I have a wonderful old Schwinn Voyageur SP--great touring bike, but it just doesn't have the kind of gearing current bikes have. As I look at what it would cost to upgrade, I begin to question whether it's even worth the trouble. It appears I'd need to replace:
Indexed downtube shifters
Rear wheel (or a set if I don't want to be mismatched)
Rear cassette for the new wheel
Chainrings or new cranks (and perhaps bottom bracket as this is the old squared end shaft type)
So, can anyone offer me any suggestions as to the advisability of this?
Also, on a 20+ year-old frame like this, is there any kind of limitation on the number of gears in the rear cassette? Has the dropout spacing changed for the new, 10-speed cassettes vs. smaller numbers like 7 (which used to be impressive!).
A fallback position is just getting a new rear cluster that has at least 6 speeds rather than the 5 that came on it. All the deraileurs are Sun Tour (sigh) and I'm sure what they used to call an Ultra 6 would work fine. Can you find these any more?