10-14-20, 08:17 AM
  #79  
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Vintage bikes can cause some problems on an extended tour. If you have to cross a river, sometimes it can lead to the wooden rims delaminating, since they were glued up with hide glue made from old Bessie. At the very least give your rims a frewh coat of varnish before you set off. There is another newfangled device, a freewheel, that can make going down hills much easier, especially on high mountain passes in the Rockies. And if you're going to go that modern, you may as well go all the way and get a coaster brake rear hub. It's a freewheel hub, with a brake built into it! Two things in one! Just an awesome advancement, it allows you to coast -- and brake! Forget that old fashioned stuff!
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Old 10-14-20, 08:47 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
Vintage bikes can cause some problems on an extended tour. If you have to cross a river, sometimes it can lead to the wooden rims delaminating, since they were glued up with hide glue made from old Bessie. At the very least give your rims a frewh coat of varnish before you set off. There is another newfangled device, a freewheel, that can make going down hills much easier, especially on high mountain passes in the Rockies. And if you're going to go that modern, you may as well go all the way and get a coaster brake rear hub. It's a freewheel hub, with a brake built into it! Two things in one! Just an awesome advancement, it allows you to coast -- and brake! Forget that old fashioned stuff!
Yeah, time to upgrade: https://www.******.com/r/bicycletour...enny_farthing/
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Old 10-14-20, 08:49 AM
  #81  
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If I were starting from scratch, I'd be seriously tempted by the Surly Bridge Club: https://surlybikes.com/bikes/bridge_club
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Old 10-14-20, 08:52 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
That LHT looks like it's almost ready to go. As a theoretical we can discuss vintage vs modern all day long, but as a practical matter I'll be another vote for hopping on the LHT and heading down the road...

On the theoretical matter of vintage vs modern: IMO this notion that vintage components are unreliable just isn't true. Some were, sure, but it could be argued that many vintage parts were more reliable than modern. No cell phones to rely on BITD. A typical quality touring bike build would have been equipped something like this: Sugino Mighty Tour crankset, Phil Wood BB and hubs, Super champion rims (36H front, 40H rear), Suntour derailleurs (VGT. BL or Cyclone), power shifters, Suntour Freewheel, Sedis chain, Mafac canti or Weinmann CP brakes, handlebar and stem by Nitto/SR/Cinelli/etc. What would anyone expect to go wrong vs a modern bike? There's much talk of modern alloys, but no specifics. I'm not aware of any major advances in aluminum alloys recently. I'd venture that most high end parts are still made from 6061 as most have been for decades.

Tires have gotten way better, for sure. Modern tubular steel racks also a good idea. (though custom builders have been making these forever)
Spokes and rims have gotten much better, too. I was a full time bike mechanic from 1978 through 1984. I first got my hands on DT spokes in around 1981. Holy moly, what an improvement, not just more precise but also more fatigue resistant. And since then, rims got much better, too, in precision and durability. Other than that, I agree with your list. It includes reliable and durable equipment. I've seen more Cyclone derailleurs fail than VGT derailleurs, so I would choose the latter for a tour. I also so more SunTour freewheels fail than other brands. If I had to use a freewheel for some reason, I would choose a modern Shimano.
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Old 10-14-20, 09:23 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by noglider
Spokes and rims have gotten much better, too. I was a full time bike mechanic from 1978 through 1984. I first got my hands on DT spokes in around 1981. Holy moly, what an improvement, not just more precise but also more fatigue resistant. And since then, rims got much better, too, in precision and durability. Other than that, I agree with your list. It includes reliable and durable equipment. I've seen more Cyclone derailleurs fail than VGT derailleurs, so I would choose the latter for a tour. I also so more SunTour freewheels fail than other brands. If I had to use a freewheel for some reason, I would choose a modern Shimano.

I built my first wheels with DT spokes in late 79 IIRC, and at the time they were still a little suspect. I broke plenty of them BITD, but I rode a lot of miles. DT seems to have improved their forging and tempering though. I haven't broken one in ages. IIRC, the actually alloy is something unremarkable like 304 stainless. The main improvement seems to me to have been in QC.


