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Vintage touring bikes vs. terrain

Old 05-14-21, 02:09 PM
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bicyclepost
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Vintage touring bikes vs. terrain

Hello all, I recently came across a beautiful Miyata 1000 touring bike fully fitted with racks and fenders on Facebook Marketplace. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to grab it. It's got me thinking about my current bike and piqued my interest in other options. I'm curious about people's thoughts.

Firstly, some background. My bike is an early '90s Bianchi Ibex MTB drop-bar conversion. I like it but I would like the handlebars a bit higher which would require me to swap out the stem for a very long one. I don't have the knowledge/tools to do this myself so would have to take it into a bike shop.Also, I don't know how you feel about the aesthetics of your bike but I care and to me, a lot of stem above the frame looks weird. I'm also not a fan of the colour/design of my frame, but know that's secondary to how it rides. Anyway, I think this is a versatile bike that serves me well, and would even better if I raise the handlebars.

However, since seeing this Miyata I've been wondering if instead of investing in my current bike, I replace it with a beautiful vintage, purposely-designed touring bike. Up until now I've only done day trips but plan on getting out on a couple overnighters this summer. The main question I have is, how are vintage touring bikes on varied terrain? I imagine they handle semi-packed gravel just fine but what about loose gravel, rocks or roots? I don't anticipate getting into this too much but want to be prepared in case I do. Are the type of tires you run the most important aspect when considering terrain or are there other important things I should think about? Thanks!
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Old 05-14-21, 02:29 PM
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I suspect that one of the biggest variables is tire width. Can the frame support wide enough tires to handle the terrain you're riding? While the vintage touring bikes, like the Miyata 1000, can usually accommodate wider tires than the more pure road bikes, the more modern touring bikes can take tires that are even wider. I'm referring to bikes like the popular Surly Long Haul Trucker.
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Old 05-14-21, 03:49 PM
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I think tires are the main issue when considering gravel, but if you start talking about roots and rock gardens, then issues like bottom bracket drop and wheel base become important too.
Honestly though, if you are planning a tour with some sort of load, I don't think you will want to be doing too much mountain bike style riding.
My 1000 will handle 38mm tires no problem, which is fine for most gravel and dirt. I say if you can snag one, go for it.

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Old 05-14-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclepost View Post
......an early '90s Bianchi Ibex MTB drop-bar conversion. I like it but I would like the handlebars a bit higher which would require me to swap out the stem for a very long one. I don't have the knowledge/tools to do this myself so would have to take it into a bike shop.Also, I don't know how you feel about the aesthetics of your bike but I care and to me, a lot of stem above the frame looks weird. I'm also not a fan of the colour/design of my frame, but know that's secondary to how it rides. Anyway, I think this is a versatile bike that serves me well, and would even better if I raise the handlebars....
why, umm.....downgrade? you like the bike, it fits.
just raise the darn stem! nobody cares what it looks like.
with packs 'n stuff on it, who's gonna notice anyways?
your current bike can mount the tires needed for your
plans, so why buy a bike that probably cannot?

note: if you don't have the tools or knowledge to change a stem,
you should be researching youtube and the googles before you
start touring offroad away from civilization.


you've got this bike?

https://www.zapatillasadi.es/Product...86909&pr=77.99

get one of these. easy install. done.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/35345399127...cAAOSwu8pgiChf
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Old 05-14-21, 11:18 PM
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Mercator, I have the same year 1000 set up with the SKS Longboard fenders and 38mm tires. That is as wide as I can get on it with fenders, but figure 40mm and possibly 42mm without fenders.
For single track touring a 1.75 or wider tire is a better choice, but 38mm will work as long as the terrain is not too rough or technical. I have had various vintage ATB drop bar conversions over the years and never was bothered by the look of taller stems.
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Old 05-15-21, 02:56 AM
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If you are talking about overnight trips, that is light weight touring, most any bike can take the load. But the older bikes often are not as stiff as the newer bikes if you wanted to load it down more.

I agree with the comments above about tires. I often ride on gravel with 37mm wide tires.

I do not know how easy it is to find a taller quill stem. Raising the bars higher, one option would be a quill stem to threadless adapter. And a threadless stem with a higher angle. This is one of the quill to threadless adapters, there are others.
https://velo-orange.com/collections/...s-stem-adaptor

You might also be able to find an adjustable angle quill stem.

The best bike is the bike that fits, if you need to adjust your bar position, get that done first.
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Old 05-17-21, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclepost View Post
I don't know how you feel about the aesthetics of your bike but I care and to me, a lot of stem above the frame looks weird. I'm also not a fan of the colour/design of my frame, but know that's secondary to how it rides. Anyway, I think this is a versatile bike that serves me well, and would even better if I raise the handlebars.
I used to think the same, then started using a tall Technomic stem. On a different bike I also needed more lift and tried this setup, a quill adaptor with a threadless riser stem. Not beautiful but it worked and I got used to the looks.


Regarding the idea of a classic touring machine, I recently bought an '80s Nishiki tourer and will likely make similar mods to it.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:57 AM
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If you cant effectively raise the bars on your current bike, then a vintage touring bike may not be the best option as they typically require a lot of servicing to update and get into great riding condition.
If you want to pay for all that, cool. Just be aware that you will most likely need to change much or all of the following- bar tape, tires, chain, brake pads, cable, housing. And that doesnt address the fact that the headset, wheel hubs, and bottom bracket should all be serviced to ensure there is fresh grease and everything is properly tensioned.
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