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Classic/Vintage Tourers?

Old 01-05-22, 07:36 PM
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Flatlander45
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Classic/Vintage Tourers?

Hello!

This is my inaugural post!

Anyone out there currently touring on/with a classic/vintage set-up? Last year I rode from Asheville, NC to Nashville, TN on a 1984 Centurion Accordo with a pair of homemade cat litter bucket panniers and more recently picked up a 1981 Miyata 1000 with a set of Cannondale touring bags that I can't wait to clean up and use this summer. Anyone else afflicted with such retro sensibilities?
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Old 01-05-22, 08:01 PM
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Welcome. Lots of folks like that here, many of whom were touring with that gear when it was fresh. I recently picked up an '80s Nishiki tourer to go with my '80s Paramount and its Eclipse racks and bags.
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Old 01-06-22, 06:30 AM
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Old stuff worked for us back in the day, but new stuff works better. Kinda like driving a car with a manual choke, points, biased ply tires and having issues driving over a high pass cuz the jetting is off.
Now of course if you have no idea what I just wrote, there you go.
At the same time I still love and appreciate old cars, and bikes, but new stuff does work better. (Still have my dt shifter tourer though)
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Old 01-06-22, 06:36 AM
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I do not tour on bikes of that vintage, but I have an early 1960s Italian racing bike that has a great ride. But, quite frankly I am addicted to having indexed shifting for the rear derailleur, have not ridden that vintage bike for a few years.

A couple years ago I picked up a nearly new pair of rear Cannondale Overland panniers at a swap meet for cheap. Have not used them yet, but when I saw them I had to buy them. Before I left the swap meet, I had several offers from others for them. If I do a credit card tour some day, I might use the Cannondales.
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Old 01-06-22, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I do not tour on bikes of that vintage, but I have an early 1960s Italian racing bike that has a great ride. But, quite frankly I am addicted to having indexed shifting for the rear derailleur, have not ridden that vintage bike for a few years.

A couple years ago I picked up a nearly new pair of rear Cannondale Overland panniers at a swap meet for cheap. Have not used them yet, but when I saw them I had to buy them. Before I left the swap meet, I had several offers from others for them. If I do a credit card tour some day, I might use the Cannondales.
when you do, don't forget your short shorts, headband, addidas socks and sleeveless shirt. Oh and some aviator sunglasses.
in for a penny, in for a pound.
morning btw
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Old 01-06-22, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
when you do, don't forget your short shorts, headband, addidas socks and sleeveless shirt. Oh and some aviator sunglasses.
in for a penny, in for a pound.
morning btw
Yeah, cut-off Levis!

Last fall I rebuilt a salvaged 1983 Trek 520 and am riding it every day now. I just took it on a short tour around Southern AZ, to take in Colossal Cave, Kartchner Caverns, Sonoita wine country, Patagonia, Nogales, and the missions along the DeAnza Trail. To be fair, it's only the frame/fork, handlebars and seat post from that era.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Old stuff worked for us back in the day, but new stuff works better. Kinda like driving a car with a manual choke, points, biased ply tires and having issues driving over a high pass cuz the jetting is off.
Now of course if you have no idea what I just wrote, there you go.
At the same time I still love and appreciate old cars, and bikes, but new stuff does work better. (Still have my dt shifter tourer though)
I don't know about that. I had a 1983 Trek 720, and the OP has a Miyata 1000. Those are two examples of legendary touring bikes and I seriously don't think there's anything built today that is better than either of those, for actual loaded touring. Maybe a Rivendell Atlantis.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:21 AM
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My touring days are over, but if I were looking to do some serious touring again, the first two bicycles that come to mind are a Trek 720, and a Miyata 1000. All others are simply pretenders to the crown of "best touring bike ever". I put many thousands of miles on my '83 Trek 720, fully loaded front and back. Your Miyata is very similar, and some would give the 1000 the top prize as best ever.

It's not about being retro. It's that the Miyata 1000 was built for the serious bicycle tourist, at a time when that was a big thing. Even if most people never actually did loaded touring over long distances, they could if they wanted to. There's not much demand for those kinds of bikes any more. If you wanted to tour today and had to buy a new bike of the same quality, I think you'd have to buy a Rivendell Atlantis. A Surly LHT would probably do the job too, and I'm sure there are a few others.

