Bicycle Mechanics - Frankenstein
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01-17-02, 09:10 PM
[The scene opens with the mad doctor lusting in his vain imaginations over potential thrift-store bike bargains...]
"Do you sell these bikes, 'as-is,' or do you make allowances for broken parts? This one has five broken spokes. Aside from it's otherwise perfect form, it looks like it met its demise in a minor accident."
"Ninety percent of our bikes have broken parts. Basic frame and wheels, mostly ok, as is, $15.15. [$16.04 with tax.]" ($15.15? $15.11 might have come out to exactly $16.00. What do I need with $0.96? :rolleyes: )
[Later, at home...]
"Honey, look what I got!" (No observable reactions. Will check pulse.) "Only $15.15...well, $16.04...!"
"Will you clean up this sink before you leave?" :eek:
"Um, yes, dear...(muhahahah! :) )"
[Next day, we find the doctor in his living room with a partially dismembered Schwinn Super Sport (pity, it was a wonderful specimen...)]
"The friction shifter's connected to the...head tube...the head tube's connected to the...spacer-thingy..."
IT'S ALIVE! :D
The "monster" is actually quite handsome. :)
My 1999 Trek 1200 originally had STI shifters (24 speeds), but blew up. For over a year now, it has used my Giant mountain bike's flat handlebars and gripshifters.
But now she sports her original handlebars, brake levers, and...
A [1975?] set of Schwinn Super Sport friction shifters! (Even has the "S" where the thumb goes. :) Reminds me of those fancy four-speed manual shifts some kids put on their cars long, long ago... :D )
I test drove it only 20 minutes ago. I am obsessed!
If you have any vintage bikes laying around, you'd better lock them up...
01-17-02, 10:59 PM
I had a Schwinn "something Sport" I think it was. I bought it new in about 74' or 74'. It had a curved down tube to create a shorter wheelbase. It was bright yellow. I could kick myself for ever selling it. I think of it often. Was just a kid then and needed the money so I had to sell it.
I still have a Schwinn Le Tour of 80's vintage but I'm not sure what year. Just put it on my trainer tonight for a change. Still, I miss my old yeller.:(
01-17-02, 11:08 PM
I just looked it up on Oldroads. It was a Sprint. And it said "rare". Now I could cry.:(
Pete: What color is your SS? I've seen them in Campus Green, Kool Lemon, Sunset Orange, Terra Cotta and Opaque Blue. My blue Super Sport was in great condition but for some areas of the paint which were chippy dippy. Oscar-Igor had to mix some Testors Sky Blue with regular Blue to get it perfectamundo.
Dirtgrinder: A Kool Lemon Sprint must have been quite a pretty bike. I've only seen them in blue. They show up on ebay every so often. You'll find it for less than $50. I'm visiting my brother in law in Huntington Beach this summer. I'm going to try to weasel his from out of his garage.
If your Le Tour has a four digit number stamped onto it's headbadge, that's the date. The first three digits are the day of the year, and the last digit is for the last digit of the year. For example, 0178 is January 17 1978 or 88.
01-17-02, 11:30 PM
Thanks Oscar. I just went downstairs and checked. The numbers are 1234. I guess it's and 84 model.
01-18-02, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Oscar
Pete: What color is your SS? I've seen them in Campus Green...
Sort of a metallic olive (Campus Green.) Similar to my Schwinn Collegiate (5-speed) that I got when I was about 10, only lighter in color.
The Super Sport's tires say, "Schwinn Sports Touring" on a tiny yellow sticker. It has great fenders; the headtube says, "Chicago" (not "Schwinnn Approved Japan,") the frame has "Chrome Molybdenum" painted on it, along with the Schwinn circle and cross logo and the name of the bicycle shop it was sold in, all in the same permanent fashion with no scratches. The handlebar tape is a transparent green vinyl. And you know that the kickstand is welded on.
Rubber pedals and spring seat. Every part labled "Schwinn" except the derailleur, which (I think) is Suntour.
Apparently, the Chicago influence was strong in Schwinn marketing years ago, since the Florida bicycle shop that sold it (weren't Schwinn bike shops the only ones to sell Schwinns, and which sold only Schwinns?) had the name, "Lake Shore Bicycle Shop."
Oh, and yes--"chicken levers."
01-18-02, 08:50 PM
Hey Pete, Here's an article about your Frankenbike.
Looks like you've found a real prize!
01-18-02, 10:25 PM
Now what do I do? :(
I've got the Super Sport, Chrome Molybdenum frame with chrome-plated fork.
I really love the despised "stem shifter" added to my Trek, though. I can get all 24 speeds, no adjustment problems or late-night fiddling to alleviate chain noises like I used to do with my STI's. Even the more primative grip-shifters I borrowed from my mountain bike did not reach all my gears and also were not immune to mal-adjustment.
But I feel like a murderer, now! :cry:
(I'll keep the rest of the bike intact though. Thanks Birks! ;) )
One thing about Sheldon Brown's article that interests me, Birks, is that Schwinn was innovative in a secret way. They manufactured fillet-brazed frames even though they looked (and sold) just like cheaper flash-welded frames.
Schwinn seemed to be in a struggle between quality and appearances during the 1960's and 1970's. The effort they put forward in their handbuilt shops seem to have been overshadowed by their consumer-driven marketing stategies.
Does the consumer always know best?
Pete - I never figured out why Schwinn painted their handmade Super Sports, Sports Tourers and Superiors, like the gaspipe models. Those who bought them knew what they were getting, though.
If you don's like the headset shifters, the Super Sport makes a perfect candidate for bar end shifters. It already has cable stops on the downtube so you're good to go. It's not "correct" but if you save the unused pieces, you can put it back together when you're an old man.
I don't like headset shifters, so I solved the problem by turning it into a singlespeed. I swapped out the 59/39 sprokets for a Collegiate's 46 t sproket. Light lightning, she is.
01-22-02, 09:18 PM
Cheese, guys, I think I am "morphing" into another "Mike Stone"
(from "BikeForums," not, "Streets of San Francisco.") :eek:
I am planning another "attack" on the local thrift stores...
(The danger sign of a problem is if I have multiple divorces in the wake of my obsession...)
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