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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced the cables, chain, tires, and bar wrap, and the best part is that I did it all myself. Thanks for all the help, folks. I think the wheels need to be trued, so I'll leave that much to the LBS, but I feel great having done all this other work and learning so much about my bike.

The only hitches now are that the right brake handle feels really gritty/grindy when I pull on it (like there might be dirt inside or something), and the front derailleur doesn't switch over to the larger gear when I'm riding. I think the derailleur probably just needs an adjustment, but I'm not sure what to adjust. And there's a screw on one side of the brake handle. Do I just un-screw that, clean and oil the inside?

Thanks!
 

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Awesome job with the re-build. I actually just finished re-building a Le Tour into a single speed that's probably the same year as yours.

As far as truing your wheels, one can do that quite easily on their own with the proper spoke wrench and the tire on the bike with some centered brake pads. I managed to re-dish and true my Le Tour's wheels without much hassle, and I didn't have any experience or on-hand guidance. But I must say, the LBS is always a sure fire option.

I also just hooked up my brakes today and had some grittiness as well. I was using the original cable housings so I de-greased and flushed out the housings with some WD-40 and blew out the rest with compressed air and it works perfectly now (not sure if this was the right way to go though...). I would have also unscrewed the levers and cleaned them if this method didn't work.

I'm not familiar with the Le Tour's derailleurs (single speed), but if they're anything like my mountain bike's, I would just try to tighten the cable that's attached at the derailleur. You can check this park tools section and see if that helps. http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Colin
 

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Unless you're restoring this bike to be as it was when new, I'd like to suggest taking a hacksaw and cutting off the secondary brake levers. They're the ones you'd use when you're riding on the top of the bars. The reason for this is because they're not safe. You can pull the brake levers back until they touch the bars, and you still won't have anywhere near maximum braking power. They can easily be cut off with a hacksaw, then file and sand the sharp ends until they're smooth. If you're restoring the bike as an antique then ignore this. If you're going to ride it, my suggestion is to cut'em off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input, guys!

I can tell the grittiness is coming from inside the brake handle and not from the cables/housings and I'm going to open it up tomorrow and clean it out though I'm not sure what to clean it out with.

An excellent point, Mr. Versatile. I've noticed the secondary levers are fairly useless for braking, and I intend to ride this puppy until one of us dies. Preferably the bike, first. I'll keep your suggestion in mind.

:D
 

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Actually, the suicide levers

Can be removed with a screwdriver, unscrew the fixing screw, remove all the washers and the lever, insert the screw back in. Might consider replacing all of the washers back on the screw for safe keeping. I would replace the brake pads with Koolstop salmon colored pads, improve braking by 20%?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm still having trouble with the right brake cable being very gritty and grindy when I pull on it. I took the suicide levers off, but I haven't put the screws back in just yet. Should I put lube in that hole on the brake to help with the grinding or somewhere else?

I already changed the cables/housings so I'm not sure what to do about it.
 
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