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Old 10-20-08, 05:22 PM   #1
gee3749
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Question about new gears on an old le tour

I've got an old Schwinn le tour. (Probably early 80's)
The gears are alright on it, but a friend of mine has a set of Shimano Ultegras he's willing to hook me up with.

My question is, will the new Shimano gears fit the Schwinn I have?

Here's a quick picture of the bike


Last edited by gee3749; 10-20-08 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:37 PM   #2
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What do you mean by gears. Shifters (brifters, down tube, bar end)? Cassettes/freewheels and how many speeds? Derailleurs and so on. You have basically asked a question that can't be answered without more information. Bicycles really don't have gears like a car but a drive train with a number of gears in it. Roger
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Old 10-20-08, 06:02 PM   #3
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Yep, more info needed. I took my 82 LeTour that was a 5 speed (in the rear) with stem friction shifters and changed it to a 7 speed with Shimano Ultegra bar end shifters and it works beautifully. If by Ultegra you mean brifters(brakes and shifter levers combined) that are usually 9 or 10 speed, you may have trouble with that. It could be pretty involved, not impossible, but involved.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:54 PM   #4
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It's more than just gears I believe, sorry, I mispoke. It's probably like what's depicted here:

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Old 10-20-08, 07:47 PM   #5
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that is called a group or gruppo.... and that is a very expensive group you are looking at.... I am looking into a simular type of upgrade to my new to me nishiki.... I don't see the problem... but others may not agree
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Old 10-20-08, 08:03 PM   #6
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I'm getting a really good deal on it from a family friend. It might not be that exact group (2008), but it's similar.
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Old 10-20-08, 08:07 PM   #7
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Honestly dude, don't bother. I love vintage bikes and modern components more than any person should, but updating this bike to STI is like putting lipstick on a pig. Some people here will say that the STI is the pig, others the Le Tour. Either way, it's going to be a lot of work for little reward.
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Old 10-20-08, 08:14 PM   #8
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I mean, what work is involved in putting the STI's on the bike? It's such a good deal, that I'm going to do it as long as it's not outrageously difficult. I like working with mechanics, and I'd really like to put em on.
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Old 10-20-08, 09:26 PM   #9
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You will need a few more things than what is in that picture. Like cable stops for the down tubes,cables and you will need to cold set the frame to fit the rear axles and cassette. Also if the group he has is going to come with the hubs you will have to either rebuild those wheels or get a new set. The axles in the old wheels are not long enough for a 10 speed. It would be quite an accomplishment and a cool bike to ride if you get it together. Honestly if it were me, I would look for a nice newer frame (either lightweight steel or aluminum) that has the proper spacing at the rear dropouts. If you're thrifty like me you don't have to spend a fortune on it. Check out this thread to see older bikes with STI/Ergo shifting systems....You will learn alot if you take on the rebuild of the LeTour.

retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos
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Old 10-20-08, 09:39 PM   #10
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So there are 10 gears on the back? When you say 10 speed, you mean 10 speeds overall? The le tour is currently a 12 speed, so it has 6 on the back already. Does this change anything?
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Old 10-20-08, 09:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gee3749 View Post
So there are 10 gears on the back? When you say 10 speed, you mean 10 speeds overall? The le tour is currently a 12 speed, so it has 6 on the back already. Does this change anything?
The nomenclature became confusing when Shimano and Campagnolo came out with 10-cog freehub cassettes, from which one would build a 10, 20, or 30-speed bike. As recently as the 1990s, a "10-speed" bike unambiguously had 5 cogs on the freewheel and 2 chainrings in front, although some 12-speeds and other road bikes were generically called "10-speeds," as well.

Yes, the state-of-the-art systems do use a narrower chain and a longer rear axle, and they do typically stack 9 or 10 cogs on the freehub. If you have the right set of cogs for the indexing of your particular brifter, you can probably do the update without too much trouble. A guaranteed way to make it all work is to use barcons with a friction mode instead of brifters.
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Old 10-20-08, 10:20 PM   #12
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Hmm, I really like Brifters. I used em on the guy's main bike who I'm getting the parts from and really liked them.
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Old 10-21-08, 04:02 AM   #13
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If they are a great deal, go for it. Then begin looking for a really nice deal on a frame set on which they will better fit. Here's a quick list of your challenges in trying to make the Ultegra work on your LeTour:

1. The rear spacing is too narrow for the new hubs. You can stretch the frame apart, but it might not be aligned well after this modification.

2. The new brake calipers have recessed bolts and are short reach. Your LeTour has exposed bolts and longer reach. The new calipers will probably not touch the rims, even on 27" wheels.

3. Mounting the derailleurs might be a challenge. They are designed for specific fittings which the LeTour probably does not have.

I hope this is helpful. Finding an early '90s nice steel frameset would be a much better way to go for such a project. A Schwinn Prelude comes to mind. http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...9_Ltwt_09.html

Best of luck.
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Old 10-21-08, 06:48 AM   #14
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Also look very closely at the derailer mounting, front and rear. I've got a snafu at home where I was swapping components off of a ProFlex MTB over to a Timberlin MTB. Couldn't use the front derailer because the seat tube diameter on the Timberlin didn't fit the ProFlex's derailer. Also the crank set couldn't be used because the q-factor or something was different and the ProFlex's crankset put the chainrings too wide to work with the original Timberlin front derailer.

Couple all of that with all the above comments and it could turn into a real head scratcher trying to get it all to work together.

And, yeah, the gear counting can be a confusing issue at times. And when you start playing with the older bikes while many people are thinking of only newer bikes and it really muddies up the game. Sometimes I'll confuse the issue even further by saying stuff like 2x6 gearing like your LeTour has. And now Campy has an 11-speed (2x11) out so people will be talking about their 11 speed bikes, or their 22 speed, or their 33 speed, just depends upon what their mindset is. And we won't talk about rumors and spy hints of what's just over the horizon beyond the 11 speed stuff, but it will be fun when it arrives.

In any case, if you do decide to proceed with the conversion/upgrade, then keep us posted and take lots of notes and pictures of the process and the ordeal. I could be real interesting to see how it all comes together for you.
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Old 10-21-08, 08:18 AM   #15
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gee- please don't feel like we are trying to discourage you from taking on a challenge. Most of us love to see conversions that really come out well, that being said we have all tried things and found out that it was way too much work for the outcome. That is a nice LeTour and what makes it even cooler is that is is yours and you set it up the way you like. The support is here if you decide to go through with it though...
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Old 10-21-08, 12:37 PM   #16
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I just found out that they are the Ultegra 6600 series products with a triple crank and 12/25 gears. It's gears, derailleurs, brakes, crank, and shifters (brifters).

He also told me that he has a set of wheels that I can have that was originally used with this group.

(He bought a bike last year or so and upgraded the group, and the wheels.)
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Old 10-21-08, 01:34 PM   #17
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Potential problems:

Spacing rear dropouts: Either follow Sheldon Brown's instructions, or have the LBS do it.
Seat post size: I don't think your Le Tour will take a 27.2 seatpost.
Derailleur hanger: Hopefully you have a threaded one on your rear dropout.
Front Derailleur: As mentioned, the clamp may be larger than your seat tube. Shims are available though, and should work fine.
Downtube Cable Stops: You need them for the gears to work, and you don't have a braze on to mount them on. Clamp ons can be found, but they are prone to shift over time.
Rear Brake reach: Might work, might not be long enough. If not long enough, there are drop bolts that can be had.

Good luck with the project. It will keep you plenty busy.
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