Enjoy your Miyata 1000. Give it all the love and attention it deserves as far as restoring it. Once you've reached the minimum number of posts, we'd love to see pictures of it.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I don't know about that. I had a 1983 Trek 720, and the OP has a Miyata 1000. Those are two examples of legendary touring bikes and I seriously don't think there's anything built today that is better than either of those, for actual loaded touring. Maybe a Rivendell Atlantis.
As to ride quality and handling, I can only speak for actual comparisons to modern vs my 1990 tourer, which is most likely pretty close to 80s frames.
But no matter the bike, there's fork and frame rigidity that improved, the racks, the bearings, the cranks, the number of speeds and gearing range and jumps between shifts, brakes.
Stuff improves, that's life.
but if you're enjoying yourself on whatever bike, that's great.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
As to ride quality and handling, I can only speak for actual comparisons to modern vs my 1990 tourer, which is most likely pretty close to 80s frames.
But no matter the bike, there's fork and frame rigidity that improved, the racks, the bearings, the cranks, the number of speeds and gearing range and jumps between shifts, brakes.
Stuff improves, that's life.
but if you're enjoying yourself on whatever bike, that's great.
Differences are not necessarily improvements. 10-speed or higher cassette? Thinner chain and chainrings - not what you want for a serious touring bike. More gears? It's usually the range that makes a difference on a touring bike, not the spacing between shifts. Bearings and cranks? They have not invented better steel since the '80s. Frame rigidity? The properties of chromoly steel have not changed - it has always been possible to make a steel frame as rigid as they want, and flex where they want. The frames on older touring bikes were purpose-built to be optimized for their purpose - carry loads and long hours in the saddle. It may not be as rigid as you want for a racing bike, but Trek and Miyata made those too, with very rigid frames.
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Old 01-06-22, 09:44 AM
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Flatlander45 - your tiny icon is Stälfarfar, perhaps? Your Miyata and Centurion are spaceships compared to what he toured on!
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Old 01-06-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
As to ride quality and handling, I can only speak for actual comparisons to modern vs my 1990 tourer, which is most likely pretty close to 80s frames.
But no matter the bike, there's fork and frame rigidity that improved, the racks, the bearings, the cranks, the number of speeds and gearing range and jumps between shifts, brakes.
Stuff improves, that's life.
but if you're enjoying yourself on whatever bike, that's great.
I used to have a 1989 Miyata 1000LT and a 2003 Trek 520. I only needed 1 touring bike, so I sold the Miyata and kept the Trek. The Trek is a little more rigid, but the Miyata had a much better ride. Very good unloaded and sublime loaded up. If anything I regret selling the Miyata and keeping the Trek. The Miyata was the better bike.

I do think disc brakes are a substantive modern improvement on tourers.
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Old 01-06-22, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Differences are not necessarily improvements. 10-speed or higher cassette? Thinner chain and chainrings - not what you want for a serious touring bike. More gears? It's usually the range that makes a difference on a touring bike, not the spacing between shifts. Bearings and cranks? They have not invented better steel since the '80s. Frame rigidity? The properties of chromoly steel have not changed - it has always been possible to make a steel frame as rigid as they want, and flex where they want. The frames on older touring bikes were purpose-built to be optimized for their purpose - carry loads and long hours in the saddle. It may not be as rigid as you want for a racing bike, but Trek and Miyata made those too, with very rigid frames.
re gears, as someone who started touring with a 6 speed double, I like more gears with closer ratios, it's this reason that semis use close ratio 15 speed transmissions, and we are the semis of cycling

but I see you have your view, so I come back to, hey if you're happy on what you're on, great.
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Old 01-06-22, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re gears, as someone who started touring with a 6 speed double, I like more gears with closer ratios, ...
...
What bike are you talking about, specifically? Dedicated touring bikes are always triples, even the newer ones. You're not going to pedal 300+ pounds of bike, rider, and gear up a long steep hill without a granny gear. We've mentioned the Trek 720 and the Miyata 1000, and modern Surly LHT and Rivendell Atlantis. The current Trek 520 is also a triple. My 720 was 18 speed (3x6) and I never lacked the gear I needed.

That's not to say you can't do light touring on what some people would call a "Sport Touring" bike, which it sounds like you may be talking about. I'm talking about bikes that are purpose-built for loaded touring. You can usually tell the difference by the braze-ons rack mounts on the fork for front panniers. Sport-touring bikes usually have rear rack mounts only. There are other differences of course but that's an easy way to tell.
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Old 01-06-22, 12:33 PM
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Yup, it was a double and not a pure touring bike, and why I learned that a triple was necessary.
Don't even recall the make, got stolen not long after. Montreal sucks for bike theft.. it might have been a Nishiki? A heck of a long time ago.
My next bike had a triple and 7 speeds.
but 80s bikes still used 5, 6 speeds and half steps to help with jumps.
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Old 01-06-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
...
That's not to say you can't do light touring on what some people would call a "Sport Touring" bike, which it sounds like you may be talking about. I'm talking about bikes that are purpose-built for loaded touring. You can usually tell the difference by the braze-ons rack mounts on the fork for front panniers. Sport-touring bikes usually have rear rack mounts only. There are other differences of course but that's an easy way to tell.
Although you could buy touring bikes in the 1970s and 80s that had appropriate rack fittings and a granny gear, I think most touring in that era was on the lower budget 10 or 12 speed (5 or 6 speed clusters and a double). Common freewheels at the time were 14 to 28. But I was not bike touring at that time, so when I comment on that it is from very limited exposure to those that were. The bike shop I worked at in the 70s had a Raleigh touring bike, but I do not recall if we ever sold one while I worked there.

