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Sport tourers with cantilever brakes?

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Sport tourers with cantilever brakes?

Old 11-14-22, 05:27 PM
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Sport tourers with cantilever brakes?

The "Sport Touring Bike" taxonomy has been thoroughly work over here, and touring bikes get gradated from heavy to light.

I'm wondering about bikes that have cantilever brakes, but are realy "lighter than light", but not quite Cyclocross bikes and certainly not Hybrids.

I've seen the Bridgestone RBT described in these terms, and maybe the Bianchi Volpe, and perhaps even the later model Miyata 1000's.

My own experience with a triple butted splined tube Koga Miyata supports this, but I am Not A Small Person....

So what other touring bikes judged too light and noodley are out there between niches?

" A perfect Sports Touring bike but for those dammed posts...."
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Old 11-14-22, 06:24 PM
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The first few versions of the Cannondale ST400 had caliper brakes, while the ST600 and ST1000 had cantilevers. The frames are essentially the same, except for the cantilever posts. They all have a full complement of rack, fender, and water bottle mounts. In 1990, the ST400 got cantilevers. The downside is that that limits you to 27 inch wheels. I have a 1990 ST400 and, to me, it seems like what a good sport touring bike should be, light and stiff. I have never tried it with a full load.


1990 Cannondale ST400
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Old 11-14-22, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
The first few versions of the Cannondale ST400 had caliper brakes, while the ST600 and ST1000 had cantilevers. The frames are essentially the same, except for the cantilever posts. They all have a full complement of rack, fender, and water bottle mounts. In 1990, the ST400 got cantilevers. The downside is that that limits you to 27 inch wheels. I have a 1990 ST400 and, to me, it seems like what a good sport touring bike should be, light and stiff. I have never tried it with a full load.


1990 Cannondale ST400
I was reading a thread somewhere on this site...
Found it
Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Nice bike.
Tektro 539's will get you to 700c wheels, but no larger than 30mm tires as mounted...without fenders.
For 650b, you'll need Tektro 559's, and likely better brake levers. Limit there is likely 42's. Again, no fenders.
Either way you'll get into HG freehubs, which is good. And brake pad holders that can accept upscale pads, also good.

I like the sweet spot of 700 X 28, maybe Conti GP's. Match the 539's with some Tektro levers. Good ride, durable, flat resistant, fast...and you can run fenders with them.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:42 PM
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Whats your definition of light? For me its anything 24lb or less sans accessories depending on what the bike is to be used for.

It's hard to imagine many, if any, production, steel, sport tourers with cantis to come in at under 24/23 lbs.

You mention the later M1000's, is the geometry of throe such that they could be considered sport tourers rather than full tourers?
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Old 11-14-22, 07:43 PM
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Hunh, funny you should dig this up. Just the other day rode my 88 Cannondale ST with Tektro 539’s and Tektro brake levers, Conti GP 28’s.
It’s still a pretty terrific ride.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:48 PM
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Norco/Nishiki/Trek made nice ones as well as some mid 80's Bianchi's with 022 frames. I've always been a Clyde but I've never had a canti bike fail under me.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:58 PM
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The Lotus Odyssey was typically billed as a full tourer, but from personal experience, I can tell you they're more in between full and sport. Depending on the year, they have cantis. I have quite a few more custom/boutique sports tourers with cantis.
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Old 11-14-22, 09:30 PM
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Early Centurion Pro Tour frames were light and yes sporty, but actually had direct-mount centerpull brakes.

It's the best sport-tourer I've ridden, subs ably for a road bike yet handles off-roading with it's moderate chainstay length affording traction on steeper dirt trails.
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Old 11-14-22, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
The "Sport Touring Bike" taxonomy has been thoroughly work over here, and touring bikes get gradated from heavy to light.

I'm wondering about bikes that have cantilever brakes, but are realy "lighter than light", but not quite Cyclocross bikes and certainly not Hybrids.

I've seen the Bridgestone RBT described in these terms, and maybe the Bianchi Volpe, and perhaps even the later model Miyata 1000's.

My own experience with a triple butted splined tube Koga Miyata supports this, but I am Not A Small Person....

So what other touring bikes judged too light and noodley are out there between niches?

" A perfect Sports Touring bike but for those dammed posts...."
I've always seen cantis as a plus and can't understand people putting on caliper brakes with canti posts, or sawing off canti posts. Drew is a drew.

I've developed the thought that a sport tourer with light tubing, 43-ish chainstays, tire clearance for 38+ and cantis would be a dominant bike.
*by "light tubing" I mean 531/Ishiwata022/Columbus SP/Champion #3 neighborhood*

Sport tourers were "also ran" bikes, the "jack of all trades, master of none" and just "bikes." Because an "enthusiast" is going to want performance at some end of their investment- a racer is going to want a bike that has inherent traits of a racing bike- lightweight, nimble... while a tourer isn't so concerned about weight (to an extent) and prize stability over twitchy. An in-between bike is just "a bike" for a person who wants "a bike" and as such, it didn't get the nice tubing, it didn't get the fancy components... it just got **** done.

