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Cant decide on vintage touring bike

Old 06-18-20, 03:33 PM
  #1  
urbannightrider
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Cant decide on vintage touring bike

So, I have some options here in my area.

1994 RB1
1972 Raleigh Grand Sport(all original minus the saddle)
80s Fuji Touring Series iii(fully restored)
Nashbar Toure LP(local member here I assume...but dont want to call them out....but 100% its theirs lol)

Anyone have any information on these? Opinions on which would be the best deal? They are basically all listed around the same price 250-300. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-20, 03:35 PM
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The RB 1 is a fine bike but it is not a touring bike. The Fuji is likely the best deal out of that group for a touring bike. If you just want a bike to ride, the RB 1 is likely the best deal (and the most desirable).
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Old 06-18-20, 03:36 PM
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What condition are they in? And what kind of touring are you planning to do?
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Old 06-18-20, 03:37 PM
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My vote is for the RB1.
For one it's newer & parts availability & upgradability to even more current components should be easy long into the future.
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Old 06-18-20, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
The RB 1 is a fine bike but it is not a touring bike. The Fuji is likely the best deal out of that group for a touring bike. If you just want a bike to ride, the RB 1 is likely the best deal (and the most desirable).
Not technically, no but I found the catalog that specifically mentions that it is built to be a semi touring bike. Eyelets for rack and fenders and can fit up to a 32c tire. The RB1 seems to be the one Im leaning towards but they are asking $350 for it and not sure its worth that. I want to post the ads but cant until I get 10 posts or something so...
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Old 06-18-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Piff View Post
What condition are they in? And what kind of touring are you planning to do?
All in practically the same condition, great. I will post the ad in a sec. I really like the RB1 but its the red 94 and prefer the older color schemes. The triple triangle seems to be grabbing my attention the most just because the frame is so unique.
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Old 06-18-20, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by urbannightrider View Post
Not technically, no but I found the catalog that specifically mentions that it is built to be a semi touring bike. Eyelets for rack and fenders and can fit up to a 32c tire. The RB1 seems to be the one Im leaning towards but they are asking $350 for it and not sure its worth that. I want to post the ads but cant until I get 10 posts or something so...
If the bike is in good shape and the parts are the same quality or better than the original parts, the bike is easily worth $350. It is a racing bike, not a touring bike. I own one and I built my share of those bikes when I worked in a shop.

It does have eyelets and it can take (barely) a 32c tire. So yes this can work as a "touring" bike especially if you are going lightweight. As I said in my original post, this is likely the best bike of the lot.

Last edited by bikemig; 06-18-20 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 06-18-20, 04:35 PM
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I worked in a Raleigh shop in early 70s. I do not remember what the Grand Sport model is, but if it is a Nottingham bike, skip it because if it is a Nottingham bike, they used an uncommon bottom bracket threading and it would be expensive to upgrade the crankset.

If it is a Carlton bike, it might be a nice riding bike, but I do not know if it would be a touring bike. At that time they made one touring model, I think it had a TA triple crank. If the one you are looking at does not have a triple crank, it is not a touring bike. Regardless of model, it likely has a 120mm rear dropout spacing for a freewheel type hub.

All of that said, the best bike is the bike that fits you well and meets your needs. If none of them fit you well, none of them are any good.
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Old 06-18-20, 05:44 PM
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Fuji

can't comment on others but I have a Fuji series 4 and like it a lot, although changed to flat bars and moved the shifters up on bars. Friction shifters took me a little time to get used to. As a heavy rider the strength of the wheels was a factor in my purchase.
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Old 06-19-20, 06:26 AM
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I have a Fuji Touring Series III that I restored over this past winter. It's fit right in as one of my favorites. I really like the ride and the gearing works real well for me. After studying the specs for the III, the IV and the V, I see the functional differences are very minor. I only bought this Fuji because I was intrigued and needed a project. I'm pleased that it is such a good bike. Good build quality, nice ride, good looking. I like the low trail front end and plan for mine to be a light tourer - front rack and bag, decent size seat bag, two cages.

BTW: a caution about the claim of "fully restored". Mine was full frame up. Every bearing and bearing surface and every component removed, disassembled, cleaned and reinstalled, every alignment checked and corrected, all rust removed, all paint cleaned and treated, every spoke nipple loosened, lubed, wheels tensioned and trued to tight tolerances. Everything done that could be done. I believe VERY few people will go to that extent on bikes they are going to sell. "fully restored" could describe a wide range of scope - from a cheap and dirty dusting to hours and hours of labor and material. At a minimum, in my opinion, unless EVERY bearing (including HS and BB) and every bearing surface (ex: brake calipers and levers, FD and RD) have been overhauled to remove the grease/lube that is now worthless after 15 or 20 years, then it has not been "fully restored". New brake pads, new tires, rim strips and tubes too. All cables and housing cleaned or replaced. Everything adjust to perfection. I do this as a hobby. A friend does this for a business and "Full Restorations" run into $1000's. Beware. Ask LOTS of questions.

The Fuji is a great bike though. Glad I have it.



Last edited by Prowler; 06-20-20 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 06-19-20, 06:59 AM
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If you're serious about loaded touring get a bike designed for it. I vote Fuji, but the Nashbar might be as good. You can hang bags on anything and ride it across the state or the continent but you'll probably be happier on something meant for the job. Buy the RB-1 if you want it, but buy something else for touring.
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Old 06-19-20, 07:27 AM
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I decided not to pursue a local Fuji IV but maybe I should have. I'd rather have a newer touring bike. But this thread is about an older touring bike. As prowler says, you can soak a lot of money (and time!) into an old bike to get it just the way you want it so make sure of your decision making process.

