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Old 08-13-09, 11:25 PM   #1
pghguy517
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Differences in Schwinn Superior, Sports Tourer, and Super Sport?

Looking to buy a Schwinn Superior, Sports Tourer, or Super Sport (older Chicago made only), but not sure what the differences are? I currently commute to work on a '71 and '72 Continental, but would like to try out one of the brazed models. Anyone know what the weight differnces are from the brazed models and the Continental? Also, what should I expect to pay?

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Old 08-13-09, 11:47 PM   #2
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I paid $250 for my 1971 Schwinn Super Sports. Its styled like the ubiquitous Varsity but its fillet-brazed straight-gauge cro-moly rather than the electro-forged steel used in the rest of the Chicago Schwinn line. Its going to be a few pounds lighter. The models came with the Brooks B-15 standard. Mine now has a Brooks B-66. Its a lighter version of the single speed kool lemon Speedster I had as a child.

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Old 08-14-09, 04:07 AM   #3
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In a general sense you could say that the late '60s Super Sport evolved into the Sports Tourer in the early '70s (although they overlap for a few years), and then the Sports Tourer became the Superior (and a very limited number of Sport Limited) by the late '70s. By 1980 there were no more Schwinn fillet brazed frames.

In terms of availability, you will find there are more Super Sports and fewer Superiors.

In terms of component quality and performance, the Super Sport was less refined and the Superior more highly refined. Also, the Super Sports weighed the most, and the Superior the least.

Here are some big differences:


Super Sport: Heavy steel Astubula 1 piece crank, steel kickstand, stem shifters, RD & FD, seatpost, collar, and a Brooks B-15. Most '70s SS also had stamped dropouts.

Sports Tourer: Lighter 3 piece crankset, better RD, forged dropouts, steel kickstand, stem shifters, seatpost, collar, and a Brooks B-15.

Superior:
Same as ST but, downtube shifters, no kickstand, better RD and FD (I think), possibly an alloy seatpost, and a leather over plastic saddle. As you can see the Superior lived up to its name.

Now with all this said, the frames were identical in geometry, the only difference being the dropouts and the larger BB shell on the SS. Basically they all ride with a similar tight and lively responsiveness. My SS turns on a dime yet descends at high speed like it has double the wheel base.

Best of luck on your decision.
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Old 08-14-09, 05:05 AM   #4
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...the only difference being the dropouts and the larger BB shell on the SS....
Great post, PB, one small point: Older Super Sports from the 60's have the same Huret dropouts as the Sports Tourer have. I think Schwinn went to the cheaper dropouts on the Super Sport the same year they introduced the Sports Tourer.

The Surly Long Haul Trucker and the Sports Tourer/Super Sport geometeries are nearly the same. Schwinn has the built in kickstand
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Old 08-14-09, 05:19 AM   #5
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Good luck finding a Superior. It is the best bike by far in this comparison, but relatively difficult to find (at least around here). If you already have one in mind, I would buy it before someone else grabs it.
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Old 08-14-09, 01:34 PM   #6
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Thanks all. I think I'll look for a Superior or Sports Tourer. Would the effort required to ride these be noticable compared to my existing Continentals?
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Old 08-14-09, 01:49 PM   #7
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I own a '62 Continental which handles differently then any Schwinn I've ever ridden. The SP-ST is a fantastic handling bike and you should be able to see a big difference. I would not hesitate to buy a Superior or a ST, but as wrk101 mentions, finding either an early '60s or late '70s Superior is not an easy task. Best of luck.
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Old 08-14-09, 02:18 PM   #8
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Is this the differences between the frames of 70's Super Sports, Sports Tourers and Superiors?

Super Sport frame (70's) has no derailliuer hanger on the dropout, big BB and kickstand, otherwise same frame as Superior.

Sport Tourer has kickstand, otherwise same frame as Superior.

Late model (70's series) Superior is same frame as Sports Tourer, except they removed the kickstand bracket/chainstay bridge and replaced it with a standard chainstay bridge. Also deleted the upper cable stops on the downtube.

So the Superior lacks the built in kickstand which makes it about 1lbs less than the Sports Tourer solely due to lack of kickstand? Only other difference is the downtube shifters?
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Old 08-14-09, 02:51 PM   #9
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I have a Sports Tourer that is available, 21" frame.

