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Old 03-12-14, 06:07 PM   #1
Cyclenoob
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Help

Yeah so I am as noob as you can be. Got a blue schwinn le tour tourist off of my friend for $20. I would like to restore it. This is where the help is needed-how do I go about finding parts? Is there anything that I should certainly do to make the bike better to ride? Basically anything that you have to say in regards to the bike or restoring a bike would be extremely helpful. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:08 PM   #2
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Old 03-12-14, 06:20 PM   #3
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By "restore" do you mean back into factory condition? Or do you mean get into good running condition? They're very different. It's not a valuable or scarce model, and I would advise against getting it back into factory condition. You would not get your money back. On the other hand, it's a good bike for riding for many purposes.

The seat is all the way down. Is it the right height for you? If so, the bike is too big for you, and you should know that before you go further. When you pedal, your knee should be straight or very slightly bent. If your hips rock while you pedal, the seat is too high.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:23 PM   #4
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You can start here and then check out the articles at the bottom. I would also suggest that you find a local bike co-op and see if they offer classes on bike maintenance. It's very rewarding to be able to do your own repairs and upgrades, but it can be very frustrating and confusing when you're first starting out.

I also highly, highly recommend the bike mechanics section here at bike forums. The folks there are very friendly and helpful.

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Old 03-12-14, 06:28 PM   #5
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Every issue about caring for, repairing, or reconditioning an old ten speed has been discussed on these boards a gazillion times. One of our members, has summarized a lot of this on his own website, mytenspeeds.com. I suggest you start here.

Your Le Tour probably has a pretty standard build of parts, except for the handlebar stem. But maintenance parts are widely available, listed in order of preference for a noob who needs assistance; your local bike shop, local non-profit bike coop, REI, Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, ebay, and other places.

Enjoy!
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Old 03-12-14, 06:39 PM   #6
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welcome to the forum and your new obsession (not the perfume). Looks like a great project and good starter bike. decent quality so it is easy to work on and it will be a great ride when cleaned and tuned.

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Old 03-12-14, 07:10 PM   #7
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By "restore" do you mean back into factory condition? Or do you mean get into good running condition? They're very different. It's not a valuable or scarce model, and I would advise against getting it back into factory condition. You would not get your money back. On the other hand, it's a good bike for riding for many purposes.

The seat is all the way down. Is it the right height for you? If so, the bike is too big for you, and you should know that before you go further. When you pedal, your knee should be straight or very slightly bent. If your hips rock while you pedal, the seat is too high.
well if factory condition isn't worth it then I would like to make a bike that simply rides great. I'm pretty handy I have a background in working on cars. And thanks for the tip on ride height, I didn't even know that, that is how noob I am.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:16 PM   #8
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Also, thank you to everyone for your input! I can't wait to get started.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:16 PM   #9
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Sit on the bike and hold onto a wall. Pedal backwards and see how extended your leg is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If you are tall, the bike might fit, and you'll want to raise the seat. That bike is fairly tall.

sheldonbrown.com is a good resource. It is out of date, as Sheldon died before his time, but it's good for your bike. parktool.com is also very good.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:35 PM   #10
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Sit on the bike and hold onto a wall. Pedal backwards and see how extended your leg is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If you are tall, the bike might fit, and you'll want to raise the seat. That bike is fairly tall.

sheldonbrown.com is a good resource. It is out of date, as Sheldon died before his time, but it's good for your bike. parktool.com is also very good.
Thanks for the info. I m going to run down and do that in the next few minutes. By the way, if that is you in your picture, you have an epic mustache.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info. I m going to run down and do that in the next few minutes. By the way, if that is you in your picture, you have an epic mustache.
Heh. Yes, that's a selfie. Thanks. I'm 53 years old, and the only people who like it are young men. My family hates it.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:52 PM   #12
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Heh. Yes, that's a selfie. Thanks. I'm 53 years old, and the only people who like it are young men. My family hates it.
Yes I like it haha. But I check the height and it seems as though I should raise the seat a little (I'm 6'1"). This might be the stupidest question you got all day but do you know how I would go about raising it? On all the bikes I ever owned it was the quick adjustable kind *facepalm*
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Old 03-12-14, 08:26 PM   #13
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No need to apologize for your questions. If you're over your head, we'll tell you to have someone at the local bike shop (LBS) show you.

