First, I have decided to convert my old Bridgestone Mountain bike into a touring bike. When I say touring, I really mean a bike I can take long relaxing rides on. I don't really have plans for any extended tours and if I do, it will be from hotel to hotel, I am not roughing it in a tent. Been there, done that, have the merit badges to prove it!!
I think the Bridgestone will make a good touring bike since it has the relaxed geometry of a mountain bike and does not have any shocks. I plan to put multi purpose tires on it so it can handle both road and off road, at least fire roads and gravel, no plans for the single track I used to do. I will also add either a road style drop bars or trekking bars to provide more positions that the current flat bar and to get in a more aerodynamic position.
|This is a trekking style handlebar.|
|Here is the Novara Safari from REI with trekking bar.|
If I get a drop bar, I will need to get new brake levers and some sort of shifter, probably bar end shifters. Id I go with the safari bar, I should be OK with the current ones, though the shifters may need to be replace anyway. I also need a new rear wheel as the current one has worn through! I would probably also put a new cassette on the back with a larger low gear, like 34 or 36 versus the current on at 30 cogs. The Shimano DX components are durable and classic.
My Mercian Vincitore is another story. It is already has touring bike geometry, but when I purchased it in about 1994 or 95, It had a mix of components and I upgraded it to all Campagnolo components, however the components are really meant for racing. I want to use it for touring and would like to build it out to be period correct. That means most of the components will need to change. I will probably keep the components for a potential racing bike build. Found some old Mercian catalogs to get an idea of what components they put on the bikes of my vintage, which is a 1980 model Vincitore. The plan would be to use this also for longer rides, but mostly on the pavement. Though I will select tires that are capable of gravel or dirt roads. Just purchased some Dia Compe 610 centerpull brakes on eBay.
|Dia Compe 610 Brakes, classic!!|
|My Mercian in its current form.|
I will keep updating as the builds go along. When I get the Bridgestone done, I will likely sell the heavy globe comfort bike. While it has been nice to ride to get back into cycling, not really the nicest bike to ride longer term.
Suggestions and opinions always welcome!!