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Schwinn Sanctuary 7

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Schwinn Sanctuary 7

Old 04-13-17, 09:25 PM
  #1  
DesmoDog
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Schwinn Sanctuary 7

I worked at a couple Schwinn shops as a mechanic for about ten years in the 70s and 80s, then got my first job after college and became infatuated with a different sort of bike and spent the next 25+ years playing around with those.

For a bunch of years I've thought about putting together an old cruiser style bike along the lines of a Schwinn Typhoon. I wanted to add a Sturmey multi-speed hub, and brakes, cable stays, etc. When I added up the prices it became pretty clear I could buy a new bike cheaper, but... what's the quality like? How good/bad can a new low end "Schwinn" be for a couple hundred bucks?

Long story short a box with a "Schwinn Sanctuary 7" in it showed up at my door today. It's not the ideal starting point, but it has a lot of features I wanted, mainly the right style frame and cable stops. Vertical dropouts make the Sturmey hub problematic but I can live with a derailleur.

Suffice it to say this will be a bit of an experiment. Most of the bad reviews of the bike seem to have been written by people who have no clue how things are supposed to work. I may be fooling myself but I think with some TLC and a few upgrades here and there, it can be a fun bike? I fully expect to modify/upgrade a few things on this but for now I'm going to assemble it pretty much as is and see what I'm starting with.

From what I can tell so far there's no shipping damage. It's been a long time since I've unboxed a bike, but this one seemed to be packed better than what I remember. I had planned on borrowing a service stand to use when assemblng this, but that didn't work out so I'll be putting this together on the floor, kind of a pain but doable.

The first thing I noticed after unboxing it was the headset bearings were tight. I adjusted it but it was still pretty stiff, so I took it apart. It was pretty bare in there, after packing it with real grease it was nice and smooth.

Reviews also mention tires going flat so I pulled off the rear wheel to check it out. It is surprisingly light - I still remember the steel rims and hubs I guess. The axle was pretty tight to so I adjusted that but it didn't help much. I'm not sure what they use for grease but it's thick and stiff. I haven't got the tool to pull the cluster off the hub so I just pulled the axle but left the bearings in place and tried to get some decent grease on everything. It improved but there's a bad bearing or dirt or something, the axle catches once in a while when the wheel spins. I'm not sure what I'll be doing with the wheels yet so I'm going to run with it for now. I took the tire off and the rim strip is fine. Sounds like it's not uncommon to find one out of place though. The rim seems pretty true too. I haven't put it in a stand yet, I ran out of time.

The front wheel hasn't been installed, I tried to spin the axle and it's so tight I can't spin it by hand. That'll get rebuilt too!

And that's it for tonight. So far I think the bike is going to work out fine, albeit with more work than a simple assembly.
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Old 04-14-17, 06:24 AM
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I rolled this Delmar out of Walmart about 10 or 11 years ago. While the paint has remained great, the handle bars and fender stays have badly rusted. While taking the fenders off to buff and add black paint on the stays I finally just hung them up somewhere. The bar has been buffed out to remove most of the rust and I've added some grease here and there over the last 10 years plus the chain gets some oil every few months. Yeah, that is a bungi cord on the back bracket to hold my hat, poncho or whatever I might need during a ride.


This Schwinn is a simple single speed with a 44T chain ring turning a 18T sprocket and has proved very satisfactory since, while I can handle small hills, the cotton country river bottom where I live is as flat as a pool table. Good luck with your Sanctuary 7. BTW, mine ran $119 back then.


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Old 04-14-17, 06:31 PM
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I had the day off of work today and spent a lot more time than I expected "finishing" this up. I still have a couple minor things to do but it's rideable.