your picture is fuzzy, but I think I see the bolt is missing. It's called the seat binder bolt, and it holds your seatpost up.
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Old 03-12-14, 09:04 PM   #14
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your picture is fuzzy, but I think I see the bolt is missing. It's called the seat binder bolt, and it holds your seatpost up.
What a place to begin, potentially a stuck seat post on a noobs first bike rescue! If you can't rock the seat and post up, shoot some pb blaster in there and wait overnight. Whatever you do, don't unbolt the saddle from the seat post yet. If the seatpost is loose and you have no saddle on it, you cold lose the seat post in the frame and then deep doo doo.
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Old 03-12-14, 11:39 PM   #15
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Do what Oddjob says, and be patient. PB Blaster has never failed me in removing stuck parts, but I'm the kind of guy who doesn't mind giving a seatpost a shot of PB, then gently tapping on said seatpost with a hammer or wrench for a minute, then coming back 3 days later, giving it another blast and more tapping, and slowly working the seatpost free. Back and forth, back and forth, etc. Ever so gently. Tap-tap-tap.

If you are 6'1" you'll be much happier riding that bike with the seatpost raised at least 4 or 5 inches. Start there, then decide what else you want to do with the bike; if anything. "Restore" is the wrong word for a bike like yours, just make it rideable and enjoy the fresh air and exercise. "Restore" is what happens when you get hopelessly addicted and get into higher end stuff that needs rescuing. Pray that you never get that far, if you have a life.

( PS - We all bow down to Tom's epic 'stasche. How could we not? )
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Old 03-13-14, 06:15 AM   #16
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Hey, that looks just like the LeTour that I just got. I don't normally go for the Japanese bikes but I'm really liking this one. You'd be hard pressed to find a better first bike. They ride great and parts are cheap and plentiful.
Most important thing is the fit and I'm 6'2" myself. That looks like a 57cm frame (measure from the center of the cranks along the seat tube to the center of the top tube). That's not bad for guys like us. Next most important thing is color. Mine's the same shade of blue and it looks way better in real life than in pictures. Mine's got a lot of nicks and scratches but I wiped it with lemon oil to get all the dirt off and then waxed the crap out of it with Kitt Scratch Off. Mcguires has a similar product. If I really fall in love with it, maybe I'll paint it in a couple of years but really, with a Schwinn, it's easier just to find a shinier one on Craigslist or Ebay, and way cheaper.
Give the wheels and crank a good spin. They should be smooth and not wobble. If they do either, you should take them apart, clean the bearings really well and re-grease the bearings. Otherwise you should be able to ride it some, but it's a good idea to re-grease everything anyway, next rainy day. The brakes and shifters should work smoothly, too and return to their original position freely. Otherwise, take them apart and clean them and put new cables and grease in them. There are special tools to make this all easier but basic hand tools will get the job done (except for pulling the cranks and freewheel, the LBS can help you there for $5 or $10).
Have fun.
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Old 03-13-14, 06:24 AM   #17
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Schwinn wins again !
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Old 03-13-14, 11:06 AM   #18
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You could use a quick-release seat binder bolt like this one. I should warn you that it increases temptation for people to steal your seat, if you lock the bike up in public.

This type is still popular, though, and all you need is one or two 5mm allen keys.

You could even use something crude such as this. It works. My only recommendation is to stay metric, since your bike is already all metric. You can get yourself a set of metric wrenches, and it's a good investment. At that point, needing English wrenches in addition is a pain. I say that because I have an English bolt on one of my bikes, and I can never find the right wrench.

You might be lucky and your seatpost might not be stuck. It is, after all, at the bottom. Spin the seatpost by using the seat as a wrench. Turn left and right as you lift.
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Old 03-13-14, 05:13 PM   #19
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Operation raise seat to the correct height, after much wiggling, is complete. I'll grab a bolt for it this weekend.
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Old 03-13-14, 06:18 PM   #20
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I got an extra bolt I could send you, but you'd have to wait for the mail. Local's fast and cheap.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:17 PM   #21
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Hey I would love the bolt. I tried to PM you but I can't until I have 50 posts. What do you need from me?
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Old 03-13-14, 07:39 PM   #22
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To anyone who feels like sending me parts, the door is wide open hahaha. But on a serious note, looking into this future project I have a few more questions. Painting it should be no problem, but is there anywhere that I can get the decals that were originally on it? I think they would be cool to put back on. Also, I know I need new brake pads, are they all the same generally? Lastly, the bike is currently a 10 speed. Should I keep it like that or is it better to change something? this area of "gearing" I guess you would call it (I need to learn the termanology) is most confusing to me. If anyone could clear that I would be very thankful.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:48 PM   #23
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Schwinn decals show up on ebay, but aren't cheap. The current owners protect their trademark too.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:25 PM   #24
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Schwinn decals show up on ebay, but aren't cheap. The current owners protect their trademark too.
Maybe I'll have to hold off on the decals then
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Old 03-13-14, 08:25 PM   #25
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Yea or nay on single speed conversion?
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