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1981 Schwinn Le Tour PURCHASED

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1981 Schwinn Le Tour PURCHASED

Old 06-26-11, 07:51 PM
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IAM
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1981 Schwinn Le Tour PURCHASED

Okay so I recently bought an old Schwinn le tour for 40$. It is missing the front wheel, seat and the chain is rusted. I know nothing about bikes but I have a lot of time on my hands and I was thinking about investing a bit of $$ into it to make it decent to get around.
So im wondering, is it possible to upgrade this bike with modern parts to make it lightweight / fast? I know the question is super broad so let me narrow it down.
Like could I slap on parts like Shimano Ultegra or 105, maybe a new handle bar / fork? or will it be impossible to find parts that will fit an old bike like that?

Thanks, dont flame me too hard im new
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Old 06-26-11, 07:54 PM
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btw im also not sure about the frame, I measured it. it was 24" from the mid-crank to the top of the frame...roughly 60cm, I am 6' tall, is that a good size?
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Old 06-26-11, 08:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Here is about 3 1/2 years worth of conversation about this topic. Enjoy!

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...STI-s-or-Ergos
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Old 06-26-11, 08:21 PM
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woot, thanks
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Old 06-26-11, 08:42 PM
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Hi IAM, and welcome to the forums.

I only began restoring/refurbishing bikes this year and have learned a lot.
here is the catalog page for the 81 Le tour
https://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1981_05.html
It looks to have a okay components if you just wanted to disassemble them and clean them up. I would first look into how to repack wheel hubs, as well as how to repack a bottom bracket. The pain in the but thing about these things is they usually require special tools. If you plan on only restoring one bike once, then I wouldn't recommend spending a whole bunch on bike tools, maybe find a local bike collective shop that will allow you some work space. These are pretty common in big cities. Also on the le tour it looks like it has a claw mount rear derailleur. Finding a modern day, high end component to fit this type of mount isn't going to happen. Now a days most bikes have a derailleur hanger built into the frame, or bolted on with a specific fit. The other issue you will run into is the free wheel, the cogs on the back. These need a special tool to be removed as well. The wheel is probably spaced at 120 mm (for 5 speed) and has a thread on free wheel. While modern 9 or 10 speed components use 130/135 mm spacing for road/mountain. With old steel frames it is possible to cold set the rear stays to a wider spacing, but it is a delicate process, and sometimes not worth the hassle.

For a bike like this, I would recommend building it up with either period correct components, or something that isn't going to cost you a whole crap load of money. Say parts from late 80's early 90's. Again there may be some issues but there are definitely work arounds. Getting into the c&v bikes is a lot more expensive initially than a lot of people think, but once you have access to tools, and get a feel for components and bikes it gets easier.

Schwinn Le Tours are pretty common, and I've seen a few posted restored ones here. Those owners will probably have better more helpful advice.

One more thing. If you are looking for a bike with Ultegra or 105 level components I would suggest keeping an eye out for a late 80's early 90's road bike with those components already on it, and cleaning/fixing it up. It might be more initially, but to buy that stuff new or used to put on a Le Tour would be probably a lot more.
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Old 06-26-11, 08:50 PM
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well, i saw a bundle of used ultergra parts for like 250 bucks for everything So i was thinking about picking those up and just slapping them on, but it sounds like im in over my head and its clearly not that easy lol. I do have A LOT of tools since my dad was a mechanic for awhile, but im not sure if I have the right ones.
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Old 06-26-11, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by The MAX View Post
Schwinn Le Tours are pretty common, and I've seen a few posted restored ones here. Those owners will probably have better more helpful advice.

One more thing. If you are looking for a bike with Ultegra or 105 level components I would suggest keeping an eye out for a late 80's early 90's road bike with those components already on it, and cleaning/fixing it up. It might be more initially, but to buy that stuff new or used to put on a Le Tour would be probably a lot more.
+1 to all that. Putting modern components on a "vintage" frame is possible, but it's really not worth it on a LeTour. You'd end up with an expensive mongrel that wouldn't be exceptional at anything. I'd fix it up enough to be ridden, and then go ride it. If you want modern parts, buy a complete modern bike- it'll be much cheaper that way.

BTW: my first "real" 10-speed was a 1978 Le Tour III. I still miss it. Here's the original catalog page:


One of my bikes now is a later "Mississippi" Schwinn LeTour. It's my coffee bike- I change the parts on it when I feel like it. I recently changed it to a 1-speed since I wasn't changing gears often enough to take advantage of the gears:
https://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...tour%20004.htm
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Old 06-26-11, 09:08 PM
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thanks for the insight guys, I think im just going to get it up and running with similar dated parts and then just flip it for something nicer after i get some use out of it
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Old 06-27-11, 06:12 AM
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Good plan. mid to late 80's I think would be ideal as they would be 6 or 7 speed (126mm rear spacing) which is easier to find parts for, not to mention easier to put newer components on if necessary. Keep an eye out for Trek, Miyata, Bianchi, Colnago, Raleigh, just to name a few

And the whole tool issue. The tools I'm talking about are specific to bicycles, not something a regular car mechanic would probably have. Such as bottom bracket tools, or a freewheel remover (there are dozens of different types too).

Good luck!
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