Touring Bike I.D. SVP
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Old 06-19-20, 08:38 AM
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Buying an RB-1 to go touring is like buying a 5 pound hammer to drive trim nails.
Dedicated job deserves dedicated tools.
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Old 06-21-20, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
Buying an RB-1 to go touring is like buying a 5 pound hammer to drive trim nails.
Dedicated job deserves dedicated tools.
What if you are British? That could be a reasonable low cost hammer.
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Old 06-21-20, 11:24 PM
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It all depends on what the OP's definition of 'Touring' is.

In the mid to late 1980s, I used to do overnight rides on a Miele Equipe Pro RACING bike. It did not have any braze-ons for attaching a rear rack and I need to carry a sleeping bg, lightweight tent, and sleeping pad. I got a Blackburn rear rack and the Blackburn adapters that fitted inside the rear dropout junction. The two upper horizontal arms of the rack were attached via rubber coated P-clips to the seatstays. That setup served me well for many overnight rides and would have worked a charm if I was credit card touring or if I was doing multi-day rides and eating in restaurants along the route.

Here are the Blackburn rack adapters like the ones I used.



Cheers
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Old 06-30-20, 09:56 AM
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Depending on condition, I would chose the Fuji Touring Series III though the Nashbar Toure LP might also be good (do you have photos? one model looks to have interesting seat stays attached to the top tube). The RB-1 is not a touring bike, it doesn't have the gearing you might like on a tour. You could update the drivetrain and possibly get a rack or two on it, but maybe more trouble than it's worth.

I just purchased a Fuji Touring Series III in very nice, very original condition.

A mechanic friend noticed while truing, both of the stock UKAI rims (which are so polished they almost look like stainless steel, but are in fact alloy) had noticeable bumps at the seams. It's not noticeable when braking or riding.

A possible weakness are the cantilevers. Many people have a poor opinion of the stock Dia Compe 960 brakes. The original pads are probably hard and the braking not so good. I replaced the hard original pads with Kool Stop Cross pads, and the braking is much improved, and adequate, still not up to the level of better cantilever brakes. Apparently some different brakesets could work, but that is a whole other bag of worms. I would keep it 27" and keep the brakes, but update the pads.

I have always loved the color and paint on the Fuji Touring Series III, silver with red detailing looks pretty classy.


1984 Fuji Touring Series III
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Old 06-30-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
If the bike is in good shape and the parts are the same quality or better than the original parts, the bike is easily worth $350. It is a racing bike, not a touring bike. I own one and I built my share of those bikes when I worked in a shop.

It does have eyelets and it can take (barely) a 32c tire. So yes this can work as a "touring" bike especially if you are going lightweight. As I said in my original post, this is likely the best bike of the lot.
I have the '93 and 28mm Continental GP-5000 tires rubbed the front caliper. I went with 26mm Specialized S-WORKS Turbo (Gripton) and look now to have 2.5mm clear under the front caliper. I know Continental tires can run large, but unless the '94 is different, would be surprised to see it fit 32mm tires. My RB-1 has eyelets on the dropouts but none on the fork or seat stays.
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Old 07-20-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If it is a Carlton bike, it might be a nice riding bike, but I do not know if it would be a touring bike. At that time they made one touring model, I think it had a TA triple crank. If the one you are looking at does not have a triple crank, it is not a touring bike. Regardless of model, it likely has a 120mm rear dropout spacing for a freewheel type hub.
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If we are speaking of the 1973-76 Raleigh Gran(d) Sport(s) (parenthesis because various batches were decaled differently!) that came in either lagoon blue with white or white with lagoon blue trim and chromed fork and rear stay socks, those were Carlton-produced bikes with standard British threads and dimensions built with Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing throughout. The rear ends usually do NOT have a derailleur ear, as they followed traditional British practice - you could run a derailleur on a claw adapter, or you could run them as a fixed, single-speed, or IGH setup. Those are lovely sports-touring sorts of bikes, and with some parts switching one could make a nice day touring bike out of them. For that matter, people rode comparable bikes across the country in the 70s. That said, it would not be my choice for LOADED touring as practiced in the U.S., though it would probably be AWESOME kitted out with a British style transverse saddle bag and a randonneur-style handlebar bag.

If you love vintage, they're great. Springy ride, unfashionable but very effective Weinmann centerpull brakes, decent enough wheels for their era, 5-speed freewheel with 120 mm rear spacing. They came stock with either Nervar Star using their proprietary 128 mm bcd chainrings or Stronglight mod. 93 cranksets using long-obsolete 122 mm bcd chainrings. Standard crank pullers work on the Nervar, the Stronglights require a 23.35mm crank removal tool which has become collectible all on its own.

I would not recommend it for loaded touring, though.

Last edited by rustystrings61; 07-22-20 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 07-26-20, 07:25 PM
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IF you're actually going to do light to medium touring I would eliminate the 72 Raleigh due to its age and difficulty getting parts for it.
The Bridgestone is not a true touring bike.
So that leaves the Fuji, plus that one has been restored, though not sure if it has the all the factory original components.
However, if the Raleigh is in really good shape and touring is something you're not going to do, I would get the Raleigh because it's much nicer looking than the other two, and more vintage of course.
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