Around 1983 or so Trek built the 700 and Specialized had the Sequoia- those were bikes with a triple, rack mounts, but with a tighter geometry, quality tubing and caliper brakes. Later on, a lot of the hybrid bikes came with lighter frames than ATBs, but heavier than a comparable sport tourer and flat bars. The "cross" bikes I think of have pretty tight geometry- and no consideration for wider tires. The RB-T was totally in the "sport tourer with cantis" category, but I think the Miyata 1000 was always full-on tourer. The latest I saw was still a 45cm chain stay... my 1990 M1000LT is full-on tourer- nothing "touring lite" about it.

I always yap about my 1986 Trek 400 Elance- it's a 531 main frame with CrMo stays and fork- it's a classy bike, but it was hampered by low/mid components. I've built mine up with a bunch of top end parts- if it only had cantis...

Old bikes are going to have that "product of their time" thing going on- tires were meant to be 28s but could take a 32- the 650B conversions are happy accidents, bikes that had a broad platform of usability either weighed more because they were meant to carry more, or they were more lower/mid level bikes, and cantis didn't go on regular road bikes. A couple of years ago I tried to get a Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen built for me with the old geometry and canti posts. That's pretty much exactly what I was looking for, but something you won't see on much of any vintage bikes.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:51 AM
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French bikes with lightweight frames and cantilevers were not uncommon back in the 40s and 50s. These 650B frames are made from butted Vitus, and are about the same weight as butted 531 or SL.

Late 40s Alleluia:

50s Dujay:
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Old 11-15-22, 04:45 AM
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I'm still unsure about the exact definition of 'sports tourer', but I suppose it is fairly close to that of a 'randonneur' or an 'audax bike'.

And I presume 'ridiculed by the modern touring crowd' also helps.

From the latter category:

25" Roy Thame. Reynolds 531 butted frame tubes and fork blades, 25", 26 lbs as pictured:



And in a similar vein my current winter project, this 63cm Peugeot P 531 W "Normandie". Catalog weight was 29 lbs, including fenders, lights, racks and pump. As found:

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Old 11-15-22, 06:05 AM
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I’d never consider a bike with cantilevers a “sport tourer.”
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Old 11-15-22, 07:29 AM
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A couple observations about the later Miyata 1000LT that Golden Boy has, and my 1000LT from 1989. Perhaps by that at date Miyata wasn’t really trying to compete with the real purpose built heavy duty tourers. I think I saw that the LT was for “light tourer”.

Comparing 1988 to the later LT from 1989, the fork offset decreased from 65 to 60mm. Specs list a tall 11” bb height too. My 89 measures 11 1/4” with 35 Paselas. I’m not saying it’s sporty, but without a bunch of accessories on it, I was a bit surprised that the ride wasn’t boatish as I was expecting. Was Miyata aiming for a wider audience?
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Old 11-15-22, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
A couple observations about the later Miyata 1000LT that Golden Boy has, and my 1000LT from 1989. Perhaps by that at date Miyata wasn’t really trying to compete with the real purpose built heavy duty tourers. I think I saw that the LT was for “light tourer”.

Comparing 1988 to the later LT from 1989, the fork offset decreased from 65 to 60mm. Specs list a tall 11” bb height too. My 89 measures 11 1/4” with 35 Paselas. I’m not saying it’s sporty, but without a bunch of accessories on it, I was a bit surprised that the ride wasn’t boatish as I was expecting. Was Miyata aiming for a wider audience?
I'm kind of stunned that anyone would consider the 89/90 M1000 as "light" anything. LT stood for "Luxe Touring." Compared to the Voyageur SP, Trek 620 and 720- the M1000 is a brute and a tank. It's heavier, with thicker tubing, but much more stiff- WAY more confidence instilling. Where the earlier touring bikes were more "elegant" and "gracile," they rode great on their own and with a lighter load- but doing 20-25 pounds you can feel the bike squirm from front to back doing even ordinary stuff- and I never really weighted down the front. By the late 80s, the obsession with having a touring version of a premium racing tubing had faded- strength and stiffness mattered, cachet and weight were secondary. The Miyata splined triple butted tubing was perfect- other companies just used regular CrMo on their top, or only touring bikes. These bikes still have a long wheelbase with 45cm chainstays- I look at 43/44 as the cutoff for sport tourers.
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Old 11-15-22, 08:41 AM
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I stand corrected on the Luxe. I did find it curious on the higher bb and lesser fork rake. One of these though could be in order for the op if he is indeed not a small person. The 1000 certainly isn’t light either so should hold up well.
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Old 11-15-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
The first few versions of the Cannondale ST400 had caliper brakes, while the ST600 and ST1000 had cantilevers. The frames are essentially the same, except for the cantilever posts. They all have a full complement of rack, fender, and water bottle mounts. In 1990, the ST400 got cantilevers. The downside is that that limits you to 27 inch wheels. I have a 1990 ST400 and, to me, it seems like what a good sport touring bike should be, light and stiff. I have never tried it with a full load.

