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Which to keep - light touring

Old 12-21-20, 10:10 PM
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Which to keep - light touring

Assuming condition and fit equal. Which would you keep for light touring.

84 schwinn voyageur
87 trek 400t
86 miyata 610
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Old 12-21-20, 10:28 PM
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I’d keep the Trek, but your bikes your choice.
Tim
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Old 12-21-20, 10:49 PM
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Miyata!
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Old 12-21-20, 11:29 PM
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Voyageur, or Voyageur SP?

I'd take the bike with the most braze-ons.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Voyageur, or Voyageur SP?

I'd take the bike with the most braze-ons.
I’d take the bike with the biggest tire clearance.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:46 AM
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Though vintage Trek road bicycles are vey nice, it has been my experience that the Miyata brand is a cut above most. I would definitely go for the Miyata, or the Trek but no way would I opt for the Schwinn.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:51 AM
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I love Miyata tourers but the color of that year is one of my least favorite reds and color schemes. Still an awesome bike though.

That trek wasn’t one of their touring models I don’t believe (but the 520 87 was awesome and an overlooked tourer), and wouldn’t have some of the touring specific amenities that the 610 and Voyageur have.

Voyageur or Voyageur SP is a good question though. If SP maybe go with that. Otherwise I feel it’s pretty equal between a regular Voyageur and the 610. I’d be picking based on preferred color scheme if I were in that position

Last edited by polymorphself; 12-22-20 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:42 AM
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Which handles the best loaded? That, plus good tires, would be my priority. The widest tires would be nice, but loaded handling would be the priority.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:42 AM
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The 610 is the most touring-oriented, along with the Voyageur. It depends on how light or heavy your "light touring" is to be. Eyelets, two bottle cage boss pairs, room for 32mm tires, and a 420-430mm chain stay measurement can make any bike like that fit the light touring role. The Trek 400T (T for triple) is an archetypal light tourer, IMO. 531 mains and rando-chromo for the other tubes. Works for me on my '85 620, which, although a fully-spec'd tourer, is incredibly fast/sporty while being supremely comfortable.

Since all bikes are, presumably, in your collection, and of the touring persuasion, I'd go with the one that you enjoy the most, for whatever reason. Good 700C wheels and proper 700C tires go a really long way in livening up a frame and increasing ride quality and fun. The Trek and the Miyata both run 700C wheels.

So it's a tossup between the 400T and the 610. The '84 610 I had responded well to sporty wheels and setup. Fun and fast/quick. The 400T is a 531-derived Trek that was the recipient of prior years' steel improvements, caught in an aluminum and CF age (well, the birth of it). It's a more 'pure' "light tourer" than the others (which are full on tourers), so by definition, it's the choice. Still, the 610 was designed for sportier full touring, and thus can easily rise to the occasion while having more tire and fender accommodation. It's the more flexible choice.

Last edited by RiddleOfSteel; 12-22-20 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Voyageur, or Voyageur SP?

I'd take the bike with the most braze-ons.
Voyageur.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:42 AM
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The Miyata has my vote.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Since all bikes are, presumably, in your collection, and of the touring persuasion, I'd go with the one that you enjoy the most, for whatever reason.
voyageur and trek are currently in my stable. The 610 is for sale locally for what I consider a very reasonable price. Thanks for the feedback.

Last edited by dtipton; 12-22-20 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 12-22-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I’d take the bike with the biggest tire clearance.
Of course you would completely disregard the braze ons.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Of course you would completely disregard the braze ons.
Yeah, I've got plenty of those!
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Old 12-22-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dtipton View Post
Voyageur.
Take the Miyata if you like the appearance. There's no much better production-wise in the 80's than a Miyata, especially for touring.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:45 PM
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I guess "light touring" means different things to different people. To me, that means 'not having to take a tent and sleeping bag and several days of clothes, food and water' which kind of equates to 'spirited touring.'

I currently have a 1986 Trek 400 Elance, a 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP and a 1990 Miyata 1000LT.

Out of the choices- the Miyata 610 is a Grand Touring bike, however the stays and fork are Mangalight. Good for a stable ride, but it's extra weight and mass. My M1000 is not a light bike, and it's CrMo with CrMo stays and fork.

I don't know why people always run away from Voyageurs... The 1984 Voyageur is a great bike- Champion #2 and Champion fork... so that's CrMo/CrMo. You have the added benefit of all the tour-y braze ons. This year's model of the Voyageur and Voyageur SP are very similar- the frames are mostly the same geometries- and Champion #2 is good tubing- probably even a little bit light for touring purposes. What I don't like about my VSP is that the seat tube is VERY vertical. It's something you get used to within the first mile or 2, but it's a change.

