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  1. #1
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    1973 Schwinn World Voyageur - possible upgrade

    Hi everyone,

    Some news, I hope good. I just bought what looks to be a pretty much all original 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur in what appears to be damned good condition on eBay. Not cheap, but far less expensive than a Rivendell. I am going to ride it the way it is a time or two, but will probably then change out the power train and brakes to 9-speed triple Shimano Ultegra's (I have some of these).

    Schwinn World Voyageur 01.jpg
    Schwinn World Voyageur 02.jpg

    Any opinions and advice welcomed.

    Thanks in advance, Dick

  2. #2
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    Wow, these are popping up all over the place lately. The news is very good, the paint, decals and chrome look great. It appears to be all original except for the saddle (original was a Fujita YFC) and toe straps (original were plain white KKT). Everything else seems to be present and accounted for. The rack is an aftermarket accessory. That is the 23" frame size, I'd be interested to see the serial no. on the underside of the bottom bracket. Close-up pics will reveal more details.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
    Wow, these are popping up all over the place lately. The news is very good, the paint, decals and chrome look great. It appears to be all original except for the saddle (original was a Fujita YFC) and toe straps (original were plain white KKT). Everything else seems to be present and accounted for. The rack is an aftermarket accessory. That is the 23" frame size, I'd be interested to see the serial no. on the underside of the bottom bracket. Close-up pics will reveal more details.
    "Ask and ye shall receive":

    Schwinn World Voyageur 11.jpg

    Here are some other pics from the eBay listing:
    Schwinn World Voyageur 03.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 04.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 05.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 06.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 07.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 08.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 09.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 10.jpgSchwinn World Voyageur 12.jpg

    Thanks for any help you can provide. BTW, the listing said that the "World" badge from the head tube is missing.

    Regards, Dick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
    "Ask and ye shall receive"...
    I was watching that listing, very nice! Note that it is only 12 frame numbers away from the one described here: Time for a 1973 Schwinn (Panasonic) World Voyageur Registry!

  5. #5
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    Nice bike. Congrats.

  6. #6
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    The Brooks B5N is a great saddle and probably my favorite in the Brooks line up for out of the box comfort. Too bad they are no longer offered.

    You made a great acquisition that I'd encourage you to ride more than once or twice before the conversion. IMO, and for my terrain, they only downside is that they did not come in a triple. A conversion is easy and if you feel as if you need a lower gear for your local terrain, try that first before the 9 speed conversion.

    Beautiful example of the first Asian built Schwinn.
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  7. #7
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I'll echo Bob's comments, don't change it unless you have to. I might put new brakes pads on and likely change the brake levers, more for comfort, but otherwise it looks great.


    I if you could slip a triplizer ring on that.


    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  8. #8
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    That is a cool bike! Congratulations.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  9. #9
    Senior Member etherhuffer's Avatar
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    Overhauled one for a friend. You may wish to consider new cables and housings. And of course check the bearings. Kool Stop pads actually allow you to stop compared to old compounds.
    What struck me about that bike was the comfort of the frame. I am surprised people toured on these, as they really are a little noodly. Which rims does it have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I'll echo Bob's comments, don't change it unless you have to. I might put new brakes pads on and likely change the brake levers, more for comfort, but otherwise it looks great.

    I if you could slip a triplizer ring on that.
    Thanks. Never heard of a Triplizer ring before, but did some searching, and yeah, that would be great if I could get one that would fit and work. I'm a bit of a weenie, and need gears down at least to mid-20's, and even better 23 gear-inches to do some of the hills around here. There are rolling hills in my area, and I can handle up to maybe 7% with around 34 gear-inches (this bike has 32.1 I think), but at steeper grades (up to and occasionally exceeding 10%), I really need my grannie. Yeah, other folks around here get up those same hills with compact doubles, or even older doubles, but not me.

    My other problem (and understand that I don't even have this bike yet), is that the rear cogs are 14-17-21-26-32 (I think). These are around 21-24% changes, so it won't be possible to stay at an 85-100 rpm cadence. But we'll see when I get to ride it, and see "how bad it is".

