There was a time when well-designed loaded touring bikes were all the rage. If you flipped through the bike magazines in the early 80s, it seemed that most -- or at least a pretty large percentage -- of the ads were either for touring bikes, or for touring racks, bags, or other related accessories. In a lot of ways, touring bikes were perhaps more popular than racers. Of course, in the '70s there was less of a difference between the two, as racing bikes back then had much longer wheelbases and more tire clearance than they do now. But by the early 80s, there were all kinds of fully equipped tourers on the market. Recently I posted a scan of a 1979 ad for the Miyata Gran Touring bike, which was one of the first of its type from the Japanese makers. It was ready for serious touring right from the factory and needed very little before one could take off cross-country. It didn't take long before many other manufacturers were following suit with bikes that were ready for touring right off the showroom floor. Take a look at a sampling of what was available in the early 80s.
|Today's Trek 520 has a welded frame, unicrown fork, sloping|
top tube, threadless stem, and v-brakes. At least they brought
back the vintage-looking graphics. Probably a decent bike,
but as far as I'm concerned, it has no soul.