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Vintage steel candidates for 'all-road'?

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Vintage steel candidates for 'all-road'?

Old 09-17-21, 02:56 PM
  #26  
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Old 09-17-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Yup! Old hybrids are the best kept secret in all around bikes. I have a Univega Via Carisma that I will be building up as a flat bar in-town errand and commuting bike. It also has lowrider mounts on the fork so it will be pressed into S24O and touring duty as-needed. The problem for me as a "short back" is the longer top tube that is inherent in flat bar geometries makes drop bar conversions a little funky but I've done it before on an '87 26" Fisher Hookooeekoo mountain bike and it actually worked really well for the couple of years I commuted on it.

Vintage mountain bikes are a great option if you are loading the bike up. The frames are so beefy that you can load them down with no whippiness or complaint from the frame at all. There are some light race MTB out there that would be good if you are looking for a more lightweight option but those tend to be rarer and more expensive since collectors are starting to pick those up.
Nice! I love a good Univega. The reach is why I haven't tried a drop bar on my Crossroads. I might give it a shot eventually, there are some pretty interesting short reach stems out there.

I have an 80's Diamondback too, and those old MTB's are a very different feeling. That one is set up as a Rivendell-style cruiser. Those are definitely better for heavy loads or slow rambles, but I think hybrids make better road-ish gravel builds.
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Old 09-17-21, 03:19 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
A Cannondale ST is pretty much gold... Their ST1000s with the lugged fork and the Anthracite paint color are perfection. What does your bike look like???

Agreed- my recollection of the 90 ST600 is that it simply rode great, loaded and unloaded. I haven't really loaded up the T900- and in truth I probably won't- I think my days of fully-loaded touring are over and it'll be CC-touring and some long-distance/endurance/adventure kinda stuff. But interestingly I did load up the rando bag with ripe peaches to deliver to some friends and it seemed to make the bike more stable. Definitely rocking it while climbing out of the saddle felt less 'wobbly'. If my researching is right (yeah, I could just actually measure....!) it's pretty much a mid-trail front end. I wonder if lower-trail forks would make the handling feel a little more stable- though really, getting the straight-ahead notch dealt with is step one. I've got new bars on the way, so figure I'll tackle that when I put them on.

BTW, that 620 is slick!

My T900 in it's current state-

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Old 09-17-21, 03:24 PM
  #29  
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Those vintage Raleighs are pretty sweet... and something like one of those would be at home with my small collection of 'rescued' Raleigh 3-speeds. I kinda think the classic 'English' 3-speed might be the pinnacle of human-powered transportation, but..... definitely not 'enough' for the hills I live in!
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Old 09-17-21, 04:22 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
it's pretty much a mid-trail front end. I wonder if lower-trail forks would make the handling feel a little more stable-
my '82 trek 614 had a front end trail of 50mm or so. (head tube at 73* and offset at 55mm) the steering was real light and responsive, but felt rather insecure on fast steep descents. having a handlebar bag on really helped with that. but, 50mm....that's kinda between low and mid trail. genuine low trail bikes are designed to feel light and responsive specifically with a heavy'ish load. without a load, a bit too twitchy for a lot of folks. i have read from some builders between 55 and 60 is the sweet spot for response and stability. rivendell bikes are mid sixties for that stability i think you're wondering of
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Old 09-17-21, 05:40 PM
  #31  
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I *think* the trail on the T900 (based on the specs in the '97 catalog) is 63.5mm. I don't feel like it's insecure on descents- it actually feels pretty good there, though I'm not a spin-it-out speed-demon. It's kinda more like it'll wander, or is too 'responsive' at low/moderate speeds if I'm not paying attention, even more so when I'm tired... I do think the notch in the headset is part of it. But it was interesting noting the difference with the handlebar bag loaded up with ripe peaches.... Maybe I just need to start carrying more snacks.
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Old 09-17-21, 05:49 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Agreed- my recollection of the 90 ST600 is that it simply rode great, loaded and unloaded. I haven't really loaded up the T900- and in truth I probably won't- I think my days of fully-loaded touring are over and it'll be CC-touring and some long-distance/endurance/adventure kinda stuff. But interestingly I did load up the rando bag with ripe peaches to deliver to some friends and it seemed to make the bike more stable. Definitely rocking it while climbing out of the saddle felt less 'wobbly'. If my researching is right (yeah, I could just actually measure....!) it's pretty much a mid-trail front end. I wonder if lower-trail forks would make the handling feel a little more stable- though really, getting the straight-ahead notch dealt with is step one. I've got new bars on the way, so figure I'll tackle that when I put them on.

BTW, that 620 is slick!

