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Old 08-17-12, 08:11 PM   #1
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Imperial Rose 1987 Schwinn Passage

A recent thread in the "what's it worth" forum prompted me to tell the story of my Schwinn Passage.

The spring before last I was looking through a neighbor hood rummage sale. I was riding my Panasonic Sport from sale to sale when I pulled up to a garage with 2 large stereo speakers (vintage stereo is my other addiction). I was discussing the history of the speakers when the owner asked if I ever toured on a bicycle, as he noticed my Panasonic. The Panasonic is converted to bullhorns and is my around town errand bike. I said I dreamed of someday riding cross country and he asked if I'd ever seen a pink bike. I said no. He asked if I was interested in a pink touring bike. I said sure. He's about my height so I'm optimistic. Down the basement we go and there hanging on hooks is a pink 10 speed. I see Schwinn and cantilever brakes and get exited. He pulls it down and it's in great shape, am I still interested? I ask how much? $10!

It appears near stock except for the rear derailleur and the seat. I have even put 800 miles on the tires that came with it so far. The moral is that if I hadn't been riding that vintage bike it would still be hanging in that basement.
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File Type: jpg goodwill, greece, passage 374.jpg (99.6 KB, 83 views)
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Old 08-17-12, 08:16 PM   #2
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Wow!!! Good for you!

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Old 08-17-12, 09:23 PM   #3
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Nice score.. $10! You stole that bike!

I didn't know the passages came in imperial rose. I have an 86 Schwinn Passage in the grayish blue color and an 87 (or 88, I forget) Voyager waiting to get built up that's the same color as your passage.
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Old 08-17-12, 09:36 PM   #4
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He pulls it down and it's in great shape, am I still interested? I ask how much? $10!
Stealing my thunder I see!

Awesome deal, and I thought I stole mine for $90. Pics and thread coming....
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Old 08-17-12, 10:03 PM   #5
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Ahhh screw it, I'm just gonna piggy back on your thread.

Exact same bike from the thread bent mentions. Same color, which is interesting. It seems that Schwinn must've had some Passage frames left over in 1987, and just sprayed them with the Voyager Imperial Rose color. Seems the serial on the frame indicates it was built in 1986, but assembled in 87.

I got mine from a guy on CL who had it hanging in his garage and just wanted rid of it. For $90 I was gonna flip it, but after riding it.....well I just had to keep it. Seems all original as well, just a lot of dust, cobwebs and some old road grime in the usual hard to reach places. Not a speck of rust, a few minor scratches from bike racks, but overall a real gem.

I gave it good cleaning, adjusted the shifters and brakes and gave the chain some much needed lube. The bolts on the rear blackburn rack were completely stripped, so I removed them and got some new ones from the local Ace. Pics don't show the rack, but it's the same as bent's above. The brake pads were also pretty hard from just sitting for years, so I took a file and gave them some work. They seem better, but I feel like I'll need to replace them.

I road it down to the local LBS and got a spare tube and they had some $10 toe clips and straps, so I had to get those as well. After installing the clips, I took it out for my first real ride. I was completely surprised at how much different having my feet tied in really makes. Just having my feet secure on the pedals feels real good, and the extra power is great. Having the typical getting in the clips troubles after stopping, but some repetition will alleviate that I'm sure.

18 miles later and I'm completely happy I kept the bike. My old bike was a cheap MTB with road tires, so this thing is miles better. My legs are again hurting...after 2+ months on the MTB, the new riding position is working some new muscles. Hills are much easier, I feel like I'm flying on the straight and level...I hope nobody saw me because I was probably grinning like an idiot.

Planned upgrades? Some new tires, something with some better tread for wet roads when winter comes. A set of panniers for utility work and maybe a weekend camping tour? And maybe a new seat...maybe.

