New bike day!

1987 Schwinn Le Tour

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Pictured above as purchased. $100 on a drizzly new year’s eve eve from a short guy in a grey audi SUV.
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I’ve been hesitant to devote to much time or energy to this bike since it’s a larger frame than I’d prefer so I figured a maiden ride to test fit was in order. I was actually all ready to ride Tuesday night for the next day when I noticed some binding in the cranks as I was oiling the chain. Decided to take that day off and fix the bottom bracket. So on Wednesday I spent a few hours running down the prep list to get it ready to ride the next day. Pretty usual stuff:

  • Fix bar tape – the finishing tape was the weirdest vinyl tape. Gooey and gross.
  • Install my saddle
  • Install my pedals
  • Remove spoke protector
  • Remove old bottom bracket and install new. I had to go to Lowe’s to get the parts for a Sheldon Brown fixed cup remover but it worked like a champ. I also just happened to have a wrong-sized-for-the-original-use cartridge bottom bracket that worked perfectly as a replacement
  • Adjust brake centering; this took a bit as I’m not 100% sure the process for single pivots. Generally I fuss until they work and that seems ok?
  • Install mini-pump under bottle cage
  • Check stem/bars for tightness
  • I also dribbled some oil into the hubs since they’ll need to be rebuilt but I didn’t feel like it at the time

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My ride went pretty well. The headset was stiff and binding which I didn’t find out until I stopped an hour in to feed a stray cat. This made the bike handle weird but it was ok. Bike actually fit pretty well. The hubs appear about an inch or so in front of the handle bars/stem point so I could probably either get a longer stem with less reach bar or keep it stock and just add the aero levers I have in my parts box.

I’d really like to kit this out as a racer with threadless adapter, -17 stem, modern bars and so forth but then I remember this is a 27″, 4130 bike so I think I’ll just ride it as is. I’ve already purchased a 46t chainring and new diacompe grey matter brake blocks so that’s ok. The original gearing in 52/40 & 14-15-17-20-24-28 is actually pretty ok for the terrain around here. I’d prefer something with exclusively two steps through 24 but I’m not sure if I want to invest in a 7 speed freewheel and either go to friction shifting or get a 7 speed index downtube shifter. Right now I’m $148.20 into the bike so I’ll need to sell the extra parts that came with and maybe make a choice after that.

I’m also think about new tires. Maybe the 1 3/8 Swiftire Sand Canyon?

Le Tour Specs

 

Here’s a link to the specs from the excellent TR Findley’s Schwinn Catalog Page:http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1987/Sport_Cycles/Le_Tour_Traveler.html

Bye to the DX350

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Felled by a cracked chainstay right behind the dimple. I was actually prepping for a ride and had the bike upside down going over my Hetres with a headlamp removing the embedded glass bits that eventually work their way through and cause flats when I noticed the crack. It’s been broken for quite a while as I remember creaking specific to one side when climbing out of the saddle with a lot of power several weeks ago.

Well, the frame had a pretty good run. I did four really awesome gravel races and spent a lot of interesting miles in the fall riding 650b tires. I had a back up frame all ready to go so the parts swap took 3-4 hours Saturday morning while my girlfriend made pancakes and my cat chewed on every available piece of metal. New bike is a Soma Double Cross Disc with the DX350’s fork. So far it rides awesome and I really like the steel frame/carbon fork combo.

Race Schedule 2015

Feb. 21 Southern Cross Rescheduled

  • Feb. 28 Assault of Mt. Currahee
  • March 14th Southern Cross ­čÖé

April 11 Blankets Creek XC ? Prepping for shake ‘n brake

  • April 18 Shake ‘n Brake

April 19 White County Gravel Grinder Too tired from shake ‘n brake

April 25 Overhang V MTB Race Too early/too cold

May 8/9 Merial Presents the Keirin Moved my schedule a month forward, racing in September instead.

May 16 3 Hours of Ft. Yargo

May 24 Camp Chewacla Challenge or GSC#5 Jackson

June 14 GSC #5 Columbus

June 27 Summer Solstice 3 hour Allatoona Creek

July 10/11 Outback Bikes Omnium

July 12 Georgia Games MTB Allatoona Creek

July 18 3 Hour Throwback GIHP

August 1 GSC #6 Helen

  • August 22 Red Clay Ramble

August 22 Savage CX

September 19, 2015 Hellhole Gravel Grind Stage Race $$$ and gross mudfest

September 26, 2015 SEC 6/3 Hour Big Ring Challenge $$$

September 27, 2015 Six Gap Century $$$

  • October 10 Samurai Hill Challenge Alleycat

October 10-11, WFA Course

October 17, 2015 SEC 6/3 Hour Battle For Payne’s Creek

  • October 31, 2015 Sac o suds 50

November 1, 2015 Fried Green 50

November 7, 2015 SEC 6/3 Hour Dry Creek Championships

2015 In Review

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2015 was a big year. I started gravel racing, I did my first 200k and overall did 10 rides of 100 miles or more and an additional 14 rides of at least 85 miles.

I spent the entire summer June-August riding for 6-10 hours every Saturday. It was amazing, I rode so far and so fast and saw so many cool things. My last two rides I woke-up at 4am and was on the road for 8:58 and 9:49 respectively. I learned how awesome it is to be 70 miles from home, riding in the summer sun without a care in the world. Distance came easy as it was routine.

Once Fall hit I started riding for at least 5 and a half hours every Friday. I’d fly home from work, change and then just blast around until I was so exhausted I would limp home. It was great, really gave me something to look forward to every week.

I converted to 650bx42 and found the tires amazing. They were fast, comfortable and agile. A really big improvement for me over the 700cx25 tires I was using previously.

Late summer I started hiking for anywhere for 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes to an hour in the evening. It made me strong and helped me lose weight and get really fit. For the my last three races from August-October.

Overall I had a good, satisfying year. Minimal race pressure and I was just really happy with how my riding went.

Races

  • Assault on Mt. Currahee
  • Southern Cross
  • Shake ‘n’ Brake
  • Red Clay Ramble
  • Samurai Hill Alleycat
  • Sac ‘o Suds 50