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Another thread with questions about a le tour.

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Another thread with questions about a le tour.

Old 12-20-10, 04:29 PM
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Another thread with questions about a le tour.

So I was at the LBS today and, while bantering with the owner, it came up that I was looking for a cheap winter bike. He mentioned he had an abandoned bike which I could have:

It came with some pretty nice Sugino BT cranks, as well as a rusty 27" front wheel and a aluminum rimmed 700c rear wheel.

While taking it apart I came across this rear derailer:

and what is interesting about his derailer is that I believe it was welded on:

As I was planning to make this bike fixed for the snow I now have to decide if I should file off the weld and try to then remove the derailer, or if I should just be lazy and leave it. Filing seem like it may be effective?

Anyway, I had a couple other questions for any more knowledgeable than I about Schwinns;

I know that Schwinns are a pain to date, and I honestly don't particularly care if I don't know the exact year so I am guessing it's mid-80's. Headbadge says Schwinn Chicago, sticker says "Chromoly 4130 stays butted tubed frame built in America", and the serial is SF or E 400080. What is REALLY important is if that paint job is intended to look distressed or not. Late 80s or early 90s seem about right?

The seatpost in it is 25.x mm, but seems loose even when the seatbolt is tightened as far as seems safely possible. Sheldon's site suggests a 26.4 for the mid 80s le tour so I'll try that. (Yea, I realize now that wasn't a question).

Anyway, the only other thing I actually wanted to ask was about this hole:

It's in the rear left stay a few inches below the rear brake. It's only a few mm in diameter and almost perfectly round. I originally thought rust but I am actually becoming more inclined to think it's the handiwork of the same guy who welded the derailer on. Any way to tell if it's rust instead? Not much rust on this frame, really. Any suggests for reasonably cheap fixes to keep a little extra salt out this winter?

Now back to dismantling it and cleaning it up.. I haven't found any grease in or on this bike yet! The BB reminded me of a bog with all the mud in it... great fun value/cost here though!
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Old 12-20-10, 04:36 PM
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I would guess 1985

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Old 12-20-10, 05:07 PM
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Check the head badge for 4 numbers, the first three of which would be the day it was made and the fourth would be the year...i.e. 1257 would be 125th day of 1987 (assuming it's 80's). Is there an identical hole in the same place on the other stay?
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Old 12-20-10, 05:17 PM
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The rear derailleur is not welded on, it's threaded into the hanger. Cutting it off would be grounds for banning from this forum. The hole is a vent hole for gasses to escape when brazing the frame together.

Put the hacksaw down.
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Old 12-20-10, 05:25 PM
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Or 1984

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Old 12-20-10, 05:28 PM
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The Le Tour was still hi-ten steel in 1979 (Le Tour IV), so a guess of 1980's seems right.
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Old 12-20-10, 05:47 PM
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Something is definitely amiss with your rear derailleur and dropout. It's hard to tell from the picture if the derailleur bolt is

A) Welded to the dropout, or

B) The dropout was ripped off of the frame (which is why it is splayed open so far) and reattached.

I'm leaning towards scenario B, thinking that something got sucked up into the gears, bent the derailleur hanger/dropout nearly clear off, and ripped the derailleur right out of the threads. Or some combination of the catastrophies listed above
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Old 12-20-10, 07:49 PM
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That's a really nice riding frame. If you can not unbolt the derailer, I'd leave it on if you go fixed. After riding it, you might decide to go with gears come spring.
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Old 12-21-10, 05:23 AM
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So have you gotten out a hex wrench and tried to take the rear derailleur off?
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Old 12-21-10, 10:00 AM
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I should have remembered to check the front badge, thanks. It's marked 1264 so that would be about April or early May 1984. I've stripped and cleaned the frame, but the rear derailer is definitely attached. Sorry for the bad picture last night. After cleaning and in some better light, it looks like someone put some brazing material (I guess brass?) on the back of the hanger sort of like a permanent locktite. Possibly a repair like suggested. It doesn't look bent or cracked to me in person, but maybe the threads were ripped out and the brass was used to 'replace' them.

It never occurred to me that the that hole was a vent, thank OFG.

Don't worry, I never was going to hack the hanger off. I just meant using a file to remove the weld from the back of the hanger to allow me to unscrew the derailer. It doesn't seem practical now though, as I bet the brass has been pulled into the threads by capillary action. That's what gives a braze it's strength, if I recall... a framebuilder I am not!

I did try a hex wrench and felt I was at the point of bending something before I noticed the issue (bike was really dirty at that point).

Last edited by yuoil; 12-21-10 at 11:14 AM.
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