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  1. #1
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Schwinn 10-speed for $15

    Well, I just found a Schwinn 10 speed at the Salvation Army Saturday Auction. Please don't tell Rainbabe. She sent me with bags of stuff to GET RID of, not to bring home.

    Kind of rough shape, but everthing seems to work. A little hop in the rear wheel that should be a matter of judicious spoke adjustments. Looks neglected more than abused. Well used but not overly so. Cogs and chainwheels don't seem that worn. Needs to be cleaned up and repainted. Should be a good learning project disassembling and reassembling everything. Not a super find, but it is a Schwinn. There is always something to be said for that.

    I have no idea what model or anything. It has 27x1 1/4 tires. Serial no. starts with LS, which apparently means it was made in December, 1981. Seems to be exactly the right size for me, too. Heavy, but what do you expect?

    Mike, et al, need advice on restore vs "do what I want". I don't plan to dump a whole bunch of money into this bike, just fix it up for a fun bike. When I paint it, is there any reason to go for a "traditional" Schwinn color (it is blue now)? I would like to paint it a bright yellow. Have you ever used the Menotony product sold at oldroads.com to clean up minor rust, etc.?

    The bike has chromed steel handlebars with that foam padding, which I will be removing. Any special preparations/precautions before installing handlebar tape on a steel bar?

    I would appreciate any references or suggestions. I am aware of oldroads.com and plan to go re-read the guide on old bikes. Any other good sites?

    If I need to remove the freewheel will you lend me the tool? I will send you a big cash deposit.

    Thanks,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  2. #2
    Senior Mem. & Trail Sage steve33's Avatar
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    Bet it's a swinn LeTour the world use to be full of them, they were so much like a tank it would take one of them 1000 years to rust away,there have been thousands of touring miles all around the country on thoes things despite their weight.
    I have an old touring how to book with all the usual you needs in it, along with how to repairs and lots of reccomended trips all over the country, almost every page that has a bike pictured on it is a swinn LeTour.

    Ride it with pride.!!!!!

    By the way most of them were an old ugly dark green.????
    steve33 (aka windwalker)
    http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/nctrailtime/
    A nice place to visit.

  3. #3
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Congrat's Rainman you have a beater bike! For the bars if you are going to tape them, then just rub over the bar metal with some fine grit sandpaper. You can even use a wet paper. Make sure, Schwinn was infamous or this years ago, that the tires and tubes are standard 27 X 1 1/4" and not Schwinn 27 X 1 1/4". Have fun!

  4. #4
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks, Steve. Now I have a possible model to research just so I will know what it is. I was thinking it had the look and heft of a "touring" bike, especially with the wider tires. Interestingly, to me at least, it has plastic clamp on pump pegs and no bottle cage attachments. Of course, those are easy enough to add. It is currently a very nice blue that I am pretty sure is the original paint job. I may try cleaning it up with rubbing compound or finish restoration type car wax before I give in and paint it. I think with some cleaning and polishing it should work just fine and look pretty decent.

    Thanks to you, too, Hunter. Under the foam padding the bars have a few minor rust spots. After light sanding should I apply car wax or anything before wrapping? It is so humid here I am always paranoid about creating situations where moisture can get trapped.

    Other questions:

    The rims are apparently 630 mm. Is it possible there is enough adjustment in the brake shoe position that I could actually use standard 622 mm (700) rims? I just thought of this possibility; it will be easy enough to give it a try. That would be convenient since I could use some old wheels I already have and just replace the original ones.

    Thanks,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  5. #5
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    You could try that with the bars. Interesting solution to rust I have never thought of that. It sound like you do have Schwinn wheels then. Well if the pads will make it go for it. You may need a longer caliper. Of course the shorter the reach the safer, but what the hey it may just work anyway.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Cool deal Rainman! I recently went to a garage sale and got a Schwinn 5 speed (brown in color with chrome fenders) and a Browning ladies 10 speed. Both bikes have been hanging in a garage for years, and are in really good shape, except for needing tires. The Schwinn uses 26 inch tires, and the Browning uses 27x1-1/4. Just a little something to fool around with in all my 'spare' time!! Have fun!
    Keep Spinning!!
    "It is right that a bike is both Appreciated, and Ridden" David Blessing
    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
    "I thought of that while riding my bike" Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity
    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  7. #7
    Judged by weight alone... Ranger Jake's Avatar
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    Servus!

    Cool! A Schwinn LeTour! I ended up with the Traveler, a model below it. Served me for two years and about 4000 miles. Mine was this evil baby blue that went with nothing.

    I would spray a clear coat from a can onto the bars before I put on the tape. This is what I always did and it kept the crap from destroying the bars underneath. Your mileage may vary...

    Mike will probably tell me I was insane. I still use hair spray to atatch the grips to my mountain bike.
    Figured I would come back to RF cause I don't get enough ***** about being overweight anywhere else...

