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Thread: Le Tour - Year?

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    Le Tour - Year?

    Hello all! I just purchased a Le Tour for $50. The previous owner believes it's a '74(ish). I have looked at schwinncruisercatalogs and I can't seem to find my model. I've attached some pics. There is also a decal on the frame that states 'True Temper 4130 Chromoly.' The stamp on left rear fork says '1273'...the stamp on the right rear fork says 'pat pend.' Head badge stamp says '0296.' Any input would be appreciated!

    Le Tour - Year?-20170711_082015.jpgLe Tour - Year?-20170711_082025.jpgLe Tour - Year?-20170711_082040.jpgLe Tour - Year?-20170711_082216.jpgLe Tour - Year?-20170711_082236.jpgLe Tour - Year?-20170711_082250.jpg

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    Well, it's a bike worth.....about $50. If it weren't a girl's frame, it might be worth $100 (on a good day). I can see that your rear derailleur is bent, and also the hangar (deduct $10 from the value). Not bad for a low-end gaspipe frame. I'd make it into a winter bike, to save your 'good' bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aneuzil View Post
    Head badge stamp says '0296.'
    i will guess the frame was assembled on the 29th day of 1986.

    Quote Originally Posted by online article
    Beginning in the 1970s, many Schwinns feature a 4-digit stamp on the head badge that represents the assembly date and consists of the Julian day and the last digit of the year (1246 decodes to the 124th day of 1976 or 1986
    you can probably find the 1986 schwinn catalogue online and check the decals and paint scheme with those offered that year to be sure.

    and components often have two-digit date codes you can cross-reference at the vintage trek website.
    Last edited by blackfrancois; 1 Week Ago at 05:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Well, it's a bike worth.....about $50. If it weren't a girl's frame, it might be worth $100 (on a good day). I can see that your rear derailleur is bent, and also the hangar (deduct $10 from the value). Not bad for a low-end gaspipe frame. I'd make it into a winter bike, to save your 'good' bike.
    you've made it clear you don't know vintage pricing nor the vintage market. you continue to make false claims and mislead readers.

    those unfamiliar with bicycles assign a gender to them. we see this often on craigslist via terribly written and ignorant ads. this one is not a girl's bike. it is a step-thru frame. these are incredibly well liked by all types of people. they often command higher, not lower prices.

    4130 is not "gaspipe." both are heavier than a mid-level chromoly bike, but the differences between 4130 (like a motobecane grand touring, for example) and a gaspipe bike (like a motobecane nomad) are substantial.

    we cannot tell if the derailleur nor the hanger is bent from those pics. if it is shifting the rear cluster effectively, all's well. if it is not, one or both may indeed be bent. both can be easily fixed with simple, homemade tools.

    in summer in a big market, this bike is worth roughly $200 as-is. if fully overhauled with new consumables, it is worth at least $325. but market and marketing is everything.

    op, let us know if you have more questions about your lower-mid level 4130 schwinn step-thru.
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    the 6-speed rear cluster (126mm spacing) became popular around 1980 as well.

    previously, bike frames were spaced for 5-speed rear clusters (120mm).

    mid-level bikes have a lot in common with your schwinn: 3-piece cotterless cranks with non-integrated chainrings, downtube shifters, aluminum rims, etc. one glaring exception i see are the brake levers with turkey levers, aka suicide levers, which immediately tells me it's not quite mid-level. these can easily be replaced for $10 or less if you have a bike co-op nearby.

    schwinn offered those forged inserts in the rear drops, but they aren't fully forged and brazed into the frame. they can fail, so be careful with them. this is one example where the bike isn't quite "mid-level." if it has an aluminum seatpost and bars (i.e., neither is steel), then it has far more in common with a nice mid-level bike than not.
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    OK, around here in the 'rust belt', essentially ANY Schwinn short of a Paramount goes for $100 or less. Maybe in some high cost west-coast cities (and maybe NYC) you could get $200, but anybody who lists that bike for that price on my local CL will end up not selling.

    As for the term "step through frame", that is also a more recent regionalism, influenced mostly by those from Asia who use them mostly by default. Back when this frame was made, even Schwinn called it a "women's frame", and no male would be caught dead riding one. Today with WS frames, it's safer to call it a "girl's frame", to avoid confusion. Girl's frames do NOT sell around here, except at about half-price. I've gotten a couple as good deals, which I've stripped for the components, then sold the frame, one for $10, and one I donated because...well, nobody wants a girl's frame locally. I doubt, even on the west coast, that you could sell this bike at a premium.

    4130 grade tubing on this bike is a step above 1020, and it is most likely seamless, but still straight-gauge. In the future, I will only refer to a tubeset as "gaspipe" if it is straight gauge and either seamed or mild steel or both.

    I still say you'd be hard pressed to get more than $50 for it locally, even tough you could sell the components for maybe more than $100 alone. Also, the one pic shows the DS dropout at an angle to the centerline, and the lower jockey wheel well off the top chainline, with a cage at an odd angle; looks like something is worn or bent to me.
    Last edited by No Time Toulouse; 1 Week Ago at 01:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    OK, around here in the 'rust belt'...
    marketing is everything. one of the four p's of marketing is "place." once you understand that, you will know prices in your rust belt community may be multiple times lower than in portland, vancouver, toronto, dc, san francisco, chicago, new york, seattle, dozens of college towns (madison), etc.

    i refer to these as "big market."

    or maybe you'll continue to tell folks their bike is worth $50, regardless.
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    and besides, just because there are enough eccentric individuals to buy such a junky low end bike for $200 or $300, doesn't mean the bike has inherent value to it. It's a common, uninteresting, unreliable bike imho.