See here:
Questions About An Old Schwinn Sports Tourer
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Old 08-14-09, 04:49 PM   #10
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It rides nicely with a 700C wheelset. I switched mainly for increased tire choices. And the lighter alloy wheels roll smooth and fast too. The Super Sports is a dream ride!
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Old 08-14-09, 05:35 PM   #11
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I ride a '72 sports tourer every day and love it!!! Not sure what it will run you - mine was found for a total of $0 - free for the taking in very good original shape by my mother-in-law... I have since added barcons, aero brake levers and new tape job along with a replacement wheel-set. Get one - you will not be disappointed. Here is mine in all its commuter glory.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:12 PM   #12
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The Superior and the S/T also came stock with alloy wheels while the S/S had steel. Easy to fix. The S/T was available with bar-con shifters. I don't know if these were available on the S/Ss.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:23 PM   #13
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The Superior and the S/T also came stock with alloy wheels while the S/S had steel.
I dunno. Here's the spec sheet for the '71 Super Sport specifying Weinmann aluminum alloy rims, and the '73 Super Sport I just bought on eBay appears to be completely original and has alloy rims.

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Old 08-14-09, 06:55 PM   #14
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The '71 Super Sport I found at the dump two years ago had the Weinmann aluminum wheels. They had really been neglected and needed a major rehab (spokes, polish, cleaning, new bearings, etc.).

Barend shifters would have been option, especially since SSs and STs came with brazed on cable stops on the down tube. I had Dr.Deltron grind the ones off of Sporty in order to add the Campagnolo shifters.



He added a clever shift band stop he custom fashioned by cutting a cross into it. A little detail that's hard to see.

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Old 08-14-09, 07:21 PM   #15
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Super Sport always had aluminum rims, even in the 60's.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:29 PM   #16
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The steel Ashtabula one piece crankset on the Super Sport weighs (gasp!) 4.01 pounds.

I'm not sure what the 3-piece alloy crankset on the Sports Tourer weighs, but I'd bet a pretty good chunk of the weight difference between the SS and ST is in the weight of the cranks.

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Old 08-14-09, 07:36 PM   #17
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Mine has alloy rims, no Brooks, and a reflector mount that Pastorbob covets ( is that a damned in hell, forever sin? Coveting, I mean?).

I'd really rather it went to an enthusiast, than striped and flipped to a U of M grad student, no matter how hip he/she is.
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Old 08-15-09, 04:38 AM   #18
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...a reflector mount that Pastorbob covets ( is that a damned in hell, forever sin? Coveting, I mean?).
No, not a damned to hell forever sin, just something to work on, like cussing.

The sin you must avoid is "brazeonphemy!" Do that and create a hipster fixie and you'll suffer the consequences!

BTW, any of you C&Vers seen this You Tube gem, "Performance." Cudak888 has some competition! I promise it has a C&V tie in.

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Old 08-15-09, 04:55 AM   #19
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Put a modern crank on that Super Sports and you get a sweet-handling bike. The Ashtabula one piece crank is ugly. If you lighten the components, the bike's quality can be "hopped up" in performance. That was one place Schwinn cut corners to sell what is really a very nice frameset.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:54 PM   #20
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Hm. I was wrong. It happened once before. Can't let that happen again.
Reflector mount?
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Old 08-17-09, 10:22 AM   #21
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I usually take forever to buy something, but I came accross this and bought it http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT From what I was told in this thread, and from the lack of sale history that I could or couldn't find on ebay or CL, I figured I better jump on it. Hope it make a good commuter, we'll see when it arrives. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-17-09, 11:07 AM   #22
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You did very well. It looks a bit nicked up, but in otherwise respectable shape! It might be the largest fillet brazed Schwinn I've ever seen.
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Old 08-17-09, 11:19 AM   #23
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I usually take forever to buy something, but I came accross this and bought it http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT From what I was told in this thread, and from the lack of sale history that I could or couldn't find on ebay or CL, I figured I better jump on it. Hope it make a good commuter, we'll see when it arrives. Any thoughts?
You scored big time! That's an example of the last and best of the fillet brazed Schwinns. Although the EK serial number dates the frame to 1974, it's a '76 bike. Here's the 1976 catalog page.

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Old 08-17-09, 11:21 AM   #24
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I just sold my Superior on Craigslist for $100.00. All I had in it was a new chain. The bike had been given to me by a guy on his way to the dump.

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Old 08-17-09, 11:43 AM   #25
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...That's an example of the last and best of the fillet brazed Schwinns....
What makes it the "best"? The frames were made at the same time all the others, only component differences are the brake levers and shifters....It's missing the brazed on kickstand
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