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  1. #1
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    My First Restoration/Conversion. Questions?

    I picked up a 70's Schwinn Continental from craigslist for free. It was in really rough shape but I was bored and wanted to work on something. I had always rode mountain bikes growing up but now I moved to the city and want to get into road biking. I have very very little money so I thought this was a good start. To simplify everything I'm converting it into a single speed. I picked up the freewheel off of ebay for 10.95 and the only other things I'm planning on buying are a new seat and tires. Now I'm new to this whole thing so I hope you guys are nice and don't hate on me, but what's a good reasonably priced seat? I plan on just getting the regular road 27 inch Kenda tyres, because I think those are the cheapest tires that wont explode. Below is a picture of the bike, so far I've gotten almost all the rust off of the wheels which were in really rough shape, polished the bars up nice, and am working on sanding the frame down for new paint. I'm going to cut all the tabs off that held cables and such and sand it down nice and clean. I plan on painting it the original colour or some type of orange/copper colour. So I guess my questions are:

    What's a good cheap road saddle? (cheap meaning under $50 please)

    Is 39/16 an okay ratio to run on flat grounds?

    Should I keep the kickstand?

    Are standard road Kenda tyres good enough for regular riding?

    After redoing everything, what grease should I use to regrease everything?

    Don't you feel bad that the little vestibule in the picture is my 'garage?' (dam apartments)








    Thanks so much for any input!


    -Nic

  2. #2
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    What's so bad about the bike? It is heavy, but it is free. I'm new, weren't you once? Sorry i'm not a ****** like you, but please explain more.

  3. #3
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    I guess you can't say d***** on here

  4. #4
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    Okay according the the serial number it's a 1971 Schwinn continental. It has the badge that says made in chicago, I thought it was a pretty good find for free.. saying this because I found the same bike on craigslist for $150. I could be an idiot, but whatever, I'm having fun building it. If I can make a nice looking fun to ride bike for under $100 I'll be happy. now how about answering a few of my questions.
    Last edited by njohnsrud; 06-11-09 at 01:27 AM.

  5. #5
    onitsuka tiger iamthenoise's Avatar
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    some people like working on projects like this
    the more you try to erase me, the more that i appear.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    That bike is 38 freaking years old. EVEN if you got that bike built, it is waaaaaay past is service life.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_life

    How about reading the sticky at the top of the forum that covers every question you want to know: Fixed Gear/Single Speed - Start Here!
    That Wikipedia article is so much jiberish I don't even know how to reply to that. How about you stop being who you are and someone else can answer a couple of my questions... I'm too deep into this to throw it away, so any answers that aren't calling me an idiot?

  7. #7
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    I rode my 'restored' 70s era Continental all winter long. A couple of things:

    That's the gear ratio I use. It's very easygoing.

    Lose the kickstand. It's heavy, annoying and doesn't even hold the bike up. Look up online about how to remove it (you need some vicegrips and pliers, if I remember correctly).

    The cheap Kendas are fine but you'll probably get a lot of flats. Get used to patching tubes.

    Just use any kind of gloopy grease from the bike shop. Consider replacing some of the bearings, if they're worn. That can be a cheap way to improve performance.

    The biggest issue in a singlespeed conversion is getting a good chainline. It can be a major headache if you're dropping the chain all the time.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the input, that's very helpful.

  9. #9
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    it's more cost effective to pick up a bikes direct bike.. lets do some math:

    i see you have a frame, fork, crankset, stem, handlebars, and a brake lever as well as some wheels.

    I don't think you can use the freewheel threading from a multispeed freewheel hub, i don't think you can just respace and redish, but i may be wrong.

    so if that's the case, $20 new hub, $30 new spokes. you'll also need a spoke wrench if you want to do this yourself, so $10 for that.

    i'll assume you're reusing the rim.

    i like the serfas seca tire for 27", mine has worked great for a budget tire. so $40 for new tires. figure in $10 for new tubes too.

    you'll need a new threaded headset, figure at least $10 for that. (i have a spare here that i can ship out to you for shipping and a little cash...). i just fit mine in with a rubber mallet and a block of wood.

    you'll need another brake lever, might as well get tektro r200a's, they're comfy. $25 there.

    brake cables and housing: $15

    brakes: $40

    seat post: $15

    saddle: i like the san marco rolls, but I usually pick mine up used for ~40 bucks. dunno what's good new and in that price range, but the charge spoon is like $40 after shipping. we'll go with that.

    bar wrap: $8

    chain: $12

    i'm not sure on the condition of those pedals, so potentially another $25.

    after all this you're at $300. mind you you'll have a better saddle, and the brakes are a little better, but you still have one piece cranks which might not have the best chainline, a much heavier outdated frame that looks beat, 27" steel rims (steel rims make a big difference in how a bike feels. they're very cruiser bike status, don't accelerate, dont' stop well, but have good momentum i guess). even if i don't count the spoke tool (I didnt count chain tool and tire levers since i think they're necessary tools. spoke wrench is less necessary, but i won't count it) you're still at $290. sans pedals $265 (though it looks like those pedals need replacing). just consider getting one of the bikesdirect.com offereings. a clockwork is 330 and comes with brakes and a freewheel. the motomess is 350 and also comes fully equipped with brakes and whatnot.

