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A replacment for a 30+ yo road tourer?

Old 05-27-23, 06:59 PM
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A replacment for a 30+ yo road tourer?

Hi all, I'm almost new to the forum. I posted in the general forum yesterday. Don't why I though "Touring" would only be about "where to go".

I'm hoping folks can provide me with some brands or links to a new touring bike for me. My general post had response that included Comotion, Surly ADV. I haven't looked yet. I had looked at Stanforth and was _so_ disheartened. My tourer has been a 1988 Cannondale ST700 (bought new in 1990). I modified it a bit from the start: better lowGR, slightly wider handlebars. Its a very faithful dog. But I feel its old. But tourers today just mostly seem to overdone/for the gravel/PanAmHighway warriors. I primarily ride pavement -- but I've taken the ST700 on dirt roads (even around my home in NY where, depending on the season it can be pretty nice going). On a self-supported trip in Australia I did have to, once for about 1 mile, push the ST700 through a sandy stretch of road. All this on nothing more than 32C. I often had a foldable 38+(?) but never had the need to take the time to switch. That Cann is now my daily rider (for its first 15 years it was used only for day trips and tours). Pre-Covid I'd been renovating the bike with correct NOS components. I even had NOS 36 hole hubs, ready to go for the rims when I found them. Took months and months, found the rims -- then couldn't find the hubs. Where the H-E-double hockey sticks did they go? I suppose someday they'll turn up. It helped me realize a 33 year old bike, fully loaded, might not be the safest thing to rely on for day-in/day-out riding far from home.

the general thread, mostly, folks said keep the st700 and renovate it. I'm pissed now that I lost track of those Hubs. But I almost forgot about the rack and fender mounts ("braze-ons") They're rusty now, and I know a few were stripped. Does anyone have a way of restoring those? just re-tap? Eventually you'd have to go to a fatter screw right? Also, after a full drive-train replacment with NOS vintage compoents (including the bio-pace) my lowest freewheel misses the granny when downshifting. I've already replaced the granny a 2nd time (dinged tooth) but its still happening. And I do have a mild concern that 33yo aluminum might fatigue.

So, there 'tis. I will keep it. its fine for local rides and conditioning, but can I make it a tourer again? if not what brand these days might have a traditional road tourer?

here it is on its inaugural tour. Ramosch, Switzerland (46.834N 10.381E 9 SP 90)


thanks for listening, and keep on truckin'.
sorry, newbies can't post attachments
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Old 05-28-23, 05:48 AM
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Some of the touring bikes that were most common half a dozen years ago have been dropped by manufacturers, so the choice is smaller now. I have not been keeping track of what is out there, I built up my touring bikes from the frame, I have not looked at the new bikes in stores in quite a few years. My newest touring bike is one I built up in 2017, it has components ranging from modern (as of 2017) back to the mid-90s vintage, as I mixed and matched what I knew I would want.

Take a look at this website:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/categor...packing-bikes/

In the past decade, rim brakes were largely replaced with disc brakes. In the past half decade, the tried and true quick release hubs that we have been using for decades have almost disappeared from new bikes, now they have a "through axle" that holds the hub into the frame. In the past decade triple cranksets pretty much disappeared, they exist but are quite rare on new bikes and harder to find for retrofitting.

A lot of these changes were often marketed as improvements, but realistically they were often developed to reduce the labor hours associated with building a bike, assembling it at a bike shop and giving it the final adjustments for a buyer. And some changes were intended to reduce lawsuits, such as through axle because some people were not using quick release skewers properly and accidents happened when wheels fell out. Square taper bottom brackets still exist, but I can't remember the last time I saw one on a new bike. And manufacturers have worked hard to make components work best when matched with other components from the same component group, some of this was for improved operation but some of this was intended to make it harder for people to mix and match parts from other manufacturers.

If you get a new bike, it will have a lot of these changes. If you watch the used market, you might get lucky and find a lightly used one that fits you well.

Generically, I think you will find that touring bikes from the past decade and a half were built with better frames for load carrying than the older steel frames, but you had an aluminum frame so you might not find the new frames are that much better.

If you decide to keep what you have, I think you could put together a nice bike with more modern components, but the rear hub spacing could be a limiting factor. Most touring bikes (pre-through axle) had 135mm hub spacing in the past decade and if your frame is built with 126mm spacing you might not be able to fit a more modern wheel. If it is 130mm, that is not a deal breaker, you could use a newer 8, 9, or 10 speed cassette. If it is 126mm and you need a new rear hub, you might have to pay a lot for a hub that would work for you, and such a hub would limit your gearing choices.

