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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-28-08, 01:02 PM   #1
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Letour

Just bought this for $100...so far all I've done is replaced the tape and a cursory cleaning.
Its a 1986 Schwinn Letour road bike; 57cm top tube; triple chain ring, 7 speed cassette (total of 21 speeds). Computer (needs battery) and SPD pedals (replaced with platforms to test) included.

Didn't know that Letour came in 21 speed flavor and has index shifting on the down tube.

I'm riding it rather gingerly now learning how much to trust 700c wheels.

So was I insane to get this or not? I'm a big Big boy.

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Last edited by Jtgyk; 06-22-08 at 10:37 AM. Reason: picture glitch!
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Old 03-28-08, 01:09 PM   #2
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At some point, you'll want to have the wheels rebuilt with a DeepV rim like the Velocity. You done good though on the price.

You won't be able to go to a modern wheel hub though unless you either have the frame cold set for 130MM or have a Peter White 126 MM hub built to a wheel. I'm presuming that has Maillard Hubs, and that's what my '86 Schwinn has. I just replaced the 5 speed Freewheel with a 6 speed Schimano freewheel with narrow spacing. It does great

Incidentally, those Box rims will do surprisingly well. Are you sure they are 700C though? Schwinn was still using the 27" (630-32), in those days.
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Old 03-28-08, 01:12 PM   #3
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gotta start somewhere

it looks a lot like a frame i have laying around

how do the tires look?
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Old 03-28-08, 01:28 PM   #4
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The rims say "ARAYA 700c" and has 700X25c tires. Tires look good and still have the "hairs" on them.

Suntour hub and rim on front. (ARAYA only on back)
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Old 03-28-08, 01:42 PM   #5
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My LeTour also has 27" tires on it, along with six gears in back and two on the front. I wonder if someone didn't do some upgrading on the original parts. I believe sometime the brake calipers have enough adjustment room so that 700's can fit on a frame designed for 27".

There are definite gaps in my knowledge however so take it all with a grain of salt.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:00 PM   #6
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My LeTour also has 27" tires on it, along with six gears in back and two on the front. I wonder if someone didn't do some upgrading on the original parts. I believe sometime the brake calipers have enough adjustment room so that 700's can fit on a frame designed for 27".

There are definite gaps in my knowledge however so take it all with a grain of salt.
Don't know for sure. The guy I bought it from was the Original owner and bought it straight from one of the LBS's. He knows the owner though, and may have been offered an upgrade. Isn't ARAYA the original rim for the letour? I'd personally feel more confident with the 27's.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:00 PM   #7
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Well Araya makes a good wheel.


Edit: 700C are stronger than 27", by the way.
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The rims say "ARAYA 700c" and has 700X25c tires. Tires look good and still have the "hairs" on them.

Suntour hub and rim on front. (ARAYA only on back)
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Old 03-28-08, 02:05 PM   #8
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Your cranks are definitely not original to the bike:
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Mar
"Introduced in 1989, Blaze was SunTour's lowest (6th) raod group. It was typically used on models that were on the border of entry and mid-range. I'm not fsamilar with a Miyata X14. Two Miyata models that used Blaze were the entry level 112 and the low mid-range model 414. In the latter case, the first "4" in the decal used a different font and color from the "14", so this may be the model you are talking about. If you've got pics, I should be able to identify it.

Blaze has a couple of problems, based on the bicycles I've worked on. First, the Accushift index system works OK, but if the levers, derailleurs or freewheel wear out, they are not compatible with any other system and it is hard to find replacements, so you may have to replace all three components to retain indexed shifting. Secondly, the pivots on the rear derailleurs seem to wear at a much higher rate than normal. I've seen a couple of samples with this problem. They still shift OK, but look like they are about to self-destruct."
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Old 03-28-08, 02:06 PM   #9
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Just did a Google search and found a bunch of circa 80's letour's with 21 speed index shifting and 700c wheelsets. Must have been an option for purchase.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:07 PM   #10
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Well Araya makes a good wheel.


