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Old 10-01-11, 05:56 PM   #1
Fissile
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Gas Pipe Schwinn: The Thing That Wouldn't Die

So I was checking out some pictures from today's "Occupation Wall St" protest when I see this:



It appears that this protester is riding a 70's vintage Schwinn Continental with flipped drop bars! If these bikes can survive for 40 years in NYC, they truly are indestructible.

Last edited by Fissile; 10-01-11 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 10-01-11, 05:59 PM   #2
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I'm sure there are loads of those in NYC and they probably sell for $300 each!
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Old 10-01-11, 06:07 PM   #3
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I volunteer at a bike co-op that sees lots of Varsities and other low-end Schwinn come in the door. They certainly are very durable bicycles. Most of the components are still functioning after those 40 years, so it's often just a matter of grease and cables to get them back on the road.


Most repairs aren't difficult either. The one piece crank/BB is pretty easy to work on. Derailleurs are easy to adjust.

The bad side of them is the 40 pounds they weigh. They probably make great grocery getters and are wonderful for protests and occupations as above... they're actually bomb-proof too.
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Old 10-01-11, 06:12 PM   #4
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I was astonished at the number of vintage bikes locked up on the street in NYC. Somebody's everyday ride to work I'd guess. Most weren't that spit-and-polish, but respectable. Lots of bikes being ridden, everything from beaters to fixies to nice originals. And recently, a lot of electric bikes.
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Old 10-01-11, 06:22 PM   #5
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Droid 559 by Lucas James 78, on Flickr

Droid 555 by Lucas James 78, on Flickr

I just rode a century on my gas pipe 77 Le Tour II, I love this bike!
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Old 10-01-11, 06:31 PM   #6
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With painted forks and centerpull brakes, the bike pictured is probably a Continental, the worst parts of which are the heavy steel rims. The really cool vintage Schwinn is of course the Super Sport, which can be brought down to a tolerable 30lbs w/ aluminum cranks.
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Old 10-01-11, 06:33 PM   #7
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I just rode a century on my gas pipe 77 Le Tour II, I love this bike!
Um......dude, The Le Tour is not "gas pipe".
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Old 10-01-11, 06:34 PM   #8
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With painted forks and centerpull brakes, the bike pictured is probably a Continental, the worst parts of which are the heavy steel rims. The really cool vintage Schwinn is of course the Super Sport, which can be brought down to a tolerable 30lbs w/ aluminum cranks.
Um......dude, the Super Sport isn't "gas pipe". They were fillet brazed.
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Old 10-01-11, 08:08 PM   #9
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super sports were all over the map. my 81 is tange 2 with lugs.
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Old 10-01-11, 08:14 PM   #10
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With painted forks and centerpull brakes, the bike pictured is probably a Continental, the worst parts of which are the heavy steel rims. The really cool vintage Schwinn is of course the Super Sport, which can be brought down to a tolerable 30lbs w/ aluminum cranks.
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Um......dude, the Super Sport isn't "gas pipe". They were fillet brazed.
Actually he did not say "gas pipe".
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Old 10-01-11, 08:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fissile View Post
So I was checking out some pictures from today's "Occupation Wall St" protest when I see this:
It appears that this protester is riding a 70's vintage Schwinn Continental with flipped drop bars! If these bikes can survive for 40 years in NYC, they truly are indestructible.
I have one, same color, bars in the right place. $5 yard sale, no rust. Lots of little touch up paint spots, you can't tell unless you look really close.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:06 PM   #12
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japanese le tours were most cro-mo I thought.. american ones like mine are heavy like rocks.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:19 PM   #13
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My Le Tour is Japanese, with the Suntour/Shimano Gruppo and Araya 700c wheels it weighs about 25lbs. With the racks, fenders, lights, computer and saddle bag it's about 30.

My Continental is almost 10lbs heavier with just the basic components. It is indestructible however.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:21 PM   #14
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I bought this SS today at a garage sale. The owner had it in a shed in his back yard. Needs tires and a nice cleaning to remove the surface oxidation, but other than that the frame is in very good condition. I cant wait to ride it! Definitely not gas pipe!