I pulled off the chain so I could check the bottom bracket. Noticed the crank was hitting the chain guard at one spot. The brackets for the guard a MUCH thinner than they were "back in the day" and were easily be reshaped by hand. (the fender brackets are the same way, not very sturdy). Judging by the hubs and headset, it should be no surprise the bottom bracket needed attention too. Same deal, too tight and this one was even a little crunchy. Pulled it apart and found there wasn't much grease and the grease that was there looked like Vaseline. The crunchiness turned out to be (I'm assuming) caused by the black finish on the parts. It was still on the cups where the bearings ran and starting to break down. The cones had an unfinshed strip with a ragged edge. I considered stripping the finish on the surfaces the bearings ran on but decided to just smooth it out for now and start considering a replacement. I'm guessing the BMX crowd has a solution for a decent one piece crank set up if/when the time comes.

At first I thought the chainring was strangely thin, but then noticed the chain is pretty narrow too. I'm used to seeing these things as single speeds, so some of the details look "wrong" when they may not be?

Adjusting the brakes and shifter is a pain with no stand. But before I adjusted them I shortened all the cable housings. They were way too long for my liking, that's one of my pet peeves. The housing are all lined, which they weren't back in the day, but I still sprayed some lubrication down them before slipping the cables back in. I don't have any of the little ends to crimp on to keep the cable from fraying, so I'll have to pick up some of those. For the time being I left them long and coiled them up.

Pedals - cheap plastic but work fine. I've put more traditional rubber pedals on the wanted list.

A few of the reviews talk about the deraileur being pulled into the wheel and destroying everything. Yeah, I can see that. Mine was a little off when I checked it so I tweaked the alignment some. I'm still not 100% satisifed with it but it will work for now.

The brakes... I'm not a fan of this style brake. My wife's bike has them too, they seem pretty popular, but they just feel spongy to me. I like brakes to have a firm, solid feel. There is no such thing as a too powerful front brake. On bicycles and motorycles, I want to be able to stand it on it's nose. This thing has a lot of details conspiring against that. Might have to look into upgrades on the brakes but the rims have to be tossed first. I'm also not a huge fan of the shorty levers. Strangely I use only one or two fingers on motorycles too but still like having a full length lever.

It turned out I had to true the rear wheel to get a decent brake feel. I put the front in the stand too but it only need minor tweaks.

And that's about it. I've only ridden the bike about 20 feet in my driveway so far but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't feel nearly as heavy/clunky as I remembered this style bike feeling. Assuming I don't have any major setbacks on it's first couple of rides I'd say it's going to work out great for what I wanted.

That said...

IMHO to get a decent bike out of this you basically have to rebuild everything. I just don't see someone with no mechanical experience assembling one of these in a competent manner. Even if you bring it to a bike shop to have it adjusted I don't see things like the hubs and bottom bracket being addressed, not for the cost of a typical brake/shifter adjustment anyway. NONE of the bearing adjustments were even close. None of the bearings were lubed well. I'm guessing the department stores don't bother setting bearing adjustments so having them assemble it is no solution either. Bottom line I guess is you get what you pay for.

Oh yeah, I'm also surprised at how small this thing looks! I put it out in the garage next to my wife's bike and it looks like a 24" bike or something. Was not expecting that.

EDIT: One more thing, the kickstand. It looks like the cheapest stand I've ever seen but it is surprisingly sturdy. I was going to replace it with an aluminum part but now I'm not so sure.
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Last edited by DesmoDog; 04-14-17 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 04-15-17, 10:45 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post

IMHO to get a decent bike out of this you basically have to rebuild everything.
Yep. That's been my experience with components as well. Pedals, hubs, etc. They all seem to arrive DRY and TIGHT.

Where did you order it from?
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Old 04-15-17, 01:28 PM
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I ordered it from Amazon, and just noticed that the price has gone up $40 since then too. Woo Hoo! That stuff usually works the other way for me. Now I can justify $40 in upgrades. ;-)

My wife and I just got back from it's first run. A whopping 6.4 miles, but far enough to get initial impressions. And, I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I was afraid it would feel heavy but it really doesn't. I still found myself slowing down to let my wife catch up and braking on downhills so I didn't go by her. There was only one hill I felt like I was working hard to keep up with her so it's mission accomplished as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, if we're being honest I did feel like Pee Wee Herman on occassion but I'm ok with that...

So overall it's working out fine. There were a few downsides I'll probably address.

