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  1. #1
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    how do vintage schwinn bikes do for 300lb+?

    i've been looking at not spending more than $200-$300 while i lose some of this excess poundage. i've been ebaying some 1970's schwinns like collegiates SUPER SPORT's, SUBURBAN's and the like. i'm going to commute 5-10 miles a day on roads. will these bikes crumble before i can lose a few lbs?

  2. #2
    circus bear ban guzzi's Avatar
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    just check them out for rust and if they have the old 'S3' wheels. Stay away! or plan on finding some 27" to replace them with. I started commuting on a 77 Speedster 3 speed and 20 miles RT. Did just fine for me and helped kick start the weight loss since it is so heavy. Its a Chicago Schwinn...

    Oh yeah! If it gets wet out and your still on chrome steel rims prepare to Flinstone some stops so you don't roll into the intersections, or lightly (really lightly) apply the brakes to make stopping more likely. Still be ready to Flintstone it...

    And I started out at about 335 so you should be fine...
    Car Free Life.
    Riding without a brake is like saying that you trust traffic. ~ jonestr

  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I had a Sport when I was about 14. I used to ride it everyday but I got this stupid idea to ride wheelies on it. After about a month of stunts, the fork tube ripped right off. I might be a bit worried about the stem type components if I were to ride one now. I was about 130 back then, 240 now might scare me!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    riders:Schwinn Continental ('80), Specialized Crossroads Sport ('07), Schwinn Super Sport (73), Schwinn Superior (76), Projects: Schwinn Sprint ('74), Trek 800 & Schwinn Continental ('71)
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    Quote Originally Posted by berbes View Post
    i've been ebaying some 1970's schwinns like collegiates SUPER SPORT's, SUBURBAN's and the like. i'm going to commute 5-10 miles a day on roads. will these bikes crumble before i can lose a few lbs?
    The Varsity, Continental, and Suburban share the same frame design. Are good solid frames and if not rusty, and cables in good shape, the basics are good.

    Tires will likely require replacement, and this is the tricky part. The newer tires rely on hook/bead rims to allow the tire to seat properly. The Schwinn stock rims on these models do not, relying on the tire/tube pressure to hold tire against the inside surface of the Schwinn style rims. Certain tires willl hold in this arrangement, others will not. Kenda still makes a gumwall style tire for this purpose, and IIRC will handle about 75 to 80 PSI.

    As already mentioned, the steel rims are heavy and smooth, stopping requires good brakes and more distance when wet.

    Many adopt ALLOY Rims (27 x 1 1/4) as replacements to improve the negatives mention previously.

    For reference, I have a Continental, presently at 277#, am 6'4" and ride a 26" frame. A 24" frame is good for stand over, but short from seat to handle bars.

    Good fit is also worth consideration when searching out a older bike.

    There are good units out there at bargain prices, also inspect brake cables, pads, and shift cables.

    Good hunting.

    PS: I would also suggest visit to LBS and review models available, features and prices, your top end range ($300) may put you on a nice hybrid with the newer features. Mountain bike design is another option for us XXL types to get started.

  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Those prices sound high for basically a very heavy, old bike. I would personally avoid ebay and look really close at Craigs List. I routinely see good bikes in the $100 to $200 range on Craigs List. You will tend to pay a higher price, plus an expense for shipping with ebay.

    Note, I owned a 1972 Schwinn Continental.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Those prices sound high for basically a very heavy, old bike.
    I forgot to mention that. Usually you can locate at garage sales for $75 or less, Charity centers, usually flat price their bikes $25, - $50 and good units found there as well.

    Lately, owners of such bikes are either dusting them off and fixing up, or try to sell for best price.

    If from private owner and not kept clean, $100 would be high. the original owner and clean bike maybe 150 if tires are new.

    Heavy is not your concern at this stage. My 80 continental weighs 36#s with steel rims, have not weighed since Alloy rims applied. Some commuter type bikes with steel run the 30# range with newer crank sets and such.

    Its the frame and components that you need to pay attention to.

    all the best

  7. #7
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    Here's a pic of Ingnaz with Baby Bliss at 400 pounds:


    I recommend that you get a Cruiser 5 with heavy duty spokes in the rims.

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