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Thinking about a touring bike

Old 08-27-10, 10:52 PM
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Thinking about a touring bike

Not sure why but I've started thinking about looking for a touring bike. I'd like to raise some money in the next year or so to send back to our adopted children's home countries via our adoption agency and it struck me that maybe I could do a longer distance tour/ride as a fundraiser.

It's just the beginning stages but I thought I'd ask what some of the decent C&V touring bikes are.

I've looked at a 1981 Trek 510 with Ishiwata 022 tubing but I don't know if that's classified as a true tourer. It had half step gearing with a granny on the triple.

What other decent (and not astronomically) expensive bikes would I look at? I'm sure Miyata would be one and I've read a little about Fuji's.
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Old 08-27-10, 11:43 PM
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Lots of good offerings. Later Trek 520's, 720's, Miyata 1000, Nishiki Continental and International and many many more.
I would limit my selection to about 83' and later. That way you will get canti brakes and a more touring orientated frame.
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Old 08-28-10, 12:55 AM
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For such a worthy cause, I would think that there would be people who would want to sponsor such an effort. The cycling community is full of kind hearted souls. The mid to late 80ís Japanese made steel framed touring bikes can still be had for a great value. Iím sure the Seattle or Portland Craigslists will have occasional posts for high quality steel touring bikes in the $200-$300 range. Iíve seen several listed in the Bay Area lately that are a steal in my opinion. If you see one that seems to be your size, try to post a pic for the Forums evaluation. But, this is just your first step. Next step would be to get a good mechanic to make sure the bike is sound. IMHO, loaded touring is the most demanding cycling on a bike. Third step would be to get the racks and panniers that you need for your extended trip. You might want to post this topic on the Touring Forum. Those people would eat this type of topic up.
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Old 08-28-10, 01:09 AM
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Check out Cannondales from the 80's-early 90's....can usually be picked up under $300, and are strong and light for how capable they are....i have a 1990 C'dale ST400, which has served me well for the past year.
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Old 08-28-10, 03:28 AM
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Lots of choices out there. You can tour on anything, but a properly designed bikes is a joy to ride. Raleigh, Fuji, Motobecane, Canondale, Bob Jackson, Dawes, Mercian, Trek, Miyata, Nishki, and Giant are ones that come to mind. Things to look for: braze on mounting points for racks, fenders and low riders (mid point on the front forks) triple chain rings (those won't always be on the older bikes) long cage rear derailleurs, long rear stays (look for the gap between the seat tube and the rear wheel) relaxed head and seat angles.

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Old 08-28-10, 04:42 AM
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MTB's from the 1980's make good economical tourers as well. They are bomb proof and parts are readily available all over the world.

I have looked for a C&V tour bike in my size for years and haven't had any luck finding an economically priced one.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
MTB's from the 1980's make good economical tourers as well. They are bomb proof and parts are readily available all over the world.

I have looked for a C&V tour bike in my size for years and haven't had any luck finding an economically priced one.
+1 Unless you want to make looking for bikes a full time job, you are either going to spend quite a bit, or get really lucky. Equivalent vintage touring bikes sell for 1.5 to 2X the similar vintage and model racing bike.

+1 Rigid frame MTBs make touring cheaper. A couple of friends of mine rode across the USA on hybrids, and you can find decent hybrids cheap as well.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:34 AM
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What's your budget and what size bike are you looking for?

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Old 08-28-10, 06:30 AM
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While not as nice as OFG's bike, this one isn't far from you. Don't know if it is your size though.

Nishiki Ultra tour - $135

https://oregon.freecycleshopper.com/b...ke.htmlNISHIKI Ultra Tour 18 Road Bike

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Old 08-28-10, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for the good info - lot's to consider. I do have a rigid frame 1987 Trek Antelope mtb and hadn't thought about that as an option. Could be an easier way to try a set up and do a short 'tour". I suppose it doesn't really matter if the bike weighs close to 30 lbs unloaded since you'd be loading it up heavy. I'm at the beginning stages and haven't created much of a wish list or budget. More trying to figure out options. I do have one rear rack with a 2nd one mounted on an old, cheap, rigid mtb (Motiv from Costco in 1992) for my brother in law to ride into town with. I'm assuming front racks are a designed differently than the rear.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:03 AM
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The Lotus Odyssey is an excellent choice and usually under valued.

