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  1. #1
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    "Dutch"-ing a Schwinn Le Tour?

    I really need to get my bike set up for better comfort. Finding I am not a fan of drops and missing my previous bikes with the north road style bars. Sooo...

    I have a 3 speed hub lying around. I have one of the Wald dual rear basket set ups. Velo Orange has some decent looking bars at decent looking prices, and I'm sure my co-op has some options as well. I'm kind of thinking of a poor man's Dutch bike build.

    Some questions in the back of my mind:

    Do I swap in new wheels? It has the original steel wheels. I know some folks here have kept the steel and tweaked the brakes. I was also looking at the new Sturmey-Archer catalogue and I'm thinking of going with the 5 speed IGH and drum brake with a dynohub/drum brake up front. Save the 3 speed for another project.

    If I swap the wheels, do I get into the 700c v. 27" debate? On one hand, bumping down a size gives me the option of studs in the winter. Or I keep the originals and find a different bike that can run studs.

    I'm seriously giving thought, as much as I would just like to get it done, of doing the work myself to learn the skills. Shouldn't be too hard with some trips to the co-op.

    Mostly just thinking out loud for my benefit as I contemplate a summer project.
    Andrew

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  2. #2
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    Keep it stock. Flip the bars.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    Dutch utility bikes usually have steel, 28 x 1 1/2 wheels(700B).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicbicyclist View Post
    Dutch utility bikes usually have steel, 28 x 1 1/2 wheels(700B).
    Well, poor man's version using as much of what I already have.

    My wheels ride pretty well. If I can work on the brakes, or utilize the drum bikes, I don't think they would be half bad.

    The idea is having a pretty utility oriented back than can get me up to work, haul stuff, be good in the weather and be pretty reliable. I don't have the $$$ for the awesome Dutch style bikes at the LBS, so I might as well see if I can do it with what I have.
    Andrew

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  5. #5
    W A N T E D Juggler2's Avatar
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    I've already added the north road style bars to my Schwinn Speedster (SA 3spd). I've ordered a black Brooks B66 for it, that should be here Monday afternoon. The bike has full fenders (stock) and a rear rack. I've added a black Wald 135 (front basket), although the jury is still "out" on that. No complaints about the basket, it seems sturdy enough. I'm just not sure I want it on this bike.

  6. #6
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Well, poor man's version using as much of what I already have.

    My wheels ride pretty well. If I can work on the brakes, or utilize the drum bikes, I don't think they would be half bad.

    The idea is having a pretty utility oriented back than can get me up to work, haul stuff, be good in the weather and be pretty reliable. I don't have the $$$ for the awesome Dutch style bikes at the LBS, so I might as well see if I can do it with what I have.
    No reason your bike can be updated enough to fill your needs, mate. So don't be discouraged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggler2 View Post
    I've already added the north road style bars to my Schwinn Speedster (SA 3spd). I've ordered a black Brooks B66 for it, that should be here Monday afternoon. The bike has full fenders (stock) and a rear rack. I've added a black Wald 135 (front basket), although the jury is still "out" on that. No complaints about the basket, it seems sturdy enough. I'm just not sure I want it on this bike.
    This post just shows you what can be done for a few buck as you have them to spend to "transform"
    your bike into a really nice utility bike.

    One item seldom mentioned when bars are changed is the addtion of a fully adjustable stem to
    allow the height to be adjust to your needs by putting the bars exactly where you want'em. Invest in some really decent handgrips and enjoy a comfy ride.

    Fenders, racks etc. can all be added so "transform" away!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I had a '77 LeTour bock in the day, bought it new. In less than a year I bent three frames hitting Detroit potholes. I gave up on it even though the frames were replace free under the lifetime warrenty. I would not recommend it as a utility bike. They were OK sports bikes for light riders; as a commuter with a strong 185lb rider it did not make the grade.
    Graywolf--
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  8. #8
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    So far it's survived with me.

    I'm probably going to go with new wheels. Seems to be a better choice. I'll save the originals for trade or ebay fodder. Fenders, bell, dyno lights will all be in order.

    It was kind of funny today. I was on a group ride today-our local "Critical Manners" that I had helped start last year-with the Schwinn. I only use the back gears. Haven't found much reason to use the front here. At one point one of the other cyclists commented and asked if I rode a lot. He noticed I was riding in a lower gear than most to keep the RPMs going-as he put it, the sign of a better rider. I just laughed and said it was more because I ride it as a 5 speed and sometimes have to gear down to keep going.

