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Archived: Vintage Lightweights







VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††1950s 3-speed Schwinn Continentals posted by: Kristie on 3/12/2001 at 6:40:30 PM
I have a pair of 3-speed Schwinn Continentals. Serial numbers L037043 and L041673. They are orange with stickers. They appear to be in pretty good condition. Maybe needs new tires and spokes. Maybe needs a little work.

I can't seem to find too much on the internet regarding the Schwinn Continentals. I think these are from the 1950s. There seems to be a lot of Schwinn collecting for these classic bicycles, but I don't see a lot of specifically Continentals. Is there something I don't know about this bike or is this rare? What could these be worth? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


   1950s 3-speed Schwinn Continentals posted by John E on 3/12/2001 at 7:32:22 PM
It depends on condition, and yours are obviously not pristine, but 1950s Schwinn Continentals are far more collectible than the ubiquitous 10-speeds of the 1970s. One of our forum regulars has one. Do not scrap them or give them to some thrift shop that does not understand bicycles!

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††1950s 3-speed Schwinn Continentals posted by Wings on 3/12/2001 at 11:37:54 PM
One of your bikes was made on Nov. 23, 1960. The other was made on Nov. 29, 1960.

   1950s 3-speed Schwinn Continentals posted by John E on 3/13/2001 at 6:55:33 AM
Interesting ... Wings, if you are right about the production date, then these 3-speeds overlapped with production of the first-generation suicide-shifter 10-speed Contis. I had always assumed that there had been what we in electronics call a "break before make," rather than "make before break," switchover. Of course, since the 10-speed 1960 Varsinentals were produced in very limited quantities and test-marketed by skeptical top management, this would make sense.

   decals posted by John E on 3/13/2001 at 6:58:54 AM
Kristie -- Can you describe the decals and graphics, particularly on the downtube? The 1960 10-speed Continental had a very distinctive decal, with the bust of an armoured knight at each end of the "Schwinn Continental" logo.

   RE:decals posted by Kristie on 3/13/2001 at 6:04:54 PM
Thank you all very much for your replies. The Decals are of a Knight hood or bust (black) and shield. The downtube has a Kings Crown and Schwinn lettering then the Schwinn logo and a Sheild. Colors are light green and light beige.

Why do you feel this was made in 1960, because the serial numbers begin with L? I thought this would be in the 50s. Actually I think now that I look it over better, it looks to be a 5-speed. The back hub has 5 things. My husband and I acquired these from his grandfather and he told us they were 3-speeds and he thought he bought them in the late 50s or early 60s. Are these rare? Thanks again.

   RE:RE:decals posted by kristie on 3/13/2001 at 6:15:52 PM
OK, my husband just told me they are actually 10 speeds. He says the front sprocket has 2 sets and the back sprocket has 5 sets. Also, the handle bars are not the traditional 10 speed handle bars, but more like the cruiser type. The handle bar grips and peddals are origional. The other parts appear to be origional as well. The tires and rims are 27x1 1/4, but the spokes are rusting and will need to be replaced. The chrome is showing signs of rust, is there any way to remove this? Thank you again.

   first-year 10-speed Contis posted by John E on 3/13/2001 at 8:21:27 PM
You have fairly rare, collectible first-year 10-speed Schwinn Continentals, Kristie. They would be worth $800 apiece if pristine, perhaps $100-200 if complete but rough/rusty. Do not toss them out or part with them too cheaply!

   RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by Kristie on 3/13/2001 at 8:46:56 PM
Thanks again for the quick response. I think we'll take the bikes to a shop to have them looked over. I'd like to fix them up some (whatever's appropriate in keeping them classic). We'd like to ride them ourselves, but maybe we'll just sell them. I don't know yet. I still wondered how and where they (WINGS) got the exact dates they were manufactured. Is there a book or something? Anyway, thanks. Now we know what we have.

   RE:RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by Wings on 3/13/2001 at 11:32:37 PM
Kristie,
I got the serial numbers from "Collectable Schwinn-Built Bicycle's 1950's - 1965" by James L. Hurd. I scanned the numbers until I found yours. There are some serial numbers in 1953 that start with L but are only followed by 5 digits.
LXXXXX
This book also lists the bicycles sold each year and also some of the choices.
Sept 1960 (for the next 12 months) the Continental 10 speed only is listed. 19, 21, and 23 inch frames. 26 inch wheels.
Continental tourist is also listed (which may be your bike with the different handle bars) as a 10 speed only in the same frame sizes. They sold for $86.96.

I noticed yesterday that the March 1, 1959 listing gave no Continental in the sales line up. Not in 1958, 1957, 1956, 1955.
In the January 15, 1954 "Fair Trade Prices for Schwinn Bicycles" the Continental is listed under "Discontinued Models" as follows:
"Top quality touring lightweight, rim brakes, free wheeling, for $79.95."

John, where have you seen pictures of the Continental in the 60's and please clue me in as to the difference between the 50's continental and the first batch of the 60's continentals. I have probably stripped and discarded a 60's continental without knowing it was worth more than $9.

   RE:RE:RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by Oscar on 3/14/2001 at 6:50:42 AM
Take it to a GOOD bike shop. Best if you found an old Schwinn shop run by an old man. A young guy with a nose-ring will not know what to do with it.

   RE:RE:RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by John E on 3/14/2001 at 7:22:12 AM
Wings -- A few months ago, I downloaded the JPEG photos of the pristine red 1960 Conti that sold for $832 on eBay. I can email them to you, if you are interested. The early 50's Contis were 3-speeds. The 1960-62 frames are the only Contis (and Varsities) with suicide shifter mounting brackets brazed onto the seat tube, and the 1960 Conti 10-speed, with the distinctive knight's head logo, and the 1960 Varsity 8-speed are the most collectible of the bunch. The "dime a dozen" Varsinentals date from 1967 and feature mattress saddles, big chrome chainguards and spoke protectors, downtube cable guides for the big chrome TwinStik stem shifters, and suicide brake lever extensions. I have never regretted giving three of these away.