My T900 in it's current state-

I dunno, that looks pretty spot on to me. Okay, it's not steel and has a unicrown. But it sure ticks lots of boxes. Are the tires 700c x 42?
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Old 09-17-21, 06:02 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I dunno, that looks pretty spot on to me. Okay, it's not steel and has a unicrown. But it sure ticks lots of boxes. Are the tires 700c x 42?
Well, yeah, it does check a lot of the boxes, but c'mon, I need something to research/obsess/dream about! 700x38c Rene Herse Barlow Pass tires. VERY tight fit between the chain stays (even though 38c was apparently what came stock on the bike when new..), but by far the single most impactful upgrade, comfort & enjoyment-wise, I made to the bike. And absolute nightmare to get seated, but I love the ride.
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Old 09-17-21, 06:03 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
I *think* the trail on the T900 (based on the specs in the '97 catalog) is 63.5mm. I don't feel like it's insecure on descents- it actually feels pretty good there, though I'm not a spin-it-out speed-demon. It's kinda more like it'll wander, or is too 'responsive' at low/moderate speeds if I'm not paying attention, even more so when I'm tired... I do think the notch in the headset is part of it.
You think the notch in the headset is part of the peculiarities of it's handling?

Kidding. As it happens, I bought a 1993 Cannondale H300 hybrid last year, and I'm embarrassed how long it took me to realize that the slightly peculiar handling I initially guessed was due to fork rake or some other geometry issue was entirely attributable to a notch in the headset. Fix it, and your concerns about the bike's handling will vanish. Whoever designed the bike for Cannondale (does anyone know who that was?) knew how to design bikes right.
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Old 09-17-21, 06:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
You think the notch in the headset is part of the peculiarities of it's handling?

Kidding. As it happens, I bought a 1993 Cannondale H300 hybrid last year, and I'm embarrassed how long it took me to realize that the slightly peculiar handling I initially guessed was due to fork rake or some other geometry issue was entirely attributable to a notch in the headset. Fix it, and your concerns about the bike's handling will vanish. Whoever designed the bike for Cannondale (does anyone know who that was?) knew how to design bikes right.
Did you need to replace the headset/races, or did a cleanup and re-grease do it?
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Old 09-17-21, 06:21 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
I *think* the trail on the T900 (based on the specs in the '97 catalog) is 63.5mm. I don't feel like it's insecure on descents- it actually feels pretty good there, though I'm not a spin-it-out speed-demon. It's kinda more like it'll wander, or is too 'responsive' at low/moderate speeds if I'm not paying attention, even more so when I'm tired... I do think the notch in the headset is part of it. But it was interesting noting the difference with the handlebar bag loaded up with ripe peaches.... Maybe I just need to start carrying more snacks.
either you're simply obsessing on minor details of how it handles or your fit isn't quite good...ie. body weight distribution. in any event, weight on the front wheel of any bike will change how it responds. touring bike geometry (wheelbase, trail, bottom bracket height, etc) is generally designed with load factors in mind. you mentioned when you're tired. well, on a tour it's taken for granted to get that way, so front end geo accounts for this particularly because one usually has panniers and other bags on the front and steering when tired with that weight can be a labor. the design is to make it more manageable. kinda wordy explanation, i suppose. but, i'm tired....ha
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Old 09-17-21, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Whoever designed the bike for Cannondale (does anyone know who that was?) knew how to design bikes right.
When I bought an ST600 in '91 I had a Univega..... Superstrada, I think it was? Super-nice, Dura Ace, etc. And some version of a Stumpjumper with city slicks on it. I rode a lot, but had never really done any touring, and was looking for a bike to take to Europe. I test rode a whole bunch of bikes, but for whatever reason never really considered a Cannondale. I was in a bike shop somewhere outside Boston to try out a fancy, really expensive, boutique-but-not-custom steel-framed touring bike- I can't remember what it was now. Nothing I test rode had felt right, and this fancy one didn't either. The guy at the shop said, hey, this is one of last year's C'dale's touring models, we just marked it down to make space for new ones, give it a try... I did, and immediately thought, yup, this is it! It just felt 'right'. And was considerably less $$ than the fancy boutique bikes I'd been looking at. Man, I loved that bike... until it got stolen in Toulouse less than a year later (the kicker is I was utterly incapacitated with food poisoning and I'm 99% sure I heard it being stolen....). Anyway, that bike is why I got a Cannondale last spring when I decided it was time to get back into cycling.
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Old 09-17-21, 06:47 PM
  #38  
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Even the late '90s tig-wleded MultiTracks are fine candidates for this. I have a '97 750 that will fit up to about 42-44mm actual width tires, it's got cantilever posts for 622mm ("700c") wheels, it's got plenty of rack and fender mounts (including mid-point mounts on the fork) and has a full chrome-moly frame and fork, meaning it's pretty dang comfortable to ride. The '97 750 also came with a roller clutch rear hub which rolls completely silently. It's a pretty neat (though heavy) piece of kit.

