'74 LeTour

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Real1

Look Ma, No Hands!
Lots of idea, thanks. As far as getting the bike lighter, I already put alloy rims on....the crank is alloy on the '74......aluminum or alloy seat post is a great idea. It's wearing Trisport Flack Jackets which wear like cast iron. I don't really care that much about originality as the bikes are not extremely valuable and improvements to make the bike lighter that look somewhat period are fine with me.

The pedal end cap seam is invisible which means it's soldered and or cast into the cage. If you looked at the video I posted, the pedals come apart where they are crimp twisted. I'm sure that was common on cheap pedals. I would love to get rebuild-able replacements. If I were to use oil, it would be Phil's Tenacious Oil. But if I get them apart, they'll get grease.

Some frames were Giant, some were Panasonic. Mine says "Approved Japan" on the headstamp. The serial #' were often on the lower portion of the headstamp, but also appeared on the left dropout or right dropout......all having to do with frame origin. Mine is on the left dropout and starts with 'G'. One source says that means Giant.....another source says that is the month of manufacture;second character means year which on mine is 4. No designation between 70's frames and 80's frames....you're supposed to know the difference. What's confusing is that my serial also has '77' on it.

So the info on serial identification is kinda muddled. There's a guy on YouTube who is restoring Schwinn bikes of many models. He restored a red '74 that looks identical in every way to mine....that's why I'm guessing mine is a '74 along with the serial #.

They were a good mid-priced Schwinn 10spd back in the day. The Paramount's were ridiculously priced;the LeTours were a good counter option with light components and aftermarket stuff could only improve it. I was looking at a Super LeTour frame which is supposed to be even lighter.....thinking of swapping everything onto it from my LeTour......but it sold.

Kevin
 
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Real1

Look Ma, No Hands!
Ted, I just weighed my bike. It's exactly 30lbs. I don't know how you got yours to 22lbs with what you stated. I even took the kickstand off....don't like the frame stress they potentially cause. Alloy seat post is not gonna shave off the 8 additional lbs. Hmmmm....I've had the crankset in my hands and it was very light...be splitting hairs there for weight improvement. The aftermarket seat is svelte and not heavy. The rims are are Weinmann Rm19 aluminum alloy.

The bike had one owner before me. It has a surprising lack of stickers and decals. What's on the bike looks like silk screened and almost 100% there. If it had stickers and decals I would think there would be remnants somewhere. The BB had original grease in it and it looked like new in there. This bike was hardly ridden and scratched up in his garage moving it around, not on the road.

Kevin
 
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FICHT 150

Finally riding a big boys bike
If you pull your seat post out, it will have a date code stamped in it. Actually, almost all the components on mine had a date code on them, but, the seat post was easy to get to. If you remove it, don’t lose the steel shim for it, and, if you replace it, make sure you get the exact size you need, so you don’t need the shim.

I weighed my bike on the postal scale where I worked at the time. Looking back, it has been about 15 years since I did that bike, maybe 22 is wrong, but, it isn’t 30. Also, I did not use the original hubs, I did actually replace those as well. Bike has 30” of standover height. There is no stress from the kickstand, the bolt runs through the center of a steel plate welded between the chain stays, and into the kickstand.

My bike was ignored when it wasn’t being abused. The top bar had a bend in it, which I straightened with trammel bars and C clamps, with an assist from a persuader (hammer). You wouldn’t notice that had been done. I always liked the colors those bikes were painted, the blue, red and yellow look good to this day.
Anyway, when you are done with it, you will have a seriously nice, light rider. There isn’t really anything new that will compare for less than about $750. Just the alloy wheels and pedals would make a big difference.


Ted
 
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Real1

Look Ma, No Hands!
I don't agree on the kickstand. Yes, it has that welded plate, but they are still evil...lol

The best weights published for the Super LeTour were 26 1/2lbs. I don't see how you got to 22lbs with what you did. If I could get to 26-27lbs, I would be ecstatic.

My bike has the 25" frame which would logically be heavier than a smaller frame.....more steel. I don't have any stand over clearance...it's right against my privates.....I don't like that for fit, but it is what it is. The doctor who owned the bike isn't taller than me...but I do have a long torso.

Thanks for the tip on the seat post dating. I've read about the LeTour and Super LeTour until my eyes bled. I'm thinking of starting a thread on those guys.

