I bought a '76 Schwinn Runabout to play around with and learn more about bikes. The front derailuer was shot and the back one was looking sad, too. I had been entertaining the idea of running it as a single speed until I could get the money to buy new components for it.
Last weekend, a friend and I finally put a chain on it so we could ride it (as a single speed). We also stripped everything off except for the front brake. The rear didn't work and would have been problematic with a singlespeed, anyways. After riding this, I'm pretty well set on this being a single speed. It's a hell of a lot cheaper and a lot more fun that I thought.
The rear tire pretty well died but I have a new one on the way. Everything seems to be mechanically sound but I'm pretty new to this. I plan to remove the single piece crank, clean and inspect the cups, and put in new bearings and grease. The handlebars turn smoothly but should I still take apart the headset to check it out anyways? This is an older Schwinn so I imagine it's unsealed bearings. I'm sure the hubs could roll smoother but they seem to be working pretty well. Servicing the hubs kind of scares me but is that something that would be a good idea, too?
What are some other things I should check out/clean/lube? What are some clues that should tip me off that I need to work on the headset or hubs?
If anyone's interested, I'll resize the pictures of my bike and post them. To some it's probably just an old Schwinn but I'm really falling in love with my Chicago steel.