    One final thing is that I have never ridden with barcons. I for sure don't like downtube shifters, and stem ones "ain't much better". Hence my thoughts about Ultegra brifters (which I really love on my Airborne Zeppelin).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    That is a cool bike! Congratulations.
    Thanks!!!! I know I'm going to like it much more than my beautiful mint 1985 Schwinn Peloton: Because the Peloton has short chain stays, downtube shifters, and a low gear of a whopping 48.1 gear-inches! BTW, I'll be putting that one up for sale sometime.

    Quote Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
    Overhauled one for a friend. You may wish to consider new cables and housings. And of course check the bearings. Kool Stop pads actually allow you to stop compared to old compounds.
    What struck me about that bike was the comfort of the frame. I am surprised people toured on these, as they really are a little noodly. Which rims does it have?
    All good suggestions, thanks. Sorry I don't know what it has for wheels and tires yet. Hope to find out ~Thursday.


    Can anyone tell me the type of steel in this frame? I ask because I'll have to cold-set the dropouts if I do decide too go with a 9-speed hub, and because someone just mentioned on the "Does modern steel ride "better" than CV steel?" thread that:

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Reynolds 753 was heat-treated 531 tubing and Reynolds explicitly stated that cold-setting should not be attempted. The fork blades were raked at the factory prior to heat treatment. Nor did they recommend tube replacements, with the grudging exception of chain stays.

    At Trek, we built 753 frames for the 1984 Women's National Cycling Team; we got a crashed frame back for replacement and since it was destined for the scrap bin, we decided to see what would happen if we tried to cold-set it. We put it on the alignment table and had at it with the Long Levers of Alignment, but it wouldn't budge with the effort we use on other frames -- it flexed but sprung back into its original alignment. Gradually increasing the force on the levers didn't do anything until suddenly the down tube buckled at the lever bosses.
    ... so I wouldn't want to attempt that with this frame if it made of 753 or some other brittle composition/heat-treat.

    Thanks again, Dick

  11. #11
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    This is not any kind of fancy 753, its just straight gauge 4130. Nothing particularly fancy. I stuffed a 130mm hub in mine with a shimano roller brake for a time.

    here's a pic of the drivetrain mine had a for a while…including the original tubing sticker.


    It saw some miles and smiles


    mostly it was just good looking and an excuse to try Hetres. Its a heavy frame. Not a great climber, but not a total noodle IMFAO. I put an xtracycle free radical on mine a few years ago and 26" fatties and that's how its been since. Its fun. The kids love riding on the back.

    Last edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox; 08-04-14 at 08:20 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Really nice bike in a great color, congrats!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    This is not any kind of fancy 753, its just straight gauge 4130. Nothing particularly fancy. I stuffed a 130mm hub in mine with a shimano roller brake for a time.

    here's a pic of the drivetrain mine had a for a while…including the original tubing sticker.

    ......

    It saw some miles and smiles

    ......

    mostly it was just good looking and an excuse to try Hetres. Its a heavy frame. Not a great climber, but not a total noodle IMFAO. I put an xtracycle free radical on mine a few years ago and 26" fatties and that's how its been since. Its fun. The kids love riding on the back.
    Nice bike & nice photos (and nice memories). Thanks for info!

    Regards, Dick

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Really nice bike in a great color, congrats!
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I'll echo Bob's comments, don't change it unless you have to. I might put new brakes pads on and likely change the brake levers, more for comfort, but otherwise it looks great.

    I if you could slip a triplizer ring on that.
    Going back to the Triplizer point: What is the BCD of the early Dura-Ace crank? What sort of bottom bracket does this bike have?

