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Old 06-18-09, 09:08 PM   #1
sk8masta716
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My 70's Schwinn Continental :)

So I'm back in the cycling game for the first time as an adult. Today I picked up a Schwinn Continental from a retired gentleman off craigslist for 30 bucks. He listed it as a 1973 but I researched it and they never made red that year. It seems to be a darker red leading me to believe it is a '71 or '72. The serial is EH055123 if anyone can help me out. Anyways this thing seems totally worth the money to me. I do have to get used to the twinstick shifters as the only one's I have used were mountain bike style when I was a kid. It is a ten speed and seems to shift smoothly, the brakes are pretty squeaky but work, and the tires and rock hard seat are crap but i had planned on replacing those anyways. Something that I thought is really cool is the working schwinn approved generator on the back wheel powering the front headlight and rear brakelight. The only thing funny about it is when I ride the light isn't constant, but flashes on and off repeatedly. I couldn't tell if it is supposed to work that way or not. Anyways I love this bike already and I would love to hear some of your suggestions to customize/improve it in any way. Here's some dark pics i took tonight:





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Old 06-18-09, 09:27 PM   #2
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Looks good. I need to get me one of those Schwinn-approved generator light sets.

A frame with serial number EH055123 was built in May, 1972, according to OldRoads.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:51 PM   #3
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thanks doohickie, i just figured it out when i saw that this one in the 1972 catalog is identical to mine
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Old 06-18-09, 11:08 PM   #4
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Nice find great price nice cond!
Lucky
I had one in blue. nice bike but I couldn't really enjoy it as the frame was too big.
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Old 06-18-09, 11:09 PM   #5
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Don;t think mine had a taped handlebar though
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Old 06-19-09, 04:17 AM   #6
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Welcome to C&V and the alure of old Schwinns. I was about to suggest you had a '71 or '72 Burgundy, and then I scrolled down to the ad you found! Good job on the research!

My guess is that a contact is loose, or you have an intermittent short on the generator-light set up. Check and tighten the connections, including inside the light housings and the bulbs. See if any of the wiring has frayed and a strand is touching the frame, or the wire is pinched between something.

Your best bet for upgrading a Continental is to first find aluminum replacement wheels. On the cheap you can do this off another CL bike. For about $60-120 you can order new wheels. You also need new brake pads, probably new cables (they help with braking), and you should clean the old grease out of the bottom bracket and headset.

What kind of budget are you on?
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Old 06-19-09, 05:16 AM   #7
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Welcome to C&V and the alure of old Schwinns. I was about to suggest you had a '71 or '72 Burgundy, and then I scrolled down to the ad you found! Good job on the research!

My guess is that a contact is loose, or you have an intermittent short on the generator-light set up. Check and tighten the connections, including inside the light housings and the bulbs. See if any of the wiring has frayed and a strand is touching the frame, or the wire is pinched between something.

Your best bet for upgrading a Continental is to first find aluminum replacement wheels. On the cheap you can do this off another CL bike. For about $60-120 you can order new wheels. You also need new brake pads, probably new cables (they help with braking), and you should clean the old grease out of the bottom bracket and headset.

What kind of budget are you on?
+1 To these upgrades. Note, you will have to do most/all of the work yourself, or you will end up with a lot more $$ in a Continental than it is worth.
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Old 06-19-09, 01:14 PM   #8
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+1 To these upgrades. Note, you will have to do most/all of the work yourself, or you will end up with a lot more $$ in a Continental than it is worth.