    I have my regrets in trading off my other bike for this one. Overall, with the ability to swap in an IGH, I think it will be a great city bike.
    Andrew

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  9. #9
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    Aluminum rimmed wheels is the best improvement you can make to that bike, good decision.

    Those internal gear hubs weigh a ton. What is the advantage?

  10. #10
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    1) Ability to put a chain guard/case on it to keep pants clean and reduce the chance of them getting caught in the chain/crank.

    2) Gears sealed off from the weather-less chance of wear from dirt and grit.

    3) Pretty solid reputation. The wheels aren't dished, so a bit more strength.

    4) You can shift without the need for pedaling. Great for those moments when you get caught at an unexpected light.
    Andrew

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  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Aluminum rimmed wheels is the best improvement you can make to that bike, good decision.

    Those internal gear hubs weigh a ton. What is the advantage?
    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    1) Ability to put a chain guard/case on it to keep pants clean and reduce the chance of them getting caught in the chain/crank.

    2) Gears sealed off from the weather-less chance of wear from dirt and grit.

    3) Pretty solid reputation. The wheels aren't dished, so a bit more strength.

    4) You can shift without the need for pedaling. Great for those moments when you get caught at an unexpected light.
    All of what he said and they really aren't that much heavier when you consider you are eliminating a freewheel, 2 derailleurs, 1 or 2 front chain rings, and some chain. An IGH does change the balance of the bike a bit, but it isn't noticeable when riding for the most part. You also gain a fair amount in reduced maintenance and durability. FWIW I have a couple of Sturmey Archer 3 speeds on old Raleighs that have seen over 20,000 miles of service and are still ticking along just fine.

    politicalgeek,
    I would go ahead and go for it, worst that could happen is the frame might give out, then you can just swap the stuff over to another one....been there done that more than once.

    Here is a link to a very affordable dyno hub from Velo-Orange. They also have a Shimano Dyno hub already built into a wheel for $160.

    Here is a picture of my current "Dutch" bike.

    Aaron

    Last edited by wahoonc; 05-17-09 at 03:33 PM.
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  12. #12
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Well depending on the emails I get back from CL, there might be a slight change of plans to this.

    There is a mixte frame listed at $10 that might be a better start to this project.
    Andrew

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  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    politicalgeek, I've done stuff like this. In fact, I'm in the midst of it with my commuter bike which originally had drop bars. I have north road bars on it now but am about to try some nearly-flat bars, as the north road bars create a reach that's too short for me.

    But before you go any farther, check out what new bikes cost. Find a bike you like. Bear its price and qualities in mind as you prepare to embark on the conversion process.

    Having said that, it's a lot of fun to do these conversions.

    Where do you live, and what is this co-op you're speaking of?


    I like the idea of changing to an internally geared hub. So what if it's heavy? Weight is not the critical thing in a bike like this.

    However, I do recommend aluminum rims.

    So we're changing the hubs and the rims, so we're talking about building new wheels. This is the most fun type of bike maintenance. Lots of folks on bikeforums have learned to build their own wheels, and I recommend it. It's probably not cost effective to have them built for you.

    Check to see if your bike can hold 700c rims. It would require moving your brake pads down by 4mm. It's probably possible. This will make a wide variety of rims and tires available to you. 27" stuff is available but becoming scarce. It's not a crisis, and it probably won't ever be, but the variety available just isn't as good.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  14. #14
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Columbus,OH and Third Hand Co-Op. For those that might not know, co-ops are usually places where you can grab some stand time, get help with mechanics, use the tools and scrounge for parts.

    I probably will give wheel building a shot, at least on one of the projects this summer.

    I may splurge one of these days on a new bike. But my riding is mostly in the city. I feel better having a bike that doesn't stand out.
    Andrew

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  15. #15
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. Most of my many bikes are ugly or non-descript, and that's fine by me.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    New York City and High Falls, NY
    noglider's ride blog

  16. #16
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post

    Here is a picture of my current "Dutch" bike.

    Aaron



    Love those panniers...who makes them?
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I know what you mean. Most of my many bikes are ugly or non-descript, and that's fine by me.
    I would love to splurge and buy a new bike or frame (maybe a Kogswell), but on my budget I can probably get a lot more bike for $50-60 from CL, the Co-op or a yard sale and put $100-200 in my parts on it than I could going to an LBS with $300-400.
    Andrew

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  18. #18
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Depending on how much work you can do, want to do, or want to learn how to do there are lots options. What I have found though is that dollars can really add up quickly when you are buying parts.

