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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

View Poll Results: Beast or Beauty
Beast - wouldn't be caught dead on it 5 5.81%
Beauty - retro grouchism is its own reward 81 94.19%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-19-05, 01:08 PM   #1
scrantr
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Beast or Beauty

I recently got this out of the back of the garage and made it rideable again. It's the first decent bike I ever rode. It was purchased with money from a summer job while I was in high school, and has followed me around since. I was waxing sufficiently nostalgic (my wife is quite tolerant of these episodes) that I rode it to work Friday in preference to the hybrid outfitted for the purpose. What do you think: "Beast or Beauty?" "Death Trap or Retro Grouchmobile?" The crank, pedals, shifters, front derailleur, chain, and freewheel have been replaced as things wore out or broke. The rest of the bike (except for the vintage Blackburn rack) is OEM. I bought it in '73 or '74. I think it's a Schwinn-rebadged Panasonic.

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Old 02-19-05, 01:51 PM   #2
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I have loudly professed retrogrouch tendencies. While the above isn't a super sweet Paramount or something, it looks like a decent ride in in good condition. Looks like foam bar wraps, I'd be inclined to toss those for some cork tape and get a different saddle.

Maybe swap out the pedals for either clipless or some GR-9 platforms unless you still have some old slotted cleats that fit.

If it were mine, I'd ride it.
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Old 02-19-05, 02:04 PM   #3
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I think it's a nice bike, I would ride it and love it. It looks like it is in pretty good shape.

I would call it a classic. Shorten the brake cables, they will feel less spongy and look a little better. Take good care of it, anyone can have a new bike in nice condition, just buy one. Not everyone can have an old bike in nice condition. Especially one that you bought new in the early 70's.

I vote beauty. If you want to get rid of it let me know.
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Old 02-19-05, 02:52 PM   #4
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definately a beauty... I agree on the bar tape and seat but other than that it's a nice looking bike. I ride a 1965 schwinn supersport on commutes and going around town. it's nice enough that i don't look like a delivery boy, but old enough that people won't want to steal it as much. Bought my baby at a flea market, got a great deal for it, it is near mint with all original part, so i know how you feel about yours.
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Old 02-19-05, 03:17 PM   #5
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Gotta love that chromed front fork!
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Old 02-19-05, 03:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantr
I recently got this out of the back of the garage and made it rideable again. It's the first decent bike I ever rode. It was purchased with money from a summer job while I was in high school, and has followed me around since. I was waxing sufficiently nostalgic (my wife is quite tolerant of these episodes) that I rode it to work Friday in preference to the hybrid outfitted for the purpose. What do you think: "Beast or Beauty?" "Death Trap or Retro Grouchmobile?" The crank, pedals, shifters, front derailleur, chain, and freewheel have been replaced as things wore out or broke. The rest of the bike (except for the vintage Blackburn rack) is OEM. I bought it in '73 or '74. I think it's a Schwinn-rebadged Panasonic.
I *love* the Letour. I've been stalking them on Craigslist. The frame is an awesome color and the chrome tips look is killer. I like the ride quality of all the ten-speeds I've ever ridden. And I like lugged steel much better than welded steel.

So, to summarize, you should get rid of it Send it to me immediately for proper disposal

One question: how is that rack attached to the seatstays?
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Old 02-19-05, 03:24 PM   #7
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A bike cared for well, so I say Beauty!
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Old 02-19-05, 03:26 PM   #8
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i have to disagree on the welded steel frame...my supersport is brazed cromo frame and it feels great... i can sell it for 3 times what i bought it for but i like it so much that i'm hanging on to it...
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Old 02-19-05, 03:31 PM   #9
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Beauty, but...

1) Functionality... I would slap some aero brakes on that thing.

2) Aesthetics... Maybe get cooler nitto handle bars. The seat and seat post probably should be upgraded. Calipers look like centerpulls? Definately would replace with shiny old sidepulls like Galli's or something.
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Old 02-19-05, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantr

"I think it's a Schwinn-rebadged Panasonic."

It is. I have its “twin” (Panasonic) in the basement. It looks exactly the same except for the decals and mine has the shifters on the stem instead of the down tube. Even the same color and fork. I couldn’t afford the Schwinn, being newlyweds and all (1974). Funny, I actually went downstairs and checked it out just this week to see if I should/could resurrect mine.

Last edited by OhiOH; 02-20-05 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 02-19-05, 05:07 PM   #11
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Answers...

