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Aluminum "Sports Tourer"?

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Aluminum "Sports Tourer"?

Old 11-26-23, 12:43 PM
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Aluminum "Sports Tourer"?

Anyone got an opinion on what aluminum bikes might make it as "Sports Tourers"? I figure the earliest caliper brake Cannondale's qualify, but beyond that I'm not sure. Reason I'm asking is lately a couple early Trek 1420's have been on the local market. I kind of assumed that these, on any given year are are Trek's one aluminum frame outfitted with a touring triple group set as a nod to the original steel 420.. and limited to skinny tires. I'm also assuming that the Trek 1200 is the same, Road Triple but not Sports Touring. I cant realy think of any other bikes. Maybe that's a mater of the the sport touring bike class pigeon hole being long gone when aluminum bikes showed up? so what am I missing?
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Old 11-26-23, 12:55 PM
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I don't think the geometry of the later C'dale Txxx models with canti brakes really radically changed from the earlier STs with calipers and from my own experience I'd still put them on the 'sporty' side of touring. Some limitation on max width tire-wise, though. I had 35mm with fenders on my '87 T900- a wee bit tight, but worked. (unfortunately the later STs and the T models have the hideous unicrown forks.....)
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Old 11-26-23, 01:11 PM
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This is pushing "vintage", but my wife and I rebuilt a 1998 Klein Navigator as a sports touring bike for her, including diy paint: 1998 Klein Navigator - CRAZY repaint and retro-mod
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Old 11-26-23, 01:14 PM
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All the 27" wheel Techniums.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:43 PM
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If I were looking for an aluminum sports tourer, I'd find one of the Cannondale ST bikes. They're overbuilt but with 32c tires they ride nicely. The combination of a plush wheelbase, decent volume tires, and stiff tubing makes for a remarkably responsive bike.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:07 PM
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I think your best bet would be the early 90's Koga-Miyata RandonneurAlloy, TerraLinerAlloy and GranTour. But it highly depends on the specific year.
One thing I will say though is that those early aluminium models have a tendency to show up for sale in pristine condition... except for a broken seat tube. They just didn't know how to work with aluminium properly just yet.

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Old 11-26-23, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
I think your best bet would be the early 90's Koga-Miyata RandonneurAlloy, TerraLinerAlloy and GranTour. But it highly depends on the specific year.
One thing I will say though is that those early aluminium models have a tendency to show up for sale in pristine condition... except for a broken seat tube. They just didn't know how to work with aluminium properly just yet.

Why are you recommending a line of bikes with a tendency to break?
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Old 11-26-23, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
I don't think the geometry of the later C'dale Txxx models with canti brakes really radically changed from the earlier STs with calipers and from my own experience I'd still put them on the 'sporty' side of touring. Some limitation on max width tire-wise, though. I had 35mm with fenders on my '87 T900- a wee bit tight, but worked. (unfortunately the later STs and the T models have the hideous unicrown forks.....)
Agreed. The T1000 still had the steel fork in '92. Another option is the Miyata Alumicross. Or any number of Treks from the early 80's if you must have caliper brakes.

Last edited by clubman; 11-26-23 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:31 PM
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The Miyata 721A is worth a look too. But, yes, the clearances are pretty tight around this time.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:40 PM
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And just for the heck of it....

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Old 11-26-23, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
And just for the heck of it....

snip . . .
+ 1 on just for the heck of it.

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Old 11-26-23, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
I don't think the geometry of the later C'dale Txxx models with canti brakes really radically changed from the earlier STs with calipers and from my own experience I'd still put them on the 'sporty' side of touring. Some limitation on max width tire-wise, though. I had 35mm with fenders on my '87 T900- a wee bit tight, but worked. (unfortunately the later STs and the T models have the hideous unicrown forks.....)
You are right that the geometry of the Cannondales haven’t changed but the early Cannondale STs really weren’t “sport touring” bikes. They were full on touring bikes with some of the longest chainstays and wheelbases of any touring bike made. They had 18” chainstays and 42”+ wheelbases when Miyata, Univega, Trek, etc were putting out “touring” bikes that had shorter stays by 1/4” to 1/2”. “Sport touring” bikes had shorter stays and wheel bases than that…closer to 17”. You could put racks and bags on them but you didn’t want to have big feet.