    Thanks, Dick

    P.S.: Bad news - got the FedEx tracking number, and the bike isn't due here until next Monday. Bummer, was hoping for it on Thursday. We're heading out west (Yellowstone, etc.) for a few months, so we'll have to delay a few days (not that we have any schedule anyway), and that won't give me much if any chance to test ride the bike before leaving.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Essthreetee's Avatar
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    Nice looking bike. Could you take it with you to try out for the time you are away?
    "They ain't following me, I'm just in front." - Rubber Duck

    lol <---- does that look like someone drowning to anyone else?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
    What is the BCD of the early Dura-Ace crank? What sort of bottom bracket does this bike have?
    The crank arms/chainrings 130mm BCD. The bottom bracket is a standard 68mm with English 1.37" x 24T threads and the original spindle is 112mm asymmetric: 1973 Shimano Dura-Ace Catalogue Page da6

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    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I am going to ride it the way it is a time or two, but will probably then change out the power train and brakes to 9-speed triple Shimano Ultegra's (I have some of these).


    Any opinions and advice welcomed.

    Thanks in advance, Dick
    Worst idea ever. Sorry just my strong personal opinion. Leave it how it is, or sell it and buy something else. I also would not even test ride it half a block unless all of the bearings have been cleaned and re-lubed.,,,,BD

    I didn't mean to sound harsh. Just meant that you should "embrace the vintage", rather than trying to to make it into a modern bike. I've been guilty of that a couple of times,and while the bike does ride better, it loses the feel of what you buy a vintage bike for in the first place. Also things you didn't count on start coming into play. Like the cage of the FD being so narrow that the chain starts rubbing under hard acceleration, from frame flex. I had that happen on my 9speed Super Le Tour project.
    Last edited by Bikedued; 08-05-14 at 07:39 AM.

  18. #18
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
    ....Going back to the Triplizer point: What is the BCD of the early Dura-Ace crank? What sort of bottom bracket does this bike have...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
    The crank arms/chainrings 130mm BCD. The bottom bracket is a standard 68mm with English 1.37" x 24T threads and the original spindle is 112mm asymmetric: 1973 Shimano Dura-Ace Catalogue Page da6
    I was going to guess 130BCD. I used a TA triplizer on a early '90s Shimano 105 crankset to lower the gearing on my '83 Paramount. Works really well.



    XXCycle in France is selling a Stronglight version at this time for about $28, which is a super deal! It also comes in 38T, 40T, 42T, 44T and 46T versions. I've had great success ordering from them with arrival in 10 days or less.

    Here's the TA version for a significant increase in price to about $66. I can vouch that the TA version is very well made.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dicktill View Post
    I just bought what looks to be a pretty much all original 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur ... I am going to ride it the way it is a time or two, but will probably then change out the power train and brakes to 9-speed triple Shimano Ultegra's .

    Any opinions and advice welcomed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
    Worst idea ever. Sorry just my strong personal opinion. Leave it how it is, or sell it and buy something else. I also would not even test ride it half a block unless all of the bearings have been cleaned and re-lubed.,,,,BD

    I didn't mean to sound harsh. Just meant that you should "embrace the vintage", rather than trying to to make it into a modern bike. I've been guilty of that a couple of times,and while the bike does ride better, it loses the feel of what you buy a vintage bike for in the first place. Also things you didn't count on start coming into play. Like the cage of the FD being so narrow that the chain starts rubbing under hard acceleration, from frame flex. I had that happen on my 9speed Super Le Tour project.

    Since you asked for opinions- I'm assuming you actually really want the opinion.... I pretty much agree with Bikedued.

    The World Voyageur is not... what's the word I'm looking for... ..."lithe." It's a straight gauge cromoly bike. It's robust. It's a tank. It's made from the best quality gaspipe. But it's going to have an excellent ride.

    I don't know what your experience is with bikes- but I'd recommend taking a little more time to learn about your bike and figure out what your bike does like it is. It's a REALLY cool bike, both as a bike and historically. It looks like you've scored an EXCELLENT example of a nearly stock 40 year old bike- an excellent collectable bike to be proud of; ride it for a while and figure out why these bikes have the great reputation they have.

