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Which bike? 1983 sequoia vs. new bike from Bikes Direct vs. Building up old Trek 970

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Which bike? 1983 sequoia vs. new bike from Bikes Direct vs. Building up old Trek 970

Old 04-03-11, 08:37 AM
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Which bike? 1983 sequoia vs. new bike from Bikes Direct vs. Building up old Trek 970

I'm looking for my first bike for loaded touring.

I don't have a huge budget. I'm considering a few options. I know that none of these are ideal options, I just want to know whether setting up one of these for loaded touring is going to be much more of a time/money headache than the others, and I want to make the right choice before I buy the bike.

Option 1: I'm going to go see a 1983 Specialized Sequoia I found on Craigslist. I understand this is a 'sport touring' bike and that in 1983 the Expedition has better geometry for touring. Looks nice, but I'm afraid of it not being quite right for real loaded touring. Seller wants $550 for it, includes 'vintage Blackburn racks'. I don't know if these would have to be replaced.


Option 2: Keep looking for something like an early 90s Trek 970 and set it up for touring.

Option 3: Buy one of the bikes on Bikes Direct (likely the Motobecane Gran Turismo).

I believe that the Sequoia is in good enough condition that it won't need any serious overhauls and I'll just need a thorough tuneup before I do any serious riding.
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Old 04-03-11, 08:53 AM
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Here's a link to an article from Adventure Cycling on the Sequoia:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/reso...ed_sequoia.pdf
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Old 04-03-11, 09:07 AM
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I thought the 520 was Trek's touring bike .

If you are planning a tour a long way from service,
Do the Overhaul before you start ,

To lessen the potential to need to fix stuff in the outback.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:14 AM
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Thanks. I found this article. 'Best bike ever' would be a reason to get it, but I think this speaks to its versatility more than it being the right bike for loaded touring. That's where I'm hesitating.

@Fietsbob: Early 90s Trek 970 isn't a touring bike. It's a mountain bike with XT components that is given as one possibility in the newbie's guide to touring on this forum.

Originally Posted by ctyler
Here's a link to an article from Adventure Cycling on the Sequoia:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/reso...ed_sequoia.pdf
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Old 04-03-11, 09:17 AM
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Actually they are all good options but you really have to be careful when buying older bikes. They may look good on the outside but things can really start to add up once you start finding pitted races/cones in your hubs, BB and headset. A thorough tune up can easily run you close to $200 if not more once you consider the above plus cables and housings, chain rings, etc.... unless you are able to do it yourself.

The Trek and Specialized are sought after frames and they are going to get top dollar especially if they are in great condition. If you are wanting an older bike like these to save money, you would be better off getting something more current IMO. However, if you have been lusting over a vintage touring bike and really want one for whatever reason, then go for it but expect to pay at least as much as you would for the Gran Tourismo, if not more, once you have it tuned and set up to your liking. Personally I would get the GT since there would be a lot fewer surprises.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:27 AM
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I rescued an older Stump-jumper sport, It is a nice stable slack angle ride,
a good core to build a 26" wheel bike around.

OP... I recommend not shying away from overhauling your bike, in fact take it all apart,
learn it intimately.
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Old 04-03-11, 11:43 AM
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Raulcousins, how much do you weigh and how much do you plan on carrying? I had a '83 Sequoia when I weighed 150lbs, it's a nice road bike for light touring that could take 32mm tires. If you weigh 140lbs and thinking of carrying 25lbs it could be fine. Personally for $500+ I'd be looking at new bikes unless you want that exact bike for other reasons than touring.
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Old 04-03-11, 12:36 PM
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I'd be all over that Sequoia if it was in my area, it's a beauty! Since you're also considering bikes similar to a 970, I suspect you have some rough road/trail riding in mind. You will need to invest some time in dialing in the fit of a converted MTB, but it's a very affordable way to go, and it might be easier to stomach than beating up a fine vintage machine.
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Old 04-03-11, 12:55 PM
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I'd look for a clean 5-10 yr old Trek 520 or Cannondale Touring for around $5-600. They come up all the time on Craigslist and have what you need to go touring without a lot of modifications - good wheels, frame, components. The mountain bikes from late 80's early 90's (Trek, Stumpjumper, Gary Fisher, etc) also provide a solid base if you are planning to do some offroad but are slower on pavement and the ergo's usually aren't great without modification. Important to see and ride the bike in person - I would never buy a bike off Ebay as I have seen too many scams.
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Old 04-04-11, 02:06 PM
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the Spec is overpriced and undergeared. 28 front and 32 spoke wheels arent the greatest either. +1 on pitted cones etc requiring some work and $ possibility.
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