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Please help me choose wheels for 73 Schwinn

Old 08-14-23, 04:00 PM
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Please help me choose wheels for 73 Schwinn

Hello, I have a new project. A guy sold me a 1973 Schwinn Collegiate 5 speed in Campus Green for $10. It needs wheels. The back wheel is original but its quite rusty. There is no front wheel. (Pictured is a 27" malliard for thin tires and the brake pads are too low)It takes 26" wheels and I would like to go with alloy that will take a 1.5" urban tire. Where can I find some good donor wheels or new? I prefer to use the original freewheel but I dont know what thread to look for or how to get them off? Please advise. thanks.

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Old 08-14-23, 05:35 PM
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What is your budget ($), the amount you are willing to spend, on this project?
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Old 08-14-23, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyes Roll
What is your budget ($), the amount you are willing to spend, on this project?
i dont know. $100, $125.
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Old 08-14-23, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
i dont know. $100, $125.
I don't see how you can make that bike rideable within that budget, unless a good samaritan makes a donation of wheels and tires locally to you, with all the shipping costs involved.

If you are still interested, you may want to send a message to the seller to check if it is a S-6 wheel.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12599791694...G_FRAME_MODULE

Otherwise, you are probably better off working on another bike restoration project.
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Old 08-14-23, 06:28 PM
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The original wheels for the Collegiate were Schwinn's own (obsolete) version of 26 x 1 3/8 (597-mm tire bead seat diameter).

Those Schwinn tires and rims are not compatible with the traditional English 3-speed standard 26 x 1 3/8 size (590 mm).

Keep in mind that the brake pad position for non-standard wheel choices versus the original should be calculated by determining the difference in bead seat diameters (in the case of the two sizes mentioned above, that would be 7 mm) and dividing by 2. Thus,
for this example, you need a brake that can position the pads 3.5 mm lower.

The two other wheel sizes that are closest are 27.5 (584 mm, for a pad position difference of 6.5 mm) and 26 x 1.75, 2.0, 2.125, etc. (the old MTB standard diameter of 559; pad difference of 19 mm).

You may be able to find long-arm BMX brakes that will work with one of those smaller sizes.

Me, I'd just give up on the idea. The cheapest workaround would be to find another Collegiate that has good wheels and tires and use those. The Schwinn tires are at least theoretically suitable for gravel and light-duty trail riding.

Otherwise, this is one of the many cheap or free deals where, no matter what you do, you'll end up spending more than the market value of the bike to get it on the road.
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Old 08-14-23, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
The original wheels for the Collegiate were Schwinn's own (obsolete) version of 26 x 1 3/8 (597-mm tire bead seat diameter).

Those Schwinn tires and rims are not compatible with the traditional English 3-speed standard 26 x 1 3/8 size (590 mm).

Keep in mind that the brake pad position for non-standard wheel choices versus the original should be calculated by determining the difference in bead seat diameters (in the case of the two sizes mentioned above, that would be 7 mm) and dividing by 2. Thus,
for this example, you need a brake that can position the pads 3.5 mm lower.

The two other wheel sizes that are closest are 27.5 (584 mm, for a pad position difference of 6.5 mm) and 26 x 1.75, 2.0, 2.125, etc. (the old MTB standard diameter of 559; pad difference of 19 mm).

You may be able to find long-arm BMX brakes that will work with one of those smaller sizes.

Me, I'd just give up on the idea. The cheapest workaround would be to find another Collegiate that has good wheels and tires and use those. The Schwinn tires are at least theoretically suitable for gravel and light-duty trail riding.