If you get a chance to get a Koga-Miyata Traveler...I HIGHLY recommend it.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:34 AM
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How do center pulls compare in stopping ability on a touring bike with cantilevers? I've got a bunch of centerpull brakes from Shimano, Dia Compe and a couple Weinmann.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:44 AM
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What's your preferred size?
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Old 08-28-10, 10:00 AM
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30lb for a touring bike is not a big deal. Most Touring bikes are plus 25lb naked. My T700s bare are listed as 26lb for a 58cm. With a MTX explorer rear rack but no lights it is 28. My 63cm with racks, fenders, Airzound and Super flash is 33lb. With my comuting stuff (MTX bag Mini Ulock, Alien tool, spare tube, spare batteries for the lights) is getting close to 40lb when I make it out the door in the morning.

I love my Cannondales. I ride the hell out of them but I also love my Fuji. Totally different riding experience though.

The first thing you need to decide is what sort of touring you plan to do. "Credit card touring" is staying in hotels and you need MUCH less gear so you could get away with a short wheel base "sport Tourer" or Randonneur style bike and higher gears.
You get into unsupported touring where you plan to carry everything you need (shelter, food etc) the weight really starts to climb. I think last I read Scott https://www.powercycle.net/ was down to around 125lb loaded bike weight. He was up around 150 when he left Miami (now in Honduras via Alaska) and started shedding what he wasn't using including a DSLR. He has broke three Phill Woods rear hubs in 14,000 miles with the weight he is carrying.

I am not sure I like MTB as touring bikes unless you plan to do a lot of off pavement riding.

The problem with MTB made tourers is the BB is higher from the ground on Mountain bikes even with 26 inch wheels taken into consideration. It means a higher seat position (in relation to the ground), Higher CG, handle bars are low to the seat etc. MTB also tend to run a long top tube to allow for climbing of hills off road. I'd have to measure but my 22inch M400 I think has a longer top tube them my 25 inch frame Touring bikes and the seat is a good bit higher off the ground and bars closer to the ground with risers. The older MTBs (80's) are closer to a traditional touring geometry and would make the better candidate but it would take some good hunting. Something like a mid 80's Ross or Stump jumper would be where to start if you are going that route.

I bought my Fuji for $8 at a yard sale, my 58cm T700 for $220 off CL and my 63cm T700 for $350 but it came with RSX brifters and some extra parts I was able to use on other bikes.

If you had to to walk into someplace and buy a brand new bike I would say hit REI and get a Randonne. Heck of a bike for under $1k. Catch it on sale and you may get it as low as $800. The REI warranty is worth it if nothing else but it is a Solid Bike. I have gotten to know Glenn Nix and he bought one and a month later started Riding from Key west to Anchorage. https://keytoanchorage.com/
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Old 08-28-10, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Grim View Post
30lb for a touring bike is not a big deal. Most Touring bikes are plus 25lb naked. My T700s bare are listed as 26lb for a 58cm. With a MTX explorer rear rack but no lights it is 28. My 63cm with racks, fenders, Airzound and Super flash is 33lb. With my comuting stuff (MTX bag Mini Ulock, Alien tool, spare tube, spare batteries for the lights) is getting close to 40lb when I make it out the door in the morning.

I love my Cannondales. I ride the hell out of them but I also love my Fuji. Totally different riding experience though.

