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Old 08-12-12, 07:29 PM   #1
veryseldon
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Upgrading a Schwinn Voyageur SP

Hi Everyone! I've been enjoying reading the various forums where people describe upgrading or restoring their older touring bikes. I've got a nice Schwinn Voyageur with a frame in great condition that was given to me by my grandfather in good working order. I've rode it for a couple years now as a commuter bike (school mainly) as well as for recreational longer rides and haven't had any major problems. A bicycle enthusiast friend of mine pointed out that the rear wheel was a little out of true and suggested upgrading the wheels from their current 27" originals (or similar, idk) to the now standard 700c. This sounded like a good idea to me until I started getting confused, looking at the new wheels and seeing 7-10 speed listed, when my bike is currently what they used to call a 15-speed (5 speed on the rear cassette).

So, my main question is this: what's the most reasonable way to switch to 700c wheels, and will this require purchasing a new hub, freewheel, brakes, etc? Has anyone done this on a Voyageur (or similar bike from that era) with great success? I know my way around the bike, having repaired various things, adjusted the brakes, and replaced the chain, so I'm not afraid of making a bunch of changes, I just don't want to break the bank or waste my time.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-12-12, 07:55 PM   #2
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True up the wheels and ride. If you don't have a better reason than that to switch to 700c then don't do it. I ride 27" wheels and they do great. I had an '84 SP and it rode great. Changing the wheels really won't change the ride that much unless you are really trying to push the speed.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:32 PM   #3
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My opinion, a very stupid idea. But, if you decide to convert to 700 rims I'll take those 27" off your hands.

Yes, you'll new wheelsets and maybe brakes, and you'll have to match the drivetrain. In the end, you'll have a frankenbike, but if you go all the way and spread the drops, drop in a modern 9/10 wheelset and brifters...at least they will be some tangible benefits to argue...

Bye the way, your upgrades will cost more than the bike will be worth.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:33 PM   #4
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I just finished my first wheel build for my Super LeTour and I used 27" rims. For the price of a cheap new wheel set you can get new tubes, tires, cables, housing, brake pads and bar tape. It'll feel like a brand new bike. Panaracer Paselas are great tires for the price and can be easily purchased in that size with a little advanced planning.
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Old 08-15-12, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryseldon View Post

So, my main question is this: what's the most reasonable way to switch to 700c wheels, and will this require purchasing a new hub, freewheel, brakes, etc? Has anyone done this on a Voyageur (or similar bike from that era) with great success?


Next month will be a year since I bought a 1984 (Non SP) version of the Voyageur.
I have about 2600 miles on it since that time & really like it a lot.

Right off the bat I installed a taller stem & wider bars to get the cockpit to
a more comfortable position that works best for me.

I rode it with the 27" wheels that came on it as well as the rest of the components and it functioned just fine that way
& I enjoyed riding it.

Desiring to go with fatter tires than are available in a 27" size I switched to 700c wheels I had on hand with a 7 speed cog set. So now it has 7 x 3 gearing.
The Dia Compe 981 Canti's adjusted just fine to accommodate the 700c wheels.
I am currently running some 700c x 35 tires on it but shoved some true to size 700c x 38 mounted tires from
another bike and they surprisingly fit just fine.

On the other bike the fatter tires transformed the ride for me smoothing out the rougher sections of pavement
to a significant degree.

I am looking forward to trying them on the Voyageur. It is such a versatile bike suitable to a number of different set ups. I also recently switched to Shimano barend shifters in friction mode.
Didn't invest a lot in the changes I made.

Good luck whichever way you decide to go. It's a great bike in a variety of configurations.

yarper,3 who has become a fan of fatter tires.
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