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Old 01-11-10, 09:00 PM   #1
Bicycle Guy
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New guy here

Hello,

I have been lurking on this forum for a period of time, just joined, and thought I would post.

I have not been on a bicycle since 1972, but I just retired (until I find another job) and think riding would be both fun and good exercise. I have been looking at buying a 3-speed Schwinn Coffee through my LBS. The Coffee is as similar to the Schwinn I rode in the 1960's and 70's, as any bicycle currently offered.

I have looked at used bicycles, but have not found any I really like.

I will be riding in the neighborhood and on a nearby bicycle and walking path-paved. I really don't care about speed or riding long distances. I figure I can ride the Coffee for a few years and I will then know enough to make a bicycle change if needed.

Well, that is my plan!

Thanks for all of the great information you have already provided here. Comments appreciated.

Ken

Last edited by Bicycle Guy; 01-12-10 at 10:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-11-10, 09:06 PM   #2
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Good plan Ken. I rode 80 laps around the block one day.
15,900 miles last year. You get stronger the more you ride.
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Old 01-12-10, 02:02 PM   #3
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Plans can change-- But you have to fill all that time in the day now you have retired. Just a word of warning- Bikes have evolved since 72 and they have improved a bit.

Good to see you biking again but think N+1---- In that N is the number of bikes you now have- and the +1 is obvious. Might not be long before the Coffee gets upgraded.
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Old 01-13-10, 05:55 AM   #4
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I am retired, too. I like the old Schwinn 3 spds , but they are not ideal in my area because of road conditions. [ limerock, sandy, rough pavement ] Remember, that you/we aren't as young as we used to be, & a comfortable ride means a lot. I ride a Giant Mountain bike, that I have changed a few things on to make it more like a hybrid bike. Skinnier tires, higher handlebars, more comfortable seat. Ride ANY bike a few miles before purchasing.
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Old 01-13-10, 06:14 AM   #5
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I ♥ the Schwinn Coffee. I don't own one but I really like the style of that bike. Welcome to the forums.

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Old 01-13-10, 07:46 AM   #6
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just keep bike tires pumped hard(low rolling resistance), and if you feel you are getting alot of flats, get tires with a liner such as panaracer tourguide.
oil chain periodically.
make sure you have a good bike seat.
these are the main things i can say have helped me in my bike experience
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Old 01-13-10, 10:58 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the warm welcome and helpful comments.

I have also been considering the Schwinn Willy, which is the same bike as the Coffee, except with a seven speed shifter. I am thinking three speeds will be sufficient for me, and that the three speed hub would be more dependable and less maintenance then the seven speeds. Neither bike is available currently but should become available in the next few months.

Also, any recommendations for a two bike car trunk mount rack that would work well on a Honda Accord? From where I live to the bike path is about five miles. I don't think I am ready to ride on busy public streets yet.


Thanks again!
Ken
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Old 01-13-10, 11:06 AM   #8
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My experience with 3 speeds is that the gap between gears is too big, so get the 7 sp. There shouldnt be any extra maintenance.
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Old 01-13-10, 11:31 AM   #9
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..get the 7 sp. There shouldnt be any extra maintenance.
I agree. Either the 3 or 7 speed hub needs to be greased occasionally (you can do this at home or your LBS should be able to do it). Gearing is like time or money- you can never have too much of it. The weight penalty might be a concern for a road racing style of bicycle but on a cruiser like this it is negligible.
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Old 01-14-10, 07:30 AM   #10
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I would go with the 7 speed. I don't like trunk ranks. I prefer to mount a class 1 hitch, & use a rack for that.
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Old 01-14-10, 09:59 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replys.

I am going to my LBS this afternoon and order a Willy 7-speed. It is available currently.

Bad thing is I am breaking a basic rule that one should ride the bike first-then buy. I have read numerious reviews of the Willy, all good, and I feel comfortable that it will be a good bike for me to start with.

It should take a few weeks to arrive and be assembled. I really like dealing with the folks at the "shop" and they have been most helpful.

I will try to post a picture here when it arrives!

Ken
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Old 01-14-10, 12:33 PM   #12
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Welcome, I hope you rediscover the joy of riding. I know that I did. For the most part, folks here are pretty decent and helpful.

I too agree with the gears and money statement. I have 24, although I usually only use the middle ones, it is nice knowing I can go lower if I want to.
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Old 01-14-10, 12:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Plans can change-- But you have to fill all that time in the day now you have retired. Just a word of warning- Bikes have evolved since 72 and they have improved a bit.

Good to see you biking again but think N+1---- In that N is the number of bikes you now have- and the +1 is obvious. Might not be long before the Coffee gets upgraded.
While bikes have changed since '72, not all the changes are exactly "improvements" for a simple ride.

Carbon fiber is neat stuff, but hardly required for a neighborhood bike. Brifters are fine for racers, but again, overkill for a neighborhood bike. A lot of the "improvements" made over the last 40 years or so have been geared for the racing set... not exactly the touring or casual riding set. I have to laugh at the whole idea of "improvements" when thinking touring for instance... Trek is selling virtually the same bike they have sold for years and years as a touring model. Cro-mo steel with tip shifters... easily converted to DT shifters... the standard Trek 520.

The three speed Schwinns are pretty much a return to the time before "racer" bikes showed up on the scene. Alloy wheels are about the only "update." Oh and Schwinn itself has also changed.

But the reality is that while there have been loads of changes to the racer wannabe bikes, some stuff is just as it has always been, and should be. Perhaps the biggest "change" is that these more traditional bikes are becoming widely available again.
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Old 01-14-10, 03:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bicycle Guy View Post
Bad thing is I am breaking a basic rule that one should ride the bike first-then buy. I have read numerious reviews of the Willy, all good, and I feel comfortable that it will be a good bike for me to start with. It should take a few weeks to arrive and be assembled. I really like dealing with the folks at the "shop" and they have been most helpful.
If the two bikes are the same, except for the gears, and you've got a helpful shop to assemble the bike and help you get fitted properly, you'll be fine.

That bike is beautiful. Enjoy it!
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