Oscar -- You are right about where to take the Schwinns, although I occasionally (OK, rarely) do meet a younger person who shares my interest in technological history. Irrespective of one's opinion of American light?weights, the 1960-62 Varsinentals are classics, unlike most of their later cousins.

   RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by Kristie on 3/14/2001 at 6:06:06 PM
Thanks Wings. I got your email and I have been checking back to this board. I called a local vintage bike shop here in San Diego, Rusty Spokes. They offered to look them over for $25 a piece. I think I'll invest in the cleaning kit offered on this site. Any other advice on appropriate restoration for these classics??? What to do and what NOT to do would be helpful. I'll take some pictures soon and post them up here or email them.

   RE:RE:first-year 10-speed Continentals posted by Wings on 3/14/2001 at 11:09:29 PM
Kristie,
I was thinking where you would go with those bikes and I was concerned. Oscar (I think) and John both expressed my concern. Pick a good shop, look for some old classics sitting around, which could show an appreciation and know how regarding older bikes ans Schwinns. To many of us cleaning and detailing is a snap -- but not to the average bike shop person. Don't add new screws or new parts. You could decrease the value. Schwinn used unusual flat head screws on their bikes -- big wide heads. Special pieces for where the cables go also. Ask for help if you are going to clean them up yourself. Don't use steel wool. Ask here first -- I think you will get some good answers as we all work on bikes out of love (and addiction). Good luck.

   San Diego posted by John E on 3/15/2001 at 6:43:30 AM
Kristie -- Where in San Diego County do you live? I live in Encinitas and work in Sorrento Valley and would be pleased to check out your Continentals at no charge. My local Schwinn shop burned down in November, but the good news is that Dan just reopened in a different storefront in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

   RE:San Diego posted by Kristie on 3/15/2001 at 8:45:15 AM
John E. We live in Rancho Penasquitos. So that's not far at all from Sorrento Valley. Have you heard of the store in Pacific Beach, Rusty Spokes? http://rusty-spokes.com/ That shop seems like they'd know how to handle these classic 10-speeds. However, if you'd look them over for free that's even better. Maybe we can meet up this weekend or next?

Thanks Wings for your advice. Is the Cleaning Kit offered from this site worth the money or is there something we can just pick up at Home Depot or a Bike shop?

   the Schwinn saga continues ... posted by John E on 3/15/2001 at 12:20:28 PM
Attention Schwinnophiles -- I have asked Kristie or her husband to bring one or both Contis to my office, where I have a webcam for videoconferencing. [Kristie, you've got email.] We will shoot some JPEGs, which I will post under bicycleforum.com's picture gallery section. You guys can look over the pictures at your convenience and help us evaluate the bikes. Send me an email to request any particular close-up shots.

   RE:the Schwinn saga continues ... posted by Wings on 3/15/2001 at 10:46:43 PM
John, Awesome!
Kristie, Somebody listed a post in the last several days that said the menony Refurbishing Kit was excellent and they were on their third kit! I don't use it, but I learned the hard way. Let John see the bikes and he would know if you would need it!

   RE:RE:the Schwinn saga continues ... posted by JOEL on 3/16/2001 at 11:33:04 AM
Hey Kristi, Did you notice the prices on the Rusty Spokes website ? Most seem about 10 X higher than reality. I hope their 10 speed parts are cheaper.






AGE / VALUE:†††2 Speed Automatc Free Spirit posted by: Robert Rosenstein on 3/12/2001 at 2:24:13 PM
I have a two-speed, automatic, folding bike: a Free Spirit - made in Germany and sold by Sears. Probably 25-30 years old. Two questions:

1. The hub on the rear wheel is frozen: can hardly be turned. Are replacement wheels available? Or is there something I can substitute? It takes a 24 x 1 3/8 tire.
2. Has the bike any value as a collector's item? Where can I find information about it?

Thanks for any information
Robert




   Free Spirit posted by John E on 3/12/2001 at 7:36:29 PM
Are you sure it's German, rather than Austrian (Steyr-Daimler-Puch)? What brand is the hub? You may be able to salvage a Bendix 2-speed kickback from an old Schwinn. Have you tried soaking the axle cones and threads with some sort of rust-buster? The bike just might be rare enough to be somewhat collectible, assuming you can get that rear hub working.






AGE / VALUE:†††Phil cassettte bottombracket tool? posted by: ChristopherRobin on 3/11/2001 at 12:35:26 PM
I have a set of Phil bottombracket cup removal tools. the handled wrench is is silver colored metasl with Phil engraved in it and then red paint filled into the words. Two of the same tool. Being a tool magpie I pickerd them up, I'll never use them but they are there in case. What do these go for? I'm just currious.







AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by: Bill Patterson on 3/9/2001 at 10:21:34 AM
I have a prewar double sided track steel hub.
It had an 8 tooth sprocket and a steel 26 inch rim.
What is a proper rim for this hub.
I expect it is 1930's vintage.