Yeah, I've seen plenty of broken Sun Tour derailleurs as well. Usually broken springs IIRC. That's why my early 80s tour bike had Suntour BL. Splits the difference between Cyclones and VGT. They were still more reliable than Cranes/Shimano of the time, and certainly more reliable than the the Duopar. You were pretty safe with a VGT/BL, and Cyclones didn't break that often. Nothing was as rock solid as a Campy NR, but those only worked for 'alpine' gearing if modified a la Spence Wolfe. Rallys were around, but were kind of mediocre and cost a fortune, some versions sucked. Now that you mention it, I think I personally used Atom/Maillard freewheels at the time, maybe Regina. That said I remember New Winners as being pretty solid. I didn't use them because the teeth didn't last as long as Regina and they were heavier.


Rims? Not so sure. With rare exceptions they are made the same way from the same 60xx alloy as always. In general deeper sections is an improvement that should have been made much earlier, but the standard touring rim of the time were Super Champ 58s, and they were pretty good. Some people like Weinmann Concaves, also good. I used training sew ups, which was already archaic. (I've been a retro snob since I was 16!)



To summarize:

Modern Clincher tires are better, cassette and/or thick axle hubs are better, SPD is better or at least more comfortable, slightly taller section rims are stronger, and modern spokes are less likely to break. All of those things can be fitted to a vintage touring bike.
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Old 10-14-20, 09:27 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I think your forks bent.
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Old 10-14-20, 09:50 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
But the OP sounds like he's had/has newer and money doesn't sound to be an issue so why not newer?
As far as frames go (which is the real concern here, components are swapped and upgraded all the time, especially on vintage tourers), this post early in the thread points out a real difference between vintage touring frames and modern ones. The answer isn't that there are only cons to vintage touring frames, there are pros as well. At least there will be depending on the person, its of course subjective:

Originally Posted by Salamandrine
I remember having this same question a few years ago. I went around and looked at all the modern touring bikes. IMO modern touring bikes tend to be overbuilt. They are optimized for a 250lb dude carrying 75 lbs + of gear. That's fine if you're going to tour Patagonia or something, but for more typical mostly road touring, it's overkill. Vintage touring bikes are more optimal. Bumping up to tourist gauge +1mm is enough, for example Tange #2 instead of #1 , SP instead of SL, 531 'tourist' gauge, etc.
He even then went on to recommend upgrading some components to modern.
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Old 10-14-20, 11:03 AM
  #86  
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@Salamandrine, you and I have a lot of agreement going on. What are we going to argue about now?
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Old 10-14-20, 11:06 AM
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Touring the world on a penny farthing is a huge undertaking, but perhaps Ed Pratt took on a harder task when he rode around the world on a unicycle. I watched many of the videos.
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Old 10-14-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@Salamandrine, you and I have a lot of agreement going on. What are we going to argue about now?
True. I'm not sure exactly yet, but undoubtedly there is some obscure cycling related trivia that does not matter to 99.99999% of the world that we can argue about. Isn't that what this forum is for?
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Old 10-14-20, 05:02 PM
  #89  
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I love the penny-farthing guy. He's a madman! I need me a pith helmet.
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Old 10-14-20, 06:27 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
If I were starting from scratch, I'd be seriously tempted by the Surly Bridge Club: https://surlybikes.com/bikes/bridge_club
My youngest son has one.

We just added Tubus racks, Niterider mtb lights, King water bottles and a Cambium C17.

Lent him my wife's Ortlieb panniers and he was good to go for an el cheapo price.

Surly ready did that one correctly.
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Old 10-14-20, 07:08 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by gomango
My youngest son has one.

We just added Tubus racks, Niterider mtb lights, King water bottles and a Cambium C17.

Lent him my wife's Ortlieb panniers and he was good to go for an el cheapo price.

Surly ready did that one correctly.
Did you go for 29" wheels or 27.5"?
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Old 10-15-20, 04:44 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Did you go for 29" wheels or 27.5"?
27.5. Most of our trips are on gravel.

The way our infrastructure is going here, we'll be going back to more b roads in the near future.

BTW The stock WTB Riddlers are not bad, but I think he's going to order the RH Pumpkin Ridge tires if they have them in stock.

