Saturday, May 15, 2010

Schwinn "Le Tour" finished

Left click pic to enlarge. Back button (<) to return

The Le-Tour is finished. I was waiting for the micro-adjust seat-post. In the mean time I did some more paint touch-up. Then added the Schwinn clamp-on water-bottle cage.

The left side decals are near perfect.Wish I could say the same for the right side.
Those pedals are off the Pacer,They polished-up nice. And the traps were just laying around the shop. I cleaned them up and purchased new straps.

The Velo saddle was very reasonable. I like the way the Cinelli cork tape goes with the classic looking Kenda gum-walls. The "Schwinn Approved" Dia-Compe calipers cleaned up nicely.

The engraving on the SAKAE Road Champion handle-bars is awesome. I opted to not remove them (handle-bars) from the stem. Not wanting to risk scratching the engraving. I went with a set of vintage Dia-Compe levers. Not nearly as bulky as the gargantuan set of Dia-Compe levers and suicide levers it came with. Looks cleaner and lighter too.

The Sugino Super-Maxy crank looks sweet, The Shimano Altus derailleur ain`t to shabby either. No wonder Le-Tours get snatched up so fast. I can`t believe I have found two this year. The other is a Mixte Le-Tour (future project)

My God! that "Atom compact77" free-wheel was dirty. I think I used about 1/2 a can of clean-streak on it. I really like Clean-Streak, almost as much as I like "Mothers
Mag and Aluminum cleaner/polish" The Shimano 400 FF goes well with the free-wheel. The jockey wheels were seized-up with dirt and grime. That's where the other half of that can of Clean-Streak went. I have finished two other projects (the Raleigh and the Pacer) and will be posting them soon. I will try to squeeze in a post about the Continental project. I think it may have been restored once before. It`s a beautiful bike. The same color as my Sting-Ray :) Well that`s about it for the Le-Tour, I hope you like it.
I know I sure do. The "Silent Ride" is coming up real soon. So check for a ride in your area. Till next time, Ride Safe and always remember to RESCUE RESTORE RECYCLE


  1. Is it typical of LeTour to have nutted hubs in the back and QR hubs in front?

    I agree about the bar tape. It looks a LOT more elegant than black tape...

  2. Hey Steve, Excellent observation. After some very no-scientific research.(searching photo-bucket)I would say typically Le-Tours have quick-release skewers front and rear. However in typical Schwinn fashion It appears that they strayed from time to time. I was able to find one other Le Tour with a nutted rear axle. Now I have to run into the shop and check the other Le-Tour. brb (insert Jeopardy music here) OK the Mixte Le-Tour has the quick-release skewer in the rear as well.
    Hey, Thanks I think the natural color cork looks classy too.

  3. Hugh, how far do you break down the bikes that you work on? Are you re-lacing the wheels on every bike you do? The pie plates and chainrings on all of them are immaculate.

  4. Hey Everett,
    It depends on the condition of the bike. But typically I strip an old ten-speed down to the frame.This includes removing and servicing the bracket and rebuilding the head-set. I do not re-lace the wheels.On a typical back wheel I remove the free-wheel and pie plate. This allows me to polish or clean the pie-plate.
    I clean-up the outer hubs with Mothers or Turtle-Wax (aluminum or chrome)The hubs sometimes get brushed (brass) as well.The spokes (depending on whats on them)get cleaned off with de-greaser on a rag. Or sometimes even cleaned off using fine (automotive) sand paper. If sanded I apply some detailing wax afterwards to coat them, with a rag. The rims get Mothers if aluminum or alloy. And "Turtle-Wax Chrome-Cleaner/Polish if chrome.
    I usually have to brush (brass) the chrome as well. The axles get typical maintenance re-move,de-grease and re-grease and re-assemble.
    I can spend an "insane amount of time" saving a wheel. I do replace broken or bent spokes and true the wheels as well. You gotta be sure you use the same spokes (material and thickness).Better to re-lace if you have the time. On this page on the Blog-Archive you can
    find all this stuff. Click on February to see the Sprint pretty much from the beginning of the restoration. The Vista is in there somewhere as well and others too.
    Also check out "How to build bicycle wheel,parts 1, 2 and 3 in the links section.

