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Aluminum "Sports Tourer"?

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Aluminum "Sports Tourer"?

Old 11-27-23, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by top506
Klein Performance:
+1 for the Klein Performance. I used my ‘92 for everything as my only bike for 38,000 miles: fast-ish day rides, many centuries, and several three-week credit card tours in PNW and Europe (photo below shows it in Italy on the second one). Handled spectacularly well regardless of no load or lots, steep up or down. Down sides were: max tire clearance is 700x28, the original aluminum fork, and relatively harsh feel on rough roads. Tried a CF fork (not much improvement). My son still uses it and it gets compliments, with a steel fork I found with nearly matching paint. BTW, the frame joints and Klein paint were both beautiful. Wish I’d purchased a size larger, but it fits my less-leggy son well.

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Old 11-28-23, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
The racy Techniums came out in 1987. Of course the 27" wheeled ones had longer wheelbases - that's pretty much what a "sport tourer" is. Plus medium reach brakes.
27" wheels, eyelets front and rear, non-aero brake levers. That all changed in '88. I'll get back to you on the geometry changes. I think they brought it up from 72 degrees parallel to 73.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1987-...hnium-440-5773
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Old 11-28-23, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
27" wheels, eyelets front and rear, non-aero brake levers. That all changed in '88. I'll get back to you on the geometry changes. I think they brought it up from 72 degrees parallel to 73.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1987-...hnium-440-5773
You are splitting hairs too finely. The Techniums weren’t really race bikes but they weren’t touring bikes either. They had longer chainstays, longer wheelbases, and more relaxed geometry than a race bike but they weren’t as long and relaxed as a touring bike. They were somewhere in the middle which is exactly what a “sport tour” bike is supposed to be. And, like most hybrid ideas, it did neither job all that spectacularly. It was too long and the handling too slow for a race bike and it was too short and the handling too fast for a touring bike.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:46 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
27" wheels, eyelets front and rear, non-aero brake levers. That all changed in '88. I'll get back to you on the geometry changes. I think they brought it up from 72 degrees parallel to 73.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1987-...hnium-440-5773
It didn't "all change" in 1988. That's just when they added racing bikes. The 450 sport touring model is in the '88 catalog, as are Technium city bikes and MTBs.
https://frugalaveragebicyclist.com/w...og-pgs1-22.pdf

I don't know when Raleigh finally phased out the 400 series, but it wasn't in '88. This one appears to be from '89 or '90:

Last edited by Kontact; 11-28-23 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:53 AM
  #30  
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Just how likely is it to land on a vintage, aluminum touring machine? Well ... I freely admit to being rather uninformed on this matter, but ....

From what I have been learning in the last few weeks, your best bet of snagging something vintage and of decent manufacture in this league is a Trek. Just my my 2-bits ... cuz if you get too way out and exotic, you'll likely croak before you find what you want.

Road racing machines like Alan and Vitus are not so hard to find, but they will not be a tourer. There are the Panasonics from Japan — very good frames, but same thing.

You must have your reasons ... but IMHO, the best touring frame with all the needed braise-ons would be in double, or triple-butted steel . If an aluminum bike has been crashed, a bit bent, needing a "cold set" in the stays, has a misaligned DR hanger, yer screwed — especially if you are thinking about touring with racks, panniers blah blah. You cannot / should not correct, bend, re-train, realign aluminum.

For touring, your priority is stability on a machine with relaxed angles and a longer wheelbase.

Trust me! I own a Vitus 979. I've studied this stuff a bit, and cross-examined seasoned bicycle mechanics. You are going to have to look hard, and for sure check out the product very carefully in person.

Parting comment: If I were doing even a modest descent on my 979 with touring gear strapped on somehow, I'd soil my lycra real good.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:41 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Lenton58
Just how likely is it to land on a vintage, aluminum touring machine? Well ... I freely admit to being rather uninformed on this matter, but ....

From what I have been learning in the last few weeks, your best bet of snagging something vintage and of decent manufacture in this league is a Trek. Just my my 2-bits ... cuz if you get too way out and exotic, you'll likely croak before you find what you want.

Road racing machines like Alan and Vitus are not so hard to find, but they will not be a tourer. There are the Panasonics from Japan — very good frames, but same thing.

You must have your reasons ... but IMHO, the best touring frame with all the needed braise-ons would be in double, or triple-butted steel . If an aluminum bike has been crashed, a bit bent, needing a "cold set" in the stays, has a misaligned DR hanger, yer screwed — especially if you are thinking about touring with racks, panniers blah blah. You cannot / should not correct, bend, re-train, realign aluminum.

For touring, your priority is stability on a machine with relaxed angles and a longer wheelbase.

Trust me! I own a Vitus 979. I've studied this stuff a bit, and cross-examined seasoned bicycle mechanics. You are going to have to look hard, and for sure check out the product very carefully in person.

