Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

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Re: Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

Postby crrimson » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:58 pm

Finished this project up today. Thanks for helping make this a fun thread (for me atleast).

Before:
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After:
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Learned a few things about old bikes, and ran into a couple problems:

1. New brakes have a shorter mounting bolt that doesn't fit through old frames, a recessed nut that fits in the frame vs the old style where the mounting bolt goes all the way through the frame and uses a standard nut/washer externally. I had to grind down this part of the frame in the rear, and the fork for the front to allow the brakes to attach. I also learned the hard way during this process that dremels are not invincible and grinding steel with one will burn the motor out.

Old brake with external nut:
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Drilled to fit:
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2) Since I went from 27" wheels to 700C wheels, although I bought long reach brakes, the right rear brake pad was just not quite long enough to contact the rim properly, and would have been rubbing on the tires. I had to do some more grinding, to allow the pads to slide down further. This was the dremel's last hurrah, and I had to finish up with a file.

3) spindle length of square taper bottom brackets vary a lot, and the chain won't just line up automatically. Steve at Halls had multiple square taper bottom brackets with different lengths and a new one fixed this allowing the crank to come in closer to the frame.

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3) the cable housing stops were too small, had to pry them a bit to allow the new housing to fit.

Everything else went smoothly, removing all the old parts was no problem, cleaning/regreasing the headset went easy after dousing it with some goo gone. The only other issue is I ordered a huge set of tires for my super skinny rims on accident (apparently the weinmann lp18's are listed as 18-23c, so I bought some roadie tires from Halls while I wait for the replacements to ship.

After measuring the width, and reading Sheldon's site, it looks like 32c tires should fit on the rims after all atleast according to his neat little green/red graph about halfway down this page: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Anyone need brand new 40c cross tires? Me either!

Thanks for all the suggestions / tool lending offers.
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Re: Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

Postby futon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:25 pm

looks great.

I might have a use for those 40's, what are they?
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Re: Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

Postby JackRackham19 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:21 pm

This is nice work! I've been considering doing something similar with an old Nishiki. Did you go freewheel or fixie?
Keep your cadence up, see you on the trails.
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Re: Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

Postby crrimson » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:56 pm

futon wrote:looks great.

I might have a use for those 40's, what are they?

They're Ritchey Speedmax Comp's (cyclocross tires) they were $39.86 for the pair. If you don't need them I'll return them, but will lose some money on shipping so wouldn't mind selling at a discount.

JackRackham19 wrote:This is nice work! I've been considering doing something similar with an old Nishiki. Did you go freewheel or fixie?


Thanks! I went freewheel. 46t front, 18t rear. I got a rear wheel with a flip flop hub, so I'll probably put a fixed gear on the other side of the hub at some point so I can do both.
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Re: Converting an old Schwinn Le Tour to singlespeed

Postby futon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:15 pm

pass on the tires, thanks
you do need a 16 tooth fixed cog.
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