  5. Everett, I always use "White-Lightning Clean-Streak" And brushes (Park makes a nice brush and scraper set for free-wheels)And you can clean in between the gears (free-wheel) with a rag. Just insert edge of the rag between the gears and kind of saw your way around the free-wheel. This is done with the free-wheel mounted on the wheel of course.It sounds silly but actually works quite well.

  6. Oh, yes - regarding the Twinn. I have looked at the headtube, brackets, dropouts, and every other inch of the bike, and I can't find a serial # anywhere. No evidence that it was tampered with or repainted, either. The guy I brought it from said his grandparents had purchased it new, and he remembered it from the very early 70's. I think it may be older than that, but I'm stumped as to how to find out. Any ideas?

  7. Hey Jay, try going to this forum and ask. Someone in the vintage area might be able to help Good Luck

  8. I have a Le Tour IV with a QR front and nutted hub on the back.

    1. Hey Anonymous,
      Thanks for confirming that. I had spotted one one the net almost exactly like mine with the nutted rear wheel as well.

  9. Hey Hugh,

    I just purchased a Schwinn Le Tour this past weekend and it definitely needs some TLC, but specifically I had a question concerning the front derailleur. When I pull the lever down to access the larger chainring it has to go all the way down and then some extra pressure needs applied to finish the change. I'm concerned this may damage the bike. I've noticed that when the lever is fully up the chain is as close to the outer side of the front derailleur so I think it needs an adjustment I'm just not sure how since I'm new to bike tuning.

    Is there a source you recommend to visit in order to adjust this?


  10. Hey Richard,
    Yes you are correct it should not be that hard to shift. In the right column above, in the NEW "Video(s) Of The Week" section I have just added a video about front derailleur adjustment.
    Your bike probably does not have the tension adjustment at the shifter. But other than that they are pretty much the same. Also check out other videos on Search < front derailleur adjustment road bike >
    But First! Try shifting to the small chain-ring or gear on the front crank. In this position if the cable feels loose (I suspect it will) Loosen the anchor point bolt. Then pull out the slack and tighten the anchor bolt back up while keeping the cable taunt. No try and see if it works.
    If not find out which of the two adjuster screw controls how far outward the derailleur can move. On an old Schwinn it is typically marked H for the big or high gear. And the small or lower gear or adjuster is marked L for low or smaller gear. Once you locate the H or high adjustment screw. Turn it in the direction that moves it outward (towards you) Try just a little adjustment at first. Once you have made the adjustment see if it shifts easier. If it does your good. If it feels still too difficult try just a little more outward adjustment. If you adjust too far out, it will shift past the chain-ring and the chain will fall off. If this happens you need to adjust H in inward a little (away from you)
    Don`t feel bad if you have to get some help. This is probably the hardest adjustment to master on a road bike. But I have found in most cases the cable is stretched and just needs to be tightened up a bit. So try that first. Good luck. Cheers

    P.S. Also clean that derailleur with White-lightning "Clean Streak" Then lubricate with Tri Flo. Both these products should be used out doors. When finished wipe off the excess.
    And follow the directions on the can. Using any recommended safety gear like safety-glasses or rubber gloves. It is "Hugely Important" that you keep the derailleurs free-wheel and chain clean and lubricated. Do not use motor oil. The dirt will stick to it and just make it worse.

  11. My question is on the rear derailed. I'm working on a 83 LeTour. The small bolt on the hanger, behind the axle nut is missing. I assume that is to prevent rotation but I don't see how it fastens to do this. Also, the drop outs in the hanger and the frame should align, correct?

  12. Mike52
    The receiver hole for that little bolt should be threaded. If there is no hole, maybe that model had a rear derailleur that bolted directly to the lower drop out. And yes the axle slots on both side drop outs should line up. Now the derailleur mount may prevent the axle from being set all the way back. This may make it appear that they do not line up.

  13. Hi Hugh

    I have had a LeTour for the last 15 years that is mostly original (new rear derailleur and rims...everything else is original) with those exact same decals. What year were those decals put on LeTours? I'd like to know how old my bike is

    1. Hey Mike,
      I don't remember the exact year but my best guess would be mid 1980's. In the right column on this blog is Links To Other Cool Stuff. Check out Help dating your bike. You can also Google Schwinn date codes. But the "Asian built Schwinns" are sometimes tougher to date.
      I would take the brake calipers apart and check the back sides of the arms for dates.
      Good Luck!


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