My first "good" bike as an adult was a 1987 Voyageur in a gorgeous Imperial Rose color (serial # K601503, though I don't remember where I found that info on the frame...)
I'm a big guy (+/- 250#) so I shied away from the "sport touring" and got a "real touring" outfit. I pulled our kids in a Burley, did my first century, and did a solo ride across Minnesota in 2000 before I retired that bike and got a new T2000 Cannondale that I now ride.
Because of my size, I did have some "issues" with stuff breaking. The first item that ended up needing replacement was the 40 spoke back wheel (to a 48 spoke tandem hub/rim). Next, one of the rails on the original seat broke (I always wanted a Brooks, anyway...) Finally, a seat stay came loose from the seat tube and, while the local Schwinn store where I got it was more than willing to provide a similar frame (the Voyageur was no longer being made...), I wanted a new bike and the T2000 was at the top of my "lust list". Nine years later, I gotta tell ya, I'm no lighter now - even a little heavier, sad to say - and have put twice the miles including self-contained solo touring, and have had zero issues with the Cannondale. (I even bought a spare T2000 frame, just in case my original broke and but haven't needed it...) I believe my Schwinn was made overseas, although I am not 100% sure. That may have been a factor and I know my weight was. Still, as much as I liked that bike, I was disappointed in it's durability.
One more noob question . . . I'm looking to overhaul my bearings/hubs and throughly clean my freewheel. Ive figured out most of everything however, how do you find out what size cone wrench you need? And do I need one of those freewheel remover things that you slide in in order to turn, or could a long socket wrench extend in there?
Main question is: what size cone's for the conewrenches do I have, and what size freewheel remover would I need (if I need one at all). Also, what size bearings and is there a recommendation on greese?
I love this bike, it just needs a good overhaul and cleanup. Thank you all immensely for your help.
You definitely need a freewheel remover. It's possible to take a freewheel off without one but it is usually a one-way trip. As far as cone wrenches go for the rear you'll probably need a 15mm, but it depends on the hub.
I bought an immaculate Voyageur off Craigslist for $100 from a lady in St. Louis. Mine is made in Japan, using Columbus tubing. I upgraded a lot of the parts so that I have indexed shifting, aero brake levers, bar-end shifters, and 700c wheels. But the frame is an awesome, awesome foundation for a touring bike. I'm not sure what year mine is--probably mid-to-late 1980s with the Schwinn decal on the seat tube, not the downtube. And it's a very cool green color.
Do you have further details on your upgrades? I have been thinking about switching to 700CC wheels since there are very limited options for the 27 1/4. I have also thought about the index shifting, but where did you mount your indexers, just bar end?
I would be interested in learning more about the process you have taken, for example I was overhauling my back wheel to find out that I have cartridge bearings and not cone-style. I don't think this is a disadvantage, but I was looking forward to repacking.
What was the total cost of the upgrades?
I have a 1980 Voyageur 11.8. I purchased it brand new back in 1980 for $400. Apart from the Paramount line, it was Schwinn's top of the line back at the time. It was marketed as a "touring" bike but is actually closer to a sport touring bike by today's standards. Beginning around 1983 and continuing into the early 1990's the voyageur was a serious touring bike with all the eyelets and braze-ons and geometry. I don't know where Metzenberg is getting his information but the Voyageur has been and is a highly regarding touring bike. I have toured on mine extensively. Here is a link to Schwinn catalogue scans and you can read about the voyageur over the years. Schwinn Catalog Scans
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. - G. K. Chesterton
Touring is the activity , a bike is the tool to do that activity..
I just redid an '89 Voyageur this past year and rode it 2,000 miles to NY State this past summer.
Tires: On the original 27" tires I found 27 x 1 1/4 Continental Gator Hardshells to be the best. Really, even under load, seemed like the frame was forgiving enough, especially the fork, that ANY 1 1/4 tire was forgiving enough. I was even running a cheapo Bell up front at one point with no problems.
Fenders: Bontrager (~$45).
After I switched to 700 wheels 700 x 32 Continental Gatorskins worked fine. I dunno that a wider tire would be needed. The only issue I had was traction off-pavement which is the reason I'm going to try premium (Schwalbe??) 700 x 35 tires w/tread this coming year.
Wheels: The only issue I had with the original 27" wheels was that the rear hub would not hold an adjustment, this may or may not have been due to me riding the bike many miles first on the original 25 year-old bearing grease. I had new wheels built by Universal Cycles (Mavic A719 rims, Shimano 105 hubs) (~$400 delivered).
Handlebars and stem: Switched out original drops and stem with trekking bar (~$30) and adjustable stem (~$25). Really, since I have not adjusted the stem and ride with my hands close to the stem on the ends of the trekking bars anyway I prob'ly coulda stayed with the original setup.
Headset: Chris King (~$120).
Bottom Bracket (~$35) and 44/32/22 crank (~$55). Mountain bike set, on sale, from Nashbar.
Pedals: Sealed bearing BMX type platform from Nashbar (~$55)
Cassette: 8 speed 11-34. The derailleur was adjusted so it would not go onto the 11 speed sprocket as the chain dragged on the chainstay in that gear. No great loss, I never needed the 11 tooth sprocket anyway.
Saddle: Brooks B17 (~$130)
Front rack: Bontrager (~$50)
Rear rack: Racktime (~$55)
Shifters: Original downtube non-indexing. Suit me fine, and will apparently work with any number of speeds on the cassette.
Derailleurs: Orginal, although I'll be needing a longer-cage rear derailleur to gove above a 34 tooth sprocket in back.
Throw in about $600 worth of bags and I could have bought a new bike, but this bike was a gift to me back in '90, and really, I dunno that it is eclipsed much by more recent models anyway. Biggest apparent drawback is that it only has room for 3 1/2 water bottles.
Last edited by Sharpshin; 08-18-14 at 08:24 AM.
I suspect typo/confusion, was 44 chainring instead of 34t on cassette. ..Cassette: 8 speed 11-44.
Ive never felt a need for more than a 95" top gear [50:14, 622-35]
Fixed it, I meant an 11-34 cassette.