See www.calpoly.edu/'wpatters for other interesting bikes.
Or even a human powered helicopter.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by Bill Patterson on 3/9/2001 at 10:27:05 AM
That's www.calpoly.edu/'wpatters

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by Bill Patterson on 3/9/2001 at 10:45:36 AM
Typing a tilda doesn't work. I will try to paste it

http://www.calpoly.edu/'wpatters/

There is a tilda in front of the wpatters

   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by Warren on 3/10/2001 at 3:12:51 PM
The only bikes I'm familiar with from that period are Dunlop 28 x 1 1/4...very obscure rims and impossible to find rubber for them. Your rim could be 26 X 1 1/4, (597 mm)....the frame would have to have more clearance from the ground or shorter cranks or both. You can still source out tires for these rims but they are getting more scarce. They were typically a higher pressure tire. I have a couple of pairs that state "Inflate Hard" on the sidewalls. Your rim is less likely to be a 26 X 1 3/8...that rim was spec on English "Sport" Roadsters...see English Roadster Discussion Archives. Of course you could use repro wooden rims in the 700c size and take your pick of tires.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/12/2001 at 4:27:13 PM
It is true,it is difficult to find Dunlop tires size 28 X 1 1/4. However I do have one of these.N.O.S. if you need one.I have it. Hollar ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com
Also, John Pinkerton offers tyres(tires) for these cycles.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††English track hub posted by Bill Patterson on 3/14/2001 at 12:33:06 PM
I thank you for the advice. I have a couple of wooden rims,
But when I got the old hub down and cleaned up, I found that
that one of the flanges is loose. I have peened it back
to tightness with the hub body, but don't want to tear up
a wooden rim if the hub flange slips again.

I'll lace a steel 27 inch rim and call it a day.

Thanks again.






AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by: ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/9/2001 at 9:07:40 AM
Where can I get front hub cones for a Campagnolo Record front hub? I would like to get a set N.O.S.
Thanks!


   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by Keith on 3/9/2001 at 10:18:13 AM
Bicycle Classics has them for $14/pair.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/10/2001 at 8:50:08 AM
14.00 will buy the entire drawer full of 1000.00 various cones of all ages and types. Escuse me, I have an errand I must do.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by Wings on 3/11/2001 at 11:00:44 PM
Yes, but think of the shipping cost! ... And the time to sort it out! And the storage space!

   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by Keith on 3/12/2001 at 11:05:43 AM
I don't know for a fact whether Campy cones are vastly superior to others, but I'll bet they are. Campy bearings are measured, resorted in issued in identical matched sets. The tolerances on everything with the Record name are tighter. I've gone through lots of mid-range and lower end components, but the old Campy stuff really seems to hold up longer. The real thing actually works better, IMHO.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††CAMPY CONES NEEDED posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/12/2001 at 4:24:39 PM
You are right and another thing is that sometimes these things are made so nothing else but origonal parts are going to fit and be useable or nothing else will work as well as origonal parts.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by: Mike Stone on 3/9/2001 at 4:23:15 AM
You guys who know me understand that I like to ride on old tires just to do my part for the ecology; recyling at it's finest.

There is a great satisfaction in wearing out an old tire knowing how much petro I have not burned and knowing that another tire was fully used before being sent to the landfill.

Anyway, my friend gave me some old 27" gumwalls yesterday to replace some tires that were worn out (Yipee!). They are U-G-L-Y! The gumwall is like blistered and blackened like it was subjected to heat or something. In fact, the gumwall looks more like big scabs rather than gumwalls.

Ichy.

Well, the friend who gave them to me is an 84 year old bicycle nut. He has seen it all and was parting out Krates and Phantoms before anybody wanted them as collectibles.

He told me that this is the actual condition of the tire even when it was new. He said they are from England and they are really good tires. He says "Ya, they're ugly, but they're good skins.

Does anybody know if this could be correct? Were there such blistered and scabby tires made? I wonder who would buy them like this new? They sure aren't sexy as a lightweight should be.

Mike


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by Kevin on 3/9/2001 at 5:21:31 AM
Hi Mike. Well in my finest Tex Avery (cartoon character) voice"Ah, I don'think so". I've seen that before and on tires that look brand new. There shot. It's part of the cosmetic / sidewall structure of the tire. Mount them up and ride em , see what happens. Do go too far from home. Kevin

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by Kevin on 3/9/2001 at 5:23:34 AM
That should read" Don't go too far from home "

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by Keith on 3/9/2001 at 7:17:24 AM
I had a great Schwinn Suburban a few years back ($5 garage sale) and everything was great except the Schwinn Puff tires, which I assume were the originals. The gum sidewalls were not just shot -- they were peeling off in big pieces. In fact, after a little riding, all of the hardened gumwall fell off. But the tires remained rideable -- held air, and no bulges. I've had similr experiences with other old tires. I think the condition of the cord is what really matters. Now really old Brit tires (like old Dunlops) can have cotton cord -- this can rot and blow out. But Nylon cord, if not abraded or terribly abused (like ridden flat), will hold air even if the sidewalls look aweful. I say ride them, but carry an extra tube and some material (big piece of old tire) to boot a blowout. And don't take them down a mountain with switchbacks at 65mph the first time out.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by ChristopherRobin on 3/9/2001 at 9:29:29 AM
Ozone. It is ozone that does this to gumwall tires. I would throw them out, fit a new set and go back and see what other goodies this fellow has. It is interesting to see these tires I'll bet.Kinda like a growth or something. Keep them and gross out your lady friends!

   VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††What's with these ugly tires? posted by Mike Stone on 3/9/2001 at 10:18:38 AM
Well, the feedback thus far from the knowledgeable guys on this forum is that the gumwall is NOT suppose to look like black fungus. Hmmm well, what the heck was Johnny thinking?

I rode the tire yesterday and today. They seem OK. Does anybody know what the gumwall was suppose to do for the tire? If it was cosmetic, why not go with a white-wall or some other color, but stick with the same material as the tire?

Anyway, I might just take this UGLY tire off and put on a new one or one without the fungus look. Heck, maybe Johnny is right. Maybe these are special and good racing tires from England, but they are like a British rock star of the 60's; good hair but bad teeth.

