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Schwinn Le Tour

Old 12-02-06, 06:51 PM
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Schwinn Le Tour

I just picked up a Schwinn Le Tour and I was thinking about making it into a touring bike.The first thing a noticed is it has no brazons(if that's what they are called)and I was wondering how or where I would mount the water cages.Also what would be some middle of the rode shifters and chainrings,wheel set and any other stuff that would help.I shouldn't have said middle of the road but not the best either. Any help would be apprecited,thanks George
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Old 12-04-06, 07:17 PM
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George,

I just finished turning a 1978 Schwinn LeTour III into a commuter and was faced with some of the problems you'll probably run into.

To mount water bottles, I used a device called Rivnuts to attach threaded fasteners. These devices attach much in the way a pop-rivet does, only the center is threaded. I put two bottle holders on my LeTour, and am thinking about adding another below the down tube.

On my bike, I set it up with trekking bars, so I used mountain bike index shifter/brake combo's that I picked up used at my lbs.
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Old 12-04-06, 07:24 PM
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Unfortunately the Le Tour wasn't really a touring bike but a road bike with funny geometry and a flashy name.

It was fine as a recreational vehicle with weight limitations but I wouldn't think of touring on it.

On the other hand, people have toured with a lot less appropriate bikes so take my words through the filter of what you want to accomplish and how much you're willing to pay for it with hard work, pain and suffering to get that sense of accomplishment.
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Old 12-04-06, 08:17 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys,but I put it in the attic already.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:00 AM
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I picked up a 1974 Le Tour that I turned into a fixie. I taped the water bottle cage to the handlebars after securing it with zipties.

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Old 12-07-06, 06:37 AM
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funny geometry?

Could you please explain how the geometry of the LeTour is funny? I ride mine regularly and it definately has a very different feel than other bicycles. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-06, 01:59 PM
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ive got a le tour....its probably a 51-52cm and too small for me. If anyone wants it you can have it.
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Old 12-07-06, 03:46 PM
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I put thousands of miles touring on a '78 Schwinn Super LaTour. It was just fine, I even had front and rear panniers on it. I just replaced it with a new Raleigh Supercourse, which I really like.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Furgus
Could you please explain how the geometry of the LeTour is funny? I ride mine regularly and it definately has a very different feel than other bicycles. Thanks.
I forget exactly what the problem is but I remember that an old time Schwinn dealer told me that they specified a touring bike but accidently sent the geometry for a track racer. Then so many people loved it the way it was that they couldn't change it.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:05 PM
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Huh. I have a '78 LeTour III, which is admittedly on the, uh, pedestrian end of the LeTour lineup, but it should have the same frame geometry as the nicer ones. While the bottom bracket is definitely a little bit high (higher than on my Univega racing bike), the long chainstays and relatively slack angles don't seem very trackish to me. Oh, it's certainly livelier than a touring bike, but it doesn't really feel like a track bike either. Maybe the funkiness in the geometry is just the BB height? I dunno. All I know for sure is that it's a fun bike to ride, with a nice blend of liveliness and stability - it falls in between my touring bike and racing bike, which are almost at opposite ends of the handling spectrum. Once I've built it up in its latest commuting configuration (build #3, now), it'll make a nice change from my daily rider without having to break out the racer-boy machine.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
I forget exactly what the problem is but I remember that an old time Schwinn dealer told me that they specified a touring bike but accidently sent the geometry for a track racer. Then so many people loved it the way it was that they couldn't change it.
I think the Schwinn dealer was mistaken. The seat and head tube angles are 72.5 degrees, the chainstays are over 44cm, and the fork has 2.5 inches of rake-
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Old 12-11-06, 10:08 PM
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Hi grolby,could you tell me what parts you put on your Le Tour.I'm pretty new at this and you got my interest up.Thanks George
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Old 12-11-06, 11:16 PM
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Hey George, no problem. I'll list all of the builds I went through.

#1. I got the bike for free, minus tires, handlebars and pedals. I built it up as a five speed run-around bike for my brother at first, with mostly used parts, including the worst upright handlebars I've ever seen or used. He didn't end up using it much. I accidentally busted the stem up, and we found him another, much nicer bike at the thrift store for $15.

#2. I reluctantly bought the bike back from my brother (he had never bought it from me, only paid for the parts I used to build it up... so I was not happy about this). I removed the rear derailer and all related clamp-ons. I added a 27-inch 3-speed wheel I had built the previous winter for another bike, a flat MTB bar and MTB levers, fenders, and eventually a rack. I replaced the stem with a rusty X-Mart bike stem, since it was the only stem I could find that fit. At this point, maybe half or fewer of the components were original. I rode this bike a lot this summer when my main ride was dinged in a collision with a car.

#3. I'm working on converting it back to a derailer bike, with a 6-speed freewheel in the back and a single chainring. It's got a new 6-speed rear wheel, an old 6-speed Shimano 105 downtube shifter cleverly installed on the clamp from a pair of Shimano Light Action friction shifters, the same flat bars and brake levers from the previous build, an old steel Schwinn Varsity stem and a different saddle from my old touring bike. Currently it has a steel front wheel from an old Peugeot of even older vintage, but it will be getting an aluminum wheel that used to be on my old touring bike. It'll also be getting the derailer from the old bike and a set of Sakae cranks (received in trade for the 3-speed wheel). I'll still be using it as a backup commuter/beater/around town bike.

At this point, the only original parts are the seatpost, rear brake and... well... that's about it, actually! Unless you count the BB, which I will be overhauling, not replacing. It's clearly a frankenbike, and it's equally clearly a tinkering bike. Chances are good that in 6-9 months I'll get tired of the 6-speed derailer set up and tear it down to try something new and different. I included all three build-ups so you wouldn't find the weirdness too crazy and intimidating. It all kind of happened a little bit at a time, but it's definitely getting to be pretty weird at this point. Have fun with your LeTour, they're pretty neat little bikes!

(What color is yours? Mine is a tangerine orange color, not too far off from the color in my sig, above.)
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Old 12-12-06, 08:17 AM
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Thanks grolby,my bike is a red one.It doesn't look to bad ,but I was thinking about painting it.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby
While the bottom bracket is definitely a little bit high (higher than on my Univega racing bike), the long chainstays and relatively slack angles don't seem very trackish to me.
Trackish? WTF are you talking about?
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Old 12-12-06, 11:43 AM
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Cyclintom stated that he heard a Schwinn dealer say that the LeTour geometry was weird because it was supposed to be a tourer, but was supplied as a track racer. I meant that those aspects of the geometry on my LeTour are nothing at all like track bike geometry, although the bottom bracket is a little bit on the high side (possible simply because of the 27" wheels).
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