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Vintage/Classic Touring Bike

Old 02-27-18, 07:14 PM
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Hatchet
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Vintage/Classic Touring Bike

I am looking into buying a vintage/touring bike for my daily commute. Which ones are good?
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Old 02-27-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatchet View Post
I am looking into buying a vintage/touring bike for my daily commute. Which ones are good?
Probably the wrong forum. You should try C&V. A vintage touring bike makes a great commuter, that's what I use my 1982 Trek 720 for. But there are plenty of other great, older touring bikes.

Here is a good thread,

Show us your Vintage Touring bikes

Last edited by bikemig; 02-27-18 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 02-27-18, 08:54 PM
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One that you like.
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Old 02-27-18, 09:17 PM
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There's a ton of vintage makes/models that would work. In the 70's/80's many of the club-level racing bikes had at least single fork eyelets so one can mount fenders & a light-duty rack. Might be more fun & quick for commuting than a heavier touring bike.
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Old 02-28-18, 08:06 AM
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When buying a C&V bike, it is important to not get too held up on buying a specific make/model. They aren't sold in stores one can just walk into and order what one wants. Figure out what you want in a bike in generalities, then go with whatever pops up in your size and price range.

As a generality:
Butted, lugged steel tubing
Non-cottered crank
Not French (until the mid-80s, French bikes used their own threading standards that makes parts harder to find than needs be for a commuter)
Alloy rims
Skip the plastic Simplex derailleurs
Eyelets for fender/rack mounting
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Old 02-28-18, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
When buying a C&V bike, it is important to not get too held up on buying a specific make/model. They aren't sold in stores one can just walk into and order what one wants. Figure out what you want in a bike in generalities, then go with whatever pops up in your size and price range.

As a generality:
Butted, lugged steel tubing
Non-cottered crank
Not French (until the mid-80s, French bikes used their own threading standards that makes parts harder to find than needs be for a commuter)
Alloy rims
Skip the plastic Simplex derailleurs
Eyelets for fender/rack mounting
I hear you on French bikes being a pain (I own 3, a Peugeot UE 8, a Peugeot PR 10, and a Mercier 300) but the parts situation is not that dire. Bottom brackets can be found pretty inexpensively on Amazon ($12); headsets are available; 22.2 stems can be modified to work, seatposts are a non-issue, and so on.

Plus some of the really ubiquitous French bikes (the Peugeot UO 8, 9, 10, 14 series) can make a fine commuter/touring bike since they have plenty of room for fat tires and fenders and a nice long wheelbase and chainstays.

I'm not suggesting that the OP buy a French bike. I'm just saying that maybe the OP shouldn't kick the right French bike out of bed if it shows up at the right price,
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Old 02-28-18, 08:41 AM
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Decades ago there were not a lot of dedicated touring bikes sold, so the supply is limited. It is only in the past decade or so that touring bikes have become cool to own.

Also, you did not define vintage. That could mean new enough for indexed shifting, but old enough for a lugged frame. Or it could mean older, such as having friction down tube shifters. Think about what you really want. I personally would have no desire to commute or tour on a bike with downtube friction shifters and only 5 or 6 speeds on a freewheel in back. I already have one of those and rarely ride it.
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Old 02-28-18, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm not suggesting that the OP buy a French bike. I'm just saying that maybe the OP shouldn't kick the right French bike out of bed if it shows up at the right price,
Maybe I just want them to leave the fine French bikes for me. I still need a proper one, my Peugeot was too new to be truly French

But yeah, my comment was reserved more for a bike being used as a commuter. Bikes are pretty durable, but if one relies on that bike for transit, the difference between a part that unexpectedly broke being replaced now at the LBS versus a few days when your Amazon order comes in could be huge.
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Old 02-28-18, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
When buying a C&V bike, it is important to not get too held up on buying a specific make/model. They aren't sold in stores one can just walk into and order what one wants. Figure out what you want in a bike in generalities, then go with whatever pops up in your size and price range.

As a generality:
Butted, lugged steel tubing
Non-cottered crank
Not French (until the mid-80s, French bikes used their own threading standards that makes parts harder to find than needs be for a commuter)
Alloy rims
Skip the plastic Simplex derailleurs
Eyelets for fender/rack mounting
Yes, all good points. This is how I am approaching it - making a list of what I want and seeing what is out there.
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Old 02-28-18, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
One that you like.
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Old 02-28-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Probably the wrong forum. You should try C&V. A vintage touring bike makes a great commuter, that's what I use my 1982 Trek 720 for. But there are plenty of other great, older touring bikes.

Here is a good thread,

Show us your Vintage Touring bikes
Thanks, I'll check it out.
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Old 02-28-18, 11:42 AM
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get one you can afford to lose from theft, since you are commuting on it.


Otherwise, Mercian is still being made in UK, Classic lugs, ..







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-03-18 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-28-18, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Decades ago there were not a lot of dedicated touring bikes sold, so the supply is limited. It is only in the past decade or so that touring bikes have become cool to own.

Also, you did not define vintage. That could mean new enough for indexed shifting, but old enough for a lugged frame. Or it could mean older, such as having friction down tube shifters. Think about what you really want. I personally would have no desire to commute or tour on a bike with downtube friction shifters and only 5 or 6 speeds on a freewheel in back. I already have one of those and rarely ride it.

