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  1. #1
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Schwinn Le Tour II

    So I picked up this bike for a good price and am about to break it down for a deep clean and bring it up to snuff.

    Anything I should know about it? Special tools?

    (I think 1977) All original Le Tour II, Serial #3206 (320th day of 1976?)
    27" Steel rims
    Weinmann centerpulls
    Stem shifter
    Old style seatpost.
    5sp


    I read it is not the highest or most desirable and not the lightest.
    Any upsides to being a Japanese built Schwinn?


    Looks to be sun faded on the clearcoat some.
    Any advice on bringing the paint back? Lightly sand off the clear and (diy) reshoot it with clear? Leave it as is for "patina"?
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    Last edited by thenomad; 08-21-09 at 06:37 PM.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    More pics, untouched.
    I removed a sticker that was on the "Made in Japan" area. Would be nice to have the whole thing looking like that.
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    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I'm considering resto and sell, or resto/SS and sell.

    What do folks think about the "potential" interest in this average bike?
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    You will lose money if you restore and sell. To make the most clean it up and make ride well and sell it. SS will destroy what long term value it would have as a collectable bike. LeTours are not that uncommon of a bike. Roger

  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If you bought the bike right (cheap), I disagree, you should be able to make a nice return on it.


    On the paint, I use polishing compound, you can buy it at Walmart in the auto section pretty cheap. It will bring out the color nicely.

    I think polished up the bike will be looking good!

    If you have some donor alloy wheels around, you might consider upgrading it. I did that with a similar era and quality Traveler. People were knocking down my door to get it. So you could be pleasantly surprised by the interest. I also have sold three EF Schwinns in the last month with steel rims, and the response was good as well.

    So for the three EF Schwinns and the old Traveler, I was able to maintain/exceed my standard minimum target margin.

    IMHO, the profit on the flip is made on the initial acquisition. Pay too much, or miss some fatal flaw, and you just bought a donor. Then manage the spending carefully, but do a nice refurb, and market it well.

    To me on the refurb, you are fortunate to get a Japanese Schwinn. It will have pretty standard parts and bits vs the lower end US Schwinns.
    Last edited by wrk101; 08-21-09 at 07:11 PM.

  6. #6
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Get som Mcquiars (sp) scratch x and use on it you will be amazed how the paint will come back. Put a good coat of wax on it and it should be good. It will never be pristine but it should be pretty nice. You can look into powdercoat, its a LOT cheaper than a pro paint job, not as beautiful but if done right most people don't know the difference and a lot of powdercoat outfits can do a two step coat. I had my wife's mixte done with a green base and gold topcoat and is absolutely brilliant in the sun. I had it done for just a shade under $100.00
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  7. #7
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I've got some auto paint steps I usually do so I'll try that first. In the pics the damage you see is the clearcoat, not dust or something.

    I think the condition of the components is good enough that a nice chrome polish will make them sparkle. No scrapes or gouges on anything and all rubber caps look nice.

    I do have a set of alloy wheels from my '86 but they are really nice, not sure they'd be worth handing over in a sale of a 1977. I may look for some alloy 700c to put on it but may polish up the steel rims and high flange hubs. Not sure if the increase in profit would be worth the expense.

    I'll see how fun the center pull brakes are to refurb, never done them before.
    Last edited by thenomad; 09-06-09 at 03:25 PM.
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  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
    More pics, untouched.
    I removed a sticker that was on the "Made in Japan" area. Would be nice to have the whole thing looking like that.
    The old Schwinn pearlescent paint faded when it was left in the sun. The only way you're going to "bring it back" is to repaint it. It's a darn shame- Pearlescent orange is my favorite color in the Schwinn palette... probably because my Le Tour III was that color.

    Quick-Glo is the product we used to sell to remove light rust from chrome and polish it up. You can still find it in some bike shops.

