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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got into cycling a few weeks ago after getting bitten by the bug thanks to my friends (who are kind of road bike guys). My girlfriend and I then got bikes of our own from the LBS ( a Giant Sedona for her and a Giant Cypress for me). We've been enjoying our rides and I can really feel myself getting fitter, along with having fun (the reason we got our bikes). This however hasn't kept me from building up a fascination with road bikes and speed. So while driving the other day I came across a bike leaned against a wall in someone's carport. The neighborhood was kind of sketchy, and it was behind some junk so I didn't expect much and drove on.

A few days later my curiosity got the best of me and I went to get a closer look. I found that it was a Schwinn Le Tour, and actually just my size, and it appeared to be in really good shape (as far as a noob like me knows). The rear tire/tube was flat and the only part that appeared to have any rust was the chain, so I knocked on the door and the nice toothless man who owned it gave it to me for $40. I got it home and found out it's a 1980. since then my cycling friends have helped me take the wheels and tires off (apparently everything on it is stock. Pulling off 28 year old tires is no easy task...they flaked apart all over the place in the process too). We eyeballed the wheels to see if they were true and we couldn't see any noticeable bend.

Now, other than the two new tubes I just bought, I'm ready to really start putting this baby back in shape for riding. I'm just a little unsure of where to start. I've taken a bunch of pictures to kind of help illustrate the bike's shape and I'll get those up on flickr asap. Til then, any general suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Congratulations.

1980 Le Tour catalog page 1
1980 Le Tour catalog page 2
1980 Le Tour specifications

Clean it up, replace the cables and cable housings, lubricate the derailleurs, headset bearings, wheel hub bearings, adjust the caliper brakes and derailleurs, and ride that sucker.

If the bike still has the original wheels, the rims are steel. Probably the best initial upgrade you can make is replacing the steel rims with alloy rims. They'll be much lighter and will brake much better in the rain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can you elaborate a bit on "clean it up"? Like, just go over it with a rag?

Any idea how much these replacements will cost? Are these all things I can do myself or should I let the bike shop handle it? I'd like to do it myself in the interest of saving as much money as possible. I should probably also replace the chain, right?

Thanks so much for the info.
 

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waterproof*
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That doesn't look to be in too bad shape at all.

Stan / Scooper's right, take a rag and some Simple Green or other bio-friendly cleaner, wipe the biggest hunks of grime off.

Pull the small parts that you feel comfortable you can get back on correctly and soak them in a cut Simple Green / water mix for a while.

Buy a new chain and either have the shop install it or buy a chain tool and learn how to use it (parktool.com). While at the shop buy new cables and housings for brakes and shifters. These are easy to install / replace but you'll need the right cutting tool (parktool.com).

Take a piece of sandpaper to all 4 brake pads, get the glaze off of them.

Consider doing a fixie conversion, or keep it stock. Have fun!
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By "clean it up" I meant wash it with soap and water, disassemble as much of it as you feel comfortable doing, make sure the handlebar stem and seatpost aren't stuck due to corrosion, try to treat any rusting steel parts with oxalic acid, etc.

As far as how much you can do yourself, that's up to you. As mcoven says, the Park Tool website is a great resource as well as Saint Sheldon's website. There are a number of good bike maintenance books available, including the Park Tool Big Blue Book, Lennard Zinn's Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, and The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes. These are all available from Amazon.com; just Google "bicycle maintenance" on the Amazon website.

As far as replacing the steel rims with alloy rims, that would probably be something best left to the LBS unless you want to jump into wheelbuilding.

Good luck with your project.
 

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Dang, nice find. You should build it up to tour on. It's not going to get you very far in the race world, but it could be the most fun you've ever had on two wheels. It looks like you have mounts for a rack and panniers already. If I were you I'd put a triple on it, new wheels (as everyone is saying), and get outside for weeks! If your looking for parts, try to get a hold of a college cycling team and get on their list serve. Having been on a team, people on race teams are always upgrading, changing, "fixing", their bikes so they tend to unload old parts. Touring would be a good home for a triple that has one season of riding on it.

Good Luck, and nice find!
 

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Wow- that brings back memories- my dad had that exact same bike- bought it from the schwinn shop in Broadripple.

Nice find- it'll be bulletproof.

Scooper- what the %$#& does Jean Claude Killy know about bikes?
 

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The Le Tour was my first serious bike. I forget the year, but it was pre 1980. I rode that thing to hell and back. It ended up in a dumpster in Iowa City--too broken to repair.
 

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LOL...

<img src=https://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1980_1990/1980_06.JPG>
 

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I had the same bike, but I think it was an '81 or'82. I used to commute on it for about 10 years. Then it sat in my basement for another 10 years. I sold it to a neighbor at a yard sale for $30. I think he still has it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So should I replace just the rims, or the entire wheels? I still don't know how much all this work is going to cost. It would help to have a ballpark figure so I know how much to save. I'd try pricing online, but I really don't know where to look and I don't know which brands to look for.
 

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utradar said:
So should I replace just the rims, or the entire wheels? I still don't know how much all this work is going to cost. It would help to have a ballpark figure so I know how much to save. I'd try pricing online, but I really don't know where to look and I don't know which brands to look for.
Spacing may be an issue with new hubs. I'd just rebuild it with the old hubs. Or just ride it with the old wheels if they are in decent shape. This bike is never gonna be a lightweight racer. Guessing a rebuild for both wheels would be in the $200 range if you use lower end stuff. Might be more than it's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, that sounds like way more than I'd prefer to spend. The wheels appear to be in pretty decent shape, and I have no intentions of racing with this thing. I'd love to take it out for riding around town though. I think I can certainly justify new cables, cable housings, chain, handlebar wrap, and tires though. How much do you think that would run all together?
 

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buck-50 said:
Scooper- what the %$#& does Jean Claude Killy know about bikes?
Heh... Probably a little more than Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, or Captain Kangaroo, but less than Eric Heiden. :D

For years, Schwinn paid high profile entertainers and sports figures to promote its bikes. It seemed to pay off until some really poor business decisions led to the 1993 bankruptcy.
 

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utradar said:
Yeah, that sounds like way more than I'd prefer to spend. The wheels appear to be in pretty decent shape, and I have no intentions of racing with this thing. I'd love to take it out for riding around town though. I think I can certainly justify new cables, cable housings, chain, handlebar wrap, and tires though. How much do you think that would run all together?
I'd hit up one of the big bike parts websites and price that stuff out.... jensonusa.com, performancebike, nashbar, etc.
 

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utradar said:
Ok, so I'm checking out Jenson USA and I have no idea what kind of tires to look for. Sorry to sound so helpless, but I just don't know what to look for here.
Those tires should be 27", but check the sidewall of the current tires to be sure. There are 27" options out there, not many, but certainly enough. IMHO, Continental makes a reasonably good 27" x 11/4" tire, which is available at various web retailers Google it, or try nashbar.com, which has a "house brand" 27" tire--get the widest they offer.
 
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