Yeah, I never saw many touring bikes in shops, then or now. Sometimes even REI doesn't have a tourer on the floor.

Vintage MTBs can be nice economical commuters, many have a very smooth ride. Some have double-eyelets front & back for racks & fenders. For Buffalo a vintage MTB has room for wide winter (even studded) tires.
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Old 03-02-18, 11:41 PM
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+1 Vintage mountain bikes do make pretty good tourers, and they're usually pretty easy to find. Actual vintage touring bikes do occasionally pop up for reasonable prices too, and if you don't mind shipping eBay is a great place to find them.

I got lucky and found this 1984 Centurion Elite GT 15 locally for next to nothing. Being a bike mechanic I completely restored it myself. That definitely keeps build costs down. Still need to add fenders and a lighting system, but it's coming along!

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Old 03-03-18, 11:34 AM
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Good advice in general, but some good members of the clan can at least be identified:

Trek 720 up to 1985
Trek 520
Trek 620
Most Treks 1981 and before
Raleigh International
Raleigh Competition
Woodrup Giro
Fuji America (most variations)
Nishiki (ask more questions at C&V)
Mercian, some models focused on touring, but these and the Woodrups are actually quite high-end frames

there are quite a lot of makes and models to look at.

As a commuter, a lot of early '70s entry-level bikes are very good targets:

Peugeot UO-8 and a handful of other French brands which made very similar bikes
Raleigh Grand Prix
Raleigh Super Course
Dawes Galaxy
Plain steel tube bikes from Atala, Bottecchia, Fiorelli
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Old 03-03-18, 12:35 PM
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Miyata from the 1980s

1000 (expensive), 610/15 (less expensive), 210 (inexpensive).
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Old 03-04-18, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AustinFitz View Post
+1 Vintage mountain bikes do make pretty good tourers, and they're usually pretty easy to find. Actual vintage touring bikes do occasionally pop up for reasonable prices too, and if you don't mind shipping eBay is a great place to find them.

I got lucky and found this 1984 Centurion Elite GT 15 locally for next to nothing. Being a bike mechanic I completely restored it myself. That definitely keeps build costs down. Still need to add fenders and a lighting system, but it's coming along!

Thanks for sharing the pic - very nice!
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Old 03-04-18, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Yeah, I never saw many touring bikes in shops, then or now. Sometimes even REI doesn't have a tourer on the floor.

Vintage MTBs can be nice economical commuters, many have a very smooth ride. Some have double-eyelets front & back for racks & fenders. For Buffalo a vintage MTB has room for wide winter (even studded) tires.
Funny you should mention that - I have an old MTB I've overhauled that I am considering building up as my winter commuter, using studded tires.
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Old 03-04-18, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Good advice in general, but some good members of the clan can at least be identified:

Trek 720 up to 1985
Trek 520
Trek 620
Most Treks 1981 and before
Raleigh International
Raleigh Competition
Woodrup Giro
Fuji America (most variations)
Nishiki (ask more questions at C&V)
Mercian, some models focused on touring, but these and the Woodrups are actually quite high-end frames

there are quite a lot of makes and models to look at.

As a commuter, a lot of early '70s entry-level bikes are very good targets:

Peugeot UO-8 and a handful of other French brands which made very similar bikes
Raleigh Grand Prix
Raleigh Super Course
Dawes Galaxy
Plain steel tube bikes from Atala, Bottecchia, Fiorelli
Thanks! This is an awesome list and just what I was hoping to get. Now I have a targeted list of bikes to search for, research and consider.
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Old 03-05-18, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatchet View Post
Thanks! This is an awesome list and just what I was hoping to get. Now I have a targeted list of bikes to search for, research and consider.
Donít consider it complete, because it is anything but!

Just in generic terms, Iíd say also research Miyata, Centurion, and post-Chicago steel Schwinns.

And keep an open mind, Iím certain there are more.
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Old 03-05-18, 05:36 AM
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Cannondale sold a good number of touring bikes in the 1980s. Given that a Cannondale touring bike would be light and not prone to rust issues, one of those would be an great find.
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Old 03-05-18, 07:28 AM
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The older Trek 900-series, and the equivalent Gary Fisher mountain bikes are extremely touring conversion-friendly. Here's a couple of my latest:





The 930 is my wife's, but the Gary Fisher is for sale.
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Old 03-05-18, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatchet View Post
Funny you should mention that - I have an old MTB I've overhauled that I am considering building up as my winter commuter, using studded tires.
They make terrific winter commuters and all around bikes. Here is my build,

Heinz 57 Winter Commuter Build
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Old 03-06-18, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
The older Trek 900-series, and the equivalent Gary Fisher mountain bikes are extremely touring conversion-friendly. Here's a couple of my latest:





The 930 is my wife's, but the Gary Fisher is for sale.
Thanks for the info on the Gary Fisher possibility. What's your opinion of this one? Is $80 a fair price?
https://buffalo.craigslist.org/bik/d...520308937.html
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Old 03-06-18, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatchet View Post
Thanks for the info on the Gary Fisher possibility. What's your opinion of this one? Is $80 a fair price?
https://buffalo.craigslist.org/bik/d...520308937.html
Dunno what things generally go for in your area, but if it is in serviceable shape and fits I'd pay $80 for it in Detroit.
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