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Please suggest 80s touring bike

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Please suggest 80s touring bike

Old 05-25-13, 04:38 PM
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Please suggest 80s touring bike

Hi, I'm looking into getting a touring bike and so far it seems like price points of some of the 80s models fit my budget. Problem is I'm not that familiar with what options I have in terms of models. I've only looked at Nishiki Riviera GT, Schwinn Passage and Voyageur. Obviously I'm not looking for anything rare or high end.

What else should I look for? What are some models that should be relatively available with decent quality?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-25-13, 04:48 PM
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I'm curious why you are limiting yourself to touring bikes from the 80s. It might be easier if you just look for a touring bike that fits your budget. They can be hard to find and are often priced near the top of their respective market since there is a demand for them. You also might lose out on a modern bike that fits your needs.

What is your budget? Some of the better touring bikes from the 80s were made by Trek, Miyata, and Specialized (which I think were built by Miyata).
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Old 05-25-13, 04:48 PM
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Miyata 1000, Trek 520, Centurion Pro Tour, Lotus Eclair... Nearly every manufacturer from the time period had at least one true touring model.
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Old 05-25-13, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cptsilver
What else should I look for? What are some models that should be relatively available with decent quality?

Thanks in advance.
The best of the best was the Miyata 1000 especially the later 'LT' models. Miyata also had a mid level 6 series and entry level 2 series touring bike. Specialized and Trek both had nice ones.
27" wheels seemed to last longer on touring bikes than racers, the larger diameter helped smooth out the ride so be on the look out...they all don't have 700's!!!

Braze-ons....the more the better. I have a Nishiki with a bizillion of them.
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Old 05-25-13, 04:54 PM
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It's just that from what I've seen so far, bikes from the 80s are around 3-400 as is, which is what I'm shooting for. I'm expecting to spend some more on updating parts and components. Needless to say I'm new to this, so let me know if that's an unrealistic budget, or poor strategy. Thanks!

Originally Posted by bikemig
I'm curious why you are limiting yourself to touring bikes from the 80s. It might be easier if you just look for a touring bike that fits your budget. They can be hard to find and are often priced near the top of their respective market since there is a demand for them. You also might lose out on a modern bike that fits your needs.

What is your budget? Some of the better touring bikes from the 80s were made by Trek, Miyata, and Specialized (which I think were built by Miyata).
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Old 05-25-13, 04:54 PM
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Lotus Odysseys, depending on the year...Bridgestone RB-Ts.
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Old 05-25-13, 04:56 PM
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What kind of touring? What do you want the bike to do/have?
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Old 05-25-13, 04:56 PM
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when i shop craigs for any bike, whether it be rally, sport touring or touring, i look for three or four visual signs that will provide clues to overall quality. these are an on-frame derailleur hanger, either down tube or bar end shifters and a cotterless crankset without a chain protector. if all those are in place, then you can delve further into the makeup, starting with the frame, hopefully chromoly, something very similar (valite), or better (531). if that too is in place, you're looking at a potentially decent bike.

good touring frames might have extended chainstays for pannier clearance and possibly a triple chainring to offer very low gearing. i like the motos from the late '70s (grand touring, grand jubile, grand record), nishiki international, and the fuji touring series. miyata and univega are also quite worthy of a look. here in seattle recently, there have been three '80s miyata touring bikes advertised, all under $200, and one was listed at only $50 -- quite a deal for someone that snatched it up in just a few days.
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Old 05-25-13, 05:37 PM
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Dunno what kind. I'm looking for relaxed geometry, spacing for comfy fat tires, room for some panniers and racks.

Originally Posted by JAG410
What kind of touring? What do you want the bike to do/have?
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Old 05-25-13, 06:24 PM
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In addition to the Voyageur, Schwinn also made a Le Tour touring bike, the Le Tour Luxe. I had an '84 or '85 model for a couple of years. It was a nice bike, made out of Columbus Tenax tubing, and it definately had room for wide tires, racks and panniers.
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Old 05-25-13, 06:52 PM
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Miyata 610 fits - and usually very reasonable. Another option is converting an old steel rigid MTB.
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Old 05-25-13, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cptsilver
It's just that from what I've seen so far, bikes from the 80s are around 3-400 as is, which is what I'm shooting for. I'm expecting to spend some more on updating parts and components. Needless to say I'm new to this, so let me know if that's an unrealistic budget, or poor strategy. Thanks!
That's a decent budget to work with. The most cost effective bike is probably a vintage steel mtb that you can convert to drops. They don't tend to cost a lot, they are readily available, and the gearing is fine for touring. You will need to add slicks, drop bars and stem, brake levers, and some kind of bar end shifters. You could even go totally retro with friction bar ends.

