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Would you go across the USA on a 1983 model touring bike?

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Would you go across the USA on a 1983 model touring bike?

Old 02-08-20, 02:44 PM
  #101  
alcjphil
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I get it, believe me I get it, especially knowing that you have limited bike buying experience. You did the right thing. You were put under pressure by the seller for no particular reason. I think that the seller knew no more about bikes than you do and simply used information gleaned from Schwinn pamphlets of the time. That could have been a great "barn find" if the seller was honest. Don't forget the the old saying "There's a sucker born every minute" You are not one of them

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Old 02-08-20, 03:10 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I get it, believe me I get it, especially knowing that you have limited bike buying experience. You did the right thing. You were put under pressure by the seller for no particular reason. I think that the seller knew no more about bikes than you do and simply used information gleaned from Schwinn pamphlets of the time. That could have been a great "barn find" if the seller was honest. Don't forget the the old saying "There's a sucker born every minute" You are not one of them
That's exactly what it was,a great barn find. I was looking for something better, and really expected it due to a long conversation about condition. Even if the seller was ignorant of how to access condition, there were several points that I was obvious, that I had been lied to about.
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Old 02-08-20, 03:16 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
That's exactly what it was,a great barn find. I was looking for something better, and really expected it due to a long conversation about condition. Even if the seller was ignorant of how to access condition, there were several points that I was obvious, that I had been lied to about.
It could have been a great barn find if the seller was honest. As presented online it was a great deal. As presented in real life...., Not so much. Good on you for walking away

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Old 02-08-20, 03:24 PM
  #104  
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You've got time to locate/find another... Just be ready to jump like RIGHT NOW when a vintage tourer shows up! I was lucky to find my Univega Gran Tourismo for <$160 in as-new original condition (only the tires had been changed from original( cheapie Chen Shins) , and they were put on for the sale.




It is now equipped with a rear rack, six-speed ultra-spaced freewheel, bar-end shifters, fenders, new bar tape, better seatpost, new saddle, cables, tires...







As Frank Sinatra would sing -- "I did it myyyyyyyyy waaaaayyyyy!"

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Old 02-08-20, 07:37 PM
  #105  
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I read the Schwinn is a no go. I'm commenting basically to warn about swtiching 27" to 700c wheels with canti lever brakes. On vintage bikes the canti posts on the frame were closer together than modern bikes. This means its not always possible to switch easily. I have an '86 Schwinn voyageur and I couldn't get it to work. I tried different brakes and nothing seemed to help. Unfortunately it depends, I believe, on the width of the 700s rims. I have some wider touring rims. I mention this because I found an instagram post with an '86 Voyageur that made the switch.

This is all just food for thought if you decide to use an old steel frame with canti brakes. In case you care, I've given up making those wheels work. Instead I hope to get a new pair of 27" rims laced to some more modern good quality hubs.

If it makes any difference, I think a steel touring bike from the '80s is MORE than capable to do a ride like that. I rode from Burlington Vt to NYC 10 years ago on a 1978 Trek 510. The 510 wasn't even a touring model. Fully loaded it weighed probably 75 lbs (I had way too much but I was going on vacation and spending time in NYC after too). A quality steel frame is a great choice for a long ride. I would also suggest getting everything dialed in before the ride; fit, components, spare equipment etc

No matter what you choose for a frame I would consider the chain stay lengths if you plan to use rear panniers. On the Trek 510, the chain stays are short and my rear rack has the panniers mounted high. This makes my foot hit the front of the pannier.
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Old 02-08-20, 09:52 PM
  #106  
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I'm curious how the seller responded after you showed up and called him out on everything?

Also, to be fair, after reading your initial description of the bicycle and then seeing the photos later posted, it was clear to me that it would not be in the condition described. Once you've looked at enough of these you kind of get a good feel for what you're look at just by the photos. The parts that are shown, angles of the photos, components that are stressed in the photos, various types of patina etc. I think the best thing that you can do before going for a long drive to see one of these is to ask for better photos and post them here and let the experts sort it out for you (I'm far from an expert, but there are many here). The thing is, if you need to ask for better quality photos, the bike probably isn't going to be in mint condition.

Anyways, do not give up! There are vintage tourers aplenty out there and the good news is that most will be in good enough shape to get going and be tour worthy!
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Old 02-09-20, 12:37 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by gil_00000 View Post
I read the Schwinn is a no go. I'm commenting basically to warn about swtiching 27" to 700c wheels with canti lever brakes. On vintage bikes the canti posts on the frame were closer together than modern bikes. This means its not always possible to switch easily. I have an '86 Schwinn voyageur and I couldn't get it to work. I tried different brakes and nothing seemed to help. Unfortunately it depends, I believe, on the width of the 700s rims. I have some wider touring rims. I mention this because I found an instagram post with an '86 Voyageur that made the switch.

