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Old 03-13-11, 02:57 PM   #1
X-LinkedRider
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73 LeTour Crankset upgrade?

Ok. Here is the deal.
A good friend of mine has a 73 Le Tour which I gave him a year or so ago. HE LOVES THIS BIKE as he is 6'3 and loves a steel ride.
We have frequented the talk of him upgrading to a brifter system to give him more gears and get used to newer style gearing.

I am considering upgrading my Allez which is equipped with with Sora/Tiagra mix to a 2x10 like apex/rival. I am considering gifting him my old stuff which would include
Sora Shifters/Brake Levers
Tiagra Rear Derail.
Sora Front Derail.
Cassette
700c wheels (1 of the few OEM pairs I have lying around)

We will have to get a new chain

First Question
I know that my crankset will not fit his, nor will it be too comfortable as it is a 172.5 and he probably needs 175. But, what would it take or what type of crank should I be looking for or bb to fit his 73 Le Tour. (It will need to be a Triple)

Second Question
I am aware he will need new brakes as well. I do not believe my tektros coming off of the allez will fit his Le Tour. What type of brakes should I be looking for that will work with the older frame (currently pull caliper i believe) to 700c wheels/sora brake levers?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:18 PM   #2
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The old LeTour is a heavy bike, and before you bother upgrading it for him, seriously consider just getting a lighter more modern ride. Steel frames are still around. However, it is possible to put more modern components on.

Is this an electroforged frame with the one piece crank? If so you'll need a bottom bracket converter. Otherwise the BB from your crankset should work in the frame unless there are other problems I'm not aware of. The difference between 172.5 and 175 is tiny, and not a noticeable or important difference.

He might need new brakes if the original calipers don't have enough reach to get to the 700c rims. If they don't reach you'll need new brakes, something with a pretty long reach. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/calipers.html#reach The issue with putting a new wheelset on that frame is that it's probably spaced to 120mm, where your wheels are likely to be 130mm, unless they're from the 6-7 speed era and are 126mm. The frame will probably have to be cold set to accept the new wheels.

Finally, if your Sora FD is a braze on type, it is unlikely to work. Even if it's a clamp on, it may not be the correct clamp diameter.
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Old 03-13-11, 04:40 PM   #3
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I believe that the Le-tour has a 3 piece crank, but I do not know if it is a square taper or cottered cranks. There are several articles floating around about Paster Bob and his Super Sport conversion to a triple front crank. I think that the Le Tour has a threaded bottom bracket and if that is the case, then converting to a front triple should be easy.

Center pull brakes should be long enough to handle 700c wheels, at least they were long enough on my '71 SS conversion. Look at what the rear drop out spacing is and what the spacing is on the new 700c rear wheel. I do not remember if the Le Tour has 120 or 126mm spacing.

Tom
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Old 03-13-11, 04:45 PM   #4
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I believe the Le Tours were all 3 piece cranks with English threaded BBs so what you have should fit without a problem. If it is a one piece, there are adapters available. 172.5 vs. 175 is a very small difference. He probably would not even notice the difference.

FD will most likely be the wrong clamp diameter so you'll need to measure the seat tube to see if both bikes are the same.

Wheels are a bit of a different issue. The spacing on the rear triangle is narrower and will need to be cold set to accomodate the wider hub. You might be able to get by with the stock brakes. If not, get a set of long reach calipers (you'll have to drill out the frame unless you get a vintage set).

The Le Tour probably has a lugged frame but it isn't particularly light so findng a different frame to build up may make more sense.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:04 PM   #5
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Just a bit of info on Schwinn Le Tours. They were one of the earliest Schwinn imports (Japan), and were a response to Schwinn's need for an affordable, lugged, lighter-weight-than-an-electroforged-Varsity/Continental "10 speed." The earliest Le Tours were built by Panasonic for Schwinn. If the bike in question is indeed a '73, I believe that's the first model year the Le Tour was offered. The Le Tour had quite a few incarnations over the years, including the Le Tour 12.2, introduced in '76 (main triangle 4130 chromoly, total bike weight 12.2 kilograms). Production of Le Tours by the end of the '70's began to go back and forth from Japan to the U.S. ('79 and '80 Le Tours were the only year models built in the Chicago Schwinn plant), and by '83 all Le Tours had full chromoly frames and were built at the new Schwinn plant in Greenville, Mississippi. By the mid '80's, Le Tours had evolved into pretty nice bikes IMO (which can be said of a lot of bike models).

I rode an '83 Le Tour Luxe nearly into the ground, having completely retrofitted it with all new parts at least three times. That frame hangs in the back of my shop these days. My teenaged son rode it a couple of years, it came time, more-or-less, for another rebuild, and he got a Surly Cross Check instead of sticking with the old Schwinn.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:50 PM   #6
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Good Le Tour historical info. I moved on up from a Continental to a '76 Le Tour and after the original steel-rimmed wheels were replaced with aluminum models, it was great fun to ride. (yes, 3-piece cotterless cranks were standard.)
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Old 03-13-11, 10:04 PM   #7
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I had a Super Le Tour 12.2 purchased in "76" it has a cotterless 3 piece crank (it looked like a sugino). but you can probably upgrade the crankset with any modern crank as long as you get the proper bottom bracket.

IIRC, mine had a 5 speed rear and 120mm spacing but since it is a steel frame, you should be able to cold set it, to accommodate the 130 mm axle spacing. I also remember replacing the calipers with Universal Model 68 that had a long reach, so you may need some new calipers but since you have the sora brakes, just try it to see if it will fit.
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Old 03-13-11, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
First Question
I know that my crankset will not fit his, nor will it be too comfortable as it is a 172.5 and he probably needs 175. But, what would it take or what type of crank should I be looking for or bb to fit his 73 Le Tour. (It will need to be a Triple)

Second Question
I am aware he will need new brakes as well. I do not believe my tektros coming off of the allez will fit his Le Tour. What type of brakes should I be looking for that will work with the older frame (currently pull caliper i believe) to 700c wheels/sora brake levers?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Your LeTour has a standard English-threaded bottom bracket. It will accept anything newer, including the latest external-bearing cranks, without a problem. It has a 1 1/8" diameter seat tube, so the correct size front derailleur clamp is needed.

The Sora brifters will work fine with the LeTour's existing centerpull brakes. The lack of a quick-release or adjustment will make this tough to adjust or remove a wheel, but that can be dealt with the appropriate cable hangers. Alternatively, long-reach sidepull brakes are available from Tektro: http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...Brakes&tc=Road
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Old 03-14-11, 08:21 AM   #9
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Thank you for all of the help guys. I have not made any final decisions on whether or not I am upgrading the allez yet, but it is REALLY nice to know that I have options for the old drivetrain if I do.
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