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Old 01-22-11, 12:36 AM   #1
alr
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Am I going to easily do better than a 1984 Schwinn Super le tour?

I am not a very tall female, and I have been toying with the idea of getting a real road bike, now that I have the transportation aspect of my cycling obsession covered by a Nishiki Mixte and Raleigh DL-1 lady. My step mother is in possession of a mint condition 1984 schwinn super le tour. It is 19" which fits me, and I might add is a hard to find small frame. It is the typical small frame with 27" wheels with short seat tube and long top tube, which is good since I am mostly long in the torso and short in leg anyhow.

It is double butted cromoly main tubes with straight gauge chromoly stays (http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...984Ltwt12.html), and I rode it recently over the holidays, and besides being unable to activate the brake levers from the hoods, it felt pretty good. I follow the CL all the time and rarely find a decent vintage road bike in this small size (as most weren't ever made so small), so I am tempted to try to convince my step mother to send me her bike (which should not be hard as she has not ridden it in well over 10 years).

So, would this be worth the shipping cost and necessary upgrades to make it rideable to me (aero levers for sure and possible new taller stem and bar tape)?

One thing I found curious about the frame is that the chain stay is not drilled for fenders as far as I can remember-- would it be appropriate to have the frame drilled out for this purpose? I can't stand a bike without fenders-- and I hate p clamps.
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Old 01-22-11, 03:59 AM   #2
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Finding old bikes is not all that hard, if you follow some simple procedures. I have a few that work well for me and I find hundreds of bikes each year. So, your mother-in-laws bike will wait for you. In the meantime, have a look at Bicycle Finding Procedures and put the Word of Mouth one to work for you right away.

Word of mouth? Mention to everyone of your friends, acquaintances and people you come into contact with that you are seeking an old road bicycle. A Ten Speed(generic name) with skinny tires and handlebars that curls down. You just might be surprised at what surfaces.

Hope this is a help.
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Old 01-22-11, 04:52 AM   #3
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You should be able to put fenders on that bike very easily, without using P-Clamps.

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Old 01-22-11, 06:37 AM   #4
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Finding old bikes is not all that hard, if you follow some simple procedures.
+1 I have bought and sold many bikes in the last year in the 19 and even 18 inch frame size. And I am in a much smaller market than yours.

If you are going to rely on C/L, you need to be ready to POUNCE when one shows up. Do not wait until the weekend, or when it is more convenient to look at the bike. It will be gone. Get in the car and drive, and you will get it.

You could also contact a reputable flipper in the area, and ask him to keep an eye out for you. A good flipper is going to have several to dozens of bikes waiting to rehab, so even if they don't have one for sale, there is a good chance they have one in the queue. I have three 19 inch frame bikes in my queue right now. Last one I built up was for someone that contacted me in this method.

As far as having the other bike shipped, who will do the packaging? There are lots of threads on this forum discussing disasters on shipped bikes. I have contributed to a couple of them myself.
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Old 01-22-11, 08:00 AM   #5
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+1 on this size frame being more plentiful than you expect. I'm in St. Louis, but I check several surrounding cities on Craigslist and they come up all the time. Although Seattle is probably a more expensive market, road bikes in smaller frames should still be readily available.

The Super Letour is a great bike. If you go that route, either put on new brakes that you can use from the hoods, or how about cross top or interrupter brakes. Many people swear by them. I'm probably going to do it myself on my main roadie.
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Old 01-22-11, 08:26 AM   #6
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The Super Letour looks pretty nice--especially if it's free. If it's got a chrome-moly frame and aluminum alloy components, fits you, and is in good shape, it's all you need. Once you get to the level of a bike like the Super Letour, spending more money is going to result in a much smaller increase in quality. Also, with probably any bike you get, you're going to spend a little extra money on it anyway, to get it just how you want.
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Old 01-22-11, 08:39 AM   #7
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to the OP: if it is as mint as you describe and free to boot, how could you possibly go wrong? Have your stepmother take it to a reputable bike shop to be packed, should be about $50, and then send it UPS. Chances are you will get a nice vintage bike that fits you for right around $100 or so... I don't see how you could really do better than that.

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Old 01-22-11, 10:22 AM   #8
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The 84 Super LeTour had 1 set of eyelets, for fenders or racks, front and rear.
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Old 01-22-11, 11:01 AM   #9
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to the OP: if it is as mint as you describe and free to boot, how could you possibly go wrong? Have your stepmother take it to a reputable bike shop to be packed, should be about $50, and then send it UPS. Chances are you will get a nice vintage bike that fits you for right around $100 or so... I don't see how you could really do better than that.
andy
Yeah, I DO think it would be hard to do better than 100 dollars locally (at least with my current CL methods). I suppose all I need to do now is ask my step-mother, and convince my husband it is okay that I have 3 bicycles! I should probably try to get her something to replace it too. I think I would really be doing her a favor at this point, as I cannot imagine her riding it as it sits now.

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The 84 Super LeTour had 1 set of eyelets, for fenders or racks, front and rear.
While I see that it has front and rear eyelets, I distinctly remember the frame not having a hole to attach anything on the rear chainstay bridge-- sorry if my original description of the problem was not very clear.
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Old 01-22-11, 12:51 PM   #10
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While I see that it has front and rear eyelets, I distinctly remember the frame not having a hole to attach anything on the rear chainstay bridge-- sorry if my original description of the problem was not very clear.
You can safely drill a small hole through the chainstay bridge for mounting a fender. My '72 Paramount P15-9 came from the factory with such a hole and I found installing Gilles Berthoud stainless steel fenders very straightforward. Leather washers are used to get the proper spacing between the bridge and the fender to get the correct fender line.



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Old 01-22-11, 02:24 PM   #11
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Not all fenders and fender mounting require a hole nor p-clamps to mount. One Raleigh I had I just bent up some wire into a spring-clip to hold the fender to the short crossbar on the chainstays.

How far away is the bike? Too far for a road trip? One local shop here used to charge $100-$150 to ship a bike, and that price included materials, labor, and the shipping cost.
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Old 01-22-11, 03:49 PM   #12
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Not all fenders and fender mounting require a hole nor p-clamps to mount. One Raleigh I had I just bent up some wire into a spring-clip to hold the fender to the short crossbar on the chainstays.

How far away is the bike? Too far for a road trip? One local shop here used to charge $100-$150 to ship a bike, and that price included materials, labor, and the shipping cost.
This bike is in Oklahoma and I am in Seattle, so no way it is coming by personal vehicle. I considered seeing how to get it on a plane with me the last time I was there, but that is likely to be as expensive as shipping, and I was not prepared then to bargain for it then.
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Old 01-22-11, 06:00 PM   #13
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If it fits you and you like the color it's a good deal. I had a LeTour that I think was '87 and it was a pretty high end bike. Some of the earlier LeTours were nothing special but well made. I don't know when they made the transition. Being a Japanese bike you'll find that it's easy to upgrade when you start to want to monkey with it. Even an early LeTour will be easy to get a good alloy crankset for. That sets them apart from the Varsities and Continentals. The one exception might be the stem, some of the Japanese Schwinns had the Chicago Schwinn stem diameter. There's lots of stems available for those forks but you have to look a little harder.
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