Tires are obviously super important for every bike, but a really good tire at the correct pressure makes off road riding a treat.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Leaf has a 16" wheel kit with a 48V 1000W motor. Could this be rear fork be shortened and re-directed tailward to accept a 16" wheel? Asking for a friend...
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Old 10-19-20, 11:33 AM
  #94  
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My 1976 Bob Jackson tourer has never let me down, loaded or unloaded. I'm unfamiliar with more modern touring frames, however.
My wife had a circa 1979 Geoffrey Butler tourer that she was very happy with.
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Old 10-19-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango
27.5. Most of our trips are on gravel.

The way our infrastructure is going here, we'll be going back to more b roads in the near future.

BTW The stock WTB Riddlers are not bad, but I think he's going to order the RH Pumpkin Ridge tires if they have them in stock.

Tires are obviously super important for every bike, but a really good tire at the correct pressure makes off road riding a treat.
I know youre the 650b guy and I want one because but I do wonder if theres really any benefit to a 650x48-52 over a 700x44.
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Old 10-19-20, 03:41 PM
  #96  
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[QUOTE=northbend;21739157]Do you own or seek to own just one bike? If not then that is what your other bike(s) are for. I'd use the LHT for it's intended purpose. They are great bikes for serious long distance touring. Out on a long loaded tour, I want reliability and the ability to find replacements if something goes wrong.[/QU


For Shawn, one bike? HaHaHa! It's winter almost, you need a project. so build with a vintage frame. Tektros, barcons, Deore LX, etc. Do a tour with it. Sell it when you are done if you don't like it.
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Old 10-19-20, 04:04 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris
I know youre the 650b guy and I want one because but I do wonder if theres really any benefit to a 650x48-52 over a 700x44.
My wife's MAP got me going on this 650b kick.

I was amazed she could run up to 48's, which are great for our gravel country roads and even the river bottoms.

She didn't seem to lose any speed either.

We do group rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays and she's usually in the first group.

Then I rode a buddies' Yeti SB5 plus and I fell in love. On tight mtb trails and narrow singletrack, the bike felt whippier and lighter on its feet. So I sold my 29'r Yeti and bought the SB5plus from a friend.

Then I bought a PL forum member's 650b Weigle after I gave up looking for a used MAP for myself. That bike fills the same purpose as my wife's MAP. It's a true go anywhere bike as it handles the sand and gravel roads here as well as the MAP.

The 650b wheel size has so many great tires available, I made the jump because I could find nice tires with relative ease. Often spendy, but still easy to find.

Also, I like the comfortable ride I get from my larger width tires and I'm certainly not that fast anymore.
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Old 10-20-20, 08:44 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by sloar
I know this is a c&v forum, but if you had to pick which would it be for serious long tours? I have a very nice Disc Trucker, I love it but its not the greatest for non loaded rides. Im kicking around the idea of selling it and building up a serious vintage touring bike. Thanks
Consider an aluminum classic tourer. It's light enough to enjoy lightly loaded and stiff enough to be a pack mule when required. I like my '81 610 straight gauge 25"er, but love my modified '87 Klein performance. It uses a cassette but honestly I've never had an issue with freewheels and the more heavily stressed axle. Heck, if your concerned get a nutted rear axle.
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Old 10-20-20, 08:48 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
I remember having this same question a few years ago. I went around and looked at all the modern touring bikes. IMO modern touring bikes tend to be overbuilt. They are optimized for a 250lb dude carrying 75 lbs + of gear. That's fine if you're going to tour Patagonia or something, but for more typical mostly road touring, it's overkill. Vintage touring bikes are more optimal. Bumping up to tourist gauge +1mm is enough, for example Tange #2 instead of #1 , SP instead of SL, 531 'tourist' gauge, etc. Ultimately I ended up getting a custom Mercian with OS tubeset, which gave me some extra stiffness while keeping the weight comparable or even lighter than high end traditional touring bikes.

I've had vintage touring bike in the past and it was fine then. I'm sure it would be fine now. I'd probably upgrade the wheels to modern cassette hub type, preferably with OS axles. See below. And I'd use SPD pedals. Other than that, vintage touring bikes will still do the job, and be easier to pedal to the top of that mountain.



Yeah. That's a potential weak spot. Phil Wood hubs solved it in another way BITD, with those super thick axles. The stopped making the freewheel version about a year ago though.
An easier fix is a nutted rear axle.
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