This is all just food for thought if you decide to use an old steel frame with canti brakes. In case you care, I've given up making those wheels work. Instead I hope to get a new pair of 27" rims laced to some more modern good quality hubs.

If it makes any difference, I think a steel touring bike from the '80s is MORE than capable to do a ride like that. I rode from Burlington Vt to NYC 10 years ago on a 1978 Trek 510. The 510 wasn't even a touring model. Fully loaded it weighed probably 75 lbs (I had way too much but I was going on vacation and spending time in NYC after too). A quality steel frame is a great choice for a long ride. I would also suggest getting everything dialed in before the ride; fit, components, spare equipment etc

No matter what you choose for a frame I would consider the chain stay lengths if you plan to use rear panniers. On the Trek 510, the chain stays are short and my rear rack has the panniers mounted high. This makes my foot hit the front of the pannier.
I’ve had a different experience. I’ve been able to adjust cantilevers to fit 700c wheels on an ‘83 Trek 720, an ‘84 Trek 520, and ‘84 Miyata 610, and a ‘91 Cannondale ST600, all without incident. I will say that you’re right about slightly wider rims though, they do help a lot.
I’m also surprised about the chain stays on you’re Trek, are you sure it’s not a 530? My ‘79 Trek 510 has 44.5cm chainstays, quite respectable if you ask me! :-) I don't have the heel strike issue. But then I wear a size 10.5 shoe, maybe that's the difference.
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Old 02-09-20, 09:23 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I’ve had a different experience. I’ve been able to adjust cantilevers to fit 700c wheels on an ‘83 Trek 720, an ‘84 Trek 520, and ‘84 Miyata 610, and a ‘91 Cannondale ST600, all without incident. I will say that you’re right about slightly wider rims though, they do help a lot.
I’m also surprised about the chain stays on you’re Trek, are you sure it’s not a 530? My ‘79 Trek 510 has 44.5cm chainstays, quite respectable if you ask me! :-) I don't have the heel strike issue. But then I wear a size 10.5 shoe, maybe that's the difference.
I know the serial number isn't 'D' for a 530. I just measured the chainstays for the first time and they're 44.5 cm.
Upon closer inspection I might have a TX500 instead. The serial number isn't perfectly stamped on the first letter. It might be an 'E' instead of an 'F'. I've had this frame for 10 years and maybe I didn't know what the model was.

As for the panniers and heel strike, my foot size is between 9-10 depending on brand. I could have done something to get it to work. I have the Minnehaha bags because they match the aesthetic of the bike. There isn't a difference between the front and rear bags. I only mention this because I know some of the rear panniers have a purpose built shape to avoid hitting the foot. To go even further, the rack I bought for the rear is not the best option. It looks the best. It's a Velo Orange rack that places the panniers in one position. That position happens to be higher and closer to the rider than some of the other options out there. I know there are better options out there for the panniers and racks that would almost certainly help the situation.

In regards to the 27" to 700c conversion. Did you have to change out the brakes and go with a different option to get things to work? Also what are your rim widths? I have a 700c touring wheelset I wanted to use. I don't know the exact width, but they're wider than a 'normal' road bike rim (normal being in 2009 before the gravel and tubeless trends started taking off and created a new normal). The best option I could come up with was cram the wheelset in and either let the brake shoes wear at an angle and slowly wear horribly wrong to make good contact to the rim OR grind off a ton of the rubber to have an equally horrible wear but make good contact from the start. I also looked into getting the canti posts removed then appropriately spaced for the 700c wheel. That ended up being about $300 and I would then need to address the lack of paint in those areas. Also important to know, I didn't spend any money for the frame initially. All that being said, the frame is in the basement completely stripped of parts and waiting.
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Old 02-09-20, 09:25 AM
  #109  
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Just going to add my 2 cents in case the the OP is still on the hunt for a vintage bike, I would suggest obtaining a wheel set that you can trust. Phil Wood freewheel hubs are available in any spaceing and as I remember cost about the same as their front hubs, maybe $150 or so? That, a cheap Shimamo front hub, 2 CR18 rims and spokes would probably cost around $300 for the stuff, and if you have access to a co-op to teach you how to build them you could save the build cost. Just about any bike you find will need another $150 in consumables to get on the road, but with that $450 budgeted, just about any $100 touring bike that fits and is the right color will get you down the road safely. My parallel universe is putting a mid 90's Canondale T700 back on the road for this summers ride around with a similar budget, but with all the touring gear being transferred off of last years ride around bike. I will still be able to say with a straight face that "the bike cost $60"

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Old 02-09-20, 09:37 AM
  #110  
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I know OP has pretty much opted for new, and the “ready to ride” is never really “ready to ride” has been covered. But a vintage touring bike can be built for around $500.

Hmmm, I sense a spring build challenge...

OP, I really liked the Surley Moloko bars on a fat bike - lots of comfy hand positions. This from an avowed drop bar purist.
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Old 02-09-20, 12:06 PM
  #111  
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Near Chattanooga..