The first thing you need to decide is what sort of touring you plan to do. "Credit card touring" is staying in hotels and you need MUCH less gear so you could get away with a short wheel base "sport Tourer" or Randonneur style bike and higher gears.
You get into unsupported touring where you plan to carry everything you need (shelter, food etc) the weight really starts to climb. I think last I read Scott https://www.powercycle.net/ was down to around 125lb loaded bike weight. He was up around 150 when he left Miami (now in Honduras via Alaska) and started shedding what he wasn't using including a DSLR. He has broke three Phill Woods rear hubs in 14,000 miles with the weight he is carrying.

I am not sure I like MTB as touring bikes unless you plan to do a lot of off pavement riding.

The problem with MTB made tourers is the BB is higher from the ground on Mountain bikes even with 26 inch wheels taken into consideration. It means a higher seat position (in relation to the ground), Higher CG, handle bars are low to the seat etc. MTB also tend to run a long top tube to allow for climbing of hills off road. I'd have to measure but my 22inch M400 I think has a longer top tube them my 25 inch frame Touring bikes and the seat is a good bit higher off the ground and bars closer to the ground with risers. The older MTBs (80's) are closer to a traditional touring geometry and would make the better candidate but it would take some good hunting. Something like a mid 80's Ross or Stump jumper would be where to start if you are going that route.

I bought my Fuji for $8 at a yard sale, my 58cm T700 for $220 off CL and my 63cm T700 for $350 but it came with RSX brifters and some extra parts I was able to use on other bikes.

If you had to to walk into someplace and buy a brand new bike I would say hit REI and get a Randonne. Heck of a bike for under $1k. Catch it on sale and you may get it as low as $800. The REI warranty is worth it if nothing else but it is a Solid Bike. I have gotten to know Glenn Nix and he bought one and a month later started Riding from Key west to Anchorage. https://keytoanchorage.com/
This might be a little off topic, but in a world of disinterested retail clerks and horrendous customer service...REI is like a torch for how things SHOULD be. Every single time I walk out of an REI I am happy. If I were buying new...and were going with a chain...I'd buy REI. They go above and beyond and their warranties, as stated above, are fantastic. REI just seems to get it.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:40 AM
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Ok - looking at an initial "cheap" way to play with while looking for a true touring rig in the next year or so - here's a photo of the Trek Antelope. It's all stock with Suntour 3000 derailleurs/shifters (in friction mode - because the index is a pain to dial in).



Looking at the top tube specs for a '87 520 (21" would be most appropriate) vs. the '87 Antelope (54 cm seat tube). The 520 is a 55 cm top tube and my Antelope is 56 cm. The Antelope is pretty upright with the high stem.

The only problem I could see is the 48-42-28 triple. I would think you'd want a little lower gearing if loaded up. The rear is a 5 spd 14-28 freewheel.

I have some rear panniers and could try to set it up with slicks and load up the panniers to see how balanced the bike is.
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Old 08-28-10, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Ok - looking at an initial "cheap" way to play with while looking for a true touring rig in the next year or so - here's a photo of the Trek Antelope. It's all stock with Suntour 3000 derailleurs/shifters (in friction mode - because the index is a pain to dial in).



Looking at the top tube specs for a '87 520 (21" would be most appropriate) vs. the '87 Antelope (54 cm seat tube). The 520 is a 55 cm top tube and my Antelope is 56 cm. The Antelope is pretty upright with the high stem.

The only problem I could see is the 48-42-28 triple. I would think you'd want a little lower gearing if loaded up. The rear is a 5 spd 14-28 freewheel.

I have some rear panniers and could try to set it up with slicks and load up the panniers to see how balanced the bike is.

Look at the Chainstay angle of your bike and look at the angle of mine.

My personaly favorite crank gear is a 48/36/26 (as pictured). That 36 tooth gear is just right in most instances on a medium pace. I like a 11-28 on my 9 speed bikes. THe gear spacing is just right for keeping an even cadence. That said my bike came with 44/32/22 and unladen I spend all my time jumping between the middle ring and high ring spinning out. I have a 50/39/30 on it right now that is for commuting but loaded it would be swapped in a second for the 48/36/26.
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