Some cell phone pics:
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File Type: jpg PassageCorn.jpg (106.6 KB, 41 views)
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Old 08-18-12, 06:11 AM   #6
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Here's mine , from when I got it from a local pawn shop in trade . I've since replaced the shifters with downtube shifters, raised the seat an inch or two, replaced the saddle with a period Avocet , put on leather wrapped maes bars and new tires . A great riding bike for the long run . Columbus Tenax steel makes for a great ride , and even though it has a higher bottom bracket than some tourers , it's the most stable bike in my bike stable . I've also put on the requisite 3 water bottle cages , and a rack . Best tourer I've ever owned .
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Old 08-18-12, 06:34 AM   #7
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I think these are under appreciated bikes. Three bottle braze-ons, canti brakes and a touring crank were standard. The brochure from 1986 describes them as good for light touring. I think they stacked up well with the trek 520 of that era.
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Old 08-18-12, 01:14 PM   #8
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I think these are under appreciated bikes.
I'd definitely agree with that. Everyone knows about the Schwinn Voyager, but the Passage model seems to fly under the radar.

I think the frame is the same as the Voyager except for the fork, the Voyager had a cromoly fork with lowrider mounts. The Voyager also had some component upgrades as well, but the Passage is a very nicely equipped stock touring bike. The Columbus Tenax frame is hard to beat for the price. There was a thread in the marketplace recently where someone said they preferred the Voyager from this period with the tenax frame over a similar vintage Miyata 1000.

I think the 86-88 years were really the best for vintage touring bikes, and the Voyager (and the Passage) models are right up there near the top of the bunch.

My Passage is currently set up as a townie bike. I'm either going to get porteur bars for it or change it back to drops. It's wearing a Deore II groupset:


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Old 08-18-12, 06:19 PM   #9
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Nice score right there.
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Old 08-20-12, 11:50 AM   #10
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There was a thread in the marketplace recently where someone said they preferred the Voyager from this period with the tenax frame over a similar vintage Miyata 1000.
I have a Imperial Rose Voyageur and it has become my go to tourer over my 1985 Specialized Expedition. Probably not as light to begin with but it handles a load in a much more stable manner. A great bike as is the Passage. Nice finds to you folks in the thread that have them!
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Old 08-21-12, 04:30 AM   #11
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Here's my Passage as it is
now at our sister cities garden for Asahikawa , Japan .
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Old 08-21-12, 10:03 PM   #12
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Here's my Passage as it is
now at our sister cities garden for Asahikawa , Japan .
Very nice! Do you live in B-N? I grew up down the road and lived there for a number of years.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:08 PM   #13
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I have a question, and if it's better asked elsewhere, let me know please.

So I've had my Passage for a week now, and have ridden it about 100 miles now and all seems good with it. But I do have a couple of concerns......

First is the rear wheel seems slightly out of center. But...taking the wheel off and reseating it seems to fix it. Is it possible there is some slippage in the quick release mech? Also, even tho it seems slightly off (judging from the distance to each side of the wheel brackets, sorry don't know tech term) it does seem ok when I judge it from the seat post tube.

Second: since this bike has been sitting for a number of years, should I be mindful of needing to grease or repack the bottom bracket? And maybe the same with the wheel hubs? And is there a good guide for doing this for a vintage bike? I looked at the Park Tools site, but it seems most is for newer bikes for stuff like this.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:53 AM   #14
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I have a question, and if it's better asked elsewhere, let me know please.

So I've had my Passage for a week now, and have ridden it about 100 miles now and all seems good with it. But I do have a couple of concerns......

First is the rear wheel seems slightly out of center. But...taking the wheel off and reseating it seems to fix it. Is it possible there is some slippage in the quick release mech? Also, even tho it seems slightly off (judging from the distance to each side of the wheel brackets, sorry don't know tech term) it does seem ok when I judge it from the seat post tube.

Second: since this bike has been sitting for a number of years, should I be mindful of needing to grease or repack the bottom bracket? And maybe the same with the wheel hubs? And is there a good guide for doing this for a vintage bike? I looked at the Park Tools site, but it seems most is for newer bikes for stuff like this.
Yes ,I live in B-N . In answer to your question, there probably is a little slippage , try tightening that and see if it doesn't help. Wheel hubs and BB should be repacked,as should the bearings in the steering tube. When I checked these on this bike , mostly powder came out. I checked the bearing surfaces and bearings for condition and wear , and repacked with white lithium grease , except for the BB , which I usually give marine bearing grease . Sheldon Brown will be a lot of help in these issues, as will this forum .
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Old 08-23-12, 07:21 PM   #15
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What do you Passage owners think about the gearing? I'm kind of unimpressed with the 50/46/30 chainrings. Has anyone replaced them? I read THIS article from a guy who has a Passage and was going to replace the gearing...but unfortunately it doesn't seem he finished it up.