...and vintage and I think closer to you size maybe. Both below $120.

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646166.html

And also:

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646401.html

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...058370475.html

Good luck whatever you decide.

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Old 02-09-20, 12:13 PM
  #112  
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I think a $500 all in bike and camping gear set up would bring out the crazy's. 2 nights camping and 100 miles on the road.
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Old 02-09-20, 03:00 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by mechanicmatt View Post
...and vintage and I think closer to you size maybe. Both below $120.

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646166.html

And also:

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646401.html

https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...058370475.html

Good luck whatever you decide.

Well I posted this before, but then I deleted it because the CL listing had expired, but then mechanicmatt posted the new CL listing, so I'll say what I said again (it's that Lotus Excelle):

-----------------------------------------------------------

I'll just throw this out as another option.

DEAD LISTING https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...053947967.html
NEW LISTING https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646166.html

Other people here will have to do any comparing/contrasting with the Voyager. I'll just note that if you're in Alabama it's north of you, a little north of Chattanooga, maybe not too far for the right bike. It's been for sale for months, and I know this because if I hadn't just bought a new bike I'd have already gone to look at it. It comes with front and rear and handlebar racks and it's described as a 23" frame which seems like it might fit. I'm sure you notice the price is a lot less. No idea if that helps, but there it is.

Just on a general note, it sounds like you have "the right stuff" for an adventure. Wishing you the best with that.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:37 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by gil_00000 View Post
I know the serial number isn't 'D' for a 530. I just measured the chainstays for the first time and they're 44.5 cm.
Upon closer inspection I might have a TX500 instead. The serial number isn't perfectly stamped on the first letter. It might be an 'E' instead of an 'F'. I've had this frame for 10 years and maybe I didn't know what the model was.

As for the panniers and heel strike, my foot size is between 9-10 depending on brand. I could have done something to get it to work. I have the Minnehaha bags because they match the aesthetic of the bike. There isn't a difference between the front and rear bags. I only mention this because I know some of the rear panniers have a purpose built shape to avoid hitting the foot. To go even further, the rack I bought for the rear is not the best option. It looks the best. It's a Velo Orange rack that places the panniers in one position. That position happens to be higher and closer to the rider than some of the other options out there. I know there are better options out there for the panniers and racks that would almost certainly help the situation.

In regards to the 27" to 700c conversion. Did you have to change out the brakes and go with a different option to get things to work? Also what are your rim widths? I have a 700c touring wheelset I wanted to use. I don't know the exact width, but they're wider than a 'normal' road bike rim (normal being in 2009 before the gravel and tubeless trends started taking off and created a new normal). The best option I could come up with was cram the wheelset in and either let the brake shoes wear at an angle and slowly wear horribly wrong to make good contact to the rim OR grind off a ton of the rubber to have an equally horrible wear but make good contact from the start. I also looked into getting the canti posts removed then appropriately spaced for the 700c wheel. That ended up being about $300 and I would then need to address the lack of paint in those areas. Also important to know, I didn't spend any money for the frame initially. All that being said, the frame is in the basement completely stripped of parts and waiting.
On my conversion I've used the existing canti's on everything except the '91 Cannondale ST600. And that Cannondale is the only one that has an alignment issue. It works but the brakes do angle down more than in, than I would prefer. For wheels I've bought two sets of CR-18's which have a narrowish 18mm diameter. A wider rim should help that Cannondale.

I like the old Cannondale overland panniers. They have the front lower corner cut in at an angle for heel clearence.

And if the velo rack and Banjo Bro. combo isn't working functionally, maybe trying a different set up would help. I've used the Overlands on a Blackburn rack on the back of an '84 Trek 610 that has 43cm chain stays. That set up even worked out pretty well. If I purposefully pedaled with my feet absolutely horizontal I could make my feet brush the pannier, but it was a non-issue with a normal cadence and position.

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Old 02-11-20, 05:03 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
Well I posted this before, but then I deleted it because the CL listing had expired, but then mechanicmatt posted the new CL listing, so I'll say what I said again (it's that Lotus Excelle):

-----------------------------------------------------------

I'll just throw this out as another option.

DEAD LISTING https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...053947967.html
NEW LISTING https://chattanooga.craigslist.org/b...069646166.html

Other people here will have to do any comparing/contrasting with the Voyager. I'll just note that if you're in Alabama it's north of you, a little north of Chattanooga, maybe not too far for the right bike. It's been for sale for months, and I know this because if I hadn't just bought a new bike I'd have already gone to look at it. It comes with front and rear and handlebar racks and it's described as a 23" frame which seems like it might fit. I'm sure you notice the price is a lot less. No idea if that helps, but there it is.

Just on a general note, it sounds like you have "the right stuff" for an adventure. Wishing you the best with that.
Jeepers, that bike is almost worth the price just for the two new tires and the two racks.

Cheers
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