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Restoring a 1974 Schwinn Le Tour

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Restoring a 1974 Schwinn Le Tour

Old 11-29-10, 05:09 PM
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guthriepc
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Restoring a 1974 Schwinn Le Tour

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on the forums considering my newfound interest in biking... thanks for having me! I was recently passed down a 1974 Schwinn Le Tour (A423364), pictures at end of post, from my dad that he got from a garage sale for 5 dollars as a teenager. The only thing I've replaced thus far is the tubes, and it rides pretty well considering it's condition, but could definitely use some more fixing up. I don't want to pay anything outrageous for parts because I wanted to use this bike to sort of get my feet wet and learn the basics of maintenance and eventually restoring it completely. I was just wondering if anyone had tips on multiple points such as... what parts would be most imperative to upgrade first (wheels, drive train, brakes/brake kit, etc...)? What is the best way to go about cleaning rust? What are some recommended stores online to order said parts from?

Honestly any information regarding the maintenance of this particular bike would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot for your time!









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Old 11-29-10, 05:24 PM
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Thumpic
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read these forums...read these forums...read these forums...read these forums...you'll find every link, tip, trick, etc....you'll ever need. It looks like it hasn't been abused, in fact it looks great for 40+ year old bike! These links will get you started....

https://sheldonbrown.com/home.html

https://bicycletutor.com/

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

If that bike fits you, you're well on your way to a great restored ride. Even if you go hog wild buying bikes; this is a good solid bike.

Have fun....
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Old 11-29-10, 06:02 PM
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guthriepc
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You're awesome. Thanks for the word of advice, encouragement, and helpful links. Time to start reading...
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Old 11-29-10, 06:17 PM
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CACycling
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Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX

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I've done a couple of mid-70s Le Tours and they are pretty much bomb-proof. Replace the brake blocks (they are probably dried out and hard), tires and possibly cables & housing. Other than that clean it, lube it, adjust it and ride it. I had good luck cleaning the chrome with wadded up aluminum foil.
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Old 11-29-10, 07:49 PM
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I would tune it up, and agree with the actions posted above. Perhaps put on more comfotable handlebar tape and seat. Otherwise, the quality of the bike is outstanding, but I would not invest in any upgrades like alloy wheels, or such.
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Old 11-29-10, 07:59 PM
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Personal preference, but I would swap on some aero brake levers
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Old 11-29-10, 08:17 PM
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I agree with Mike above and would replace the brake levers with a set of aero units. New Tektro are about $25 and I would replace the brake pads with Kool Stops.
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=12127
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=1579
https://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=2508
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Old 11-30-10, 09:06 PM
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I have the exact same bike, except mine has a Brooks B15 saddle on it. I bought it from the original owner and it is in almost immaculate condition. I have cleaned it thoroughly, greased everything that needed it and have ridden it about 40 miles so far and I absolutely love it.

It is not the lightest, probably around 32 lbs. if I remember correctly, but it is a quality bike and has an incredibly smooth ride. I used 0000 steel wool on the brakes and chainrings and they are now like new. There is an abrasion on the chainring guard that won't go away, but I took it loose and rotated it so that it isn't as obvious as when it was pointing straight up. I replaced the brake and shifter cables and put donuts on the exposed wires.

I know some will possibly not approve, but I outlined the lugs in white. Personally, I think it rocks! I also found some Kenda whitewalls and they also add to the overall look I think. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-30-10, 09:07 PM
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Oh, I also took off the rat trap pedals and put on some track style pedals with straps because I had them handy. I will keep the originals just in case I ever sell it, but I don't think that's gonna happen.
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Old 11-30-10, 10:28 PM
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I plan on investing in some of those Dia Compe Aero brake levers, Kool Stop brake shoes, and some new handlebar tape next paycheck. Really excited to get working on it once the parts get shipped. I'll be sure to update with pictures of the bike's progress. Thanks again for all the help.

TugaDude: I'd be interested to see your setup, post pics if you can
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Old 11-30-10, 10:54 PM
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Should you care for a more touring set up????, VO has some fenders on the cheap. And you can probably find some racks on CL or used on ebay.

I have an '82 Le Tour, great little bike, 30sih Lbs, smoooooooth rider, great little store runner/commuter.
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Old 12-01-10, 06:55 AM
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You have a very nice bike as is !!
Grease, wax, & a little labor & I would ride it like it is, before doing anything else.
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Old 12-01-10, 08:14 AM
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I will try to post photos of my bike later today. By the way, +1 on the Kool Stops, but I found a great pad from Serfas (a little pricy at $20.00 at lbs) that has three colors, black/gray/orange, and they work super on the steel rim. I only bought one pair and put them on the front and it is as good as any of my other vintage bikes now.
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Old 12-01-10, 09:03 AM
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main thing is always tires imo - check the sidewalls - dont want a downhill blowout

after that - if you want to learn some wrenching - overhauling your BB and bearing hubs is a good thing to do

but i really like that bike you got there - frame color is nice - enjoy
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Old 12-01-10, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by marley mission View Post
main thing is always tires imo - check the sidewalls - dont want a downhill blowout

after that - if you want to learn some wrenching - overhauling your BB and bearing hubs is a good thing to do

but i really like that bike you got there - frame color is nice - enjoy
+1

If those are old tires, you absolutely need to replace them. Tire problems tend to be quite insidious - UNTIL
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Old 12-01-10, 12:47 PM
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Tugadude's 1974 Schwinn Letour

Here are pics of my Letour...Outlined the lugs, changed brake pads in front and put new cables/housings on her. Bar wrap is old Schwinn cloth. I twined the termination at the top of the bars for cosmetic reasons and painted with polyurethane in place of shellac because I had a pint on the shelf.
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Old 12-01-10, 12:49 PM
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Oh, and I put on NOS Dia Compe non-aero brake levers. The rubber hoods are like brand new. Got lucky and found them cheap!
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