Monday, June 17, 2013

Tall 1985 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration and Upgrade

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle After
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle After
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Before
About a year ago I found this tall 1985 Schwinn Le Tour, the frame is inches or centimeters 25 inches or 63.5 cm, I thought about keeping it for my self being 6'-4", but then I have only two personal bikes and that where I want to keep it.

The paint was in wonderful condition.  The decals have some cracking as all Schwinn's from that time do.  With the dark blue paint being so nice I decided to accent the dark blue paint with all white cables, tires, handlebar tape and saddle.  I also will be replacing the old brake levers with more modern ergonomic aero brake levers.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before Angle View
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before - Drive Train
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Hub
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before - Shift Levers
Below is a photo of the handlebars before.  Lots of looping brake cables, uncomfortable brake levers with the squishy suicide levers and the nasty 1980's foam tube handlebar tape,  all of this will change, but on the good hand the stem and handlebars are in great condition, little scratching just tarnished.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before - Handlebar View
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Hub

First thing as always is to stripe the frame off all components, again the dark blue paint is in wonderful condition, the frame is dirty and gritty and will require a deep cleaning and polishing.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Frame Dirty
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Frame Dirty - BB View
Some how I lost the photos of just the frame polished, I will retake them.

As I polished the frame I put the headset and bottom bracket components into the crock pot of soapy water on low.  There is hardly any wear on the components and everything polished to a high shine.  I do not think this Schwinn Le Tour has seen much use over its life time.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Components- Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Cleaned & Polished
I think my new flash drive card is bad, I am missing more photos of the headset and bottom bracket installed.  I will retake those.

Next I cleaned and polished the stem or quill and the handlebars.  It took a lot of scraping with a plastic scraper to remove the old foam handlebar tape.  I use a plastic scrapper to remove foam handle bar tape because a metal scrapper would damage the lite alloy handlebars.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Stem & Handlebars - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Stem & Handlebars - Polished
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Stem & Handlebars - Polished
With the fork, headset, stem and handlebars polished & installed I got to work on the wheels.  The wheels where in pretty good shape.  I cleaned out all the old grease, replaced a few bearings and greased and packed the bearings.  The hub and rims where a little grimy, but with some elbow grease, polished really nice.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Wheels - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Front Wheel Hub - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Front Wheel Hub
Old Grease
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Front Wheel Hub - Polished
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Rear Wheel Hub - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Rear Wheel Hub - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Rear Wheel Hub - Polished
At this point I tried a white tire and a gum wall tire, I think they both look very good, the buyer can decided which set they like.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Front Wheel - Gum Wall Tire
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Rear Wheel - White Tire

I guess I am going to have to accept some lost photos, which sucks because I am missing some of the before photos on the brake calipers and derailleurs, The derailleurs and calipers look great, just would like the comparison photos.

The crank was dirty but in good shape, just needed a cleaning and polishing out of some minor scratches.  I am very pleased with the crank, it is a very nice Sugino crank and now it looks better then new, the factory never polished components this nice.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Crank - Brake Calipers -  Derailleurs
Before Photo
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Crank Disassembled
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Crank
Polished - Installed
Next came the brake calipers and derailleurs.  I will after to take new photos of the after.  The best before photo I have is the one with the crank, calipers and derailleurs all together.

The brake calipers where in descent shape to start, again, I think the bike had little use.  The calipers needed to be disassembled, cleaned, polished and assembled.  New brake pads where installed and of course all new brake cables and cable housings will be installed.  The brake calipers are Dia-Comp 500's, I really like these brake calipers, I have used them a lot in the past, they work good, polish really nice with only a fine aluminum compound and look great.  They are no Dura Ace or Campy from the era, but are a great value.

At this time I also cleaned and polished the reflectors.  The reflectors brackets polished really nice and the reflectors are in new condition.  I was thinking of maybe small plastic clamp on reflectors for the Le Tour, but it is a large bicycle and the seat post might need to be put low and the seat post is where one reflector would clamp and the front would clamp to the handle bars and they are narrow bars, things would get cramped with a computer installed.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Calipers & Derailleurs - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Brake Caliper
Disassembled
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Brake Caliper - Polished
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Brake Caliper - Complete
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Two Brake Calipers
Complete
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Reflectors - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Brake Caliper & Reflector
Installed
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Front Caliper & Reflector
Installed
The derailleurs where also in pretty good shape, they got a good cleaning and then a trip through the sonic cleaner, after the sonic cleaner the derailleurs where polished on the bench buffer and buffed out.  The rear derailleur jockey wheels where overhauled and the pivot points lubricated.  The rear derailleur function very smooth.  The front derailleur also had the pivot points lubricated and it functions perfectly.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Derailleurs - Before
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Front Derailleur - Installed
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Rear Derailleur - Installed


Today I did just a few things on the Le Tour.  I have had hundreds of tune-ups each of the last few months, I have been going threw cables and cable housings like crazy, I ordered more white brake cable housing last Saturday and its still not here, usually does not take this long.  So I did the few things I could and got started on a bicycle for my sister.

