The 1988 Schwinn Voyageur was the touring bike I researched and sought out. I was fortunate to acquire a large sized Voyageur from one of the most desirable years of production in such fine shape, but after a couple of rides it became glaringly apparent that the large frame was simply too large for me to comfortably ride over many hours. I decided that what I needed was to find an equally charismatic touring bike. In Massachusetts, Anton had the opposite problem: his 1985 Shogun 2000 felt a bit small-ish to him. Bikeforums.net brought the two of us together – well, virtually together at any rate – and we effected a trade of frame, fork, headset, and bottom bracket. I worried that my frame would arrive in Massachusetts and not meet his expectations, but my concerns were needless: the frames arrived by FedEx at their new homes, almost simultaneously, and we’re both very happy with our new stable mates.
I’ve begun to build the Shogun back up using the touring components that came off of the Voyageur. I anticipate the construction to result in more of a randonneur bike than a grand touring rig. Not that this wouldn’t make a fine touring bicycle, mind you: it was designed for that very purpose. But the Tange tubing and geometry appear to be exactly what I’m looking for in a vintage randonneuring bicycle – lightweight, slightly relaxed, good body fit, lugged for racks, fenders, and cantilever brakes.
One of the “extras” I will add once the initial build is completed and I’ve given this girl a thorough ride test, will be a front rack and bag. I like the look of the Nitto racks and Velo-Orange has a front rack with an integrated decaleur that I’ve also had my eye on. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll be adding a rear rack or not, but I have a couple of Jim Blackburn racks that I’ve had good luck with, that my panniers fit onto, and that have been successfully swapped around between a couple of different bikes. I might consider having one of them powder coated to match the frame.
My Brooks is already mounted and awaiting a fitting for height, angle, and stem distance.
And my Wolber Super Champions are sporting a fresh set of 27 x 1 1/4″ Panaracer Pacela touring tires.
The Lapize leather straps have a fresh application of Proofhide and I’ve added a new pair of Christophe toe clips with leather wrap.
My crankset is a BioPace rig. The jury is still out with me on BioPace, so I may swap these rings out for circular, but I want to give the goofy ovals a fair shot before making the final decision. I have a chain but I a new one is not expensive and I think it would just be “penny-wise but pound-foolish” not to spend a few dollars to protect the cog and crank teeth.
I’m still considering what bag(s) to add, and what lighting.
In the meanwhile, I’m also building up an 80’s-era Colnago. I’m awaiting a new bottom bracket and headset – and, of course, the weather probably won’t permit me to even give it a decent test for a while anyway, so no big hurry on that one yet. More about that project as I make decisions.