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Old 10-26-09, 11:02 AM   #1
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1978 le tour iii

My brother found this in his wifes aunts basement, she told him its been there for 9 or so years, rare? slightly rare? or just another Schwinn LeTour III? Either way I'm keeping it and adding it to the herd of cool mid-ranged bikes I'm slowly building.




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Old 10-26-09, 11:31 AM   #2
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very nice bike. however it is only a RARE bike if you are selling it. *giggle*
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Old 10-26-09, 11:37 AM   #3
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very nice bike. however it is only a RARE bike if you are selling it. *giggle*
touché BTW, the second pic is the true color....and where are those darn pics of you!
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Old 10-26-09, 02:28 PM   #4
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Rare? Low end Schwinn? I have two of these rare beauties if you need more of them.

Typical good looking Schwinn from the 1970s.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:14 PM   #5
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That's one of the best looking colors on bikes IMO.
-Gene-
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Old 10-26-09, 03:40 PM   #6
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I have a 83/84 le tour luxe,My nephew has an older le tour III in that color.His frame is noticely lighter weight.
I really like that color, but he will not trade me.

MK

Edit; Both are rare!
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Old 10-26-09, 03:40 PM   #7
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Rare? Low end Schwinn? I have two of these rare beauties if you need more of them.

Typical good looking Schwinn from the 1970s.
I should have been a little clearer, I was asking if it is a rare one? or slightly rare? or just another Schwinn LeTour III? I never mentioned anything about "low end,' as I know it isn't that.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:43 PM   #8
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That's one of the best looking colors on bikes IMO.
-Gene-
This one is "pearl blue," I also have the "old school blue" on my SuperSport and my Madison.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:53 PM   #9
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I should have been a little clearer, I was asking if it is a rare one? or slightly rare? or just another Schwinn LeTour III? I never mentioned anything about "low end,' as I know it isn't that.
Not rare. A bit above the Varsinentals but far from high end. I've got a women's of the same vintage in orange and it is a nice, but heavy, bike.
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Old 10-26-09, 04:06 PM   #10
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It took YOU this long to come across that bike ? What, is your brother a newly wed ?
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Old 10-26-09, 04:51 PM   #11
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They're not that heavy; I'm pretty sure the 78 LeTour III frames were built by Panasonic for Schwinn. They came in the Pearl Blue and Pearl Orange, both very nice looking colors.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:03 PM   #12
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Yeah, those asian made Schwinns are pretty nice. I agree, the color looks really nice.

Hope those crutches are not being used at the moment.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:05 PM   #13
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They're not that heavy; I'm pretty sure the 78 LeTour III frames were built by Panasonic for Schwinn. They came in the Pearl Blue and Pearl Orange, both very nice looking colors.
I agree they look nice (my wife's '78 in Pearl Orange)

You could spend some money and lighten them up pretty easy (changing the wheelset would be a good start) but the stock bike is not what I would consider a lightweight.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:13 PM   #14
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According to the '78 catalog, this was the Schwinn line up (bottom to top):

COLLEGIATE (sport) | COLLEGIATE (tourist) | SPORTABOUT (sport) | VARSITY (sport) | SUBURBAN (tourist) | SPRINT (sport) | CALIENTE (sport) | CONTINENTAL II (sport) | TRAVELER III (sport) | LE TOUR III (sport) | SUPERIOR (sport) | SUPER LE TOUR 12.2 (sport) | VOLARE (sport) | PARAMOUNT (track) | PARAMOUNT (tourist) | PARAMOUNT (racing) | PARAMOUNT (tandem)

So, I'd say mid-ranged is a good appropriate description. I cannot tell you how much it weights, but the 1980 version was spected to 30 pounds and the frame was made with "Xtra-lite" 18 gauge 1020 carbon steel. I suspect that yours is pretty similar. For the '80 model year the Le Tour was the cut off for Schwinn-built bikes. Lower-end bikes, were "Schwinn-approved" and the bike just below it (the traveler) was a full 2 pounds heavier. The Suburban and the Collegiate tipped the scales at 39 lbs.

(edit) Here is a link to the user manual that came with your bike in '78

http://www.geocities.com/sldbowners/...8lowners1.html

I would highly recommend downloading those images because geocities hosting is about to end any day.

Last edited by EjustE; 10-26-09 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:26 PM   #15
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Whats this about geocities? The Schwinn lightweight database is a fantastic resource that I would hope sticks around.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:28 PM   #16
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According to the '78 catalog, this was the Schwinn line up (bottom to top):

COLLEGIATE (sport) | COLLEGIATE (tourist) | SPORTABOUT (sport) | VARSITY (sport) | SUBURBAN (tourist) | SPRINT (sport) | CALIENTE (sport) | CONTINENTAL II (sport) | TRAVELER III (sport) | LE TOUR III (sport) | SUPERIOR (sport) | SUPER LE TOUR 12.2 (sport) | VOLARE (sport) | PARAMOUNT (track) | PARAMOUNT (tourist) | PARAMOUNT (racing) | PARAMOUNT (tandem)

So, I'd say mid-ranged is a good appropriate description. I cannot tell you how much it weights, but the 1980 version was spected to 30 pounds and the frame was made with "Xtra-lite" 18 gauge 1020 carbon steel. I suspect that yours is pretty similar. For the '80 model year the Le Tour was the cut off for Schwinn-built bikes. Lower-end bikes, were "Schwinn-approved" and the bike just below it (the traveler) was a full 2 pounds heavier. The Suburban and the Collegiate tipped the scales at 39 lbs.

