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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-19-06, 04:48 PM   #1
rykoala
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Modifying a Le Tour for fixed gear

I got an old 70's Le Tour that I am modifying for fixed gear usage. Braze-ons are gone. Its getting sanded down and repainted. Its a heavy lugged steel (NOT 4130) frame but its my size and I think I'll have fun with it.

The only thing I absolutely hate about the bike is the really ugly dropouts. They're just stamped steel, nothing special. I was thinking about replacing them, or at the very least modifying them.

Is it worth replacing them with track ends? I was thinking of just making my own track ends that would raise the bottom bracket a little bit as well as shorten the wheelbase a tad. Any comments? Or am I overthinking this and I should just ride the frame and have fun? Will shortenting the wheelbase screw up handling?

full of questions... thanks!!
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Old 10-19-06, 04:50 PM   #2
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Is it worth replacing them with track ends?
Nope. A Le Tour is a nothing-special bike that will treat you very well. I wouldn't reccomend throwing a bunch of money into it, but at the same time, don't cheap out. If you build (or buy) 27" wheels for it (I assume that's what came stock. What year is it?), you can avoind a little bit of pedal strike.
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I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:51 PM   #3
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between painting and having new ends brazed on you will have far outspent the value of the frame, I would guess. I am not clear on how you would raise the BB shell.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:55 PM   #4
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If you make your own track ends, the will still be cut out of a piece of steel, just like the stamped drop outs you have now. For the money you would put into it, you would end up with a heavy, old frame that cost you more than a brand new IRO or surly frame.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:56 PM   #5
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I'd riase it by making the droputs lower. Basically I got this frame for free and am wanting to learn to braze and build bikes. Or at least modify them.

I will be buying 700c wheels, since its what I can get that'll be durable enough for me (I'm about 315lbs). I am also going to be brazing on canti mounts, more for the experience than anything.

Pedal strike I am not too worried about though. I don't turn very fast
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Old 10-19-06, 04:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sivat
If you make your own track ends, the will still be cut out of a piece of steel, just like the stamped drop outs you have now. For the money you would put into it, you would end up with a heavy, old frame that cost you more than a brand new IRO or surly frame.
Cost will be NIL for this. I won't do anything that can't be done without parts from a scrap steel bin or my collection of derelict bikes in my garage. The only *new* thing I plan on buying for this thing is *maybe* a brake cable, and a wheelset that I will use on any frame anyway. The biggest expense besides the wheelset will be the torch. See my thread in the framebuilders section.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:12 PM   #7
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Oh, well for a brazing project, knock yourself out! Just be careful with DIY track ends. It seems like it could be a little sketchy.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:22 PM   #8
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You want the experience, Cost will be nil, and you won't be heartbroken if you irrepairably damage the frame? I'm not really seeing a reason not too. I'll give you the internet's go-ahead.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:23 PM   #9
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You want the experience, Cost will be nil, and you won't be heartbroken if you irrepairably damage the frame? I'm not really seeing a reason not too. I'll give you the internet's go-ahead.
LOL I like that "some guy on the Intarweb sed it was OK! w00+!"
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Old 10-19-06, 05:25 PM   #10
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I was really just asking if track ends are worth it. I think I'll just stick with modifying the butt ugly dropouts that it has so that they aren't so ugly, and leave it at that.

BTW, paint will be Krylon... or walmarts cheapest.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:46 PM   #11
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As an owner of a le tour, I agree that the bike is a heavy beast. At least compared to the nice new columbus steel bike I have now. Its a nice bike, and I was contemplating having track ends put on as well, but decided against it. But for a project, I think it would be fun. One option for the "track ends" is to cut off the old ones, and flip em around. At least thats what the owner of my LBS suggested. Good luck, and I hope we get to see some pics.
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Old 10-19-06, 07:01 PM   #12
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Sorry, I didn't realize that you would be doing all the work. In that case, knock yourself out. If you are going to do it yourself, why not buy a set of the surly fork ends, or get some forged dropouts? The cost won't be much, and you'll have the learning experience. Better yet, head down to a bike co-op or the oldest bike shop you can find and see if they have a junked frame with decent dropouts that you could uuse.
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Old 10-19-06, 07:20 PM   #13
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first post!

I just got done converting a Super Le Tour with the 4130 steel.. it's a real nice and light bike.. i'm having alot of fun! I went to sheldon's bike shop (harris) and ordered two wheels.. both mavic open sport laced to IRO hubs. (free/fixed real) sooo now i have two decent wheels i can throw on to any frame i want and go.. gearing 45x16.. really nice for freewheel/lancaster so far

Question.. i see everyone is no too hot on the le tour.. what do you think of the super le tour in 4130.. is this a frame worth attention.. or a little more attention??? thanks!!
-Miles
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Old 10-20-06, 12:28 AM   #14
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some bike i got on CL was a le tour. aluminum. not the super le tour though. its pretty lightweight once stripped of all the uglies.

stop talkin such trash on our le tours! i love mine and its my only working bike!
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Old 10-20-06, 01:15 AM   #15
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There will be pix once its all done. I decided to keep the dropouts, but I modified them. They have this huge "ear" that sticks out with a big hole in it for a rack or something. I shaved one off tonight, will do the other soon. Gotta get a new file. I wore out the free one that I had lol. Got all the braze-ons off though.

The other thing is the chainstay bridge. Its currently a VERY ugly steel plate that had a kickstand bolted to it. It will be going away, replace with a scrap of tubing between the chainstays. In fact when this thing is done you'll never know its a letour....
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Old 10-20-06, 10:51 AM   #16
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Not that you asked but here's my LeTour (cromo), I lerv it. New stuff since this pic, shimano 72 BB, old campy seatpost stole on ebay, fizik seat from the LBS sale box (it's incomprehensible what people replace on a new bike before they ride it out of the shop), and a nice old reynolds 531 half chromed fork with campy dropouts that cut like a half a pound over the cheapy tange that came on it, and tightened up my geometry.

I thought about getting rid of Braze Ons, but smart guys on this forum say best way to get rid of them is blow torch them off if you're stripping it. I'd love to get rid of mine but don't want to lose the old paint job so they just kinda ride around every where I go.

Replacing the dropouts in would be way out of my league. Mine have some kind of stainless steel fittings on the rear ones that kinda make them at least look ok.

Best of luck with yours
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Old 10-20-06, 11:19 AM   #17
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Cool! This bike is similar to how mine looks now. See the ugly dropouts? Mine look more civilized now.

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2006...onRooney-1.jpg

Mine is that color. Its been sanded down to the white primer in many spots, and it will NOT be white or orange when its done....
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Old 10-20-06, 11:45 AM   #18
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Yeah, I see. They're kinda stamped out. Here's a shot of the ones on mine and the freewheel side of the flip flop. You can see the stainless steel collars I was talking about. Not sure why they're different--other than different years of the bike.
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