Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries - '87 Schwinn Le Tour
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12-17-08, 09:33 PM
Just for a reality check - wondering what this would be worth (deciding whether the temptation to try strip/painting could be given in on with this bike) - Need pics, I know... but assume the usual commuting/rack type scratches, complete, ridable condition, no wrecks, working deraileurs, original equipment, except crank & FD replaced with nice Stronglight pieces. Basically, a perfectly functional '87 LeTour that isn't beautiful, but isn't abused either....what's it worth? what do y'all think it'd be worth in, say 5-10 years?
12-18-08, 12:23 PM
Hmmm, nobody has posted a reply here yet, so as someone who once bought a brand new LeTour several decades ago, and as one who bought a used one in the last year or two, I'll give my opinion. ;)
LeTours are funny in that some see them as a generic okay bike and nothing special.
Others see the LeTours as fairly nice bikes and will sometimes seek one out specifically.
With that said, prices will vary depending upon who's looking at it. I think I paid $10 for my used one at a yard sale (buried in the archives here someplace, might have been $15 or $5 (I don't recall at the moment)). A decent one that is ridable with functionally safe tires and straight rims might bring anywhere from $20-$100 depending upon your local market and the overall condition of the bike. A decent one with no major paint/rust issues in freshly overhauled and regreased condition with new tires might bring between $50-$200, depending greatly upon who is looking at it and upon your local market. There is a local used bike seller on CL who has had a stepthru frame LeTour advertised for $80 for what seems like several months now, he refreshes/reposts his ads every 5-14 days it seems: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/962601339.html , this one doesn't seem to be selling for him so far. YMMV
In 5-10 years, who knows. I've found that re-paints on bikes hurts more than helps the value on a bike, unless it is a pro-level paint job or is period correct and documented complete with vintage decals.
Post a pic of your bike if you want to generate better or more replies. Hope this helps some. My current LeTour could probably use a repaint, but I'm going to keep it as is since it makes for a nice rider.
= = = = =
Found the link to mine, turns out I paid $5 for it earlier this past summer.
And this thread shows it after I cleaned it up a little:
12-18-08, 12:37 PM
To add what was offered already, the late 80 Letours should have been Mississippi built frame. I have a 86 Traveler and IIRC, was advertised on the same page in the catalog.
It is a fun light ride compared to my earlier Schwinns, Continental, Super Sport and a Superior.
I picked up from original owner for less than $30 this past spring, added new tires and tubes, re wrapped the bar, and new brake pads. I would not sell for mush less than $125 today, and would likely start higher.
Here is image before cleanup and service performed.
12-19-08, 05:00 PM
An 87 LeTour has aero brake levers and I believe that it's an index shifting bike. Around here, index shifting road bikes start at $150 on CL. Lately they've been getting listed for closer to $200.
As for the future, I think nice, chromoly steel frames are going to go up in price. My logic is, they were cheap when original owners were getting rid of 70's and 80's bikes, but as folks start to discard their old 1990's bikes, we're going to see a shift in what's showing up at yard sales and thrift stores. Soon we'll start to see hybrids and aluminum frames showing up. Actually, I've already seen this change beginning.
IMHO, old soft riding steel frames will catch on even more than they have today. But that's just my opinion.
Probably financially not worth a powder coat paint job, BUT,
If it fits, you like it, and you plan to keep it, thats what I would do. And in 5 to 10 years, I am with roccobike, people will really appreciate the 80s quality steel bikes. When you consider how few bikes are steel anymore, a reasonably light weight, steel vintage road bike from the 80s will be highly sought after IMHO. And with rust, abuse and neglect reducing the ranks of quality steel vintage bikes, that should help as well.
Look at the Trek line from the mid 80s: mostly high quality steel. Now they have basically one steel model in the adult line-up?
12-20-08, 01:21 PM
Thanks folks. I was considering a homespun automotive paint job for it....probably about a $30 + hassle pricetag since i have everything but the paint. For some reason the bike looks particularly unattractive to me ('80s lettering, off-white paint) so I was thinking a tasteful change in color might make it enjoyable to own. Thought I might kick myself later if for some reason '80s original paint LeTours became highly collectible....lol! It's probably a 2cm smaller than I would normally ride on a traditional road bike frame, but I'm thinking it could be a nice ride in sort of a 'townie' setup with a bit more bar extension, upright bars of some sort & a bit more seatpost extension than normal. Basically, I'm just fooling around with the bike to see if I can turn it into something enjoyable for me to ride since it was very cheap (expensive by your standards, apparently, at $40....but I figured half of that was as much of an act of charity/goodwill to the seller as it was pure 'price') and basically a perfectly good bike 'as is'. I'll try out some configurations before i 'invest' anything in something I can't pull back off & put on another bike!
12-22-08, 08:52 PM
FWIW, here's the bike I was asking about....
http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/assets_c/2008/12/Lt_2-forweb-thumb-340x244.jpg (http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/photos/Lt_2-forweb.jpg) http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/assets_c/2008/12/LT_crank-forweb-thumb-150x99.jpg (http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/photos/LT_crank-forweb.jpg) http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/assets_c/2008/12/LT_rear_derailleur-forweb-thumb-150x114.jpg (http://www.fiataccompli.com/bike/photos/LT_rear_derailleur-forweb.jpg)
That bike has alot of potential. May I suggest that you put aero brake leavers and re wrap the handle bars to give it some color. Most home ( you may be a pro so YMMV) paint jobs do not hold up well.
12-25-08, 04:42 PM
You are right about potential. If i were to paint it, I'd blast it myself & either spray it w/ professional paint or hire out having it powder coated. It's too much 'all there' and OK to just hack up for the hell of it. There's a very decent Centurion at a local pawn shop for about $30 that I could do that with and have lost nothing.....know what I mean? All that said, I probably *will* be changing it to something with moustache bars & a bit more oriented for the city. I need more reach & seat height on it anyway....or, it could end up being a very nice little "guest bike"
again, many thanks for the feedback.
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