Otherwise, this is one of the many cheap or free deals where, no matter what you do, you'll end up spending more than the market value of the bike to get it on the road.
I was hoping someone could advise me what bike I could pull rims off of. Maybe a discarded mid 90s mountain bike with 26" alloy wheels. Probably find one for $20 or so. Then buy standard 26 x 1.5 gravel tires. Would the stock Schwinn approved side pull brakes be in the right spot to grab the rim? It looks like there is about a 1" adjustment slot for the pads. Then there is the matter of if the Schwinn freewheel would thread onto the mountain bike rim? or What 10 speed mountain bikes would have the right rims? I could just use the freewheel on the donor rim. I think $100 is doable if I get used wheels, new tires, and used cables (which I have). but what donor bike am I looking for?
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Old 08-14-23, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
I was hoping someone could advise me what bike I could pull rims off of. Maybe a discarded mid 90s mountain bike with 26" alloy wheels. Probably find one for $20 or so. Then buy standard 26 x 1.5 gravel tires. Would the stock Schwinn approved side pull brakes be in the right spot to grab the rim? It looks like there is about a 1" adjustment slot for the pads. Then there is the matter of if the Schwinn freewheel would thread onto the mountain bike rim? or What 10 speed mountain bikes would have the right rims? I could just use the freewheel on the donor rim. I think $100 is doable if I get used wheels, new tires, and used cables (which I have). but what donor bike am I looking for?
With 26" mountain bike rims, you'd need brakes that can reach at least 19 mm lower than with the original wheels. The bike would be 19 mm lower, too, so be careful pedaling through corners.
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Old 08-14-23, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
With 26" mountain bike rims, you'd need brakes that can reach at least 19 mm lower than with the original wheels. The bike would be 19 mm lower, too, so be careful pedaling through corners.
The bike would be 19mm lower even though they are both 26" tires? I found a Trek 820 for sale for cheap. Would those rims work?
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Old 08-14-23, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
I was hoping someone could advise me what bike I could pull rims off of. Maybe a discarded mid 90s mountain bike with 26" alloy wheels. Probably find one for $20 or so. Then buy standard 26 x 1.5 gravel tires. Would the stock Schwinn approved side pull brakes be in the right spot to grab the rim? It looks like there is about a 1" adjustment slot for the pads. Then there is the matter of if the Schwinn freewheel would thread onto the mountain bike rim? or What 10 speed mountain bikes would have the right rims? I could just use the freewheel on the donor rim. I think $100 is doable if I get used wheels, new tires, and used cables (which I have). but what donor bike am I looking for?
There's a good chance you will also need a compatible brake caliper(s), if you are rebuilding with a different rim(s).
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Old 08-14-23, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyes Roll
There's a good chance you will also need a compatible brake caliper(s), if you are rebuilding with a different rim(s).
compatible in what way?
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Old 08-15-23, 07:44 AM
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find a wal-goose from the 2001 era to current. they have 27.5 (650b) wheels or 584mm i'd suggest 650a (590) but you're not going to find a cheap set.
It might have most of what you need for little to nothing.
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Old 08-22-23, 11:41 AM
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Poor guy came to the land of over complicaters lol.

mtb wheels off a Walmart bike or better

off a 21 speed mtb

with a 7 speed cassette

disregard any comments saying a 7 speed cassette wont fit

Ive done it on a 24 Schwinn sprint road bike

thin gravel tires

and you might get away with not changing the brakes if you raise the brake pads as high as you can.

might cost you $10-$20 for the whole mtb that you need parts from

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Old 08-24-23, 03:09 PM
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People here do sometimes overcomplicate things, but in this case you will need to be careful picking wheels if you want working brakes. As several other posters have pointed out, there are several different sizes of 26 inch wheels, and the most common ones are a lot different than your current wheels. The suggestion from Schweinhund of finding some cheap 27.5 wheels is probably the simplest budget option, since you may be able to keep your current brakes.

If you want to get into different wheel sizes and brake compatibility, you need to check the brake reach. It is the distance between the middle of your brake pads, and the bolt holding the brakes on the frame (more explanation and pictures here). To use a different wheel diameter, you need a different brake reach to compensate. The change in reach between wheel sizes is the original wheel bead seat diameter (yours is 597mm) minus the new wheel diameter, and then divided by two. 27.5 wheels have a 584mm bead seat diameter, so they only need a ((597 - 584) / 2) = 6.5 mm change.

For example, if your bike had a brake reach of 75 mm, you could switch to 700c wheels using brakes with a 75 + (597 - 622) / 2 = 50 mm reach, which are easily available used. You should check both the front and the back brake, because they may not have quite the same reach. Old 26 inch MTB wheels have a smaller 559 mm bead seat diameter, so as Trakhak pointed out you would need 19mm longer brakes to use them. If you already have the wheels, may be the cheapest way to get the bike going. New 80-100mm reach brakes are pretty cheap (20 dollars each or less), and are usually sold as BMX or cruiser brakes. The long arms flex, and they can feel a little spongy, but they will be better than the original brakes on steel rims.

If your replacement wheel has more than 6 speeds, you would also need to spread the rear dropouts to fit the wider hub, but that should not be too hard.

There's a Sheldon Brown article on 26 inch wheels that goes over the different sizes. There are actually 5, which is why this is so confusing!
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Old 08-24-23, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Eusam
People here do sometimes overcomplicate things, but in this case you will need to be careful picking wheels if you want working brakes. As several other posters have pointed out, there are several different sizes of 26 inch wheels, and the most common ones are a lot different than your current wheels. The suggestion from Schweinhund of finding some cheap 27.5 wheels is probably the simplest budget option, since you may be able to keep your current brakes.

If you want to get into different wheel sizes and brake compatibility, you need to check the brake reach. It is the distance between the middle of your brake pads, and the bolt holding the brakes on the frame (more explanation and pictures here). To use a different wheel diameter, you need a different brake reach to compensate. The change in reach between wheel sizes is the original wheel bead seat diameter (yours is 597mm) minus the new wheel diameter, and then divided by two. 27.5 wheels have a 584mm bead seat diameter, so they only need a ((597 - 584) / 2) = 6.5 mm change.

