Sunday, March 13, 2011

Schwinn LeTour Mixte restoration

Hello and Welcome, It has been a long winter but the weather is finally beginning to break. In fact we are expecting it to reach 50 degrees F at some point this week. I had to take some time-off  to concentrate on getting healthy. It is great to be back in the shop doing what I love. Before we move on, here is a pic of the Raleigh Sports 3 speed. After lots of  trial and error, I finally came up with a good touch-up paint color. Most of the touch up is on the right outside fork blade and the front 1/3 om the chain guard. Please note, it has not been rubbed-out and polished yet.
Below: A pic of the LeTour where we left-off. The frame stripped with the head-tube and bottom bracket shell cleaned up.
Below: The Super-Maxy crank assembly cleaned up nicely using "Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish" (as usual). I`m always saying, "If you really want to clean it up, you have to take it apart". I am of course referring to a restoration bike not a cleaner late model bike.
Below: To help off-set the cost of the commuter fenders I decided to refurbish the pedals. As shown I used a brass brush attachment on a rechargeable drill/driver. Also a brass detail brush and yes some Q-Tips (dipped in turtle wax chrome polish / rust remover) Quick Tip: If your NEW to this, The pedals are marked L or R (left / right) the mark is usually on the end of the threaded post. Left and Right is as if you were riding the bike. The left pedal will be reversed or "lefty tighty" threaded. In other words both pedals screw-in turning them towards the front of the bike.
Below: The brake calipers before refurbishing.
Below: The brake calipers being refurbished. As always I never take the second caliper apart until the first one is re-assembled. Note: You can also use Mother`s
to clean-up the straddle-cables. Compare the before and after pics, and you can see why I am always recommending Mother`s. This stuff really does do a wonderful job!
Below: This Avenir saddle looks good. And will also be very comfortable for this sporty commuter. This saddle is also affordable, you should be able to purchase one for around 25.00 US

Below: The S.R. (Sugino Race?) Stem also cleaned-up nicely with Mother`s. The clamp bolt and nut were cleaned with a brass wheel-brush. The quill-expander bolt was cleaned up with a brass brush and Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish/Rust Remover. Note:
Before inserting the stem, lightly grease the stem below the max-height line to the expander-nut. (usually wedge shaped)

Below: I found an inexpensive but fairly sturdy rear rack. It is a SunLite rack
with a 40lb. payload capacity. I latter added the rear reflector mount bracket and a nice reflector from the "reflector box". You should be able to find this for about 25.00 US if you shop around. (including delivery)
Well friends, it is time to wrap this up for today. I will continue this restoration post soon. Until next time please RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE


  1. I really regret not picking up a SunLite rack at the Fort Worth swap meet earlier this year. For $12, it's pretty hard to go wrong.

    What kind of fenders are those? The mud flap looks like Planet Bike but the stays do not.

  2. I'm glad you are feeling better and are back in the shop. The Raleigh you're working on is beautiful!

  3. Thanks Bill,
    It`s great to be feeling well and back to work. The Raleigh "Sports" commuter is a nice bike. But ever since the Ivory Sprite I did last year,(May 2010) everything else"commuter wise" pales in comparison. That was a "one in a million" find. Too bad it was a couple sizes to big for me. Thanks Again

  4. Hey Steve,
    Yeah for 12 bucks you can`t go wrong. I just purchased what appear to be a new set of 3 recumbent trike fenders for 10.00 I have no idea what I will ever use them for. But eventually someone will need them.
    About the fenders (Le Tour) they are "SKS Commuter 45mm Fender Set" They were very reasonable (about 25.00 delivered)on Amazon
    I just checked for Fort Worth area. I really gotta move west some day! We still have a little snow cover. And we are getting light flurries right now. But the forecast looks pretty good. We might hit 50 latter on this week.... Surfs Up!

  5. Welcome back, Hugh! I've missed your posts. Hopefully winter will release its icy grip on you soon.

    SR stands for Sankae Ringyo, a Japanese maker of handlebars, cranks, pedals and seat posts that eventually merged with SunTour. Good stuff.

  6. Hey Mark,
    Thanks for the good thoughts. And thanks for the info (Sankae Ringyo)I have learned something new today! Now I can go back to
    The frost must be deep this year, It`s taking forever for this snow to melt. But the worst is over now (: I agree Sun-Tour are some of the best inexpensive components from the "bike boom" era.

  7. thanks for the review. I am doing the same for a 1981 Le Tour. I lost the screws for the chain guard. Do you know where I can locate some?

  8. Hey Anonymous,
    That is a tough one. You might find a "chain-ring guard" for sale on E-bay that may come with the mounting hardware. I think the 1981 Le-Tour has a "Super Maxy" crank-set. You might also try going to bike forums (the vintage section) and post what you are looking for there. With all the guys (and gals) out there building fixed gear conversions there has to be some available. And re-check E-Bay from time to time. You will probably do better looking for the actual guard and inquire about the mounting hardware. You can also post it on the face-book page. The link is in the right column near the top. You may want to include a pic of the crank-set and chain-ring sizes. Maybe one of my readers has one available. Good-Luck with your search.
    Cheers, Hugh


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