Vintage touring bike

Vintage touring bike DEFAULT

Restoring Vintage Bicycles from the Hand Built Era

1985 Nashbar Toure MT

1985 Nashbar Toure MT

Of all the fads and trends in the cycling industry, the touring era that accompanied the 1976 BikeCentennial in the U.S. was probably the most positive.  While not everyone wants or needs a touring bike – a touring bike is a bike that can work well for all kinds of riding.  And, due to economic conditions during this era – favorable exchange rates for the Japanese yen and the oil crisis of the early 70’s – the U.S. market was flooded with low cost, high quality touring bikes in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s.  These bikes often survive intact, as they were quite well made to begin with, and were usually equipped with top of the line components.

Japanese brands like Centurion, Nishiki, Bridgestone, Fuji, Miyata, Panasonic, and Univega were among the most well known manufacturers to build high quality touring bicycles.  Raleigh, Peugeot, Trek, Specialized, Austro-Daimler, Gitane, Motobecane, Mercier, and others also joined in to build some of the nicest touring bikes ever mass produced.

These touring bikes of the late 70’s and early 80’s hold a special place in my heart.  Their excellent build quality and beautiful design represent freedom, exploration, and adventure.


This lovely 1985 Nashbar Toure MT is a great example of the quality that could be had for a reasonable price.  The frame was built for Nashbar by Maruishi – a Japanese builder not as well known as others, but still producing a beautifully brazed machine of double butted cro-mo steel.  The gorgeous blue sparkle paint and well brazed seat cluster show off its quality.


All the finish work is top notch.  This is a bike I would keep for myself if it were my size.


Brazed on rack mounts


Sealed Tange headset


SunTour downtube shifters.


SunTour sealed cartridge bearing bottom bracket with chain line adjuster on the drive side.


Sealed cartridge bearing hubs. No maintenance required.


Classic Blackburn bottle cage.


2nd bottle cage mount underneath the downtube.


Seat tube has no bottle cage braze-ons – left clean for mounting a frame pump.

There are so many nice features on this amazing bike that it’s hard to list them all.  One reason that the bike is so pristine, however, is because long ago the SunTour Mountech rear derailleur had failed, and the bike was put away, thankfully in a dry, clean space.


So, I replaced the rear derailleur with a Shimano 600 long cage mechanism from the same era.  It works perfectly with the original 100% SunTour drivetrain.


Triple crank with half step gearing.

This bike was built in the days of gear shifting pattern obsession.  Half step gearing was a way to have a routine shifting pattern that would maintain cadence as the terrain changed.  In practice, at least for me, I prefer not having to constantly double shift, so I am not enamored with half step gearing and have, when confronted with it, replaced the large middle chain ring with something smaller, such as a 40 or 42.  But, some riders love half-step gearing and more power to them (pun intended).


Araya 27 Inch rims.


Nashbar logo on the downtube.


Sealed cartridge bearing hubs, Suntour freewheel.


SunTour Mountech front derailleur


SunTour chromed forged dropouts with single eyelets on the rear.


Powerful Dia Compe cantilevers.


Lowrider fork mounts.


SunTour sealed cartridge bearing bottom bracket with chain line adjuster on the drive side.


Beautifully machined BB shell.

It would be tough to find a similarly engineered touring bike with these quality components, for a price that even remotely comes close to what you can buy this bike for now.  One problem is that most cyclists associate Nashbar with low end liquidation components, rather than any kind of quality.  But, back in the 1980’s, the arrival of the Nashbar mail order catalog was an exciting event.  I ordered many wonderful and interesting components for my old 1976 Centurion from Nashbar back then.  Today, however, the company is known for its discounted and discontinued parts, rather than for quality bicycles, for better or for worse.

This wonderful old touring machine is going to a friend’s stable in Southern Oregon, where I know it will be ridden and appreciated.  I hope to join him and his spouse on some wonderful rides through Southern Oregon wine country, and I will be a bit jealous his bike.2016-09-13-001


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This entry was posted in Bicycle restoration, cycling, Touring bicycle, Vintage bicycle, Vintage bicycle restoration, Vintage touring bicycle and tagged Bike Centennial, Nashbar Toure MT, Suntour Derailleurs, Suntour Dropouts, touring bicycle, Vintage steel bicycle, vintage touring bicycle by Nola Wilken. Bookmark the permalink. Sours:

Best realistic vintage touring bike? 80s, 90s Raleighs...

Best realistic vintage touring bike? 80s, 90s Raleighs...

I've been researching vintage touring bikes and the forums have been a huge help. I'm planning in advance of next summer season to buy a good vintage touring bike. By good, I mean really good--but for practical purposes those "great" ones (unless you know undervalued ones) are out of $ range. (Ie, Things like the randdoneur).

Here are my parameters.
1. For a variety of reasons, like Raleigh's
2. I want one to use really for touring, yet keep original.

I've scoured old posts, vintage catalogues, etc... And looking for help so that if/when that right bike appears, I can pounce.

