BIKE COMPONENT REVIEWS - COMPONENT REVIEWS
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Bike Component Reviews
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My new Schwinn Voyageur.
After a couple months of part-time Craiglist searching, I found exactly what I was looking for: a mid-level 80s touring frame. This one even has canti-brake posts, which I considered desirable but not essential.
This Schwinn is from Japan (likely Panasonic built), built of Tange Champion (not the best or the worst. Not the best and not the worst translates into: DURABLE but not HEAVY) and appears to be fully chromed under the paint for added rust protection. Not sure what year it's from -- I guessed later 80s, but a quick perusal of Schwinn lightweight catalogs 85-89 turned up nothing. Maybe very early 90s? Tange dropouts on the fork, Suntour on the rear. It even has bottle mounts under the downtube. This frame is nicer than I thought it would be based on the blurry CL photos.
The buildout is going to be my usual mix of old, but cheap and good, Japanese components -- in this case, all of the nice Deore LX stuff off the 92 Bstone MB-3 this frame is replacing. Putting the trusty ol' (but recently tragically unused) 7 rail CETMA rack on. Going to try out the riser bar this time rather than the Nitto Promenade I've been using on and off for the past few years. Hopefully the riser will make it easier to go on medium length rides -- I'm envisioning a rainy winter bike-hike to the De Leo Wall with my stove and some miso soup -- those kinds of rides.
Now the hunt is on for a decent, cheap 700c wheelset. An excuse as good as any to ride out to Bikeworks in Columbia City tomorrow...
Post Script: I missed this frame on my first review of the catalogs. It is almost certainly the 1984 Voyageur in the "Warm Grey" color.
Drivetrain Upgrade: Old and New
Time for a new project: Replace the bike's drivetrain. The bottom bracket for the old cranks was dead and the crankset/chainrings were never all that great. I got a new FSA set at a good price. A bit "blingy" for my taste, but nothing that a coating of dust won't cure.
For an idea of what the old components looked like on the bike, see pictures from brake overhaul project, as I didn't think to take any before yesterday's upgrade started.
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