Parting comment: If I were doing even a modest descent on my 979 with touring gear strapped on somehow, I'd soil my lycra real good.
For what it's worth, the pluses and minuses associated with the various frame materials seem to be weighed a bit differently in Europe.

For example, Toga-Miyata, one of the most highly respected European bike companies, uses aluminum frames exclusively for their touring bike line---including their "trekking" bikes, the heaviest-duty touring bikes that they sell. But they sell mostly in Europe, where touring cyclists tend to be more knowledgeable about the merits of the various frame materials, including aluminum.

In fact, Koga-Miyata offers three fork choices for their better touring bikes: carbon fiber, rigid aluminum, and aluminum suspension forks. No steel forks to be seen.


For loaded touring, one guess why aluminum is preferred over steel for their frames and forks, aside from the obvious weight advantage, is that aluminum bikes handle very well with loaded panniers---much better than steel bikes, which have an unfortunate tendency to wallow under load.

https://www.koga.com/en/bikes/trekking-bikes/collection
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Old 11-28-23, 10:22 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
For what it's worth, the pluses and minuses associated with the various frame materials seem to be weighed a bit differently in Europe. >>>SNIP>>:>
Thanks sincerely for the interesting education. Lorne/ Lenton58
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Old 11-28-23, 10:26 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
For what it's worth, the pluses and minuses associated with the various frame materials seem to be weighed a bit differently in Europe.

For example, Toga-Miyata, one of the most highly respected European bike companies, uses aluminum frames exclusively for their touring bike line---including their "trekking" bikes, the heaviest-duty touring bikes that they sell. But they sell mostly in Europe, where touring cyclists tend to be more knowledgeable about the merits of the various frame materials, including aluminum.

In fact, Koga-Miyata offers three fork choices for their better touring bikes: carbon fiber, rigid aluminum, and aluminum suspension forks. No steel forks to be seen.


For loaded touring, one guess why aluminum is preferred over steel for their frames and forks, aside from the obvious weight advantage, is that aluminum bikes handle very well with loaded panniers---much better than steel bikes, which have an unfortunate tendency to wallow under load.

https://www.koga.com/en/bikes/trekking-bikes/collection
I agree that aluminum bikes…well, one aluminum bike…makes a better touring bike than steel but the reason is because of the way the bike is constructed. Aluminum, as a material, isn’t “stiff”. The way it is used makes it stiff. When it’s used in a touring bike, the stiffness is just enough to make the bike both less prone to frame warping under load and provide a damped ride against vibration. Steel bikes could be make equally stiff by using over sized tubing but the ride wouldn’t be damped. Without a load, an oversized tubed steel frame would be a painful ride.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:15 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Kontact
It didn't "all change" in 1988. That's just when they added racing bikes. The 450 sport touring model is in the '88 catalog, as are Technium city bikes and MTBs.
https://frugalaveragebicyclist.com/w...og-pgs1-22.pdf
I don't know when Raleigh finally phased out the 400 series, but it wasn't in '88. This one appears to be from '89 or '90:
There were significant upgrades in '88 (a second set of water bottle cage bosses) and in '90 (when they went to a 7-speed freewheel). The first two years of Technium road bikes would most closely align with O.P.'s interest in sport/touring.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1988-...tri-lite-23721
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Old 11-28-23, 02:20 PM
  #35  
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In Germany, Kettler (famous for their Aluminium garden furniture products) pioneered Alu Bikes "Kettler Alu". Most were utilitarian bikes but there also was the "Strato Aero" made from aerodynamic teardrop shaped tubes glued/bolted in lugs, similar to later Sakae frames. equipped with Shimano 600 AX, a veritable racing bike.


It had siblings, the "Romeo" and the "Giulia" which where the same bike but equipped with mudguards and panniers and tuned down hardware. Released around 1982. Quite light at 11.3 kg

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Old 11-28-23, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
There were significant upgrades in '88 (a second set of water bottle cage bosses) and in '90 (when they went to a 7-speed freewheel). The first two years of Technium road bikes would most closely align with O.P.'s interest in sport/touring.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1988-...tri-lite-23721
I'm not sure why you aren't able to understand:

Raleigh made a line of sport touring Techniums. They all had about the same geometry, eyelets and 27" wheels. They were made from '86 through at least 1989, and they all had model numbers in the 400 range.