(edit) Here is a link to the user manual that came with your bike in '78

http://www.geocities.com/sldbowners/...8lowners1.html

I would highly recommend downloading those images because geocities hosting is about to end any day.

This is what I've got.

1978 LE TOUR III (sport)
Consumer Catalog | X-tra Lite Catalog | Dealer Specifications | Retail Price | Dealer Price | Owners Manual | Advertisements | Gallery


Model Description Color Frame
Size Wheel
Size Price
L11
L13
L15
L17
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
L79
L82 Le Tour III 10-Speed (Men's)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Le Tour III 10-Speed (Ladies') Pearl Blue
Pearl Orange
21"
23"
25"
27"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19"
22" 27" x 1-1/4" $189.95
$199.95 (27")



"X-tra Lite" series 10 speed. Imported from Japan? Stem shifters. 38 to 100 gear range. GT-420 rear derailleur, GT-450 front derailleur. Alloy cotterless crank set. Chain wheel guard. Lugged frame with butted top and down tubes (except 25" and 27" frames). Alloy stem and Randonneur handlebar. Round head badge. Center pull brakes with suicide levers. Quick release hubs. Chrome tipped tubular fork. Steel rims with 27 x 1¼ tires. Colors were Pearl Blue and Pearl Orange. Frame sizes men’s 21", 23", 25", 27" ; women’s Mixte 19", 22". $189.95/$199.95 (27"). Optional thorn-resistant tubes, $6.50.
MODEL: Schwinn-Approved Le Tour III.
FRAME:
Available in four frame sizes -- 21", 23", 25" and 27" (53.3cm through 68.6cm).
Lug frame with single butted top and bottom tubes (except 25" and 27" frame).
All joints are lugged and brazed.
Tubular front fork with chrome plate crown and 6" fork ends.
FRAME FINISH:
Available in Pearl Blue and Pearl Orange.
WHEELS AND TIRES:
Araya steel tubular rims.
Large flange quick release aluminum alloy hubs.
HP Sports Touring 27" x 1-1/4" gumwall tires (85 lbs. inflation).
HANDLEBARS AND STEM:
Randonneur style aluminum handlebar.
Forged aluminum alloy stem with recessed stem bolt.
PEDALS:
Rattrap reflectorized pedals.
CRANKSET:
Schwinn-Approved aluminum alloy crankset (39-52 teeth sprocket).
6-3/4" (170mm) crank arms.
DERAILLEURS:
GT-420 rear derailleur.
GT-450 front derailleur.
14-17-20-24-28 rear freewheel cluster.
Gear range of 38 low to 100 high.
BRAKES:
Schwinn-Approved alloy center pull brakes with extension levers.
SADDLE:
Ariake racing style saddle.
WEIGHT:
Approximately 29 pounds (13.2 kilograms) depending on frame size.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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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
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Old 10-26-09, 05:29 PM   #17
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It took YOU this long to come across that bike ? What, is your brother a newly wed ?
Yup, no.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:30 PM   #18
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They're not that heavy; I'm pretty sure the 78 LeTour III frames were built by Panasonic for Schwinn. They came in the Pearl Blue and Pearl Orange, both very nice looking colors.
Not really that heavy, and yes, they are Panasonics.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:33 PM   #19
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Yeah, those asian made Schwinns are pretty nice. I agree, the color looks really nice.

Hope those crutches are not being used at the moment.
I'm happy to report that they are currently not in use.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:40 PM   #20
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I just found an 84 LeTour yesterday. Suntour Symmetry shifters and ARX. CrMo frame and stays. There was this weird thing Schwinn had about bike heirarchy. A few models of their bikes spanned several years, and gradually improved in quality and component level as they went along. Starting near the bottom in the seventies, and moving into mid range or better by the mid to late eighties. The two I know of are the World Sport and Le Tour. Both of them started as Hi Ten frames and steel rims, and gradually improved until they had forged drops and decent CroMo frames, with alloy rims. I think it's rather interesting myself?,,,,BD
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Old 10-26-09, 05:41 PM   #21
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Whats this about geocities? The Schwinn lightweight database is a fantastic resource that I would hope sticks around.
Bob Hufford, one of the owners of that database, is aware of this and is taking action.
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Old 10-26-09, 05:44 PM   #22
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Whats this about geocities? The Schwinn lightweight database is a fantastic resource that I would hope sticks around.
I'm sure Bob will keep it alive somewhere.
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Old 10-26-09, 06:14 PM   #23
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good to know!
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Old 10-26-09, 06:15 PM   #24
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I converted mine to single-speed and switched out the Araya steel wheels--they went on a 71 Bridgestone that I see around town frequently--to some nice Wolber Gentleman 81s and the ride was nothing short of wonderful. The cranks were made by Takara. I've still got the generator and light set from it if anyone is interested.
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Old 10-26-09, 06:23 PM   #25
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I converted mine to single-speed and switched out the Araya steel wheels--they went on a 71 Bridgestone that I see around town frequently--to some nice Wolber Gentleman 81s and the ride was nothing short of wonderful. The cranks were made by Takara. I've still got the generator and light set from it if anyone is interested.
That would be me.
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