The Trek 400- it's a 531 main frame with CrMo fork and stays. It's a good bike all around. I have a Blackburn 'city' rack on mine- I've loaded that more than I probably should have and the bike still handles fine. The angles on my 400 make it the most "aggressively" angled bike I have, but it's not fatiguing and it's a pleasure to ride over distances. Again- if you're talking "light" touring- you don't have the option for a front rack or lowriders (maybe you could mount a rack- recessed bolt... never tried)- so you do need to be judicious about how much weight you're throwing back there. The drawback to me is having side pulls vs cantis. HOWEVER... that also means it's probably (not that I've done it) a good candidate for a 650B conversion- which then gives you poofy tires and fenders instead of 32s and fenders.


I would choose the Trek 400.
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Old 12-22-20, 12:54 PM
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I think it will always be the one that feels right. Frame size can change the geometry and feel of some models, sometimes significantly. Gotta be a bike whisperer to find the right one.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:25 PM
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Takara!
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Old 12-22-20, 01:32 PM
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Lots of good opinions already provided above, but now we need photos please.

Since opinions are cheap, personally I think the mid-range Miyatas are unduly inflated thanks to the pedigree of their top-end. Frankly, even their top-end has an inflated reputation (Sheldon Brown's comment notwithstanding). I have a pair of 1000s ('86 and '89), both with splined triple-butted tubing. Lightly loaded they ride no better than my Centurion Pro Tour ('84) with it's Tange Champion #2 tubing, or my Univega Specialissimas ('83 and '84), frames made by Miyata (non STB tubing). All excellent bikes, I'd be happy to take any of them on an extended tour. However, this might change with heavy loads and mountain pass descents, but I have no experience there, only with light loads.

There are plenty of mid-range light tourers I'd choose alongside that 610. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice bike for sure, but no nicer that any other decent Japanese mid-range bike of the era, including the two other choices at your disposal. As others have mentioned, it all comes down to the ride. Take them on long-ish rides and see how each feels. At your weight/loading requirements. The steeper seat tube of the Voyager might pose problems for the short seat rails of a Brooks saddle (I would need a good setback). The 531 tubing of the Trek is going to give a very nice ride, especially for lighter loads. The 610 will probably allow for higher loads if ever needed. Lack of eyelets can be overcome easily. It all depends on personal preference and your use-case.

Personally, I'd be leaning towards that Trek 400.

Last edited by panzerwagon; 12-22-20 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:33 PM
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Since condition and fit are equal among all 3, I would want whichever fits the largest tire. After that I would go for whichever rode the best with a front rack and weight.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:37 PM
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Another vote for pictures of all 3!
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Old 12-22-20, 02:40 PM
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I vote for the Miyata. I would expect the best workmanship in a Miyata and I like the sport-touring geometry that makes regular road riding fun.

I've used my six-ten for mountain biking over many years and it's held up really well to the abuse. A previous Miyata Gran Touring model from 1977 also held up to years of off-roading, but the six-ten has better geometry and lower bottom bracket.

My 1980 Voyageur showed serious craftsmanship deficiencies at the seat cluster area fwiw.

Nothing wrong with Treks, they have a most durable paint but I am unfamiliar with this model.
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Old 12-22-20, 03:06 PM
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Fwiw, "light touring" translates to me as a multi-day credit-card tour; thus, no need to bring a tent/hammock, sleeping stuff, loads of food, etc. For those kind of trips, I've been riding road bikes fitted with a medium-sized saddle bag and some kind of handlebar/front bag, and that's it. Here's a pic from last year's Magical Mystery Tour:



And from a Washington, DC, to Boston 5-day tour:

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Old 12-22-20, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Fwiw, "light touring" translates to me as a multi-day credit-card tour; thus, no need to bring a tent/hammock, sleeping stuff, loads of food, etc. For those kind of trips, I've been riding road bikes fitted with a medium-sized saddle bag and some kind of handlebar/front bag, and that's it. Here's a pic from last year's Magical Mystery Tour:



And from a Washington, DC, to Boston 5-day tour:

Yes. That is what we had in mind. Thanks for the pictures
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Old 12-22-20, 07:37 PM
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Miyata. I'm always impressed with the quality of the Miyata's. I have an '85 610, actually two, & an '84 1000 and for what they are, mid 80's touring bikes, there's not a cost cutting component on them, except maybe the bottom bracket. I don't know if I can say the same for the Trek. At least models a little older than yours. They always slip a few undesirable parts into the mix, at least in the mid range models. I do like Treks though. I just like the overall package you get with the Miyata better. In all fairness, though, the Trek may be a sportier ride. By 1986, the 610 came with 700c wheels, so you could put some nice sporty tires on it if you wanted to. It does have a nice set of wheels with sealed cartridge bearing hubs 36-40 spoke Ukai rims, Same as the 1000. They are heavy duty touring wheels.
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