80's schwinn le tour upgrades?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by simon28, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. simon28

    simon28 New Member

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    hey guys its my first time getting into cycling and just picked up from a friend a 87 model we think schwinn le tour . I like trying to get used to riding a bike like this. I'm used to a mountain bike or bmx but im older now so im getting into other things. My ? is can you upgrade the gear levers to where the brakes are like the new bikes ? and if so where can i get it? and how much ? I have not seen it done yet or found anything. I would think you can its 2014 lol. Someone had of thought about doing this? It is just weird having to shift under the bars . I am excited to get into cycling. Getting my wife into it . Its hard to find bike here in Atlanta Georgia for her bc she is short and short armed. Her size is a small for a mountain bike at REI . dont know what frame size that is on a old school cycle? Looking for ladies style to. Make it easy on her to get on. Any info on cycling and finding the right bike for the wife would be great. we have a 200$ to spend on her bike. Dont know what brand is a good starter bike. Maybe the same as mine?? Lots of them on ebay . Thank guys.
     
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  2. simon28

    simon28 New Member

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    really 11 views and no one can answer my ?s
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Well, you probably don't realize what can of worms you have opened. And you don't seem to have used the search function either. There are plenty of threads here about upgrading to brifters (brakes+shifters). And yes, it can be done. But there's a lot more to it than you might expect. In short the shifters(number of speeds, stroke per shift) has to match the specs of the stack of sprockets on the rear wheel. And the actuation ratio of he rear derailer. And it gets worse. Not all wheels can be made to work with all shifters. unless you either know what to shop for, or has a stack of parts from before it'll probably end up more expensive than buying a newer bike with the configuration that you want. The stock recommendation for rookies who persevere is to find some bar end shifters, maybe run them in friction mode
     
  4. simon28

    simon28 New Member

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    thank you for the info . yeah i really did not understand a lot of what u were saying lol. sounds like to much money
     
  5. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Yep that'd be the cheapest way to improve shifting on an old bike.
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    That and new cables and housing.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    dabac, steve, & oldbobcat are generally correct ... . FWIW. While not imperative, if you are capable-or-not of DIY work on the bike(s) will make a huge difference ...
    • the cost can be less than $200 per bike if you DIY ...
    • but, if you ask a bike shop to do it you will spend 2x as much AND/OR they will convince you to buy a "new" bike ...
    FYI. DROP handlebars can be put on almost any bike + you can update almost ANY bike with contemporary combination Brake/Shifter levers ... Here is a mid-80s Peugeot which had been my "test" bike ... the only original components on the bike are the rear axle's adjusting screws ... [IMG ALT="Peugeot_PH501_7n20bv2.jpg"]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/255344/width/350/height/700[/IMG] Here is a "mountain" bike frame which has Drop bars + Campagnolo shifters ... [IMG ALT="NYCBikes_Camelsback_30x11.gif"]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/267263/width/350/height/700[/IMG] The (above) bike is shown without cables & some other finishing parts (e.g., rear cantilever brake calipers) Exclusive of the budgeting for some bicycle specific tools, you simply need ...
    1. a pair of 10-speed CAMPAGNOLO SHIFTERS (~$120)
    2. a Shimano rear derailleur (see below ... ~$30)
    3. new cable housing & cables (recommended, but may not be necessary)
    4. downtube cable stops (~$10-to-$20)
    5. the handlebars (if different)
    6. a 7-speed SunRace Freewheel (to replace what is on your bike ... ~$20-to-$25) ...
    [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cyclingforums.com/content/type/61/id/269520/width/350/height/700[/IMG] BTW. If 'I' were REALLY MOTIVATED ([COLOR=FF00AA]or, desperate![/COLOR]) then I could put functioning Campagnolo shifters with derailleurs on a BMX bike or any other frame which had horizontal/track-type rear dropouts!
     
  8. simon28

    simon28 New Member

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    ok so its a 21 speed does that make a diff?
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    While Campagnolo shifters were certainly NOT intended to be universal, they can generally be used to shift the chain across a TRIPLE crankset without any difficulty. FYI. Older Freewheels & Cassettes which do not have RAMPED Cogs will work when the indexing is dialed in & maintained, accordingly; but, 'I' have certainly found that ramping is often-but-not-always very beneficial where shifting efficiency is concerned.
     