The faux scab gumwalls are not sexy. I want to be sexy like the bicycling disco guy in the 1970's movie "10-speed" (see review posted below). Dog-gone-it, one of these days, I am bound to meet my very own Farah Fawcett while riding and I can't have unsightly tires.

Alas, how do I expain to my good friend Johnny that the tires he was kind enough to give me are too ugly to use? I can't tell him they don't fit...

Mike

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Ugly tire update posted by Mike Stone on 3/9/2001 at 5:15:58 PM
Well, Fellows, an interesting thing has happened in the past two days with the "Ugly Tire".

All the black gumwall scabs have fallen off the tire. There is now no hint that there ever were gumwalls on the tire.

Where there was gumwall is now a very pale tan color. It makes me wonder what the gumwall does for the tire. Is it only cosmetic?

Am I in for trouble now that the gumwall is gone?

Anyway, the tire sure looks nice now! Yes, yes, I believe we could even say that the tire in it's post gumwall naked state is even "sexy".

Mike

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Ugly tire update posted by Wings on 3/9/2001 at 9:06:52 PM
I see lots of tires like that, and I think it is from SUN Rot.
I would not use them.
You say all the rot fell off and left the other color. Do you now see the layer of cross threads that should be under the rubber? I think the gum wall was to give a more cushioned ride. Old black tires still have a lot of life on the sidewall!

   VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:Ugly tire update posted by Mike Stone on 3/10/2001 at 3:49:11 AM
Yes, wings, now I can see the cording that was underneath the gumwall. The cording is covered by a thin white-ish coat of rubber. They actually look nice.

I am wondering if the tires are still use-able. Oh, sure, I could get new tires, but I like to recycle before sending these to the landfill.

It seams hard to imagine that the gumwalls added any strength to the tire.

Any other ideas as to what the function of the gumwall was?

Mike

   compromise posted by John E on 3/10/2001 at 10:26:55 AM
Why not use one of the old tyres on the rear and a new one on the front? Inspect the rear periodically for ANY deterioration in the cording, particularly where the bead meets the sidewall.

   RE:compromise posted by Mike Stone on 3/10/2001 at 3:45:52 PM
Good thinking, John. Coincidently, Johnny gave me two tires so I think I will put the other tire on the front.

Keith says he has experience with this phenominon and his tires worked for him. If Keith says it's OK, that is good enough for me.

Mike

   RE:RE:compromise posted by Wings on 3/11/2001 at 11:02:55 PM
Mike, Let us know how they work out!

   RE:RE:RE:compromise posted by Keith on 3/12/2001 at 11:15:05 AM
There can be other problems with old tires completely seperate from the gumwalls. Beads can be stretched out, so the tire can blow off (can happen suddenly or on slow motion, as the tube creeps out between the bead and the rim and blows up like a ballon, and BANG!). Cord is the key -- inspect it carefully from the inside, for cuts or abrasion, and then from the outside fully inflated for abrasion or bulges. Leave them overnight fully inflated overnight before riding. If you feel any hop when you ride, stop immediately. The tires on the Suburban I had showed no signs of wear! But the gum sidewalls came completely off. I ride it for miles that way.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:compromise posted by desmo on 3/15/2001 at 12:03:55 AM
I wouldn't ride on dodgy tires. I threw away a rare set of original Clement Campianato del Mundo Setas that were pretty cracked looking and it was very painful to do, but ER visits are a LOT more expensive than tires.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:compromise posted by Keith on 3/15/2001 at 6:15:17 AM
I agree on the tubies -- most of the casings are pretty thin and when they go it's often all at once. The same is true of lighter, high end 700c -- I've had it with Conti Grab Prix -- one little nick in the sidewall and they're shot. But old, heavy nylon cord 27" clinchers are generally a lot tougher. Shame about the setas -- I'd have done the same thing (or maybe used them as backup spares, or for a wall hanger if they could be cleaned up).






AGE / VALUE:†††what is an old brooks b17 worth? posted by: byron on 3/9/2001 at 12:55:29 AM
I have had a vintage brooks B17 champion narrow in my closet for years, and am wondering what it is worth. It is in reasonable condition, but certainly not mint. I have no idea how old it might be, but I would guess 20+ years judging from the bike that it came off of. I'd hate to sell it at a garage sale for change if it might be worth more.

Please respond to my email (nacl@mailtag.com) if possible.
Thanks




   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††what is an old brooks b17 worth? posted by mike on 3/9/2001 at 7:03:06 AM
Well, a brand new B17 Narrow sells for about $55. I'd peruse the completed Brooks saddles auctions on Ebay to get an idea of what used ones are going for. Don't expect top dollar. The Big Brooks Saddle Panic of a few months ago has past.






AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by: Dick on 3/8/2001 at 5:46:11 PM
Just trying to find out anything I can about a bike I have. It is a Schwinn Twinn tandem, has narrow tires, two speed rear hub by Bendix with coster brake and calipers on front. I have not found serial number yet. I found a picture of a Deluxe twinn on this site but that one is loaded to the hilt, mine seems to be a "standard" one. Any Ideas would be welcome.
Thanks
Dick


   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by Wings on 3/8/2001 at 11:44:47 PM
Is it a "Schwinn Twin" or "Schwinn DeLuxe Twinn"?
I have a Schwinn Deluxe Twinn.
Look for the serial number on the lower portion of the head tube (below the name badge). Post or send me the info and I can give you more information.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/9/2001 at 9:32:06 AM
I have a rear seatpost/handlebar complete with A.S. bolts. I fished it out and brought it home where it is completely worthless to me as I don't have a bike missing this.The giant durm hub unit to these is cool. Glad I don't have one of these also taking up space.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by Dick on 3/9/2001 at 3:51:08 PM
Wings, I found the number stamped into rear wheel mount TA37851 it is light plum/purple color i wonder about the tires, do they have to be genuine Schwinn? I think I have heard that all the parts etc. are not "standard". Any info is welcome.
Dick

