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Old 02-26-14, 09:31 PM   #1
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1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP

I have been meaning to do a thread on this for the past 2 months. I was waiting until I had it cleaned up and put back together- but there were intervening circumstances... In a good way.

Shortly before Christmas, my wife's grandmother had presented us with a substantial amount of money for Chrismas gifts- under the conditions that it be for us individually. We were supposed to use it for stuff that we wanted. We weren't allowed to buy things for each other, not buy stuff for the kids, not pay bills with it- selfish stuff for ourselves.

I saw this bike on the Ebay- so I bought it. A really clean 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP.

I've been a big fan of the Voyageur, for those that don't know about this- the Voyageur SP was Schwinn's "top of the line" touring bike. I've heard the "SP" as standing for "super premium." This bike came with the cat's pyjamas of frame and components. A Columbus SL/SP mix, and the best components- sealed bearing hubs and bottom bracket- this is a bike that rivaled any other touring bike of its day.

The handlebars got bent in shipping, so I did replace them as well as the stem. Since I was changing some things, I opted to change and add a few things. Although everything was in fantastic shape, there were a few things I wanted to change up, and had Rootboy build me a set of bar plugs to compliment this bike.







I'd acquired the rear rack for my 86 Voyageur, and had acquired the front rack along the line.








It came with a Suntour LeTech rear derailleur, although it was in really nice shape (the lower pulley was still painted silver), I really dig the early 90s Suntour XC Pro. I think they're really great looking and they have a really nice feel and function. At some point down the road, I may choose to go with some indexed shifters and the XC Pro will work with that.




I really, really like XC Pro.

Really, the original DiaCompe brakes were in wonderful shape, but I didn't like the look of the exposed springs, and doggone it, these XC Pro brakes are among the prettiest brakes evAr. IMO.

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Old 02-26-14, 09:32 PM   #2
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One of the things that I'm excited to have are the Simplex Retrofriction shifters. It came with the Suntour Superbe friction shifters. After testing out a relatively large selection of friction shifters- the Retrofrictions were leagues better than even the next nicest shifters (toss up between the ratcheting Sachs/Huret shifters and the ratcheting Suntour Sprint shifters).







One of the pieces of original equipment to this bike are the SR SP-11 pedals. These things look like they'll be really really comfortable- a lot of surface area.







Although I don't have much of any intention of keeping them, the original Schwinn Passage tires look to be in really nice shape.









And then there's Rootboy's custom milled and custom painted aluminum bar end plugs!!!


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Old 02-26-14, 09:33 PM   #3
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Beautiful
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Old 02-26-14, 11:34 PM   #4
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sweet!
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Old 02-27-14, 04:23 AM   #5
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Beautiful.
Beautiful bike.

I love my Voyageur.
It is in the shop getting tuned for the year, and I am going through withdrawals.
It looks like the weather will allow a ride this weekend, and I have plenty of other bikes, but 7 time out of 10 I choose the Voyageur.
I fitted my bike with a nice Brooks Saddle, saddle bag, and bar wrap. (I also added fenders for the rain.) The saddle is nice and broken in, so it is a pleasure to ride.

Enjoy your bike!
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Old 02-27-14, 09:11 AM   #6
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That looks great, Dave. You did an outstanding job. Congrats.
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Old 02-27-14, 11:27 AM   #7
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That looks great, Dave. You did an outstanding job. Congrats.
Thanks Stan!

I think I'm going to get some new brake housing- I bought the grey "Jagwire" housing off the eBay- it's not as dark, not as stiff and doesn't strike me as "quality" as the Jagwire housing I've used in the past.

I'm really looking forward to riding this bike.

This bike has so many nice, nifty features- I'm really excited about it.
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Old 02-27-14, 04:14 PM   #8
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One thing I forgot to mention- as this bike came- it was a Shimano-free build.

I was intending on replacing the brakes, and I really like the old BR-MC70 Shimano cantis- but after I realized everything on this bike was Sugino, Suntour or DiaCompe- I looked for a set of the XC Pro brakes.

I don't know if this was intentional, or where Shimano really sat in 1984, but I find it interesting- especially considering the build was virtually the same in 1985 and the Trek touring bikes were the "eclectic mix" of parts- Simplex, Sachs/Huret, Shimano, DiaCompe, Shimano...
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Old 02-27-14, 05:58 PM   #9
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Very nice!
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Old 02-27-14, 07:04 PM   #10
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Very well done, I literally love every element of this build. What a great looking bike!
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Old 02-27-14, 08:57 PM   #11
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Very nice looking bike.
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Old 02-27-14, 09:11 PM   #12
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Very nice!
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Very well done, I literally love every element of this build. What a great looking bike!
Thank you so very much, that's very kind of you.