If you want a 700c vintage bike, the two things you need to look out for are a longer wheelbase bike (41 inches are better is pretty normal with touring bikes) and the reach of the brake (if the bike doesn't come with cantis). Some touring bikes came with center pulls or long reach side pulls.

Take a look at the C&V sale section here; you might find what you are looking for.
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Old 05-25-13, 07:13 PM
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Although I truly love my Schwinn Passage, and think it's the greatest bike for me, I also point you towards Raleigh, many over here, as well as Dawes.
Akcapbikeforums had this in a thread from about a year ago.
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Old 05-25-13, 07:26 PM
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Cannondale T1000
Bridgestone RB -T
Specialized Expedition or Sequoia
Trek 520
Miyata 1000
Fuji America or Touring IV
Bruce Gordon Rock N Road

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Old 05-25-13, 07:48 PM
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... and, as long as you are looking at Miyata built tourers, don't forget the Univega Specialissima and other Univega tourers. They are often priced lower than those with Miyata or Specialized names.
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Old 05-25-13, 07:50 PM
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There was a recent thread essentially about touring bikes that you might find helpful:
[h=2]Thread: Best vintage frames for cross country bike-packing trip?[/h]
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Old 05-25-13, 07:51 PM
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1983 Univega Specialissima Gran Touring. 36 spoke front wheel. 40 rear. Just 2 water bottle holders. Sold it for $350 fully reconditioned with new tires, chain, brake hoods. Might not have the name appeal but still a worthy alternative.


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Old 05-25-13, 08:04 PM
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Not sure what size you need, but I bet you could talk him down:

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3828781596.html
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Old 05-25-13, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tmh657
1983 Univega Specialissima Gran Touring. 36 spoke front wheel. 40 rear. Just 2 water bottle holders. Sold it for $350 fully reconditioned with new tires, chain, brake hoods. Might not have the name appeal but still a worthy alternative.
Really, really nice bike! This model should definitely be considered.
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Old 05-25-13, 08:23 PM
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Nishiki Cresta's from the early 80's are also very nice. I have one and love it.

1982 Nishiki Cresta
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Old 05-25-13, 09:29 PM
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See this thread for some ideas. A few more road models to look for would be Nishiki Cresta GT, Miyata 615 GT, Fuji Touring Series IV, Touring Series V, Touring Series III, Univega Viva Touring, Univega Gran Turismo, and Gran Touring, Centurion Pro Tour, Novara Randonee, Panasonic PT-3500 and PT-5000, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Specialized Expedition, Takara Overland, Lotus Eclair.
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Old 05-25-13, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ciufalon
See this thread for some ideas. A few more road models to look for would be Nishiki Cresta GT, Miyata 615 GT, Fuji Touring Series IV, Touring Series V, Touring Series III, Univega Viva Touring, Univega Gran Turismo, and Gran Touring, Centurion Pro Tour, Novara Randonee, Panasonic PT-3500 and PT-5000, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Specialized Expedition, Takara Overland, Lotus Eclair.
I agree with the Fuji Touring Series V recommendation. Here is mine set up with racks for loaded touring. It has a mount for a 3rd water bottle but I haven't used that yet.

Good luck in your search. They are definitely out there, and if you are lucky can be had for a great price.
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Old 05-25-13, 10:12 PM
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Very helpful info, everyone. Thank you very much!
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Old 05-25-13, 10:29 PM
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What size do you need?
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Old 05-25-13, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cptsilver
Dunno what kind. I'm looking for relaxed geometry, spacing for comfy fat tires, room for some panniers and racks.
32mm is the max with fenders on many 80s touring bikes. I would have to counter your original question with a question. What kind of touring do you want to do? A rigid mountain bike may be a much better way to go. How tall are you and what do you weigh? This is an important consideration. I am 6'4" and around 190lbs. I have toured with 55lbs of gear on a 62cm/25" 1984 nishiki international and I would never recommend it. Way to wobbly with all that weight and those small diameter tubes... however, it would make a good light and fast bike... more suited to randonneuring if you ask me... If you need a small frame than this is not really a concern. I have a Nishiki continental that is a 25" which I recently acquired which I'd let go which is nearly all original.
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