    Ranger Jake

  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    You have the date right - 1981. I doubt it is a Le Tour because they were made in Japan and didn't have the standard Schwinn serial numbers. Does it have lugged frames? The Le Tour did.


    The Le Tour had what was called a mixte frame. That is where the top tube went straight from the head tube to the rear dropouts; That is, the top tube and the rear stays are the same tube.

    You probably have one of the last Varsity or Continentals made in the USA. Was it a diamond frame welded (electro-forged), not lugged?

    The rims on the 27" wheels used standard tires - especially by the '80's. Hunter is correct that many of the old Schwinns had weird size rims that required Schwinn specific tires, but not the 10-speeds later than the '70's.

    I don't recommend using any kind of adhesive on handlebars. I never found it was needed and you or some other futurian will have a bugger of a time getting your grips off later.

    Most of the Schwinn 10-speeds (with the exception of the Paramount) are not considered collectable and were made in such quantities (one every 17 seconds at the peak), that it will be a long time before they are rare.

    Still, these are well made bikes and are FABULOUS commuters. They can carry heavy loads, are estraordinarily reliable, easy to repair (free parts from another $15.00 bike), and they suck up bumps like a Cadillac.

    So, paint or not? First, let's determine what you have. Then, have a ball. Paint in what-ever color you want. Contact me before you start for some pointers.

    DON"T use any kind of sand-paper or abrasive on any of the chrome - obviously.
    Last edited by mike; 06-24-01 at 10:21 PM.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Raymond, the Schwinn collectornet is just what you are looking for. Go to http://www.schwinn.com/heritage/restorationforum.html

    You will find me there a Mike Stone.

    Come join us. You'll be hooked on your old Schwinn before you know it.
    Mike

  10. #10
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks, again, Mike! I figured that was you over at that site.

    I wasn't planning to use anything on the bars for adhesion, just a little protection from moisture that might migrate throught the bar tape and linger there. Ranger's clear coat sounds like a good possibility.

    From your description, I guess I do not have a Le Tour. The seat stays are definitely separate pieces. In fact, they run up on the sides of the seat tube and are just kind of surface welded there. Not particularly elegant joints. Although I have never really looked at this tube intersection in detail on too many bikes, it seems to me that the seat stays usually either merge into a single tube which then merges into the seat tube in a nice clean weld or they make kind of a U which blends into the seat tube. These just look tacked in place.

    I went back and looked at the brakes. The pads are currently very high up in the vertical adjustment slot. There is well over 1 cm of downward adjustment available. It certainly appears to be enough to accomodate regular 700 (622 mm) rims. Since I was planning to get a new set of wheels anyway, maybe I can just use my old ones on this bike so I can use standard tires. I plan to try my wheels on it as soon as I get some time to fool with it.

    The more I look at the nice blue color, the more I think I might like to avoid painting. I will see how it looks after I clean it up and get tape on the bars. Does the rubbing compound sound like a good idea as long as I am careful with it or is bike paint too fragile for something aggressive like that?
    Thanks for your help,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  11. #11
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RainmanP
    Thanks, again, Mike! I figured that was you over at that site.

    Does the rubbing compound sound like a good idea as long as I am careful with it or is bike paint too fragile for something aggressive like that?,
    Raymond
    Sure, rubbing compound should work alright. Be careful with it as you would when rubbing automobile paint so that you don't rub the paint off.

    Is the bike missing all decals? If so, maybe it is a repaint job anyway.
    Mike

  12. #12
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Mike,
    It does seem to be the original paint. Although I have not really gone over everything really closely, when considering your decal question, I did recall that one of those yellow caution decals is on the downtube, and I did notice a white decorative design on the fork.
    Is there a website that has kind of a compilation of specs and such and information for model identification?
    Thanks,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  13. #13
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Rainman,
    The guy who originally came up with Mother's Polish developed a new and better version about 3 year's ago. When the guy took off and left him behind he kept it secret. Due to his lack of marketing, we have some of it here. I can send you a bottle big enogh to do that bike. You just clean the bike. Wash off with H20 and put on the polish and take off with a rag. Lasts for about 30 days. On my MTB it lasts about 2 weeks. It sheds water, and dirt pretty good. If dirt sticks you just wipe it off. From there on out all you need to do is apply more. Really easy stuff hence the name EZ Duz It. It will cost you nothing for a sample, but the sample is plenty for a bike, you will have some left over for the next round.

  14. #14
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer, Hunter. I figured I would just use some of the 2 or 3 types of car wax I already have.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  15. #15
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Hi Rainman,

    It's good to hear that there's still bargains to be had out there..

    Hope it brings you lots of fun and laughs

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rich

    It's good to hear that there's still bargains to be had out there..
    Rich
    Rich, speaking about bargains, I heard that in England, one can find old Raleigh 28" single speed roadsters for almost nothing. Some friends told me that the local dumps look like elephant death fields except for old 28 inchers instead of elephants.

    Is that true? Are those old beauties really so abundant and so easily had?
    Mike

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