First, the brakes. As soon as the glaze got worn off the rims/pads they started squealing. I thought I had them toed pretty well but apparently not. I did wipe the dust off the front one at one point and it stopped the squealing for a while so maybe it needs a bit of break in too. The front brake works ok, the rear one... let's just say I won't be sliding the rear tire any time soon.

Noise. The flimsy fender braces let them rattle around more than they should IMHO. I think that's one reason the brakes were so annoying, they'd set off the front fender too? I dunno, I'll put some thought into improving those. I want to move the mounting point of the front one from the axle to the fork dropout anyway so maybe a two birds with one stone thing.

Minor stuff, but I am not a fan of the stock handgrips. I haven't looked for grips since the advent of twist shifters, two different lengths these days I see. I'm guessing that there's still a good selection out there though? It seems everything is twist shift now.

Twist shifter. It goes the wrong direction. It should twist forward for 1st and back for 7th in my feeble brain, something I'll need to get used to I suppose.

Gearing - I'm still infatuated with internal geared hubs. I was looking last night and it seems a five speed Sturmey with a drum brake would be the cat's meow for what I want. There are solutions to the vertical dropout situation. Hmm... maybe next winter.

I'm not in love with the bars but that's an easy change if I decide they have to go. The bars I put on my Rockhopper Comp in my attempt to make it useable might feel better, but they'd look wrong. Am I that guy? Form over function? Yeah with this bike I just may be.

So to sum it up, my impression so far is it feels better than I remember the cruisers of old feeling, and should work out great for what I bought it for. I kinda doubt I'd like it as much if it had been set up by a department store employee though. I'm assuming this one is typical (and other's comments indicates it is) so I'm guessing that mail order bikes will have issues the average Joe isn't going to be able to deal with with his phillips screw driver and adjustable wrench. I haven't cleaned up my "shop" yet, maybe I'll take a shot of the tools I used to put this thing together, I'm pretty sure it's a bigger pile than the "recommended tools" they list in the manual. Which I never read... ;-)

Last edited by DesmoDog; 04-15-17 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 04-15-17, 02:34 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
I ordered it from Amazon, and just noticed that the price has gone up $40 since then too. Woo Hoo! That stuff usually works the other way for me. Now I can justify $40 in upgrades. ;-)

My wife and I just got back from it's first run. A whopping 6.4 miles, but far enough to get initial impressions. And, I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I was afraid it would feel heavy but it really doesn't. I still found myself slowing down to let my wife catch up and braking on downhills so I didn't go by her. There was only one hill I felt like I was working hard to keep up with her so it's mission accomplished as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, if we're being honest I did feel like Pee Wee Herman on occassion but I'm ok with that...

So overall it's working out fine. There were a few downsides I'll probably address.

First, the brakes. As soon as the glaze got worn off the rims/pads they started squealing. I thought I had them toed pretty well but apparently not. I did wipe the dust off the front one at one point and it stopped the squealing for a while so maybe it needs a bit of break in too. The front brake works ok, the rear one... let's just say I won't be sliding the rear tire any time soon.

Noise. The flimsy fender braces let them rattle around more than they should IMHO. I think that's one reason the brakes were so annoying, they'd set off the front fender too? I dunno, I'll put some thought into improving those. I want to move the mounting point of the front one from the axle to the fork dropout anyway so maybe a two birds with one stone thing.

Minor stuff, but I am not a fan of the stock handgrips. I haven't looked for grips since the advent of twist shifters, two different lengths these days I see. I'm guessing that there's still a good selection out there though? It seems everything is twist shift now.

Twist shifter. It goes the wrong direction. It should twist forward for 1st and back for 7th in my feeble brain, something I'll need to get used to I suppose.

Gearing - I'm still infatuated with internal geared hubs. I was looking last night and it seems a five speed Sturmey with a drum brake would be the cat's meow for what I want. There are solutions to the vertical dropout situation. Hmm... maybe next winter.