Please forgive me for going all bike dork here- but Schwinn had the Voyageur and the Voyageur SP for 4 years. In the grand scheme of things, the Voyageur touring bike gets "respect" as a Voyageur, but I don't think the VSP gets "respect" independently of the Voyageur. When you think of the great touring bikes- the Miyata 1000, the Trek 720, 620 and 520 and the Specialized Expedition all come up, the Voyageur may get a mention- but not the VSP. When I think of a Voyageur, I think of the green 86, 88 & 89 Voyageurs.

The Voyageur touring bikes are all fine bikes. It was a model that got a lot of attention from the public and thus from the Schwinn management. In 1980, with no Paramount program, the Voyageur was Schwinn's flagship bicycle. While I know that the VSP would be considered "better" than the Voyageur, I don't think I understood how much better. Even then, it wasn't until a week ago, when I took the wheels in because I couldn't figure out the hubs- I didn't realize HOW much better. The concept of "sealed bearing" has somehow gone over my head.



The BB is a sealed unit. You don't lube it. You ride it until it dies. And judging from how much I hear of these things- I have no idea when it will die. Or if.

After I dealt with that, asked a few questions here- got it put back together- then got to the wheels... that's when this "sealed" thing hit me. At this time, this was space age stuff. While the ordinary cup and cone stuff was made to ride and be maintained, this stuff was designed to be put on the road, ridden and ridden. And ridden.

Here's that great comparison of all the Voyageur models: http://sandro.knot.org/blog/wp-conte...comparison.pdf

Looking at how this bike was specced- Suntour's prime ATB stuff: the ruggedly functional yet deceptively light Mountech FD, the LeTech RD- all the range and toughness and everything that the Mountech was supposed to be= the DuoPar killer; the finest shifters in the Superbe levers. The beautiful satin-y finish on the Gran Compe brake levers and the Sugino AT cranks... Everything about this bike is the finest components and frame design Schwinn could spec.

If anyone has paid any attention to my recent threads or my 'my bikes' profile to the left, shortly after getting this bike, I stumbled onto a 1985 Trek 720. While I'm completely excited and giddy to get the 720 together, and compare my 4 fantastic touring bikes- the bike I'm really expectant to get out on the road is the VSP.

Spring cannot come soon enough.
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Old 02-27-14, 09:22 PM   #13
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Schwinn does it AGAIN !
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Old 02-27-14, 09:31 PM   #14
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Sweet bike Dave! I like the color and am surprised the decals are in such good shape. I used to have a 1984 Le Tour and they were gone before I got the bike so I thought that might have been a bad year for their decals. Gotta love those tourers! I just added another C'dale ST400 to mine fleet a few weeks ago. Great job.
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Old 02-27-14, 09:49 PM   #15
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Very nice! I picked up an 85 Voyageur (non-SP) this winter and nearly have it ready to go. Still 10 below zero here so I'm confident it will be ready by spring...
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Old 02-28-14, 07:01 AM   #16
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Outstanding build, very well thought out and built. Your information reply was first rate, too (#12), thanks for the look.

Bill
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Old 02-28-14, 07:16 AM   #17
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Sweet bike Dave! I like the color and am surprised the decals are in such good shape. I used to have a 1984 Le Tour and they were gone before I got the bike so I thought that might have been a bad year for their decals. Gotta love those tourers! I just added another C'dale ST400 to mine fleet a few weeks ago. Great job.
Hey B!

There's plenty of nicks on the decals- the paint on here is really fragile. You can see some of the damage to the decals, and the paint chips off pretty easily (not chromed underneath- but I believe the fork, chainstay and dropouts are chromed). But there's not a lot of chipping that I'd associate with the damage to the decals. In my imagination, the bike rubs against something and it scuffs the decal- that rub, to me, would scuff and chip the paint- but it didn't. So I think the decals are outside of the clear coat AND delicate.

Did you ever find yourself an 86-88 High Sierra?
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Old 02-28-14, 07:25 AM   #18
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Outstanding build, very well thought out and built. Your information reply was first rate, too (#12), thanks for the look.

Bill
Thank you Bill, I take your compliment with great weight.
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Old 02-28-14, 07:39 AM   #19
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Very nice! I picked up an 85 Voyageur (non-SP) this winter and nearly have it ready to go. Still 10 below zero here so I'm confident it will be ready by spring...
Yeah, 10 below here as well...

Our son lives in Fridley, until he started living up there- I'd always known it was "cold" in MN, but I never paid attention to how cold.

