Schwinn LeTour
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Model: LeTour
Brand: Schwinn
Category: Road Sport
Years: 1974 - 1982
Country: United States
Production: Unknown
Sold As: Unknown
Material: Steel
Construction: Lugged
Drivetrain: Derailleurs
Wheel Size: 27"
Added By: andypop1 on 08/06/11
Updated By: andypop1 on 08/06/11
Frame Example Photos
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Model General Information
This bike is a 1981 version, you can tell from the head badge with the number 1141, which means it was made the 114th day of a year ending in 1. 1981 is the only year that fits.
Here is a brief Schwinn Letour history:

LeTours were imported from Japan from 1974 to 1978. Those LeTours were reportedly made by National/Panasonic and were the first "affordable" lugged frame Schwinn bikes.

During 1979 and 1980, Schwinn made "save the company" sort of experiment. Schwinn attempted to make affordable LUGGED frame road bikes in its Chicago factory, using assembly line methods that would permit competing with imported bikes on price and quality.

The two bikes used for the experiment were the 1979 and 1980 "Super LeTour" and the "LeTour".

The 1980 road bike line-up from Schwinn was headed by the:

-Paramount - Made in USA

-Voyageuer 11.8 - Imported from Asia $333 List DB 4130 Cro-Mo main frame 25.5 pounds

-Super LeTour - Made in Chicago $290 List 1020 Carbon steel frame 26.5 pounds

-LeTour - Made in Chicago $220 List 1020 Carbon steel frame 30.0 pounds

The two LeTour models shared the same frame, but the lower price version had steel rims, some steel components, and a "kickstand" which raised its weight to 30 pounds. (About 8 pounds lighter than the best-selling Schwinn Varsity model).

The first goal of the "experiment" was met. The $220 price of the LeTour was similar to the price of entry level Asian-made lugged steel road bikes. However, by 1980, road bike buyers had become VERY weight conscious, and the Asian competition weighed between 23 pounds and 28 pounds, and many imported models had double-butted chro-mo frames. A straight gauge 1020 "hi-ten" steel frame that was ALMOST as light as "cro-mo" did not succeed in a marketplace where younger buyers had begun to obsess about fractions of an ounce.

Due to the high costs of building bikes in Chicago, Schwinn soon phased out the Chicago plant. Giant in Taiwan began making the models that had been made in Chicago, as well as newer models. (But, the Giant versions were different...the "Giant" Suburban got a "lugged" frame). Closing the Chicago plant led to temporary profits, but it was the beginning of the end of Schwinn in America. Today, "Schwinn" is just a decal slapped on bikes made in Asia." from alanbikehouston
 on bikeforums.net. This was dated 2/3/2005.
Primary Example:Schwinn LeTour (1974 - 1982)
Years:1974 - 1982Sold As:Complete Bicycle
Bottom Bracket:English/ISO: 1.370 x 24Brake Mounting:Exterior Nutted
Lug Style:Brake Guides:
Fork Style:Curved BladesSeat Stays:
Fork Crown Style:Flat CrownMain Tubing:
Rear Dropouts:Color(s):Silver, Blue
Additional Resources
Marketplace:Looking to buy one of these?Sell one like this
Resources:Reference & ChartsExternal Resources
Frame Serial Numbers(click to expand)
Serial NumberFrame DetailYearAdded By
1E02177Schwinn LeTour (1974 - 1982)1974andypop1
 
Brand Information(click to expand)
Schwinns were made in Chicago, IL  USA up until the 1970's. Sometime in the 1970's, the Schwinn Chicago factory was organized by the United Auto Workers union, who felt that bicycle factory workers should be paid on the same scale as automotive workers. Unfortunately, the realities of the marketplace didn't agree, and Schwinn closed the factory, transferring most production to Japan (Panasonic) and Taiwan (Giant). Schwinn also built a factory in Greenville, Mississippi, but it didn't last, and even bought a factory in Hungary, but the deal fell through, and Schwinn never imported any Hungarian bikes to the U.S.

Pacific Cycle, founded in 1983, designs and markets bicycles and scooters under several brands, including Schwinn, Mongoose, DYNO, InSTEP, Roadmaster, Pacific Outdoors, and others. It's also a top maker of bicycle helmets in the US. Pacific Cycle, which outsources its manufacturing to China and Taiwan, got its operations in gear by buying Brunswick Bicycles, Schwinn/GT Corp., InSTEP, and PTI Sports, all within a few years. Dorel Industries owns Pacific Cycle alongside its popular Cannondale brand.

 
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