If your fender and rack mounting points are striped, they can be re-drilled and taped for M6 thread instead of M5. Care is needed when threading aluminum, and the metal is softer so it is easier to strip the threads. Some racks will fit on M6, but some would have to be re-drilled to fit. M6 bolts for racks is rare, but not unheard of, my heavy touring bike came with M6 rack fittings for extra strength. Dissimilar metal corrosion can occur where you have steel components or bolts threaded into aluminum, I use grease or a threadlocker where I have such a mix of metals in contact with each other. If your threads are bad on water bottle cage mounting points, that could indicate internal frame corrosion, someone that knows frames should inspect it.

You will find on this forum that more specificity in your questions will get you better focused answers.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:44 AM
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You should have a goal for what improvements you wish to gain from a new purchase.

A classic dedicated touring bike for hard surfaces has not changed significantly over decades. I chose cantilever brakes and friction shifter in a recent build because I can fix them, they work FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE, and they are a known quantity.

The most significant changes today are likely to be most beneficial for more varied terrain, or to accommodate bikepacking gear, which is an expensive compromise to allow non touring bikes, especially mountain bikes, to carry gear.

Hydraulic disc brakes and modern shifters are amazing, and I love them in my other bikes, but not so valuable on a tourer.

Tire size is another issue, but again it depends somewhat on your surface needs. Less rotating weight might appeal to you. I would go insane touring on a knobby tire.

The most important issue for a touring bike, aside from ability to carry a load, is comfort. You can achieve most improvements by making changes to your contact points and setup.

The areas I can see improving your touring experience on a modern bike would be better engineering for stable load bearing and better comfort from more evolved thinking on rider position with raised head tubes and newer geometries.

be forewarned, many if not most “touring bikes” are designed for multiple purposes and may be compromised as a dedicated tourer. A test ride at a shop of an unloaded touring bike is not usually an inspiring experience and I think the classic touring bike is becoming a difficult proposition for the big manufacturers. My soma saga has recently been discontinued and replaced with things I suspect are more bikepacking friendly.

It’s not for no reason that bike hipsters get aflutter over old steel bikes. Worth considering.

Just trying to provoke some
thought. I’m frequently wrong, and an experienced cyclist but recent touring convert. The above mearly reflects my own experience.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:48 AM
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To answer your direct question of classic tourers, Long Haul Trucker is probably the most popular.

I really like my soma saga if you can find one used or still in stock somewhere.

Trek 520.
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Old 05-28-23, 09:20 AM
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Love my Surly Long Haul Trucker.
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Old 05-28-23, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdwmth
To answer your direct question of classic tourers, Long Haul Trucker is probably the most popular.

I really like my soma saga if you can find one used or still in stock somewhere.

Trek 520.
Unfortunately Trek has stopped making the 520, based on my recent discussion with a Trek representative. They still may be available at some dealers currently.
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Old 05-28-23, 01:55 PM
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I have a 30+ yo Bruce Gordon with a 7 speed cluster, and a 4-5 year old Tout Terrain with an 18 speed Pinion gearbox, and I actually prefer the older bike. somehow it just seems to ride better.
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Old 05-28-23, 04:52 PM
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Just a few years ago Cannondale had a touring bike spec'd out very close to how I personally would spec a touring rig. I recommend you go find one and check it out.

On the other hand, I see no reason to not revive your good ol' steed and give it some more wonderful miles. FWIW I still use a 1985 Miyata 1000 donned with Suntour bar ends, Superbe brake levers and the stock canti calipers, along with the crank.
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Old 05-28-23, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rokosz
). Pre-Covid I'd been renovating the bike with correct NOS components. I even had NOS 36 hole hubs, ready to go for the rims when I found them. Took months and months, found the rims -- then couldn't find the hubs. Where the H-E-double hockey sticks did they go? I suppose someday they'll turn up. It helped me realize a 33 year old bike, fully loaded, might not be the safest thing to rely on for day-in/day-out riding far from home.
Can't imagine why you'd think you have to use NOS parts to stay "safe".
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Old 05-28-23, 10:04 PM
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Your old bike is toast so get on with something better. You haven't spend much for thirty years, so just do it right.
I'm the fussiest guy here and can't imagine you can't find anything you want at Stanforth. LOOK at all their bikes with happy new owners. They are CUSTOM fitted and will do anything, including threaded headsets. LOL. I guarantee they are better than the brands in the western states.
Pinion is slow by any measure. The rear SS ratchet it comes with is noisier than a kids toy. LOL. Thru axels are totally nuts, limiting hubs to a very few.

