Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ryan's Rebuilds to the Rescue

One of my older brothers also lives in the greater Seattle metro area and most weeks we are able to get together before work at a downtown Seattle coffee shop.  Recently he revealed to me a pickle he found himself in.  In cleaning out his garage he had decided to put an old bike into a garage sale, it was an Nishiki Hybrid bike that he had used in a sprint triathlon but it was functional and nothing special .  Anyway not long after the garage sale his wife asked him what had happened to her bike.....seems she considered the Nishiki her bike and my brother, at first speechless, had to confess that he sold it not realizing it was her bike.  Doh!  So knowing his little brother is a bike geek and that his wife's birthday was approaching at the end of April, he came to me with a request that I find a bike to replace the one he had sold.

His criteria was that it would  be a step through (women's bike), which the Nishiki was not, and that it had to be blue.  He also wanted to keep the budget in the $250 range.  I told him I thought I could help him out and envisioned a split top tube classic European Mixte, perhaps a Peugeot or Motobecane, to fit the bill.  Today I decided to visit my favorite haunt for bike projects, Bike Works, to search out a donor for this project and I found not exactly what I had in my own mind but a bike that fit the bill none the less.  It's a nice  late 70s or early 80s Schwinn Le Tour III Mixte frame in need of some TLC.  No split top tube but a very nice Japanese built lugged frame with Le Tour branded SunTour parts, and the blue paint seems to be in good shape for its age.  It's certainly NOT a 40 pound, hernia inducing, Chicago built Varsity.
1978 Catalog

I have some nice swept back city bars and brake levers to match  from Velo Orange put aside for just such a project and I think the SunTour components will clean up nicely.

Since I only had to shell out $40 for this little gem I might also be able to upgrade the Steel wheels to some new Alloy 27 inchers and maybe add a faux leather sprung saddle.  And for sure it needs a nice basket up front.
I am hoping this will turn out to be a sweet Mixte if I do my job right and certainly it will be a upgrade over the Nishiki that was a garage sale casualty.  Should be a fun build for my sister in-law, and a face saver for my brother- More to come.



  1. As you can imagine, your latest project is close to my heart. Thumbies? Rack? Big flat pedals? Kickstand? I have been thinking a about a kickstand. Fattest skins possible. And being family, I would stretch the "range". $250? Yeah, sure. Harlequin bar tape. And...some little surprise...a trinket, a sticker...zodiac sign...something personal. Like a tattoo for a bike.

    You are doing such a fine job with your blog! Bravo! tj

  2. Here's what I have in mind Velobrother, brass bell, VO Porteur bars, Dia Compe Guidonnet Brake Levers amd some 27x1 3/8 tires all of which I have in the parts bin. And then since I am being given a budget and the bike only set me back $40 I ordered aluminum rimmed 27 inch wheels, a comfy WTB ladies saddle, Sunlite cruiser platform pedals, cork grips and a the topper - a Nantucket Adult sized D shaped basket. I think its going to be sweet and hopefully my Sister in-law will get a smile when riding it. Oh and the bike comes with a kickstand so its ready for running errands or just going ot the coffee shop.

    Thanks for the encouragement TPC

  3. I am looking forward to seeing the project unfold. I might have to copy ideas for my daughter's rebuild.

    And another Bravo sent you way on the blog!

  4. Thanks Jim, I already know I am going to blow past my brothers budget and probably eat most of the overage but it will be a fun build -

    Darn you Tim Joe you just had to get me thinking about $#%^ Thumbies! Ordered some today from Velo-Orange as I thought it would keep all the controls closer together and easier/safer to use.

    1. The Force is strong within me...

    2. Curse your Jedi Mind tricks!!... Wait..what..oh these aren't the old ten speeds we're looking for, move along.

      Ok it didn't take much of a push to get me thinking along the Thumbie lines and they will look sweetie and provide easy shifting from the bars..