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The V'Geur Project

Old 11-26-16, 09:40 PM
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The V'Geur Project

I bought this frame for $20 about 6 months ago. I believe it's a 1980 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8.



I never managed to take pictures that show it clearly, but it was pretty badly damaged from a front end collision. The top and down tubes had bulges just behind the lugs. There was a dent around the middle of the top tube and the top tube was slightly bowed. The fork was pretty severely bent, with one leg bent a bit further than the other.

On the other hand, all of the chrome was in perfect condition. So I kept it in the garage, trying to figure out a way to salvage it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it was beyond my skills so I sought help from @gugie. I took it by Atelier Gugie and after fixing most of the problems while I watched, and even letting me roll out the top tube dent under his guidance, gugie let me know later that evening that he had finished with it. The head tube didn't quite recover its original angle and if you look for it you can see a bit of bend in the tubes, but overall it looks a whole lot better and it's straight and properly aligned.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures showing the frame in its freshly straightened form with the paint stripped in key places to check for structural damage. I was too excited by the odd coincidence that one of the three bottle of paint I had in the garage just happened to be a near perfect match for this frame.

I had most of the parts I needed for a trial build on hand. I had to buy brakes, a Schwinn-sized quill adapter and rear brake cable and borrowed clamp-on cable guides and downtube bosses. Putting it all together, I got to ride it for the first time today -- just up and down the block to check the brake setup, but I think it's going to work.

V'Geur has returned!





This is just phase 1 of the project. If it does indeed turn out to ride well, the next step is a basic 650B conversion. The tires I have on it now are 700x35. They clear the frame just fine, but the Tektro R559 brakes just barely go high enough to hit the rims and the front tire nearly scrapes the bottom of the caliper. It looks like 38mm 650B tires will be an easy fit and I might even be able to use 42s.
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Old 11-27-16, 01:22 AM
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Looks great, I wouldn't even suspect that the toptube had been badly dented if you hadn't told us.
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Old 11-27-16, 01:26 AM
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Nice save.
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Old 11-27-16, 09:57 AM
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I like it. Practical transport and a frame saving learning experience. 'Le Atelier Gug' is building a deserved rep.

Question: Is there a convenient local source (PDX) for all those clamp on thingies. I need a bunch: 3 TT, 1 for DT boss, 1 for ST/BB FD routing (single sided).
I should be riding this AM in Tigard area, but didn't have room for the family AND a bike. The wife was unrelentingly insistent on making this trip.

edit: How do you pronounce V'geur, it almost looks like something I wouldn't want to be called, personally? V'yeur? and definately not a project for me.
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Old 11-27-16, 02:30 PM
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@Wildwood: probably a Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) reference.

Boldly Go, AndyK!
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Old 11-27-16, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post


edit: How do you pronounce V'geur, it almost looks like something I wouldn't want to be called, personally? V'yeur? and definately not a project for me.
Name figures prominently in a Star Trek storyline...
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Old 11-27-16, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
@Wildwood: probably a Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) reference.

Boldly Go, AndyK!
A sentient, massive entity which threatened Earth in 2271, en route to find its "Creator." In doing so, V'Ger destroyed anything it encountered by digitizing it for its memory chamber.

I'll remember this for the next 'What should I Name My Next Bike and Why???' thread

Massive entity, destroyed anything it encountered = Schwinn Varsity type of name.

V'Ger destroyed anything it encountered by digitizing it for its memory chamber - See more at: Star Trek V'Ger
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Old 11-27-16, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Precisely. It hasn't become sentient yet, as far as I know. What it means to me is that it's a survivor (in the non-collector sense obviously).

Incidentally, in researching this bike I discovered that the French spelling of "voyageur" specifically refers to the French Canadians who engaged in fur trade.



That also fits with the rough and rugged state of this bike.

I also learned that the "11.8" apparently referred to the weight of the original bike in kilograms, so as currently built mine is now a Voyageur 11.2!
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Old 11-27-16, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I like it. Practical transport and a frame saving learning experience.
Yep. As beater bikes go, I think this is going to be a pretty nice one. I've been entertaining thoughts of having it powdered coated and getting replacement decals, but I don't think it's nearly worth that. I still may do it, depending on how well my sloppy touch up paint holds on.


Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
'Le Atelier Gug' is building a deserved rep.
Quite so.


Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Question: Is there a convenient local source (PDX) for all those clamp on thingies. I need a bunch: 3 TT, 1 for DT boss, 1 for ST/BB FD routing (single sided).
The City Bikes annex, a couple of blocks from Universal, has a box full of them, but they ask eBay-like prices for things that are in "as found" condition. Community Cycling Center might have something, but I haven't specifically looked for clamp on things there.

Like I said, the ones I have now are borrowed. I'm eventually going to have to do something about that.
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Old 11-27-16, 05:13 PM
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I like the quill adapter! Beats trying to do something with the steerer.
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Old 11-27-16, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
The City Bikes annex, a couple of blocks from Universal, has a box full of them, but they ask eBay-like prices for things that are in "as found" condition. Community Cycling Center might have something, but I haven't specifically looked for clamp on things there.

Ditto on Citybikes Annex, although they're rearranged things to put the "grab bag" parts behind a sign. I can't remember if you can dig through the bins any more.