The Tri-Lite you linked to is not one of them. It is one of the Technium racing bikes, and is not a replacement for the sport touring 400s. Neither were the Technium city bikes, nor the Technium MTBs. Instead, they were 4 different kinds of bikes that, in some years, were all made at the same time. The 400s were made from '86 through at least '89, while the Tri-Lite and other race geometry bikes were made from '87 on. City started in '87, MTB in '88.
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Old 11-28-23, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I agree that aluminum bikes…well, one aluminum bike…makes a better touring bike than steel but the reason is because of the way the bike is constructed. Aluminum, as a material, isn’t “stiff”. The way it is used makes it stiff. When it’s used in a touring bike, the stiffness is just enough to make the bike both less prone to frame warping under load and provide a damped ride against vibration. Steel bikes could be make equally stiff by using over sized tubing but the ride wouldn’t be damped. Without a load, an oversized tubed steel frame would be a painful ride.
Aluminum Cannondales don't damp vibration any more than steel does. Aluminum transmits vibration very well.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:32 PM
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The Klein Performance is an unusual frame, it has rack mounts, long chainstays, is very stiff and has very steep headtube and seattube angles.

It can be ridden like a race bike, you can more-closely draft a lead rider due to the steep headtube angle, but a following rider might touch your rear tire.

The weight distribution puts a lot of weight on the front tire, which calms the steering but might cause you to lose rear wheel traction on a steep, wet surface.

The chainline is forgiving, again due to the long chainstays.

Overall it's a pretty good bike. Tire clearance on the models having the tubular Henry James fork crown isn't great though, and rear axle spacing is fixed at 126mm.
I liked it enough to upgrade to 10s, putting a 10s 12-30t Shimano cassette on the un-modified 7s Ultegra freehub.
The ride quality does not seem harsh with 25mm tires.

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Old 11-28-23, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Aluminum Cannondales don't damp vibration any more than steel does. Aluminum transmits vibration very well.
Go learn something about elastic modulus. Steel has a high elastic modulus which means it is springier and transmits vibrations better. Aluminum has about 1/3 the elastic modulus of steel and transmits vibrations poorly. Both transmit some vibration but aluminum transmits less.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:16 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Go learn something about elastic modulus. Steel has a high elastic modulus which means it is springier and transmits vibrations better. Aluminum has about 1/3 the elastic modulus of steel and transmits vibrations poorly. Both transmit some vibration but aluminum transmits less.
Frequency is a function of Young's Modulus AND dimensions. A skinny tubed Vitus does absorb energy, losing especially higher frequency vibrations. A hyper rigid Cannondale does not. That's because the Cannondale uses its dimensions to exceed the rigidity of even a normal steel frame. The kind of vibration cyclists care about are solidly within the frequency range that a Cannondale is going to transmit like crazy.

Which is why it is important to understand the difference between the properties of a material and a structure. It keeps you from saying absurd stuff like carbon fiber composites are brittle or steel is the strongest metal.
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Old 11-29-23, 12:51 AM
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The damping coefficients of steel and even aluminum both are low enough so as to be almost insignificant as compared to the tires, saddle and rider's arse that exist in the load path between the road and the rider's mass.
My reasoning here is that tires and body tissues can damp out a vibratory impulse within a few cycles, whereas most metals won't damp out a vibratory impulse even within 20 cycles because of the low numbers associated with their damping coefficient.

Where different metals could be more noticeably different is in how they damp out lateral vibrations that are at 90-degrees to the tube axis, where a vibration that is perpendicular to the tube and thus load path might go on vibrating for many cycles. In this case, the sound and possibly the buzziness of high-frequency felt vibrations could be much lower for aluminum with it's higher damping coefficient relative to steel. I have no idea though whether a rider can actually feel the vibrations of a tube bowing in such an unloaded cyclic fashion, it's frequency depending on it's mass and stiffness. The higher vibration frequency of a large-diameter tube would tend to be more quickly attenuated by the metal itself, but likely even more by the tires and rider attached to the frame structure.
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Old 11-29-23, 01:24 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by dddd
The Klein Performance is an unusual frame, it has rack mounts, long chainstays, is very stiff and has very steep headtube and seattube angles.

It can be ridden like a race bike, you can more-closely draft a lead rider due to the steep headtube angle, but a following rider might touch your rear tire.

The weight distribution puts a lot of weight on the front tire, which calms the steering but might cause you to lose rear wheel traction on a steep, wet surface.

The chainline is forgiving, again due to the long chainstays.

Overall it's a pretty good bike. Tire clearance on the models having the tubular Henry James fork crown isn't great though, and rear axle spacing is fixed at 126mm.
I liked it enough to upgrade to 10s, putting a 10s 12-30t Shimano cassette on the un-modified 7s Ultegra freehub.
The ride quality does not seem harsh with 25mm tires.

Great color and comments about the Klein Performance and how capable it is at (almost) everything. I once heard that Gary Klein liked using a Performance for criterium races when the surface might be slippery.

Yours also looks like a similar ‘92-ish vintage judging by the shift bosses, but mine is definitely spaced at 130mm. I used it with 8-speed cassettes most of the 11 years I rode it, and my son has Shimano 9-speed on it now.
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Old 11-29-23, 06:49 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Kontact
I'm not sure why you aren't able to understand:

Raleigh made a line of sport touring Techniums. They all had about the same geometry, eyelets and 27" wheels. They were made from '86 through at least 1989, and they all had model numbers in the 400 range.

