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  1. #1
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    Fixing up an old Schwinn Traveler

    Hello. This is my first post and a friend of mine referred me to this board so here I am. I acquired an old Schwinn Traveler from my father. I'm slowly in the process of fixing it up, but I am pretty new to the bike scene. What year my bike is exactly I am unsure of. I have searched around the forum a little and it seems to be late 70's (possibly 1979) or early 80's. Does anyone have a good idea?

    What I plan on doing with this bike is ride to school/work, and cruise around with my friends at night.

    My step mom was using the bike and had some really high handle bars on so I scrapped them and found the current ones in a used pile for $8. The brakes are a little sketchy. They are pretty loose and don't stop fast enough when I squeeze both of them all the way down. The little ball that is at the end of the brake line doesn't fit very well with the brake housing (I think that is what it's called) and the white cables are long and look a little ridiculus. I assume the length can be fixed just by shortening the cable. Would it be smarter for me to just buy a new set of handle bars and brake cables?

    I'm looking for a new saddle and I want it to be yellow to match the handle bars. Anyone have a good recommendation?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated and please excuse my lack of knowledge with bicycle terminology.


  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Hi, ewinred, and welcome to Bike Forums.

    Your Traveler looks like it's a late seventies/early eighties model. To find the assembly date, look closely at the head badge and you should see four small, lightly stamped digits. The first three digits are the day of the year the bike was made, and the fourth digit is the last digit of the year. For example, 1769 would have been assembled on the 176th day of 1979. 2351 would have been built on the 235th day of 1981 (the decals tell us which decade).

    Once we pin down the date, we'll be able to see what brakes, derailleurs, etc., it originally came with and make some suggestions about making it road worthy.
    - Stan

  3. #3
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Welcome. I have a '79 blue Traveler that looks to be about the same vintage as yours.

    Here are the clues for determining the age: If it was made in Japan and not Taiwan, it is '79 or earlier. Since it has a 3 piece crankset, it is a '77 (I think) and older. Look for a small four digit number in the headbadge. The first three tell the day of the year, the last digit tells the year in a decade. For instance, 2739= 273rd day of 1979 or 1989. Your bike is not from '89 because the decals would be different.

    Your brakes probably need new pads. Buy KoolStops or the black ones made for steel rims. New cables would be a plus. But it sounds as if you need to adjust them. A friendly bike shop should show you how to do this for a small fee. If they don't seem interested find another shop.

    Your best bet for a yellow saddle will probably be ebay. Although someone here might offer you one for cheap $$. Best of luck.

    Here's a picture of my very modified Traveler for your comparison. Click on the smaller photos below to see how it used to look and the headbadge number.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bob
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  4. #4
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Stan, good minds think at the same time!
    Bob
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  5. #5
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Stan, good minds think at the same time!
    - Stan

  6. #6
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    Can't seem to locate camera cables so I'll just have to tell you what the badge says.

    It says Chicago and there are two sets of numbers. One is printed on the badge and it says 60639 and the second number is next to it but it is indented and reads 167.

  7. #7
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Hey, another Traveler!

  8. #8
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewinred View Post
    Can't seem to locate camera cables so I'll just have to tell you what the badge says.

    It says Chicago and there are two sets of numbers. One is printed on the badge and it says 60639 and the second number is next to it but it is indented and reads 167.
    The 60639 is Schwinn's Chicago ZIP code.

    The other number should have four small, very lightly stamped digits. You may need to look more closely with good lighting to see them.
    - Stan

  9. #9
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    Here is this for now. I'll go back number hunting.


  10. #10
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    16th day of 1977?

  11. #11
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    Let me know how your updates work. My trav is a little older but a great ride.

  12. #12
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewinred View Post
    Here is this for now. I'll go back number hunting.
    Hmmm.. Well, stranger things have happened. It may be the 167th day of ? year, or the x16th day of 1977. There's a digit missing from one end or the other.

    Here's a link to the 1977 Traveler catalog page. You can try checking the components on your bike against those listed for the '77 model year. Let us know what you find.
    - Stan

  13. #13
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    '77 was the last year for the one piece Ashtabula cranks for Travelers and since ewinred's are three piece, either the cranks have been updated or it's newer than '77.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    Hmmm.. Well, stranger things have happened. It may be the 167th day of ? year, or the x16th day of 1977. There's a digit missing from one end or the other.

    Here's a link to the 1977 Traveler catalog page. You can try checking the components on your bike against those listed for the '77 model year. Let us know what you find.
    The only real marking I could find on my bike to compare with the chart was my rear derailleur which says Shimano 400. That chart says GT-420.

    Off to the bike shop!

  15. #15
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    A bit of trivia to go with the late 70s travelers. If they were made in japan you actually may have bridgestone. nice find.
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  16. #16
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Hmmm! My Traveler had a Shimano 400 RD and a Shimano FE FD. Notice how your headbadge has rivits, mine has screws. I couldn't remember if the '77 or the '78 was the first year for a Silstar 3 piece crankset. Did you find a "Made in _______" sticker?
    Bob
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I just bought one a few days ago, and the down tube says Schwinn approved Traveler. I'm guessing
    it's pre 77, as it has Conti style one piece cranks. Definitely Japanese made frame and sidepull brakes though.,,,,BD

    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  18. #18
    KDB
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    That's got to be later than mine, which is Schwinn approved and from 1975. Mine has the one piece crank and the original RD was GT 120. In the book "No Hands" there is discussion of the amount of bikes being imported vs. being made in Chicago; so I wonder if they still were making some travelers in Chicago in the late 1970s? The 3 digit head badge number is different.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    The serial on the left drop, nothing on the BB like the 81 type models. It's 5A07258. The lugs are very simple, no EF on this frame. The wheels are bolt on, and the brakes are Weinmann style but dia compes. The decals also look older than yours, and are one color. I don't know, I will try to check the headbadge
    before I leave for work, but I don't remember there being a number there.,,,,BD

    Edit: GT120 RD, Headbadge has no number and says Schwinn Approved Japan. Has the
    old square toothed freewheel with the flat plate on the outside. It has all the type of parts
    as an early to mid 70's. No idea of actual year.
    Last edited by Bikedued; 08-02-07 at 06:33 AM.
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  20. #20
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    check the RIGHT rear dropout. There is probably a 5 digit code stating with a G (G####). The G stands for Taiwan, and the four digits the month and year (EX: my traveler is a G1281, Taiwan December 1981).

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...8&d=1208447644

  21. #21
    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    That's not an old traveler. this is an old traveler. good luck and have fun on your fancy new 28 year old bike.


  22. #22
    Senior Member Caferacernoc's Avatar
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    1988 Waterford built Schwinn Paramount, 1985 Schwinn Peloton,
    1981 Schwinn Traveler, 1977 Schwinn Le Tour II,
    And for my wife: Green '70's Motobecane Mixte and a Gitane Mixte!

    "That's easy - the universal rule - the number of bikes you need is N + 1 where N is the number you own now."

  23. #23
    Junior Member
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    Well it has been a while since I made this thread but I've identified it as a 1980 Schwinn X-tra Lite Traveler.

    http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1980_08.html

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSojourner View Post
    check the RIGHT rear dropout. There is probably a 5 digit code stating with a G (G####). The G stands for Taiwan, and the four digits the month and year (EX: my traveler is a G1281, Taiwan December 1981).

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...8&d=1208447644

    Well I take back my previous post claiming it was a 1980. After checking out the dropout I found this: G0681.

    June 1981!
    Thanks!

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