Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-28-09, 01:12 PM   #1
notorious gop
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Advice on updating a 74speedster

A month or so back I bought a yellow 1974 Schwinn speedster. I've been riding it to work and the grocery store, and it's a fun bike I love.



It rides fine, there are no real problems with it, and I attached that Wald basket on the rear, so it carries groceries and such like a charm. I'm planning on replacing my car with it in a month or so, since everything (classes, work, groceries, downtown) will be within a mile of home. I'm thinking of updating it when I get some extra cash, and I was just looking for some suggestions or recommendations. Here's what I'm thinking -

the steel rims are heavy, yes, and the first thing I've read is that I should probably replace those with some with some alloy or aluminum ones. Mostly because of the fact that steel brakes really poorly in the rain. BUT I thought of an alternative -

If I get new rims, I'm going to need to rebuild the rear wheel anyway to save the 3speed IGH. But I COULD get a Sturmy Archer Dynohub for the front wheel (solves the braking problem, gives me a generator for a light) and replace the old rear hub with a 5speed IGH/drum brake. That would give me two more gears and the start of a cool lighting system.

Of course I'd still be stuck with the steel rims (weird size and heavy), but I'm only biking around a mile radius, and the brakes wouldn't be an issue. So what does everyone think?

edit: didn't know where to post this, because its nothing fancy, just a commuter/utility bike
notorious gop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:40 PM   #2
Juggler2
W A N T E D
 
Juggler2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, here's mine. My brother has a black Racer (same bike, different name). Yesterday we rode them about 40 miles round trip. I've made a bunch of changes to it, and have many more planned. It has become my favorite bike, why I couldn't say. I think it's because it is similar to the old English 3spd's. My brother has been talking about switching his steel wheels to aluminum too, but maintaining the SA hub. Adding a hub generator is a likely mod I will add to mine.

on edit: This is the most current pic I have on Photobucket. I've since added a longer front fender and a PlanetBike Super Flash on the rear.


Last edited by Juggler2; 06-28-09 at 05:43 PM.
Juggler2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 05:52 PM   #3
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
If you are going to go with new hubs, and I like the idea of the drum/dyno and 5speed drum combo, you can build up new wheels with alloy rims and stainless steel spokes. It will also give you a better selection in tires if you use one of the more standard rim sizes. Nothing wrong with upgrading a bike, the old electroforged Schwinn aren't fancy but they are solid and durable. One advantage to doing the wheels is that the parts could be moved over to a different frame later on.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 06:08 PM   #4
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi
Posts: 23,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by notorious gop View Post
A month or so back I bought a yellow 1974 Schwinn speedster. I've been riding it to work and the grocery store, and it's a fun bike I love.
It rides fine, there are no real problems with it... and the first thing I've read...Of course I'd still be stuck with the steel rims (weird size and heavy), but I'm only biking around a mile radius, and the brakes wouldn't be an issue. So what does everyone think?

edit: didn't know where to post this, because its nothing fancy, just a commuter/utility bike
I suggest you read less and enjoy your problem-free, perfectly useful bike more, as is.

Most of the "advice" you may read on BF and elsewhere on the Internet is written by or for people with a speed, component weight, or "efficiency" fetish; or marketers and their minions pushing product.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 08:00 PM   #5
notorious gop
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
haha that's great advice thanks
notorious gop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 08:13 PM   #6
Roll-Monroe-Co
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
I also ride a 74 Speedster, in red, not in as good condition as yours.

In fact, my SA AW has given me so much trouble, I just swapped out the rear wheel (for a different steel-rimmed schwinn wheel with SA AW). Personally, I think the steel rims, when the chrome is in good condition, are quite beautiful. However, mine are seem to be permanently warped in both planes--no amount of truing seems to fix them. Thus the ride is bumpy and the rims perpetually rub the brake pads.

I have thought a lot about what I want to do with this bike. Upgrade? Move to a new platform? Part of me is totally reactionary when it comes to keeping old bikes original. Part of me wants a decent ride.

If your rims are straight, go for the new hubs. If you did just have all-new wheels made, you can swap them back out and leave the originals with their frame should you ever try to move on.

You begin to face an existential question when you start mucking about with the electro-forged Schwinns, though. Once you have upgraded the wheels, why not the forged steel stem for an aluminum one? And how about swapping those steel bars for Nitto North Roads? Maybe a 3-piece crankset conversion? And how about a lighter, more forgiving tubular fork? Now you have all these nice components on a 19-lb frame. Why didn't you just get a new bike? There you have it, the philosopher's axe, only much more expensive.