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by Wings on 3/9/2001 at 9:33:16 PM
My sources indicate that the serial number will be on the rear drop out (left side) between 1963 and 1969. In 1970 the serial number was moved to the bottom of the head tube. I can't find a TAxxxxx. I have no serial numbers from 67 to 71 either. I have three such tandems (DeLuxe twin) and they all have an expander hub on the rear wheel (big hub). Heavy gauge spokes in a 26 inch wheel with knurls. Four hole chain rings. Shwinn shifters (5 speeds). Tires are available locally for me. They usually refer to the rim -- I think is is S6 -- I am not sure. So the tire would have a statement indicating it fits S6 rims. Try a well established bike shop and if that does not work try: Memory Lane Classics, Fax 419-832-3040 or phone 419-832-3040. I don't know if VVVintage would have them also! They are there. Yell if you can't find them. Your hub on the back, I have never seen on a Twinn, but it is a cool hub!
I have only put the S6 (I think that is the rim) tires on S6 rims. I have not tried fitting other 26 in tires on. Someone here would know. If you need new hadlebars, grips, astabala stem, all these can be found at Thrift stores on older Schwinn 10 speeds for usually under $14. Good luck!

   Schwinn Twinn tandem serial # posted by JOEL on 3/13/2001 at 1:19:13 PM
Maybe the T is not a T. If the second letter is an A then it is probably a 65 model. The first letter would tell the month it was made and should NOT be a T.

I was told that 64 was the first year of the Twinn. The standard models had coaster or 2 speed, Deluxe had 5 speed Atom brake. Early ones had middleweight tires and later ones have lightweight tires.

I have a 66 deluxe and the serial # is CB***** .

   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Schwinn Twinn tandem posted by Greg Groth on 3/15/2001 at 6:38:07 PM
Schwinn tandems from the 50's to the 70's used three different tire sizes. S4, S6, & S7. The S4 was a 26 X 1 & 1/2, I think the bike was called the Town & Country at the time. S6 is the 26 X 1 1/4, S7 is the 26 X 1 3/4. Replacement tires for the S6 and S7 rims are still readily available. The S4 tire has not been made for quite a long time. However in the early nineties Schwinn produced the Frontier - made in China - that used a 26 X 1 1/2 rim, same size as the S4. Tires are gumwall knobbies and will work without a hitch. Schwinn went to this rim in the nineties to avoid a tarrif on imported 26" bikes and keep the price of the Frontier as low as it could. Tandems with S4 rims are easy to spot by the chainguard. The S4 tandems used an elliptical housing on the front crank to take up slack in the front chain, the later models used an idler pulley. The S4 tandems had a chainguard that somewhat reminds me of the full chaincase on english roadsters, where the later models used a standard style. Rims should be stamped with the wheel size.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††The big "T" posted by: Keith on 3/8/2001 at 12:59:18 PM
I wasn't really paying attention in the 1980s, yet I spend a lot of time riding three different 1980s vintage Trek road bikes (early 520, 400T, and 400). I've been very satisfied with all three of them, in terms of ride quality and performance, but heck, I don't know any better! My observation, BTW, is that the mid-level Shimano equipment on my Trek 400 works a LOT better than any mid-level stuff I've used from the 70s, and it hurts a little to admit that because I'm stuck in the 70s in a lot of ways. But what is your your opinion of the lugged steel Treks from that era? The 400s have the cast lugs and wacky looking lugged dropouts and lugged seat clusters, with the Trek name on them. One friend had a Trek with the aluminum version of the seat cluster, and it broke (I can kind of see why since the binder bolt is so far back and is pressing the whole cluster, which has its own "stays," together). Any anecdotal reports of similar defects in the steel versions?


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††The big posted by Walter on 3/9/2001 at 6:08:37 PM
Not long after I bought my Motobecane a neighboring dealer (I think it was a Schwinn) remodelled a section of his shop as a "Pro shop." Way cool. The guy I bought my Motobecane from had a nice line of Euro bikes but it wasn't much of a shop. This was different, accessories and magazines I'd never seen before. Anyways to the point; You could of course get Paramount frames and build them but they also carried the then relatively new Trek. Affordable access to Reynolds and Columbus frames. I remember being tempted by 1 in particular. Don't remember the model # but I do the price, $540. In 1979-80 that'd buy you a pretty good bike esp. since the dealer was trying to establish the line. I had just spent about 250$ on my Motobecane plus about 75 or so on upgrades. Alloy rims and bars, etc. Didn't have the money and never bought. Wish I had. I had a suspicion then and am pretty sure now that that Trek would have been better than anything I could have upgraded that 28-30# Motobecane to.

Excuse the ramble but this site brings out the nostalgia.

Am I correct that Trek doesn't have a steel roadbike currently?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††The big posted by Keith on 3/10/2001 at 7:48:43 AM
I believe they still make a the 520, which is a dedicated touring bike with full brazeons and long wheelbase, triple, etc. It's TIG welded chromoly. No lugged models for years.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Poking around Ebay posted by Walter on 3/11/2001 at 6:36:11 AM
Not a whole lot of steel Treks. 2 looked interesting and I'm curious to see how the auctions turn out. # 1121593608 is a Pro Series from '86 that looks to be in NOS condition. STI shifting. Is that an upgrade or would it be the 1st generation? Beautiful red 531 frame. Bidding at 199$ but under reserve. The other is # 1120758379 a 700 series from '83. Superbe driveline on a 531 frame. They claim flawless paint as the bike's been in storage. Starting at 750$. I wish seller luck but I think that's too high. I haven't seen Trek's esp. with SunTour go that high. It'd be a real nice ride though. Any thoughts?