It doesn't look exactly like this today, but here's how it looked this past winter for wet weather riding. This is a 21" frame with 38mm Paselas (that inflate to about 35mm on the original 16mm intermal width Matrix Vapor rims).

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Old 09-17-21, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
either you're simply obsessing on minor details of how it handles or your fit isn't quite good...
As to the former, well, yeah, isn't that part of the deal? As to the latter, well, yeah, it could always be better!
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Old 09-17-21, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
As to the former, well, yeah, isn't that part of the deal? As to the latter, well, yeah, it could always be better!
i don't know what yer talkin' about, man.....
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Old 09-18-21, 05:17 AM
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If you like touring bikes and lugged forks, an 80's era Schwinn Voyageur might do it for you. I have 700x38's and fenders on mine and it is a nice ride. I should note that that they came with 27" and I had to have a machinist lengthen the slot in the rear brakes so I could fit 700c wheels but it seems to vary a bit between bikes.
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Old 09-18-21, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
..... Really I should be- and I am- happy with what I've got, but I mean, who doesn't want another bike?
All that being said..I'd definitely obsess, research, and build another bike. 'Tis the season...and there are few things more fun than obsessing, researching, and building another bike.
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Old 09-18-21, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
If you like touring bikes and lugged forks, an 80's era Schwinn Voyageur might do it for you. I have 700x38's and fenders on mine and it is a nice ride. I should note that that they came with 27" and I had to have a machinist lengthen the slot in the rear brakes so I could fit 700c wheels but it seems to vary a bit between bikes.
Those all-chrome Voyageurs are pretty 'classy' looking...!
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Old 09-18-21, 07:13 AM
  #44  
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A fairly different direction to go is a 650B conversion of a lightweight steel road bike. This Lemond Buenos Aires is running 650B x 38mm wheels; I'm about to take it on a mixed-terrain ride this morning actually.

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Old 09-18-21, 07:28 AM
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I own both steel mountain bikes (a Trek 970 and 930, and a Rockhopper) and also a Trek 750 Multitrack. Between the MTBs and the "hybrid" 750, the MTBs are far more flexible and can be set up to handle a wider variety of conditions, including some pretty beefy tires. You can't fit tires big enough to handle some dirt/gravel roads on many hybrids.
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Old 09-18-21, 08:24 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
A fairly different direction to go is a 650B conversion of a lightweight steel road bike. This Lemond Buenos Aires is running 650B x 38mm wheels; I'm about to take it on a mixed-terrain ride this morning actually.

Ah, that's an interesting idea, too. Would have a different geometry/feel from the C'dale tourer I already have... Did you have to replace or modify the brakes when you went to 650B on the Lemond? Would fenders squeeze in there too?
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Old 09-18-21, 09:45 AM
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I had a 650b converted trek sport tourer for 8 years til the frame broke. Now I have a 92 diamond back with suspension corrected fork and dirt drops. Also have a Schwinn Sports Tourer that fits 700x40 but its a fixed gear for now. Any of these I think work and have been used on a variety of roads, trails and camping trips, depends what you're after. Pics on request.
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Old 09-18-21, 10:26 AM
  #48  
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A lot of bikes from the late 70's and early 80's are good candidates for conversion to 650B.. Many can be had for a song. A lot of Treks, Miyatas and Univegas have room for 650Bx38mm tires and fenders. Some Fujis and Bridgestones have room for 42mm wide tires and fenders.. I have a Zebrakenko I originally purchased in 1978 and it is a great bike with 42mm tires.. I can go on trails, paths, crappy roads etc., and the tires are just as fast on smooth pavement.


There is a long running thread on this forum about 650B conversions
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Old 09-18-21, 11:00 AM
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Here are a few I built up:



Trek Multitrack, Specialized Crossroads, and 81 Trek 61x. I sold all of them, and the buyers liked them a lot. The Trek 61x seat tube wrap is incorrect for this model but I needed a replacement and liked this better than the older style.
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Old 09-18-21, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Ah, that's an interesting idea, too. Would have a different geometry/feel from the C'dale tourer I already have... Did you have to replace or modify the brakes when you went to 650B on the Lemond? Would fenders squeeze in there too?
Brakes are Tektro R559, which give the extra 19mm of reach I need. I could put fenders on there, but it would require a fair amount of finesse, and I seem to be lacking that when it comes to fender installation. I have other bikes for that!
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