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  1. #1
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    1980 Dream Bike?

    Someone offered me a bike, but having quite a few already (I would never say too many), I initially declined. They said it was a Chicago Schwinn cruiser, ok now I am a bit interested. Ends up this thing is more or less a dream machine I might have built in the 1978/1980 time frame.

    Frame is stock Chicago Schwinn cruiser
    Forks hard to tell, Tange? Some sort of chrome bmx cruiser style anyways, may even say Schwinn in a worn away sticker.
    Wheels are Araya, with ACS hubs. Cranks are Sugino Maxy Cross, pedals are KKT. diaComp brakes, but levers are a mismatched pair. Has five speeds with Shimano positron shifter.

    Tires were garbage, rotted solid. I replaced the tubes, but noticed the rear wheel was laced with spokes not quite the right size, it is practically a cross four pattern. I needed to grind off 0.1" or so off quite a few spokes which stuck up too high. I flipped the rim strip to realign the spokes to fresh rubber.

    After new tubes n tires, tightening some bearings, realigning the brakes, it works fine, in spite of having been left outside for much of the last 30 years.

    Anyway, very happy to have my new cruiser with built in rusty street cred!

  2. #2
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    Now a pic beforeimage.jpg

  3. #3
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Cool bike. Looks like it got some Sidewinder hand-me-downs.....

  4. #4
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    I have a 62 schwinn Corvette frame. The old schwinn cantilever frames are the best frame they manufactured.

  5. #5
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    I'm glad I did not simply cut the Positron cable thinking my existing spares would work. It is a solid wire and does push pull duty according to Sheldon Brown

  6. #6
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Positron is weird stuff.

  7. #7
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    After picture?

  8. #8
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    Those bikes came three different models, the Clunker 5, The spitfire 5 and the Cruiser 5 all being basically the same bike. I have a Spitfire 5 mine happens not too have the positron shifter. I had 2 other Cruiser 5s with the positron that I sold. My Spitfire 5 is my main winter rider.

    I have another Cruiser 5 with the positron that is completely original that appears to be never ridden. It was show room condition till my friend dropped it in his warehouse and put a dent in the fender. When I get around to it I will knock out the dent. These are great bikes with S 2 rims and heavy duty spokes.

    Some came with a rear drum brake, these are much sought after,,both mine have the rear drum brake.
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    Last edited by howeeee; 01-12-14 at 11:20 PM.

  9. #9
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Are you sure the fork is crowned right? I would think they used the kind my 1995 Cruiser SS has as that fork has existed for a while and it's flattened and the crown is curved.

    Why is a sixty year old seat design being used when the fat seat that was on it was much closer?

    I THINK you're trying to say it's a sixties bike and someone modded it for some BMX type action in the 80s.

    Here is an actual 1980 Cruiser 5, with Electra tires but it's there. The chain guard you got is correct. The fork matches what is on my '95 (Centennial model). When the auction goes away I believe the picture will follow as I had to uncheck referencing the file locally to use it.

    And I'm sorry for being slightly confused in advanced.



    The auctiion URL: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-Schwinn...-/221342720926

    PS The lacing you described appears to be correct as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    Are you sure the fork is crowned right? I would think they used the kind my 1995 Cruiser SS has as that fork has existed for a while and it's flattened and the crown is curved.

    Why is a sixty year old seat design being used when the fat seat that was on it was much closer?

    I THINK you're trying to say it's a sixties bike and someone modded it for some BMX type action in the 80s.

    Here is an actual 1980 Cruiser 5, with Electra tires but it's there. The chain guard you got is correct. The fork matches what is on my '95 (Centennial model). When the auction goes away I believe the picture will follow as I had to uncheck referencing the file locally to use it.

    And I'm sorry for being slightly confused in advanced.



    The auctiion URL: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-Schwinn...-/221342720926

    PS The lacing you described appears to be correct as well.
    So I am not absolutley sure, but i think the last of them made had barrel type forks probably imported.

    Then after that they made the same bike, but in Taiwan. The picture of the bike in question seems to be one of the last Chicago bikes. I have seen them before with those forks.

  11. #11
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    The entire 1995 Centennial run was US made...production went overseas a year or two after that.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    The entire 1995 Centennial run was US made...production went overseas a year or two after that.
    made where in the US? By that time chicago had been long closed.