One of the few things I could was clean and polish the seat post and install the saddle.  The Saddle is a Avenieir white mens road bike saddle.  It is a great value at around $22, it is just wide enough to reach most people but bones, it is very comfortable and looks great.  The seat post polished very nice.  I have always really liked fluted seat posts.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Old Saddle - New Saddle
Seat Post
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Seat Post - Polished
New Saddle Installed
If the cable housing comes tomorrow then the bike should take about 30 minutes to complete.  The Freewheel is cleaned and lubricated and ready to go, same for the chain.  Just need to run cables and put the new bar tape on.  Below is a photo of the new brake calipers and the bicycle to this point.

The brake calipers are nice ergonomic aero style levers, this will take out the big loopy brake cables out and run the cables under the handle bar tape and hide them away.  A much cleaner and more comfortable look.  Also takes out those mushy suicide brake levers.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - New & Old Brake Levers
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle as of Now

The white cable housings finally showed up late this afternoon so I got the cable housings and cables installed.  Tomorrow hopefully finish it up.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - New Cable Housings & Cables
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Brake Cables & Housings
Installed
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Cables Installed
I finished up the Le Tour.  The last few things have been to install the chain and freewheel, clean, polish and lubricate the pedals, install the bar tape and do a little paint touch up.

The freewheel cleaned nice and spins smooth after lubricating and the chain is working well and has a lot of life left in it.  I really think this bicycle saw very little use.  Tuning of the gears and brakes was very easy, everything works very smooth.

The pedals had some surface rust, but cleaned up well and polished not to bad.  With a little oil they spin very smooth and easy.  I lost the after photo somehow, so I will take another tomorrow.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Pedals - Before

The white cork bar tape is last thing I do, being white I clean the shop first, wash my hands very good and try not to get it dirty.  I was asked recently why I use cork gel tape over just gel tape, I like cork because to me it seems to hold up better and repel water better and seems to clean easy with soap and water.  I really like the white handlebar tape, white saddle and white cable housings against the blue, not so sure about the white tires.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - New White Cork Gel Handlebar Tape
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Handle Bar Tape - Installed

1985 Schwinn Le Tour 12 Speed - Restored & Upgraded - $350.

Bike has had a total restoration.  New Items are Aero brake levers, new tires, new handlebar cork tape, new brake cables, new shift cables, new cable housings and new saddle.

Size:                                   25 inches / 63.5 CM
Wheel set:                          Weinmann 27 inch
Tires:                                 27" x 1 1/4" Kenda Gum Wall or 27' x 1 1/4" White Tires
Stem:                                 Custom
Handlebars:                        Sakae Road Champion
Brake Levers:                     New Areo Brake Levers
Brakes:                               Dia-Comp 500
Brake Pads:                        New Jagwire Brake Pads
Saddle:                               New Avenir 100 Series Mens Saddle
Crankset:                            Sugino BT
Freewheel;                          Six Speed
Handlebar Tape:                 New Gel Cork Tape
Derailleurs:                         Sun Tour ARX


1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Side View
White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Angle View
White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished
Front view - White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Handlebar view
White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Rear View
White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Drive Train
White Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished
Front Half - White Tires
I then took the photos with gum wall tires installed.  I like the gum wall tire look but that is my preference.  Either set of tires can be chosen by the buyer, just not both.  And you can see the rain cleared out in about ten minutes.

1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Side View
Gum Wall Tire
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Angle View
Gum Wall Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Rear View
Gum Wall Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour
Bicycle Finished - Saddle Drive Train
Gum Wall Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished
Headset View - Gum Wall Tires
1985 Schwinn Le Tour - Bicycle Finished - Handlebar View
Gum Wall Tires

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful results. I think you're right about the tires.

    Thank you for the writeup and pictures.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your choice of white cables and tires seemed questionable until I saw them on.
    I would not have thought of that.
    You have exceptionally good taste.

    ReplyDelete