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  1. #1
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    Old Schwinn Continental... not sure if it's worth the hassle...

    I picked up a '75 Continental in Kool Lemon a couple weeks ago. It was only $5, so I said may as well bring'er home. I'm just getting around to working on it, and now I can see how bad the paint is. There's a bunch of places where the steel is exposed, fingernail sized areas, and these areas are rusty. The decals are in fair shape, but are discolored (darker than the paint). The paint is flaking off badly on the rear dropouts. I can post some pics later, maybe.

    What would you guys do in this situation? I need to replace the rear derailleur for sure, wheels need to be de-rusted, but all else is ok...paint being the worst. Should I toss it? Should I rattle-can it with Kool Lemon paint from hyper-formance (almost $30 for the can)? It's a nice bike, but I don't wanna be upside down on the investment if I try to flip it later.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Sure, you got a bike for the price of a cheap lunch. Before you start spending money on it you need to decide what your plans are. If you are planning to flip it, clean up the chrome, polish the original paint and keep it cheap. Only paint it if it's a keeper, otherwise it's probably not worth it.
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  3. #3
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    I'd see about powder coating and original restoration only if its a definite keeper. Schwinn Continentals were built like tanks - the 1970s versions were. If its 1960s, it may be fillet brazed cro moly and a definite keeper.

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    I'lll say the opposite of what I've been saying for many years. Mant fans of those US built heavy "light weight" do them up, I don't think thay're worth it. The frames are clunky, even the '60s ones, even the Super Sports, not much potential. Painting it is surely not worth it. HOWEVER it's YELLOW.. THAT'S what makes the difference.
    It's as if the yellow ones are in their own real. Touch it up sparingly, sell it to be a Fixie or make a fixie out of it. I don't like Fixies nor those Schwinns but here in the forums I've seen those yellow ones seem valued. I've seen them get WAY over 150 in e-bay, frames or partial bikes only and only in yellow.
    Rust (not so minor included) can be dealt with. As a bike that you restore with gears, regardless of the effort and parts will only result in minimum return. FIX IT

  5. #5
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I wish you had a photo, it might trigger some sibilant reaction. I think I was probably 14 when I rode the miles away on the cornfield lined back-roads of Southern Indiana on a Lemon Schwinn Continental.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    I wish you had a photo, it might trigger some sibilant reaction. I think I was probably 14 when I rode the miles away on the cornfield lined back-roads of Southern Indiana on a Lemon Schwinn Continental.
    You're showing your age young man.

    If the OP lives near Fixie Land, he can do well.
    Fix it then show-up at a spot where they congregate, get there on a Friday night, pay-day and benefit from an impulse buy. It's KEY to BE there. Prospects can't be given time to think about it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the replies so far

    So I ran to grab my camera, but the batteries are dead. You'll have to settle for iPhone pics of the half-disassembled bike in question:





  8. #8
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    It's definately touch-upable. No need to get it overly perfect, not even obviously "improved". Get it less unsightly; the bad spots but leave the eye-shot areas with that lovely patina. Have it end-up as if it's not been altered so much. I'm dead serious about that OE color ! Even a red one wouldn't do.
    It took 20 of us a week to talk a kid into returning his for his $150 refund. He was crying over having to get rid of it, he wasn't mechanically inclined. It was busted and rustier than yours.

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    @old and new, thanks for the advice again. i believe ya, i believe ya. kool lemon ftw!

    btw, since i was posting these pics here, i thought i would contribute to the "saved from the dump" thread. if you like the old schwinns, check it out... http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...31#post9932231

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by extraboldroast View Post
    @old and new, thanks for the advice again. i believe ya, i believe ya. kool lemon ftw!

    btw, since i was posting these pics here, i thought i would contribute to the "saved from the dump" thread. if you like the old schwinns, check it out... http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...31#post9932231
    search the snot outa the threads pertaining to paint touch-up, keep the search perameters loose, you needn't go back more than a month.

  11. #11
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    If you turn that into a fixed-gear bike, all the fix'd kids are going to laugh at you.

    Don't do it, unless you plan on unloading it for a few bucks on somebody who knows nothing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    If you turn that into a fixed-gear bike, all the fix'd kids are going to laugh at you.

    Don't do it, unless you plan on unloading it for a few bucks on somebody who knows nothing.
    OK , if you say so. The OP should take all under advisement.

    You may know better than I. Hell, everybody knows more about fixed than I.
    It's just that when I type in "Schwinn Varsity Fixed Gear", google, nine or so pages came-up.

  13. #13
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    The problem is, you'd have to get a proper hub (I personally could not sleep knowing I sent some kid off on a loc-tite'd freewheel and charged money for it) - and new wheels/tires at least. That's already more money than the bike is going to be worth (unless maybe you can find those parts used somewhere). Then people are going to look at that electroforged frame and one piece crank and say "no way".

    Well at least if they've been reading any of the threads i the singlespeed forum here...
    You'd really have to pawn it off on a sucker.

    I think simply cleaning it up and keeping it as a ten speed would result in a more saleable bike - plus it'd be less work.

    I mean he only paid $5 for it, really he could have turned around and sold it as is for $20 pretty quickly. After cleaning up the chrome and adjusting everything, he should have no problem selling it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    You could strip all the parts off, do the oxyalic acid bath on the frame and the chrome parts, touch up the bare areas or just hit it with some clear coat to discourage new rust, new tires/tubes/cable/brake pads and bar tape and you are good to go.

    You should have about $50 tied up in it, a pretty decent beater bike and should be able to get your money out if you decide to sell it.

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
    You could strip all the parts off, do the oxyalic acid bath on the frame and the chrome parts, touch up the bare areas or just hit it with some clear coat to discourage new rust, new tires/tubes/cable/brake pads and bar tape and you are good to go.

    You should have about $50 tied up in it, a pretty decent beater bike and should be able to get your money out if you decide to sell it.
    +1 What he said.

    +1 If you decide to fix it up, you will be able to get your money back out of it.

    +1 Don't repaint, you can't get that expense back out of it, and you will ruin the "patina".

    +1 Cool Lemon Schwinns are hot in the market. I had a Cool Lemon Varsity in somewhat better condition (but not perfect). I ended up with a bidding war on that bike. Everybody wanted it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member vincev's Avatar
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    If all else fails put it on "pay it foward" with a pickup only understanding.
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