    Powdercoat is a good way to go. Here's a good story on how it's done:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kHCh1E6REo"]YouTube - Brooker's Powder Coating[/ame]
    Jeff Wills

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  9. #9
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Darn, hope it'll at least look a little better but yeah, probably faded way out.
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  10. #10
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Your paint looks like it has possibilities and like Jeff Willis said, that shade was used on very few Schwinns. Try first using Maguires Scratch X, folled by their 3 step cleaner, polish and wax. It should really shine when you are finished.
    Bob
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  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Your paint looks like it has possibilities and like Jeff Willis said, that shade was used on very few Schwinns. Try first using Maguires Scratch X, folled by their 3 step cleaner, polish and wax. It should really shine when you are finished.
    I don't know- he describes the paint as faded. And since he's from the Inland Empire of Southern California (I think), he lives in your basic desert.

    I love the old Pearl Orange... but I've seen more than one extremely faded.
    Jeff Wills

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  12. #12
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    yeah, it's desert sun blasted. I just broke the bike down except for the cranks. I think everything will clean up really nice with some elbow grease. It gives me a nice project to work on so I don't mind the time.

    The brake lever releases were anodized orange but have been faded back to perfect silver.

    If it's done for then I may look for a decal set and consider a paint. It could be good practice.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    IMHO, you will not get a return on a repaint, even a rattle can paint. Shine it up as others recommended. As far as a return on upgrading the wheels, only if you get the wheels really cheap (like a $10 donor set). Otherwise, I would clean up the steel rims and call it good.

    You really need to work your way up the ladder on quality before a repaint is cost effective. Now if it is a keeper, a repaint may just be a good idea.

  14. #14
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Yeah, so true.

    I kept the first decent frame I had come across since it was nice. I'll make sure to keep my focus on this one as "it is what it is" so no need to go overboard.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Components are cleaning up nicely, will take some Nev-r-dull to them today.

    I LOVE Cali bikes, rust free goodness. Both sides of the BB came off nicely, no fighting required, no rust on the frame or in the tubes.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    So here's the finished and polished product, I'll post a new thread in appraisals for the cost.

    True to suggestions, the topcoat is faded but I was unable to get s lot of it off so there is still a "sunburn look" to it.
    Either way, it shined up ok and with new cables and housings and grease it is a fine old bike with added "patina".

    I need to find black bar tape and it'll be done.
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    Last edited by thenomad; 09-06-09 at 03:37 PM.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    Uh, no pics here.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  18. #18
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    and more
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  19. #19
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Breakdown was easy, no broken or frozen bolts.
    Lots of nuts and bolts though. Had to break out my car tools.
    Centerpulls are harder to set up than sidepulls, but not too bad.
    Loose ball bearings and all the races looked great. Nearly lost a few down the driveway though, my fault for being careless.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    i think it looks great, and i would never repaint it unless it was necessary because of rust. i think it only gets more beautiful with age (and sun).

  21. #21
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I totally agree, that's why I just gave it some loving and left the paint.

    I hope it goes to a good home.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  22. #22
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Sold easily for $140 after one day of listing. Probably to be used for fixed or SS, not sure.
    Glad I could provide a sweet running bike and keeping the love of old steel alive.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  23. #23
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    I picked up a Super LeTour 12.2 last week. I was noticing a few differences between the Le Tour and the Super Letour. I was trying to find the catalog for the year online to see the specs but no luck. The lightweight data book is incomplete or the site has a problem. http://www.geocities.com/sldatabook/publications.html
    Have you found any other sites with the catalogs?


    Some of the things I noticed from your photo's. The Super has Japan built frame with investment cast lugs and the cranks are a different style LeTour. The RD on the II looks like the 600 on mine just a different logo. Same with the FD having a Le Tour Logo where mine is Shimano 60. The Super has Shimano hubs with Araya non hooked rims. Diacompe side pulls and levers. Brakes work surprising well.

    I wonder if they weighed that much different?

    Nice clean up. Shame the paint wasn't better but it is still better then all the chips in the one I have. Looks like They laid a white base and the Strawberry red was a bit translucent so the white made it pop. Unfortunately the top coat is very easily scratched.

    The rack, mirror and lights have since been removed. The Speedo is noisy so it is going as well. Probably Ebay off those parts. Good for somebody looking for display parts.
    May ride this one for a little while. Just threw a set of tires on it last night after cleaning up the rims. Should have the rest serviced tomorrow after the free hub tool I needed comes in. It is in good mechanical condition and the grease was still good in the front hub. It was taken care of it looks like.
    Last edited by Grim; 09-09-09 at 07:35 AM.
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