I'm not in love with the bars but that's an easy change if I decide they have to go. The bars I put on my Rockhopper Comp in my attempt to make it useable might feel better, but they'd look wrong. Am I that guy? Form over function? Yeah with this bike I just may be.

So to sum it up, my impression so far is it feels better than I remember the cruisers of old feeling, and should work out great for what I bought it for. I kinda doubt I'd like it as much if it had been set up by a department store employee though. I'm assuming this one is typical (and other's comments indicates it is) so I'm guessing that mail order bikes will have issues the average Joe isn't going to be able to deal with with his phillips screw driver and adjustable wrench. I haven't cleaned up my "shop" yet, maybe I'll take a shot of the tools I used to put this thing together, I'm pretty sure it's a bigger pile than the "recommended tools" they list in the manual. Which I never read... ;-)

Loose fenders? Wonky brakes? Chain guards? Cables? Goofy shifting? Gears?

So many problems and so much weight. Just teasing.

Strip it man. I like to fly simple and raw.




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Old 04-15-17, 03:57 PM
  #7  
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Cruisers based on the iconic 1938 Frank W. Schwinn cantilever frame design with its graceful curves and inherent resistance to dynamic forces twisting the head tube and seat tube out of plane alignment will never go out of style.



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Old 04-17-17, 09:51 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
... Ok, if we're being honest I did feel like Pee Wee Herman on occassion but I'm ok with that...
It helps if you ride in a suit that actually fits.... and ditch the bowtie.

I can't get used to the typical swept back bars that cruisers have so I replace them with risers or trekking bars. Sure they don't look authentic but then if I was concerned about appearances I'd ride with a bag over my head.
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Old 04-30-17, 11:24 AM
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Let the upgrades begin!

I stopped by the Ann Arbor Classic Bicycle Show this morning and picked up a few goodies. Nothing major, I hadn't planned on buying anything but I was keeping my eyes open for, of all things, cable ends to keep the cables from fraying. Found 'em! A bag of 100 for $2, what's not to like? I also picked up a little nicer set of pedals and even some fork braces that are more substantial than the ones that are on it. Funny thing... I bought two of them thinking the front fender had two braces. Got home and realized I should have bought two for the rear fender too! Then looked and saw that bicycles only use one brace per fender so I HAD bought enough for front and rear. Yep, I'm just THAT good at this stuff! Held them up to see how they'd fit and it looks like they're going to work great for what I had planned.

I was also sort of kind of looking for an internally geared hub but didn't see anything except old SA three speeds... I'll hold off on that. I DID see an old Campy derailluer I considered getting. I wonder how many Campy equipped Sanctuary 7s are running around out there?
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Old 05-02-17, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
... I was also sort of kind of looking for an internally geared hub but didn't see anything except old SA three speeds...
I love the old Sturmey AW... damned near bullet proof and certainly enough for riding/touring.
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Old 05-02-17, 11:29 AM
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I rebuilt a few SA hubs back in the 70s/80s, I liked working with them unlike the other three speed hubs I'd see. Nothing against them but I want more than 3 speeds and a drum brake if I go that direction. Then again, a 3 speed hub might be a relatively cheap way to prove out the concept and I may find I don't need any more gears. The vertical dropout is kinda bumming me out on the internally geared hub idea though
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Old 05-02-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
... The vertical dropout is kinda bumming me out on the internally geared hub idea though
I know it's not the same but if you don't opt for a coaster braked version you can replace the derailleur with just a simple chain tensioner.
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Old 07-24-17, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
I worked at a couple Schwinn shops as a mechanic for about ten years in the 70s and 80s, then got my first job after college and became infatuated with a different sort of bike and spent the next 25+ years playing around with those.

For a bunch of years I've thought about putting together an old cruiser style bike along the lines of a Schwinn Typhoon. I wanted to add a Sturmey multi-speed hub, and brakes, cable stays, etc. When I added up the prices it became pretty clear I could buy a new bike cheaper, but... what's the quality like? How good/bad can a new low end "Schwinn" be for a couple hundred bucks?

