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Schwinn Voyageur vs Schwinn Passage

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Schwinn Voyageur vs Schwinn Passage

Old 12-31-12, 04:53 PM
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Schwinn Voyageur vs Schwinn Passage

Does anybody here have any opinions on the Schwinn Passage frame vs the Schwinn Voyageur frame of the same era? 86-87

Details:
  • The Passage was only made one year, 1986, and both frames were made using double-butted Columbus Tenax tubes.
  • The Passage has frame angles of 72.5 ht and 72.5 st vs Voyageur's 72 ht and 74 st
  • The Passage fork doesn't have low-rider mounts, and the catalog claims it's hi-ten vs Voyageur's crmo fork
  • Catalog Passage weight: 25 with a rear rack
  • Catalog Voyageur weight: 24 without a rear rack

I have both an 86 Passage frame and an 87 Voyageur frame and I'm trying to decide which to keep. They are both my size. The paint on the Voyageur is a little more rough and I don't really care for the Imperial Rose color as much as the Passage's Midnight Navy. Whichever one I keep I will be rebuilding with some components that I already have.

I'm planning to build one up rando-style to try a brevet or two this year, but I may try to use it for some overnight/s24o style camping trips or short tours as well.

Which one would you keep?

Also, I've been dreaming of eventually getting a Miyata 1000. How would you rank the Voyageur and Passage against other mid-80s production touring frames?

Specs from the 86 catalog (the 87 Voyageur frame is pretty much the same), as well as the catalog pages for the individual bikes:





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Old 12-31-12, 05:10 PM
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Well they are very similar tourers, but it looks like Schwinn marketed the Passage one notch below the Voyageur in terms of component caliber (hi-ten fork versus chromoly; zinc-plated spokes versus stainless; cup-and-cone hubs versus sealed cartridge bearing hubs, etc).

Since the component build will be the same whichever frame you decide to keep, that's moot. So essentially it comes down to the fork. If you're not a weight-weenie and an extra 1/4-1/2lb doesn't bother you, I see no reason not to go with the Passage if you like its appearance better.
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Old 12-31-12, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston
Well they are very similar tourers, but it looks like Schwinn marketed the Passage one notch below the Voyageur in terms of component caliber (hi-ten fork versus chromoly; zinc-plated spokes versus stainless; cup-and-cone hubs versus sealed cartridge bearing hubs, etc).

Since the component build will be the same whichever frame you decide to keep, that's moot. So essentially it comes down to the fork. If you're not a weight-weenie and an extra 1/4-1/2lb doesn't bother you, I see no reason not to go with the Passage if you like its appearance better.
Thanks for your input. Regarding weight, I was surprised to see that they list the Passage as 25 lb with the rack, and the Voyageur as 24lb without the rack.

Blackburn lists their current three-stay expedition rack at 535g / 1.15lb. So it seems like they were fairly close in weight, despite the front fork on the Passage being listed as hi-ten, and the various component differences.

If the Voyageur frame had the same color paint job as that 88 green one that you just sold, it would be a much easier question about which frame to keep.

How did you like the ride on that bike? Especially compared to other tourers, I think I remember seeing that you had a Shogun 2000 from around the same time.
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Old 12-31-12, 05:22 PM
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I agree with Southpaw. I'd probably go with the one in the best cosmetic condition, provided I wasn't determined to use the lowrider braze-ons.
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Old 12-31-12, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
I'm planning to build one up rando-style to try a brevet or two this year, but I may try to use it for some overnight/s24o style camping trips or short tours as well.
Well ya better get crackin'! Here on the east coast we have only a little more than 5 hours left, though on the left coast I know you have about 8 hours.

Seriously now, as far as the frame is concerned I'd likely go with the one in better condition.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:07 PM
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Forgot to mention that low-rider braze-ons aren't a huge deal to me, since my blackburn low-rider rack uses u-hooks to attach to the forks anyway.

Originally Posted by photogravity
Well ya better get crackin'! Here on the east coast we have only a little more than 5 hours left, though on the left coast I know you have about 8 hours.
Hah, I guess I should have said "to try a brevet or two during 2013"

The Passage paint isn't completely mint either. I guess another option would be to get the Voyageur frameset bead-blasted and powder-coated and then maybe get some replacement decals for it (or at least a Tenax decal). Unfortunately, a nice enamel paint job is out of my budget for now.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Thanks for your input. Regarding weight, I was surprised to see that they list the Passage as 25 lb with the rack, and the Voyageur as 24lb without the rack.

Blackburn lists their current three-stay expedition rack at 535g / 1.15lb. So it seems like they were fairly close in weight, despite the front fork on the Passage being listed as hi-ten, and the various component differences.

If the Voyageur frame had the same color paint job as that 88 green one that you just sold, it would be a much easier question about which frame to keep.