  10. #10
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    Okay what is pictured isn't everything I have... The bike came completely stock. I have all brakes, levers, cables, etc... plus I've done a lot of work on bikes and other projects so I have a lot of spare parts and such lying around. I have a spoke tool and all other tools I need, like I said in the first post all I need is a more comfortable saddle, tyres. (and tubes and new brake pads) I would think that would be under $100.

    New Kendas (14.99 each)
    Tubes (4.99 each)
    Seat (34.99)
    Pads(12.99)
    ________________

    $87.94

    Just for kicks... I'll show you guys my last project:


  11. #11
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    Thanks carleton, sorry if I was rude before... I just wanted a few questions answered. I'm new and wanted people to be accepting.

  12. #12
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Schwinn Continentals were by no means high end, but they were never walmart level crap either. They were sold at bike shops and were quality entry level bicycles. I own a Collegiate and a Continental, neither are fast. I commute on my Collegiate almost every day and it has been very dependable. I have nice lightweight bikes for riding long distances but I usually go with my Schwinns for farting around town.

    A free Continental is a good deal just do not spend a whole lot of money on it in the process.

    To answer a couple questions, the Kendas are fine. I have had one flat in a year and a half with them. I like Park tool grease, it comes in a really large tub for about ten dollars, I have serviced many many bikes with it. It sure beats the little tubes of Phil wood grease at 7 bucks a pop.

    I would normally not recommend sanding the paint and grinding the cable guides off, but it's your bike. What's the terrain in your are like, I know I would want some nice low gears on a heavy frame like that for sure.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  13. #13
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with that bike is probably the steel wheels. They are crazy heavy and forget about stopping if it's wet outside. I still have the steel rims on my Schwinns, just be aware of some of the issues they cause. I would invest in some new break pads, the old ones are probably old and dried up.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  14. #14
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    Im in the same boat as you njohnsrud. I am doing a first time single speed build/restoration to my grandpa's old montgomery ward open road 10 speed. It was probably even worse condition than your continental and im pretty sure ALOT of people will discourage the build and just say buy a new bike, but for me, it's a great learning experience especially for someone starting with a clean slate such as myself. I've been reading sheldon browns website which has helped me alot with getting familiar with parts of the bike and how everything functions with correct sizes, measurements, etc...I just finished sanding and primering the frame and am looking for deals on craigslist for good used parts so i dont have to spend alot of money since this is just my first build/bike like you. Even though your bike (and mine) are probably not the best candidates for a restoration or build, i say keep at it and show everyone that a beat down continental can shine again! I've still got a loooong way to get my bike on the road but it'll be worth the time and effort i put into it even though others may think otherwise just because it is a crap bike to start with. But the things i'm learning is well worth the trouble! Hopefully it goes the same way with your build! good luck!

  15. #15
    Senior Member xxguitarist's Avatar
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    One point I didn't see made- be sure not to take off the brake cable braze-ons, since it's singlespeed, you'll want a rear brake.

  16. #16
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxguitarist View Post
    One point I didn't see made- be sure not to take off the brake cable braze-ons, since it's singlespeed, you'll want a rear brake.
    Oh yeah +1. I sort of touched on it, but not for the right reason.... my mind does not work in FG/SS ha.

    To me, the easiest way to make a single speed bike is to shift into a gear you like and then leave it alone, I'm sure that's not the outlook in this sub forum though!
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  17. #17
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    One other thing, the Schwinn rear brake takes special ferrules for the rear brake so don't throw them out!

    If you don't want them I could put them to use.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

  18. #18
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    Picked up an old Schwinn Traveler, need some help picking out parts for singlespeed.

    thats my little budget schwinn project i did this week. i've spent maybe $130 including the cost of the bike. still need brakes and wraps.

  19. #19
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    I like your previous project, sort of a hot rod big wheel. Assuming they are in fair condition, grease and repack the head and crank bearings. Paint it, stick it together and ride it. Kenda tires are fine. Me, I'd keep the kickstand. I would agree with the others, get as little money as possible into this bike while making it safe.
    Not too much to say here

  20. #20
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    Thank you guys who are encouraging me to finish this project. (one thing... why did 'carleton's' posts dissapear?) Yes, that last project I did was for a school project, "Bigger Wheel." We tried to re-create the fun of a big wheel. It worked! The thing is a blast to ride around, I'm glad we did it. But back to the Schwinn, I'm removing everything that is not needed and I'll be painting it soon. Pictures will be up soon. I can't wait to get this thing on the road. Thanks again for everyone who isn't a hater!

    Pics up very soon...

