Friday, May 20, 2016

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration - Opaque Blue!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle After Restoration
This is Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour, the cool thing is it was his father's bike before him.  Everyone knows how much i like Le Tours, I feel they are very underrated bicycles.  I really like the early Le Tours when they still used the opaque colors and I think the big white down tube decal goes so well with the colors.

The Le Tour looks a little rough to start but when I looked close I could tell the Le Tour was loved a lot and taken very good care off.  The paint has very few chips and scratches under the dust and dullness.  I would say most of the dullness just came from storage.

The Le Tour is going to receive a complete restoration saving the original paint.  New cables, cable housings, bearings and brake pads will be installed.  Along with new tires, tubes, saddle and handlebar tape. 

The Le Tour has something I have only seen once before and that is solid tires, no tube and no air. They where a bear to get off the rims!

I can't wait to see the results and give the Le Tour a ride, I think its going to be a stunner!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Handlebars

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Brake Levers

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem & Handlebars

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Brake Caliper

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Hub

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Rim

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Fork Crown

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Wheel Hub

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Down Tube & Pump

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Saddle

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Chicago Decal

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Crank

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Derailleur

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Lug

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Stays

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Brake Caliper

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Derailleur

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Derailleur

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Hub

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Rim

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Before
 I broke the Le Tour down to the frame and found what I first thought to be true, the paint has very little chips and scratches.  A lot less then normal wear even.  The Le Tour was well cared for.

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Top Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Down Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Down Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Chicago Decal

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Stays

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Chain Stays

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Crown

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Crown

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Blades

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Drop Outs

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Before - Chrome Blades

I gave the frame a deep cleaning and then started working through the polishing grits.  I had to start with one grit courser then normal but that is not a big deal.  I worked through the grits and found the paint to be beautiful!  The paint just shines!  It has a very nice wet look!  I will mix up some touch up paint for the very few chips!  I love the forks on Le Tours with the opaque blue and the chrome!  I love this stuff!!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Down Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Chicago Decal

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Stays

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Chain Stays

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Drop Outs

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown - Poor Photo

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blades

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Drop Outs

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown
Check back soon!

The headset and bottom bracket are always the last parts of a bike and the first parts back on.  The headset, cable hanger and shift levers are all part of the headset for the Le Tour.  The pieces look a little rough to start but after some time in the crock pot for cleaning and working through the polishing wheels the pieces look fantastic, practically new.  New bearings and grease and the headset and bottom bracket spin super smooth.  I am very pleased with the results of the shift levers, they went from gritty to very smooth and look fantastic!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Bottom Bracket Shift Levers - Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Shift Levers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pressing Headset Cups

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Cups Pressed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Bearings Packed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bottom Bracket Bearings Packed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bottom Bracket Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bottom Bracket Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Complete

Handlebars and stem are next on the list.  This stem is my favorite stem Schwinn made.  Its light, I love the "S" logo and the shape is very nice.  The handlebars are also nice with a nice shape to them.  I broke everything down and started the cleaning and polishing.  The handlebars polished very nice and the stem turned out beautiful!  The stem polished like glass!  Better yet is how the stem and handlebars look with all the headset chrome against the polished blue paint!  I love this stuff!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Handlebars Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem Exploded

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Handlebars Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem Complete
Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Installed - I love this photo!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

Brake levers are next.  The brake levers are a little rough but the gold is still in good shape on the tension release which is great to have.  I cleaned and flushed the brake levers and lubricated the pivot points.  After polishing the brake levers turned out fantastic!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Levers Installed
 Next is the seat post and cable hanger.  The new saddle will be put on later.  The seat post polished very nicely and the cable hanger and seat binder bolt turned out great.  They look great installed next to the polished Opaque Blue paint.