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Poking around Ebay posted by Keith on 3/12/2001 at 6:40:07 AM
I think I understand the syndrome that has someone setting a price of $750 for an early 80s 700 series Trek. The guy probably paid close to $1000, figures it's like new, and why should he let it go for less? I can't blame him. It's just that there's more old road bikes of that vintage than people who want them badly enough to pay that much for them. I guess the good news is that it means there are some great bargains out there in non-top-end 80s road bikes.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Poking around Ebay posted by JOEL on 3/13/2001 at 1:40:05 PM
I bought a Trek SR 400 new in about 87 +/- and I have to say it was a piece of JUNK. After a year of riding (maybe 1K miles), the bottom end of the frame had developed so much flex, I couldn't ride it without the chain grinding on the front deralleur in both directions. The shop ended up taking it back for full price on a trade in.
In fact, I have owned a total of 3 Treks and have been unimpressed with any of them.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Bicycle zenith posted by: Keith on 3/8/2001 at 12:57:26 PM
When did road bikes reach there peak, in terms of quality, efficiency, and beauty? Please give an example.


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Bicycle zenith posted by Walter on 3/8/2001 at 6:18:39 PM
Interesting question.

I guess my answer would be different if you asked me at different times of my life.

As a kid working a few hours a week in a Schwinn shop I thought the Continentals pretty slick and the LeTours other worldly. Shortly afterwards I discovered European rides and actually bought a Motobecane. Many days I'd pedal out of my driveway heading for Jr. High and somehow find myself at the beach. A friend owned a # of Viscounts and their lightness seemed out of this world. In the late 70's I thought things pretty good. In college throughout the mid-80's I loved the Italian thoroughbreds. 1 guy actually had a Masi. You'd be hard pressed to find a better bike. I actually rode a Cannondale. For a guy who had been playing college football the year earlier it made sense and with the then brand new Shimano 600EX was a fine ride and affordable. I own a new Univega and like the Ergo shifters but my project bikes are a 531 frame with N Record and the other is what I lusted after whilwe riding my Cdale: A SL framed Basso with S. Record thruout. Mid-80s vintage and seeing how much I've spent getting the right parts, etc I'd have to say IMHO that's as good as it gets.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Bicycle zenith posted by Art on 3/9/2001 at 10:25:11 AM
This is an interesting question Keith. I think that the three chracteristics you use are somewhat hard to define in one bike. I think to find one bike that peaks in all three catagories is pretty hard. I think efficiency, as I understand it, is the science of this sport. It's the stuff that you and John know a lot about. I think the bikes built for the Tour and Olympic racing really are the top of the line bikes that mechancially are far superior to anything we ride on streets. The most recent of these I think are the bikes like the Trek that Armstrong rides. Personally, I'm more interested in beauty. I love many of the bikes from the turn of the century to the early sixties as things of beauty. My favorite road bikes are fancy lugged Carltons, the Rene Herse currently on ebay, Curley Hetchins. I have never owned any of these bikes, and probably never will. I think the one bike that I have owned and ridden (and still ride) that best epitomizes all that is special in road bikes is my Masi. It is a bike that changed how I ride. I don't know if I can explain that. I seem to ride faster, harder on this bike. Maybe its the components or the geometry. Some say its the fork, but it definately changed me. (I love a bike called a Paris that is on Rydjor.com on their bike collection site.)

   early 1980s posted by John E on 3/9/2001 at 6:45:00 PM
By the early 1980s, we had 126mm rear axles and short-reach sidepull brakes, but were still using lightweight lugged steel frames. Install a triple chainwheel or a 7-speed SRAM freewheel and SR-58 chain, and you have a great bike. The decal on my '82 Bianchi is not as classy as the old steel head badges, but the bike is delightful in all other respects. Bikes of this era do have a simpler, plainer look than those wonderfully ornate creations of the early 1960s.






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   ITOH posted by: brandi on 3/8/2001 at 9:01:39 AM
Does anyone out there know what an "ITOH" is, I think it may be french or japanese, its a 15 speed, centerpulls, leather saddle, it is extremly light, its a great bike and I ride it all the time. I found it in an old garage in my uncles old farm, which had been closed up for about 5 years. If anyone can give me any info on this great bike, i sure would appreciate it!


   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   ITOH posted by Mike Stone on 3/8/2001 at 9:51:08 AM
Itoh would be a Japanese bike rather than a French bike. Check carefully, it may have actually been manufactured in Taiwan, but with a Japanese made.

Tell us what kind of components it has.

Mike

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   ITOH posted by Mike Stone on 3/8/2001 at 9:52:02 AM
Itoh would be a Japanese bike rather than a French bike. Check carefully, it may have actually been manufactured in Taiwan, but with a Japanese name.

Tell us what kind of components it has.

Mike

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   ITOH posted by Keith on 3/8/2001 at 10:41:35 AM
I remember the C. Itoh bikes from when I was a kid. They were early Japanese entrants into the bike boom competition. As I recall, they were pretty low end, and were sold at department stores rather then bike shops. Sheldon Brown says Bridgestone made them, and he rates tem as "pretty crummy."

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   ITOH posted by Mike Stone on 3/9/2001 at 4:21:44 AM
Yes, "C. Itoh" was actually a Japanese trading company and not a bicycle manufacturer, so the bikes would actually havebeen made as a kind of "private label" bicycle.

Mike






VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Cadillacs vs. Schwinns posted by: Mike Stone on 3/7/2001 at 8:56:22 PM
I had a pleasant bicycle commute to work today on my 1973 Varsity. Not really fast, not really effortless, but silky and in control so I could enjoy the scenery in comfort.

One of my colleagues treated me to lunch today. We went to the resturaunt in his big old Cadillac (He didn't have a bike). That Cadillac was one smooth ride. It sucked up the bumps like a feather bed.