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Old 10-01-11, 09:36 PM   #15
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Varsinentals, cockroaches, Twinkies and Volvo 240s. After the nuclear holocaust or the comet strikes Earth, these are the things that will survive.

So, 100,000 years from now, will there a BF for cockroaches who ride Varsities and Continentals complaining about getting doored and right-hooked by cockroaches driving old Volvos?
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Old 10-01-11, 09:54 PM   #16
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(to above, forgot to hit quote)

I have no idea, but I wouldn't doubt some of that. I weighed my Varsity last week, and it is within a pound of my 07 Voyageur. I can't imagine what would happen if I switched to alloy wheels from the original steel ones... The Varsity is my 'backup' ride, and the Voyageuer is only around because of the bike trailer, and I might even switch the coupler for the trailer to the Varsity... not sure the gears would like that though. My son is almost too big for that anyways...
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Old 10-01-11, 11:17 PM   #17
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I used to ride an old 72 Sport Tourer I had it sandblasted and was getting ready to paint it. I had it in the barn and the barn burned down. I nearly cried. I loved that bike. I'm still looking for another one!!
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Old 10-02-11, 12:25 AM   #18
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By far, the most likely brand of vintage bike I'll find at the yard sales are entry-level Schwinns. I'm convinced it's due not just to their popularity at the time, but their durability. There were millions of bikes made by other American brands -- Huffy, Columbia, Murray, Ross -- but fewer of them remain.
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Old 10-02-11, 12:33 AM   #19
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I used to ride an old 72 Sport Tourer I had it sandblasted and was getting ready to paint it. I had it in the barn and the barn burned down. I nearly cried. I loved that bike. I'm still looking for another one!!
I have a 72 sport tourer built in 71. It has 54/36 chainring and is orange. Chrome is pitted and i tried to clean the rims. What size do you need? Where are you located? Has a brooks B15 saddle that can be cleaned up. Paint is dull but with very few chips, can be cleaned and polished. Decals are in great shape.

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Old 10-02-11, 12:54 AM   #20
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...that wouldn't die.
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Old 10-02-11, 03:47 AM   #21
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As long as tires, tubes, cables, and brake pads are available for them, Chicago Schwinns will live on...
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Old 10-02-11, 08:29 AM   #22
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heck, tires and tubes are easy to find, brake pads... well, heck, even those are easy. About those cables.... they just roll with whatever you find. As long as they make nice simple cables for bikes that don't need the fancy stuff (heck, probably even those could be made to work) it's all good. Now, of course you probably want to get a new seatpost, 13/16th I think is the schwinn size, and for about 5 bucks you can get a new one that lets you use modern saddles instead of the funky little end the Voyageur had, and if you really try, you can find pedals that accept toe clips in 1/2 size, and even get yourself toe clips.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:53 AM   #23
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...............Now, of course you probably want to get a new seatpost, 13/16th I think is the schwinn size, and for about 5 bucks you can get a new one that lets you use modern saddles instead of the funky little end the Voyageur had...........
Where can I get this wonderous item? My Varsity-based cruiser (look at my avatar) has issues with the seat being unable to stay in one spot. I have stuffed beer can shims in the clamp but it still wants to tilt.

The bike is a '64. It's actually a practical bike to hop on and take a fun ride in flatish country. Even handles dirt trails. I love the electroforged Schwinns for what they are, instead of hating them for what they are not.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:55 AM   #24
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I love the electroforged Schwinns for what they are, instead of hating them for what they are not.
That's a great sig line!
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Old 10-02-11, 10:56 AM   #25
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Where can I get this wonderous item? My Varsity-based cruiser (look at my avatar) has issues with the seat being unable to stay in one spot. I have stuffed beer can shims in the clamp but it still wants to tilt.

The bike is a '64. It's actually a practical bike to hop on and take a fun ride in flatish country. Even handles dirt trails. I love the electroforged Schwinns for what they are, instead of hating them for what they are not.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00139Z3JA is the one I bought, it did have a different marking of some sort on it, but it works perfectly as far as I can tell. I got an OEM GT saddle and stuck it on there, took under a minute to do it. (wasn't stuck, went really well)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001C6BJDS are the pedals I got and put the toe clips on, (1/2 in size of course)
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