Converting mountain bike to touring

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by analogkid333, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. analogkid333

    analogkid333 New Member

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    Well, I've been through a couple of 700c touring bikes now, both of which shimmied terribly when loaded, so I'm changing gears. It seems to me that older mountain bikes, particularly pre-1990 models, have both the geometry and stiffness to be great touring machines. I think it's worth exploring, especially since I don't have the $ for a Rivendell or Heron, etc. (I know, I know, Cannondale is a good touring bike . . . until you crash it and can't re-straighten it because it's aluminum.)

    I'd like to know if anybody out there has done a conversion, and in particular how they handled the frame size question. (I ride a 63cm touring bike, and it seems only the largest mountain bike frames would allow adequate reach and height for the stem.) Does anyone have an old Peugeot Orient Express or other vintage mtn bike sitting around?

    Comments welcome!
     
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  2. squirt

    squirt New Member

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    I'd look for an 80's steel touring bike. There was a touring bike boom back then and lots of these bikes sat in garages. I picked up an '84 Specialized Expedition with Wheelsmith built wheels for $65. When not touring it's a sweet cross bike as well.
     
  3. analogkid333

    analogkid333 New Member

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    You're right about the Expedition -- it is actually a true touring frame, with oversized seat stays and fork blades. I'd love to find one. I have my doubts about most other tourers from that era, though, even though I generally consider it the Golden Age for bikes.
     
  4. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    What's the budget? What distances/ where are you going to tour?
    Don't forget that if you go too old that you may have spacing and compatability issues with the rear hub and gears etc.
    We have just ordered a comotion Mocha Co-pilot tandem which has 26"
    wheels. I think it is a great way to go for touring. The speed difference isn't really a worry when you are touring and the flexibility of a wider range of tires can come in very handy.

    Tailwinds

    Geoff
     
  5. analogkid333

    analogkid333 New Member

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    My budget is about $200. Frankly that's all I really need considering what old mtn bikes go for on ebay, plus new tires (I have all the other components.) I don't worry too much about going too old since I ride friction shifters and 7-speed freewheels. I just want something that WON'T SHIMMY, and I'm fed up with standard-guage steel touring bikes in this respect. In 2002 I rode cross-country on a bike that shook so much I couldn't take one hand off the bars. And it was very entertaining on mountain descents, to say the least. Just looking for something solid for carrying two weeks' to two months' worth of load.
     
  6. BlueTwo

    BlueTwo New Member

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    try Rocky Mountain and Kona steel frame mountain bikes from the 90's , they were equiped with shimano LX and XT gear ,,come in 14" , 16" , 18" , 20" sizes ,,this measurement is seat downtube from bottom bracket to top tube,, the top tube on these bikes sloped downward ,, this design tranformed the mountain bike sport,,,,

    I have been using these bikes for touring for years ,,about 15,000 km of self supported toring ,, with front and back panniers .. you can blast down a norwegian gravel mountain road at full speed with fully loaded panniers front and rear,, and the bike is stable and a joy to ride ,, the wider tyres and mountain bike geomentry also allow you to hit the gravel shoulder at speed and keep the bike stable and upright,,

    Hope you find what you are looking for
     
  7. creamster

    creamster New Member

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    I have an old Peugeot Orient Express. I haven't ridden it on over 10 years, but if I knock the dirt and dust off it, I think it will be good to go. :eek: Do you think it is worth restoring?

     
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