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Top Vintage Sport Touring / Rando Bikes of the 1980s

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Top Vintage Sport Touring / Rando Bikes of the 1980s

Old 03-06-22, 10:06 AM
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ericlowney 
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Top Vintage Sport Touring / Rando Bikes of the 1980s

As the title suggests, I'm looking to buy a sport touring frame from about the mid 1980s or so (could be older, could be new) but that's about the target for a steel lugged beauty that I can use to commute to/from work with panniers, but also feel 'racy' when I want to strip the bags off. So what are the 'best' frames of that era for sporting and touring? I will admit that I'm a sucker for any frame with chrome luggs... So far my list is below in no particular order - feel free to recommend stripping one model off or adding one I haven't considered.

Miyata 610 or 1000
Fuji S12S or Finest
Univega Specialissima or Gran Turismo
Raleigh International
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Old 03-06-22, 10:30 AM
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Mr. 66
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I have the Miyata 615 which is my current bike of that description.

I bought this as a bare frame and built with Campy 10 Centaur on FIR rims, I sanded and polished the Shimano XT canti brakes, awesome Suntour XC pedals. This has a top tube of 57 ctc to help with an upright position, chin up for taking in the sights. Not sure of the year, 1988?
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Old 03-06-22, 10:50 AM
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my interpretation of sport tourers is like you describe : geometry / utility that's in between full on touring and racing - i'd put most of the bikes you listed in the full on touring list. raleigh international fits the bill. specialized sequoia. bridgestone XO-1 and XO-2s. some model years of bridgestone T700 qualifies. i recently built up a medici gran turismo that seems very sports touring




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Old 03-06-22, 10:58 AM
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Beautiful bikes! I think I will add the Miyata 615 and the Medici to my current list. I guess the other factor I didn't list was weight. My Dawes currently clocks in at roughly 32 pounds before rack/pannier, much of that I think is due to the cottered cranks, etc. I'd love to be able to keep the bike around 25 without rack/panniers, I think sub-20 is unreasonable to ask? Thanks for the recommendations!
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Old 03-06-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
As the title suggests, I'm looking to buy a sport touring frame from about the mid 1980s or so (could be older, could be new) but that's about the target for a steel lugged beauty that I can use to commute to/from work with panniers, but also feel 'racy' when I want to strip the bags off. So what are the 'best' frames of that era for sporting and touring? I will admit that I'm a sucker for any frame with chrome luggs... So far my list is below in no particular order - feel free to recommend stripping one model off or adding one I haven't considered.

Miyata 610 or 1000
Fuji S12S or Finest
Univega Specialissima or Gran Turismo
Raleigh International
There are so many good candidates, including many "exotics," such as Woodrup, Bob Jackson, Mercian, Waterford, Serotta, Peugeot, Trek 720 before 1986, other Raleighs, Torelli, and literally dozens if not hundreds of others including dedicated tourers and randos, like Herse, Singer, Gordon, Eisentraut. Of course, most 1970s and '80s Treks, some Specialized, and Georgena Terry. My >70 yo cousin still tours and does her general riding and Rockies excursions on an early Cannondale, which can be lifted by a strong breeze. A vintage Masi, Pinarello, Mondonico or Medici (such as was shown) frame/fork sized generously and with a comfort-oriented fit and gearing (whatever this means to you) can also fill the bill very well.
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Old 03-06-22, 12:00 PM
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The ultimate would be a randonneuse or sportif from Herse, Singer, Routens or another of the French 'constructeurs'. An early 70's PX10 would do well also and cost a good bit less.

Scott "Francophile" Peterson
Newport, OR
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Old 03-06-22, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
As the title suggests, I'm looking to buy a sport touring frame from about the mid 1980s or so (could be older, could be new) but that's about the target for a steel lugged beauty that I can use to commute to/from work with panniers, but also feel 'racy' when I want to strip the bags off. So what are the 'best' frames of that era for sporting and touring? I will admit that I'm a sucker for any frame with chrome luggs... So far my list is below in no particular order - feel free to recommend stripping one model off or adding one I haven't considered.

