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So I bought a Le Tour. Now what?

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So I bought a Le Tour. Now what?

Old 08-18-21, 06:34 AM
  #1  
denaffen
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So I bought a Le Tour. Now what?

I went and bought myself a mostly-complete 80s Schwinn Le Tour yesterday, mostly because I could get it for the price of a so-so lunch. The frame proclaims itself as 100% made in american chrome-moly with a double-butted main triangle, which seems awfully fancy for a Le Tour to me, but hey, cool. It needs a deep clean and has a spot or two of light surface rust, but nothing bad. Decent parts, too. Laprade seatbpost, SR stem and bars, nice SunTour derailleurs and "aero" downtube shifters

So now I'm wondering what I should do with it.
1. Strip it for parts and give away the frame to anyone who wants it.
2. Just give it a nice clean and put it together with stuff laying around the house for a quick flip.
3. Make a nice little single-speed/fixie out of it.
4. Build it up as an all-road beast. I believe I could fit 45s on this thing, no problem.

or... something else?
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Old 08-18-21, 07:16 AM
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Go on a Le Tour?
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Old 08-18-21, 07:40 AM
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Depends on the model. Some were if not bottom of the line then certainly nothing to brag about. Others were quite nice. What components does it have? Some came with the Schwinn Le Tour stamped parts, some came with Shimano stamped parts and some had Suntour Accushift.

Perhaps a photo?
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Old 08-18-21, 07:44 AM
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If you spent less than $100, set it aside for your entry in next year's Clunker 100 challenge?
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Old 08-18-21, 07:54 AM
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You can identify it if you go to the Waterford collection of Schwinn catalogs from the 80s.

The aero shifters mounted on top of the downtube are a c.1983-85 thing for LeTours. That era the seat post is a 26.4 mm; the next iteration c.1988? came with True Temper and took a 26.6. From the aero lever period on, the LeTour was actually a pretty nice bike, worlds better than the 70s examples that are mroe a nostalgia buy than anything else. It's worth making it run well in whatever mode you choose.

I like the suggestion of next year's Clunker Challenge - that's what I have planned for the 1989 example I bought for $15 recently, which is mothballed until then.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:22 AM
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Thanks rustystrings61 It's a dead ringer for the 85 on the catalog page.
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Old 08-18-21, 09:16 AM
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In answer to your question, ride it?
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Old 08-18-21, 09:51 AM
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I have two thoughts:

1. Post a photo of it.
2. Clean it, lube it, and ride it.

Regarding your #3, why on earth would you want to take a bike with decent Suntour derailleurs and turn it into a single/speed fixie? Extra work to create a less capable bike. Makes zero sense to me.
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Old 08-18-21, 10:56 AM
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Weíll, any bits removed for a SS conversion would surely get used elsewhere.

hereís a pic

(Iíd already removed some things)
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Old 08-18-21, 10:57 AM
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Another pic (from the seller)
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Old 08-18-21, 10:59 AM
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I'm leaning towards just cleaning it up well, skipping any respray or major parts changes, throwing some fat tires on it and just go ride the snot out of it.
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Old 08-18-21, 11:12 AM
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Cool looking bike! I like the "fat tires and ride the snot out of it" idea for sure.
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Old 08-18-21, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by denaffen View Post
I'm leaning towards just cleaning it up well, skipping any respray or major parts changes, throwing some fat tires on it and just go ride the snot out of it.
That's a nice bike. If it fits, do it!
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Old 08-18-21, 12:32 PM
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Nice amount of clearance - by '89 they clearances got tighter and top out around 28 mm.
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Old 08-18-21, 12:42 PM
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HUGE clearance. I measured it at ~50-55mm at both the stays and the forks.

Lots of nice touches on this frame. There's surprisingly nice dropouts, a chain peg on the stay, brazed-on kickstand mount than includes a slot to mount a fender, and so on. The wheels have butted spokes, too. Overall quality is just WAY higher than I expected from this thing. It's not the lightest, but it actually seems like a pretty darn nice touring frame.
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Old 08-18-21, 12:54 PM
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Soooooo.... what color should I paint it?
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Old 08-18-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Nice amount of clearance - by '89 they clearances got tighter and top out around 28 mm.
I've got an 89. They make darn good 650b conversions.
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Old 08-18-21, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by denaffen View Post
Soooooo.... what color should I paint it?
DIY repaints are a ton of work to get right. I vote for not repainting, cleaning up the existing paint with polishing compound and wax, and (optional) replacing the decals.
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Old 08-18-21, 04:35 PM
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Ride the snot out of it, then decide.
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Old 08-18-21, 05:06 PM
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I donít fear a respray. Iíve done a few before. Itís just work
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Old 08-19-21, 02:05 AM
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My mailman has a Le Tour four that he bought new. I rebuilt it for him and he loves it. I was actually surprised that , although not high end, how well made it was. The bike hadnít been ridden in twenty years so I did a deep clean and grease with cables, tires, and handlebar wrap. I tested it out after I got it off the stand and was surprised how smooth it rode. It is heavy, but still nice riding. You may like it!

Last edited by Kabuki12; 08-19-21 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 08-19-21, 06:10 AM
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of all the old bikes I rejuvenated, used then eventually sold, all the buyers were very grateful to get a ride-ready bike. I commend you for keeping this bike out of the trash heap & happy for any future buyer who gets to ride it
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Old 08-19-21, 07:12 AM
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Le Tours have a long history! Mine is from 76 and made in Japan by Bridgestone.

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Old 08-19-21, 08:01 AM
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This bike is small. Are you 5'6" to 5'8" tall?
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Old 08-19-21, 08:11 AM
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I am. It's one reason I bought it :-D
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