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1984 Schwinn LeTour conversion to fixed gear

Old 02-10-09, 10:39 PM
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DavidW56
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1984 Schwinn LeTour conversion to fixed gear

(I mistyped the thread title -- should read SUPER LeTour.)

Maybe this belongs in the Numbskull of the Day. But I don't want to be rude and reveal my ignorance, too. The seller is asking $400 for this 1984 Schwinn Super LeTour that he's converted to fixed gear. His description seems to say he did it the right way, with no hacking and nice components, plus he'll include the original drivetrain components. So is it worth $400?

http://detroit.craigslist.org/bik/1026355277.html

Very Clean 1984 Schwinn Super LeTour Fixed Gear - $400 (Royal Oak)

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This is a 58cm 1984 Schwinn Super LeTour fixed gear conversion in excellent condition, with lugged frame construction and Columbus Tenax tubing (light). Original components intact and either on the bike or included in sale EXCEPT original wheels, saddle, and pedals. Original wheelset replaced with a new Alex fixed/free wheelset mounted with a 16 tooth fixed cog and Michelin Dynamic tires. Saddle replaced with a rehabilitated vintage Belt leather saddle (Brooks knockoff) mounted to a Sakae TCO seatpost (surprisingly comfortable). More component highlights: vintage Kyokuto Top-Run pedals with chrome MKS clips and vintage Lapize straps, front brake only with new pads and original lever, original headset and bottom bracket rebuilt with Phil Wood grease, fresh black cloth bar tape, low mileage gold KMC chain, Tacx bottle cage, etc. All original drivetrain components included in sale (shifters, deraileurs, etc.) as well as rear brake and lever, original seatpost, and a vintage Avocet Touring saddle if you don’t like the Belt. This bike was assembled and tuned by yours truly, an ex-mechanic at two local shops and mechanical engineer by profession. Everything on this bike is perfectly adjusted and it's ready to ride. I'm asking $400 firm, but if you are a reasonable and decent person living in or near Royal Oak, I will help, within reason and at my discretion, keep 'er riding dialed (I am, after all, a bike geek). Email with questions.
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Old 02-11-09, 06:26 PM
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Sounds really high to me.
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Old 02-11-09, 07:31 PM
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Yeah, I saw this thread while I was at work and I thought Wow, Nice bike, Wow high price. I had an 83 Super LeTour. It was a really nice riding bike. Much nicer than the other Schwinn's I had. If you really want that bike and you don't mind paying top dollar, well it certainly is a nice frame and the wheels appear to be pretty nice.
One thing troubled me. My 83 was not Columbus tubing. I didn't think there were any changes to the frames from 83 to 84. Before you purchase it, check the Schwinn catalogs that are on line (sorry my PDF no longer works). Make sure the 84 (or 85) was made with Columbus tubing.
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Old 02-12-09, 12:18 AM
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Thank you both. No, I do not intend to buy it, although it is tempting. I just want a handle on what a nice vintage fixed gear bike should be worth. I think I want to try to build a fixed gear before I buy someone else's, but this is in the distant future. Not for a few months, anyway. I have an '80's Bianchi frame with no wheels that could be a start.

As to the tubing -- the catalogs online at trfindley.com say the 1985 Super LeTour was made with Columbus chrome-moly tubing, as you said. The 1984 catalog has a Super LeTour also with chrome-moly tubing; it specifically states the "main tubes are double-butted chrome-moly with chrome-moly stays", so the advertised bike seems legit on that issue.
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Old 02-12-09, 06:56 AM
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Most single speed or fixed gears are pretty simple to build, and the easiest ones are the older frames with no braze-ons. Most can be built in a few hours, and they are fun to ride.

I think the price is a little high, but there must be some reason I see the single speed bikes going for higher prices than I understand, so the market must be there. I think the bike is worth $200 in Eastern NC, as is, with the components.
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Old 02-12-09, 03:04 PM
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+1 About a $200 bike.

The "neat" thing about flipping a fixed gear is that you can breath life into a road bike that might only be worth $50 to $75 as is. So it can be a worthwhile conversion of a bottom end boomer bike (high ten steel frame, steel rims, cottered crankset).
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Old 02-12-09, 10:18 PM
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When I see an add that says crap like "asking $400 firm, but if you are a reasonable and decent person.." and "keep 'er riding dialed..", I beg for my click back.

$400 is on the high side, though the frame is nice. I'm (slowly) building my first fixed gear out of an '84 Le Tour (double-butted 4130). A lucky buy for $25 complete. Even with new wheels/tires/chainring/chain/cables & housing/brake levers/pads I intend to be in under $300. Maybe a little over with a decent new saddle, clipless pedals, & better brakes.
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