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Vintage steel candidates for 'all-road'?

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Vintage steel candidates for 'all-road'?

Old 09-18-21, 03:03 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by 67tony View Post
My '92 Crosscut also fits most of the requirements...
Enthusiastically seconded. Have a ‘91 and love it.
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Old 09-18-21, 03:09 PM
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Better pic of the volpe. Brake levers have been lowered and bars rotated down since this pic.
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Old 09-18-21, 05:42 PM
  #53  
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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?
The main drawback I see is the frame material. Steel > Aluminum, imo. Therefore the adapted Giant Iguana....


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Old 09-18-21, 06:00 PM
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This is my wife’s Univega Gran Touring bike she’s ridden since the mid-eighties. Still dirty from this year’s Cino ride (with no failures.) Has the pannier rack bosses for touring, triple ring gearing, and with knobbies, it’s a great bike for all road use. I think it hits most of the marks listed in the OP. 38mm tires might be a squeeze and the 27x1-3/8 tires seem to be harder to come by anymore. I don’t know if there is a difference between the “Gran Touring” vs “Gran Turismo” models but this is one nice ride and well worth consideration.

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Old 09-18-21, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
The main drawback I see is the frame material. Steel > Aluminum, imo.
USAZorro's opinions regarding cycling are not to be rejected lightly. That said . . . 40-some years on high-end steel bikes followed by 15 years on aluminum bikes, and I've learned that, in my experience at least, aluminum = steel in every significant regard. Except loaded touring; for which, unless you like a bike that wallows under you when you attempt to climb while pedaling out of the saddle, Cannondale aluminum > steel.
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Old 09-19-21, 11:43 AM
  #56  
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Thanks to all for the info, suggestions, pics, etc. I think I'm compiling a broad yet specific list of possibilities to keep my eye out for. The more I ride and tweak my Cannondale, the more I really like it, so I can bide my time and wait for a deal on a steel alternative!
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Old 09-19-21, 06:36 PM
  #57  
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90s steel in general is a good buy. Hybrids with nicer tubing is great, in the USA Mutlitracks are abundant and cheap. Here is mine built more offroady and with 38mm tires.



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Old 09-19-21, 06:58 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
I have a 73 Raleigh competition that currently is sporting a 700x38 rear tire with centerpull brakes. When I finish my front wheel 35s will surely fit, possibly 38s, and this is with fenders.
+1. I now have two of these, one in town running 38mm Marathon Supremes with plenty left for fenders, and the other for weekend trail fun. no fenders but 700x42 SpeedRides. Too few quirky huret eyelets is all you get, but I cannot say enough good things about the comfort / nimble sweetspot they seem to have. Mine now have dual-pivot tektro 559s and while they're not as fun to mess around with, these stop you as well as cantis.

I hope that one of them can one day meet gugie for a makeover.
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Old 09-19-21, 07:39 PM
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Add my vote for a 90's vintage hybrid. Super versatile and they just never got much respect, so you can pick them up for cheap. In my family we have a Trek 720 and a Diamondback Approach. Dedicated touring bikes are great but tend to be more expensive. Classic bikes from the 60's-80's are cooler, but generally more expensive and less practical.
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Old 09-19-21, 09:43 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by niliraga View Post
+1. I now have two of these, one in town running 38mm Marathon Supremes with plenty left for fenders, and the other for weekend trail fun. no fenders but 700x42 SpeedRides. Too few quirky huret eyelets is all you get, but I cannot say enough good things about the comfort / nimble sweetspot they seem to have. Mine now have dual-pivot tektro 559s and while they're not as fun to mess around with, these stop you as well as cantis.

I hope that one of them can one day meet gugie for a makeover.
I don't mind adding bottle mounts and such. I just added a bent washer so I could use a suntour derailleur. I would love a gugie makeover.
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Old 09-20-21, 02:08 AM
  #61  
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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-

Those were aluminum, right? Nice looking!
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Old 09-20-21, 02:14 AM
  #62  
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I’m surprised the ‘85 620 has more clearance for out of true than the ‘85 720. Anybody have more details? Could it be just a matter of dimpling the chainstays at the widest part of the tire?
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Old 09-20-21, 10:37 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
This looks great, I really like it. Did the you keep the original shifters and brakes or did you have to change them when switching to the moustache bar? If so, does it allow you to change gears easily?