Miyata 610 or 1000
Fuji S12S or Finest
Univega Specialissima or Gran Turismo
Raleigh International
There are so many good candidates, including many "exotics," such as Woodrup, Bob Jackson, Mercian, Waterford, Serotta, Peugeot, Trek 720 before 1986, other Raleighs, Torelli, and literally dozens if not hundreds of others including dedicated tourers and randos, like Herse, Singer, Gordon, Eisentraut. Of course, most 1970s and '80s Treks, some Specialized, and Georgena Terry. My >70 yo cousin still tours and does her general riding and Rockies excursions on an early Cannondale, which can be lifted by a strong breeze. A vintage Masi, Pinarello, Mondonico or Medici (such as was shown) frame/fork sized generously and with a comfort-oriented fit and gearing (whatever this means to you) can also fill the bill very well.

In addition, Vintage Bicycle Quarterly once did a survey of what PBP riders rode in the event. The results were all over the place: racing bikes, utility, sport-tourers, full-tourers, and full up vintage and modern randonneuses - I think even a unicycle or two. Fenders/no fenders, all levels of gearing including IGHs and singles. It looks like a rando is what you ride in a randonneuring event.

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Old 03-06-22, 12:47 PM
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The late 80's early 90's Trek 400 and 400 elance. Reynolds 531 or Tru Temper main tubes, came in double & triples, lots of braze ons, relatively common and relatively cheap.


Commuter build

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Old 03-06-22, 01:04 PM
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Racy and Rando don't mix.

AustroDaimler had many in the Sport/Touring category.
“Fast Touring” frames in early 80’s were Olympian and Vent Noir = full 531 f&f.

VN had more braze-ons


Holdsworth Special was billed as Racy and Touring with a wheel change & adjusted chainstay length via long Campy1010 drop-outs.
This is an Irish branded Holdsworth Special from '82.

I have ridden this with 22mm Sprinters and 33mm knobbies


Also, lots of the 70's top-end racy bikes came with eyelets and longer wheelbases.
As in ‘72 Bottecchia Giro d Italia.


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Old 03-06-22, 01:42 PM
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This 1987 Marinoni was called a Sports Tourer by Ms. Marinoni when I wrote with the S/N. I use it with either these 700x32’s that just fit under short reach brakes, or 650Bx38’s that let me use the clever fender mounts on this versatile frame. I’m using it unfendered with the 38’s these days because those tires make the bike a touch more relaxing, definitely more comfortable on rough Seattle streets, and easily loaded into a car (so no fenders) for the occasional ride farther away that my wife and I enjoy. It’s fine with a pannier or two on the back, but the trail isn’t quite low enough for a full rando front bag.



With fenders over 650Bx38’s:


I’m fortunate to also have this ‘79 Miyata 912, bought new back then, doing fender duty, modified by @gugie with lower trail, brazed-post front center pull brake and custom racks for the front rando bag and occasional front pannier use. Here it is with 700x28’s before the fenders were reinstalled. Unfortunately not a 650B candidate, but front loading certainly works well with the trail reduction. FWIW, older Fujis seem to have lower trail in their basic frame design, as well as many Motobecanes.

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Old 03-06-22, 01:49 PM
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There is a long thread here on sports touring bikes:

Show your classic sports touring bicycle

Near the top of my list for 80s era sports touring bikes are the top end Treks from that era (look for the 700 series Treks but the 600 series were good as well), and Cannondales (the ST series).. There are a lot of Japanese bikes that fit this category but I like the Fuji America a lot. It will likely cost more but a top end British bike or a Schwinn Paramount would also be great choices.

What's your size? There are a few bikes in the C&V for sale that are great 80s era sports touring bikes.
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Old 03-06-22, 01:58 PM
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If you're tall:

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/bik...453769870.html
https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/bik...450909152.html

If you're a bit shorter than that:
https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/bik...445941238.html
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Old 03-06-22, 02:18 PM
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Out of my league but...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/16486292832...sAAOSwjBVgnBjn


And a plug for my long lost love a Bianchi Randonneur...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12454073050...oAAOSwUQZgCxup

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Old 03-06-22, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
There is a long thread here on sports touring bikes:

Near the top of my list for 80s era sports touring bikes are the top end Treks from that era (look for the 700 series Treks but the 600 series were good as well), and Cannondales (the ST series).. There are a lot of Japanese bikes that fit this category but I like the Fuji America a lot. It will likely cost more but a top end British bike or a Schwinn Paramount would also be great choices.