1990 Cannondale ST400
The Cannondale ST400 was not a “sport tour” bike. It has classic touring geometry with long chainstays and relaxed geometry. Sport tour was a designation for road bikes with a more relaxed geometry but short chainstays. It was supposed to be a bike that you could ride fast but still carry stuff. That usually meant that you were going to constantly clipping rear panniers if you used them.

Additionally, you weren’t limited to 27” wheels with cantilevers. Most cantilevers of that era (and even later) were slotted so that they could be converted to 700C. The brake pads only need to be moved 2mm (thickness of a nickel) to go from 630mm diameter of the 27” to the 622mm diameter of a 700C.
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Old 11-15-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
The "Sport Touring Bike" taxonomy has been thoroughly work over here, and touring bikes get gradated from heavy to light.

I'm wondering about bikes that have cantilever brakes, but are realy "lighter than light", but not quite Cyclocross bikes and certainly not Hybrids.

I've seen the Bridgestone RBT described in these terms, and maybe the Bianchi Volpe, and perhaps even the later model Miyata 1000's.

My own experience with a triple butted splined tube Koga Miyata supports this, but I am Not A Small Person....

So what other touring bikes judged too light and noodley are out there between niches?

" A perfect Sports Touring bike but for those dammed posts...."
The Volpe was introduced in the 80s as a cyclocross bike. Just sayin’
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Old 11-15-22, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The Cannondale ST400 was not a “sport tour” bike. It has classic touring geometry with long chainstays and relaxed geometry. Sport tour was a designation for road bikes with a more relaxed geometry but short chainstays. It was supposed to be a bike that you could ride fast but still carry stuff. That usually meant that you were going to constantly clipping rear panniers if you used them.

Additionally, you weren’t limited to 27” wheels with cantilevers. Most cantilevers of that era (and even later) were slotted so that they could be converted to 700C. The brake pads only need to be moved 2mm (thickness of a nickel) to go from 630mm diameter of the 27” to the 622mm diameter of a 700C.
Unfortunately, the brake pads on my bike are already at the bottom of the slots. Maybe a different brake would have more adjustment. When I bought the bike, it looked like it had led a rough life as a commuter and they used whatever parts they could find to keep it on the road. It had a 700c rear wheel and the cantilever brake had been swapped out for a Dia Compe centerpull. The front still had the original cantilever and a 27 inch wheel with a Campagnolo hub.
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Old 11-15-22, 10:00 AM
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Another vote for Cannondale's touring bikes. Many tourists in the U.S. (unlike many or maybe most European tourists) dismiss the idea of an aluminum touring bike out of hand, but if you're not one of them and if you're looking for a lightweight touring bike capable of both sport touring and grand touring, a lot of people consider them the best choice. The stiff frame provides a confidence-inspiring ride where you can actually pedal out of the saddle on climbs without the bike wallowing around the way lightweight steel tourers do. And, of course, they're just as comfortable to ride as any long-wheelbase steel bike, just as Cannondale short-wheelbase racing bikes are as hard-riding as equivalent steel bikes.
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Old 11-15-22, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Sport tour was a designation for road bikes with a more relaxed geometry but short chainstays.
Bicycling magazine spotlighted the mid-1980s Centurion Lemans RS as the quintessential Sport Tourer. Sport Tourer chainstays are short, but longer than what would be found on a true racing bike (For example, 420mm on a 23" Lemans RS, vs. 406mm on a 58cm Prestige). And...eyelets.
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Old 11-15-22, 11:13 AM
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I'm pretty happy with the '88 Miyata 615 GT, I think it advertised as sport touring. It's race geometry up front and long chain stays. If it were a haircut it would be a mullet.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:27 PM
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I know it's not a canti bike, but the Klein Performance seemed to be one of these odd birds in the middle. Around 20lbs or less. 74* seat tube, 72.5* head tube, and 457mm chainstays. I'd use one for light touring myself if it wasn't limited on tire size. It seems some 700x28 fit but not any larger.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet View Post
I know it's not a canti bike, but the Klein Performance seemed to be one of these odd birds in the middle.
Yep, that's one. Get a load of the space between the rear wheel and the seat tube!
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Old 11-15-22, 02:11 PM
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The Volpe is NOT light. I was shocked at how heavy it was. My Schwinn Voyageur was light years better in every regard and it's a touring bike.
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Old 11-15-22, 02:35 PM
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I picked the Miyata 1000 and the Bianchi Volpe as the extreme's, to bracket the Bridgestone RBT in the "middle"

I tried to test ride a Volpe, but it was to small, the seller hadn't put any air in the tires, and I got a shard of metal in my hand from the handlebar tape, So it was a "nope, no and hell no" test ride. I should have bought it anyway, as the command shifters were worth the cost of admission.

I've never ridden a Miyata 1000, but I have taken a Koga Miyata City Liner touring, and it was too noodly for me and a full load. I have ridden it extensively unloaded and like the ride enough that its going to get drop bars and eventually lighter wheels and tires, but its still going to be a Hybrid with a jacked up bottom bracket and very high trail. As I remember it has the same tubing specified on its sticker as the Miyata 1000.

I think Mr. non-fixie cut to the chase though. What I'm asking about are Audax bikes.
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