How did you like the ride on that bike? Especially compared to other tourers, I think I remember seeing that you had a Shogun 2000 from around the same time.
I have one of those old aluminum Blackburn racks, and they're lighter than the current Expedition racks; I'd say about 1/2-3/4 lb.

The Voyageur is the smoothest of all the bikes that have passed through my fleet. Not the fastest nor the lightest, but the smoothest, and not by a small margin, either! Smoother than either of my two Shoguns, and smoother than any of my non-tourers. I just didn't need a loaded touring bike in my fleet.
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Old 12-31-12, 09:22 PM
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The Le Tour Luxe (from the year before...85), is the same frame/bike as the Passage.
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Old 01-01-13, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by balindamood
The Le Tour Luxe (from the year before...85), is the same frame/bike as the Passage.
The frames do look pretty similar. They are both made from double-butted tenax, but curiously enough the Passage takes a 26.6 seatpost instead of a 26.4 which makes me wonder if it's based on slightly different Columbus tubing? Looks like some of the lower-end sport tenax bikes in 85 had 26.4 seatposts and the higher-end tenax bikes all had 26.6.

The Passage also got some extra braze-ons: three bottle cage mounts, braze-on shift levers vs the Le Tour Luxe's aero mount shifters.

I need to check the dropout spacing on the Passage. I know it came with a 5-speed, but for some reason I thought it would be spaced to 126mm by 86. If it's still 120mm I'll probably stick with the Voyageur since I may be getting a newer 130mm wheelset to use.
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Old 01-01-13, 04:20 PM
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i like a slacker seat tube... i dunno that's tough.
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Old 01-02-13, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
[*]The Passage was only made one year, 1986, and both frames were made using double-butted Columbus Tenax tubes.
I'm curious if a Schwinn expert can verify this because I have a Imperial Rose Passage but that is not a color option for 1986. I also have a 1987 Voyageur in Imperial Rose and with the exception of the mid-fork lowrider mounts the frames appear identical. Perhaps Schwinn marketed a few in 1987 with that color but did not put them in their catalog?

I agree with Southpaw - the Voyageur/Passage provide a very smooth ride and are great bikes to spend a day in the saddle. If you do decide to load it up for touring you'll be hard pressed to find a bike more stable with a load.
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Old 01-02-13, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Creme Brulee
i like a slacker seat tube... i dunno that's tough.
Me too. Pretty much the one thing I don't like about my voyageur is a 74 degree STA. In conjunction with a brooks saddle, my fit isn't where I want it to be. I think I'd be much more suited to a 72 or 72.5 degree STA. I wanted to get a VO setback seat post, but those are 27.2, whereas my seat post is 26.6. Ah well.
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Old 01-02-13, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude
Me too. Pretty much the one thing I don't like about my voyageur is a 74 degree STA. In conjunction with a brooks saddle, my fit isn't where I want it to be. I think I'd be much more suited to a 72 or 72.5 degree STA. I wanted to get a VO setback seat post, but those are 27.2, whereas my seat post is 26.6. Ah well.
Does anyone know the reasoning for the 74 degree seat tube on these Voyageurs? I don't think I've seen that on any other touring frames. Is it to get a shorter top-tube?
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Old 01-02-13, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Does anyone know the reasoning for the 74 degree seat tube on these Voyageurs? I don't think I've seen that on any other touring frames. Is it to get a shorter top-tube?
I'd like to know as well. I think Grant Peterson's article on seat tube angles explains a lot for why smaller frames have such steep angles (to shorten top tubes and keep within a certain geometry,) but for larger voyageurs to have a 74 degree angle is odd.
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Old 01-02-13, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker
I'm curious if a Schwinn expert can verify this because I have a Imperial Rose Passage but that is not a color option for 1986. I also have a 1987 Voyageur in Imperial Rose and with the exception of the mid-fork lowrider mounts the frames appear identical. Perhaps Schwinn marketed a few in 1987 with that color but did not put them in their catalog?
I have a Passage in Imperial Rose, also. The 1986 catalog specs are correct for my bike when I purchased it new.
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Old 01-03-13, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by shadoman
I have a Passage in Imperial Rose, also. The 1986 catalog specs are correct for my bike when I purchased it new.
The 86 catalog here makes no mention of that color. Maybe there were different versions of the catalog that came out during the year. I know I've seen other for sale in that color too.

https://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...90/index4.html
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Old 01-03-13, 12:08 PM
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I have a Passage frame, waiting on me to build it up this winter, and it is also Imperial Rose.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Does anyone know the reasoning for the 74 degree seat tube on these Voyageurs? I don't think I've seen that on any other touring frames. Is it to get a shorter top-tube?
I wondered about this same thing and when I bought my Panasonic built, 1984 (Non SP) Voyageur about a year and a half ago I wasn't sure I would like it. The other touring bikes I had owned had a more relaxed ST angle.