  13. #13
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    MSRP on those 95 Schwinn Centennial black panthers was $3000. MAdness. No clue where they were made, though... By '95, both Chicago and Mississippi were closed. I highly doubt if it's a Waterford-built bike, even thought the price suggests it could be. Is the one upthread fillet-brazed?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal View Post
    MSRP on those 95 Schwinn Centennial black panthers was $3000. MAdness. No clue where they were made, though... By '95, both Chicago and Mississippi were closed. I highly doubt if it's a Waterford-built bike, even thought the price suggests it could be. Is the one upthread fillet-brazed?
    I am pretty sure they were built in Taiwan

  15. #15
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure they weren't, having owned TWO '95s and I bought the first at Will Lindsay Cyclery here in Ontario, OR (black with red Classic Cruiser) before he sold to the next owner, who dropped Schwinn. This doesn't need to be like an episode of the Shadow radio program though...I'm not as much concerned with where they were built (I've read on one forum the Phantom replicas were custom built in California) as much as the fact that my current 1995 has been mostly rock-steady for 19 years (I had to replace both rims as I use it as my MULE and simply wore them out). I added peaked fenders from Hawthorne/J.C. Higgins, a Phantom tank it never had and green gliiter grips in place of the horrible black Schwinn approved ones that got my hands all blackened, a nine hole rear rack and very soon a mini cop-style windshield, 1930s Ford fender mounted headlamp assembly and Honda Aspencade saddlebags c. maybe 1983.

    Germaine (my Schwinn, of course) will be a stylish lady when I'm done..VERY SOON.

    And YES, I believe they are upward fillet-brazed, although I don't know much about that to know a meaning. The welds show and are not filled over or whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
    I am pretty sure they weren't, having owned TWO '95s and I bought the first at Will Lindsay Cyclery here in Ontario, OR (black with red Classic Cruiser) before he sold to the next owner, who dropped Schwinn. This doesn't need to be like an episode of the Shadow radio program though...I'm not as much concerned with where they were built (I've read on one forum the Phantom replicas were custom built in California) as much as the fact that my current 1995 has been mostly rock-steady for 19 years (I had to replace both rims as I use it as my MULE and simply wore them out). I added peaked fenders from Hawthorne/J.C. Higgins, a Phantom tank it never had and green gliiter grips in place of the horrible black Schwinn approved ones that got my hands all blackened, a nine hole rear rack and very soon a mini cop-style windshield, 1930s Ford fender mounted headlamp assembly and Honda Aspencade saddlebags c. maybe 1983.

    Germaine (my Schwinn, of course) will be a stylish lady when I'm done..VERY SOON.

    And YES, I believe they are upward fillet-brazed, although I don't know much about that to know a meaning. The welds show and are not filled over or whatever.
    No they were built by Giant in Taiwan.By 95 there was no Schwinn capacity to build bicycles here. Company was sold in 92. Filet brazed refers to handbuilt road bike frames built in Chicago. Super Sport,Sports Tourer, Superior were hand built frames. Frames were hand brazed in the 60's to the mid 70's.

    Richard Schwinn a 4th generation Schwinn family member still builds light weight bikes and frames in Waterford Wisconsin with about 20 employees. They build frames for a Detroit based bicycle manufacture Shinola. Shinola builds beautiful commuter bikes the entry level one is about 1800 bucks and the top of the line one is 3200 bucks.
    Last edited by howeeee; 02-05-14 at 02:48 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Fillet brazing is when the frame's tubes are very precisely mitered to interlock perfectly, and then basically "glued" together with molten brass or silver. This works via capillary action, and it's basically the process used for lugged frames, except that there are no lugs and therefore the frame's pieces need to interlock with very close tolerances. The Schwinns howeee lists above were all fillet brazed, as were the Sting BMX bikes, and some one-off prototypes that led to electroforged versions down the line.

    Fillet brazing is a bicycle construction technique that has been used by makers other than Schwinn for a very long time.

    Most Chicago Schwinns were electroforged, which yields a smooth, seamless look similar to fillet brazing but is done by machine and requires very thick-walled tubing to withstand the process.... which is why a Varsity weighs as much as my mom. Paramounts were lugged. Most of the Taiwan "Schwinns" were either lugged or TIG welded. Chinese Schwinns are almost always TIG'd.

    This, of course, is why I'd love to see a close-up view of a '95 Phantom. By the 1990s, there were very few Schwinns that interest me even a little bit, but I'm curious about this one b/c the original retail was so danged high, and many "articles" on the web suggest they were made in the USA. I'll readily admit that I'm not sure, which is probably why I'm curious.

  18. #18
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    It's NOT a Huffy Cranbrook in sheep's clothing at least, and I've never had an ounce of trouble with the bottom bracket...something I've had plenty of trouble with on middleweights AND full sized cruisers...the Rollfast got cross-braced or I wouldn't even be riding it now. I've even ALMOST had to replace the CRANK (pedal sheared at the hole and a bit broke taking it out), yet the welds on this bike hang tough.

    Whomever built it I can't care less anymore as it's a Timex.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

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