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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Vintage Cruiser's anyone?

    I just have to post this finally. I picked up a 1963 Schwinn American, coaster brake, fat tire, newspaper boy handlebars, brick tire tread. It is alot like my first bike, a Typhoon that I had forgotten so much about. It brings a different perspective to riding. If you want to go fast, it'll let you know that you need to go back and switch bikes. It's about as aero as a fully rigged windjammer. It weighs as much as a good horse...but I like it. I'm commuting on it and use it for short trips around town. The old boy who had it took impeccable care of what's inside, the hubs and bottom bracket look brand new. But the paint is faded and it looks like how I feel alot of mornings.

    It's just been nice to get back to my roots in a way. After a 2,000 mile summer I enjoy the feeling. And it is as silent as a fixed gear, pedalling or coasting. Just curious if anyone else has one of the old beasts...

  2. #2
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I haven't yet had it on the road, but I recently picked up a Schwinn Corvette 3 speed built in October 1955 that is pretty much ridable except for the front brake is bent, and the spokes and rims are rusted.

    I am looking forward to riding a bike that is slightly older than I am, after I spend the winter getting the wheels into shape... I plan to clean the rims and replace the spokes. I may also paint it, but I am actually leaning against that at the moment... although it really needs it! The chain guard was painted black (the bike is blue) and the front rack was mounted to the rear. Other than that and tires looking more recent, it is pretty much as bought (with the obvious aging of more than 50 years).

    I am looking forward to riding it in the spring.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Come on you two! Post pictures! I've swapped the original two-tone (white and gold) saddle on my '66 Collegiate with a B-72 Brooks. I rode it 18 miles on Wednesday and I didn't have to push up one of my NH hills. What was really interesting were some of the looks I received from other road bike cyclists passing in the opposite direction; some politely waved or nodded, others sneered and wouldn't look. Near the end of the ride I pulled over to take a better look at a pair of loons on the lake, and while I was stopped, a roadie passed in the direction I was heading. He was on a newer C-Dale 27 speed. I started back and wondered if I could catch him. I did so in less than 1/2 mile. Not bad from a 40 year old, 35-40 lb., 5 speed bike! You should have seen the look on his face when I pulled along side him and said "Howdy." When we reached the next stop sign he sheepishly asked which way I was heading. I said, "left." He immediately turned right!
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  4. #4
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I forgot... I had posted in C&V.

    Here is the pic... not great quality photography, but I have the seat off now, so it is all I have.

    Note the rear rack, which originally was installed on the front... The person whu swapped it hooked it to the bottom of the seat, so a change of seat position changes the angle of the rack.

    Other than that, the bolt holding it under the seat not being the proper mounting bolt for the front, pedals and tires, I suspect the rest might be original.

    Sturmey Archer hub is dated March 1955, the frame serial number indicates late October 1955.

    As I said, I am looking forward to riding it.
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    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
    ...He was on a newer C-Dale 27 speed. I started back and wondered if I could catch him. I did so in less than 1/2 mile. Not bad from a 40 year old, 35-40 lb., 5 speed bike! You should have seen the look on his face when I pulled along side him and said "Howdy." When we reached the next stop sign he sheepishly asked which way I was heading. I said, "left." He immediately turned right!

    I'll bet that put a smile on your face!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  6. #6
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    I'll bet that put a smile on your face!
    It made me feel really good and push extra hard when I rode the 27 year old Schwinn road bike yesterday. I made record time (for me ) on my round-the-lake ride. Now if I can only get the painter to finish the frame on the '66 Paramount.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
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  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
    It made me feel really good and push extra hard when I rode the 27 year old Schwinn road bike yesterday. I made record time (for me ) on my round-the-lake ride. Now if I can only get the painter to finish the frame on the '66 Paramount.
    It hopefully will be quicker than 55Rad's paint job.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy
    I just have to post this finally. I picked up a 1963 Schwinn American, coaster brake, fat tire, newspaper boy handlebars, brick tire tread. It is alot like my first bike....
    Baggsy, post us a picture of your American! We want to see your "new" "old" ride.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I'll try to line up a camera, I have a Collegiate 5 speed with road bars, and an early 60's three speed Racer, a 73 Varsity, and an early High Plains mnt bike. I have an affinity for the old Schwinns, and it seems like they're almost pretty easy to find around here. I'll get pictures when I can...

  10. #10
    Ol' Paint
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    I picked up a '69 (or '70) Schwinn Racer at a garage sale over the weekend. Single speed, coaster brakes, block pedals, red with chrome fenders. (It was the chrome fenders that made it impossible to pass up.) What a kick! Riding one of those old horses is SO different from what I am used to. I'm sitting so straight up neither my sainted Grandma nor my old drill sargeant could criticize my posture. It doesn't have the original saddle (it needs to be red and white with a white S) and I put on new tires, but everything else seems original. Except for some surface rust and the occasional glitch on the paint it is in fine fettle. It's going to be fun buffing it back into shape. There is a charm and comfort to these simple old cruisers that's been forgotten. It's just pure bicycle. Two wheels and a chain.

  11. #11
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
    Near the end of the ride I pulled over to take a better look at a pair of loons on the lake, and while I was stopped, a roadie passed in the direction I was heading. He was on a newer C-Dale 27 speed. I started back and wondered if I could catch him. I did so in less than 1/2 mile. Not bad from a 40 year old, 35-40 lb., 5 speed bike!
    This story reminds me of my ride yesterday. I went for a ride with a lady friend of mine who has a 21 year old Hufffy Good Vibrations. She rode around 10 to 13 miles per hour on the single speed and rode over 11 miles. I was impressed with both the bike and the casual rider.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  12. #12
    Member heathermomster's Avatar
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    Vintage Cruiser's anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy
    Just curious if anyone else has one of the old beasts...
    Does the 1973 Schwinn Speedster and Breeze fit into this category? They are the 3-speeds and have lots of chrome. If so, I just dropped off both at the LBS to be tuned up. Should pick them up in a few days.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Heck yeah! I've got a Racer with the three speed Sturmey Archer in it and it's still a classy town ride. I think the older Jaguar, Typhoon, American, etc were considered 'heavy-weights', with the Speedster, Collegiate, Racer, etc were considered middle-weights, but they are all 'cruisers' as near as I can tell. All classics, and all been around long enough to be considered worthy of attention. If I remember correctly, the original mnt bike was a Scwhinn cruiser...

  14. #14
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy
    I think the older Jaguar, Typhoon, American, etc were considered 'heavy-weights', with the Speedster, Collegiate, Racer, etc were considered middle-weights, but they are all 'cruisers' as near as I can tell.
    You are off by one. The cantilever framed bikes like my Corvette were called middle weights, the diamond framed bikes were called light weights, and some like the Schwinn Le Tour line etc were called extra lights... All were obviously heavier than the current lines of road bikes.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Thanks LD...were there any called 'Heavy Weights'? They musta been a tank!

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