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Old 03-04-10, 01:31 PM   #1
buckeye25osu
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Schwinn Le Tour for $40 on local CL. Thoughts?

Hi, I'm looking for a decent road bike. I don't ride much, but I am looking for a good road or hybrid bike. There is a bike for sale near me for $40. It's the Schwinn Le Tour and looks to be circa 1974 or so. The guy states it needs "restored" but doesn't appear to have any major flaws. I enjoy fixing things up a bit so that's not too big of a deal and considering the price I'm willing to take a gamble. I'd just like to know if anyone has any opinions or if this would be more of a headache than its worth. The only real concern i see is the bent piece that connect from seat down to rear wheel. Here is the information:

"Super cheap, need money. Lugged steel frame, says "Made in Japan", All LeTour components: Crank arms (3 pc) say LeTour, as does the rear derailleur. The brakes and hubs (high flange) say Schwinn, and the rims are Araya. The bike appears to be mostly if not completely original, and needs a COMPLETE restoration. The seat stay on the right side has a slight bend, otherwise it's a very solid frame. Super tall bike, has a 35 inch standover. Cheap $40"

He also said this over email:
As for rust, it has surface rust here and there. Flaws? The rear chain stay is slightly bent, I put a picture of it and described it on Craigslist. The bike needs restored. A new chain, some spokes, tires, bartape, etc. I tried to price it accordingly. Thanks!





Last edited by buckeye25osu; 03-04-10 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 03-04-10, 03:14 PM   #2
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Hi, I'm looking for a decent road bike. I don't ride much, but I am looking for a good road or hybrid bike. There is a bike for sale near me for $40. It's the Schwinn Le Tour and looks to be circa 1974 or so. The guy states it needs "restored" but doesn't appear to have any major flaws. I enjoy fixing things up a bit so that's not too big of a deal and considering the price I'm willing to take a gamble. I'd just like to know if anyone has any opinions or if this would be more of a headache than its worth. The only real concern i see is the bent piece that connect from seat down to rear wheel. Here is the information:

"Super cheap, need money. Lugged steel frame, says "Made in Japan", All LeTour components: Crank arms (3 pc) say LeTour, as does the rear derailleur. The brakes and hubs (high flange) say Schwinn, and the rims are Araya. The bike appears to be mostly if not completely original, and needs a COMPLETE restoration. The seat stay on the right side has a slight bend, otherwise it's a very solid frame. Super tall bike, has a 35 inch standover. Cheap $40"

He also said this over email:
As for rust, it has surface rust here and there. Flaws? The rear chain stay is slightly bent, I put a picture of it and described it on Craigslist. The bike needs restored. A new chain, some spokes, tires, bartape, etc. I tried to price it accordingly. Thanks!




I'd be concerned about the chainstay. Can't see it in the pictures. The stock rims were steel, so that could be an issue. I had a '76 LeTour, which replaced a Continental. Night and day difference, especially after getting new alloy wheels. Cool fork chroming. Nothing special steel - hi ten?
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Old 03-04-10, 08:25 PM   #3
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The LeTours were the entry level 'Euro-style' bikes that Schwinn started putting out after losing just about the entire market to the lightweight Japanese bikes. They were, what -- $120 bikes? And 32 pounds or so, which was at least better than Schwinn's 40+ pound Collegiates and Varsities. Restoration probably means a tear-down and major overhaul, regreasing all the bearings and fixing that bent seat stay. Must be about a 62cm frame, except they didn't measure them metrically then. It's probably a 25-inch frame. Do you have a 34-35" inseam?
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Old 03-05-10, 09:30 AM   #4
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The LeTours were the entry level 'Euro-style' bikes that Schwinn started putting out after losing just about the entire market to the lightweight Japanese bikes. They were, what -- $120 bikes? And 32 pounds or so, which was at least better than Schwinn's 40+ pound Collegiates and Varsities. Restoration probably means a tear-down and major overhaul, regreasing all the bearings and fixing that bent seat stay. Must be about a 62cm frame, except they didn't measure them metrically then. It's probably a 25-inch frame. Do you have a 34-35" inseam?
Wasn't real sure what was meant by "stand over". I was assuming it was probably a 21" frame which should be about my size. I'm 6'0". I think this is for the tall guys. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-05-10, 03:07 PM   #5
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. . .They were, what -- $120 bikes? . . .32 pounds or so. .
Speaking as a [once] young puke who bought a LeTour in '77, mine was just about $100US off-the-rack. . .and yes it was "Heavy as Home-Made Sin".

That said, the bent stay makes this a non-starter. One may wonder what other damage that crash incurred. Put that $40 on something built this Century or the last decade of the 20th.

Man, I had a great time on that ol' gal.
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Old 03-05-10, 03:57 PM   #6
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Speaking as a [once] young puke who bought a LeTour in '77, mine was just about $100US off-the-rack. . .and yes it was "Heavy as Home-Made Sin".

That said, the bent stay makes this a non-starter. One may wonder what other damage that crash incurred. Put that $40 on something built this Century or the last decade of the 20th.

Man, I had a great time on that ol' gal.
My '73 Continental was about $120 new. I'm thinking the '76 LeTour was closer to $150. Anyone have the MSRP's?
If you thought the LT was heavy, you never rode a Continental/Varsity.........
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Old 03-06-10, 12:40 AM   #7
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Wasn't real sure what was meant by "stand over". I was assuming it was probably a 21" frame which should be about my size. I'm 6'0". I think this is for the tall guys. Thanks for the info.
Eyeballing the ad, that LeTour is a 25" frame, which would be about right if you have a 34" inseam. It should fit OK.

I'd jump on it if I were looking for (another) project. At a guess, it'll need all the normal wear 'n' tear items: cables, brake pads, tires & tubes, maybe a chain, and handlebar tape to finish it off. Surface rust would come off with a little Quick-Glo. The bent stay is easy to straighten if you know how (I spent 5 years working in a Schwinn shop- I know how). The LeTours were hi-tensile steel tubing- nothing special, really.
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