Edit: 700C are stronger than 27", by the way.
Thanks I feel better about riding them.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:13 PM   #11
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I've got the same wheelset on my '89 Traveler. I kept breaking spokes because the original spoke tension was very low. If it hasn't been ridden very much, check the spoke tension and make sure it is adequate.

In fact, your bike looks like an 89 and not an 86. 86 didn't have aero brake levers.

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...9_Ltwt_10.html
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Old 03-28-08, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
Your cranks are definitely not original to the bike:
"Introduced in 1989, Blaze was SunTour's lowest (6th) raod group. It was typically used on models that were on the border of entry and mid-range. I'm not fsamilar with a Miyata X14. Two Miyata models that used Blaze were the entry level 112 and the low mid-range model 414. In the latter case, the first "4" in the decal used a different font and color from the "14", so this may be the model you are talking about. If you've got pics, I should be able to identify it.

Blaze has a couple of problems, based on the bicycles I've worked on. First, the Accushift index system works OK, but if the levers, derailleurs or freewheel wear out, they are not compatible with any other system and it is hard to find replacements, so you may have to replace all three components to retain indexed shifting. Secondly, the pivots on the rear derailleurs seem to wear at a much higher rate than normal. I've seen a couple of samples with this problem. They still shift OK, but look like they are about to self-destruct."
East Hill
Is this the reason that the chain will come off the top "guide wheel" (sorry don't know the real name) of the rear deralleur if backpedaled too much... or is that fixable with adjustment?
It works fine as long as its pedaled forward.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:35 PM   #13
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Is this the reason that the chain will come off the top "guide wheel" (sorry don't know the real name) of the rear deralleur if backpedaled too much... or is that fixable with adjustment?
It works fine as long as its pedaled forward.
I would say that the top pivot (the 'guide wheel') is worn, so that could be why the chain is coming off, yes. It sounds as if you would want to replace the pivot. Check in with the C & V crowd to see if anyone happens to have either a pivot, or a spare appropriate derailleur.

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Old 03-28-08, 02:45 PM   #14
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1) Nice bike, buy it. I wish I could. Btw, how tall are you?

2) Take it to a bike shop and ask for a complete tune up, and have them work on the wheels. If you can, ask a cyclist for a reference to a good shop.

3) Now you can take it for a real ride. The fit may not be perfect as is, so you may need a shorter or longer stem. I'm a big fan of the Nitto Technomics Deluxe stem. If the fit is close, you can worry about that later when it's time to spiff the bike up a bit.

4) You will want new tires. If you are just getting back into cycling I suggest the
Rivendell Roly Poly or Ruffy Tuffy tires. They are 27c and have a nice ride.

5) There are a number of optional things you can do. I'd add bar end shifters so you don't have to reach so far. I'd also get a Brooks saddle.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:58 PM   #15
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1) Nice bike, buy it. I wish I could. Btw, how tall are you?

2) Take it to a bike shop and ask for a complete tune up, and have them work on the wheels. If you can, ask a cyclist for a reference to a good shop.

3) Now you can take it for a real ride. The fit may not be perfect as is, so you may need a shorter or longer stem. I'm a big fan of the Nitto Technomics Deluxe stem. If the fit is close, you can worry about that later when it's time to spiff the bike up a bit.

4) You will want new tires. If you are just getting back into cycling I suggest the
Rivendell Roly Poly or Ruffy Tuffy tires. They are 27c and have a nice ride.

5) There are a number of optional things you can do. I'd add bar end shifters so you don't have to reach so far. I'd also get a Brooks saddle.
*I'm 6' tall and the standover is close but still ok.

*Got a good bikeshop and will be getting said tune up as a matter of course. Cleaning the bike before taking it in is a habit of mine. (same as taking a shower before going to the doctor)

*Fits pretty well right now...but will probably have a fit done eventually at the LBS.

*Tires are still pretty new, but will eventually opt for a cushier ride.

*I'm not a fan of the downtube shifter myself....will be exploring options (have no problems with friction stem shifters).
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Old 03-28-08, 04:04 PM   #16
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*I'm 6' tall and the standover is close but still ok.

