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Old 10-21-07, 05:52 PM   #1
digitalbicycle
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Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 help

I just picked up a 25" Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 frameset, rusty, scraped, with some spraypaint on it, but in sound structural condition and soon to become my new commuter.

The serial number is 81 04 16076, which I assume makes it a 1981. I found catalog scans for the Voyageur from '80, '81, and '82 on the Schwinn forums, but it looked as if the 1981 and the 1982 scan were identical and I wasn't certain if that was a mistake or they just looked very similar. None of the catalog scans had full chrome forks, just half chrome, and my fork is full chrome so I'm not sure how that affects dating. It came with an Altus LX front derailer, Altus LX DT shifters, and an SR stem with Sakae Road Champion bars and Dia Compe levers. It also had an SR Laprade seatpost, 26.4, that was in there with a shim, a Dia Compe G rear brake, and a Campy rear derailler.

Is it a replacement fork? Which of these components were original? Is it for sure a 1981? And does it take a 26.8 seatpost? I'd post pics if I had a camera.
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Old 10-21-07, 07:09 PM   #2
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1980 Voyageur 11.8

1980 Voyageur 11.8 Specs

1981 Voyageur 11.8 and Specs

1982 Voyageur 11.8 and Specs
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Old 10-22-07, 02:10 PM   #3
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The '81 takes a 26.8 seatpost, does anybody know about the '80 or the '82. I'm guessing they'd be the same?

Why is my fork full chrome? Does that automatically make it a replacement?
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Old 10-22-07, 02:15 PM   #4
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No. My first non-BMX bike was an 11.8 Voyageur and it was solid chrome from drop-out to drop-out.
(Sure could've used bottlecage mounts a few times!)
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Old 10-22-07, 02:23 PM   #5
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Is there a four digit date code stamped on the headbadge?
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Old 10-22-07, 03:00 PM   #6
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Is there a four digit date code stamped on the headbadge?
1097. Does this make it an '81?
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Old 10-22-07, 03:34 PM   #7
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The '81 takes a 26.8 seatpost, does anybody know about the '80 or the '82. I'm guessing they'd be the same?

Why is my fork full chrome? Does that automatically make it a replacement?
The seatposts are the same.

The forks are fully chromed but the non-chrome bikes have paint over all but the lower part of the fork. Someone may have stripped the paint off the fork and polished it up. Or it could be a replacement.

On your date code: 1097 is the 109th day of '77 or '87. Are you sure that 7 isn't a 1?

Photos would help.

Do you need decals? We're doing a group buy for 11.8 decals and will be placing the order soon.
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Old 10-22-07, 03:36 PM   #8
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If the last number is 7 it means the the bike was built on the 109th day of a year ending in 7. Probably 77 or 87. How about some pictures as no 11.8s were built in either 1977 or 1987. 12.2 were built in 1977. Roger
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Old 10-22-07, 06:17 PM   #9
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If the last number is 7 it means the the bike was built on the 109th day of a year ending in 7. Probably 77 or 87. How about some pictures as no 11.8s were built in either 1977 or 1987. 12.2 were built in 1977. Roger
Just doublechecked the serial number, and it's 1097. The top tube says Voyageur 11.8. These two conflicting details, plus the full chrome fork matched to a black frame, make me very curious. I will borrow a camera and post pics to help get to the bottom of this mystery.
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Old 10-23-07, 09:45 AM   #10
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Do you need decals? We're doing a group buy for 11.8 decals and will be placing the order soon.
No need for decals, this one's gonna stay scratched and dirty as some sort of theft deterrent, also so I don't feel guilty locking it to whatever's around.
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Old 10-23-07, 10:45 PM   #11
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I have a 1984 Voyageur. The fork is completely painted, but I can tell from chipped and peeling paint that it is actually fully chromed under the paint. It's possible that your fork was the same way and someone stripped off all the paint.

Maureen
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Old 10-24-07, 04:46 AM   #12
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If some thief realizes what it is it'll be gone anyway. Might as well repaint and decal it?,,,,BD
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Old 10-24-07, 11:31 AM   #13
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If some thief realizes what it is it'll be gone anyway. Might as well repaint and decal it?,,,,BD
Good point. Unfortunately, the budget will allow for neither decals nor a repaint. Still hoping to post photos soon to figure out exactly what is going on w/this bike.
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Old 11-11-07, 01:59 PM   #14
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After borrowing a digital camera and spending a considerable amount of time unsuccessfully trying to get it to focus on closeup shots, I have given up posting pics of the headbadge. It definitely ends in 7, though. The red paint around the star has been removed (unless it came like that, which I've never seen before) and it's sort of loose, so perhaps it's a replacement, but it says Schwinn Japan, instead of Schwinn Chicago like my 1987 Premis. Oh, and I took the fork off, and it's definitely a replacement, so that answers that question.

However, I've been commuting on it since I started this thread, and I'm just about ready to strip it down, put the components on the Premis, and give it away. Why, you ask? Well, it's got terrible BB flex. No matter how much I tweak the limit screws and trim the front derailer, I still get lots of chain rub inside the cage when I pedal, even at moderate speeds when I'm not really cranking. I even tried bending out the derailer cage to make it wider. This seems strange to me since the steel on this thing is not particularly lightweight. Has anybody else had a similar experience, and is there anything I can do to correct it?

Also, any tips on how to make a digital camera focus on closeup stuff? I was thwarted from posting two new components on velobase.com because the pics were too sloppy to make it worth it. I've tried changing the little icon in the corner of the screen from the mountain to the flower, which I assume changes the focus from far away shots to up close shots, but after that I'm at a loss.

Last edited by digitalbicycle; 11-11-07 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-11-07, 03:20 PM   #15
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I'm just about ready to strip it down, put the components on the Premis, and give it away. Why, you ask? Well, it's got terrible BB flex. No matter how much I tweak the limit screws and trim the front derailer, I still get lots of chain rub inside the cage when I pedal, even at moderate speeds when I'm not really cranking. I even tried bending out the derailer cage to make it wider. This seems strange to me since the steel on this thing is not particularly lightweight. Has anybody else had a similar experience, and is there anything I can do to correct it?
Play the odds, which say a probable twelve to seven that you should first check to see if the spindle or crank is bent.

Here's how:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/straighten-chw.html

and this might help with the diagnosis:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html
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Old 11-11-07, 04:46 PM   #16
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Play the odds, which say a probable twelve to seven that you should first check to see if the spindle or crank is bent.

Here's how:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/straighten-chw.html

and this might help with the diagnosis:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html
I've ruled out the bottom bracket. When the bike came to me it was a bare frame, and I put in a Shimano cartridge BB in with a nice straight spindle. Early on in the diagnosis process, I swapped the BB out for another, higher quality Shimano cartridge unit, also in very good shape. Flex continues unabated.

The cranks are also in good shape, I had them on another bike and there was no problem. When viewed from above, chainrings look nice and straight as crank turns.
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