Sunday, January 5, 2014

1985 Schwinn Super Le Tour Restoration

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle - After

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Before


Started work on this Schwinn Super Le Tour from the Mid 1980's recently between all the painting of other frames and parts I have going on.  Basically in dry time.

The Super Le Tour was in rough condition.  The rear wheel was unusable, looked like a garaged door came down on it and broke the rim clear through in two pieces.  I believe it was something like that because only the wheel was bent, the frame is perfectly straight and no major scaring.  The components are pretty badly corroded but like new components should be under that corrosion.  The paint is rough textured but should restore nice.

The restoration will not receive any upgrades but will get the usual new cables and cable housings, new tubes and tires, new handlebar tape and new saddle, I think I am forgetting one more new things in there or maybe not.

A new but old wheel will replace the old rear wheel, that wheel will also be restored.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Handlebars - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Stem - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Derailleur - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front BRake - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Wheel Hub - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Headset - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Brake - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Broken Wheel Rim - Rear
I stripped the frame of the components, the frame is very dirty and the paint texture is pretty rough but the chips in the paint are fairly small.  I cleaned the frame and then did a good deal of hand work polishing the frame.  The results of the red paint is stunning.  The paint came back to life beautifully and the red shines fantastic.  The decals are also in perfect condition.  It took a good deal of elbow grease but I am super happy with the results!

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame - Dirty

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Dirty - Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Dirty - Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Dirty - Drop Outs

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Fork - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Frame Polished

While polishing the frame I put the bottom bracket and headset components in the crock pot for cleaning, the components polished nice and installed function very nice.  The bottom bracket started very gritty and dry the headset was gritty but not as bad as the bottom bracket.  I really like the headset, it looks like an early Dura Ace headset or even a Companogla but it is not.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - New Bottom Bracket Grease

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bottom Bracket
Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - New Headset Grease

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Headset Complete
The stem and handlebars are nice, the stem is a Custom and the handlebars are my favorite, Sakea Road Champion.  The stem and handlebars polished very well on the power polisher, the stem is more of a textured alloy finish so they polished nice, just not to a mirror finish.


Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Stem & Handlebars - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Stem Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Stem & Handlebars - Installed

The crank is a very nice Sugino GP.  I disassembled it for cleaning and polishing and now looks better then new except for some normal wear on the decals.  Its actually easier and faster to clean a crank by disassembling it.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Crank -Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Crank - Exploded

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Crank - Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Crank - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Crank - Installed
The derailleurs are very nice Suntour Cyclones. They are in rough shape to start, dirty, corroded, and not pivoting smooth at all.  I cleaned them and flushed them with oil.  The rust and corrosion polished out nicely all though there is some slight pitting on the front derailleur cage, but hard to notice.  Both derailleurs pivot very nice after working some lubricant in.  I am excited to see how it shifts now, I think it will shift very smooth.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Derailleurs - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Derailleur - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Derailleur
Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Derailleur - Installed

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur
Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur
Exploded

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur
Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Derailleur - Installed
The brake calipers where a little rough and badly need lubricating.  The rear brake caliper is missing the cap nut and the recessed bolt, must have happened when the rear wheel was damaged.  I have hundreds of cap nut and will polish one to new.  What sucks is I don't have any old recessed nuts, they are kind of rare to have around but I do have new ones but they are not cheap for a little nut.

The calipers cleaned and polished very nice, the caliper arms have the same textured alloy finish so they look great, just not the mirror finish.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake calipers - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Caliper
Exploded

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Caliper - Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Caliper
Before & After

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Caliper
Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Calipers - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Front Brake Caliper - Installed
Brake elvers hoods are in good shape except for a very deep grayish dirt that does not show well in the photos.  I cleaned the hoods, which I was surprised how well I got them to clean and polished the levers.  The hoods are almost in new condition now and are not dry or brittle at all.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Levers - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Levers - After

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Brake Levers - Installed
I like the top mounted down tube shift levers, They polished and lubricated very nice and the photo of the shift levers installed against the red is also stunning.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Shift Levers - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Shift Levers - Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Shift Levers - Installed

Here is where I ran into some troubles, the new rear wheel restored beautifully, the bearings where greased and the hub and rim polished, also the rim came back into true but started far out of alignment.  The new rear wheel is a extremely nice wheel and looks like new after polishing, also spins like new.

The problem came with removing the freewheel from the old damaged wheel.  Freewheels can be hard to remove in the best of conditions, this one however was not.  The old wheel with no tension on the spokes just collapsed when I put force on the the freewheel to remove it, so there was no leverage.  I had to cut the old spokes out, would have liked to save a few of them but just can't remove the spokes with the freewheel in place blocking them.  I then placed the freewheel remover tool into the vise to try to get leverage and with just a little force the hub snapped in half.  I did get lucky that with a 3 foot pipe wrench I was able to catch just enough of the broken hub and get force to remove the freewheel.  Wish the old hub did break but in the end it was also not worth spending the money to re-lace it.

I am very happy with the rear wheel results, it looks incredible and is a fairly high end wheel for the time period.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Replacement Wheel - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Replacement Wheel Hub
Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Replacement Wheel Rim - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Replacement Wheel
Old Grease

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Old Wheel Hub

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Old Wheel
Freewheel Removed - Broken Hub Pictured

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Wheel - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Rear Wheel - Installed

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Rear Wheel Rim - After
The front wheel turned out nice, it needed a lot of truing.  The front hub polished very nice and the wheels spins smooth.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Wheel - Old Grease

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Wheel Hub - Polished

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Front Wheel - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Front Wheel Hub
The seat post polished nice and like always, the fluted seat post are my favorite from a looks stand point.  The black saddle will look great with the black cable housings and handlebar tape.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Seat Post - Before

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Saddle Installed

Last to go is the new cables, cable housings and handlebar tape.  The all black and red frame has a mean look to it.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Cables - Installed

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Handlebar Tape

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Handlebar Tape - Complete

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Handlebar Tape - Complete
Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Complete
I have always been a fan of Schwinn Le Tours, I know they are not Paramount's or Volar's or anything like that but they are very nice bicycles that are versatile and not to heavy. I have heard and believe they are the basis for Rivendell bicycles, but Riven dell took them quite a few levels higher.

This Schwinn Super Le Tour turn out fantastic, I am astounded by the results of the paint, the red paint is stunning.  I really like the black accents against the almost wet look of the red in some areas.

I will not be test riding it anytime soon, as I post the photos the current temperature is -13 with a wind chill of -41, according to my Ipad.  The brutal winter continues.

On the stand though the bicycle seems to really function smooth I have no reason to believe it won't ride just as smooth.

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Complete
Side

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Bicycle Complete - Angle

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Complete
Drive Train

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Bicycle complete - Front Half

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's
Bicycle Complete - Front Brake

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Complete
Front Wheel Hub

Schwinn Super Le Tour Mid 1980's - Bicycle Complete
Messing around with Photoshop

3 comments:

  1. What kind of polish are you using? Your bikes always come out super clean and shiny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks great! Much nicer than mine (which is a great bike). Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just picked up an 85 Schwinn Super Le Tour frame off ebay but hasn't arrived yet. Need to order wheels. Do you know the rear spacing?

    Thanks,
    Brook

    ReplyDelete