Old 02-09-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
1970's and early 80's Peugeots and Raleighs are pretty sure bets for good tire clearance, quality construction, and light weight if you got one of the high end models. I have one of each I use for gravel-type riding, they're perfect for that.

But by the mid-80's, 27 inch rims were gone, and frames built for 700c wheels no longer had much clearance at all. You were supposed to buy one of those newfangled mountain bike thingies if you wanted to run tires wider than 25mm.
Yeah, mountain bikes definitely began to take over if you wanted a bike for bad roads by the mid to late 80s and racing bikes had ever tighter clearances. That's starting to change.

Old Fujis also have massive clearance. I have a 1972 Fuji Finest and that bike has crazy clearance as well. I think there are a lot of bikes from the 70s that will make fine gravel machines if you are willing to deal with 120 mm rear triangles, lack of water bottle braze ons (no big deal if using a hydration bag), etc. French bikes have their own oddities as well which you either end up loving or hating but they are, I think, retro cool in their own way.
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