Norther Cycles
appeared to have a collection of clamp-on stops when I looked last.
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Old 11-27-16, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I like the quill adapter! Beats trying to do something with the steerer.
Yeah. It looks a bit like a golf tee, but it is considerably better than the alternatives.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:41 PM
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It's a shame the original stem could not be used. They are nice looking pieces of components. It's that 22 dia size which gives people the hard time.
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Old 11-28-16, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
It's a shame the original stem could not be used. They are nice looking pieces of components.
I'm not sure the stem it came to me with was original. It was missing the clamp bolt and was generally in pretty rough condition. In any event, I needed something a bit taller.

The frame also had a Schwinn headbadge taped to it when I bought it, but I know that was the wrong one -- it's an oval "Chicago" badge.

Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
It's that 22 dia size which gives people the hard time.
It's 21.15 actually, beyond reach of sandpaper. French bikes have got nothing on Schiwnns in the funky steerer department.

I tried to talk gugie into brazing in a new steerer for me, but he got me to see the light of reason.
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Old 11-28-16, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I tried to talk gugie into brazing in a new steerer for me, but he got me to see the light of reason.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:01 PM
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I think I recently read that this frame does in fact make a great 650b conversion. I can't remember who said it or did it.

Anyway, good for your bravery for riding a bent (and bent-back) frame. My mother picked up a UO-8 frame from the street and gave it to me. It had also been in a front-end, and I crudely bent it back into shape and used it as my commuter bike for a few years.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:08 PM
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It's good to see the old bike up and running.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I think I recently read that this frame does in fact make a great 650b conversion. I can't remember who said it or did it.

Anyway, good for your bravery for riding a bent (and bent-back) frame. My mother picked up a UO-8 frame from the street and gave it to me. It had also been in a front-end, and I crudely bent it back into shape and used it as my commuter bike for a few years.
I'm counting on the tubes failing one at a time if they fail at all. I'll keep my dental insurance up-to-date, just in case.

One of the big things pushing me toward a 650b with this bike, apart from just wanting to be one of the cool kids, is that I can't fit fenders with the wheel/tire/brake combination it has now. For a bike that came with 27" wheels and was marketed as a touring bike, that really surprised me. On the other hand, I suppose it's that very property that is going to make this possible without brazing on brake bosses.
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Old 11-29-16, 05:13 PM
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I rode this bike to work today. So far, so good.

It was a little twitchy, though that may be confirmation bias speaking because I was expecting/looking for twitchiness. If I didn't know anything about the geometry beforehand I'm not sure I'd have been able to put my finger on what was different about it. It held a line nicely once it was moving at a decent pace. My route to work has depressingly few turns, but based on very limited feedback I'd say cornering with this bike is going to be fun.

The one low point is that I definitely confirmed that these tires are too big for the current build. Toward the end of my commute I started to hear the front tire scraping. I knew the clearance at the front caliper was tight, but I didn't expect any kind of rubbing. It turned out that enough road grit had accumulated to completely fill the space and was starting to pack in around the fork. When I got to work I tried clearing it out with a key, but the key was too thick to fit between the tire and the brake.

So I guess at this point I have two options: smaller tires or smaller wheels. I won't have the cash for new wheels until spring, so I might see if I can fit 700x25 tires with fenders but given that I have a dedicated foul weather beast this bike is likely to go into hibernation.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:25 AM
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Nice! I wouldn't have thought a bike with that damage could be salvaged and still perform nice and look great. I've also got an 80 V'ger 11.8 I've been riding it a lot lately. Got 27" 1-3/8 on it, good enough for me and my roads.

Being a big trekkie I always think vee-jerr like in Start Trek The Motion Picture when I type out "V'ger" on the forums. And that movie was only days away from being the same year! (though it wasn't a terribly great movie )


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Old 11-30-16, 06:56 AM
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Nice looking Schwinn. I hate to be that girl but.......is that fork OK?
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Old 11-30-16, 10:15 AM
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All of the bend was down below the fork crown - we looked at it from every angle. I believe the 1" steerer isn't butted, so it's pretty beefy. The crown joints to the blades and steerer were sound.

The amount of bending I did to the fork was about the same as when I rerake.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Nice looking Schwinn. I hate to be that girl but.......is that fork OK?
Yes---the second photo shows that there's still a bend where the steerer tube meets the fork crown. Note the criterium geometry-like minimal clearance between the front tire and the down tube, some of which is attributable to the tire size and some to the fork bend and the top and down tube bends (note the steep head tube angle). It's not surprising that the handling is twitchy.

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Old 11-30-16, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yes---the second photo shows that there's still a bend where the steerer tube meets the fork crown.
That's a photo-induced illusion. Believe me, I've checked and double checked.
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Old 11-30-16, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
Nice! I wouldn't have thought a bike with that damage could be salvaged and still perform nice and look great. I've also got an 80 V'ger 11.8 I've been riding it a lot lately. Got 27" 1-3/8 on it, good enough for me and my roads.
Can you fit fenders with those tires?

I put the 25's on last night and with the brakes I'm using there still isn't room for the front fender with reasonable clearance between the tire and the fender. The R559's do dip a bit below the fork crown, so maybe other brakes would make it possible, but I don't see how you could get fenders on this bike with 27 inch wheels.
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