    having been in the bike business in the 70s and 80s, yes these 'step through' and similar 'mixte' framed bikes were sold exclusively to female buyers at the time. And yes this bike appears to not be as low as the cheapest department store bikes, but merely one step above it - an entry-level bike shop bike, iirc around $200-300 sale price in mid 80s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    and besides, just because there are enough eccentric individuals to buy such a junky low end bike for $200 or $300, doesn't mean the bike has inherent value to it. It's a common, uninteresting, unreliable bike imho.

    having been in the bike business in the 70s and 80s, yes these 'step through' and similar 'mixte' framed bikes were sold exclusively to female buyers at the time. And yes this bike appears to not be as low as the cheapest department store bikes, but merely one step above it - an entry-level bike shop bike, iirc around $200-300 sale price in mid 80s.
    all you have to do is look at the schwinn catalogue to see this bike in the lineup as lower mid-level. it is a great bike compared to the lowest level bikes, like a varsity.

    when fully overhauled with new consumables, it will serve its purpose perfectly. afterwards, it will be very, very easy to maintain. this is all most people need -- simple, fun, and reliable transportation. if stored indoors, it will outlive all of us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    ....It's a common, uninteresting, unreliable bike imho.

    .....
    Yes, I know that there are people who collect Schwinns, but I could never understand what they see in them. I'll bet this bike weighs 26 lbs at least. $200 for an old bike that weighs as much as an online modern bike that you could buy for $399? Wow, that's a lot, and really defies logic.
    I'm upping my standards;
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    ... I'll bet this bike weighs 26 lbs at least. $200 for an old bike that weighs as much as an online modern bike that you could buy for $399? Wow, that's a lot, and really defies logic.
    the reasons are many:

    - vintage bikes are cool.
    - they're easy to work on.
    - they're reliable.
    - they keep their value long-term.
    - there's reward in refurbishing/recycling rather than buying new.
    - $400 modern bikes may not be any better than this bike.

    this is all very logical, but people are not always logical. and that is why some will pay $400 for a 30+ pound new bike made in china that will lose most of its value after one ride.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

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    here's why they're not worth it:

    -unreliable for several reasons:
    -- stamped steel pieces on the derailleurs naturally develop more and more play (rounded pin holes), making shifting clunky, prone to bending
    -- unsealed bearings attract water and dirt, need more frequent maintenance than most average folks understand and thus can't keep them from getting pitted
    -- 80s style cotterless crankset very prone to developing deformation resulting in failed connection and noise
    -- obsolete gear spacing parts a bit harder to find, esp once the chainrings wear out
    -- living with friction downtube shifters, weak but heavy-feeling brakes

    I don't think the weight is too much of an issue. heck my $4k new bike weighs about 22lbs. put on some modern tires, if the rims are 700C (they are very likely to be 27" rims though, with much more limited choices)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    unreliable for several reasons:
    -- stamped steel pieces on the derailleurs naturally develop more and more play (rounded pin holes), making shifting clunky, prone to bending
    -- unsealed bearings
    -- 80s style cotterless crankset
    -- obsolete gear spacing parts a bit harder to find
    -- living with friction downtube shifters
    -- weak but heavy-feeling brakes
    only your last point holds any water for me. single pivot brakes on these models are sometimes difficult to dial in. they can be replaced very easily. a modern set costs less than $50, but is probably overkill on this bike.

    all the other points are nitpicky and don't ring true. i could overhaul that bike and it would work just like new or probably better than new. the reason i know this is because i've done it dozens of times with similar models.

    most all my hubs have been loose ball. very seldom have i come across pitted surfaces. never on a schwinn.

    i hardly ever have to change the derailleurs on vintage bikes unless they're french or i'm upgrading to campy. I can't think of a time i changed a derailleur or chainrings on a schwinn. if they're lower-mid derailleurs, they're more reliable (and heavier) because of the steel pieces.

    sunrace and others make new freewheels that will last years for $10 shipped. thus, not "obsolete."

    friction shifting works fine once the rider gets comfortable with it. i love all mine. they can last forever or can be changed out for under $10 with a co-op nearby.

    all my bikes have chainrings older than '86, and they all work great. my '73 falcon has the original sugino rings. and its two owners have ridden the hell out of the bike. new or used chainrings are not hard to find. most everyone has access to ebay.

    all the bike needs (probably) is an overhaul, consumables, a freewheel, better brake levers (under $10), and new kool-stops. and it's good for years and years.

    as i said, these vintage bikes will likely be around much longer than any of us.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

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    Thank you!

    Thank you everyone for the responses. I've determined that this Le Tour is a 1986.

    To alleviate any concern, I purchased this bike because I thought it was cute and wanted something 'vintage' to ride. As a kid, I had always wanted a Schwinn, but the fam could never afford one. This will not be my everyday transportation, but more like a twice a week thing I can take on the bike path with the kiddos. Cut me some slack...I had to google 'how to determine the number of speeds my bike has'. For me, it was $50 well spent...and I just dropped it at the bike shop where I'll probably drop another $150 to get it up and running and safe. I'm ok with that. I finally got my Schwinn.

    Thanks again for the responses! I'm looking forward to tinkering with this bike and learning what a derailleur actually does...one day.

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    I tried to rep Blackfrancois, but at first the tears of laughter blinded me and I could not operate the keyboard, so I had to resort to voice command. Then when I resorted to voice command RBR informed me I have already repped Blackfrancois.

    Is there an emoticon for hooked-fish? or pulled leg?

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