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Bikepacking vintage bike

Old 03-29-21, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by j19
Hi everyone!
I'd like to build a bikepacking bike based on a vintage frame that I could use on a variety of surfaces - mostly roads, but I would like it to handle some light gravel too. I was wondering whether you would recommend choosing a vintage mountain bike frame as a base or to go for a vintage race bike with downtube shifters and try to fit thicker wheels. Furthermore, what kind of wheels/tyres would you recommend?
Given your goals, it sounds like you are more oriented to "bicycle touring" (road and some gravel) than "Bikepacking" (typically more rough / singletrack / backcountry type riding). Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but to me pavement with a little gravel is not bikepacking - it is touring.

With that in mind, any vintage touring bike should fit the bill. Some of the most beautiful and practical bikes ever built, IMO.
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Old 03-29-21, 01:08 PM
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Two mtb touring-ish builds on Radavist that some might find strangely appealing

1980s Panasonic Mountain Cat: https://theradavist.com/2020/09/pana...n-cat-project/



Early 2000s Ti Black Sheep hardtail: https://theradavist.com/2019/06/sams...lifetime-bike/

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Old 03-29-21, 02:28 PM
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I've done some gravel cycling on my Gazelle with 35mm tires and it was a lot of fun, I've would have probably felt more comfortable on a mountain bike at certain points, but it was still a lot of fun. If you want some inspiration check out the Instagram account of Rough Stuff Fellowship.
If you can't decide between a mountain bike and a touring bike just get yourself both and see what works better for you. Or just keep both of them.
By the way, you can find some gravel routes in the Netherlands here: https://gravelrides.cc/alle-routes/, or you can make your own routes with Kamoot.
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Old 03-29-21, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alexnagui
I've done some gravel cycling on my Gazelle with 35mm tires and it was a lot of fun, I've would have probably felt more comfortable on a mountain bike at certain points, but it was still a lot of fun. If you want some inspiration check out the Instagram account of Rough Stuff Fellowship.
If you can't decide between a mountain bike and a touring bike just get yourself both and see what works better for you. Or just keep both of them.
By the way, you can find some gravel routes in the Netherlands here: https://gravelrides.cc/alle-routes/, or you can make your own routes with Kamoot.
Great archival touring pics in the RSF insta
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Old 03-29-21, 02:45 PM
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Old 03-29-21, 03:27 PM
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Hi! Thank you, everyone, for awesome posts! I wasn't really aware of the difference between bikepacking and touring, to be honest but I now see I actually meant touring. Mostly flat terrain, nothing too crazy. Frame conversions are a bit too advanced in my case, but I have some experience with restoring old racing bikes. Touring bikes seem like a good starting point. My goal is also to do it as affordable for my student wallet as possible (I'm not even a millennial, haha, but proudly Gen-Z .) Something like JaccoW's Batavus would be great. Oh, btw I also live in R'dam!
I'm sure this is not the last bike I'll ever build, but right now I'm looking for something as universal and lightweight as possible that I can take on a few days trip with light camping gear. I already have a racing bike for 1-day trips.
I've found a dirty cheap 3x8 Koga Adventure (I, unfortunately, can't add a picture as I'm new on the forum. Does it sound like a good starting point?
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Old 03-29-21, 07:39 PM
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There are two very nice mid 80s Schwinn Voyageurs in different sizes (21" and 23") for good prices in the C&V sales forum right now. Maybe one is your size. They were just about as good as it got for 80's touring bikes. They'll fit up to 40mm tires without fenders (~35-38 with), have all the eyelets and braze ons for racks/fenders/bottle cages, frames are columbus tubing, longer wheel-bases, ~24lbs stock. I've got one myself and am quite happy with it. They are also likely serviced and ready to ride.

Last edited by polymorphself; 03-29-21 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 03-29-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself
There are two very nice mid 80s Schwinn Voyageurs in different sizes (21" and 23") for good prices in the C&V sales forum right now. Maybe one is your size. They were just about as good as it got for 80's touring bikes. They'll fit up to 40mm tires without fenders (~35-38 with), have all the eyelets and braze ons for racks/fenders/bottle cages, frames are columbus tubing, longer wheel-bases, ~24lbs stock. I've got one myself and am quite happy with it. They are also likely serviced and ready to ride.
OP is in Europe.

Shipping would greatly add to the cost.
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Old 03-29-21, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
OP is in Europe.