What's your size? There are a few bikes in the C&V for sale that are great 80s era sports touring bikes.
That is a great thread, I've read through it but I guess I was more or less hoping for a 'ranking', seems like there's too many factors to pick the 'top 5 sport touring bicycles' just due to personal use/preferences I guess. What would you consider to be a top end British bike? Reading through some of the other forums and I am dead set on 1.) forged dropouts 2.) integrated derailleur hanger. I'm still unsure if I want to make cantilever brakes a requirement or if it really doesn't matter that much to me.

As far as size.... I have a whole post in fitting your bike and I'm still lost so will likely go in for a fitting with my LBS this week or next. I would guess that I'm about a 58cm, using my Dawes that is a 62cm as a baseline for what is slightly too large.
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Old 03-06-22, 03:13 PM
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nlerner - thanks for the links! I think a 63cm is going to be too tall, my Dawes is a 62 and the reach seems a bit much for me. I was targetting maybe something in the 58 range, but I should hopefully know for sure in a week or so after getting a fit done. The Miyata at Play it Again may be worth the phone call to find out what model and size once I know.

jdawginsc - that custom peter mooney is out of my league as well, but beautiful. I saw the bianchi, a bit too large I think as well.
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Old 03-06-22, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
That is a great thread, I've read through it but I guess I was more or less hoping for a 'ranking', seems like there's too many factors to pick the 'top 5 sport touring bicycles' just due to personal use/preferences I guess. What would you consider to be a top end British bike? Reading through some of the other forums and I am dead set on 1.) forged dropouts 2.) integrated derailleur hanger. I'm still unsure if I want to make cantilever brakes a requirement or if it really doesn't matter that much to me.

As far as size.... I have a whole post in fitting your bike and I'm still lost so will likely go in for a fitting with my LBS this week or next. I would guess that I'm about a 58cm, using my Dawes that is a 62cm as a baseline for what is slightly too large.
British bikes are hard to find and the good ones will be priced near the top of the market for vintage bikes; same for Schwinn Paramounts. Personally, I'd look for a top end Trek sports touring bike but I'm partial to Treks as I worked in a Trek shop in college and the 57 cm Treks fit me great.
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Old 03-06-22, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
As the title suggests, I'm looking to buy a sport touring frame from about the mid 1980s or so (could be older, could be new) but that's about the target for a steel lugged beauty that I can use to commute to/from work with panniers, but also feel 'racy' when I want to strip the bags off. So what are the 'best' frames of that era for sporting and touring? I will admit that I'm a sucker for any frame with chrome luggs... So far my list is below in no particular order - feel free to recommend stripping one model off or adding one I haven't considered.

Miyata 610 or 1000
Fuji S12S or Finest
Univega Specialissima or Gran Turismo
Raleigh International
Whenever someone says chrome lugs, I immediately go to 60's and 70's Schwinn Paramounts and while they were racers in their day, they make great tourer's and just about anything else you want them to be.

Many don't have cage mounts but some do and that can be mitigated, most seem to have eyelets for racks and fender if need be.

Here's one of mine not really decked out for touring but on a ride in the Columbia River Gorge.





And head to head with a legendary Merz touring that has plenty of braze on's, rides like a dream and was taken on a cross country 3500mi trip when it was built for the locks manager right there in Cascade Locks.




And a couple more touring Merz's,

one of his


And one he built to go to Paris brest Paris for another customer.


Jim built his tourer's with more aggressive angles but they ride like the wind, all day long, even for a tired old rider like me.

Last edited by merziac; 03-06-22 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 03-06-22, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
That is a great thread, I've read through it but I guess I was more or less hoping for a 'ranking', seems like there's too many factors to pick the 'top 5 sport touring bicycles' just due to personal use/preferences I guess. What would you consider to be a top end British bike? Reading through some of the other forums and I am dead set on 1.) forged dropouts 2.) integrated derailleur hanger. I'm still unsure if I want to make cantilever brakes a requirement or if it really doesn't matter that much to me.