I am on as low of a budget as I can possibly be on I plan to do as much of the work myself as possible, not just to save money but to learn bicycle mechanics as well. There is a great shop called niagara cycle about 20 minutes from here and I am picking up new tires, kool stop brake pads, brake lines, and cinelli bar tape tomorrow. The frame is a little beat/knicked up for me to consider fully restoring it so I just want to make it look fairly nice and enjoy it. I would love some alloy wheels but they are a bit beyond my budget right now, but I am keeping an eye out for a cheap set. Any recommendations on cleaning up the metal components? I was planning on using some sort of degreaser and then chrome polish.
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Old 06-19-09, 01:39 PM   #9
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For the chrome and aluminum pieces, try bronze wool and a metal polish. I like Blue Magic, but there are others. Look for a cheap bike on CL. For instance:

http://buffalo.craigslist.org/bik/1228465917.html

I'm not certain but it looks to be about 1991, and my guess has aluminum wheels.

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1991_27.html

If you can talk them down to $50, you have a sweet deal and even more spare parts.

Or here's another possibility at $30. Just make certain the wheels are not steel.

http://buffalo.craigslist.org/bik/1228471627.html
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Old 06-19-09, 01:50 PM   #10
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I order a lot of parts from Niagra Cycle. They have some great prices.

Cool bike.
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Old 06-19-09, 02:30 PM   #11
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I am on as low of a budget as I can possibly be on I plan to do as much of the work myself as possible, not just to save money but to learn bicycle mechanics as well. There is a great shop called niagara cycle about 20 minutes from here and I am picking up new tires, kool stop brake pads, brake lines, and cinelli bar tape tomorrow. The frame is a little beat/knicked up for me to consider fully restoring it so I just want to make it look fairly nice and enjoy it. I would love some alloy wheels but they are a bit beyond my budget right now, but I am keeping an eye out for a cheap set. Any recommendations on cleaning up the metal components? I was planning on using some sort of degreaser and then chrome polish.
If you do plan on getting rid of the wheels, I know someone who collects original 70s schwinn hubsets ...

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I am picking up new tires, kool stop brake pads, brake lines,
This is the usual and recommended course of action. +1 on kool stops--this will help with keeping the steel rims

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and cinelli bar tape
Incongruity altert!! What's wrong with the current tape?

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Any recommendations on cleaning up the metal components? I was planning on using some sort of degreaser and then chrome polish.
You are on the right track.

Chromed Steel: Just don't use /steel/ wool or a /steel/ brush on the chromed steel. Steel scratch the chrome and/or take the chrome right off. Bronze/brass is OK, as it is softer than chrome. Naval Jelly will also take the chrome off. If you have a lot of rust that doesn't come off with brass wool and polish, then you need Oxalic Acid, commonly found as deck bleach at big box home repair stores. Works miracles. Search these forums for instructions.

Aluminum bits: I like Mother's metal polish for the aluminum. #0000 steel wool also does a nice job of taking off the top layer of white crust (alu rust) that forms on aluminum parts. Grades of ultrafine sandpaper (100, 200, 400, 600, 1200) to take out scratches and make a better-than-original mirror-like finish, if you like. I do.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!!!

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Old 06-19-09, 03:50 PM   #12
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For the chrome and aluminum pieces, try bronze wool and a metal polish.
Lemon juice and tin foil does the trick, too:



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Old 06-19-09, 03:52 PM   #13
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I order a lot of parts from Niagra Cycle. They have some great prices.

Cool bike.
And sk8masta716 is about a half hour from there by car.
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Old 06-19-09, 04:59 PM   #14
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Looks just like the one I was forced to buy to get to work in the spring of 1971 right down to the generator.
Had my license suspended for 75 days for drag racing.
Mother made me sell it to a kid down the street after I went back to 4 wheels again.
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Old 06-19-09, 05:23 PM   #15
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Lemon juice and tin foil does the trick, too:
so does coca cola and aluminum foil
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Old 06-19-09, 06:28 PM   #16
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Hey, Nice find. I would be interested in the seat for my continental since you plan on replacing it.
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Old 06-20-09, 03:22 AM   #17
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Ah just got home from working the bar and had to check in here before bed. Tin foil eh? I never would have known that. So i just put the lemon juice/cola on there and rub it with tin foil? I disassembled most of it yesterday afternoon and cleaned up the chrome a bit. The spokes on the wheels are very oxidized, they'll be a pain but I want to shine 'em up nicely. I plan to take a trip to niagara falls and pick up the needed parts when i get up.