So far, I know some of the 90-92 Raleigh's get a bad rap, but a few models in there seem to spec out nicely, (touriste?) have some style, but also a little more contemporary perks w gearing, etc... to leave original.

Anyone out there have favorites, suggestions for me to check out? As I said, inclined to raleigh, but other recs would be good too. I'd guess I'm game to spend anywhere from 200-700 dollars, give or take some if there's a real gem, but of course prefer not to blow full budget.

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1986 Schwinn Passage

I swear sometimes I am worse than a Storm Trooper looking for droids with how easily influenced I am.  I stumbled across the excellent blog  -The Simplicity of Vintage Bicycles a while back and Josh has refurbished some very nice mid 1980's Touring bicycles there and it got me thinking about how nice it would be to come across one to refurb.  This era is considered the Golden age of Touring bicycles and I am not the only one with an interest.  Just trying finding a legendary Miyata 1000 for sale south of $1000 bucks.

1984 Centurion Elite GT
 Not long after this thought popped into my head I started "causally" looking on CL and came across a 1984 Centurion Elite GT.  Oddly the one on CL had the reverse colors of the example above -light body dark head tube- and some issues like; no wheel-set, partially disassembled (the bike was in pieces) and a relatively high price for all that IMHO.  Usually a lack of wheels isn't too big of a deal but mid 80's touring bikes had a 40 spoke rear wheel and those don't grow on trees, and I was also concerned that with a disassembled bike I would find out that some key piece (washer, spring, bolt etc.) was missing when it was too late.  I sent in a low-ball offer, after it had been up for a week, which I had never done before, which only ended up insulting rather than interesting the seller.  Oh well.

1986 Raleigh Alyeska
I even did a bit of Ebay trolling and found a very nice Raleigh Alyeska from that era in my size, but the price, nearly $400, and the color scheme -bordeaux and rose - doesn't do alot for me.   And if I am honest part of the fun is finding a deal and something that makes the heart race a bit and spending 4 bills for something that leaves me a bit Meh doesn't seem wise.

1986 Panasonic Pro Touring 
When looking at the interwebs I also came across the bike packing blog where someone with a similar obsession and alot more money turned the musty slightly rusty Panasonic Pro Touring pictured above into the sweet Rando machine pictured below.
Panasonic reborn
I guess what is truly frustrating about this experience is that I was so close I could taste it, to the point of making an Amazon wish list - yeah I know.  The bike at the top of the page is a 1986 Schwinn Passage, made only in that year and kind of a little brother to the slightly higher zoot Schwinn Voyageur.   I was trolling CL on Sunday morning and without actually looking for Touring bikes I came across a Passage for $80, it was pretty obvious from the listing they didn't really know what they had and in my brief amount of searching I knew this was a deal.
Web shot similar to the CL listing

So I texted at 10 am, crickets, at 5:30 pm I get a text back saying they've been out but their back and still have the bike if I want to see it, but they don't give me an address (really?!), I immediately text back saying yes I can come can they send me the address?....nothing finally at 8:30 pm I text again that I am still interested and I don't work too far from the city listed on the CL post and can I come by after work, can they send me an address and a good time to come by? nothing. The next day the post is removed, I suspect someone called them and offered more than $80 for it.  Sigh.  It is the way these things go sometimes.  I did happen to see another in my area in my size but I can see some changes have been made to it and its more than I really want to pay.   And further looking I do find touring bikes of that correct vintage but they all fall into one of 3 buckets: too small, too big, too expensive.  I realize what I want is something a bit tatty, mostly original and for a reasonable price that I can bring back to life.  

VO Campeur

If I truly wanted to tour I could buy and build up a very nice VO Campeur frame, and maybe I will someday but that's not what this is about.  For that matter my Handsome Devil could be built up as a very capable tourer and in one of its iterations it even sported a Sugino triple crank.  But no, this is about the same chapter- lust for vintage lugged bicycles, different verse- Touring bikes.  Maybe if I stop obsessing one will pop up when I least expect it?  Hmm...wonder whats on CL down in Portland?

Until next time Ride.Smile.Repeat and try not to obsess....


Climbing up to the rest room, Andrei suggested: Maybe a beer, gentlemen. Not only is it possible, but also necessary. - picked up Vadim. Girls, are you with us. - I asked.

Bike vintage touring

Lustful. not fucked. whore. cunt. I rubbed my naked wet pussy like a madman on the seat and couldn't think of anything but fucking.

1983 Centurion Pro Tour 15 classic touring bike

At the same moment, Misha walked around Lyuba from behind and lifted her skirt, but there were tights, he tore them without. Hesitation and pushed the thong aside. By the way they treated my wife, I realized that they have been tearing her up for a long time and fucking.

Like the last whore.

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Always smooth, probably ready to meet someone like me. " he laughs. I feel his hot hand, and his gaze, as he examines me without panties and with a raised skirt.

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