My $.02.

Eric

Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 06-28-09 at 08:15 PM. Reason: edit: wrong word
Roll-Monroe-Co is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 08:27 PM   #7
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS
Posts: 14,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
I wouldn't change a thing. Think about it from this standpoint: Steel rims will trip the inductive loop at traffic lights.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 08:48 PM   #8
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
If it was me, I'd just keep it the way it was. Or if I wanted to spend a bunch of money, I'd go for a new bike instead.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 11:41 PM   #9
Juggler2
W A N T E D
 
Juggler2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's a pic of both our bikes, keyboard and all!

Juggler2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-09, 06:24 AM   #10
Esteban32696
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Love the pix !
I like those bikes & try to keep them original. Kool Stop brake pads & keeping the wheels wiped down with alcohol helps a lot with the braking. Make sure cables & everything else works good, too. You state that everything is a mile from home, so I would keep the extra cash & ride away.
Esteban32696 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-09, 06:26 PM   #11
duffer1960
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Milwaukee
Bikes: Fred cycles
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Got this one a few years ago. It now sports a rack & a gen-u-wine Union generator set .



One word to you - Overhaul - Put fresh grease in the headset, front hub, bottom bracket. The original grease is long since dead. And, get a spoke wrench & learn to true & tension. These Schwinn steel wheels are least likely to fold up; however, you'll avoid broken spokes and the bike will ride smooth and taut if you true & tension. Oops I guess that's more than one word

By the way, this definitely is a 'Classic & Vintage' bike

Last edited by duffer1960; 07-04-09 at 07:20 PM.
duffer1960 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-09, 08:22 PM   #12
subclavius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes: 1952 JC Higgins Jet Flow, 1957 AMF Roadmaster Deluxe, 1959 Columbia Firebolt, 1962 Columbia Newsboy Special, 1964 JC Higgins (unkown model), 1968 Juncker Flying Jet promotional bike, 1981 Raleigh fixed gear, 1982 Murray Monterrey (customized), & more
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could make it look like this:


It's a '74 Speedster camel back frame.

I went for more of a cruiser style than for a utility bike type look, but it does has heavy duty rims. Ironically, I ditched the S-7's because I didn't want any fit issues down the line, but these rims are so much wider than normal rims that it took a couple of different tire widths before finding the right size.

This turns heads everywhere it goes, even had two guys try to bike-jack me in downtown Cleveland when I was riding it last year.
subclavius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-09, 09:30 PM   #13
IanHelgesen
Riding the road to PARADISE...RIP
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, nice bike. I'm a fan of those old 3-speeds myself, and just spent the afternoon fixing up an old Raleigh Superbe, which is going to be my main neighborhood bike.

The dynohub and 5-speed would be a nice upgrade, and shouldn't present huge challenges (I've been thinking about doing something similar myself). You might find that the axles on a modern front hub are too large to fit in the fork (I know this is the case with some other 3-speeds, but I have no idea about the Schwinn), which can be dealt with by filing the fork dropouts, or getting a new steel road fork. You should also check the spacing on the rear. Most new gear hubs will require the rear to be spread, but I think a Sturmey Archer will fit.

That said, if you're building new wheels, you might as well replace the rims. Aside from the problems with steel, old Schwinns used a weird tire size which is going to be very difficult to find. Sun CR-18 rims are cheap and have a pretty good reputation. They are available in 700c (should fit, but check) or 650a (very close to your current size, but also a bit hard to get tires for). It would be worth considering going to 650b (better tire selection than 650a, more clearance than 700c), but I'm not sure where to find cheap rims with the appropriate drilling (if anyone has recommendations, I'd be interested in hearing).

Also, you should check out the Classic & Vintage forum. The folks there probably know everything there is to know about your bike.
IanHelgesen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-09, 07:45 PM   #14
CVB
Senior Member
 
CVB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: '87 Trek Elance, '87 Nishiki Cascade, '86 Schwinn Sierra, '97 Specialized Stumpjumper, '84 Fuji Del Rey, '86? Peugeot mixte
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggler2 View Post
Here's a pic of both our bikes, keyboard and all!

Oh! Be still, my heart!

Please don't mess with those beautiful, perfectly good bikes! Don't make them showroom pieces either - just keep them in good working order and keep riding them. Not only will you find them completely satisfactory, you'll show other people how an "old fashioned" bike is perfectly functional and you'll beautify your hometown with their presence. Shop owners will be grateful to you for gracing their storefront with your bikes.
CVB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 PM.