Long story short a box with a "Schwinn Sanctuary 7" in it showed up at my door today. It's not the ideal starting point, but it has a lot of features I wanted, mainly the right style frame and cable stops. Vertical dropouts make the Sturmey hub problematic but I can live with a derailleur.

Suffice it to say this will be a bit of an experiment. Most of the bad reviews of the bike seem to have been written by people who have no clue how things are supposed to work. I may be fooling myself but I think with some TLC and a few upgrades here and there, it can be a fun bike? I fully expect to modify/upgrade a few things on this but for now I'm going to assemble it pretty much as is and see what I'm starting with.

From what I can tell so far there's no shipping damage. It's been a long time since I've unboxed a bike, but this one seemed to be packed better than what I remember. I had planned on borrowing a service stand to use when assemblng this, but that didn't work out so I'll be putting this together on the floor, kind of a pain but doable.

The first thing I noticed after unboxing it was the headset bearings were tight. I adjusted it but it was still pretty stiff, so I took it apart. It was pretty bare in there, after packing it with real grease it was nice and smooth.

Reviews also mention tires going flat so I pulled off the rear wheel to check it out. It is surprisingly light - I still remember the steel rims and hubs I guess. The axle was pretty tight to so I adjusted that but it didn't help much. I'm not sure what they use for grease but it's thick and stiff. I haven't got the tool to pull the cluster off the hub so I just pulled the axle but left the bearings in place and tried to get some decent grease on everything. It improved but there's a bad bearing or dirt or something, the axle catches once in a while when the wheel spins. I'm not sure what I'll be doing with the wheels yet so I'm going to run with it for now. I took the tire off and the rim strip is fine. Sounds like it's not uncommon to find one out of place though. The rim seems pretty true too. I haven't put it in a stand yet, I ran out of time.

The front wheel hasn't been installed, I tried to spin the axle and it's so tight I can't spin it by hand. That'll get rebuilt too!

And that's it for tonight. So far I think the bike is going to work out fine, albeit with more work than a simple assembly.
Such a nice looking bike though
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Old 07-28-17, 04:47 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Yep. That's been my experience with components as well. Pedals, hubs, etc. They all seem to arrive DRY and TIGHT.
Consider yourself lucky if you get any grease at all! Got 2 bikes in the past couple of years with no grease in one or more bearing assemblies on box store type bikes which makes it difficult to adjust bearings properly.

The first one was a cruiser type the owner said he only rode twice but the coaster brake squealed so bad, he hated to ride it.

I got it home, and you guessed it, no grease at all as in completely dry coaster brake assembly. Naturally checked the other bearings and they all had some type of sticky goo I would only laughingly refer to as a lubricant.

Replaced all that gunk with synthetic marine grease and it became a totally different bike to ride.

I've found that if it didn't come from an LBS, it's best to service all the bearings with decent lube and then adjust properly.

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Old 08-28-17, 09:28 PM
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I recently saved a Sanc7 and enjoy it. I will have to post pictures
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Old 09-10-17, 06:37 PM
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Here is my Sanc7 that was hit by a car with the previous owner. Had to only replace the front fork and put different rims on it.

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Old 09-11-17, 02:44 PM
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You do know photo bucket no longer works for posting. Roger
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Old 09-11-17, 02:45 PM
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You do know photo bucket no longer works. Roger
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Old 09-11-17, 05:09 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by bobbyeye View Post
Here is my Sanc7 that was hit by a car with the previous owner. Had to only replace the front fork and put different rims on it.
As mentioned, photobucket screwed over their members, and 3rd party posting is no longer allowed.
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Old 09-11-17, 08:15 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
As mentioned, photobucket screwed over their members, and ruined the internet for everyone.

FTFY Its sad to say but that's what really happened. I would gladly have paid not to have some of the boards I belong to (this one included) decimated but unfortunately they are asking crack levels of money for crappy service.



Back on topic. I grew up on Schwinns in the 70's and early 80's I must've had 4 or 5 starting with a hand-me-down Stingray, A Typhoon, Collegiate Sport 5 spd and a 10spd Paramount? in HS in the early 80's. I even had a post war Cruiser that I delivered papers on with a giant basket that I bought from the kid that had the route before me. They were tanks back then but they held up to serious abuse, a teens maintenance (NONE) and kept going.

