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Project Eroica

Old 11-24-17, 01:09 AM
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Project Eroica

I was looking for a bike I can prepare for Eroica California in April, and came across this Schwinn. I found it at a yard sale and picked it up for $25.
Except for lighter alloy wheels and perhaps climbing gears I want to keep it as original as possible.
A good cleaning and new bearings will be first.

What year is this Le Tour?
The head badge is stamped 1131
I'm thinking a Japanese made 1981?
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Old 11-24-17, 09:39 AM
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Old 11-24-17, 11:42 AM
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Appears from the badge to be an 81. Good platform for a comfortable riding bike if it fits you. Not going to race with it though.

Wheel change is smart. Climbing gears might mean other changes as well. I love changing my Le Tour II up as well.
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Old 11-24-17, 12:07 PM
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If financially thats all you can afford, I get it, and totally relate. But a LeTour is kinda soulless. A gaspipe Gitane or Peugeot at least has a little character. A LeTour is what a teenager would ride to school or commute to work on before they could drive. The L'Eroica events "require" something with a racing heritage. Besides I think there is a silent ban on Schwinns other than Wastyn or Kostner ave. built Paramounts.
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Old 11-24-17, 12:31 PM
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L'Eroica is sorta like a cosplay thing. The scene is the Giro d'Italia, somewhere between 1909 and the mid-eighties. Pick you favorite hero from that period. Alfredo Binda, Gino Bartali, Briek Schotte, Eddy Merckx, whomever. Pretend to be him. And make your bike to look like it might have been his.

From that perspective, there's some work to be done on that Schwinn.

Having said that, with the right parts it could be made into something that will look the part (and rides nicely too if I understand @3speedslow correctly - I've never ridden a Schwinn myself). Something like this low end Mercier:

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Old 11-24-17, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
If financially thats all you can afford, I get it, and totally relate. But a LeTour is kinda soulless. A gaspipe Gitane or Peugeot at least has a little character. A LeTour is what a teenager would ride to school or commute to work on before they could drive. The L'Eroica events "require" something with a racing heritage. Besides I think there is a silent ban on Schwinns other than Wastyn or Kostner ave. built Paramounts.
I'm so glad you can relate to us financial strapped individuals while inforcing the "silent. ban".
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Old 11-24-17, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nooner View Post
I was looking for a bike I can prepare for Eroica California in April, and came across this Schwinn. I found it at a yard sale and picked it up for $25.
Except for lighter alloy wheels and perhaps climbing gears I want to keep it as original as possible.
A good cleaning and new bearings will be first.

What year is this Le Tour?
The head badge is stamped 1131
I'm thinking a Japanese made 1981?
Nooner, Try not to take some of these negative posts to heart. Your Le Tour is certainly a perfect decent ride for Eroica. If your intention is to get it ready and ride it cheaply, it would be great for that. If, on the other hand you want to change a bunch of stuff, and really customize it, I would advise looking around for something a bit lighter. This Le Tour, even with lighter alloy wheels will probably be around 30 lbs. A higher spec race bike will probably be in the 23-25 lbs range. With some looking, you could probably find a higher spec bike that doesn't need the wheels upgraded, for less than a new wheelset for this bike. If you do stick with this one, I would certainly swap out the wheels. From what I understand, there are a number of pretty sketchy dirt descents. I wouldn't want to try that on chromed rims.

As for the age, it looks to be a 1981, so 1020 Hi-Ten frame and fork, and Shimano Altus derailleurs / shifters. On the plus side, the Sugino Maxy crank is 110BCD, so you could toss a 34T small chainring on there to help tame the climbs.
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Old 11-24-17, 10:41 PM
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At last years event I saw no Eroica mafia inspecting bikes. If they did the Le Tour would pass the required equipment regs. No worries here.
I also saw no silent ban on Schwinn or any other brand bike.
On the ride last year I saw a huffy passing a bianchi, much to the bianchi riders chagrin.
To me for this ride it's the motor more than the machine.
You are supposed to suffer a bit between wine breaks.
I'll save purchasing a colnago arabesque for another time...

My goal is the same as last years goal... to finish.
I'm not worried about weight, or the climbs. They were both challenging but not back breaking.
Some of the descents however, were a bit eye opening.
Brakes and wheels are gonna be a focus on the build too.


Thanks to the folks who gave advice.
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Old 11-24-17, 11:35 PM
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L'Eroica is supposed to be about racing bikes, so that doesn't really qualify in spirit. That said, I would not complain if you were riding it next to me at Eroica. That said, I would not spend a penny on making that into an Eroica bike (i.e. lighter wheels, lower gears). Much better to seek out a more appropriate bike rather than try to put lipstick on a pig.
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Old 11-24-17, 11:49 PM
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Eroica Cali is anything but a "race".
https://www.eroicacalifornia.com/regulation

Eroica California™ is a non-competitive cycling event (hereinafter also defined as "ride" or, improperly, "race") taking place in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California from Saturday April 14 to Sunday April 15, 2018.
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Old 11-25-17, 07:06 AM
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I'd say go for it, but don't spend too much on upgrades, other than aluminum rims, KoolStop brake pads, low-friction brake cables, and maybe a better saddle.
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Old 11-25-17, 07:13 AM
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This is an entertainment event. The organizers are probably interested in making some money or at least not showing a loss. They also support a charity as well with part of the proceeds. I am sure they want to encourage participation and keep ridership up in order to keep the event sustainable.