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help with your Voyageur build!
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Old 02-28-14, 09:21 AM   #20
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Looks great, nice work on the build!
You don't see very many SPs out there. I have an '83 SP that I'm pretty fond of even though I'd like to do a more modern build with it.
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Old 02-28-14, 09:43 AM   #21
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I'd be thankful for the little nicks and scrapes, Goldenboy.

Bikes like this are some of the very best riders for everyday use, and a too-pristine example might be kept sheltered from the real world, which would be a shame imo.

Your bike reminds me of my Trek 720, my Nishiki Seral (rode it yesterday), and the Centurion ProTour 15 that I regretfully sold (was a bit large iir). I admit that I've never come across an SP for some reason.

I agree these bikes with cartridge bb's and AT cranks were for serious mileage.
You can put new cartridge bearings in your Suntour-by-Sugino bottom bracket btw. Cannondale spec'd the same bb on their better touring bike.
The original cartridge bb in my Seral is made by Hatta iir.

While half-step cranks aren't my first choice, I somehow find them entertaining in use.
I'll bet that your SP has a 40-spoke rear wheel as well(?).

Those brake QR's are some of the coolest I've seen, and the brakes and bar plugs seem like great bling upgrades. I think you would need the brake spring adjusters particularly when using a roller-wheel cable dangler.

As for the original tires, I might pack them in a bag, or at my weight just go ahead wear them out at a modest 55-60psi.
Old tire tread usually wears quickly, sometimes extremely so.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:06 AM   #22
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Thanks Stan!

I think I'm going to get some new brake housing- I bought the grey "Jagwire" housing off the eBay- it's not as dark, not as stiff and doesn't strike me as "quality" as the Jagwire housing I've used in the past.

I'm really looking forward to riding this bike.

This bike has so many nice, nifty features- I'm really excited about it.
Very nice bike! Gotta love the Suntour stuff! You might consider using the Velo Orange braided metallic brake cables.
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...able-kits.html




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Old 02-28-14, 10:18 AM   #23
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Dave, don't be so quick to toss those tires. There is a good chance that National, aka Panaracer made them.

I also like Shimano-free bikes. They're harder to find these days, but that's OK because Shimano stuff is a lot better than it used to be.
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Old 02-28-14, 02:39 PM   #24
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Loved the Voyageur SP. They took the supersport sp "touring" bike and added much needed touring improvements. I believe it had a longer wheel base. Lower gearing on the Granny and Cantaliever brakes! I love my SP..but would sure like a "real" touring" bicycle.
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Old 02-28-14, 05:38 PM   #25
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I'd be thankful for the little nicks and scrapes, Goldenboy.

Bikes like this are some of the very best riders for everyday use, and a too-pristine example might be kept sheltered from the real world, which would be a shame imo.

Your bike reminds me of my Trek 720, my Nishiki Seral (rode it yesterday), and the Centurion ProTour 15 that I regretfully sold (was a bit large iir). I admit that I've never come across an SP for some reason.

I agree these bikes with cartridge bb's and AT cranks were for serious mileage.
You can put new cartridge bearings in your Suntour-by-Sugino bottom bracket btw. Cannondale spec'd the same bb on their better touring bike.
The original cartridge bb in my Seral is made by Hatta iir.

While half-step cranks aren't my first choice, I somehow find them entertaining in use.
I'll bet that your SP has a 40-spoke rear wheel as well(?).

Those brake QR's are some of the coolest I've seen, and the brakes and bar plugs seem like great bling upgrades. I think you would need the brake spring adjusters particularly when using a roller-wheel cable dangler.
Hi D!

Thank you so very much!!! There was just not much riding done on this bike. I suppose it could have been the wrong size for the owner, or a dad got his kid "the best" bike and the kid was uninterested. It's kind of the fun about used stuff- the history behind and about it. It also came with a knock-off Cannondale under saddle bag with some wrenches, a patch kit and some colorful Paramount gloves. I think I initially joked that I bought the bike to get the gloves. For real, the gloves are cool. I do have plans to ride this. A lot.

I don't often see a lot about the Voyageur SP. I don't know if they just get lumped in with Voyageurs, or if they are THAT rare.

So- these sealed units- in the hubs and BB- just ride 'em until they start grinding and smoke starts pouring out? And then put new bearings in them and ride 'em for another 30 years.

My bike does have the 36 and 40 wheels. They're 27" Wolber Super Champion Modele 58 rims with the Suntour sealed hubs. You mentioned that Sugino made the BB, did they make the hubs as well?

I like those DiaCompe roller QR straddle cable yokes as well. The rear one has a crack on the back side, like it got munched up against something- I don't think it's structural- and it seems to hold- I'll get a pic. Again, another nifty feature of this bike. Will the roller yoke make the matching tension on the brake arms more critical?
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