After about 3600 miles on it I like it a lot. It does have a fairly low bottom bracket height and I have occasionally scraped a pedal on a corner before I learned of this issue and started avoided having the crankarm in the down position
on a corner. Mine has a really smooth and comfortable ride. I have ridden a couple of 85 mile rides on it with about 35 pounds of gear & it did really well. For me it is an all day comfortably riding bike.

Has anyone actually measured the angles to see if in reality it is a 74 degree STA as the catalog states?

I also like that I was able to fit some true to size 700c x 38 Vittoria Hyper tires on it. Cush...Cush...

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Old 01-04-13, 10:15 AM
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I have an '88 Voyageur and while I like it a lot, it is not the bike I'd choose were I to ride a brevet.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:20 AM
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The hi-ten fork sounds dreamy to me...I love the feel of the hi-ten ride. A one pound weight penalty is immaterial on a touring bike. Frankly, I would just pick the bike which feels nicer on the road, loaded & unloaded, what's the issue?

As far as lusting over the bike you don't have,...you might find you're missing nothing. If you get the chance, ask to borrow someone's dream bike and see if you still want to lust over it afterwards. If you are acquiring bikes based on their 'status', then you'll never be happy with what you have.

I have a 89-90 Voyageur in the stable, 36/40h wheelset, great distance workhorse...but it is not the bike I'll choose to ride 95% of the time.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I have an '88 Voyageur and while I like it a lot, it is not the bike I'd choose were I to ride a brevet.
Tell me more about this. I've done centuries and one 200K on my voyageur, and while I was comfortable, I wondered if there was something I'd be missing versus riding something else. As I've said above, the only grumble I have with my bike is that it's two sizes too small, and a steep STA which won't allow me the best fit.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I have an '88 Voyageur and while I like it a lot, it is not the bike I'd choose were I to ride a brevet.
Interesting, why's that: geometry? weight?
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Old 01-04-13, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Interesting, why's that: geometry? weight?
Yes and yes; mostly the weight. It takes a lot more for me to climb a hill on that bike than the others I own. Also, I don't really care for triples which my Voyageur still wears.

As to the ST angle: I actually just bought a zero set-back post for my '88 because I couldn't get my B-17 forward enough to fit me. I don't like to be as far behind the BB as a lot of folks seem to.
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Old 01-04-13, 02:55 PM
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I would swap components, taking the best of the Voyageur and putting them on the Passage since the paint is in great shape on the Passage. Put the DiaComp 981's, the Super Mod 58's wheels, front and rear derailleur, (but the Huret Shifters were very good shifters, maybe the best made, so leave those on the Passage), the seat post is a toss up, I like the fluted look but others don't so it's up to you; and move those items to the Voyageur unless their worn out of course. The rest I wouldn't bother with. I don't usually like butchering an all stock bike but your keeping it for yourself and the paint on the Voyageur you said is rough so your not going to be able to sell it for much.

Also on those older cantilever brakes, they work stiff from the factory, if you replace the cables with better cables they work a lot better...at least they did on mine.

Side Note:
I own a 1985 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, they shared the same frame as the regular Voyageur, the Passage was not made in 85 only 86. The 1985 Schwinn Le Tour was the best year for the Luxe, all other years saw a degrading of the frame used. They only made the Luxe for 3 years, in 1983 and 84 the frame was cheap unnamed 4130 cromoly while the regular Voyageur used Champion. The 86 Passage used the same frame as the 85 Luxe but the 85 Luxe used a better Suntour Mountech derailleur system vs the Huret Duopar that couldn't match the gear range the Mountech could making the Mountech more suitable for touring and off road use, and the Duopar was more delicate; in addition, finding old Duopar's are a pain and expensive while the Mountech would be far less expensive to find, but the Mountech had problems with their pulley wheels wearing out too fast but supposedly they fixed the issue with the 85 models.
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Old 01-04-13, 03:35 PM
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+1; Cherry-pick the components of the two, put them on the Passage, and build up and sell the remainder. There's a good market for used 80's touring bikes, even if their components aren't original and their frame has some, lets say "patina".

Try riding a Miyata 1000- I find that there's not much different between any of the '80's Japanese touring frames I've tried. Using the same wheels and seat, my '83 Raleigh Touring 18 (made by Panasonic, same as Alyeska) is nearly identical in ride and handling, loaded and unloaded, to my '84 Univega Gran Turismo (made by Miyata) . The Miyata 1000 was picked by Sheldon Brown as the best of the bunch and therefore achieved a level of notoriety, but the geometry, the quality of manufacturing and the materials used are very similar between the brands.

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