  10. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Not really. 7-speed rear can be either a freewheel or a freehub design, which influences your upgrade options. And while 3x7 does give you 21 different combinations, it won't give 21 usefully different gear ratios. With a triple front there's a fair bit of overlapping and repeat ratios. Expect about 2/3 as many usefully different ratios as available combinations.
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Simon, anything can be done with enough money. But suggest you'll be better off saving up your money for a new quality MTB for your wife rather than "upgrading" an old clunker with new shifters. Sure, the integrated shifters are nicer when you're working hard in a paceline or tight crit race pack, but you're not going to be doing that with your 87 Le Tour. Some (old) people I know even build new frames with downtube shifters today, just because they like the way they work, the retro feel and the simplicity.
     
  12. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    By the time you acquire the tools, parts, and knowledge to effect the kind of upgrade alfeng envisions, you will be several hundreds of dollars in the hole and the bike might be ready to ride by next fall. Alf is a very smart guy who has spent more years learning how to do this stuff than you've spent as a sentient being; he has tools you never heard of, spare parts in his basement, hot links to his hobby horses on the Sheldon Brown web site, he knows where to buy stuff cheaply, and he would like nothing more than to make you his acolyte.

    If you're inclined, use the Le Tour to learn about bike repair, at a pace you pocketbook and other obligations can tolerate. Start with something easy like fresh cables, brake pads, tires, and handlebar wrap.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    HMmmmm ...

    Doesn't it seem as though we need fewer-and-fewer bike specific tools now than in the past?

    While not everyone has what I would currently consider to be standard household tools (e.g., screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, etc.), 'I' think that for the upgrade which I have suggested that the only non-household tool (that is, people should probably/eventually-or-already have the others!) is a T-25 Wrench which has a 4" shaft or a 5mm Wrench which has a 4" shaft ...

    AFAIK, only Campagnolo's V3 shifters would need a T-25 Wrench ...

    4" long T-25 bits which can be used in the type of screwdriver handle which accepts separate tips are generally available for less than 1/4 the cost of a dedicated T-25 Wrench ...

    A pair of HARBOR FREIGHT's orange handled Needle Nose pliers or "Dikes" (they are sold together in a set which includes several other useful pliers) will be more than adequate for snipping the cables to length ...

    A standard size Flat or a half-round file will be beneficial to debur the cable housing.

    At this point, if I didn't have the specific Freewheel tool for the Freewheel that is on the bike then I would see if an LBS could do it (maybe they will do it for "free" if the replacement SunRace Freewheel is bought at the shop ... maybe, not) OR 'I' would grind it off (kids, don't try this at home!!) ...

    • removing a Freewheel by grinding it off involves only grinding off the locking rings ...
    • if a person is capable of removing those rings in a more gentle way, then more power to them!
    • the Cogs will slide off ...
    • and then, the core can then removed with a "standard" pipe wrench

    • BTW. I wouldn't buy a new Freewheel tool for the OLD Freewheel which is on the bike since the tool will more-than-likely become a paperweight.

    I don't know what type of brake levers the OP has ... I would think that either a flat bladed screwdriver or a 4mm Allen Wrench will be required ... but, I suppose an appropriately sized socket & driver might be required.

    A 3mm Allen Wrench will typically be used to mount the auxiliary downtube cable stops if a an old clamp-on cable stop isn't used ...

    • a set of inexpensive, METRIC, L-bend Allen Wrenches will certainly suffice

    What else is there other than some tape & scissors + some light grease (to lube the cables)?

    As far as the knowledge that is needed, the heavy lifting has been done [i.e., Chris Juden's matrix] ... and, almost any info which doesn't seem obvious will probably be available on YouTube.

    Winter IS a good time to work on a bike even if it is just re-wrapping one's handlebars!

    Even if an individual has only limited DIY skills, if s/he is methodical then the component change can certainly be done on a weekend afternoon AFTER all the components are on hand ...

    I think it is possible that MORE time could possibly be spent re-wrapping the handlebars THAN the rest of the process.
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by OBC:
    "...he has tools you never heard of, spare parts in his basement, hot links to his hobby horses on the Sheldon Brown web site, he knows where to buy stuff cheaply..."

    A manly man, doing manly things with dangerous devices!
     
  15. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Indeed.
     
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