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 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.
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.
The only significant problem with the book is some nasty surface rust on the left shoulder of the fork.
- 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
- Unbox my new bicycle repair stand
- Begin sanding and priming