In three parts (Long):
2. The 1982 Schwinn Super Sport S/P
Introduction (my first post).
With increasing frequency over the last few years, my wife, tired of seeing my bought new in 1978 but rarely ever ridden Fuji Sports 10 hanging on the garage wall, has been lobbying to send it off to marital peace good riddance land courtesy of Goodwill.
Late last summer we spent a week in Vancouver, blessed with that great 3-1/2 mile bike path which runs around a seawall in the park on the peninsula attached to downtown. During that week we rented comfort bikes, and rode the seawall with all the other tourists, and liked it so much we did it three times more. It was the most cycling I had done, and the furthest I had ridden, in more than 27 years.
I got back home to Atlanta determined to buy a comfort bike, but decided that before dropping near to a grand on a couple of new bikes that I would first test my new found resolve by pulling down the Fuji and starting to ride.
Well, it wasn’t that easy—either for me or the bike. The Fuji needed the dust crud cleaned out of the chain, the frame, the cables—well, I think most of you know the drill. I did that, piecemeal. One week in, with the inescapable feeling in my stomach that I was stepping out onto a slippery slope with little hope of return, I bought a helmet. That wasn’t as easy as it sounds,. Finding the right sized helmet for a 6’3” 235 pound Clydesdale can take some doing. I found the requisite knowledge base at The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute site -- http://www.bhsi.org/helmetxx.htm. I started wearing the helmet, even though it made me feel like Mike Myers doing the petulant four year old routine in the old Saturday Night Live skits.
After a few weeks I rooted around the basement and uncovered the Brooks B-66 saddle (like the one on my 1963 Rudge that I worked to earn the money for and that my Mom gave away when I went off to college the first time) I had bought but never mounted back when the Fuji was new and put it on. Sweet. Bit the bullet and bought a new 225 mm quill Technomics stem and some new bike takeoff 44 cm bars from a LBS. This got the bars of the 61 cm frame Fuji up level with the seat, and really opened up my ride—my shoulders no longer hurt after riding like they had on the Fuji’s original 37 cm bars.
Over those first three months I bought a used work stand to get the bike up off of the ground, a bunch of cone wrenches (ouch, why did I need these special wrenches?), some tire levers and a freewheel tool. Even buying used when I could, it was turning out that the new hobby was indeed the slippery slope I had feared. Pulled my metric sockets, metric allen wrenches and metric hand wrenches from the bottom of the tool box and re-commissioned them. Pored over everything at Sheldonbrown.com. I mean everything. I repacked the Fuji hubs. Learned to tighten the screws on the stem mounted shifters to prevent auto-shifting. Replaced the blistered old tires. Read a lot about grease, after being offended at the thought of paying $7 for an itty bitty tube at an LBS; found a nice sized quart canister of water proof marine grease for $4.00 at the auto supply store (once an engineer, always an engineer). Googled endlessly here, Schinnbike.com, Oldroads.com and the usual places to understand better Suntour/Shimano parts hierarchies, bike brands/models/years/features.
And in the process of getting up to about 7-8 miles per day, realized that I liked the road bike, in fact preferred it to the vacation rental Giant Sedona comfort bike absolutely.
Meanwhile, my wife was grumbling ‘What about me? Where is my bike?’ She had liked the comfort bike thumb shifters we had had in Vancouver, but too, she spins three times a week at the ‘Y” with clip-in shoes. I asked her to try a road bike, due to all of its advantages with regards to position on the hoods and in the drops. Found a $60 1973 ladies Schwinn Super Sport on eBay, right near the house, hubs, headset and crank already repacked and for his daughter by a local early ‘80’s Raleigh addict whose father-in-law had found the Schwinn in the trash. His daughter discovered boys about the time he finished reviving the bike, and as a result the Schwinn found us.
Its lemon yellow, and lacks only the original seat to be complete. My wife calls it ‘Old Yeller’. She no longer speaks of comfort bikes.
The 1982 Schwinn Super Sport S/P.