I was basically done with the bike yrs ago(I've had it about 15yrs now), but would always welcome a way to make it lighter like the Super. Until I get my Raleigh Competition GS restored, it has become my default 10spd. I supposed I could go to a 6spd freewheel if everything else would stay the same. But I don't wanna be hunting components for the switch just to get two more gears. I tool around with it out in the country on beautiful two-laners. I don't bike with other people and not interested in any 'event' bicycling.

Kevin
 

FICHT 150

Finally riding a big boys bike
Mine has the factory derailleurs on board. They have enough adjustment for both gears. I did replace the chain (Whippermann?) but, I don’t believe that was required. It seems like the extra gear in the sprocket was in the middle of the cluster, and my chain length wasn’t really going to change. I figured I was in there, just do it.
The only thing you need is the Shimano freewheel.
The bike is at my Mom’s for winter, and she is in the hospital, so I won’t be there today, but, I’ll get some pictures when I have a moment. The bikes stored at her house don’t usually come home until after the Lake Pepin three speed tour, mid May, but, we will see.
I gave the bike to my kid because drop bar ten speeds have been uncomfortable for me to ride for a few years. Nobody would ride with me as I would be pretty slow. My kid and my wife, mostly my kid, are my riding partners, and my kid just tolerates my style.
My wife has the nickname of “ Miss Slowpoke”, even worse then me. I ride alone, a lot.
I also have a Peugeot UO-8 that still has drop bars, but, I seldom ride it, same reason. It got alloy wheels, Suntour AR group, and the standard fix to the shifters that involves disassembly, clean and roughen the plastic and the metal sleeves, and using 3M 2216 structural adhesive to make them rigid. The Peugeot didn’t lose as much weight, but, it lost plenty, just off the wheels.
I seem to think the Peugeot had better brakes and pedals, and I kept those. I used two position brake levers on it, may have been off a Schwinn, can’t remember.
My ten speed phase is pretty far behind me, I was messing with this stuff 15-20 years ago.

Ted
 

Real1

Look Ma, No Hands!
Interesting. My two mountain bikes(Yokota, Trek ), even though they have more rolling resistance, are more fun than the 10spd. Maybe that will change with the Raleigh...dunno. But it's really ridiculous to have drops since I mostly ride up on top. I have the double brake levers so I can use them on top easily. My shifters are on top too at least. I don't see many people near my age down in the drops if they have them. I have one hill I like to use the drops on....just for the speed. On my Yokota I've hit 37mph on the electronic speedo and I think I'm doing more than that with the LeTour. It will probably be the death of me someday. Biking accidents over 30mph can be very horrific, especially if you go over the front of the bike.

I'd think you'd need the smaller chain for the 6spd freewheel, but nice to know I don't necessarily. I think the whole issue with the old 10spd are the drop bars;are you gonna use them at least most of the time or not? Definitely a carryover to another time for us Boomers. When I was in college and had a 10spd for my source of transportation, I think I was down in the drops a lot. But that was a young back, a young body and the racing 'image'.

Kevin
 
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FICHT 150

Finally riding a big boys bike
I think there are about 19 bikes around the place, and I don’t know that I ever considered one bike more “fun” then another. For me, it seems like the ride or the company is what makes it fun. Some bikes attract attention when you ride them, the Raleigh 20s are good for getting looks and thumbs up from civilians we meet. I will ride an old 10 speed, just not far or fast. It gets unfun after about 8-10 miles on drop bars, for me. Same with my ballooners. Close to home, easy rides.
Fun.

Ted
 

Real1

Look Ma, No Hands!
Yeah, there's a lot of wisdom in that. I just ride for the exercise...close to daily depending on the weather. Nothing would make me want to ride in the rain or extreme wind. I have six bikes, but only three fully functional. I like to mix it up....that's the 'fun' of it for me. The other part of the 'fun' factor is fixing them up and tinkering with them. Most people are better at 'finding' bikes than I am. They scrounge the alleys, knock on doors...try to get phone numbers, glean Craigslist and Facebook daily etc.. And some people are lucky enough to live near bike co ops like the one in Boulder etc.

Kevin
 

Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
About the only time that I'm in the drops is if I have to fight a bad headwind, but I like them for the variety of different hand positions that they offer.
I hate being stuck with only one position, as with a straight bar.
Edit: Looks like I put this in the wrong place somehow. Not sure how that happened, and not sure where it belongs.
Apologies.
 
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