A friend of mine, his dad had the Raleigh touring bike with a triple. But what I remember most was his rear panniers, I think they were made by Gerry Sports. He was the only person that I knew that owned a bike with a triple AND also owned rear panniers. I think that triple was a TA.

I remember a bike shop had a sign in the window that they could drill out Campy cranksets to accept a third chainring. New triple cranks were so rare that they were converting doubles to triples. But I think that they could only convert the 144mm five arm cranks. I do not recall if they could convert the Sugino Mighty cranks or not, that was a Campy clone.

A friend of mine bought an early Trek touring bike, but he never toured with it. It had a triple. But it was stolen months after he bought it, so I remember very little about it. The only thing I remember is that it took a non-metric allen wrench for the seatpost clamp, I think it was a 3/16 inch.
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Old 01-06-22, 02:45 PM
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I worked for Mel Pinto Imports in VA while I was in high school in the mid to late '60s. An immigrant from Morocco, Mel was one of the first US importers of European bicycles. In the 60s we shipped Gitanes all over the country. We also distributed TA and Stronglight cranksets including the TA triple. The Gitane "Hosteller" was an early entry level touring bike with racks and triple chainrings ...

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Old 01-06-22, 03:27 PM
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.... And wear a John McEnroe forehead sweat band.
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Old 01-06-22, 03:32 PM
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Your ad for a Gitane Hosteller made me chuckle. I worked for Wheel Goods in Minneapolis in early 70s. They were a distributor for Gitane and they also had their house brand of bikes, Hosteller. The thing I remember most about the Hosteller was that was the first mixte frame with twin side by side small diameter top tubes I ever saw. I was unaware that Gitane had made a model called the Hosteller a few years earlier.

I remember those 27 inch steel chromed rims, especially on rainy days.
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Old 01-06-22, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Although you could buy touring bikes in the 1970s and 80s that had appropriate rack fittings and a granny gear, I think most touring in that era was on the lower budget 10 or 12 speed (5 or 6 speed clusters and a double).
From Adventure Cycling magazine:


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Old 01-06-22, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
From Adventure Cycling magazine:
...
Great photo. That reminds me that I think I bought my first bike helmet in early 80s? Bell made one that was almost built like their motorcycle helmets, heavy plastic outer piece with a lot of styrofoam and minimal venting. No front panniers due to the lack of front racks. I was surprised to see one pair of fenders, nobody at that time ran fenders on a distance bike in USA.
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Old 01-06-22, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Although you could buy touring bikes in the 1970s and 80s that had appropriate rack fittings and a granny gear, I think most touring in that era was on the lower budget 10 or 12 speed (5 or 6 speed clusters and a double)..
Believe me when I tell you that my Trek 720 was anything but a low budget bicycle. It was nearly $1000 way back in 1983, almost $2800 in today's dollars and worth every penny. A Miyata 1000 is in the same league.

Between the bike, the gear, and me the rider, you're looking at about 300 lbs. A low budget bike wouldn't last the first day.

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Old 01-06-22, 07:17 PM
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ya $1000 in 83 was a lot. When I bought this thing, I couldnt afford a Miyata 1000 or a Cannondale, so got this , I think it was 7 or 800 in 90 or 91. Still a lot to me and my nicest bike ever at that point. Great memories but still prefer my newer stuff.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Believe me when I tell you that my Trek 720 was anything but a low budget bicycle. It was nearly $1000 way back in 1983, almost $2800 in today's dollars and worth every penny. A Miyata 1000 is in the same league.

Between the bike, the gear, and me the rider, you're looking at about 300 lbs. A low budget bike wouldn't last the first day.
...
I never said the 720 was a low budget bike.

I was thinking of for example my 1972 Raleigh Gran Prix when I said low budget, five speed cluster, 52/40 double cottered crank, 120mm spacing in the rear, a steel axle that I bent a few times because it was not very strong. If I tried to tour on my Raleigh, I would have replaced the rear axle with a stronger one before I left home, but that hub was still a weak part. I do not remember exactly what I paid for it in 1973, but I got an employee discount on top of one-year-old stock discount.

My Raleigh with a stronger axle would have lasted much longer than a day, but not sure if it could do cross country. I replaced the simplex components with Suntour, the freewheel (Atom?) also with a Suntour. But I would not have had a front rack on it, likely only a handlebar bag.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
ya $1000 in 83 was a lot. When I bought this thing, I couldnt afford a Miyata 1000 or a Cannondale, so got this , I think it was 7 or 800 in 90 or 91. Still a lot to me and my nicest bike ever at that point. Great memories but still prefer my newer stuff.
Those rear panniers look like the shape and style of the Cannondale Overland, but they look a bit different for some reason. Were those a different brand?

My rear Cannondales that I bought a couple years ago at a swap meet look exactly like these.
My Austro-Daimler Bicycle: Steyr-Daimler-Puch trademarked Vent Noir
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