Several months in with the Fuji, I realized that was I sticking with this, and decided to prowl for a better bike. Found an ebay 1982 silver Super Sport S/P, head badge date code 3501. Its complete and original, down to the exc condition bar wraps/cushions except for the seat (judging by the amount of surface rust it was changed early in life to an ‘Hsoft-80’) and no evidence of the original Blackburn touring racks except for some paint scratches on the lower forks. It still has the cool silver Aero water bottle. As soon as I unboxed it, I switched over the Technomics stem and wide bars from the Fuji . The original Schwinn Super Record tires, despite their new appearance, had the sidewalls give out after about 200 miles. I replaced them with Continental Ultra Gatorskins 700x28—upsizing from 700x25 at the suggestion of the guys at Lickbike.com to better accommodate my size and stature. In this larger size they weigh about seventy grams more per tire than the originals. Oh well, I can always lose a few pounds myself to compensate.
Long story short: it rides like a dream. A total dream.
Maybe it’s the combination of the extended touring geometry and my large size, I don’t know, I just love it. From the music of the freewheel to the way it shifts. The wheels are true, and the bearings without even repacking spin beautifully.
And in the last few weeks, despite having picked up a pair of Suntour Command shifters (not yet mounted), I’ve found myself ever more fond of the stock Suntour Superbe downtube shifters—which I swore would be the first thing to go. Yes, I have to trim the Suntour Cyclone Mark II derailleurs that operate the whole step/half step front 52/46/34 five cog rear setup more frequently than on the 52/39 two chain ring Fuji, but well, that’s life with a touring triple, as I understand it.
The 1982 Catalog and Price Sheet?
What I cannot find are the catalog pages for this bike. Not at Bob Hufford’s geocities site which runs up through 1979, not at Tom Findley’s site where 1982 is missing. I’ve seen the 1981 Schwinn Super Sport Catalog page posted at Schwinnbike.com/heritage, but not the 1982 page for the S/P version with the Aero bottle pictured.
I would dearly love to see from the 1982 Schwinn catalog:
--The full page describing the Super Sport S/P model and showing the Aero bottle.
--The page in the back of the catalog that lists out all the current year models and their specifications and how they are equipped,
--The separate retail price sheet for 1982 that lists all the models, the model hierarchy and the prices.
Does anyone know where these 1982 pages might be posted?
Keeping It Original?.
Along with the bars and stem, I have switched out the original Kyokuto KKT Pro Ace pedals for MKS Sylvan touring pedals with Powergrips the better to accommodate my big feet. I have also mothballed the Aero bottle and frame, put both in a zip loc bag and on the shelf. Twenty-five year old plastic can be fragile, and the Aero bottle is just so damn neat.
As for what to do with the original bars/stem/pedals/Aero bottle, I’m conflicted. Would it be a crime to sell them separately from the bike, even though they would likely fetch near the $120 delivered that the bike cost? I dunno, I waffle about it from day to day. I’m torn, I think, between keeping score, and recognizing that the next owner(s) of the bike might really enjoy having as many of the original parts as possible. Knowing that like with real estate, there is always a next owner.
The Caliper Adjusting Barrels?
Both Dia Compe Gran Compe 500 (marked ‘GC500’) calipers’ gnurled adjusting barrels seem inoperative. Frozen? Or is there a trick about these of which I’m not yet aware ? Does anyone know where I might find replacements? Not sure if what Loosescrews.com sells are the exact ones. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Afterword: What of the Fuji Sports 10?
Its getting 27 x 1-3/8” slightly knobby Kendra tires, the Hsoft-80 seat from the 1982 Super Sport with the two rail seat clamp from the original like new Fuji brand saddle and going out to pasture up at the mountain house to ride there on alternate weekends when it doesn’t rain. Who cares that it probably weighs 35 pounds? Its got a Valite 1020 tubing steel frame and new steel wheels, cottered cranks (which I must get around to rebuilding), the original Suntour V derailleurs that still shift crisply and the center pull brakes and original pads that still stop on a dime. Its immortal.