*Got a good bikeshop and will be getting said tune up as a matter of course. Cleaning the bike before taking it in is a habit of mine. (same as taking a shower before going to the doctor)

*Fits pretty well right now...but will probably have a fit done eventually at the LBS.

*Tires are still pretty new, but will eventually opt for a cushier ride.

*I'm not a fan of the downtube shifter myself....will be exploring options (have no problems with friction stem shifters).
Good,
just for giggles, this is what I'd do in roughly the order I'd do it. I usually have a spare Brooks kicking around, so on it would go. If the wheels weren't rock solid, I'd get new ones. There are lots of choices, which ones depends on your weight, budget, and preferences. I have Ambrosio Excellence rims on Ultegra hubs. Makes for a very attractive wheel that doesn't cost a ton. But there are literally a hundred other choices, if you get to that point do a post asking about it; and you will get 50 different options to pick from. Oh, I'd do the bar end shifters right off the bat. You can get NOS 8 speed stuff off Ebay cheap. I have a bunch of it in the cellar waiting for a frame like that.
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Old 03-28-08, 05:06 PM   #17
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I would just be worried that even if the tires haven't been ridden, the rubber would have aged which would alter performance and durability. If you think they're as old as that bike, it would probably be wise to replace them.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:54 PM   #18
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Tires are at most just over a year old, but will probably get new ones when I take it in for a tune-up/check. I know it hasn't been ridden for just over a year. (When the PO went to carbon fiber)
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Old 03-29-08, 10:38 AM   #19
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Here is my LeTour ... I am 240 lbs., and have put thousands of miles on this bike (as well as an aluminum Cannondale RW700) ... not problems.
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Old 03-29-08, 04:50 PM   #20
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Here is my LeTour ... I am 240 lbs., and have put thousands of miles on this bike (as well as an aluminum Cannondale RW700) ... not problems.
engine

Sweet ride! How did you get it so clean?...Mine still has some grime that seems to have worked its way into the paint. Also did you replace the crank. rear dérailleur, and brakes?

Took mine for a 2 mile ride. Feels good...but I'm still riding carefully...nothing over 20mph...on nice smooth roads. I'm working with it little by little until I get to know and trust what it can handle.
I've got 130lbs on you and don't want to leave several pounds of hamburger behind if I have a wheel failure.
Did that skidding on my chest, belly, and arms through the handlebars of a stingray (they had just come out) thing once when I was 10. Wasn't fond of the experience.
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Old 03-29-08, 07:18 PM   #21
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No! No! No! That bike is totally wrong for you in every way. It will only do you harm, so you should just donate it to me.

I have a '72 schwinn varsity. Its actually my uncles but we have been swapping it back and forth since the early '80's. I think I get it everytime it needs work. I love it though. The frame is heavier than anything else today but I never really noticed that much. The only complaint I have with it was the shifters. It is a 10 speed and I only use 1,5 and 10th while riding it. I love the new click shifts. The wheels may need replaced eventually as mentioned but as long as you avoid potholes and slow down for RR tracks they should last a long time.

Nice find and happy trails.
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Old 03-29-08, 11:09 PM   #22
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you wont have a problem with 130mm hubs in that frame, you'll have to flex it a little to get it in but it'll fit just fine.
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Old 03-29-08, 11:55 PM   #23
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Was this perchance on Houston Craigslist? I think I remember seeing it.
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Old 03-30-08, 09:58 AM   #24
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Was this perchance on Houston Craigslist? I think I remember seeing it.
Nope...it was in the DFW Craigs list.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:28 AM   #25
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I dont think that is an 86, looks more like an 88 or so. Take a close look at the head badge and post the date code that is engraved on it, that will tell you the year of the frame. I have a 12 Speed letour that I bought new with the same wheels and suntour gear set. Bike has lasted for almost 20 years with a 200+ lb rider so I would say they are good bikes. My letour will be getting a paint job, new wheels, group and brakes for its 20th birthday next year. I think it deserves it.
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