For example, if your bike had a brake reach of 75 mm, you could switch to 700c wheels using brakes with a 75 + (597 - 622) / 2 = 50 mm reach, which are easily available used. You should check both the front and the back brake, because they may not have quite the same reach. Old 26 inch MTB wheels have a smaller 559 mm bead seat diameter, so as Trakhak pointed out you would need 19mm longer brakes to use them. If you already have the wheels, may be the cheapest way to get the bike going. New 80-100mm reach brakes are pretty cheap (20 dollars each or less), and are usually sold as BMX or cruiser brakes. The long arms flex, and they can feel a little spongy, but they will be better than the original brakes on steel rims.

If your replacement wheel has more than 6 speeds, you would also need to spread the rear dropouts to fit the wider hub, but that should not be too hard.

There's a Sheldon Brown article on 26 inch wheels that goes over the different sizes. There are actually 5, which is why this is so confusing!
Thank you.

I ordered the BMX brakes. I took the original 5 speed freewheel and put it on the 559 wheels. It threaded right on. The 559 wheels had a 6 speed freewheel and some of the hecklers on here kept bashing me and telling me that it doesnt matter how many sprockets the freewheel has because it does not affect fitment. I swapped them anyway because I wanted it to have the original 5 ratios. I plan on taking it apart and overhauling it. It will be impossible to remove they said. its been on there since 1972 and its rusted on they said. The wheels are rusty they said. You have the wrong tool its a kludge tool they said. It slipped right in, perfect fit, I gave the wheel a gentle turn using virtually no muscle power whatsoever and it easily came off. I would like to use the original cones and axel but I dont know if they are compatible with the newer hub and bearings. The old shaft has slots in it and special washers, the new shaft does not have that. The new shaft is 10mm the old shaft is 9.8mm and the nuts do not interchange. Its good to hear the bike will stop better with alloy wheels and long brakes than with chrome wheels and original brakes. I measured the reach and I need about 100mm. I will have them shortly and I will report back. Thanks for your interest and insight.
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Old 08-25-23, 11:21 AM
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I don't think swapping the axles and cones is a good idea. Newer hubs usually have nicer cones and better bearing seals than old hubs. The old wheel cones would probably leave a gap and let water and grit into the bearings. The bearing surfaces on the cones also have different profiles and dimensions for different hubs, and the original hub cones probably won't work with the bearing/cup dimensions on the MTB hubs.

I don't think you'll need the washers, you should be able to just use the QR or bolt attachment that your new wheels have. If you do need the washers, you should be able to file them out a little to fit them over the new axle. I'm having trouble imagining what the washers are for, could you post pictures?
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Old 11-27-23, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
I would like to use the original cones and axel but I dont know if they are compatible with the newer hub and bearings. The old shaft has slots in it and special washers, the new shaft does not have that.
The reasoning for the slots in the axle paired with the tabbed washers is to allow tightening of the locknut without the cone turning with it and messing up the bearing adjustment.

With unsloted axles or plain washers, you need a skinny cone wrench to hold the cone in place when tightening the lock nut.

Many older bikes (1970s) have the slotted axles, most newer bikes (2000+) don't have slots.

It takes a small amount of knowledge and technique to adjust either type. Something that seems to elude the factory assemblers of so many boxmart bikes.

As far a swapping axles & cones, here are some fit factors:

cone length
cone outer diameter
axle diameter
axle thread pitch
axle length

Some hubs have metal shields pressed into the hub shell so the shield turns with the hub. (Typical on 1970s Schwinns)
Some hubs have metal shields pressed onto the cone so the shield does not turn when the bike moves. The cone diameter has to match the shield opening. If the shield opening is too large/cone too small, the shield won't stay put. If the shield is too large it will rub on the hub, too small and it leaves a larger gap for grit to get in.
Some hubs have plastic seals pressed into the hub shell. The seal will just touch the cone to create water tight seal.

Shields aren't water barriers. Seals were intended to keep water out but do a better job of keeping water in, especially in bottom brackets and lower headsets.

A cone that is too short won't have the wrench flats exposed for the cone wrench to fit on.

A cone that is too long will add to the OLD (overall Locknut Dimension) so washers need to be removed or thinner washers subbed to match the frame width.

Most rear hubs use 1/4 bearings and cones shaped to match. There are some odd ball hubs that use smaller balls but those are kinda rare.

There are over 60 combos of cone fit factors. About the only consistent factor is the curvature of the bearing surface. The genius of ball bearings and cones is they are self aligning and tolerant of all kinds of problems including worn cones and bent axles and non-parallel cups. Cheap hubs have painted cones and cups, (really walmart, is paint a suitable lube or bearing surface?), better hubs have machined cones & cups.

Cone & Axle thread diameter & pitch must match no matter what.

No one will have all the dimensions for all the cones and models of hubs so the best bet is to just try it.
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Old 11-29-23, 06:40 PM
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make it into a fixie, problem solved

sans wheel
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