1986 Schwinn Le Tour Revamp — 1


Yes­ter­day I bought a 1986 Schwinn Le Tour for $80 off Craigslist. I’ve done minor repair work on bikes, but nev­er major over­hauls so I thought it would be fun to get a bike that’s in decent shape and tune it up, make some sig­nif­i­cant upgrades, fix some cos­met­ic issues, and doc­u­ment the process here.



The bike as it appears in the 1986 Schwinn cat­a­log.


The Le Tour was intro­duced to Schwinn’s mid-range line of tour­ing bikes in 1974. Except for a brief peri­od in the mid-80s, the Le Tour was built in Japan by Pana­son­ic for Schwinn. It’s a 4130 chro-moly steel frame. It came with a Strong­light crankset, Huret derailleur, and Dia-Compe brakes.

Old Dan


What a cutie!

Let’s call this bike Old Dan. He’s in pret­ty good shape with most of the orig­i­nal com­po­nents intact. He even has the orig­i­nal bar tape! His birth­day is Jan­u­ary 21, 1986, as stamped on the head­badge.

On the 21st day of 1986.

On the 21st day of 1986.

The only sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem with the book is some nasty sur­face rust on the left shoul­der of the fork.


Sing this cor­ro­sion to me.

The Plan

  • Sand, prime, and repaint the left shoul­der of the fork and any oth­er rust spots
  • Dis­man­tle, clean, and pol­ish all com­po­nents
  • Replace tires with gum-wall tires
  • Replace translu­cent cable hous­ing with yel­low cable hous­ing
  • Replace black sad­dle with yel­low sad­dle
  • Replace bar-tape with yel­low bar-tape
  • Replace/grease all bear­ings
  • Dial-in brakes and shifters

Next Up

  • Unbox my new bicy­cle repair stand
  • Begin sand­ing and prim­ing

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