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Touring on something other that a LHT

Old 07-02-08, 07:59 PM
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Touring on something other that a LHT

I like the LHT, but everybody has one. I am a fan of bikes that show the personality of their owner. For me, dropping 1,000 on a bike is too much. I only tour once or twice a year, so buying an expensive bike that is specifically designed for touring that everyone has isn't worth it to me. Has anyone toured on a bike from the 80's? I have been looking at older Peugeots and Nishikis, to me these bikes have more character and style than typical touring bikes. I mean no offense to LHT owners.
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Old 07-02-08, 08:16 PM
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Check out this thread on the Classic and Vintage sub-forum.
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/432143-vintage-touring-rides-who-has-them.html
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Old 07-02-08, 08:45 PM
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No, sorry, if you post on this site you must ride a LHT.

Kidding, I thought the reason that so many people liked the LHT was that it is just like the 70's or 80's steel bikes with newer components?
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Old 07-02-08, 09:23 PM
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Everyone has one

Take a look at the REI Novara Safari for under $850.00 Tourer, commuter, general purpose.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:20 PM
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There are many older touring bikes out there just waiting to be shown some love. I was in a neighboring city recently and did a Craigslist seach for panniers. Found some and when the person showed them to me she also showed a mid 80s Panasonic Pro Touring in my size. It needs some work, but what a find. $225 for Blackburn front and rear racks, front and rear Rhode Gear panniers AND a full on touring mount. My experience illustrates the point that many 1980s touring bikes were built and are still floating around out there. With a little diligence one (or more) can be in your garage.

I have Miyata 615, 618, 1000 and tour with the 618. It's a great steed. Solid, handles well and take a load. I wouldn't trade it for a newer bike unless it was a custom build. The Surly (love that name) LHT is a fine bike, but I love the look of lugs. Given the same dollars, I'd rather have an older lugged bike.
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Old 07-03-08, 02:35 AM
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Yep. I have a 1982, 531 steel, lugged frame that I tour on. It works well for me.
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Old 07-03-08, 05:38 AM
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First, apologies upfront for people who've read me posting this before......

I got my bike from Ebay in the UK and had it shipped to the USA a couple of years ago, and couldn't be happier. It's a like new (couldn't find a single scratch anywhere on it) steel Dawes Sardar. It had everything I was looking for -disc *and* canti post mounts (so I can choose), spoke holder, touring specific geometry, 26" wheels frame, made in Europe and a uniqueness for the USA. I love the paintwork -it's an understated deep metallic Marmite brown that changes to a lovely deep metallic green when you change angle to look at it.

Cost? about $220 for the frame and fork, including shipping. Bit of a bargain if you ask me! (the total cost of the build including the frame and shipping costs is around $1000, so it's not cheaper than an LHT, but I do have Avid road disc brakes on it). I love the fact it's also a little unique, but more for the fact it really fits me well and is a great touring machine.

If you do want a 26" steel tourer, this is something worth looking at -but be aware that the "new" Sardar is now alu, and I'm sure I saved a lot on shipping by being able to purchase just the frameset, something that you might not be able to find as they are usually complete. Further, the dollar is now very weak against the pound, so a bargain will be very, very hard to find. I can't help but think I just lucked out.

Picture here (not my bike but very similar and this really doesn't do justice to the paintwork):
https://k43.pbase.com/g6/85/557985/2/...2.J0D08fnA.jpg

Anyway, might be worth keeping an eye on ebay to see if you see anything that takes your interest.
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Old 07-03-08, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by maidenvoyage
I like the LHT, but everybody has one. I am a fan of bikes that show the personality of their owner. For me, dropping 1,000 on a bike is too much. I only tour once or twice a year, so buying an expensive bike that is specifically designed for touring that everyone has isn't worth it to me. Has anyone toured on a bike from the 80's? I have been looking at older Peugeots and Nishikis, to me these bikes have more character and style than typical touring bikes. I mean no offense to LHT owners.
No reason you can't tour on the older bikes. All those folks who rode Bikecentennial in 1976 had something other than an LHT and they did fine.

