My birthday present from my lovely wife – a fixie/single speed bike. I had spent so much time in the last twelve weeks spinning away on the indoor trainer for the weight contest that I was reminded how much I use to luv biking. It was my main hobby before the Porsche. I use to be an avid mountain biker and enjoyed the hell out of it. I still have my GT Xizang Ti bike (full XTR gruppo, CrossMax Wheels, Thomson, Chris King) hanging on the wall. It was my dream bike back then and the bike raced by the GT Cross Country team. The team raced on Zaskars as well and I had one of those too.

So when my wife asked what I wanted for my birthday I thought I would find out what this “fixie” scene was all about and maybe it was a way for me to further rejuvenate my buried enthusiasm for biking. Now I know that half the fun is building a bike yourself but I simply do not have time to hunt for all the stuff on Craig’s List and eBay so I commissioned Jefferson, owner of The Roll Up in Oakland, to build the bike for me. He sourced the bike and built it to my very specific vision for what will be my fair weather commuter. I gave him fair warning about how “particular” I am and every opportunity to NOT take me on as a client but you know…he did it and delivered exactly what I wanted with the utmost patience and professionalism.

The bike was built up from a very original Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2  made with 4130 chrome-moly butted tubing from the late ’70s. I wanted to retain many of the original parts therefore only a few parts were changed out like the wheel set with a flip flop hub for the fixie/ss conversion. The Brooks Professional saddle was added for some vintage class along with matching bar wrap. Even though I had Freddie Hernandez set to paint the bike I couldn’t do it after I laid eyes on how nice and honest the paint had worn through the decades – the word restoration was not meant to be whispered around this bike. The patina screams at you and I love it for that reason – no shiny new modern parts with no soul were mounted on this bike…well maybe the single bmx front brake lever. 😉

So when the weather gets warmer I’ll be commuting to work with my new-old bike. Can’t do it now because I’m skinny and get cold easy…LOL at my own joke. I’m lame.

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  1. Curt Egerer says:

    Well done! My brother is working on a similar project, a ’72 Raleigh Competition Mk II in black. It was 90% original when found on CL. He’s since found all components to make it 100% correct – he bought another Raleigh as a parts bike just to source a few of the clamps. Debating on converting it to a single-speed. It is amazing to me what can be found out there in the vintage bike world for very little money.

  2. Kevin Pringle says:

    So cool. The Brooks saddle is great, too. I put a titanium rail pro on my hard tail MTB. Kinda hard initially, but so cool. It is certainly an addition that will stay with me and migrate to other cycles if (when) I get ’em.

    Too bad I live in a place where CL is too lame to find stuff like this…

  3. Jason McCandless says:

    Another slippery slope Bob… 🙂

    Last year, I found an 84 Specialized Expedition Touring bike, all original, that I’ve slowly ‘wErk’ed over’, and commute on daily… old school porteur bars, front rack for hauling anything, etc.


  4. Jason McCandless says:

    Oh, and that is a bad arse Schwinn! I remember when you were talking about a fixie back at Infineon… I can imagine the conversation between you and the bike shop owner… Too funny,

  5. Bob Tilton says:

    I’ve been tinkering on the bike most every night since I got it this past Sunday. I’m just making minor adjustments to find the right fit…you know since I am so particular. I can tell I am going to really like this bike and I can feel the sickness of “period-correctidnidus” creeping in. For example, I’m on the hunt for a proper chrome “Le Tour II” seat post. Also, since I put a bmx style brake lever I am thinking it would be cool to install a Schwinn Stingray lever to keep everything vintage Schwinn.

    The Brooks saddle is really nice. Never had one before and still need to treat it with oil/conditioner. It was damn expensive and probably worth more than the frame! I’m a sucker for cool leather stuff. I may splurge for the matching honey leather handlebar wrap.

    Great commuter Jason. Totally utilitarian! I didn’t know your were a janitor. I poked around your flickr and now I want to discuss the details of wall mounting an iMac. Way cool!
    I’ll post more details of the new ride after I change out a few parts – I thought it was done but as they say – it’s never done.

  6. Curt Egerer says:

    If you guys want to seriously kill some time, go to The Yellow Jersey website. It is the coolest bike shop ever, run by some hippie dude from the 60’s, and established in 1971. Located in Madison, WI. The website is total chaos – hours of fun.


  7. Dave Pugh says:


    I too was a big bike geek previous to my car fetish. You can have both in your life I promise. 🙂
    Last year I took my early ’80s Frankilin custom Reynolds tubing and all, took it apart and found a
    near perfect Colnago frame circa 1984 from Germany on EBAY. I used all of my parts from my Franklin on the Colnago including my Super Record Groupo with Speedy Modolo brakes and Campy 50th anniversary hubs. It’s like restoring an old Porsche only cheaper! 🙂

    The bike is Colnago (Ferrari) red with white cloth tape and seat. Bella! One of these Saturdays I’ll bring
    the bike to EASY.

    Dave Pugh
    ’73 S

  8. Bob Tilton says:

    I’d love to see it and get a bit of an education on these vintage two wheelers!

  9. Bob Tilton says:

    I just received a set of Compe G brakes from ebay today for the bike. These were “stock” to the bike back in the day. So the Weinmann brake will get replaced. Not sure if the Weinmann is an upgrade or downgrade…I just want stock bits and pieces on the bike. I know it’s a sin to not install Italian stuff but if I’m going to take that approach then this fixie would have never started life as a Japanese made bike for an American company.

    Also, I’m expecting another package with a “Le Tour” stamped seat post. So the only things not original to the bike will just be the handlebars, wheels and seat.

  10. Dave Pugh says:

    I believe the Schwinn Le Tour would have come with the Weinmans. Not so sure…
    The Paramont may have had Campy as it was their top of the line bike. If you can find
    one of those in that era…buy it. Look for the super cool “lug work” on some of the early bikes
    as it’s pure art and craftsmanship.

    Do you have an email I can post some pix of my bike and websites with great current builders
    along with vintage bikes. My email is flyerpugh@mac.com

  11. Bob Tilton says:

    The Le Tour probably did have Weinmanns but not the 12.2 which is later ’70s. I believe this bike to be a ’78. Before the tear down of the bike I know it did have the Compe G brakes. Through a miscommunication with Jefferson, the builder, some modern style side pulls were on it the day I picked it up. It was the first thing I had him change out on the spot because it clashed with the bike. He wasn’t able to find the originals and threw on the Weinmanns. The day I won the auction for the Compe G brakes Jefferson contacted me and said he found them…doh! He’s sending them out to me (for free) so I’ll have duplicates.

    There’s a bike shop here in town that has multiple Paramounts. That’s a whole different league with a different mentality of restoration and $$$. I’m clinging to the $ mentality but aim to have my fun just as well.

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