Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Entry Level Bike for Long Distance

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Old 10-16-17, 08:22 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
How many centuries on this Windsor so far? Working out well for distance?
None so far. Have done 50, 60, and 75 miles so far. The bike is working pretty good. It handles 10x better than my MTB and folding bikes. I can navigate the pot holes and rubbish on the road much more confidently. The 28c tires are plenty comfortable for me. Saddle is pretty comfy for about 30 miles, and then my azz bone begin to feel like fire.

Very windy yesterday doing the 75. Hardest day I've done on cycling.

I realize my legs are still not stronger enough yet.

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Old 10-16-17, 08:54 AM
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But I'm still keeping an eye out for a nice 80's touring bike. But I haven't seen any for under $250. I guess the word is out. I heard the oil money and yuppies here drives up prices.


One thing about the Windsor is the ugly seat and chain stays. I haven't seen anything like that . They are very thick porky. On other hand, I see other people's aluminum bikes have thin sexxy stays.

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Old 01-11-18, 10:08 AM
  #53  
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UPDATE: I've been keeping an eye out on CL...but man, people want so much for 80s Japan touring bikes full of scratches and rust and well-used!

Here is something I finally found for reasonable price and looks clean...

Univega Japan for $150.
Should I pull the trigger? I can replace the handlebar with a Nitto Drop bar that I already have. And I also have a Brooks saddle B17 on the shelf. And probably remove the fender and racks, to keep everything real light weight.

It's 55cm. I'm 5'8". My Windsor Wellington is 53cm...but the Reach feels a little on the short size due to the tall stem riser. So 55cm might be perfect.

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Old 01-11-18, 11:13 AM
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@mtb_addict Looks like a 2x5 Univega? I'm not intimately familiar with that model, looks like it would probably tour just fine. Be aware that the derailleurs tend to be somewhat finicky in what they will talk to with regard to shifters. I presume you'd be using compatible bar end shifters? It doesn't look like it has the cable stops for downtube, so am guessing this might have originally had stem shifters, which would also be a choice. I'm restoring a similar vintage mixte, and know I was running into compatibility issues when I was looking to use different shifters, etc. I'm guessing this is also a 27 inch wheel, which there are still plenty of tires available for, but definitely fewer choices than 700c. It's a lovely bike for the money though. Enjoy.
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Old 01-11-18, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
@mtb_addict Looks like a 2x5 Univega?

Looks like a 1x5. The bike is like 2 hours away, but I think it's worth the road trip this weekend to take a personal look.
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Old 01-11-18, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Looks like a 1x5. The bike is like 2 hours away, but I think it's worth the road trip this weekend to take a personal look.
Nice old Town Bike, not what I'd spend a $ or an hour on trying to make it into a viable LD machine.

As always, suit yourself.

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Old 01-11-18, 12:46 PM
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The Classic and Vintage subforum might have more advice on this particular bike, too.
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Old 01-11-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Nice old Town Bike, not what I'd spend a $ or an hour on trying to make it into a viable LD machine.
Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
The Classic and Vintage subforum might have more advice on this particular bike, too.
Except for the handlebar, isn't the above basically the same as this classic 80s Univega Japan touring bike below?

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Old 01-11-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Except for the handlebar, isn't the above basically the same as this classic 80s Univega Japan touring bike below?
Well no.

From that tiny pic it's hard to see but the frame design, tubing type (Hi-ten vs CrMo), QR vs nutted axles, alloy vs steel rims, bar-cons vs stem controls, wide range gearing, cantilever brakes and upscale in comparison suite of all components make the 2nd bike suitable-ish for LD riding w/ a full overhaul due to age.
The 1st: Not so much.

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Old 01-11-18, 05:03 PM
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I found out it's called "Five Star".

I guess it's like a Schwinn Varsity.
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Old 01-11-18, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I found out it's called "Five Star".

I guess it's like a Schwinn Varsity.
I doubt it is anywhere near as heavy as a Schwinn Varsity.


I honestly think you're barking up the wrong tree trying to find an old touring bikes. Touring bikes were never that common and are designed to be ridden with racks full of stuff on them. A regular road race bike or sport/touring bike are more appropriate for unloaded long rides, and the the sport/touring types can take pretty big tires (as can some racing bikes - it depends). More appropriate because they are more pleasant to ride and lighter.

And don't avoid aluminum bikes. Only a few aluminum bikes were harsh to ride. The later Cannondales, and all the Treks, Raleighs, etc are just fine.

As you look at CL ads, pay attention to '80s and '90s bikes that have built in downtube shifters, bar end shifters or STI type shifters. Generally these are all going to be bikes that were $300 or more new back in the '80s, and will be built to please experienced cyclists rather than first time buyers. I would specifically look for Lemonds, Raleigh Techniums, Giants, Centurions/Diamond Back, Univega, Fuji and Nishiki bikes from the late '80s to early 2000s.

If you have the fitness for longer rides like this you will enjoy your rides more on something more sporty.

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Old 01-11-18, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I found out it's called "Five Star".

I guess it's like a Schwinn Varsity.
Nothing like one actually.
Think 80's Japanese version of a Raleigh Sprite, sorta.
None of which I'd care to sit on for more than a ride to the grocery store, but that's just me.

BTW
How's your acquisition of a "track bike" from a similar pages long thread going?

