Touring Steel

by bashthebox   June 3, 2014  

I'm looking to build up a lovely vintage steel frame into a tourer for my girlfriend, but the problem is I'm into racing bikes so I'm a bit stuck when it comes to knowing what to look for in a touring frame.
Don't want to spend the earth - first bike and all that, so she's bound to want something better down the line - but aside from a Dawes Galaxy, I don't really know how to even really begin my search.
Any advice would be splendid.
Oh, and if anyone's got something lurking at the back of their cave they might want to sell, I'm looking for roughly size 54cm. Not sure what that translates to in old money.

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If stuck consult Sheldon Brown or Classic Lightweights.

posted by MKultra [197 posts]
3rd June 2014 - 16:27

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21/22" depending on how leggy she is.

The major pain in the arse you will encounter rebuilding a Galaxy and any other "retro" tourer is that the OLN is going to be 126mm and the canti studs are often a weird width apart so it limits you to cold setting a 130mm road hub in there.

New Galaxy frames use MTB hubs and are 135mm OLN.

To be honest anything young enough to take 700c wheels (late 70's early 80s) that is lugged will be amazingly similar across the 3 brands of Raleigh/Dawes/Claude Butler as a lot of frames sold by independent shops back then as their own brand were very often just re badged frames by one of the big three, when Raleigh was part of Tube Industries they ramped up hand production of lugged frames and flogged them to every one.

If you can find one second hand on the bay I would be on the lookout for something that is genuinely hand built by the likes of Brian Rourke, Mercian or Longstaffs. Avoid Orbit frames as build quality went into the shitter before they went under.

posted by MKultra [197 posts]
3rd June 2014 - 16:28

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Ah, so older frames I won't be able to fit modern wheels to? Or would need to get something handbuilt around a narrower hub? Would that not let me use 10spd groups?

posted by bashthebox [617 posts]
3rd June 2014 - 21:38

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To fit 700C wheels you may just need deep drop brakes. Alhonga do a reasonable set for buttons.

Cold setting the rear shouldn't be a problem either.

The main issue with old frames is that if you use modern hubs, the top one or two sprockets need locked out or the chain will rub the stays.

Go for it, nothing hasn't been done before, we done for an 8 year old recently, that worked out, though it's still on friction shift.

A Mixte frame would be a classic look for the ladies though there isn't anywhere to put the stops for the cables on the down tubes, hence often they remain on friction.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [458 posts]
3rd June 2014 - 21:53

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Flying Scot wrote:
To fit 700C wheels you may just need deep drop brakes. Alhonga do a reasonable set for buttons.

Cold setting the rear shouldn't be a problem either.

The main issue with old frames is that if you use modern hubs, the top one or two sprockets need locked out or the chain will rub the stays.

Go for it, nothing hasn't been done before, we done for an 8 year old recently, that worked out, though it's still on friction shift.

A Mixte frame would be a classic look for the ladies though there isn't anywhere to put the stops for the cables on the down tubes, hence often they remain on friction.

The thing to keep in mind with dropping a 700c wheel set in an older 27x1 1/4" frame is that you will lose BB height and increase the possible risk of pedal strike although if it's a smaller rider 165mm cranks are a solution. Some older frames have been known to have non standard BB threads as well.

I am not aware of anything stopping you running a modern road hub in there, you certainly will not have to lock out the top 2, Surly sell frames with an in between OLN and they run just fine. Ensure you use an 11t as the smallest sprocket like they do on MTB's and it will be fine.

posted by MKultra [197 posts]
4th June 2014 - 9:27

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What does OLN stand for? It's the width of the hub, right?

posted by bashthebox [617 posts]
4th June 2014 - 10:49

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We could tell you but then we would have to kill you.

posted by MKultra [197 posts]
4th June 2014 - 12:04

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You don't need to go Galaxy with Dawes. I still ride a Dawes Vogue (Reynolds 500 tubing - lugged and double butted but far from the top of the range) from 1992 every single day - it's been my only bike since then. The frame, forks and brake callipers are the only original bits left, everything else is several upgrades / replacements / bodge jobs from the original, so it looks a bit Frankenstein, but it's strong and comfortable and carries a full load at a fair lick.

It was £269 new. My granny paid for it!

Landy

posted by rallen [5 posts]
4th June 2014 - 13:48

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I have been running an Orbit Ventura (Reynolds 520) for nearly 10 years for touring, commuting and Lidl shops (about 20Kg each side at the back and my ** Kgs on the saddle) and had no issues with the frame.

posted by Ad Hynkel [46 posts]
4th June 2014 - 23:40

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Second hand Condor Fratello

posted by mikeakelly [5 posts]
5th June 2014 - 14:47

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I fancy that would cost an awful lot, Condor does hold its value a lot better than other brands.

posted by bashthebox [617 posts]
5th June 2014 - 15:51

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I got a fully built, well specced bike for £900 on ebay - I guess it depends on what you mean by an awful lot Wink

posted by mikeakelly [5 posts]
5th June 2014 - 16:23

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That's kind of a lot, no? Sold my Baracchi for only ninety nine pounds more than that.

But hoping to get a nice build for around 500 quid or less really; I reckon that's possible, especially with my cellar full of odd parts. Frankenbike!

posted by bashthebox [617 posts]
5th June 2014 - 16:50

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