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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:39 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Lowrider racks weren't common in the seventies. People had "proper" front racks. Much more useful, IMO. So don't be suprised if many dedicated tourers you look at don't have them. I'd look at a Dawes Galaxy as a first good tourer. You can't really make an informed decision about a custom frame unless you've got something to compare it to.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:47 pm 
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one-eyed_jim wrote:
Senri wrote:
By the way, talking about french bikes, I think Peugeot also made a lot of tourer type bikes. Normally I stay clear of french bikes, because of there strange BB, or as with the later Motobecane, strange Swiss thread. Maybe I should reconsider?

Touring with a load seems to have been a minority interest in France compared with its relative popularity in the UK. Although it's always been there in the background, the cyclosportif and brevet events have always been far more popular, and the result is that good bikes for real touring are quite thin on the ground. Add the obsolete threads (not only the bottom bracket, but also the headset, hubs, pedals, and freewheel) and metric steerer to the equation, and there are plenty of reasons not to look for a classic touring bike in France...

Of course there are gems like Singer and Herse that deserve special attention, but those are real collectors' bikes and command the very highest prices.


Right, the problems with measurements went out in the 1970s. I think the threads are more like obscure rather than obsolete. They still make spindles that fit.

Of course, I'm sure, Renee Herses one might want would be even years before the '70s. With a Herse, who knows, maybe you are dealing with a lot of independently made parts.

I don't think I've had problems removing and replacing pedals but I may be wrong. I thought the bottom bracket was the main problem. http://www.velo-orange.com/grcrufrthbob.html . I think I've seen them elsewhere too. Still, one wouldn't want to be caught in some rural mountains in Montana and have the BB break.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:09 pm 
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FemtoMetre wrote:
Right, the problems with measurements went out in the 1970s.

Unfortunately they dragged on a little longer. I have Mavic and TA parts from the late eighties (Mavic date coded most of their stuff) that are still French threaded. The mtb boom saw off most of the old French standards - and nearly killed the 650B tyre - but that wasn't until the late eighties.

Quote:
I think the threads are more like obscure rather than obsolete. They still make spindles that fit.

I'm happy to call a standard that no major manufacturer has touched in twenty years obsolete. I can think of two French bottom brackets in current production, and they exist only to keep a few old gems running. Here in France a lot of frames get re-threaded. It's cheaper than a Phil Wood, and guarantees future availability of parts. I don't know of anyone making 25mm metric headsets.

That's not to say this stuff isn't available of course - eBay.fr is one source - and it's part of the game of playing with old bikes.

Quote:
I've had problems removing and replacing pedals but I may be wrong. I thought the bottom bracket was the main problem.

The metric steerer and matching stem quill is often a bigger deal. The bottom bracket shell can be retapped if necessary. Metric cranks can be retapped to BSC.

But this is all just unwanted hassle. It would take a pretty special bike to make me want to dabble in French standards any more than I already have. That's not to say there aren't ways around most of the problems, but really, who needs it?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:47 pm 
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You could stick Euro trek type bars or even drops on a mountain bike if you have a spare one lying around. Cantis are brifter compatible and so are (most?) shimano mtn back mechs and you could put a road mech up front. Or you could use bar end shifters, which would be much cheaper.

Obviously you'd want to put slicks on it - or Marathon XR or Extremes if you want to be cool and do "adventure touring".


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:01 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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PurpleFrog wrote:
You could stick Euro trek type bars or even drops on a mountain bike if you have a spare one lying around. Cantis are brifter compatible and so are (most?) shimano mtn back mechs and you could put a road mech up front. Or you could use bar end shifters, which would be much cheaper.

Obviously you'd want to put slicks on it - or Marathon XR or Extremes if you want to be cool and do "adventure touring".


I build this sort of bike all the time -

try converting 'hybrid' flat bar 700c bikes to drops as this is a good source of cheap donor bikes and they have a lot of mounts.

Bar-end/ downtube shifter means you can run just about any combination of mechs. Indexing starts to limit things.

Road levers can be bought to run V-brakes helping you stop better with the extra weight.

The best all round bike I built had 531st, Diacomp V-road levers and a complete XT M739 groupset inc v brakes.

More recently, Cyclocross frames with disk tabs seem a better idea - just about the most versatile bike you can build.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:54 pm 
Concours Judge
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On the BikeForums.net forum I regularly notice a wide consensus that the Miyata 1000 can be considered among the best if not the best off the shelf touring bike (randonneur). There is a Dutch/Euro equivilent, the Koga-Miyata RandonneurExtra, at some point even specced with the early MTB gruppo Deerhead.

If you can do with single pair of eyelights and would like something still relatively sporty, a Champion Mondal A-frame could be an interesting option. Two pair eyelets CM's do excist too, but are harder to find.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master

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The Koga Mitaya Randonneur Extra is a great bike for big distance tours, especially off the beaten track with heavy loads. But as a result it handles like a truck...very stable but not exactly exciting.

It's a good idea to think through what kind of touring you intend to do - lightweight staying in B&Bs through to heavy camping.

For the first I'd use an audax bike, for the second something like a Koga RE.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:27 pm 
Concours Judge
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I do not think a mid 80s RandonneurExtra offers truck like handling, but for a sporty orientated ride there are indeed more appropriate offerings than a RE with low riders, racks, lights and so on.

Located in Holland I would think an Champion Mondial A-frame would be a fast audax that can easily be sourced. A couple of the names I spot in this topic have to be imported I fear.

Personally for touring purposes -and this is a pure Randonneur- I ride a custom Vittorio with steel Vittorio racks and low riders. Frame is built with Reynolds tubing and it features double seatstays: Conventional and triple triangle design. The rear wheel is built using a 48 hole tandem hub. It is a joy to ride ...and some of our fellow forummembers can confirm I even round the OWMTBC course with it :)


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