Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Schwinn Le Tour III putting it all together (out of order)

I already posted shots of the finished Le Tour II mxte project so here I am back tracking a bit to talk about how it all went together starting from the stripped down frame and (mostly) cleaned up components.

First I needed to get the fork taken care of.  I had used one of my spiffy new tools (Nashbar crown race puller) to get the crown race off so I could clean it.

Then I needed to clean up some rust on the chromed fork blades so they would be nice and shiny again.  Some Turtle was chrome cleaner/rust remover and brass brush wheel on the Dremel tool did the job.

Then it was on to using more cool tools (Nashbar crown race setter and headset press) to remount the crown race on the fork and get the cleaned up cups back on the head tube.

With the frame-set taken care of it was on to the wheels.  The wheel-set that came on this bike was just fine and I will certainly reuse it but since this project was financed by my brother for his wife I went with some brand new 27 inch wheels from Amazon.  They are relatively inexpensive (under $70 for the set) and; they are lighter, have a better braking surface and nicer spokes and hubs than the originals.  The drawback to the factory wheels is that both front and rear came too tight and needed to be adjusted and IMHO they don't use enough grease in the bearings so I took care of that too.  Not a huge deal if you are willing do to a bit of extra work and have the proper cone wrenches handy.
factory amount

Ryan amount
In getting the bike back together I encountered three issues.  I had purchased "thumbies" from Velo-Orange so I could mount the shifter's on the handlebar to make them easier to reach.
I got them all set up only to find that due to an issue with how the shifter hardware interfaced with the thumbies I couldn't get the front derailleur shifter to work properly -it basically loosened itself every time I shifted.

In the diagram below, part 3533 has a "shaft" that all the shifter parts fit around, Velo-Orange very kindly provides an extra long shaft to use with the thumbies, except that the shifter "guts" would not fit around the VO part as it was just slightly too big and using the stock part, meant for a stem shifter mount, the shaft was too short to fit all of the washers that go at the end (3526, 3527, 3528).  Where is Goldie Locks when you need her? I speculate the lack of a key washer is what allowed the front derailleur shifter to keep loosening.

So I had to scrap that and go with the original stem mount system (below).  Thank goodness for keeping and cleaning all the original parts!

I also mounted the basket (a key piece of the build) only to find it hung down low enough to interfere with the front tire.  Luckily I happened to have a Dia Compe mini rack I had intended for a later build that mounts to center pull brakes and that solved the basket issue.  I did have to add an extra washer to keep the rack "tang" from getting hung up on the headset and interfering with steerage.
Finally I was ready for the last piece of the build adding on the cork grips.  I was lucky I had two pairs of grips because I destroyed one set in getting the #$%^* things mounted!  I read somewhere you are supposed to glue them on but I had no luck getting them mounted until I greased them up and I still ended up with a small crack near the front of the left grip because they were so tough to rotate onto the bar.  I do like the look, especially shellacked but boy they were a pain in the rear.  (Note its possible that the cork grips are meant for a 22.2 diameter bars rather than the 23.8mm bars I used but I checked the packaging and it did not specify.)

One thing I really liked about this build is how much detail they put into this bike, almost all of the components had either a Le Tour marking or said "Schwinn Approved".  Even the seat post has a Le Tour marking that you would never see!
It really made me appreciate the level of detail they put into these Japanese Schwinn's.
As always -ride.smile.repeat.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Schwinn Le Tour III -Finished

Its done, she loved it, more later when I am not so darn tired
finished product in new home

Blue, Bell, Basket

Spiffed up crank

Final stages

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Schwinn Le Tour III Mixte Rescue update

When last I left you, my erstwhile readers, I had obtained a Schwinn Le Tour III mixte to build up so my brother could give it to his wife on her birthday at the end of April.  While I'm not as far along as I would like to be I have made progress and should be able to get it completed on time.  First the little minx made it into the rack for inspection and deconstruction
And I ended up with this
And this
And then the packages started to arrive, first came the nice new 27 inch allow wheels, to go with some fat 27 x 1 3/8" Kenda K40s I already had in stock.
And lots of cool bits for the cockpit, new pedals, basket etc.
I have also made use of a handy little item that my buddy Hugh, at Hugh's bicycle blog, turned me on to.  The ultrasonic -cleaner.  This little helper (below)

Turns dirty, grimy, nasty  stuff like this..

Into nice clean shiny stuff like this - I didn't even notice the first time I saw the derailleur that it had a Le Tour badge, now that its clean it really stands out.
So now its time to finish the cleaning and lubing parts.  Checking the new hoops for spin and true,and adding grease to the hubs as the wheels from the factory are usually miserly with the lube.  Then on to building this baby back up and ready for the road.

Normally I am pretty conservative with my rebuilds, I make sure that I have at least a little profit after donor bike and parts costs,  but I am going off course with the LeTour III.  I am going to blow way past the $250 my brother had slated for this project, but that's ok as I went overboard in large part for myself to build a really sharp mixte.  Big bro will get a deal, my Sister-in-law will get a bike she will hopefully have fun riding and I get to create a cool ride.  Until next time.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.