I had to comment to my friend, "Man, this Cadillac rides like a Schwinn!"

Mike



   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Cadillacs vs. Schwinns posted by Oscar on 3/8/2001 at 7:05:20 AM
Poor disadvantaged fellow doesn't have a Schwinn. Make do with the Eldo.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE CADILLAC posted by ChristopherRobin2@starmail.com on 3/8/2001 at 11:29:26 AM
I have a collection of old Cadillac literature and to sit and look thru these old fold out sheets was a truly amazing experience! First, the simple catalog itself was far better than what they have today. The catalog is larger, on better paper, more organized, showing TEN AVAILABLE MODELS! TEN! in incredible colors. Deep luscious black, bright metallic yellow, limos, sedans, convertibles. It blew me away to see these catalogs. It shows interiors, wonderfull interiors, warm, inviting, tempting. A marvelous taste of the real thing. The paint colors were nicer, really lovely, classy, luscious, far more attrtactive paint. The lines of the bodies. Real styling then, and it was Cadillac that led the way then. The men are in tux's. The bejeweled ladies dressed beautifully in famous gowns. They are wearing long gloves, hair styling, makeup,lipstick. Much better then that today. Classy, wonderful designs, fins everywhere, marvelous cars driping in chrome, you can stretch your feet out in these. How can I describe something so unbelievable from so long ago?The diffrence is so totally unbelievable. What happened? Good god!! Oh, Cadillac was alive then! Vibrant, exciting, inviting, sexy in an understated elegance not seen since. Nothing matched the ride you experienced in the back seat of these chariots of the gods.

"Young fellow, I wouldn't trade places with you for anything." He said with a smile.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:†††Cadillacs vs. Schwinns posted by Keith on 3/9/2001 at 7:22:59 AM
I have a Varsity and have also had its close cousin, the Suburban. Smooth ride, I agree. But believe it or not there is one bike out there that's even smoother and more stable -- the Raleigh DL-1 roadster, with 28" wheels, 46 inch wheelbase, and about 40 pounds of British steel in it. A downright elegant ride. Perhaps a Rolls compared to a Caddy.






MISC:†††No mind for engineering principles posted by: Oscar on 3/7/2001 at 6:38:42 AM
John E, our friend in coastal San Diego County, often tells us of his preference for a 2:1 gear ratio. I've tried a few illogical guesses at what that means, but nothing I can come up with makes sense.


   gear ratios posted by John E on 3/7/2001 at 7:21:33 AM
A 1:2 gear ratio would be something like a 42T chainring with a 21T cog, i.e., a 54-inch (with 27" rear wheel) or 52-inch (with 26" rear wheel) gear, in which the rear wheel makes two turns for every turn of the cranks. This is just above first gear on an English 3-speed or the single ratio on a Strida, and I use it as an all-purpose low gear for starting up, fighting headwinds, or mild hill climbs. I need something lower, say, 42T/26T, for more radical hills on-road, and a 24T/26T (i.e., 24-inch) gear for offroad climbs.

I also speak of a 2:1 *range* of ratios, such as 90 to 45 inches, which I find to be the minimum acceptable high-to-low spread of gears for somewhat hilly road cycling in traffic. I set up my Peugeot U0-8 commuter with a 52/16 = 88" top and a 42/26 = 44" bottom. I would have preferred a slightly wider range, but had only 10 ratios to work with and did not want any big coverage gaps.

In practice, what works best for me on the road is a top gear within a few percent of the traditional 100 inches = 52T/14T = 48T/13T and a bottom gear in the low 40s, such as 42T/26T or 34T/21T. The top gear is ' 1:3.7, whereas the bottom is ' 1:1.6, for an overall range of 3.7/1.6 = 2.3:1.

   oops -- upside down posted by John E on 3/7/2001 at 7:51:32 AM
As I pressed the "post reply" button, I realized that my gear ratios would make more conventional sense if they were inverted from the way I wrote them. Thus, my mountain bike has a high gear of 48/13 = 3.7:1, which is 96 gear-inches with 26" tyres, and a low gear of 24/26 = 0.92:1 = 24 gear-inches, for an overall range of 4:1. Sheldon takes the analysis an arguable step further with his "gain ratios," which factor in both wheel size and crank length.

   RE:oops -- upside down posted by Wings on 3/8/2001 at 1:11:17 AM
John,
Suppose my rear derailer shifts to the next cog and takes me from 76 to 68 gear inches. If I did not use the rear derailer to make that shift and instead dropped down to a smaller chain ring and therefore went from 76 to 72 -- Would this be what you call a "half step" setup? Is the advantage one of being in that certain place where neither gear feels right so the half step option is there? Isn't there a shifting advantage also even on a three chainring crank?

About 4 years ago I spent a lot of time analyzing shifting patterns on my recumbent and I found that certain gear inch sequences felt great to me. When I installed a different chain wheel or rear cogs it did not feel right. At one point, when I changed to my middle chain ring it was a comfortable feeling again. I would imagine this was caused by familiar shifting patterns. How much should we stay with familiar patterns? Is it good to also change them as part of training?

   half-step posted by John E on 3/9/2001 at 6:50:11 PM
Yes, Wings, that's the definition of half-step -- if the ratio change in front is, say, 7 percent, then the average ratio from cog to cog in back should be around 14 percent. I really like half-step, because one can move up quickly through the ratios on the rear derailleur, then, if necessary, fine-tune on the front. My half-step plus grannie triple extends the range down below 40 inches, without creating gaps higher up.