  21. #21
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    wait a minute.... if you say something... then get proved wrong, while a noob calls you a d***** you can delete your own post? I like this forum.... HA

  22. #22
    niteridar
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    lol i just started reading this thread....i thought you were crazy nic
    then i realized after your comment that posts were deleted haha

  23. #23
    ¡Senor Member! time bandit's Avatar
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    wow. i sure am glad carleton's failposts are preserved in quotes.

    what a jack ass.

    restoring old bikes is fun! have fun doing it.

    dont worry about the haters. they are just no-life asshats that sit on here and judge people all day.

  24. #24
    ¡Senor Member! time bandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LupinIII View Post
    it's more cost effective to pick up a bikes direct bike.. lets do some math:

    i see you have a frame, fork, crankset, stem, handlebars, and a brake lever as well as some wheels.

    I don't think you can use the freewheel threading from a multispeed freewheel hub, i don't think you can just respace and redish, but i may be wrong.

    so if that's the case, $20 new hub, $30 new spokes. you'll also need a spoke wrench if you want to do this yourself, so $10 for that.

    i'll assume you're reusing the rim.

    i like the serfas seca tire for 27", mine has worked great for a budget tire. so $40 for new tires. figure in $10 for new tubes too.

    you'll need a new threaded headset, figure at least $10 for that. (i have a spare here that i can ship out to you for shipping and a little cash...). i just fit mine in with a rubber mallet and a block of wood.

    you'll need another brake lever, might as well get tektro r200a's, they're comfy. $25 there.

    brake cables and housing: $15

    brakes: $40

    seat post: $15

    saddle: i like the san marco rolls, but I usually pick mine up used for ~40 bucks. dunno what's good new and in that price range, but the charge spoon is like $40 after shipping. we'll go with that.

    bar wrap: $8

    chain: $12

    i'm not sure on the condition of those pedals, so potentially another $25.

    after all this you're at $300. mind you you'll have a better saddle, and the brakes are a little better, but you still have one piece cranks which might not have the best chainline, a much heavier outdated frame that looks beat, 27" steel rims (steel rims make a big difference in how a bike feels. they're very cruiser bike status, don't accelerate, dont' stop well, but have good momentum i guess). even if i don't count the spoke tool (I didnt count chain tool and tire levers since i think they're necessary tools. spoke wrench is less necessary, but i won't count it) you're still at $290. sans pedals $265 (though it looks like those pedals need replacing). just consider getting one of the bikesdirect.com offereings. a clockwork is 330 and comes with brakes and a freewheel. the motomess is 350 and also comes fully equipped with brakes and whatnot.
    dude, he didnt ask about cost effectiveness or suggestions for a new bike.

    also those prices are pretty high. your lbs is ripping you off. 15 dollars for cable and housing!!!:? lol!

    some people like the idea of **** not being just tossed away.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LupinIII View Post
    it's more cost effective to pick up a bikes direct bike.. lets do some math:

    i see you have a frame, fork, crankset, stem, handlebars, and a brake lever as well as some wheels.

    I don't think you can use the freewheel threading from a multispeed freewheel hub, i don't think you can just respace and redish, but i may be wrong.

    so if that's the case, $20 new hub, $30 new spokes. you'll also need a spoke wrench if you want to do this yourself, so $10 for that.

    i'll assume you're reusing the rim.

    i like the serfas seca tire for 27", mine has worked great for a budget tire. so $40 for new tires. figure in $10 for new tubes too.

    you'll need a new threaded headset, figure at least $10 for that. (i have a spare here that i can ship out to you for shipping and a little cash...). i just fit mine in with a rubber mallet and a block of wood.

    you'll need another brake lever, might as well get tektro r200a's, they're comfy. $25 there.

    brake cables and housing: $15

    brakes: $40

    seat post: $15

    saddle: i like the san marco rolls, but I usually pick mine up used for ~40 bucks. dunno what's good new and in that price range, but the charge spoon is like $40 after shipping. we'll go with that.

    bar wrap: $8

    chain: $12

    i'm not sure on the condition of those pedals, so potentially another $25.

    after all this you're at $300. mind you you'll have a better saddle, and the brakes are a little better, but you still have one piece cranks which might not have the best chainline, a much heavier outdated frame that looks beat, 27" steel rims (steel rims make a big difference in how a bike feels. they're very cruiser bike status, don't accelerate, dont' stop well, but have good momentum i guess). even if i don't count the spoke tool (I didnt count chain tool and tire levers since i think they're necessary tools. spoke wrench is less necessary, but i won't count it) you're still at $290. sans pedals $265 (though it looks like those pedals need replacing). just consider getting one of the bikesdirect.com offereings. a clockwork is 330 and comes with brakes and a freewheel. the motomess is 350 and also comes fully equipped with brakes and whatnot.

    If you have a coop anywhere nearby and or dump/reuse center you could get this bike set up as a ss for about 30 bucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    because physics has more street cred than tarckstars.

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