The bar tape is very old Velox cloth tape (2 or 3 layers of it). When it started looking shabby, I would
put on another layer over the old. The saddle is a very old Avocet Touring gel affair. The seat post is
a Laprade 1-bolt micro adjust. The brakes are the original diacompe centerpulls. They can still lock
up both wheels. The bars are the "randonneur" style that was popular then - shallow drops and a slight
upward curve from the center to the brake levers. It originally had the infamous "death grip" brake
lever extensions. Those were hack-sawed off 20 years ago. The crank is an old Sugino Super Mighty
with 52/42 rings, and the freewheel is a Suntour Procomp 5sp 14-24. Chain is a first generation
Sedisport. The rack is one of the original Blackburns that attaches to the brake bolt by a single steel
strap. It's been trouble free since it went on in the early 80's. The shifters were originally stem mounted
Shimanos of some kind, replaced by the Suntour downtube shifters. The front derailleur is an old Suntour
Road Vx, and the rear is the original "Le Tour" stamped "Schwinn Approved" probably made by Shimano.
It doesn't have the slant parallelogram design of Suntour derailleurs of the period, so I doubt Suntour
made it. I guess the fact the bike is still so rideable is a testament to the relatively low-tech, durable
components Schwinn/Panasonic spec'd for it.
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Old 02-19-05, 05:15 PM   #12
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That would be a worthy commuting bike. Just slap on some fenders. It certainly be nice to see it hammered pass mountain bikes and hybrids
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Old 02-19-05, 06:25 PM   #13
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Amusingly, I was waiting at the bus stop downtown the other day and saw someone on a nearly identical orange Schwinn LeTour... It wasn't in quite the kind of shape that yours is in, but I was still impressed. I think the old classic road bikes are nice. I'm not sure I'd commute on one, but I'm always impressed when I see someone with one still in good shape.
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Old 02-19-05, 07:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantr
Answers...

The front derailleur is an old Suntour
Road Vx, and the rear is the original "Le Tour" stamped "Schwinn Approved" probably made by Shimano.
It doesn't have the slant parallelogram design of Suntour derailleurs of the period, so I doubt Suntour
made it.
Correct. The rear is a Shimano ‘500’. Mine has a Shimano ‘50’ front derailleur. I tried to make mine into a ‘hybrid’ after I bought a brand new Trek in 1988 (which is still my summer commuter).

Mine isn't so great, but here is a photo:

Last edited by OhiOH; 02-20-05 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 02-19-05, 08:26 PM   #15
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That bike has some seroius "yum" potential. I'm partial to fixed gear conversions myself so That's what I'd do, swap out the cranks and put a track hub in the back. But that's just me. I love the chrome ends on the fork!
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Old 02-19-05, 09:01 PM   #16
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I think the bike is pretty considering it's THIRTY years old....
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Old 02-19-05, 09:45 PM   #17
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Since we're admiring or condeming classics, here's my commuter and my favorite. Got my baby at a flea market for 90 bucks. 65' schwinn supersport with all original hardware. except the seat and post of course. heavy as hell, but i love the way these steel frames ride. What do u guys think? beauty? beast? gotta love that 'radiant coppertone'
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Old 02-19-05, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
Since we're admiring or condeming classics, here's my commuter and my favorite. Got my baby at a flea market for 90 bucks. 65' schwinn supersport with all original hardware. except the seat and post of course. heavy as hell, but i love the way these steel frames ride. What do u guys think? beauty? beast? gotta love that 'radiant coppertone'
Beauty!
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Old 02-19-05, 10:14 PM   #19
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man you all know those things are beauties. better than anything i got and i am jealous.
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Old 02-19-05, 10:32 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=moxfyre]

So, to summarize, you should get rid of it Send it to me immediately for proper disposal

QUOTE]

HEY.....I saw it first !
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Old 02-19-05, 11:14 PM   #21
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This is quickly morphing into the "My Schwinn from the 70's" thread. So I would like to contribute too.

Early 70's Continental. I have the original seat in mint condition, too. This bike was spotless when I bought it. The chrome is almost perfect.

Bike -$ 5
Schwinn Collegate with fenders matching the Continental - $10
Fenderless Collegate sold for + $15

Total $ 0
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Old 02-20-05, 05:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
Since we're admiring or condeming classics, here's my commuter and my favorite. Got my baby at a flea market for 90 bucks. 65' schwinn supersport with all original hardware. except the seat and post of course. heavy as hell, but i love the way these steel frames ride. What do u guys think? beauty? beast? gotta love that 'radiant coppertone'
I think this bike is digusting and filthy and awful. So you should do what any good person would do and box it up nicely so as to not damage anything and ship it to me for proper disposal. Yes I will do you the favor of getting rid of such a beautiful...I mean such and disgusting atrocity.

God I hope this works.
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Old 02-20-05, 07:36 AM   #23
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where do you live? i'll send it right away... wait...nevermind.... it didn't work...sorry...almost had me there though...actually no...you didn't...sorry... nice try though... hey just go to flea markets... one man trash is another man's treasure.
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Old 02-20-05, 12:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junioroverlord
I think this bike is digusting and filthy and awful. So you should do what any good person would do and box it up nicely so as to not damage anything and ship it to me for proper disposal. Yes I will do you the favor of getting rid of such a beautiful...I mean such and disgusting atrocity.

God I hope this works.
Hey man, you stole my nefarious plan, even the ""

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Old 02-20-05, 01:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Hey man, you stole my nefarious plan, even the ""


Now listen you guys, I beat both of you to the punch. I should get first right of refusal.



Do you think we're convincing him it's valuable by arguing over it?
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