Roll: I'm not trying to restore this bike to it's original form. I'm a younger guy and I have to add my own style to it. I'm thinking white bar tape and white brake lines with whitewall tires on the burgundy frame will look pretty nice. But I may get a little crazier who knows. If I pick up some alloys you'll have dibs on the hubs for sure.

Mkeller: I rode for about an hour today and I feel like I have been raped! I'll probably pick up a new seat while I'm at the shop tomorrow, but I may be cheap and just use the gel pad I found in our basement for the time being. I'll let you know when the time comes.


Thanks for the suggestions/insight guys and keep it comming! I hope I can be of help to some of you eventually too.

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Old 06-26-09, 06:36 PM   #18
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Update 6/26/09

So I finally got my parts in from niagara cycle. This past week I have been cleaning/degreasing the **** outta this thing and it looks to have finally paid off. New tires, tubes, bar tape, and seat went on this afternoon. I have no bicycle maintenance knowledge and everything has gone smoothly except the pads I bought. They are kool-stop salmon cantilevers and I don't understand how to mount them. I'll do some searching online later but i have to get to work. Did I buy the wrong type or do I just need some different hardware to mount them? Anyways here's some updated pics.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:13 PM   #19
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So I finally got my parts in from niagara cycle. They are kool-stop salmon cantilevers and I don't understand how to mount them. I'll do some searching online later but i have to get to work. Did I buy the wrong type or do I just need some different hardware to mount them? Anyways here's some updated pics.
You need nutted brake pads and the ones for canti-brakes are not that kind. See if you can return the ones you bought and exchange them for the correct ones.

I think the white tape and white wall tires look sharp on that bike. Good call -- IMHO.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:39 PM   #20
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I think the white tape and white wall tires look sharp on that bike.
Arrrrrgh!
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Old 06-26-09, 11:20 PM   #21
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Yeah, like sonatageek said about the brake pads. Look for the Kool Stop Continentals, those should fit.

I like the white walls a lot too, but I lost my love for white cork... it just gets so dirty so fast. You did a really nice job cleaning that up btw, looks brand new.
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Old 06-27-09, 12:28 AM   #22
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ska8masta your bike turned out nice. I'm really diggin' the whitewalls, maybe do the cables too. Let the air outta the front tire and wiggle your valve stem straight. Ya can't have crooked stems on a bike that nice!
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Old 06-27-09, 05:21 AM   #23
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+1 on Niagara Cycle, +100 on your bike! I am liking that white really well against the burgundy. I had a baby blue '74 back in my paperboy days. Those were tanks, but that was the sign of a quality bike.

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Old 06-27-09, 05:32 AM   #24
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Arrrrrgh!
Hey, it does not look stock or restored but it gives nice contrast. Now when I see fixed gears with pink chains and the like I start to get a little I l

I looked at the picture again and I think the white gives a 70's vibe -- not a Schwinn vibe but more like a Lincoln Continental.
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Old 06-27-09, 10:23 AM   #25
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Yeah, like sonatageek said about the brake pads. Look for the Kool Stop Continentals, those should fit.

I like the white walls a lot too, but I lost my love for white cork... it just gets so dirty so fast. You did a really nice job cleaning that up btw, looks brand new.
Thanks, I dunno why I confused the pad type but I did. These looked exactly like the style on stringbreaker's continental so I thought they were the correct style. Oh well, luckily Niagara is a short drive to return them. I was thinking the same thing about the white staying clean but it looks so nice I won't mind cleaning it. I am a huge fan of contrast and this came out exactly as I had hoped. I skipped the brake lines for now, but i do plan on replacing them soon. Well time for some breakfast and my first real ride! Hopefully the sun will dissipate my hangover
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