As far as size.... I have a whole post in fitting your bike and I'm still lost so will likely go in for a fitting with my LBS this week or next. I would guess that I'm about a 58cm, using my Dawes that is a 62cm as a baseline for what is slightly too large.
You should check out this bike on the C&V for sale forum for a British bike that looks to be your size:

1984 Claud Butler Brevet, 12 speed, 60 cm

Keep in mind that you want a bike with eyelets and ideally "long" reach brakes as that should allow you to mount at least a 28c tire, probably a 32c, and possibly a 35c.

This is a piece on long reach brakes:
https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...-reach-brakes/

This is my 1979 Trek 510 which I've been riding a lot lately; I'm running 700 x 35c tires on it:

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Old 03-06-22, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
That is a great thread, I've read through it but I guess I was more or less hoping for a 'ranking', seems like there's too many factors to pick the 'top 5 sport touring bicycles' just due to personal use/preferences I guess. What would you consider to be a top end British bike? Reading through some of the other forums and I am dead set on 1.) forged dropouts 2.) integrated derailleur hanger. I'm still unsure if I want to make cantilever brakes a requirement or if it really doesn't matter that much to me.

As far as size.... I have a whole post in fitting your bike and I'm still lost so will likely go in for a fitting with my LBS this week or next. I would guess that I'm about a 58cm, using my Dawes that is a 62cm as a baseline for what is slightly too large.
I would encourage you to research as much as you can and realize you have already done plenty.

Unless your LBS is also recommended by a frame builder, I would seek one out or a studio where they focus on helping with challenges.

Most of the LBS's use a system that is too basic and steeped in the cookie cutter, sell a bike now method.

The biggest key to this is PBH, actual inseam measurement.

Go to Rivendell's fitting page and figure this out, it will help a lot.

https://www.rivbike.com/pages/pubic-...dc778b17&_ss=r
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Old 03-06-22, 04:42 PM
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You might also appreciate this long thread on C&V 650B Conversions:

Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Supple fatter tires that these conversions enable can really enhance riding pleasure, as well as adding fenders, with no loss of performance, assuming you get higher quality tires.

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Old 03-06-22, 05:22 PM
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A Fuji America is a nice bike to consider.
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Old 03-06-22, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You should check out this bike on the C&V for sale forum for a British bike that looks to be your size:

Keep in mind that you want a bike with eyelets and ideally "long" reach brakes as that should allow you to mount at least a 28c tire, probably a 32c, and possibly a 35c.

This is a piece on long reach brakes:


This is my 1979 Trek 510 which I've been riding a lot lately; I'm running 700 x 35c tires on it:
That bike is a touch too large I think, only 1cm shorter top tube. Ill have to research the long reach brakes, I was thinking the cantilevers would probably be the safest bet. I currently run 28/32 tires on 27 wheels and they are pretty comfortable for my route.
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Old 03-06-22, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I would encourage you to research as much as you can and realize you have already done plenty.

Unless your LBS is also recommended by a frame builder, I would seek one out or a studio where they focus on helping with challenges.

Most of the LBS's use a system that is too basic and steeped in the cookie cutter, sell a bike now method.

The biggest key to this is PBH, actual inseam measurement.

Go to Rivendell's fitting page and figure this out, it will help a lot.

r
so my PBH is 35.5 and the saddle height Im currently using is set at 31.25. I could probably ride anything from a 56-64 but on my 62 the hoods feel FAR. So thinking a 58 may be the right size.

I am concerned about the bike shop but Im paying specifically for the fit and let them know the goal is to size me for a vintage frame so I do not buy the wrong size. Open to recommendations/suggestions though.
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Old 03-06-22, 08:36 PM
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I finally can post pictures - so here is a shot of my Dawes Galaxy and my daughter's (age 12) Fuji Royale mixte. Fuji is a bit large for her as well, but I'm hoping she'll grow into it.
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Old 03-06-22, 10:07 PM
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nlerner
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If that saddle height is working for you, I don't think the Dawes is too large. My standard saddle height is 73cm/28.7" (measured from the center of the crank to the top of the saddle), and I typically ride 58 cm frames (measured from the center of the crank to the top of the seat tube).
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