You asked for it!
Since I responded to Senri's question the other day, I was hoping others would answer this one first because I researched this matter just a bit the other day myself because in fact, I have a Touring frame, with original Suntour "Mighty Shifters", it never quite worked well for me despite full servicing.
Now, I'm going to toss out a lot of links: Discussion on this topic.
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index ... 04119.html
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index ... 87164.html
I was unable to find the exact 1 I'd read in the past but these are similar.
Common Wheel Glasgow, definition of a Touring Bicycle:
"The classic touring bike looks much like a sports bike, but has a longer wheelbase, more clearance for slightly bigger tyres and lower gearing. Some have cantilever brakes. Most have drop handlebars.
A trekking bike is the German version, which has flat or butterfly handbars and V-brakes. These are a bit overspecified but will perform adequately." (I think you'd like the whole article)
Most Americans will acknowledge the superiority of Raleighs made in England. What is interesting about the chat at Bike Forums is how some Raleigh USA Touring bikes are recommended.
Here is an illustrative catalog shot of some of the bikes they speak of, the Raleigh Kodiak for example: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleig ... ges/2.html
I gave a Raleigh Marathon to a good home which I could still check up on, I had a Raleigh Wyoming that was too big. Still, when I had them, I was not aware they seem to actually be perceived as pretty good bicycles. I had to whip that Marathon into shape a few times to make work and other deadlines so I guess it was working.
I've got my own questions on Touring, there is a lot on Touring on the internet. Like this: http://www.fullyloadedtouring.com/
and one of those list serv groups too.
From reading about those Raleighs, it makes me think, for a lot of them, there being made of steel makes them good candidates for touring.
I even read a Motobecane Nomade can be a good touring bike. It is a bit of an entry-level bike Motobecane, the Nomade is, not too heavy but probably more than one wanting a 531 Reynolds steel bike. Coming from the Rocky Mountain West, I've pondered this whole matter though now where I am it is pretty flat.
That Nomade seems like a very responsible dependable bike, it's Huret derailleurs make it the best shifting bike I've ever had. Motobecane themselves even called one of their Mirages good for "light touring."
The Nomades had a Solida Crank which I believe I came to find is an entry-level Stronglight crank. It's lowest gear is actually pretty good for Mountains and hills. I've toyed with the idea and feasability of putting a low chainring on or a triple chainring crank on but to me, it doesn't work to start changing the bike set up too much.
Back to the Raleigh Super Tourer for a moment, 531 Tubing, Tang fork, chrome on the back and the front, http://media.photobucket.com/image/rale ... leigh2.jpg
this is the exact bicycle down to the colour that I have except the guy obviously put in some bar end shifters and no white handlebar wrap on my bike. This bike is at least a 1981 Raleigh because it has the decal on it that commemorates Raleigh winning the 1980 Tour De France with Joop Zoetemelk.
Nay, no one may have read this far, but, the bike is in storage but I've tracked down the serial number before and it seems to have the Worksop serial number that it was made in 1976. No big deal except the same colour again and the same looking bike but with "Riser Bars" are the 1976 Raleigh Super Tourer from this catalog shot: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleig ... ourer.html
. So, I've got to believe it is the same bike. I have some extra derailleurs and all, the derailleur I got it with was Simplex, again, so-so. Maybe this bike might work out. It's transmission never really worked well for me and as of now, it is a single speed and a very light bike, easy to lift over my head. Possibly the Super Tourer is one of those Carlton Raleighs additionally, however, those Raleigh USAs actually seemed highly recommended too.
Also, unless you are touring "fully loaded", like the Common Wheel article seems to say, a lot of bicycles may suffice within reason.