BTW: I have a very nice Nishiki Cresta that I would part with for a reasonable price. PM me if you are interested and medium-ish height.
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Old 07-03-08, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ggriffinslo
. . . The Surly (love that name) LHT is a fine bike, but I love the look of lugs. Given the same dollars, I'd rather have an older lugged bike.
The touring rigs from the '80s have a lot of soul and character, and actually set the standard for todays touring-specific rides. One of the best examples from back-in-the-day, is the Specialized Expedition (and its close cousin, the Miyata 1000). Not only do these bikes enjoy a touring specific geometry, lugged and butted frame, fork and stays, all of the necessary brazed-on fittings, 36/40 spoke 700c wheels, and looong wheelbase, but were internally wired for a Sanyo generator.

I've been touring on my '83 Expedition for a few years now and enjoy riding something that's not like every other bike out there. Here are some pics of my 25 year old rig. Right now she's loaded up and ready to head out the door July 14 (we're getting a late start) on a 5000 mile tour of the western U.S.

BTW, I also have a 1990 Bridgestone CB-Zip that I've built up as a 26" wheeled international/dirt road tourer and all-rounder. Next year she expects to be heading south of the border and on to South America.

Yes, there are tourers out there that aren't LHTs. I guess I'm stuck in the '80s!

Safe travels,
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Old 07-03-08, 06:24 AM
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Oooohh bike lust! Bike lust! Those are really, really nice! Truly some beautiful bikes you have there, very nicely setup.

Originally Posted by VeloVeg
I've been touring on my '83 Expedition for a few years now and enjoy riding something that's not like every other bike out there. Here are some pics of my 25 year old rig. Right now she's loaded up and ready to head out the door July 14 (we're getting a late start) on a 5000 mile tour of the western U.S.

BTW, I also have a 1990 Bridgestone CB-Zip that I've built up as a 26" wheeled international/dirt road tourer and all-rounder. Next year she expects to be heading south of the border and on to South America.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:41 AM
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If you are looking for a steel framed, 26 inch wheel bike, why not consider a rigid frame mountain bike? My 1992 Trek 950 set me back $75, came with a rear blackburn rack. Added a front rack, front and rear panniers. I am under $200 so far. No match for the $1000 bikes I am sure, but it allows me to try out touring without dropping some serious cash.
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Old 07-03-08, 01:28 PM
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I found a late 80's Specialized CrossRoads Hybrid in a thrift store for $5. Someone had tried to use it as a mountain bike and had destroyed the rims and spokes. I purchased replacement rims and spokes and rebuilt the hubs. I retained the shifters and brake levers and fitted all new cables. I ordered a new saddle and brake pads. A few months later I found an old bike with some really nice fenders which I cleaned up and painted. I also ordered a Nashbar trekking bar and racks. Over the last 3 years I've rolled up over 8,000 miles on that bike and just ordered a new cassette and chain having worn out both. it's my touring bike, my commuter, and grocery getter. Everyone thinks it's a real touring bike and are shocked when I tell them what it really is. Here is a current photo.

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Old 07-04-08, 02:20 PM
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I just got a sweet 1985 Schwinn Voyageur SP this week. I LOVE it! It rides smooth as silk and has all the brazeons as it was Schwinn's top of the line loaded tourer back then built in Japan by Panasonic. I just took it on a first grocery run of many to come to test out the stability. It performed wonderfully. I do need to get a front rack though as I had it loaded up on the back.

I must mention that I am currently building up an LHT so I am curious to see how the two compare. I really like this Schwinn though.
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Old 07-07-08, 01:29 PM
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My only bike is a 1978 Shogun Touring bike.It's been ridden everyday since it was new.It has well over 200,000 miles on it and still going strong.