I miss them.
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Old 09-12-17, 02:12 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by JehD View Post
FTFY Its sad to say but that's what really happened. I would gladly have paid not to have some of the boards I belong to (this one included) decimated but unfortunately they are asking crack levels of money for crappy service.



Back on topic. I grew up on Schwinns in the 70's and early 80's I must've had 4 or 5 starting with a hand-me-down Stingray, A Typhoon, Collegiate Sport 5 spd and a 10spd Paramount? in HS in the early 80's. I even had a post war Cruiser that I delivered papers on with a giant basket that I bought from the kid that had the route before me. They were tanks back then but they held up to serious abuse, a teens maintenance (NONE) and kept going.

I miss them.
Photobucket sux, but all that needs to be done HERE is to go advanced, then upload the pictures. Doesn't look like broken internet to me,...ymmv,... People just need to be informed, so they know how to post pics on the site. It makes it better for everyone that way.
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Old 09-14-17, 09:16 PM
  #22  
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Lets see if this works better. I painted and put the original fenders back on. The front fender was in really bad shape so I pounded it back as good as I could and cut off the rest. Then the 1 piece crank was bent out of shape where it wouldn't rotate so I took it to a local artist who put in a forge and pounded the bend out of it. Also put some pegs on it incase I need to give some girls a ride. Front fork was not salvageable and picked a used one up for $10 from a local used bike shop.
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Old 09-23-17, 07:58 AM
  #23  
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I've put some more miles on this and am continued to be surprised at how well it works considering the price. The only major bummer to me are the brakes. I can NOT get them to stop squealing and the feel is awful - way too spongey.

I've pretty much given up on the internal gear hub and resigned myself to using a derailluer, which I'm ok with because it does shift pretty well. So now I'm looking at drum brake hubs but having never ridden with them I'm not sure how I'd like them? Feel? Power? Unknowns to me. Also, I'm not sure how involved it would be to mount them on a bike that wasn't designed for them. I can braze whatever on the front fork and repaint that since it's a solid color but anything on the frame would be major rework.

So... the most likely plan is new rims (which I originally figured it would need anyway) and higher quality brakes. Considering I haven't gotten around to installing the pedals or fender braces I bought earlier, don't plan on anything happening soon. For now I just brake a little as possible...

Actually, I wonder if the wheels from my Rockhopper Comp would fit on this? And maybe even the brakes? Hmm... time for more research!
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Old 09-23-17, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
I've put some more miles on this and am continued to be surprised at how well it works considering the price. The only major bummer to me are the brakes. I can NOT get them to stop squealing and the feel is awful - way too spongey.

I've pretty much given up on the internal gear hub and resigned myself to using a derailluer, which I'm ok with because it does shift pretty well. So now I'm looking at drum brake hubs but having never ridden with them I'm not sure how I'd like them? Feel? Power? Unknowns to me. Also, I'm not sure how involved it would be to mount them on a bike that wasn't designed for them. I can braze whatever on the front fork and repaint that since it's a solid color but anything on the frame would be major rework.

So... the most likely plan is new rims (which I originally figured it would need anyway) and higher quality brakes. Considering I haven't gotten around to installing the pedals or fender braces I bought earlier, don't plan on anything happening soon. For now I just brake a little as possible...

Actually, I wonder if the wheels from my Rockhopper Comp would fit on this? And maybe even the brakes? Hmm... time for more research!

Could the wimpy braking be caused by low quality gables? The squealing is probably just crappy pads. People rave about the KoolStop salmon colored pads. Might give those a shot before a total replacement job.
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Old 09-23-17, 01:02 PM
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I probably should try replacing the pads before gogin too far with it. The one's on there do seem junky, a lot more dust than I'm used to seeing. And when the dust is cleaned the brakes don't squeal again right away.

Thanks for the brand recomendation, I've been out of it too long to know what's decent anymore.
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