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  1. #1
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    Looking for some suggestions on budget upgrades for a '79 Schwinn Suburban

    Okay, so, my mom at some point purchased this suburban new. Of course she's not even sure which decade, but I'm going off the Schwinn badge that it's a '79.

    Recently my father has begun riding this bike again. I forced him to buy new tires and tubes, but he really is a cheapskate. Anyway, I've gone on a few short rides with him, and the tires are so wobbly I adjusted them as best I could with the multitool we have. He's pretty heavy and I was worried there might be some spoke breakage. They're better but still slightly wobbly. I was going to just go buy the proper spoke tools, as I intend to anyway, but it has been raining here and the bike has almost no stopping power in the wet, as you all, I am sure, know. So, I've been thinking the safest course of action would be to get some alloy wheels for the bike.

    It actually took some convincing ("I like this bike, it reminds be of when I was a kid; it stops well enough!") but eventually he agreed. Then he started saying it should be a ten speed instead of a five speed (he is old and hills are hard!) and I'm thinking I'd like to put some better brakes on it to go with the new wheels. I have some diacompe that I will need to find a way to mount onto the bike properly, as it has just the side pull caliper setup, and these are direct pull.

    So, that brings me to why I am here bothering everyone again! I believe the BB is english threaded, which should give me some options. Should I reuse the freewheel and just swap out the crank and BB or should I try to find the same types? Derailleurs? Etc. I suppose I just want a suggestion (maybe a source even?) of some decent parts that will work together at a reasonable price. I assume swapping the gears will require replacing the chain, but that's alright.

    He doesn't seem to care that the parts are right in flavor with the bike, or anything, so would the best bet be just to get something cheap from the LBS? He doesn't deal in used parts, so I figured maybe just the wheelset.

    So, to recap,

    Trying to convert to 10 speed that shifts decently enough, get new alloy wheels (tires and wheels on it are 27x1 1/4) which wills top on the rain, and upgrading the brakes (I attached a picture of the brakes I'll be using) which I think will require mounts that arn't on the bike.

    Pretty cheaply, if possible!

    Some pictures:




  2. #2
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    It's a Shimano FF system, normal rules don't apply.

  3. #3
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    That means I would need a new freewheel, right? Wasn't the Shimano FF like an integrated freewheel or am I all mixed up?

  4. #4
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    The entire BB is the 'freewheel', the rear cogs are fixed.

    You would need to change pretty much the entire drivetrain, rear derailleur, BB, cranks, rear hub.

    Not worth it, IMO.

  5. #5
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Ride it the way it is! (I would.)
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  6. #6
    Senior Member custermustache's Avatar
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    Take it to the bike shop, have them true the wheels, buy some Kool Stops, and ride it, unless it is raining.

  7. #7
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    I had a Suburban with the Shimano Positron II and the FFS system. I enjoyed it despite the popular opinion of it. Old fat guy is right, the system is completely different. Even the cable is a solid push pull wire (and getting difficult to find supposedly)

    I put higher performance brake pads (Shimano) on my Collegate and have been much happier with the brakes.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
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  8. #8
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    Another vote for "Get the wheels checked and leave well enough alone."

    It looks like a nice old Bike. Conversion to standard parts at an LBS would be costly.
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  9. #9
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    I don't have any particular problems with riding it as is, but it's not currently my bike.

    However, it looks like I'll be ending up with this bike as is, then. So now I'm on the look out for a similarly shaped bike the fits the bill for the big guy. Thanks for explaining the weird FF system, I didn't know that much about it. Bonus for explaining the positron. I'll keep it like it is and true the wheels myself.

    Now I have to find a bike that will stop in the rain!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuoil View Post
    I don't have any particular problems with riding it as is, but it's not currently my bike.

    However, it looks like I'll be ending up with this bike as is, then. So now I'm on the look out for a similarly shaped bike the fits the bill for the big guy. Thanks for explaining the weird FF system, I didn't know that much about it. Bonus for explaining the positron. I'll keep it like it is and true the wheels myself.

    Now I have to find a bike that will stop in the rain!
    Try some Kool Stop Salmon brake pads.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html

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