Latest Projects

7/17/17 -Another addition to my stable, a 1976 Superior frameset purchased off of Ebay. here

Years ago, I ended up with a '76 LeTour II, which I cleaned up and set up for foul weather riding. I replaced the rims with NOS Wolber Super Champs, polished up the shiny bits, added fenders, a rack and a handlebar bag, and threw on a set of 27 1 3/8" knobbies and a brooks saddle. I got rid of the stem shifters, and installed a set of NOS SunTour Symmetric shifters. A while back, my son borrowed the bike, and ran into something hard. The top tube and bottom tube on the frame ended up bent, and the front wheel moved close enough to the frame that you would catch the tire on the tip of your shoe if pedalling through a turn. SoI've been looking on and off for a cheap replacement for the LeTour, hopefully something in the same age bracket so I could use most of the componentry.




i ended up deciding on a 1976 Schwinn Superior, which showed up on my doorstep Saturday. A word for anyone shipping a bike frame, the sender did the right thing with this frame, and either installed, or had someone install a bolt (probably about 5 1/2" long) in the rear dropouts. Nuts were installed on both side of each dropout. This ensures that if the box ends up on its side, and something thrown on top of it, the frame wouldn't get falttned with the rear seat and chainstays sandwiched together. It probably saved the frame, as when it showed up, the cardboard box it was in sure didn't look too hot. I actually took pictures of it before I opened it, concerned that there was going to be issues. First stop was to my local LBS, who let me throw the frame in a stand, and check the frame alignment and dropout alignment. A couple minor perfectionist tweaks, and all was good.




I stripped the Le Tour frame down, and started moving the parts over to the Superior. I was planning on using the headset from the Le Tour, and saving the Schwinn Deluxe headset for another project, but the cups were too small. I also noted that the crown race that shipped with the fork was too big. I ended up using the crown race frmo the Le Tour, and everything else that shipped with the bike. The frame also shipped with a shimano cartridge bottom bracket, but I'm a glutton for punishment, and took that off, and put the spindle and cups from the Le Tour on. I was able to mount the shifters derailleurs, the front fender and front brake before calling it a night. The fender eyelets on the Le Tour's dropouts were unthreaded large holes, where the eyelets on the Superior are threaded, and I will need to get some smaller bolts.

The seat post appears to be the same size as the Le Tour, and everything else is looking good. I need to get some cable housing for the gear cables, and make sure the brake cables will be routed OK, but that should be no big deal. I have an older pair of 27" Conti's I'm going to throw on in place of the knobbies, once I get to that point. I also still need to decide if I put the cruiser stemback on the bike, or try and find a high-rise road stem, like the Nitto on my Heron (unfortunately the stem is 21mm, and Nitto's are 22.2mm). I tried to use one of those aftermarket stem extenders, but that puts it up in the air just a bit too much for my taste. Hopefully I'll figure out the parts issues and be riding it by the end of the week,




After what seems like forever, the bike is finally back together. I sourced a high-rise 21mm road stem off of Ebay. Bought a Tioga Bear Trap headset, as the cups from the LeTour (30.2mm) did not fit the Superior (32.6mm), and I wanted to use the Schwinn Deluxe headset on my tandem. I also bought a pair of Continental GatorSkins, some gray bar tape, and replaced the white cable housing with gray. The major stumbling block was going back and forth to the hardware store to get hardware for the rear rack and fender struts, the LeTour had stamped dropouts with large holes for accessories where the Superior has threaded brazeons in the dropouts. I couldn't install the wheel before I had the fender installed at the crossbrace behind the seatpost tube, couldn't do the gears or brakes before the wheel was installed, etc, etc.... I finally got the right harddware to mount the fender and the rack, and it went quickly after that. Last purchase was a Brooks Team Professional as the B17 I bought for the LeTour ended up on my hybrid some years back.