The long stays on the Cannondale touring bikes did, indeed, last until the touring bikes weren’t made anymore. My 2010 T1 has the same geometry as the 83 ST400 with the exception that the T1 has a sloping top tube.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Agreed. The T1000 still had the steel fork in '92. Another option is the Miyata Alumicross. Or any number of Treks from the early 80's if you must have caliper brakes.
Most all of the touring bikes have steel forks. The T1000 in 2003 had an aluminum fork but that’s about the only one.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW
I think your best bet would be the early 90's Koga-Miyata RandonneurAlloy, TerraLinerAlloy and GranTour. But it highly depends on the specific year.
One thing I will say though is that those early aluminium models have a tendency to show up for sale in pristine condition... except for a broken seat tube. They just didn't know how to work with aluminium properly just yet.
I've seen exactly 1 Koga Miyata here in the US. Not real common.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Most all of the touring bikes have steel forks. The T1000 in 2003 had an aluminum fork but that’s about the only one.
Right. I was associating unicrowns with alu.

Originally Posted by Sedgemop
The Miyata 721A is worth a look too. But, yes, the clearances are pretty tight around this time.
I had a 721A but it barely took a 25 iirc. Nor would I wouldn't trust a bonded frame with excess weight even if I haven't heard of one failing.

Last edited by clubman; 11-26-23 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
Right. I was associating unicrowns with alu.



I had a 721A but it barely took a 25 iirc. Nor would I wouldn't trust a bonded frame with excess weight even if I haven't heard of one failing.
Currently got 28's on my partner's 721A, but that's as big as it will go.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:51 PM
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@JaccoW why does that Koga Miyata appear to have two rear fenders?
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Old 11-26-23, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
You are right that the geometry of the Cannondales haven’t changed but the early Cannondale STs really weren’t “sport touring” bikes. They were full on touring bikes with some of the longest chainstays and wheelbases of any touring bike made. They had 18” chainstays and 42”+ wheelbases when Miyata, Univega, Trek, etc were putting out “touring” bikes that had shorter stays by 1/4” to 1/2”. “Sport touring” bikes had shorter stays and wheel bases than that…closer to 17”. You could put racks and bags on them but you didn’t want to have big feet.

The long stays on the Cannondale touring bikes did, indeed, last until the touring bikes weren’t made anymore. My 2010 T1 has the same geometry as the 83 ST400 with the exception that the T1 has a sloping top tube.
This is what I've gathered from reading through the catalogs:
The geo for the Cannondale tourers remained the same* from their introduction until 1996 (the first year of CAD2 touring frames). In 1997, the geo changed for the first time. In 2000, the geo changed again along with some other things; CAD3 frame, wishbone seat stays, and 1 1/8" steerer. I haven't looked into the geo charts from 2000 to 2010.

Comparing the 2010 touring geometry (pg 126; 64/65 in Adobe PDF reader) to the 1984 ST geometry chart (pg 3), the two frames are very similar but not the same. The 18" long stays are indeed the same. Head and seat tube angles, fork rake, trail, wheelbase, and bottom bracket height differ.



* — There are tubing diameter changes during this time. The frame gets a replaceable derailleur hanger beginning in 1994.
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Old 11-26-23, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@JaccoW why does that Koga Miyata appear to have two rear fenders?
A trick of the eye? It appears to transition to a white tail, old skool style.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:46 PM
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Trek didn't make any aluminum "sport touring" bikes. Those frames all had short wheelbases and tight handling.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@JaccoW why does that Koga Miyata appear to have two rear fenders?
They used to run fenders pretty high on these bikes. 32mm wide tyres with fenders that you could look through underneath.
It's why most of them can work fine with 38-40mm tyres and still run fenders nowadays.
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Old 11-27-23, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@JaccoW why does that Koga Miyata appear to have two rear fenders?
For a long time a white rear fender was mandatory in the Netherlands (also on mopeds). In the early nineties it was not mandatory anymore. Now tires with a white reflecting band are mandatory at night
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Old 11-27-23, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
All the 27" wheel Techniums.
Yes.., and not just because they are 27" wheels. Compared to the '88-and-later Techniums, the geometry is a bit more relaxed and there are eyelets on dropouts and fork-ends. These are the 400-series Techniums, built in '86 and '87. Also, you are getting a steel fork, headtube, chain-stays, seat stays and lugs, so a little shock-dampening is going on.
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Old 11-27-23, 06:01 AM
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Old 11-27-23, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
Yes.., and not just because they are 27" wheels. Compared to the '88-and-later Techniums, the geometry is a bit more relaxed and there are eyelets on dropouts and fork-ends. These are the 400-series Techniums, built in '86 and '87. Also, you are getting a steel fork, headtube, chain-stays, seat stays and lugs, so a little shock-dampening is going on.
The racy Techniums came out in 1987. Of course the 27" wheeled ones had longer wheelbases - that's pretty much what a "sport tourer" is. Plus medium reach brakes.
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