Rohloff14 with disc brake is the ONLY best choice for drive. Mine has 19,700 miles and gets better every day. Not the slightest sneeze at all the weight it carries. The TRP Spyre cable stops instantly.
My front hub is a SA XL-FDD dyno DRUM brake. The first one did both tours at 120 lbs, 30,000 miles still doing great in any weather. ZERO worries, zero squeals too.
You NEED a dyno of some kind anyway and lights always on.
Only thing that broke was the wussie fork weakened by my dumb braze-ons and the too STRONG drum brake.

Production bikes have all gone goofy IMO.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 05-28-23 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 05-29-23, 12:13 AM
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Um...the same recommendations given in that thread apply here.
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Old 05-29-23, 05:59 AM
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Regarding the Rohloff recommendation a few posts ago, I have three touring bikes, only one of those three has a Rohloff. There are advantages and disadvantages. My last tour was on pavement and within continental USA. Resupply for food, etc., was available every few days. I used one of my derailleur fitted bikes instead of the Rohloff bike for that tour and was very happy with my decision.

I have done some trips where my Rohloff bike was the clear best choice to. As I said, there are advantages and disadvantages.

It sounds like for someone that mostly plans on pavement touring within continental USA, you would be happiest with derailleurs.
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Old 05-29-23, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Your old bike is toast so get on with something better. .
Why do you think it's toast? If you're going to make such a black and white statement perhaps you should tell the OP why you think so. As far as I can tell the only real issue is the need to rethread some of the braze ons.
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Old 05-29-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dvdwmth
Why do you think it's toast? If you're going to make such a black and white statement perhaps you should tell the OP why you think so. As far as I can tell the only real issue is the need to rethread some of the braze ons.

Don't feed the troll. Gord is a clown and posts the same extremist junk over and over. It's always the fringe view that is opinion and criticizes decades of widely adopted and enjoyed touring. He thinks his way is the one true right way.
If you ever see his bike, you will know why his posting here is all just a game being played.
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Old 05-29-23, 07:06 PM
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I just went with the 2023 Masi Giramondo. Very affordable and almost perfect for me. I am changing the handlebars to Denham flat bars with Deore shifters, but the bike still has QR hubs. Oh well, small price to pay for near perfect.. Had I built my new bike up from a Salsa Marrakesh frame with a 3x10 groupset it would have cost nearly twice as much as I spent. Will be purchasing bags, dynamo, fenders and other add ons with the savings.

Good luck!
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Old 05-29-23, 08:28 PM
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There are still quite a few old touring bikes that were never ridden much. I have found several 80s Nishikis (Canadian edition Kuwamura ones) and Miyatas that still had the original brake pads and tires.
If you still like your Cannondale look for another one the same that has not been ridden much.
Personally I feel much better touring on a steel frame with full braze ons and cantilever brakes but you have definitely toured enough to know your preferences.
Oh, and I like to be able to raise my handle bar stem a variable amount. That is something that is not so easy on the newer bikes.
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Old 05-30-23, 07:56 AM
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Now more than ever, there are a lot of very good choices. The Internet will be your best resource for filtering what will be your next bike. Here is a start:
https://tomsbiketrip.com/which-touri...-should-i-buy/

My personal opinion is that you should shop for a disc brake bike. Not essential, but I got them on my Fuji Touring when my Trucker was stolen, and they offer me a ton more stopping power and confidence on a loaded tourer.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
If your fender and rack mounting points are striped, they can be re-drilled and taped for M6 thread instead of M5.
Perhaps 11 of one, a baker's dozen of another, but I'd probably tap out for M5 Helicoil and install thread inserts.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Perhaps 11 of one, a baker's dozen of another, but I'd probably tap out for M5 Helicoil and install thread inserts.
That certainly is an option.

I bought a M6 tap to clean the paint out of the rack mounts on my heavy touring bike when I built it up, so my first thoughts are based on the tools I already have.
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Old 05-31-23, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rokosz
Hi all, I'm almost new to the forum. I posted in the general forum yesterday. Don't why I though "Touring" would only be about "where to go".

