There is something about ten-speeds from the American bike boom of the 70s and 80s that I just love. The perfectly horizontal top tubes, sleek lines and surprisingly light weight of these steel frames; the gumwall tires and non-indexed stem shifters that force you to feel the bike in order to shift properly … all of it makes for a fun and challenging ride that feel just as modern today as it likely did forty years ago.
This particular model, made in Japan, has a beautiful “pearlescent orange” finish and 27″ wheels with a ten-speed derailleur drivetrain. More features include:
- randonneur handlebars
- Shimano quick release wheel hubs
- Shimano front and rear derailleur, but with “Le Tour” engraved on it
- a fairly comfortable Selle Royal saddle
- “Unishift” stem shifters
- seatpost-mounted Schwinn cargo rack
- Planet Bike rear LED light
- Bell Radian front LED headlight
- Rat-trap style steel pedals
There’s probably more features I’m missing, but I can definitely tell you that riding this bike is a thrill. It was part of Schwinn’s Xtra-Lite series, and while it doesn’t hold a candle to today’s feather-light carbon frames, it certainly feels stiff and durable whilst being friendly to carry up the stairs.
More bike reviews coming soon!