Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/22 7:50 p.m.

My neighbor is moving and had a garage sale so I picked this up for $5. According to the stamped serial number, it's a 1971.

I pumped up the tires and the tubes hold air so I rode it around in a few circles. I love the handlebars and the seat for simple cruising. It's a single speed with a pedal brake, about as simple as it gets. Something is a bit wrong with the rear hub, it doesn't turn nearly as easily as it should, but it does go and stop.

Neighbor said the handlebars looked like the rest of the chrome but he spent a few minutes with polish and they shined right up. Maybe I can get a similar result on the rest?

It will also need new tires at a minimum, as well as a good cleaning and relubing. After that, maybe some mods?

 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/23/22 9:01 p.m.

I've bought a lot of old Schwinn bicycles.  

I've used really fine steel wool to clean the rust off the chrome along with chrome polish.   I'm redoing a Speedster right now.  

In the early 90's I'd buy a $5 Schwinn Varsity and clean it up and get $8 for it at my garage sale.  Nobody wanted these bad boys - it was all Trek and mountain bikes.  
 

Picture of my first new Schwinn owners manual.  
 

XLR99 (Forum Supporter)
XLR99 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/23/22 9:04 p.m.

Excellent!!

Break it down, Meguiar's Scratch-X and wax the frame/fork, chrome polish on the shiny bits, new grease in the headset, hubs and bottom bracket,  reassemble and ride!

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
5/23/22 9:04 p.m.

Be aware that around that time Schwinn decided that if they made special size tires folks would have to buy Schwinn tires. So a regular 26 X 1 3/8" tire may not fit properly and you'll need the Schwinn specific 26 X 1 3/8" tires.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/22 9:27 p.m.

If the inside circumference of the rims have sort of a serrated look, they are Schwinn rims and you need Schwinn tires, although I think that the Chinese have stepped in to help out at this point. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/22 9:30 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Picture of my first new Schwinn owners manual.  
 

My (much) older brother had a pair of Schwinn Varsitys (the first one was stolen, Campus Green, best color ever, it's replacement was Burnt Orange, I think he still has it)  and my father bought a used red Suburban around 1975. 
 

Super heavy, but I rode those things for years. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/23/22 11:04 p.m.

This was a big deal to me.  Parents laughed when in 5th grade I told them I wanted a new bike.  I became employed through paper routes, lawns and baby sitting.  Praise the Lord I've had a steady income for 49 years.

It took a year ('73-'74) to save my money then I headed over to Schwinn and ordered a new bicycle.   

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/22 11:19 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

That's really cool!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/13/22 10:16 p.m.

So far I've gotten the whole thing apart. Rear hub was full of grease but it was incredibly sticky. Cleaned it out and repacked with fresher grease. Now it seems to work as it should. 

Also repacked front hub while I had the grease tub out but I don't think it needed it. Also I lubed the chain and got it nice and flexible again.  

I've used a few different Internet techniques on the chrome. I've decided that diet coke plus 0000 steel wool is the best. A lot of the chrome has cleaned up really nicely. Some is just too far gone. The fender supports are mostly too far gone - I'm not sure they were the same chrome to start with - so I'm going to paint them black.

I've ordered a set of whitewall tires for it, and I am really excited to get it back together!!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/14/22 12:49 a.m.

The fender stays would have been cadmium plated originally, so they weren't as shiny as the chrome to begin with.  You could probably come up with a close approximation by painting them with dull aluminum or argent silver spray paint.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/22 8:27 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

The fender stays would have been cadmium plated originally, so they weren't as shiny as the chrome to begin with.  You could probably come up with a close approximation by painting them with dull aluminum or argent silver spray paint.

Nice! I can do that, thank you.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/22 9:12 a.m.

I like the two wheel content these days! When I worked at a bike shop, I was given all the old bikes to freshen up and make good again since I was the only one that actually enjoyed it.

You've gotten plenty of suggestions already but the quickest way I got the surface rust off the plated surfaces was very fine steel wool with WD-40. Melts it right off. Depending on how gone the finish looked after that I'd also sometimes polish afterwards if it was worth the time. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/22 5:04 p.m.

Well, my kids helped me clean up the frame and give it a coat of cheap wax a couple nights ago, and I took Stuarts advice on the silver paint.

Then the tires came in today and I was so excited I took my lunch break to reassemble. 

WOW!!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/22 5:05 p.m.

Still working on something for the headlight, and may add a basket up front.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
6/17/22 2:18 p.m.

I have a Schwinn Pixie in the basement, green with a removable top tube.  My wife learned how to ride on it as did our daughter.

1971 Schwinn Deluxe Stingray Kids Bicycle – Frugal Average Bicyclist

Like this except green.

Vintage Bicycles - Schwinn Stingray - Nelo's Cycles

This is better, the yellow one is exectly my bike in third grade.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/17/22 5:08 p.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Those are cool. I've been thinking I'd like to make a bike that is more compact to use as a "pit bike". 

Putting the seat over he rear wheel like that helps make the bike smaller while allowing a full size human to ride.

 

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