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Old 08-10-06, 07:03 AM   #1
Little Darwin
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A bike older than I am...

I have bought a bike to rehabilitate into a nice cruiser this winter. Cost $10. I was going to make a frankenbike to relive my youth. I bought the bike because it has a similar frame to my old bke (although my old one wasn't a Schwinn, it had dual small tubes over the big tube, and Schwinns have the dual tubes under the large one) and it is even a three speed like my old bike.

When I looked closer at it, I discovered that it seems to be an almost completely stock 1956 Schwinn Corvette... It even has the front rack, although it is attached to the rear of the seat. I was born in Feb 1957, and my cruiser was born in Oct 1955...

The only parts that are obviously not original are the pedals, and I already replaced them with some Schwinn bow pedals (from late 70's, so not era correct, but a similar style to what may have been on it). I am missing the rear reflector, and the bike needs work, including paint, new spokes, rust removal and removing some dings in the stainless steel fenders.

I am not looking to make a museum piece, but I am looking forward to working on it this winter. I am now vascillating between keeping it relatvely stock or swapping to ram horn bars and a banana seat and a few other modifications to make it like a similar bike that I road in my high school years... Either way it will be fun!

If I go for stock I plan on going with a color close to the stock blue. If I frankenbike it, I am seriously leaning toward something bold like flourescent orange with white decals and highlights... My high school bke was primer gray because I spent too much time riding it to finish painting it.

Not that I need to fit in with the crowd... I rode my original Frankenbike during the bike boom when everyone was riding their fancy ten speeds.... However, I am open to ideas... What would you do?
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Old 08-10-06, 08:04 AM   #2
BluesDawg
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Cool bike! Should be a fun project whichever direction you go. I was born in October 1955 too!
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Old 08-10-06, 05:36 PM   #3
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Little Darwin,

Keep it as original as possible. You will be pleased with the result. Take a look at the '66 Collegiate I just finished. The chrome was covered in rust, the paint was under 40 years of grime, and the grease in the bearings had petrified, but the end result was well worth the time. Other than time, new tires, tubes and cables, it is all original. Save the original paint, if you can. As you know you can get all kinds of help over on Classic and Vintage as well as on the Schwinn Forum. Good luck!
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Old 08-11-06, 12:51 AM   #4
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Have to agree about a bike of this vintage being put back, as near as possible, to its original condition. Only problem is that this type ofbike will the geek who will gladly inform you that you have the wrong reflector or bar grips on, and then give you the ins and outs of the history of this model for the next hour. Second thoughts- just get it up and running and ride it.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:23 AM   #5
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Restorations are great, but so are customs. Go either way. Just do a good job and the result will be something to enjoy.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:58 AM   #6
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My first bicycle, which I received around my 12th birthday when I was finally able to balance a bicycle, was a mid 1950s black Schwinn with a virtually identical cantilever frame. Mine had black mudguards, a 2-speed Bendix hub with a coaster brake whose control lever which resembled a brake handle, and high rise "paperboy" handlebars. [As you can read in my signature, I still ride a fat-tired Schwinn today. ]
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Old 08-11-06, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Only problem is that this type ofbike will the geek who will gladly inform you that you have the wrong reflector or bar grips on, and then give you the ins and outs of the history of this model for the next hour.
This would be an interesting side effect! I would love to give someone a chance to talk about something they love, even if it is disguised as criticsim of my restoration.

I am really leaning toward keeping it as it sits except where it absolutely needs work to be ridable... but I also like the other ideas of restoring to "newish" (I won't even pretend to try to get it to showroom shape) or custom... Because this is so close to original, maybe I should save my customization for a later project.
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Old 08-11-06, 10:42 AM   #8
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Neat bike! I would just make it rideable and gradually try to restore it to its former glory.

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Old 08-11-06, 10:46 AM   #9
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"Because this is so close to original, maybe I should save my customization for a later project."

That would be my sentiment. Somewhere in all my reading I came across the observation that "You can restore something hundreds of times, but it is original only once." Either way, you're going to have fun. Enjoy!
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