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Schwinn LeTour Womens Bike - Good Value?

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Schwinn LeTour Womens Bike - Good Value?

Old 07-09-16, 12:09 PM
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ollorac
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Schwinn LeTour Womens Bike - Good Value?

Looking for a road bike for commuting in DC and came across this one. Can anyone offer some insight if it's a good value? Or advice on what to check for when buying would be hugely helpful as I'm pretty new to this.

Schwinn LeTour Womens Bike

Thank you!!
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Old 07-09-16, 01:23 PM
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mytenspeeds.com for advice.

Pic 5 shows something wrong at the fork and steering tube. At $250, that Le Tour should be perfect and clean, but it isn't.

Keep looking.

Last edited by oddjob2; 07-09-16 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:24 PM
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Thread moved from Classic & Vintage to C&V Appraisals.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:38 PM
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The bike was likely made in 1987. Given its current age, the condition appears reasonably good. The only exception looks to be with the divot in the seat, as mentioned in the advert. I don't think the seller is unreasonable with the pricing, considering its status as a garage queen.

What you'd be buying first and foremost is the frame. Think of it as getting one of the last of the USA-built Schwinns, in a rugged and reasonably lightweight package. True Temper was pretty good stuff, even if it didn't have the cache of Columbus Tenax (used for the Tempo, Super Sport). That it's a mixte adds to the value - as there weren't too many of those.

The single most important thing here is to ensure that the bike fits. If it doesn't and you have to stretch or squeeze into the riding platform then your commute is likely to be extremely unpleasant.

From a mechanical standpoint, the first thing to check would be the tires. If the ones on the bike are dry-rotted, they'll need to be replaced. Expect them to at least be partially dry-rotted. If you see fuzz on the side walls, plan on investing an additional $30-70 on tires.

Rims would be next. The bike likely has Weinmann 27"s on it, which you will need to examine to ensure they are in reasonable true. If not, there's an additional $15-20 per wheel to get them straight again.

You'll want to check the condition of the shifters, derailleurs, cables and even the bar tape. Any problem areas will need to be fixed before you commute.

Assuming you decide to buy - feel free to check back in at C&V for further assistance. And don't be discouraged by the people at your local bike shop that tell you it isn't worth the effort to fix because of the age - you can find another bike shop.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
mytenspeeds.com for advice.

Pic 5 shows something wrong at the fork and steering tube. At $250, that Le Tour Mixte should be perfect and clean, but it isn't.

Keep looking.
Saw that, then realized it was a zip tie.
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Old 07-09-16, 02:22 PM
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Worth about $75-100. If the seller thinks it's worth $250, then she's smoking crack....
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Old 07-09-16, 02:33 PM
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Thank you!

Thanks for the quick replies, everyone!
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Old 07-09-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
The bike was likely made in 1987. .....
Bullfeathers. It's a 6-speed rear, and it has a Huret rear derailleur, for gawd's sake. This would put it in the 1977-1982-ish time frame. Frame might be OK (but women's frames always used to be a detriment to 'serious' collectors, at least), but it's still not worth more than about $100. The seller is living in a fantasy world. Give it a month (NOBODY is going to buy it for the asking price), then give them a call. Mention that if it WAS worth what they were asking, why haven't they had an offer? Look at it, offer $50. Raise it to $75 if they balk. Don't offer $100 unless you really want it.

P.S., it's not a "Mixte"; that refers to a type of frame which has 2 small parallel downtubes which go straight from the headtube, passing either side of the seat tube, then ending at the dropouts. In olden times, this was a design where a man and a woman could share the same bike; many even had a detachable 'top tube' that the man could put on when he was riding it. This bike is a simple, 'women's' or 'step-through' frame, which hurts it's value overall.

Last edited by AlexCyclistRoch; 07-09-16 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-09-16, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
... And don't be discouraged by the people at your local bike shop that tell you it isn't worth the effort to fix because of the age - you can find another bike shop.
Cheap bikes like these are NEVER worth being fixed at your LBS. People who buy old bikes like this do the work themselves almost exclusively.
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Old 07-09-16, 04:17 PM
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What to look for? If you have $250 to spend, see if some local shop sells trade-in bikes. You can at least get an idea of what bike and size will work best for you. I'd bring someone with bike knowledge to a private sale to check out a bike. Type hybrid into your search and see if something comes up you like. They make good commuter's.
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Old 07-09-16, 04:19 PM
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To be honest, value and a woman's bike do not really go hand in hand. At least for collectors. And that is overpriced, it would have to be a wall hanger you want to spend that. Aka, minty and all but unused. Factor in maintenance if not done and you are in deep. I see these in the $75-150 range in my market which is good sized (about 4m in metro Phx).
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Old 07-10-16, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
The bike was likely made in 1987.
Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Bullfeathers. It's a 6-speed rear, and it has a Huret rear derailleur, for gawd's sake. This would put it in the 1977-1982-ish time frame...
@kunsunoke was nearly correct, it is an '86 model. Here are the relevant catalog pages:


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Old 07-10-16, 04:29 PM
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Take a look at the vintage Takara Challenge in Silver Spring (about an '84) touring bike for $150. Needs tires (tubes?), probably brake pads and lube but the LeTour probably does also. If you can do the repairs outside of a shop this may be worth a look. Must be correct frame size of course. It's an actual touring bike...real deal...that would be good for commuting. Condition important. At least it's a type of bike worth considering.
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Old 07-10-16, 05:06 PM
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Well, I stand corrected. Who would've though that even Schwinn would still be selling a 6-speed cluster freewheel with a Huret derailleur on anything but a low-end bike by 1986? FWIW, Huret was essentially dead by 1981, and once ?Sachs bought them, the ?Huret name nearly disappeared (for good reason, IMHO). Six-speed freewheels on anything but cheap department store bikes disappeared mostly by maybe 1982-1983. I guess Scwhinn really was behind the times then...

BTW, I guess even the people at Schwinn don't know how to properly use quick releases....

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Old 07-10-16, 07:16 PM
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Trek hybrid bikes (2)
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Old 07-10-16, 10:08 PM
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I found a his and hers set of Super Le Tours at a flea market in a great metallic red color. I liked the men's because it was large, but he wouldn't split the pair and wanted $250. They were 70s, the hers was a mixte, but they would quickly become a money pit, so I walked.
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