I'm hoping folks can provide me with some brands or links to a new touring bike for me. My general post had response that included Comotion, Surly ADV. I haven't looked yet. I had looked at Stanforth and was _so_ disheartened. My tourer has been a 1988 Cannondale ST700 (bought new in 1990). I modified it a bit from the start: better lowGR, slightly wider handlebars. Its a very faithful dog. But I feel its old. But tourers today just mostly seem to overdone/for the gravel/PanAmHighway warriors. I primarily ride pavement -- but I've taken the ST700 on dirt roads (even around my home in NY where, depending on the season it can be pretty nice going). On a self-supported trip in Australia I did have to, once for about 1 mile, push the ST700 through a sandy stretch of road. All this on nothing more than 32C. I often had a foldable 38+(?) but never had the need to take the time to switch. That Cann is now my daily rider (for its first 15 years it was used only for day trips and tours). Pre-Covid I'd been renovating the bike with correct NOS components. I even had NOS 36 hole hubs, ready to go for the rims when I found them. Took months and months, found the rims -- then couldn't find the hubs. Where the H-E-double hockey sticks did they go? I suppose someday they'll turn up. It helped me realize a 33 year old bike, fully loaded, might not be the safest thing to rely on for day-in/day-out riding far from home.

the general thread, mostly, folks said keep the st700 and renovate it. I'm pissed now that I lost track of those Hubs. But I almost forgot about the rack and fender mounts ("braze-ons") They're rusty now, and I know a few were stripped. Does anyone have a way of restoring those? just re-tap? Eventually you'd have to go to a fatter screw right? Also, after a full drive-train replacment with NOS vintage compoents (including the bio-pace) my lowest freewheel misses the granny when downshifting. I've already replaced the granny a 2nd time (dinged tooth) but its still happening. And I do have a mild concern that 33yo aluminum might fatigue.

So, there 'tis. I will keep it. its fine for local rides and conditioning, but can I make it a tourer again? if not what brand these days might have a traditional road tourer?

here it is on its inaugural tour. Ramosch, Switzerland (46.834N 10.381E 9 SP 90)


thanks for listening, and keep on truckin'.
sorry, newbies can't post attachments
how do you keep damaging the small ring? I assume by jamming the chain in there with a misshift, although that must take quite some doing and a lot of force? photos?
retapping stripped mounting holes is very doable.
absolutely no need for nos hubs, but it would seem that this is a priority for you, getting the bike back to original right?
how much do you weigh? I ask for rim and hub options, makes a big difference if you are 140 or 270--also your weight is a factor for how the frame is. I have a friend who rode an alum frame bike for nearly 30 years, hes about 200-220 and no problems.
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Old 05-31-23, 06:47 AM
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I've been riding my '92 T600 for 31 years now. It has 181,000 miles on it, with over half of that commuting. I've been upgrading components as they wear out. It's currently running 10 spd Ultegra triple up front, XT in the rear, and XTR hubs I got on clearance 130,000 miles ago with Mavic 32 hole rims. I don't miss the original 7 spd Exage components and have been glad with the upgrades. The brakes are still the original Diacompe cantilevers. I'm guessing your ST700 has a lot of life in it, but I also get the wanting to stay close to home. That's where I am too, which actually started about 100,000 miles ago.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:07 AM
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I don't really have a need for traditional touring bike. I pack ultralight and tend toward sportier models, but I do have two 1990 Cannondale models still in the fleet and love both of them.

On the 1990 Cannondale crit race bike I swapped the gearing a bit and rode from San Diego to Pensacola a few years ago with 14 pounds of ultralight camping gear. The bike was still mostly in racing trim other than a rear rack and an improvised ultra compact crank. The gearing was limited at both ends, but I made it fine and enjoyed the ride.

The other is my 1990 Cannondale MTB race bike. It is still set up pretty much like when I was racing it back in the day other than it sometimes has drop bars and brifters on it. I have done some on/off road touring on it and may do more.