Shipping would greatly add to the cost.
Oh yeah. I take it back. They're not that nice.
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Old 03-29-21, 09:25 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by El Chaba
I used a more modern drivetrain in the restoration, my Meral camper has/accommodates 32 mm tires which are sweet spot for combined gravel and pavement. You can find older touring bikes built before the art and science of carrying a load on a bicycle was forgotten. It has been rediscovered by millennials who have no interest in things that were perfected before the microchip, so you see modern bikes for camping with frame bags that hinder the rider’s knees and can’t really accommodate anything and gigantic seat bags that look like they were designed for a baguette delivery service....
Wow. When I'm older, I hope to not have this level of contempt and bitterness towards an arbitrarily created grouping of adults who are largely in their 30s.

- I wouldn't want 32mm tires for bikepacking since...why? There is no upside. Even on a paved road touring bike, why 32? You can get a quality 35 or 38mm tire that rolls fast and is light. There is no downside and you get comfort.

- The 'art and science' of carrying gear on a bike hasnt been forgotten. There are more options than ever now. There are all sorts of racks and bags that allow each of us to set our unique bikes up to perform however we view is best.
I like to use large rear panniers on a front rack and a large compression dry bag lashed to the top of a rear rack. It rides great for how I want my bike to handle and someone else may want a totally different setup.

- Bikepacking gear is designed for unpaved riding where you may not have enough space to ride with wide rear panniers. A traditionally packed touring bike perhaps isn't ideal for singletrack since branches, grasses, rocks, etc are right next to the trail and can rub/tear/ruin panniers. Moving the gear up higher and more inline with the bike reduces the footprint and potential damage.

The downside of bilepacking gear is that it's a lot to pack and dangle, and space is more limited.
For the record, i do not have bilepacking gear so this isn't me defending something I am biased for.


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Old 03-29-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by j19
I've found a dirty cheap 3x8 Koga Adventure (I, unfortunately, can't add a picture as I'm new on the forum. Does it sound like a good starting point?
Make just 4 more posts (10 total) and you'll be able to upload images, but an Adventure sounds promising based on your stated intention.
Here's a link to the Koga Miyata archive for further research: https://www.koga.com/en/service/broc...2000-1976).htm
RiddleOfSteel compiled a helpful master list of catalog links by country, featuring Gazelle and Batavus in addition to K-M under the Netherlands heading: The Official Vintage Bicycle Manufacturer Catalog List w/Links

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Old 03-30-21, 04:28 AM
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Light touring in the Low Countries C&V style?

My vote would go to the Gazelle Champion Mondial Semi-Race. Easy to find in Holland (there are at least five on MP right now) and very nicely made.

Here is mine in Italy:



Fitted with 30mm Challenge Strada Bianca tires, which are designed for, well, strade bianche:

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Old 03-30-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Light touring in the Low Countries C&V style?

My vote would go to the Gazelle Champion Mondial Semi-Race. Easy to find in Holland (there are at least five on MP right now) and very nicely made.

Here is mine in Italy:



Fitted with 30mm Challenge Strada Bianca tires, which are designed for, well, strade bianche:

Local knowledge is the best knowledge!

That pic of strada bianca makes me want to go ride.
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Old 03-30-21, 02:45 PM
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I love Gazelle semi-racing bikes, but with all the weight I would potentially put on it I'm afraid of damaging the frame/wheels. Is thin Reynolds 531 tubing suitable for carrying full camping gear?
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Old 03-30-21, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by j19
I love Gazelle semi-racing bikes, but with all the weight I would potentially put on it I'm afraid of damaging the frame/wheels. Is thin Reynolds 531 tubing suitable for carrying full camping gear?
For the occasional camping trip I could live with it being a little more flexy than a real touring bike, but If your goal is fully-loaded touring, there are better options from that same era, such as the touring bikes made by Vittorio and Snel, to name a few local examples.

This is my eighties' Snel Expedition, and that is the bike I would confidently load up if I had to. The downside of its being more sturdy than the Gazelle, however, is that it also feels a lot less lively when ridden unloaded. Not the bike I grab for a Sunday afternoon ride.



