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What's someone gotta do to find a nice 80's touring bike?!

Old 09-26-10, 10:19 AM
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What's someone gotta do to find a nice 80's touring bike?!

So I've been looking for a new touring bike for about a month now. I've been checking craigslist (even the cities 180 miles away from me), ebay, local ads, local used bike sellers, local bike shops, and I've checked out two bikes so far and they just didn't fit. Does anyone in the Los Angeles area know any places I should check out? I'm looking for an 80's touring bike, Univega Specialissima's, Miyata's, Schwinn's, I'm even considering the Surly long haul's too. I'm 5'10.5" with a 34" inseam so I'm around a 57cm ideally. I just bought a Univega Specialissima frame last night but found a dent in the top tube so I'm returning it today. Help a brotha out! I really want to get in a trip at least to San Francisco before the weather turns crappy. I'm AMAZED at how NO ONE rides touring bikes around here. It's really lame.
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Old 09-26-10, 10:47 AM
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Thrift stores in nicer/higher priced neighborhoods? A co-worker picked up a really nice Miyata for $20 that way.

Are you sure you want a frame that small? I'm shorter than you and ride a 58 cm c-c.
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Old 09-26-10, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bicycle Funk
I'm AMAZED at how NO ONE rides touring bikes around here. It's really lame.
Maybe they ARE riding them, and that's why you can't find them?

Otherwise, I have nothing to suggest really. But good luck with your hunting!
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Old 09-26-10, 01:30 PM
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I'm surprised that you've had such poor luck. My last few bike purchases were made by posting a 'Wanted to buy' add on my local craigslist. I've gotten responses even when I post a specific model, size and year range. It's amazing that there were several people in my area with a trek 620 in 61cm made between 1980 and 1985.
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Old 09-26-10, 01:32 PM
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I've got one to sell but it's 64cm. You have any tall friend?
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Old 09-26-10, 03:45 PM
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34" inseam? sounds like a 58cm. Either way get a Surly Cross Check. More solid than 80's touring bikes and if you put the rear wheel near the back of the dropouts it's just as long. I'd much rather get a new CC than a 20yr old bike.
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Old 09-26-10, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG
34" inseam? sounds like a 58cm. Either way get a Surly Cross Check. More solid than 80's touring bikes and if you put the rear wheel near the back of the dropouts it's just as long. I'd much rather get a new CC than a 20yr old bike.
Yeah and it'll only cost you 3x as much for very little practical improvement! "More solid?" Uh, riiiiiight. You should go into marketing.

Anyway, back to the OP. Touring bikes are kind of a hot market right now. If you're not having luck on CL, I would turn to eBay. There's usually at least a few posted there, and 58cm is not an uncommon size.
You may need to familiarize yourself with more 1980's Japanese touring models and expand your search. I highly suggest you do a search (and maybe make a post) in Classic and Vintage. We love old tourers there and somewhere there's a big list of the "classic" tourers.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets
Yeah and it'll only cost you 3x as much for very little practical improvement! "More solid?" Uh, riiiiiight. You should go into marketing.
I disagree with this characterization. This is only the case if you a) find a bike in great shape, b) already have excellent mechanical skills, and c) have a bunch of parts handy.

Otherwise, and especially if you don't have the requisite mechanical skills, a used bike can easily turn into a money pit.

And, of course, there's always the question of which is worth more: Your money or your time. If you actively enjoy working on bikes it's time well spent; otherwise it's time you could, oh... spend riding your bike perhaps?
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Old 09-26-10, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys, I decided I'm going to keep this Univega Specialissima. The dent is very small and merely cosmetic. I'm going to do a full restoration and just bondo up that dent before painting. I'll definitely post a thread showing extensive before and after pics. It should be a beaut! Plans are the Univega metallic gun metal for the frame/fenders with dark brown brooks saddle/bar tape, noodle bars, bar end shifters, suntour derailleurs, and some nice 36 spoke box rims laced to some tasty phil woods.

I would have to agree with Bacciagalupe that fixing an old bike up can cost just as much as buying a newer modern bike. I paid $100 for my frame/fork/headset/brakes/sr triple crank/seatpost and by the time I'm done getting the whole thing running with paint and all, at LEAST $800 will have been spent. I'd rather have a pristine 70s/80s bike than a pristine modern one. Nothing like getting those classics and taking them back in time. B)
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Old 09-26-10, 06:34 PM
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I used to live in San Diego and there are two very good used bike shops there that carry a lot of classic touring rigs. I have seen Miyatas, 520s, specialized, and panasonics there. The owner at Velo Cult goes out of his way to find good touring frames and fixes them up with all new components. They usually run around 400-500. Ye Ole Bicycle shop sells other nice used bikes but they do not tend to have a lot of touring stuff. Look them up and give them and call to see whats in stock. I think that Velo Cult has a website with pictures.

Edit: I found their website for you. https://www.velocult.com/index.php/store/
Also, looks like the prices have gone up since I visited last.

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Old 09-26-10, 07:09 PM
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I've been watching also and the Miyata's and Trek's show up on CL pretty frequently - at least in the NW. But, they also disappear off CL pretty quicly. What I have noticed is the Nishiki, Univega, Bianchi Volpe, etc. seem to last a little longer. The ones that have lasted the longest are the REI Novara brand - and they can be had for a pretty decent price.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:19 PM
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Wow anyone else think these are really cool looking? https://www.velocult.com/index.php/st...way_1_pannier/
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Old 09-27-10, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets
Yeah and it'll only cost you 3x as much for very little practical improvement! "More solid?" Uh, riiiiiight. You should go into marketing.

.
part of my suggestion given the ops willingness to buy a new bike with a months worth of looking and a trip this fall is to get a bike into his hands and broken in before the trip as he appeared to be bothered by a ding in the frame. Not knowing how heavy the rider is or size of load a new CC will handle heavier loads better than the Specialissimo, if the op is light and he's riding light it would be a very nice riding bike to have and not anywhere as much of a tank as the LHT or CC.

I had, rode and sold 80's touring bikes when I had a shop. The only oversized tubing back then was very thin steel tubing on some racing bikes and heavy tubing on mtn. bikes. From bare frame the op is going to have a bike that can't take as large of tires as the CC, has 126mm rear triangle and will require a total component package.
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Old 09-27-10, 09:10 AM
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You could Buy one of Bruce Gordons lugged construction touring bikes
and a set of his racks, frame and racks made for each other..

and have style and design going for you and get the Fit right.
Or get a 30 year old thing and hope the fit is right.

Or you can get the Tig welded stuff Bruce has something to offer in that niche too.
He's been building touring bikes since the 70's..
this year a import contract model to compete in price with LHT,
but offers a nicer parts pick, I'd say..

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Old 09-28-10, 08:19 AM
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+1 I really like the Gordons too, but I would also look at the Gunnar's Grand Tour.
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