My thought, is the 46t is plenty for me as the top, and the article talks about a 38t ring for the next one down. I did some measuring and it's a 110mm BCD, so would any 110mm/38t chain ring work, or are there other considerations?
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Old 08-23-12, 07:38 PM   #16
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What do you Passage owners think about the gearing? I'm kind of unimpressed with the 50/46/30 chainrings. Has anyone replaced them? I read THIS article from a guy who has a Passage and was going to replace the gearing...but unfortunately it doesn't seem he finished it up.

My thought, is the 46t is plenty for me as the top, and the article talks about a 38t ring for the next one down. I did some measuring and it's a 110mm BCD, so would any 110mm/38t chain ring work, or are there other considerations?
110 BCD is 110 BCD, so any brand chainwheel with that sizing will work. If your an aesthetic geek, you might worry about the mating surfaces between the chainrings and the spider (aka, do they flow into one another?) but other than that, have at it.

You've discovered one of the great secrets of gearing: Why bother having more gears than you can reasonably use. Yeah, a 52/14 combination will get you 30+mph sprinting downhill, but in that situation I prefer to coast and let gravity get me up to speed. Over the years I've finalized my bikes on a 48t big chainring based on the idea that I like a bike to do about 16-18mph on the top chainring, middle of the cluster, cranking at my usual cadence on the flat. This will usually give me 2-4 additional sprockets on the high side, depending on the cluster, for occasional higher speed playing around. I don't think I've ever used the top gear combination on a bicycle, no matter how many speeds.

I'm currently working on a 1990 Paramount (the odd one that never made the catalogs) with 650C wheels, and I'll finally be breaking my 48th rule for that bike - it'll take a 52t chainring to get me the same gearing in cruising position.
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Old 08-23-12, 10:07 PM   #17
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110 BCD is 110 BCD, so any brand chainwheel with that sizing will work. If your an aesthetic geek, you might worry about the mating surfaces between the chainrings and the spider
Ok, so even stuff that says it's made for a 10 speed cassette is ok? And say I am concerned about aesthetics...how do I know if it mates up or not?
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Old 08-24-12, 12:00 PM   #18
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What do you Passage owners think about the gearing? I'm kind of unimpressed with the 50/46/30 chainrings. Has anyone replaced them? I read THIS article from a guy who has a Passage and was going to replace the gearing...but unfortunately it doesn't seem he finished it up.

My thought, is the 46t is plenty for me as the top, and the article talks about a 38t ring for the next one down. I did some measuring and it's a 110mm BCD, so would any 110mm/38t chain ring work, or are there other considerations?
My Voyageur had a slightly lower 50/44/28 set up and I didn't care for the half-step approach so I swapped out the middle and inner to make it 50/38/26 which I like a lot. Mine was Biopace and I was able to acquire the rings from a member on the forum. I also swapped out the freewheel for a Shimano 14-34 mega that gave me a good bail out gear for touring.
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Old 08-24-12, 06:46 PM   #19
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My Voyageur had a slightly lower 50/44/28 set up and I didn't care for the half-step approach so I swapped out the middle and inner to make it 50/38/26 which I like a lot. Mine was Biopace and I was able to acquire the rings from a member on the forum. I also swapped out the freewheel for a Shimano 14-34 mega that gave me a good bail out gear for touring.
Thanks...so you're happy with the 38 for the middle? I've been thinking it might be too large and a 34 or 36 might be better. Also, sounds like you and the guy in the link I referenced agree with the MegaRange freewheel. Did you need to get a different chain when you upgraded the freewheel?
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Old 08-25-12, 04:43 PM   #20
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Yes I like the 38. Anything smaller might be a tougher shift up if you keep a 50. I kept the same chain but actually wound up removing a link so the chain was a little tighter and that stopped the rub of the upper pulley against the 34t cog.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:54 PM   #21
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Yes I like the 38. Anything smaller might be a tougher shift up if you keep a 50. I kept the same chain but actually wound up removing a link so the chain was a little tighter and that stopped the rub of the upper pulley against the 34t cog.
Interesting...thanks! Gives me something to think about. I'm going to keep the 46t for the top, so I might be better off with a smaller middle ring. I'm going to go with that first and give that a try before I experiment with the freewheel.
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