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  1. #1
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    late 89s Schwinn Caliente upgrading

    I have this bike and want to upgrade steel parts to alloy like rims, crank and maybe other things. Main question is what are some inexpensive used or new parts I should be looking for like brand and model. Not expecting alot of weight reduction but figure every bit helps. Any tips or opinions greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by vexed73; 05-10-15 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that era Schwinn should be pretty standard. Unless you have some other reason for switching parts, I'd check things, like the rims, seatpost and stem with a magnet. My bet is those parts are already aluminum.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I'm thinking that era Schwinn should be pretty standard. Unless you have some other reason for switching parts, I'd check things, like the rims, seatpost and stem with a magnet. My bet is those parts are already aluminum.
    The Caliente from then (early '90's) was one notch below the World Sport and thus had steel rims and very basic components. If you can find an inexpensive pair of wheels with aluminum rims I would go that route. Otherwise it's a better idea to save your money and buy a better bike later on.
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
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    Yeah I might get something else later but like this one and plan on keeping it. I know wheels make a big difference but any other parts worth replacing for lighter parts in long run?

  6. #6
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Your bike looks really nice. I'll bet it rides nice also.

    If the wheels are steel, that's likely the only thing I'd change.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  7. #7
    The Ultimate Fred Stucky's Avatar
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    I concur with the others- a cheap set of alloy wheels, if anything. That's it. Hanging better parts on that bike isn't going to make any noticeable difference. If you like it, ride it as-is....and save your money for another bike of higher quality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    Ride more and get fit, it doesn't matter what you're riding, it's about your fitness, not the frame material. You'll be better for it....

  8. #8
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    Cool wheels it is. I was also thinking of getting a 6 speed freewheel. 13-34 think the 34 would be overkill for eastern nc.

  9. #9
    The Ultimate Fred Stucky's Avatar
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    Uh-oh.... 6-speed? There's going to be some compatibility issues there between the width of modern wheels and your bike.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    Ride more and get fit, it doesn't matter what you're riding, it's about your fitness, not the frame material. You'll be better for it....

  10. #10
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    Oh I thought 10 and 12 speeds would be about the same.

  11. #11
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    Would a triple front crank be better?

  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vexed73 View Post
    Oh I thought 10 and 12 speeds would be about the same.
    Well, they would if they meant the same thing. Your bike has 5 cogs on the rear wheel and 2 chainrings- 2 x 5 = 10. New bikes and wheels have 10 cogs on the rear wheel.

    I think you might be able to find an older set of wheels with aluminum rims that would accept the freewheel you have on your current wheels. It will take some careful shopping, though.

    Is there a bike co-op near you? It would probably help to start working on your bike as it is before you start making changes.
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  13. #13
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    Yeah I understand that but was thinking a 5 to 6 speed freewheel would be alright. After doing some research 6 to 7 is not a big deal but 5 to 6 might require some frame adjustments.

  14. #14
    The Ultimate Fred Stucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vexed73 View Post
    Oh I thought 10 and 12 speeds would be about the same.
    Counting it that way...it's 10 vs. 20 speeds

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed73 View Post
    Would a triple front crank be better?
    It would give you more gears....but then you'd probably need a different front derailer; and maybe a new shifter.

    Here's the thing: Anything you do to upgrade/modernize that bike, is going to be rather expensive in comparison to what the bike is worth; and will not make very much difference, because it's a rather low-end bike. I'm a big fan of vintage bikes....but generally speaking, it only pays to upgrade/modernize/put money into older bikes that are of very high quality, where those upgrades will: a)Make a noticeable difference; and b)be justified by the value of the bike.

    The only alternative might be, like Jeff says, if there's a bike co-op in your area, where they might have suitable old parts which would work on that bike.

    I wouldn't put any money into that bike, because the quality just isn't there. If you enjoy riding it the way it is, keep on, and enjoy it- but just realize that even a Bikesdirect bike for a few hunnert bucks would would be a night-and-day difference. (I don't mean to insult your bike....just tryin to point-out the practical facts)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    Ride more and get fit, it doesn't matter what you're riding, it's about your fitness, not the frame material. You'll be better for it....

  15. #15
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    I was refering to 10 and 12 speed bikes not the gears on the freewheel.

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