-Bandera
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Old 01-11-18, 09:52 PM
  #63  
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Used older entry level alloy Cannondale synapse that takes 25 or 28mm tires and fits your price range
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Old 01-12-18, 06:40 AM
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I have ridden with someone that had a mid-range univega as his long distance bike. Probably the most expensive univega ever, because he had upgraded everything. He was pretty proud of it, I just bit my tongue. Not sure why you would handicap yourself with an 8 pound frame. I'm no weight weenie, but 23 pounds is a lot easier to push than 30 pounds.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have ridden with someone that had a mid-range univega as his long distance bike. Probably the most expensive univega ever, because he had upgraded everything. He was pretty proud of it, I just bit my tongue. Not sure why you would handicap yourself with an 8 pound frame. I'm no weight weenie, but 23 pounds is a lot easier to push than 30 pounds.
I wouldn't describe a bike with an 8 pound frame as "mid range".
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Old 01-12-18, 01:47 PM
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were there ever any high-end univegas? I think our expectations have shifted a lot over the decades, ever since you could buy a cheap aluminum road bike. But the 8 pounds was in reference to the univega city bike.

I'm not a weight weenie, but I think my road bike frame and fork weigh just under 6 pounds. I don't think you are going to get too much lighter on a steel frame and fork. It's Spirit for Lugs, which is pretty light.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
were there ever any high-end univegas? I think our expectations have shifted a lot over the decades, ever since you could buy a cheap aluminum road bike. But the 8 pounds was in reference to the univega city bike.

I'm not a weight weenie, but I think my road bike frame and fork weigh just under 6 pounds. I don't think you are going to get too much lighter on a steel frame and fork. It's Spirit for Lugs, which is pretty light.
Frame and fork together are going to weigh a lot more than just a frame.


Univega had bikes made of Tange Prestige, so they had a reasonable "high end". At one time high end was 531 or SL.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Nothing like one actually.
How's your acquisition of a "track bike" from a similar pages long thread going?

-Bandera

I just dabbled at the idea but gave up on it, when I realize "track bike" have 120mm O.L.D.


I thought I could have two wheel sets.
One rear wheel with SS for urban assault, and
one rear wheel with Nexus 8 Speed IGH for taking care of long distance.
But the 8 Speed require 135mm O.L.D.
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Old 01-19-18, 08:37 AM
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I ride 100-130 km every weekend on a 2016 Fuji Touring. Also done greater distances on it, 350 km max. Unloaded of course, and without the rear rack. I like the bike very much, do not experience the harshness and lack of lively feel. But it helps that I am 2 meter / 100 kg, I think. I also fitted a new dynamo hub wheelset for riding in the dark and smaller 28 mm tires.
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Old 01-19-18, 10:09 AM
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I'd stop looking for bikes you already have a good starting point. Do you have some of the helpful day touring accessories?

Pump, lights, small bar/seat bags, portable tools, tire/tube/patch kit, radio/speaker,clipless pedals/shoes, bell, nice tires, nice clothing?

Have you gone through the new bike to make sure everything's well greased?

I've found the cost of the bike to be half of my total cost to do fun centuries. The nice thing is accessories transfer between bikes. Plus extra cash saved can be spent on the ride for food and fun.

Just an opinion, you seem to know yourself as can be seen from a century on that Pacific(!!??) and current trips. There's less room for improvement now though, I don't think you'll be as impressed with anything you find versus the bikes direct machine.

Fwiw my rig is a '96 lemond zurich I picked up off Craig's for cheap, then I had to put more $$ for my LBS to do maintenance, all new cables/housings/tires/tubes/bar tape. I then had them switch out the 12-23 cassette for a 12-26.

I just keep riding and slowly note what it needs.
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Old 07-01-18, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
80's sport touring bike. I have an 81 Trek 614 that I'm into for about three hundred bucks that would be perfect for an 8 hour century every weekend.
I agree 100%. Early 80's tourers make the perfect leisure century bikes. 1984 Trek 720, anyone?
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Old 07-01-18, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Descartes Ghost View Post
I agree 100%. Early 80's tourers make the perfect leisure century bikes. 1984 Trek 720, anyone?
"Sport touring" bikes aren't "touring bikes". Sport touring are much closer to what we'd call an endurance bike today. Touring bikes have funky geometry because they are designed to carry loads on the fork and are generally stiffer frames.
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Old 07-08-18, 05:45 AM
  #73  
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There is a thread on the C&V forumm, "Your catch of the day.... Saved from the dump". I have picked out lots of discarded bikes and parts that make good long distance bikes. Early 80's TREKs make good 650B conversions.

There's no need to spend much money on a vintage bike.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:29 AM
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For the last three years, I've been riding an old (1990) road bike. I paid about $250 and then almost that much again to add a Brooks saddle and a Carradice saddlebag. You could get something similar for much less, but mine was in pristine condition and I bought it from the local bike co-op so I didn't mind paying a bit more. That bike has taken me on many 100K solo rides and on a formal 200K brevet last year. I highly recommend a good classic steel road bike that fits you well.
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Old 07-19-18, 11:33 AM
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I am not sure when companies really started making good touring bikes. In the '70s, what we called a touring bike was not nearly as good for touring as what exists today. I'm sure there were exceptions.

I suspect there are some entry-level aluminum gravel/all-road/adventure bikes that would make a really good randonneuse. Only problem is fork rake if you want to use a rando bag. But a bikepacking seat bag in combination with a handlebar bag is adequate.
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