AGE / VALUE:†††Motebecane Grand Jubilee -Girls 531 posted by: Mike Slater on 3/6/2001 at 6:06:45 PM
I've got a Motobecane Grand Jubilee girls 10 speed frame (bare). I've read that the Grand Jubilee was a pretty good bicycle. Is the girls version of that frame rare?? It was purchased at a swap meet about 20 years ago and still has the price tag on it. Cost then - $75 marked down from $125.It is in excellant shape - 21" frame is black with beautiful lugs accented w/gold paint. It is made of 531-DB.
Interested in opinions...should I put this together with mixed parts or attempt a restoration???


   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Motebecane Grand Jubilee -Girls 531 posted by Kevin on 3/7/2001 at 6:11:18 AM
Hi Mike. You need to go to the Balloon / Middleweight Section. A woman named Martha may have some comments about your bike frame. My opinion would be to build it up. I've seen some great looking women's bikes, to have one like your's would be pretty cool. Enjoy it, Kevin

   another find! posted by John E on 3/7/2001 at 7:35:12 AM
Where do you find all these rare bikes, Mike? Yes, I think that frame is worth building up or selling to someone who can use it. The biggest challenge may be finding French- (RH-threaded fixed cup, like your 1974 PX-10) or Swiss- (LH-threaded fixed cup, like your Capo) threaded bottom bracket cups. Since Motobecane changed over to the superior (self-tightening) Swiss standard during the 1970s, your frame could have either of these obsolete, 35x1mm, non-ISO thread patterns. (I successfully force-threaded an (ISO) English fixed cup into my 1980 Swiss-threaded Peugeot PKN-10E, and have used it for 5 years, but you may not want to "try this at home.")

   RE:another find! posted by Mike Slater on 3/7/2001 at 7:54:49 AM
John, I was also concerned about the bottom bracket threads - but a couple of TA shells seemed to thread in just fine. I also have a new (NOS)Stronglight botom bracket assm. that I'll try this weekend. This bike was also pulled out of my Father's garage. He had a good eye for bikes. Alas...I've completely cleaned out all of the bike stuff. This frame is really pretty - I have a front/rear Huret Jubilee derailers (also NOS) that are very "petite" that would go with this frame perfectly. Only one problem..the bolt for the rear derailer will not thread into the Campy rear dropouts on the Motobecane.

   derailleur hanger posted by John E on 3/7/2001 at 7:13:58 PM
Do you need a suitable derailleur mounting bolt? I may have a spare SunTour, which I believe uses the same threads as Campy. I put a SunTour on my Peugeot, but I suspect I used the original Simplex mounting bolt with it.

   RE:derailleur hanger posted by Mike Slater on 3/8/2001 at 5:30:45 AM
Thanks for the offer John, but I tried that already and the Suntour (and Campy) bolts will not fit into the Huret body. I think my only option is to modify the Suntour bolt to fit the Huret. I have access to a machine shop, so the only thing left to do is measure the Huret bolt and turn down the Suntour bolt. I'm sure that this route will prove easier than locating the proper Huret bolt. I'll let ya know how it turns out.






AGE / VALUE:†††Glider De Luxe posted by: Tim Welsh on 3/6/2001 at 5:25:34 PM
There is, in a junk shop nearby to me, a Glider De Luxe club bike in very good shape. Christopher Robin guided me to pick up a 1946 Raleigh Clubman through this page (lovely old bike), and this Glider bike is very similar. While it does not say what kind of tubing, it is light. The paint is very good, it has orig tires, fenders, leather seat, brakes, cables, and S-A 3-speed hub (all very much like the Clubman in quality and type). It says 'Made in England' in gold across the top tube. Local bike licences are back to 1959. So, my question, is this a collectable bike? Should I grab it for cheap? Info please (Christopher Robin, are you out there?). Thanks.


   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Glider De Luxe posted by Fred on 3/6/2001 at 6:44:53 PM
The Glider bikes I have seen were sold by Eaton's stores in Canada. I don't know who manufactured them. A friend of mine has a 10 speed Glider and it is a notch or two better than the typical badge engineered department store bike with rust proof rims, bars and crank arms. The fenders looked Raleigh made. I would grab it if it is similarly made.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Glider De Luxe posted by ChristopherRobin@starmail.com on 3/7/2001 at 7:07:57 AM
If it is complete and is a lightweight frame and you are comfortable with the price charged then go for it. I have no information to offer about Glider. Please send in a photo and description of this Glider bike to the photo archives here at Oldroads.com Also I would make it a regular practice to keep an eye on this junk shop's offerings. They seem to be getting in some cool bikes. Lucky for you that they do.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:†††Glider De Luxe posted by Tim Welsh on 3/7/2001 at 6:07:55 PM
Well, I picked it up ($30 Cdn = $20 US). The seat is a Lycette, and the paint is nearly flawless. Unfortunately, the front wheel is not original. Classy old bike though, and strikingly like the Clubman (but much nicer paint). Thanks for the guidance.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Glider De Luxe/Fred's back posted by Warren on 3/7/2001 at 7:52:13 PM
A steal! Yes, Gliders were Eatons branded, made by Raleigh and you just may have a clubman in disguise which would mean you have a special bike indeed. The Lycette is period correct...what size and make is the rear rim? Is it Raleigh pattern or Enrick? Drop bars? It would be interesting to find out whether the hub has a narrow or wide ratio...narrow would be great. Congrats.

And welcome back Fred...how's Florida this time of year?

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE: Glider De Luxe/Fred's back posted by Tim Welsh on 3/8/2001 at 5:59:54 PM
Thanks Warren, that's very good news. Does that mean its possibly a 531 frame? It does have drop bars, with some of the old cotton tape still there. The rear tire is 26 x 1&3/8, but I don't know how to tell what pattern the wheel is, or if it is a wide or narrow range hub. The lugs are quite ornate & nice, and the paint is a metalic wine with white accents. It's good that there's someone who knows about Gliders, a Canadian oddity I guess.