I think you've given me the solution for my 1999 Peugeot Mtn bike.
Yes, those are the original shifters/brakes, they shift and stop just fine, no problems. Bar in pic is a Velo Orange Porteur I got cheap at our NW Hub co-op. Originally bike had a straight, GF mountain bike bar that was OK, but only 1 hand position gets old within 10-15 min. for me. Don
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Old 09-20-21, 11:31 AM
  #64  
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In the old days, most high quality bikes were made to be ridden on paved roads. They were designed for relatively narrow tires and didn't have clearances for really wide tires because nobody made them. There are of course some exceptions (mostly custom or very small production) but this applies to the vast majority. Mass-production touring bikes didn't even exist until the 80's, and during that decade they were still oriented toward paved roads and did not have especially wide tire clearance. When MTB's came along people started paying more attention to non-paved and off-road riding, although gravel road riding has only become popular in recent years. I am really into classic 60's-80's road bikes, and have converted some of them to fatter tires for urban commuting and gravel riding. It can be done and they are fun riders, but I often have to go to great lengths and spend a lot of money on the conversions (wheels, gearing, brakes). The 90's hybrids were not built for aficionados, they were mid-priced all-rounders made for the general public, people like my mom and dad who just wanted to get out and ride. But if you don't care about fancy components or famous names, the better ones have everything you need: lightweight steel frames, good quality components, good brakes, clearance for any size tire, wide-range gears. The only thing you might want to change would be the upright handlebars. I don't know when hybrids went out of style, but it was quite a while ago--the bike industry needs to change styles periodically to keep selling gear.
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Old 09-20-21, 11:56 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Flatforkcrown View Post

Excuse the poor picture, but this is my early 90s volpe that I’ve been working on making more off road ready.
Plus 1 on the Bianchi Volpe.

Mine is not vintage, but a 2015/6, but it has met my goals for being a traditional look with more modern cassette and indexed shifting.

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Old 09-20-21, 12:04 PM
  #66  
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I had a Volpe a while back with 28-38-48 triple and 12-27 9-speed with 700x32mm tires. I do not know what kind of steel; it was heavy, but it went anywhere easily. Another good choice in the more classic cein is the Raleigh International from the 1970's. In their day, this was Raleigh's second best bike to the Competition. However, it was only second be cause the Competition was a racer and The International was a day-tourer. The International has beautiful paint with chromed lugs and chromed fork, chainstay, and seat stay socks, and importantly, is made of double butted Reynolds 531. For your riding, you do want a longer wheel base than on a racing bike and slightly more relaxed geometry.

Another option is to pick up an old but not rusted steel, rigid mountain bike or frame. You'll likely need to upgrade most components particularly shifters and derailleurs. Ideally, swap in a road bike drop handle bar so you can vary your hand positions and install good quality brake/shifter levers. With 26" wheels and 2" or so wide tires, you'll have a very comfy ride.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:10 PM
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Here are a few more possibilities, all are Bike Forums "bottom feeder" Clunkers, but do check off most, or all the boxes: (Ooops! edit to add the pics):

Schwinn 1966 Super Sport, with 700 x 28c, lots of clearance

1966 Super Sport with 700 x 38c, Honjo Fenders

1973 Raleigh Super Course, 27" x 1 1/4"

1995 Schwinn Moab Anniversary Edition with Co-op Fenders and Saddle

1994? Gary Fisher Montare with Co-op Fenders and Saddle
These were all dirt cheap to acquire, but fun enough to keep around after overhaul and some modification. Don