If I ever figure out how to post pictures...
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Old 07-08-08, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Booger1
My only bike is a 1978 Shogun Touring bike.It's been ridden everyday since it was new.It has well over 200,000 miles on it and still going strong.

If I ever figure out how to post pictures...
Id like to see some pics of that
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Old 07-08-08, 05:32 AM
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Seconded.... c'mon, learn how to post those photos!!!!

Originally Posted by rustguard
Id like to see some pics of that
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Old 07-08-08, 08:34 AM
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Although they usually get no love from the iron crowd around here, the Cannondale touring bikes are good as the LHT. In my opinion, they are slightly better. They certainly have a much longer history then the LHT. Cannondale has had 2 touring bikes in their line since 1987. Unlike some other companies, they have made them for loaded touring all along and haven't gone fiddling with the wheelbase and geometry much to make them 'sportier'. Even so, my T800 is a pretty zippy bike without a load. Worth a look.

If you are looking for used ones, look for the T#00 designation where the # sign can be a 6 to 10. Those are the touring bikes. The newest are the T1 and T2. The T2 is the better of the two bikes in my opinion.

The Road Warrior 4 is worth a look too. It looks like it's built on the touring frame and even has fork eyelets. It is a flat bar bike, however.

The 80s bikes were okay as touring bikes. I had one for 20 years. But the T800 I have now is much better. The old frame was kind of noodly while the T800 is "no hands, 40 mph downhill" steady.
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Old 07-08-08, 10:52 AM
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I know a guy who spent an entire summer touring on a Schwinn Varsity back in the day.

I have two requirements for a touring bike:

1) It must be reliable.

2) I must be comfortable spending all day riding it.
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Old 07-08-08, 11:01 AM
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The "noodle" part is the whole idea.If the frame flexes,I don't have to run tires that are soft to get a nice ride.That's why I can run 120-140lbs of air pressure in the tires and it still rides nice.If the frame is stiff,like a racing frame,I can feel every pebble on the road,I'll pass.When it is fully loaded,in granny,cranking up a hill,the BB will flex an 1/2" or so from side to side,just like it's suppose to.If it doesn't flex,it breaks,somethings got to give.The more weight you put on this bike,the straighter it goes.It's not made for carving corners,it's made for going straight.It's got little thin seat stays,long chain stays(46cm),lots of rake in the fork,it's a touring bike.

I'm not letting go of the handle bars at 40mph,I don't care what bike it is!( I know,I know).

I will try to post pictures tomorrow after work,I won't have time tonight.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1
The "noodle" part is the whole idea.If the frame flexes,I don't have to run tires that are soft to get a nice ride.That's why I can run 120-140lbs of air pressure in the tires and it still rides nice.If the frame is stiff,like a racing frame,I can feel every pebble on the road,I'll pass.When it is fully loaded,in granny,cranking up a hill,the BB will flex an 1/2" or so from side to side,just like it's suppose to.If it doesn't flex,it breaks,somethings got to give.The more weight you put on this bike,the straighter it goes.It's not made for carving corners,it's made for going straight.It's got little thin seat stays,long chain stays(46cm),lots of rake in the fork,it's a touring bike.

I'm not letting go of the handle bars at 40mph,I don't care what bike it is!( I know,I know).

I will try to post pictures tomorrow after work,I won't have time tonight.
If your frame flexes enough to give a smooth ride with 120 to 140 psi in your tires, your frame is too soft! The tires are the interface with the road and do more to smooth out the ride than any frame can ever be designed to do. Additionally, steel is far more stiff than aluminum can be. The only reason an aluminum frame is stiff is due to the larger diameter of the tubes used to make the frame.

A compliant frame will give a good ride unloaded but that same frame becomes difficult to handle under a heavy load. Yes, they do well going straight but the world isn't made of straight lines. There are curves and twists all over the place. Sooner or later, you are going to have to deal with those curves and I'd rather have a bike that carves the turns rather than go in a straight line.

