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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

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Old 09-23-11, 03:47 PM   #1
lucas420
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30-35 year old Schwinn Le Tour III

Hi guys! I saw this bike at the LBS and I really want it. I'm not sure the exact year of it but the owner estimated it to be 30 or 35 years old. It seems to be in very nice shape, could use new brake and shifter cables, and the rear wheel needs truing. The owner said he would have the wheel trued and the rest of the bike tuned up tomorrow should I decide to purchase it. What would you estimate it's value at?

Here is a link to an image gallery of some snapshots I took with my phone when I saw the bike.



Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 09-23-11, 05:47 PM   #2
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Someone may correct me, but I'm reasonably sure of the following:

That bike was made in Japan by Panasonic sometime in the 70s. It's higher than the electroforged Varsity and Continental, but obviously lower than the Paramount and other high end bikes of the time. It probably weighs at least 30lbs. It's not a bike I would be interested in, but if I were selling one I'd hope to get about $100-$150 for it in that nice condition. If the price is much more than that, I'd pass.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:04 PM   #3
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1978 model, Pearl Orange. Hi-ten frame, steel rims. Thirty pounds.

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Old 09-23-11, 06:09 PM   #4
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Not a Panasonic frame. A Giant frame. Not as good, and not as light.
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Old 09-23-11, 07:16 PM   #5
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Pretty attractive regardless, paint looks really good. Like that color. But an Asian made Schwinn, with steel rims, stem shifters and high ten steel frame around here would max out at $125, maybe $140.
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Old 09-24-11, 03:52 AM   #6
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I have one, like it, i'd agree it's a good deal at $125-$140 if it's in perfect condition & maybe more if it's overhauled. At that age, it would benefit from new grease in all bearings and wheels tensioned; an 'overhaul', not just a tune-up. My Le Tour was my 1st novice overhaul project about 5 years ago. In the last few days, after it was hanging unused for a while, I'm riding and appreciating it all over again.

One thing I don't like is the rear derailleur. Difficult to hit the 17-tooth cog & this is the one I use most so that's a problem. Seems a little better since I disassembled the B pivot & put fresh grease in it. A used Sun Tour would be an improvement. Just bought a 1986 Shimano 'Light Action' (made with the Sun Tour design after their patent expired), for next to nothing & am on the lookout for a proper claw-adapter. Also thought of changing the freewheel to 6 speeds with a 16-18 in place of the 17; might help with shifting & definitely with cruising speed choices. Not sure if there's room by the dropout for the wider cluster. Don't want to fool with it too much, like it as it is & afraid of damaging it's 'je ne sais quois' (or whatever that phrase is).
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Old 09-24-11, 05:39 AM   #7
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it is in the shop being offered for sale but still needs work?
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Old 09-24-11, 08:56 AM   #8
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The Pearl Orange is a great Schwinn color, and Haloween is right around the corner.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:08 AM   #9
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I wouldn't say it's a good deal at 125-140, I'd say that's market. It is clean, it has that going for it. I can't imagine paying more than $150 for that regardless of condition, but some people are nuts...and they put value in the Schwinn name and don't know (or care) about the market. I can say in Philly, a good bike market, the asking price would likely be 150ish and they'd probably take $100.

A good deal for that is $50-$75 IMO.

Personally...I'd pass. As Scooper said - steel rims. I wouldn't touch a bike with steel rims.
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Old 09-24-11, 06:37 PM   #10
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Yeah, I definitely did not say $125 to $140 would be a good deal, I think thats the most it will bring.

+1 Being sold by an LBS in that condition? Odd, unless they are ready to just toss it and give you a deal on it in as is condition.
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