Last edited by ollo_ollo; 09-20-21 at 01:35 PM. Reason: add the pics
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Old 09-20-21, 02:10 PM
  #68  
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ollo_ollo this is true!! those old gas pipe schwinns have some great tire clearance and ride like cadillacs on the dirt. i have late 70's blue le tour that looks like dumpster fodder, but it's mechanically sound. i plan to strip it, paint, and make it a single speed with surly knards and center pulls

btw, that montare is lust worthy. i'd not turn one down if it ever crossed my path
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Old 09-20-21, 02:49 PM
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“all road/all steel”

first off, “all steel” - I’m sure you mean “cro-moly” steel, Huffy etc have an all steel frame, the quality is not the same.
then “all road” - I remember when hybrids were first introduced, seems I think they were road frames with handlebars changed from drops to upright, the tires were more in the line of wider/lower psi “touring’ rather than the narrow/high psi ‘racing’ tires…they came into being to get more people into cycling (alot of people just did not like to bend over as with the drops.
oh, yeah…there is a slight difference between the frame geometry of the touring frame versus racing frame. I’ve ridden both & noticed very little difference in the long run (no pun intended).

I have enjoyed the UniVega’s, Bridgestone’s,
Peugeot’s, Bianchi’s &Columbia’s and prefer Bridgestone. I did build a road/touring bike off a double butted Ishiwata frame I found in a dumpster.I believe that in the 80s, Trek was using Ishiwata frames. Then I bought the best components I could afford.
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Old 09-20-21, 02:59 PM
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I’m curious about the geometry of these hybrids. Most shown in this thread seem along the line of old-school mtbs with slack angles, relatively high BB, lots of wheel flop, rather than more road-bike oriented. True?
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Old 09-20-21, 03:31 PM
  #71  
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In my experience they ride mostly like touring bikes than anything else. Mountain bikes of the time period are either really slack and lumbering (early), or have that early 90s long stem and twitchy geometry. Weight distribution is more balanced.

Source: bike mechanic for a long time
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Old 09-20-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I’m curious about the geometry of these hybrids. Most shown in this thread seem along the line of old-school mtbs with slack angles, relatively high BB, lots of wheel flop, rather than more road-bike oriented. True?
i can't speak to any of the others, but the mongoose i posted has more road than mtb geo. i don't know exactly how much BB drop it has, but it's not too high. i mean, the '94 trek 520 i had has only 65mm of drop. kinda high for loaded touring bikes. and, the wheel flop on the mongoose is certainly not speedy like a genuine road bike, but i think because the frame is set up for front racks (as well as rear), so it's appropriate. but, i gotta say....once you get some fat 45's on the thing, all those other issues disappear in the dust. throw some 38's with fenders on it, and it behaves adequately on road. i should mention, also, the trek has a HT angle of 71.5 and fork offset of 40mm. lots of wheel floppage...lol
i guess it boils down to when someone looks to an all road bike, which direction to lean towards more...road vs off....is certainly the factor. i use roads to get to the gravel....haha
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Old 09-20-21, 04:24 PM
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actually hybrids arn't mtb's, their popularity actually predates the mtb....their geometry is more of the road bike. They were designed to be ridden on pavement or cared-for trails like the Rails to Trails...if they were used to ride off road, then they were abused, ridden outside their design capability.














rais
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Old 09-20-21, 04:47 PM
  #74  
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not sure what you mean by Mountain bikes of the time period - started a bit of a chuckle....the "RePack" - mostly old Schwinn frames (50pounders) fitted with welded supported handlebars, & motorcycle drum brakes ridden down Forest Service roads in the California mountains, at the end of the run, the brakes had to be "repacked". When the Forest Service banned them, Gary Fischer & some others began designing their own bikes to be ridden off road....I don't recall any of them being described as "slack & lumbering"...before (I started my search in '89) I bought my Bridgestone in '90, I road Trek, Cannondale, Diamondback & Specialized (Nishiki & Kona are stuck in the back of my mind somehow)...but I'm not even sure when the term "mountain bike" first came into use. I remember something from waay back about "Clunkers", but that was long before the "RePack"....
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Old 09-20-21, 05:24 PM
  #75  
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I converted a Cannondale ST to 700s. IIRC, I could use a 32 but not much larger. It was fine on packed dirt roads and rail trails. I currently have a Volpe which will take a 43 in the front, 38 rear. Both were fun projects.


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