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Seat Post & Saddle Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Cable Hanger Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Seat Post Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Seat Post & Cable Hanger Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Seat Post & Cable Hanger Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Seat Post Installed
One of my favorite parts of a restoration are the cable brackets.  Before they look pretty bad but not noticeable overall.  After polishing they look fantastic and really stand out against polished or new paint.  These cable brackets turned out fantastic and look amazing against the paint!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Cable Brackets Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Cable Brackets Polished 

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Cable Bracket Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Cable Bracket Installed

Brake calipers are next.  I really like the center pull brakes from this era, they work so much better then the side pulls from the same era and they look so nice when restored.  There are many pieces to them but when all are polished out its hard to beat.  These center pulls turned out fantastic and with new brake pads they will work very well.  They look amazing installed!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Calipers Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Calipers Exploded

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Calipers Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Calipers Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Brake Caliper Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Brake Calipers Installed
This is one reason the Le Tour is such a nice riding bike.  Schwinn finally made a bike that got away from the derailleurs that where o the Varsity, Continental, Super Sport and just about everything else. These derailleurs are very close to modern style.  They work so much better then the others on Schwinns.  These derailleurs turned out very nice and with pivot points flushed and lubricated they work very smooth and easy.  They look fantastic too.  They look almost better then new is some ways!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Derailleurs Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Exploded

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Derailleur Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Derailleur Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Derailleur Exploded

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Derailleur Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Derailleur Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Derailleur Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Derailleurs Complete
The crank chain guard ring  is soaking for a little light rust removal.  The rest of the crank is being hand polished.  the wheels are almost complete.  Check back soon!


The wheels where next.  The wheels had crazy airless tires.  Those tires where difficult to remove.  They are photoed at the end of the wheel build.

The wheels turned out to be rougher then they appeared to be.   I broke the wheels down and started the polishing.  The wheel hubs polished pretty good, I wish a little better but overall not bad.  The wheel rims polished okay.  The rust was a little worse then it looked to be.  The rust pitted the chrome some.  Overall the rims are okay.

With the wheels polished I packed the new bearings in new grease and installed the restored axle pieces.  The wheels spin beautifully!!  Overall I am pretty happy with the wheels, I wish they where slightly better polish wise but they spin fantastic!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Rim Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub Old Grease

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Rim Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Bearings Packed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Axle Pieces Ready

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Rear Wheel Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Hub Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Rim Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Hub Old Grease

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Hub Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Rim 

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Bearings Packed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pie Plate Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Freewheel Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pie Plate & Freewheel Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Airless Tires

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Airless Tires

I like the crank Schwinn used on the Le Tour, it is very nice and has character.  The chain guard ring had a little rust but after soaking it turned out great.  I hand polish the crank because it is dangerous to polish on the power wheels.  I am very happy with the results of the crank, it looks even better installed!
Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Exploded

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Hardware Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Crank Installed
I installed the new saddle in black, later we installed a white version which really brings the Le Tour together.
Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
New Saddle

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Saddle Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Saddle Installed
 Time to wire the Le Tour, nothing looks better then white cable housings with the opaque blue color!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
New Cables & Housings

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bike Wired
 Next is white handlebar tape, perfect for the Opaque Blue!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
New Handlebar Tape

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Handlebar Tape Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Handlebar Tape Installed

Next is the pedals.  The pedals turned out fantastic with a good flushing, lubricating and polishing.

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pedals Before

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pedals Polished

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Pedals Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete
 New white saddle installed instead.  Beautiful!!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
New White Saddle Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Saddle Installed

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Saddle Installed
I gave the Le Tour a good shake down ride today.  It road fantastic!  It just took a little adjustment of the front derailleur.   I am always surprised how fast these bikes are! They are also so comfortable. The Shwalbe Marathon tires are great, so smooth and quick!  I couldn't be happier with the ride!

I think the Opaque Schwinn colors are my favorite of all colors.  The blue is beautiful!  The white accents are perfect.  Such a classy bike!!

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Handlebars

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Stem & Handlebars

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Headtube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Brake Caliper

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Wheel Hub

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Wheel Rim

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Stem

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Head Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Handlebars

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Half

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Down Tube

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Saddle

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Chicago Decal

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Drive Train

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Crank

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Derailleur

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Saddle

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Rear Brake Caliper

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Rear Derailleur

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Rear Wheel

Andrew's 1974 Schwinn Le Tour Restoration
Bicycle Complete
Thank you for looking!
John Z.

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