I still love and sometimes ride them both. That said 99% of my riding these days is daily trail riding on a newer hard tail MTB. I do have a notion of riding the Great Plains route in 2024 and the 1990 MTB might be in the running for that if I don't decide to buy a new gravel bike for the ride.
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Old 06-03-23, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
On the other hand, I see no reason to not revive your good ol' steed and give it some more wonderful miles. FWIW I still use a 1985 Miyata 1000 donned with Suntour bar ends, Superbe brake levers and the stock canti calipers, along with the crank.
I also have an 1985 Miyata 1000, which I last toured on 20 years ago. My sense at the time was that its ride was becoming "tired," and aware of the evolution of bike technologies, I decided the time had come to retire the Miyata and replace it with something more modern. I got a custom tourer with all the bells and whistles.

For 18 years, my Miyata has resided in a shed. I've ridden it only a few times a year for short jaunts. The Miyata is not as much "fun" as my now-19 year old custom bike. The custom bike fits me better, has STI instead of down-tube shifters, and a 16 gear-inch granny gear.

A few weeks ago, finding myself in need of a second bicycle, I decided to overhaul the Miyata. I realized it would be cheaper than buying a new bike.

The overhaul was complicated. The antediluvian 14-32 six-speed cassette, which probably should be replaced, is no longer available. The cap that protects the bearings of one of the original pedals is lost. But there were no problems replacing most worn out parts. Unbelievably, many original components were still in fine condition, including derailleurs, brake levers, and brakes. Furthermore, many components I substituted during the 1980s and 1990s -- Campagnola hubs, Mavic rims -- were still in excellent condition.

Now that the overhaul is complete, I'm happy to report my Miyata 1000 rides beautifully again. It no longer feels tired. It's comfortable enough (compared to my newer bike), and every time I change gears, I marvel at the 38-year-old technology rather than wishing for STI.

So I would encourage the OP to consider the possibility of overhauling your old bike! You might be pleasantly surprised.

Confession: There is one problem with the Miyata: The difference between the 16 gear-inch low gear on my newer bike, and the 22 gear-inch low gear on the Miyata, is noticeable. Climbing steep hills is more challenging! But other than that, I'm happy with my decision to re-animate the Miyata.
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Old 06-03-23, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by acantor
I also have an 1985 Miyata 1000, ...
A few weeks ago, finding myself in need of a second bicycle, I decided to overhaul the Miyata. I realized it would be cheaper than buying a new bike.
... Unbelievably, many original components were still in fine condition, including derailleurs, brake levers, and brakes. Furthermore, many components I substituted during the 1980s and 1990s -- Campagnola hubs, Mavic rims -- were still in excellent condition.
....
Good quality parts have a very good lifespan.

A decade ago I bought a used bike for $5 (USD) at a garage sale. Bridgestone MB-6 mountain bike. The owner was selling his house and downsizing. He said when his kids moved out a decade earlier, he was tired of picking up after them, so he left their bikes in the yard where the kids have left them to teach them a lesson. A decade later, they were still in the yard and the kids apparently did not have to learn a lesson from that. After I gave him the $5 for the bike, he then cut down the 2 inch diameter tree that had grown up through the frame, the tree was big enough that the bikes could not be moved.

It took me two days and about $50 to fix it up. One shifter needed replacement, but almost all of the original components that were metal are still fine to this day. But everything that was rubber or plastic was too weathered to save. I gave it a thorough frame saver treatment since the bike had been stored outside for over a decade, and I planed to store it outside too. It became a great errand bike. I continued to store it outside for another decade, but more recently I have found room for it in my garage so it now is out of the rain and snow.

I was surprised how many components still worked great after that abuse, I last used it a couple days ago for a quick shopping errand. Mine is newer than yours, a 1994 with indexed shifting.
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Old 06-05-23, 01:17 AM
  #25  
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I have had a Fuji World touring bike for nearly 20 years and decided I needed disc brakes due to arthritis in my hands and also because for some reason I can't seem to get cantilever style brakes to work efficiently. I also though it was time for an upgrade. I looked at getting a new bike. Since the kids came along I haven't been touring but mostly road riding though I wanted to keep the door open for touring in the future. I thought about some off the shelf options available in Australia, most of which tended to be more like gravel bikes. Also considered custom.
I ended up getting the frame of the Fuji World modified to fit the hydraulic disc brakes which to be honest ended up as a new bike re-using the old frame! Worked out spectacularly well from my perspective. An important thing for me was that when it was completed I essentially had a bike that was already dialled for me. As you don't have a steel frame you don't have that kind of option but I'm sure you can update components if you want to. If you buy a new one be careful that the geometry works for you and the kind of riding you do.
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