Every bike is a compromise, and it depends on your plans and preferences which would work best for you.
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Old 04-07-21, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
You are shaking your fist at a cloud right now.
Clouds need fists shaken at them. That's what makes it rain.
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Old 04-07-21, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by j19
I've found a dirty cheap 3x8 Koga Adventure (I, unfortunately, can't add a picture as I'm new on the forum. Does it sound like a good starting point?
If it's something like this, then yes, that's exactly the kind of bike I'd want for a camping tour. You'll need to decide what kind of handlebars you like for touring -- in my experience drop bars are overrated (though you do have a lot of open fields and high winds in the NL, don't you?), but you do want a variety of hand positions.
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Old 04-07-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ctak


Those folks could climb the Matterhorn on a tricycle, us mere mortals, I think not.
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Old 05-18-24, 08:19 PM
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Holdsworth Special bike-packing build

Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some ideas on how best to build this frame into a mid/long distance cycle-packing stead. I believe I've picked up a 1990's Holdsworth special frame? The previous owner said they had inherited the frame so I've little information on what this frame. My main issue is what group-set would best fit this bike, any advice would be awesome. I am unable to post any photos onto this forum due to my profile being new, I'll post some onto my profile.

Thanks
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Old 05-18-24, 08:26 PM
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Assist

Originally Posted by orthogonal
Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some ideas on how best to build this frame into a mid/long distance cycle-packing stead. I believe I've picked up a 1990's Holdsworth special frame? The previous owner said they had inherited the frame so I've little information on what this frame. My main issue is what group-set would best fit this bike, any advice would be awesome. I am unable to post any photos onto this forum due to my profile being new, I'll post some onto my profile.

Thanks




Album.
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Old 05-18-24, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by orthogonal
Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some ideas on how best to build this frame into a mid/long distance cycle-packing stead. I believe I've picked up a 1990's Holdsworth special frame? The previous owner said they had inherited the frame so I've little information on what this frame. My main issue is what group-set would best fit this bike, any advice would be awesome. I am unable to post any photos onto this forum due to my profile being new, I'll post some onto my profile.

Thanks
Welcome!

Fellow-member jeirvine has a nice example of that very bike, I believe. Check out post #12. Lovely frame, BTW.
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Old 05-19-24, 10:27 AM
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Thanks!

I've just now taken a look at the bike, incredibly clean build... I can only aspire to build something of that level hahah. The wheel covers are awesome.
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Old 05-19-24, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by orthogonal
Thanks!

I've just now taken a look at the bike, incredibly clean build... I can only aspire to build something of that level hahah. The wheel covers are awesome.
His bike is really nice, and, looking at the frame characteristics, about as far as I would go, luggage-wise: a randonneuse with provisions for a front bag and a saddle bag. With its 73 degree frame angles and just enough room for mudguards it is a typical club racer. It will not be very happy with 40 lbs or more of luggage aboard, methinks.

As a randonneuse légère or vélo sportif, however, it could be close to perfect.

Here's an example I built a few years ago with a frame similar to yours, an Austro-Daimler Inter-10. I replaced the original 27" wheels with 700C items, shod with 28mm Paselas. Front bag not in attendance, but it will happily take one, as long as it's not too heavy.


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Old 05-20-24, 05:58 PM
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OG bikepacking rig:
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Old 05-20-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by j19
Thank you everyone for such wonderful replies and helpful recommendations! And of course pictures of your beautiful builds! 😊 I truly love this community! You've given me some great starting points and now it's time I do some homework! Oh, I'm from the Netherlands, so no mountains for me, unfortunately... But I would maybe take it to Germany/Belgium for a few days trip. It would be primarily ridden on the roads, but if I take a shortcut and have to stay on a gravel path for a few kilometers, it should also handle that. I would camp alongside, so I would carry a tent and other camping equipment with me.
I am attempting the very same thing: building a vintage touring bike. Imho one of the most critical decisions is whether you want to go with canti brakes, v-brakes or road callipers. Vintage touring frames commonly have a canti boss distance of 55-65mm. That makes them unsuitable for v-brakes and modern canti brakes. Moreover, steel frames with canti bosses for 700c wheels are rather difficult to find...but since you're in the Netherlands: Gazelle used to have such a frame, i.e. steel, cantilevers, 700c. It was called Formula Randonneur. I am sure that Koga Miyata had such frames as well in their line up. One more thing: the problem with mtb conversions to 650b is, at least for drop bars, that you need very long v-brakes and, therefore, then will need travel agents to adjust the brake cable pull.
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