The Tri-Lite you linked to is not one of them. It is one of the Technium racing bikes, and is not a replacement for the sport touring 400s. Neither were the Technium city bikes, nor the Technium MTBs. Instead, they were 4 different kinds of bikes that, in some years, were all made at the same time. The 400s were made from '86 through at least '89, while the Tri-Lite and other race geometry bikes were made from '87 on. City started in '87, MTB in '88.
Okay, this is the end of the discussion for me, but the 400-series was discontinued in 1988. Yes, there were other types of Techniums, but the road models had already been re-directed toward avid road cyclists. There were four road models offered in the 1989 catalogue, all of them with a more competitive build. These were the Pro, the Comp, the Prestige and the Pre. Here are two of them from 1989.

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Old 11-29-23, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre
Okay, this is the end of the discussion for me, but the 400-series was discontinued in 1988. Yes, there were other types of Techniums, but the road models had already been re-directed toward avid road cyclists. There were four road models offered in the 1989 catalogue, all of them with a more competitive build. These were the Pro, the Comp, the Prestige and the Pre. Here are two of them from 1989.

Then Raleigh obviously brought them back, since the bike I showed earliier has a 1990 Exage 300EX component group and '90s graphics.

https://velobase.com/ViewGroup.aspx?...a-f4856402914d

And then there's the Olympian:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...-olympian.html

1991 version:
https://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2.../Raleigh91.pdf


My guess is they stopped doing sports touring for 1989 to re-tool the line for 700c wheels, then came back in 1990.

So the sport touring Raleigh Techniums did not end in 1988 or were replaced by race bikes.
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Old 11-29-23, 09:43 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
Anyone got an opinion on what aluminum bikes might make it as "Sports Tourers"? I figure the earliest caliper brake Cannondale's qualify, but beyond that I'm not sure. ...so what am I missing?
...the only thing that commonly shows up near me is the steel forked Cannondales. So I don't think you're missing much. I have one, and it seems to ride about like the other sport touring frames I have in steel, except still stiffer, even with the long stays. AS already stated, I can fit 32 mm tires on mine, along with fenders, so it's in the regular winter rotation here. I've never owned and ridden any of the other bikes mentioned in the thread. I did not think I would like this bike, when I first got it. But I have grown to admire it over the years, as a pretty good design for an aluminum bicycle..



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Old 11-29-23, 12:28 PM
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Some notes on the older Cannondale ST's. I'm going to avoid the debate that has been raging on this thread about semantics and go with my experience and the experience of friends.

I picked up a 1990 Cannondale ST600 earlier this year in the largest size they made, 25" (63.5 cm). I paid $400, had been used lightly and was in excellent condition and came with all original components or stock replacements, such as tubes, cables, tires, etc. These bikes came with 27" wheels (the final year for that size before switching to 700c, at least on the ST600). I won't get into the details of the rest of the components and upgrades as they're not particularly relevant but I will say that I've swapped out the wheelset for a slightly newer 700c set. The rear spacing on these frames is 130mm which means that a standard road hub for 8 speed and up can be used, which is the way I went. The original hub is 7 speed. With the 700c rim, I'm able to very comfortably run 700x35 tires with fenders. I'm highly confident I can fit 700x38 with the fenders on and larger with no fenders. Note that running 700c rims on this frame makes for a funky alignment of the brake pads relative to the braking surface. I have the pad posts all the way down in the the cantilever brakes and still can't quite get them to contact the rim perfectly parallel as I can't get them any lower. However, at least with the Kool Stop Salmon pads I'm using, it doesn't seem to affect the braking quality, or at least I can stop fine.

A friend has an identical ST600 with two exceptions: His is a 1991 and the frame size is 23" (58.5 cm). 1991 was the first year of 700c rims on the ST600 so no brake pad alignment issues on his. He's set his bike up as a gravel/cross bike so no fenders and the largest tire he can fit. I know he was able to shoehorn a 700x40 in it. He want to get a 42 but I doubt that is going to happen.
He got his around 2 years ago and paid $350. Bike had been used heavily but is still solid with no damage aside from quite a bit of paint scratches. Most components had already been upgraded or replaced.

Both bikes have the original steel forks with all the attachment points for fenders and racks. Both of us enjoy the ride quality and handling.

Here is my bike setup exactly how I'm using now as an around town ride and commuter with 700x35 tires.



Here is my friend's bike how he is using it as a gravel and all around bike. The front tire is different and small because he shredded the rear so he swapped the front to the rear and got a used spare my brother had hanging around the shop to put up front.


Last edited by Pantah; 11-29-23 at 12:43 PM.
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