The rules regarding the bikes do not exclude any brand. The OP's bike is very appropriate and fits all of the guidelines laid out in the regs...without changing a thing except perhaps the seat. They have a bike show for the purists but again, the event itself appears to be not exclusive to any specific brands.
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Old 11-25-17, 08:20 AM
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You can do better than your $25 Le Tour for this event. Set a reasonable budget and look around for a nice Miyata, Italvega, Univega, Nishiki or similar 80's bike that will be lighter and take appropriate gearing and tires. I think you can put together a completely acceptable ride for under $500 if you shop carefully (now is a good time to buy tires, tubes, etc.) that will give you pleasure far beyond the end of Eroica. In fact, I know a guy who is selling a very nice Mondia that was ridden twice in that event that is ready to go and could be had for pretty much that price plus shipping.
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Old 11-25-17, 08:36 AM
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Some things you could do to jazz up your LeTour. Back in the day when that model LeTour was made, black anodized components were very popular. You can do a mock anodizeing with satin or semi-gloss spray paint.

Your bike is a great color. And the black components would give it a vintage cool look. I would paint the chainrings and chainguard. Or remove chainguard altogether. Leave crank arms silver. Get some Weinmanm sidepulls (just a cleaner look than centerpulls) and paint the calipers black. Paint the handlebar stem and seatpost black. Paint the derailleurs black.

Downtube shift levers or barend levers.

Find a set of wheels with black or gray rims. Gum wall tires.

Finish off with white saddle and bar tape.
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Old 11-25-17, 09:00 AM
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I can't help it. If I was building a Eroica bike, I'd make a "sleeper" bike. Something with a lot of patina (scrapes, scratches, faded paint, etc), something that would not be recognized as high end/special, a frankenbike build wise, just a bunch of parts I like that play well together. Something Japanese for sure, as the bike snobs prefer Italian. Lots of scratches and scrapes, yet standard parts sizing so you could build up with almost anything.

Example 1: 1973 World Voyageur
[IMG]1973 Schwinn World Voyageur - 3 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]


[IMG]1973 Schwinn World Voyageur - 2 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]


Started as this:

[IMG]1973 Schwinn World Voyageur B4 - 1 by wrk101, on Flickr[/IMG]

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Old 11-25-17, 09:23 AM
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Is that the right seat height for youin the pic? If so, frame is way too big. How tall are you?

By the time you upgrade the LeTour with wheels, etc., you could be well ahead with any below, but these are tall boy frames too.

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/...394472983.html

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...394598103.html

I'd be all over this, just my size too.
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sg...396310190.html

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Old 11-25-17, 09:37 AM
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The pics of the bike are "as is", with not one change of my own yet.
I'm 6'3" and the frame fits me fine.
I won't have time to start the build until next week, right now I'm looking for a source for parts like bearings and such.
I'm not worried about snobbery, I still greet them as I pass them by.
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Old 11-25-17, 09:41 AM
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Seems there is a difference on the meaning of l'Eroica.
How unsurprizing.
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Old 11-25-17, 10:06 AM
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The LeTour in question is made in Japan, right. Are Japanese bikes and components allowed?
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Old 11-25-17, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
The LeTour in question is made in Japan, right. Are Japanese bikes and components allowed?

l'Eroica is a French or Italian word, maybe only those nationalities are respected.
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Old 11-25-17, 10:55 AM
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BICYCLE

Unless otherwise communicated on the websites of the single events, the Eroica rides are exclusively organized for Historical Bikes and for Vintage Style Bikes as explained hereafter.
Historical Bikes (also called Bici Eroiche in Italian) are all road racing bikes built in 1987 or earlier both with gears and without gears, as those built in the late 1800ís and early 1900ís.

I don't see anything in the rules that disqualifies an 81 Japanese Schwinn.

I think a lot of the negative commenters are talking from their saddle
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Old 11-25-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
L'Eroica is sorta like a cosplay thing.
It may be a bit of cosplay for some but many of those old guys riding are taking no prisoners! Having ridden a number of Eroica's now, I can say that for most of those "old guys" who ride the long route their bikes and gear are what they ride every day. They will pass you on a climb in the big ring with a baguette under their arm while drinking Chianti! They are the real deal!!!
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Old 11-25-17, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
The LeTour in question is made in Japan, right. Are Japanese bikes and components allowed?
Yes, they are. As long as your bike fits the 'spirit of the event', which is vintage bike racing, you're good.

With a few changes that Schwinn would fit those requirements easily.

Get rid of the rack, the reflectors, the dork disk and pants guard, and you're pretty much there. No money needed, just a little work.
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Old 11-25-17, 11:47 AM
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As long as it passes the rules you can use it. A racing bike is a bike that people would race on and that includes top and bottom end models.

That being said after travel, accommodations, incidentals, and entry fees the event is not particularly budget friendly which is why you may raise some eyebrows with a $25 low end bike. It is like paying for a $2000 tuition to a photography course and showing up with a 12 year old point and shoot.
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Old 11-25-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
If financially thats all you can afford, I get it, and totally relate. But a LeTour is kinda soulless. A gaspipe Gitane or Peugeot at least has a little character. A LeTour is what a teenager would ride to school or commute to work on before they could drive. The L'Eroica events "require" something with a racing heritage. Besides I think there is a silent ban on Schwinns other than Wastyn or Kostner ave. built Paramounts.
Super Le Tour was a hot ride, too.
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