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Looking for a little advice choosing a touring rig (hello everyone).

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Looking for a little advice choosing a touring rig (hello everyone).

Old 08-23-15, 06:44 PM
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Looking for a little advice choosing a touring rig (hello everyone).

Hey there,
I've been lurking on here for a good bit but now it's time to join the community I suppose. My wife and I are looking to do a tour from central Maine where we live to Cape Breton and back this fall and I'm looking for a bike up to the task. I bicycle commute to work fairly regularly and have built a few bikes up over the years. I've been searching craigslist for a nice steel frame touring bike and have been very drawn to the 80's models by Trek, Miyata, Specialized ect. I'm planning to look at two bikes this week; one is a fairly stock second generation Lotus Odyssey with the cantilever brakes in 56cm. The other is a bone stock 58cm Bridgestone T700 in really nice shape. I'm 5 10.5 and have a 34.5 cycling inseam, anyone have experience with these frames and know whether they run big or small or which bike to nab? Both bikes are over a two hour drive to check out. The Bridgestone looks much nicer.
Thanks so much!
Looking forward to getting to know you all.
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Old 08-23-15, 07:23 PM
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coffin rd., I can't suggest which bike would be better. Whichever fits best is the one I'd choose.

Brad
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Old 08-23-15, 07:58 PM
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I totally get that fit is the most important factor but I feel like I'm probably built for a 57cm frame. Both bikes could probably work with some fiddling with the seat and stem. Both seem like reasonable loaded touring bikes? I've really been looking for a mid 80's trek 520 with the long chainstays but haven't had any come up. Would all of these bikes be pretty comparable as far as quality goes?
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Old 08-23-15, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by coffin rd.
I totally get that fit is the most important factor but I feel like I'm probably built for a 57cm frame. Both bikes could probably work with some fiddling with the seat and stem. Both seem like reasonable loaded touring bikes? I've really been looking for a mid 80's trek 520 with the long chainstays but haven't had any come up. Would all of these bikes be pretty comparable as far as quality goes?
I had to look up a second generation Lotus. If what I read was correct, that it used Columbus SL, I think it maybe a case of using great tubing in the wrong application. The less weight carried on the Lotus, the better. The Trek and the Bridgestone are respected touring bikes.

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Old 08-24-15, 08:42 AM
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That Lotus could be both a very capable tourer AND a thing of beauty. The Odyssey was made by Tsunoda until around '84. Tsunoda made some excellent bikes and the detail and quality of their Odyssey bikes was simply excellent. If I ever come across one in my size, I will sell a kid for it.
Columbus SL tubing is cromo and Tange 2 tubing copied SL. Yes its lighter than new generic 4130 cromo and that isn't ideal for touring blah blah blah. But I have to trust that after designing bikes and building them, both Lotus and the manufacturer made sound decisions on how to spec the bike. Am I placing too much trust in others? Well, they 100% for sure knew more than I do when it comes to frame design and tubing.
The SunTour Cyclone II components are excellent for their time. They are friction, so if you are good with that, they should please you. They are light, I think look nice, and are easy to both use and service.
40 spoke rear wheel plus canti brakes back in the early/mid 80s says to me that they knew what they were doing in terms of design, applying that back to the tubing selection.


I have never seen a Bstone T700. I did read about them while I was working on refurbishing an '84 Bstone 500. From what I read, they are fantastically spec'd. It was an '85 T700 that I read about. It came with half step gearing, which I find to be pretty pointless, but that can be easily changed. Perhaps later T700 bikes came with standard 3 rings up front.
Triple butted tubing, Deore components, 40 spoke rear wheel, canti brakes, 3 bottle points, etc.
The '84 500 I worked on made me appreciate Bstone bikes- That bike was years ahead of competitors in how the components attached to the frame and worked. The frame was understated but very good quality. I can only imagine a higher end bike(the T700) in a touring model would be even better.





To me-
that Lotus = art in motion. very well spec'd and very light. Made by Tsunoda or in Italy(alleged?) depending on the year.
that Bridgestone= more than capable and solid. excellent build quality and also very well spec'd.



Being different sizes, I would test both out and see which I liked more. Yes, they are 2 hours from you which is inconvenient, but you will be on the bike for over 1000miles and for many hours each day for probably a few weeks. Point being- make sure you like what you get and that it fits you great. Its worth taking a day or two and riding both to see which fits best, or if neither are good.




Awesome to hear you want to rock 80s steel on your trip too!
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Old 08-24-15, 07:14 PM
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Thanks so much for all the advice! this site is awesome. I'll go ride em both, I'll let you know what I go for (if I go for) and post a pic.
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Old 08-24-15, 08:38 PM
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Yup, both Bridgestone & Lotus made some nice bikes. Lotus almost of a cult bike; Bridgestone more mass-market in sales but still with an emphasis on quality & innovation. A friend had a lower-priced Bridgestone sport-touring type bike, IIRC it was one of those w/lugged aluminum frame. In re Columbus SL, my favorite bikes to ride were Italian SL road bikes. Light & fast, ~comfy ride & always had confident handling. I think a lighter rider could do lightweight touring fine on an SL frame; however I see a prev Odyssey post which claims the Odyssey had SL/SP combo.
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Old 08-25-15, 08:16 AM
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pack light.
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Old 08-25-15, 06:27 PM
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Hmm, I'm not super light. I weigh about 190 and was planning on bringing about 60 pounds of camping junk with me. You guys really think the Columbus tubing is light enough to get scrunched by a load like that? Or is it just a handling issue?
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Old 08-25-15, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by coffin rd.
Hmm, I'm not super light. I weigh about 190 and was planning on bringing about 60 pounds of camping junk with me. You guys really think the Columbus tubing is light enough to get scrunched by a load like that? Or is it just a handling issue?
I doubt the Columbus SL/SP would actually be damaged but weight of panniers/luggage might cause more flexing than desirable.
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Old 08-25-15, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by coffin rd.
Hmm, I'm not super light. I weigh about 190 and was planning on bringing about 60 pounds of camping junk with me. You guys really think the Columbus tubing is light enough to get scrunched by a load like that? Or is it just a handling issue?
Handling. The bike came with 40 spokes in the rear- it's actually overbuilt for what most people ride.

I would be more worried about lugging 60 pounds on the bike in that it'd be brutal to do for 3 weeks.
Any thoughts on a trailer? It's a lot easier to pull that weight.
...or toss a few pounds your wife's way? I usually take 95% of the gear, so I understand if that's not an option.
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Old 08-26-15, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
... I think a lighter rider could do lightweight touring fine on an SL frame; however I see a prev Odyssey post which claims the Odyssey had SL/SP combo.

A SP main frame and SL rear triangle would be a much better frame than a complete SL frame to control a touring load.

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Old 09-20-15, 11:01 AM
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I didn't end up getting either bike, I found a really sweet old specialized expedition for super cheap. I'll probably start a new thread about a few questions I had about that bike. Thanks for all the advice though!
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