Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Schwinn LeTour, Raleigh, or Bianchi?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Schwinn LeTour, Raleigh, or Bianchi?

Old 12-17-19, 02:08 AM
  #1  
LBchLeo
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Schwinn LeTour, Raleigh, or Bianchi?

My son wants "an inexpensive steel racy road bike" to workout on the local bike paths. I found a "never used" Schwinn LeTour, lugged steel road bike in his size on a social media site for $90. Appears to be 1987 (or a little earlier) as it has non-aero brake levers. It appears in very good condition. Is this model good and safe enough for his purposes and is it worth rebuilding with some upgrades? I believe it is made in Japan. I also found a few Raleigh and Bianchi road bikes of about the same age for about $150 to $200. Would they be a better choice to upgrade and rebuild? I want to stay away from sew-up tires/rims. Any other advice? I do my own mechanical work. Thanks for your help. --Leo, Long Beach, Ca.
LBchLeo is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 08:46 AM
  #2  
Thomas15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Jim Thorpe, PA
Posts: 97

Bikes: TREK 4500 MTB, Nishiki Olympic, Nishiki Sport, Cannondale Synapse 4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 22 Posts
I don't want to express an opinion on any of the bikes mentioned. Not that there is anything wrong with them, rather it depends on the actual and specific riding conditions your son will be using the bike on. We have in my neck of the woods bike trails that cover the gammot of conditions, from smooth level pavement to rock strewn single track mountains..


As far as upgrading bikes. I have two (2) mid-80s steel frame bikes that I have owned since they were new, so long paid for. I decided to start riding again so I repaired one of them (new tires/tubes/chain/seat), complete teardown and upgrade with new brakes and aero levers. The frame is in very good condition and I have 1000s of miles on the bike. Did all of the work myself. But I can draw a direct comparison to the amount of money I put into my classic steel bike with a 10 year old, much nicer "craigs list" bike I purchased for $300


In short in my opinion and personal experience if budget is the thing find something used that exactly meets the needs rather than upgrade. If any of the bikes under consideration are good to go just figure the cost of new tires, chain and brake pads plus a tune up and then get riding. Must have accessories like helmet, gloves, trail tools and general bicycle bric-A-brac along with riding pants and so forth will cost more than probably what you will spend on any of the bikes under consideration.


But on the other hand once you accumulate all of the stuff the cyclist can have a life long pastime that is quite satisfying.
Thomas15 is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 08:59 AM
  #3  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,570

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1313 Post(s)
Liked 167 Times in 109 Posts
You're asking for advice on 30 year old products that we can't see. I have no facts to work with, only my personal biases.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 09:01 AM
  #4  
cb400bill
Modern Moderator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 17,169

Bikes: Fuji SL 2.1, Schwinn Voyageur, Cannondale Synapse, Raleigh C50, Trek 710, Raleigh Granada, Legnano Pista, Viscount Aerospace Pro

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1588 Post(s)
Liked 486 Times in 316 Posts
Thread moved from General Cycling to Classic & Vintage.
cb400bill is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 09:05 AM
  #5  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,484

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 909 Post(s)
Liked 155 Times in 113 Posts
Reinforcing the message: hard to say without pictures.

You have to wait til you've posted 10 times before you can post pictures, but you can upload pics to google pics (or other free image hosting sites) and post the URLs here.

You can narrow down the year of mfr by comparing your LeTour with catalog cuts here:
https://bikehistory.org/bikes/letour/
Once you've narrowed it down, check out the more detailed catalog images here:
https://waterfordbikes.com/w/culture/schwinn-catalogs/

The LeTour was started at about 31 lbs, and lost a little weight as the years rolled by. From about 1985 to the last year of mfr (1988) they were 25 lbs. with a Tru Temper chrome-moly double-butted frame (that is, pretty good frames). The wheels, while perfectly rideable, are 27" and not 700c size, so you have a smaller (but still very ample IMHO) selection of tires. I think that the derailleurs and such were Shimano or Sun Tour, with Sugino Cranks and a 6 cog rear. In good shape, any Le Tour should be comfortable to ride. These were never intended for racing, but the later models (1985 and later) and the "Super Le Tour" bikes are probably closer to the "racing type bike".

Undamaged with no rust or corrosion and properly serviced, these bikes are eminently safe. An "unridden" one would not have rust and it's a steel bike after all - should be fine.

A similar (maybe better) Raleigh bike from that era would be a Raleigh Super Course or Grand Prix or Super Grand Prix.