Additionally, standing up to pedal up a hill or just to take the pressure off your butt shouldn't be difficult. On my old steel bike, I had to pedal straight up and down...no moving the bars as is natural for climbing out of the saddle. If I threw the bars back and forth, the bike would wander all over creation. Not so with the T800. It will handle climbing out of the saddle without any issues at all, no matter how much I want to through the bars back and forth.

The T800 has a long wheelbase, thicker stays and probably just as much rake on the fork. It also has over 25 years of experience* to back it up. There are only a few production touring bikes (available in the US) with that kind of history.

*I was incorrect about the first Cannondale touring bike. The date was 1983...not 1987.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
If you are looking for a steel framed, 26 inch wheel bike, why not consider a rigid frame mountain bike? My 1992 Trek 950 set me back $75, came with a rear blackburn rack. Added a front rack, front and rear panniers. I am under $200 so far. No match for the $1000 bikes I am sure, but it allows me to try out touring without dropping some serious cash.
I'm doing the same with a Bianchi Nyala, went to road tyres, mudguards, butterfly bars, front and rear racks, non-Brooks leather saddle . . . . . . and still seriously doubt if I've got over $300.00 in the bike. It's the slowest bike in the stable, but also the highest mileage one. It'll do just about anything I want.

Alternately, find yourself a good old lugged steel frame, and don't worry if it's double butted whatever or not. Just so the geometry is comfortable. My 'fast' tourer is a late 60's Dutch Magneet - good old bottom of the line gaspipe with some serious period upgrades (Stronglight 99 triple, Sun Tour derailleurs and bar end shifters, beaten Hondo mudguards, rear rack and handlebar mount). Here, I may have bordered on $400.00, as I was building it up as much for antique shows as for serious long distance riding.

Quite frankly, between the two I don't need anything more modern.

If you're looking at something complete out of an LBS, take a glance at the Fuji Tourer - a bit pedestrian, but reasonably complete and quality for well under $1000.00. I was also a bit taken at the Raleigh Sojurn, but that's $1100.00, and just a bit high for my purposes.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:53 PM
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You might want to read about Shoguns,they have been making touring bikes before Cannondale was a company.Probably before whoever owns Cannondale was born.I don't know if anybody imports them anymore,but last time I looked,you can still buy new ones in Japan.

Last edited by Booger1; 07-08-08 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:18 PM
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You don't want an LHT because "everybody has one"? Apologies to the OP if I offend, but it sounds a bit like a poseur post. Like you're asking us what you should do to be cool. Sorry if I misunderstand.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:44 PM
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I don't think so....

LHT's and Cannondales are very popular touring bikes,and rightly so.But it is nice to see something different every once in a while.

I'm probably odd man out here(what's new)but I think a softer frame with hard tires is much better than the other way around.As far as I know,tires with 120-140lbs in them,roll MUCH better than tires with 80lbs in them.

There's always build your own,find a frame you like and start throwing parts at it.If I knew then what I know now,who knows what I'd be riding now.If by some freak chance the old Shogun takes a dump,that exactly how I will build my next touring bike.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.As long as everyone is happy with their bikes,that's all that matters.

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Old 07-08-08, 11:11 PM
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The problem with flex and carrying loads is that it is sideways, Ive been using a trek 810 for carting loads for a couple of years now. Its a great frame, i wont be able to sell it. the only flex i notice is sideways with really heavy loads on the back in big grocery panniers. If your frame was flexing up and down 1/2" I'd have thought it was turning corners like an articulated tractor.
I'm just building up a shogun now to be my new workhorse, I hope it dos'nt flex anything like that. its cromo tubing whether that includes the rear stays or not i dont know. the frame is not light by my standards, but for what it will be doing this is a plus.

I have read here that the LHT does not have cromo rear stays, is there any truth in this?

booger1 do you know if shogun was ever using cheap material stays on their cromo frames?
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