    If you really want IGH and dyno then you could get hubs, rims and build your own wheels.

    It would probably be a lot cheaper if you don't go igh and dyno and just simplify

    If you want to keep your frame, you could get a set of aluminum rim wheels either from a donor bike or from some place like Niagra Cycles.

    Set you self up for single chain ring up front and whatever number of rings works in the back, using a simple thumb shifter.....this will let you use a chain guard. You still have a rear derailer...but it is cheaper.

    Get some North/nitto type bars and a stem to make them higher.

    what ever seat fits you....I got a b17...but that is bigger budget item

    fenders of course

    rack and baskets/panniers

    go for something like the romisen for your light, simple, lots of light, easy to carry a couple of spare batteries. (search the lighting forum)

    I've have done this and it works well for me (I've posted the bike a bunch search this forum for "japanese 8 speed" to take a peek)
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
    Love those panniers...who makes them?
    Basil mine are the Karavan II model.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  20. #20
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    Depending on how much work you can do, want to do, or want to learn how to do there are lots options. What I have found though is that dollars can really add up quickly when you are buying parts.

    If you really want IGH and dyno then you could get hubs, rims and build your own wheels.

    It would probably be a lot cheaper if you don't go igh and dyno and just simplify

    If you want to keep your frame, you could get a set of aluminum rim wheels either from a donor bike or from some place like Niagra Cycles.

    Set you self up for single chain ring up front and whatever number of rings works in the back, using a simple thumb shifter.....this will let you use a chain guard. You still have a rear derailer...but it is cheaper.

    Get some North/nitto type bars and a stem to make them higher.

    what ever seat fits you....I got a b17...but that is bigger budget item

    fenders of course

    rack and baskets/panniers

    go for something like the romisen for your light, simple, lots of light, easy to carry a couple of spare batteries. (search the lighting forum)

    I've have done this and it works well for me (I've posted the bike a bunch search this forum for "japanese 8 speed" to take a peek)
    Personally I have always felt that cost isn't too much of an issue when it comes to bike-even the old ones. Say I spent $200 to get a set of wheels made. I'm still coming out ahead of what I would typically spend on a car in a given year. If the bike was just going to be a recreational deal, I would probably economize. But transportation?
    Andrew

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  21. #21
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I think all LeTours came with alloy rims.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    New York City and High Falls, NY
    noglider's ride blog

  22. #22
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Depends on the year from what I have come to understand. Mine is late '70s and has a nice set of steel wheels.
    Andrew

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  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Oh, gee. In that case, I highly recommend a set of aluminum rims. It will make a big difference.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    New York City and High Falls, NY
    noglider's ride blog

  24. #24
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Personally I have always felt that cost isn't too much of an issue when it comes to bike-even the old ones. Say I spent $200 to get a set of wheels made. I'm still coming out ahead of what I would typically spend on a car in a given year. If the bike was just going to be a recreational deal, I would probably economize. But transportation?
    I was going by your previous posts in that you wanted to be careful with your budget. I think that you are looking at a lot more than 200 to have wheels made..... If you look a velo orange a pre built front dyno and an 8sp igh are going to run $360 total. (a Pair of 105 hub freewheel are $195) Pre built wheels are usually less expensive than custom built wheels.

    parts (velo orange again) for a front dyno roughly $122 ($36 rim, $50 hub, $36 for spokes)

    Building your own wheels as an option is totally doable (especially with a coop)

    I am not trying to disuade you from igh/dyno....just noting that not going igh/dyno is cheaper.
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  25. #25
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    I want to watch the budget slightly. A few hundred on a vintage bike of pretty decent quality is easier on me than 300-400 on a new bike that would attract far more attention.

    I have a 3 speed hub just sitting here. So the hub cost won't be that much for the rear. VO also has their new dynohub at $50. So I just need a quote from the LBS on lacing the two up to a set of rims.

    Down the road I would love to contemplate a complete DIY bike build including wheels. Nashbar has a few frames I might look at, might keep an eye on CL, co-op and yard sale deals.

    I've seen the pictures of your bike on here before, SD. It;s always great to see what one can do with these things. I may even hold off on making this a complete utility bike. Might wait for a more suitable frame to come along (say a mixte or other step through style).
    Andrew

    Life On Two Wheels

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