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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Beginner derailer question

    Hey everybody, Ive been working on some old bicycles for the past several days non stop and I love it. Im learning lots about bearings and what needs to be greased (and what kind of stuff is beyond that, like 50 year old chains)

    Im working on 3 bikes. A Raleigh Rollfast, a "mainliner" womens bike, and a schwinn continental. They are all 30-50 years old I believe. I am doing well but on the schwin Im having trouble with the derailers. I understand their function fairly well and Ive got them working well enough to where with the new cables they will shift back and forth to the highest and lowest position with ease. The highs and lows are set to what I think are correct positions. What I am having Trouble with is.... getting them to stay in a position? What I mean is, I move the shifter, it pulls the cable, moves the derailer over, chain gets moved, and them when I let go of the shifter it springs back because of the tension on it and the chain and derailer go back to their original positions. Is this a cable tension issue or whats the deal? I feel like this is a beginner question because Im pretty positive the bike is fine. thanks !

  2. #2
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Have you tried to tighten the screws in the shifters? I am not a mechanic, but what you described, sounds to me like a cable tension issue to me.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Can you see a screw, bolt, D-ring or something that holds the shifter together? Tighten that down until it holds properly. On old bikes you have friction shifters so you have to tighten the shifter down until you have adequate friction for it to hold.

    Pictures of the shifter would help.

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Some shifters will have a D ring like the ones shown below. Some shifters will have a screw. As Al Criner suggested, try tightening the screw or D ring.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by RonH; 06-11-10 at 04:23 PM.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    okay that worked, and was a simple fix. Thanks. it was a wing nut to tighten the shifter pieces. I am missing one of them so i will have to find one similar. Can anyone tell me anything special or unspecial about the schwinn continental? At this point Im an excited to restore it but I have a takara road bike thats in about the same shape. Is one significantly better quality than the other? The schwinn feels more sturdy

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halamadrid View Post
    Can anyone tell me anything special or unspecial about the schwinn continental? At this point Im an excited to restore it but I have a takara road bike thats in about the same shape. Is one significantly better quality than the other? The schwinn feels more sturdy
    The folks in the Classic & Vintage forum have ALL the answers about old bikes. They like pics too.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  7. #7
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halamadrid View Post
    okay that worked, and was a simple fix. Thanks. it was a wing nut to tighten the shifter pieces. I am missing one of them so i will have to find one similar. Can anyone tell me anything special or unspecial about the schwinn continental? At this point Im an excited to restore it but I have a takara road bike thats in about the same shape. Is one significantly better quality than the other? The schwinn feels more sturdy
    Ditto what RonH said- C&V is where you want to go.

    For starters, though, a Continental is very similar to a Schwinn Varsity, with a couple upgraded parts. There's plenty of history of the Varsity and similar bikes. Start here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/varsity.html
    Jeff Wills

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