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Old 02-17-12, 02:53 PM   #1
Neon.Dove
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Looking for advice on upgrading an Old Schwinn World Sport.

Hi everyone,

I am a bike novice and I was hoping for some advice from some bike-savvy folk. I currently have a 1980-something Schwinn World Sport that I was thinking to upgrade a bit. I like the bike, it has served me well for the past three years--and I'm the kind of guy that doesn't like to just throw out the old and buy something new but use older items until they're really spent. So, you can see photos of my ride attached in the post [I can take other photos too if need be]. Everything the bike is equipped with is what was originally on it when I bought it from a friend three years ago.

I was thinking of maybe buying a new wheel set, maybe some brakes and perhaps making it into a single speed, while also breathing a little bit of style into it on the wheels. And... I was hoping to do this all for around $300.00.

Can anyone suggest any wheel sets, or rims that might fit what I'm looking for? and tires? From the scattered info I've found on the web I guess I face the problem of having 27" bike wheels, which are no longer a common size produced; so for best variety and quality in a new wheel set, I'll have to make the switch to 700c wheels. And this may also require me to change my brake system in order to fit on the new wheel size.

From the looks of what I have are a new chain ring set and pedal and crank arm necessary as well?

I wanted to post this question on Bike Forums rather than just talking to my LBS, because I figured that I could probably find all these parts on the internet for a lot cheaper than my bike shop. I live in Brooklyn, NY. I just bought a new saddle and some handlebar tape, so I am on my way to making her look nicer!

My last question is: would anyone strongly argue against this sort of upgrade? Am I totally wasting my money here?

And finally: would a single speed be advised by anyone? Would this lighten the bike up considerably? I do not change gears too often, but the ability to do so is always nice I suppose...

Thank you to everyone for your help, I do really appreciate it!!

p.s. if this was something I wanted to try to do myself, in my basement, is there a book or website you could recommend for bike maintenance or am I out of my mind to want to attempt this?

Thanks again Bike Forums!!!

Neon


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Old 02-17-12, 03:36 PM   #2
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Totally off the subject, but how tall are you? i'm just wondering because I'm going to look at a bike just like yours with that sized frame and wonder if someone my size could ride it.

As for upgrading? Find a local bike coop. A place where they take donations in and you go in and work on your own bike and pay to use their shop and buy used decent parts for cheap. Would make a lot of sense when converting to single speed. Plus if your local bike coop is anything like mine, its full of hipsters who are all about single speeds/fixies and would tell you what to do or not do. Much cheaper and much better moneywise then having new parts thrown on an older bike.

looks like a mid '80s Worldsport with the 4130 cromoly frame rather than the earlier hi-ten frame.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon.Dove View Post
My last question is: would anyone strongly argue against this sort of upgrade? Am I totally wasting my money here?
Well...

I would not stick $300 into a World Sport. For that money you could sell the bike for 100+ and buy a nicer used bike. $400 will get you pretty good stuff in the used market if you look carefully.

Now, you mentioned turning this bike into a single speed. That can be done very cheaply. Remove the shifters and derailers, the multi-speed freewheel, and thread on an SS freewheel. The freewheel will cost maybe $20 and single speed chainring bolts (if desired) are about $5. Then use your other $275 to look for a nicer used road bike.

I'm a fan of single-speeds and enjoy having my "good" geared road bike along with a cheaper single speed to ride as well.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:30 PM   #4
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As far as working on bikes yourself, you can learn almost everything you'd ever need to know from sheldonbrown.com and the Park Tool repair blog: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
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Old 02-17-12, 06:53 PM   #5
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I haven't looked at 27" tires for a few years, but say 4 years ago there were still quite a few choices. Is there something you want in a tire you just can't find? I would vote for keeping the wheels if they're still in good working order.

The low-mid quality of the frame and components on this bike suggests that it probably isn't worth sinking much money into it. Putting a little money now and then into it to keeping it running could well be worth it. The SS conversion can be pretty cheap, so do that if you want to.

My daily driver up until 2008 was a 1984 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, which was a bit better than yours back then. I just kept replacing what wore out, and it kept rewarding me with reliable transportation. It'll be for sale in the spring. (I just have other bikes I like better now.)
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