Author Topic: Old Touring Bicycles  (Read 9521 times)

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Offline Bud

Old Touring Bicycles
« on: March 23, 2012, 11:32:20 am »

I am thinking about buying an older,  circa 1987 Miyata 1000 LT.  It is in good condition.  Probably has 10000 kilometres on it.
Does any one have any experiences with older bikes.  Would it serve me as well as a Surly Long Hauler?  Have there been any significant changes to touring bikes through the years?

Basically, is this a good idea?

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 01:16:16 pm »
I have a similar vintage Miyata 710 that I am refurbishing for my son in law to ride.  The 710 is a short wheelbase bike suitable for entry level racing or club rides, or event rides.  My comments would also apply to the Miyata that you are thinking about.

These are lugged steel bicycles, so they are generally gorgeous bicycles (when in good shape).  Some of the component choices by Miyata are a little strange by today's standards, most notably the top tube shifters.  I don't know what kind of shifters came with a 1987 1000.    If the wheels are original, there is a free wheel instead of a free hub.  You can still buy free wheels, but it is unlikely bikshops will have one in stock,  and it will have to be ordered.  I think Miyata was an early adopter of 700c rims, so you can replace the rear wheel if you have to.

Basically, you have all the issues of buying a used bike.  If the wheels are trashed, they wil be expensive to replace.  If the drivetrain is trashed, it will be expensive to replace.  If the frame is cracked, don't buy it.

There have been a lot of improvements since 1987 for bicycles, but there is nothing wrong with an older bicycle.  I ride a 1993 Paramount (short wheelbase, non touring road bike), and it is a prized posession.

If you can get the Miyata for say $100 US, and the bike fits, then by all means buy it.  If the seller wants more than $150 US, then I would save my pennys for another new or used bicycle.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 02:46:54 pm »
Depends on your purpose for the bike.  If you intend to just ride it around town, commute, shopping, short exercise rides, it will likely be fine.  Change nothing, do nothing to the bike.  If you plan to tour with the bike, go on week long rides, centuries, then I'd recommend looking for a much newer bike.  Based on your question, I'm guessing you are not a bike mechanic now.  So working on, upgrading, fixing, changing, an old bike is not something you know how to do.  And having a shop do this work is expensive.  Labor and parts.  Old bikes work fine and are fun to ride.  But if you want them to be just like a new bike, its a major project requiring money and skill.  If you want a newer bike, start with a newer bike.  Leave old bikes as they are unless you want a project.

Offline Jason

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 04:18:55 pm »
One of my most favorite possession - EVER - was a 1986 Dave Scott Centurion, which was more than capable of takign me 6000+ miles (Southern Tier, and 75% of the Atlantic and Pacfic Coast.) The addition of Old Man Mountain Racks front and back quickly turned it into a full-on Single-speed touring bicycle.

Take Paddleboy's advice to heart; and, too, have the bike looked-over completely.  Something "new" isn't necessary better - something "old" isn't necessary worse.

singlespeed touring - life generally requires just one speed.
Southern Tier, TransAm, tons of places in between.

Offline DaveB

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 05:32:20 pm »
Something "new" isn't necessary better - something "old" isn't necessary worse.
True but if, and only if, you know enough to understand the differences and what it takes to keep an older bike operating and where to get the appropriate parts.  As Russ noted, upgrading an '80's bike to modern components can be a very expensive project and even worse if you can't do the work yourself. .

Offline hem

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 06:35:10 pm »
"Does any one have any experiences with older bikes?" I have owned and used two 1980 vintage Fuji America touring bikes. Great  bikes in their day.

"Would it serve me as well as a Surly Long Hauler?" As a fully loaded touring bike it would not.

"Have there been any significant changes to touring bikes through the years?" Most definitely. Just about every component that you hang off of a frame has been improved. Also most touring bikes have moved toward wider mountain bike rear hubs for strength, 9 speed gearing with lower ratios, and more mounting points for racks and other stuff. Also most will have larger tubing too to reduce frame flex.

"Basically, is this a good idea? "I don't think so personally. For me I don't want to search for the parts to keep the bikes running. As it will be pointed out all of those parts can be found in time. But not most likely at your LBS or any bicycle shop you are going to come across on a tour. Also your end result will still not have the utility of a LHT.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Old Touring Bicycles
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 11:59:07 am »
Basically, I agree with Paddleboy17, except his advice on price. The Miyata 1000 is highly sought, and it is optimistic to expect one in good condition at that price. In general, I do not advise on price to pay, noting those that do tend to advise what I would judge as low ball offers.

I toured until last year on an older bike, 1973, a racing bike modified for touring. If the Miyata is in good condition, it is certainly good enough for long distance touring.

In spite of saying that, if you have to ask, the bike may not be right for you. You should be well versed with basic maintenance to have completely overhauled the bike before you start on a long distance tour, be able to able to do basic repairs on road, have a least a minimum set of tools with you, and know where to get the no longer manufactured parts you may need. Not that a bike that old in good condition to start with, completely overhauled before commencing trip, will give you appreciably more trouble than a newer bike, but you never know.