But right now, there are too many degrees of freedom. Post the pics, or a URL of the pics. Good luck.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 12-17-19 at 09:36 AM.
WizardOfBoz is online now  
Old 12-17-19, 10:10 AM
  #6  
CAT7RDR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hacienda Hgts
Posts: 416

Bikes: 1999 Schwinn Peloton Ultegra 10, Kestrel RT-1000 Ultegra, Trek Marlin 6 Deore 29'er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 87 Posts
Rode 1986 and 1987 Le Tours both new for a few years each. Solid bikes and if in great condition should not be any problem.

With new tech tires/tubes should be a much smoother ride than what I remember. Imagine a newer seat would also help ride quality.

I thought of upgrading one with modern brifters/brakes/drive train but the cost is not worth it compared to just buying a newer steel framed bike with modern components.
CAT7RDR is online now  
Old 12-17-19, 10:18 AM
  #7  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 11,217
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1770 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 123 Posts
It really depends on the surface type of the paths, the condition of the parts and what work needs to be done.
himespau is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 10:27 AM
  #8  
Murray Missile 
Bike hoarder.
 
Murray Missile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: 700 Ft. above sea level.
Posts: 2,080

Bikes: Just as many as there were awhile ago.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Liked 124 Times in 85 Posts
If the Schwinn was made in Japan it was almost certainly built by Panasonic. Depending on year and frame material it could be an excellent bike. There are different levels of Le Tours through the years however. You would need to know the exact year and version, some are a lot better than others.
Murray Missile is offline  
Likes For Murray Missile:
Old 12-17-19, 11:02 AM
  #9  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hardy, VA
Posts: 16,492

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 801 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 67 Posts
Honestly, your son will be the one who makes the final call, but since you asked for helpful opinions, I'll offer mine.

Even though my personal preference is for Raleigh's, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 1980's Le Tour, and it will be hard to find one that's in the condition you describe at the price being asked. They are well made and durable, and when maintained and cared for should last a long time (consumables will need to be replaced now and then, but that's the case with any bicycle)..Given what you've described as the intended purpose and usage, I would probably pick the LeTour.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 11:14 AM
  #10  
ryansu 
Ride.Smile.Repeat
 
ryansu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 2,536

Bikes: 2009 Handsome Devil, 1978 Motobecane Grand Touring, 1987 Nishiki Cresta GT, Former bikes; 1986 Miyata Trail Runner, 1979 Miyata 912, 2011 VO Rando, 1999 Cannondale R800, 2012 Soma Smoothie, 1986 Schwinn Passage

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 667 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 210 Posts
First off figure out what fits your son and find a bike in that size- a free bike that doesn't fit is no kind of a deal. Secondly expect for any used bike in that you will need to replace consumables: tires chain, cables bar wrap etc and that can cost $75 to $100 (at least) assuming you do the work yourself -lots of great info out there on how to that, and a project you could do with your son, if a shop does it the costs escalate. I love vintage bikes for many reasons but one is they are simple enough to work on that even I can do the maintenance. If you have a bike co-op in your area that is another option, they sometimes sell refurbished bikes with warranties for about what you would pay for a used bike and the replacement parts YMMV. Good luck and post pics when you find a bike.
ryansu is offline  
Old 12-17-19, 01:34 PM
  #11  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,852

Bikes: 81 Medici, 84 Turbo, 86 IM, 2010 Milwaukee Road, 2011 RS

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 677 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 61 Posts
How tall is your son? Or what length pants does he wear? We can look over CL and select a few to chose from with pros and cons. I see a couple Schwinn Tempos which are "racy".
Classtime is offline  
Old 12-18-19, 07:48 AM
  #12  
m3tal070
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by LBchLeo View Post
My son wants "an inexpensive steel racy road bike" to workout on the local bike paths. I found a "never used" Schwinn LeTour, lugged steel road bike in his size on a social media site for $90. Appears to be 1987 (or a little earlier) as it has non-aero brake levers. It appears in very good condition. Is this model good and safe enough for his purposes and is it worth rebuilding with some upgrades? I believe it is made in Japan. I also found a few Raleigh and Bianchi road bikes of about the same age for about $150 to $200. Would they be a better choice to upgrade and rebuild? I want to stay away from sew-up tires/rims. Any other advice? I do my own mechanical work. Thanks for your help. --Leo, Long Beach, Ca.
I would compare components, then look at overall shape of bike after that. IMO (no pics to look over) you would need at least that info first before making a recommendation.
m3tal070 is offline  
Old 12-18-19, 07:57 AM
  #13  
jon c. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 3,828
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1040 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 93 Times in 60 Posts
Without additional information, I'd buy a Raleigh or a Bianchi before a Schwinn. But there's personal bias involved. For the intended purpose, they are all suitable brands. Look for the best fit in the best condition.
jon c. is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.