    If you love the bike, you love the aesthetic of it, but you really need the shifting changed- go for it. (you'll probably need something with a longer reach than the Ultegra brakes).

    If the World Voyageur is not your thing- keep looking for something that is your thing. Something that might just look nice with a 9s Ultegra group on it.

    My guess- from what I gather from your excitement and enthusiasm in your posts, I think the World Voyageur is going to be a bit too stout for you. A bit more... 1970s-y than what you're after. To echo my opinion from the other thread- one of the mid 80s "flagship" level touring bikes really sound like your best match. A Reynolds or Columbus (or proprietary) double or triple butted frame- something with the "built- ready to ride" weight around 25 pounds... components that are much closer to "modern." There was a window where "Touring" bikes were a prime consideration in the bicycle lineup and the design and technology were actually a focus for bike companies. Somewhere in that 1984-1986 time frame. Bikes with long chainstays, class A tubing, well thought out geometries, all the braze ons you can think of, Class A componentry, and a real graceful, elegant style, but still looking like "business."

    There's always going to be some sort of consideration when putting new components on an old bike- for old touring bikes- it's going to be 27" wheels and canti brakes that'll adjust well enough and 1" headsets.

    I've had thoughts about replacing the drivetrain on my 1985 Trek 720- while I'm realistically pretty close to going to Suntour Command shifters on there, I've actually thought about a 6600 triple Ultegra group for that bike. I don't know that I'd do that to my 1978 Trek 730 frame.

    It is your bike to do with as you wish- you asked for opinion; I don't know you at all, but I'd love to see you happy on an old, classically styled bike.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  20. #20
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Can a Schwinn expert clarify whether this has butted tubing? I had the impression it does and was looking for one on that basis. I thought it was the top bike of the World models. It seems to have awfully nice components for a "gas pipe" bike. The 1974 catalog page for the Voyageur II says it's butted.

  21. #21
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    It is top of the line from 1973 for the imported bikes.

    Point of reference, seat post on the OP bike is not original. I would seek an original seat post, it was a nice one (SR Campy clone??)

    Somewhere, Stan has a page for it (it was not in the original catalog). I too would be surprised if the tubing was not butted, given the high grade components, full chrome, and other $$ details.

    Well, the decal says butted tubing, so that cinches it.

    You guys ARE KILLING ME! I have two right now, one totally original, in my size. I have too many bikes.... Something has to go. Lets see: 1986 chrome Katakura, stays. 1987 Prologue, stays. 1987 and 1989 Cimarrons, stay. Bike I built at frame school, stays. That's five.

    That leaves the 1973 World Voyaguer, 1974 Sport Tourer (also 100% original), 1986 Lotus Supreme (not original), Colnago Master Lite, Tomassini Competizione, 1984 Trek 620, 1974 Paramount track frame set, several Paramount series bikes, etc.
    Last edited by wrk101; 08-05-14 at 10:12 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Can a Schwinn expert clarify whether this has butted tubing? I had the impression it does and was looking for one on that basis. I thought it was the top bike of the World models. It seems to have awfully nice components for a "gas pipe" bike. The 1974 catalog page for the Voyageur II says it's butted.
    I shouldn't have used the word "gaspipe," but my understanding is that they were straight gauge CrMo.

    Perhaps @Scooper or @Metacortex will have a more definitive answer.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post

    Well, the decal says butted tubing, so that cinches it.
    I stand corrected!

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  24. #24
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  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    At 27.5 to 28 pounds, not far off from most of the 1980s nice touring bikes. Many of them were around 27 pounds. The 1980s touring bikes will give you better gearing, all triples, some half step with a granny. Could probably sell that WV and upgrade if that is your desire.

    Even non-Vintage touring bikes are pretty nice. The Trek 520 and the Novara Randonee to mention just two. I have seen and bought versions of both of these at reasonable prices, much less than it would cost to upgrade the WV.

    But with the WV, you have something unique. Single year production, Panasonic producing their best for Schwinn, lots of top of the line, juicy parts.

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