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  1. #1
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    Vintage Sport Touring Bikes?

    I am itching to pick up one or two vintage sport touring steel bikes (70s to 90s). Will use them more for the sport aspect rather than touring. I realize none will be lightweight but being on the lighter side would be appreciated. Also inexpensive used prices would also be appreciated. I am not familiar with which models and lines from that era fit this category. Any makes and models to look out for?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You're joking right? The list of sport bikes would take all night for me or anyone else to type in.

    Trek 400 series were great sport bikes, as were thousands of others.

  3. #3
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    Vintage Sport Touring Bikes?

    I'll warn ya, it starts out this way, you start riding classic steel, next you know you are hooked.
    I'm riding a early 80's steel frame that I really love. Yes it's 22 lbs but the ride is out of this world .

    Bill

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossracer View Post
    I'll warn ya, it starts out this way, you start riding classic steel, next you know you are hooked.
    I'm riding a early 80's steel frame that I really love. Yes it's 22 lbs but the ride is out of this world .

    Bill
    I once agreed that old classic steel had a great ride, better than CF of AL, but could be duplicated with modern custom builders at a steep price though. However now I own a titanium bike, and I got to say this, the ride quality is actually better than any of my vintage steel rides, except maybe the touring bikes when loaded. The TI frame is not only has more shock absorption but it also is more responsive, of course the responsiveness could be due to the new bike having a compact frame vs the traditional straight level top bar, but typically from my experience a compact frame is harsher riding but that isn't the case with titanium.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by haziz View Post
    I am itching to pick up one or two vintage sport touring steel bikes..... I realize none will be lightweight but being on the lighter side would be appreciated.
    Also inexpensive used prices would also be appreciated. I am not familiar with which models and lines from that era fit this category. Any makes and models to look out for?
    The vintage steel won't be as light as CF.... but you can get plenty close enough. If you aren't racing a few ounces here and there won't matter nearly as much as your condition/fitness.

    Rare classic old collectables will cost you good money. But garage sale and Craig's List finds of lighter cromoly bikes with mid-range Suntour parts can still be found for nearly nothing.... but they don't grow on trees ether.... you have to search for them.

    I am amazed that beautiful old 30+ year old bikes can be found hanging in a garage with all the original parts.... and no real signs of wear.
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

    Urban Cycling.... Overcome your fears (a YouTube Link).
    Learn to cycle in traffic
    Or... just HTFU

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I am amazed that beautiful old 30+ year old bikes can be found hanging in a garage with all the original parts.... and no real signs of wear.
    I agree with this. I've found two mid 80's bikes, one with 250 miles on it and another with just 5 miles on it, both stored since new, I bought them for a song when the owners cleaned out their garages and decided to sell them. There out there but it takes patience and luck because others are scouring CL, Goodwill type of places, and garage sales for these as well. One of those bikes is now my main touring bike, a 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe with the 250 miles on it but in showroom condition.

    I once saw at a garage sale a late 60's Colnago hanging in the rafters covered with dust and webs, I asked the 300 pound 80 some year old man if was selling and no was the answer, his wife told him to sell it to me, the old guy again replied no because he might want to ride, his wife bantered back saying he was never going to ride that "piece of junk" because he hadn't rode it since he bought it new!! I was hoping the wife was going to sell the bike for me but he was stubborn and refused. I left my name and number in case he changed his mind but I never got a call.

  7. #7
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    Be prepared.

    Keep looking at local Cragslist listings, Ebay, and other places. If you don't know yet, develop the ability to tell plain stuff from great stuff. The welds, the rake of the fork, etc.

    Whenever you see a bike listed, google the frame and other parts, and get a sense of whether the stuff is garage sale caliber or classic caliber.

    Then, when a nice bike appears in a garage sale, local property auction, or Craigslist, you will know if you want it or not.

    -A local dog groomer/kennel holds a couple garage sales each year to support their work for dog adoptions. I passed by and saw a road bike, and decided to check it out.

    The frame was a boat anchor, the seat was lousy, wheels were no good, but the shifters and brakes were highly valued 1980s stuff. I bought the bike for $10, sold the shifters and brakes for $90 online, and threw the rest out.

    I knew the equipment was desirable cuz I had been reading up.

    The website of Shelton Brown, RIP, is still up because it has so much info on vintage bikes.

  8. #8
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    Vintage Sport Touring Bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I once agreed that old classic steel had a great ride, better than CF of AL, but could be duplicated with modern custom builders at a steep price though. However now I own a titanium bike, and I got to say this, the ride quality is actually better than any of my vintage steel rides, except maybe the touring bikes when loaded. The TI frame is not only has more shock absorption but it also is more responsive, of course the responsiveness could be due to the new bike having a compact frame vs the traditional straight level top bar, but typically from my experience a compact frame is harsher riding but that isn't the case with titanium.
    Yep, you are right that today's ti is pretty awesome. The only thing I would add is that it is expensive. I got my slx frame off of eBay, completely restored for under 300.00.
    Yes it's a bit heavy, but the ride is awesome and it's what I can afford, so I ride it and enjoy it anyway.

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossracer View Post
    Yep, you are right that today's ti is pretty awesome. The only thing I would add is that it is expensive. I got my slx frame off of eBay, completely restored for under 300.00.
    Yes it's a bit heavy, but the ride is awesome and it's what I can afford, so I ride it and enjoy it anyway.

    Bill
    When you say six are you referring to Columbus SLX steel tubing? If so that was a very fine tubeset with helical spirals cut into the tubing to make it stiffer and stronger, a Miyata invention. Sure Columbus made lighter tubesets but they also had a rider weight limit that the SLX didn't have to worry about, but even those lighter ones were not all that much lighter, varying from as little as 20 grams lighter to as much as 180 grams which is nothing just about 6 ounces!

    That's a sweet frame you have, maybe it was all you could afford at the time but you got a great frame in the deal, one of the best frames Columbus made that combined both strength, rigidity, and lightness.

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