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1962 Schwinn Cruiser Weight Limit?

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1962 Schwinn Cruiser Weight Limit?

Old 04-08-20, 10:13 AM
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Nikon Fan
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1962 Schwinn Cruiser Weight Limit?

Recently purchased a vintage Schwinn Cruiser (1962 per the serial number) in very good condition. Chrome rims and fenders are nearly spotless, everything on it is original in nearly immaculate condition. Bike appears to have been either very well taken care of or garage-kept. Only issue with it was the speedometer, so I removed it (probably going to purchase another one in the future).

I test-rode it briefly when I purchased it to make sure it was working properly. I would like to now ride around the block a few times to truly see how it feels, but I am concerned about the weight limit it will hold.

While I know these bikes were built like tanks, I also know that people in the early 1960's were not as fat as we are today. Also, given the age of this bike I'm assuming some internal parts (bearings, etc) might be at their life's end, so I worry about putting my 240 pound body on this bike. Will the slim seat post hold? Will the pedals hold? Will the spokes bend?

All my newer bikes are manufactured to hold 300+ pounds, so this was never really too much of a concern for me. This time it does worry me because I don't want to destroy this vintage beauty (or hurt myself in the process).

p.s. This bike is authentic, not a reproduction. I checked every minute detail on it and I am very familiar with old Schwinn bikes (except for their weight tolerances).

Last edited by Nikon Fan; 04-08-20 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 04-08-20, 12:18 PM
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Ok, so, Since no one replied I decided to take the risk and ride it. I rode it 3.5 miles around my neighborhood. It survived. Thanks all.
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Old 04-08-20, 01:17 PM
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That's a great looking bike. Congrats!
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Old 04-08-20, 01:26 PM
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That is sharp! Congrats.
As well built as they were, I would be surprised if 240 lbs would kill it.
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Old 04-08-20, 05:00 PM
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The American was a good bike and sold well. Called American as it was totally made of American produced parts. Production stopped when Schwinn could no longer buy some bike part as they were no longer made in the USA. Roger
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Old 04-09-20, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikon Fan View Post
Ok, so, Since no one replied I decided to take the risk and ride it. I rode it 3.5 miles around my neighborhood. It survived. Thanks all.
I used to ride my '95 at 301 lbs. If it's electroforged that frame is like a tank.

The RIMS, that could be another story. The bearings too. Alloy rims would be recommended.
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Old 04-10-20, 09:34 AM
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That bicycle is beautiful. If that's in original condition (not restored) I would think it has some value.

As far a weight capacity in concerned I'm sure you have nothing to worry about. Even in the case of bikes that have published weight limits, those limits were very conservative, you could exceed them buy quite a bit without problem.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:26 PM
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Thanks everyone! During that 3.5 mile ride I realized it was heavier than I expected! Something I had not considered were the tires; will I be able to find a replacement for them? The tires on it still have thread, however the sidewalls are cracked (possibly due to age). I have been checking online and no one seems to have them in stock. Not sure if I can mount newer/wider tires on these rims without affecting the distance between the tires and the fenders. I would like to get whitewall tires for it if possible.

On another note, I was able to find 3 more old Schwinn cruisers at a great price but in rough condition (they need a new paint job plus most parts are rusted). I have been thinking of restoring at least one of them; not to original specs, but upgraded into a nice custom cruiser (new rims, custom accessories, etc.). I'm hoping/assuming I can use the original frames with custom parts.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:26 PM
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Nice bike
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Old 04-14-20, 12:02 AM
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If the sidewalls are cracked stay off until you can find new ones. I know that it doesn't sound right but at least the Bells you can get a Walmart or other dept stores will do, especially is they have the knobby tread. After 50-60 years getting vintage or repros is expensive and if this is your daily driver you'll probably want good, fairly new tires.

I recommend getting tire liners and Slime (sealant) to prolong the life of your tubes. If you want the tires it came with I would go to ebay and look for sellers like Bicyclebones.
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Old 04-14-20, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
If the sidewalls are cracked stay off until you can find new ones. I know that it doesn't sound right but at least the Bells you can get a Walmart or other dept stores will do, especially is they have the knobby tread. After 50-60 years getting vintage or repros is expensive and if this is your daily driver you'll probably want good, fairly new tires.

I recommend getting tire liners and Slime (sealant) to prolong the life of your tubes. If you want the tires it came with I would go to ebay and look for sellers like Bicyclebones.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-14-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikon Fan View Post
Thanks everyone! During that 3.5 mile ride I realized it was heavier than I expected! Something I had not considered were the tires; will I be able to find a replacement for them? The tires on it still have thread, however the sidewalls are cracked (possibly due to age). I have been checking online and no one seems to have them in stock. Not sure if I can mount newer/wider tires on these rims without affecting the distance between the tires and the fenders. I would like to get whitewall tires for it if possible.

On another note, I was able to find 3 more old Schwinn cruisers at a great price but in rough condition (they need a new paint job plus most parts are rusted). I have been thinking of restoring at least one of them; not to original specs, but upgraded into a nice custom cruiser (new rims, custom accessories, etc.). I'm hoping/assuming I can use the original frames with custom parts.
What size tires are on the bike now?

With the tires inflated up to max pressure shown on the sidewall, how much room is between each side of the tires and the fender braces? And how much distance is from the outer diameter of the tires to the fender itself (paying attention to rivets and screws protruding inside the fender)?

Maybe you can go up one tire size, and maybe you can't.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
What size tires are on the bike now?

With the tires inflated up to max pressure shown on the sidewall, how much room is between each side of the tires and the fender braces? And how much distance is from the outer diameter of the tires to the fender itself (paying attention to rivets and screws protruding inside the fender)?

Maybe you can go up one tire size, and maybe you can't.

Looks likey are 26" 1 &1/4". From what I can tell there seems to be at least 1/2" clearance between the surface of the tires to the ri its inside the fenders.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikon Fan View Post
Looks likey are 26" 1 &1/4". From what I can tell there seems to be at least 1/2" clearance between the surface of the tires to the ri its inside the fenders.
Width clearance from sidewall of tire to the braces are 1/2" per side?
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Old 04-14-20, 11:50 AM
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By the way, here's a source for gumwall or blackwall versions of that size tire.
https://www.harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1836
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Old 04-14-20, 11:58 AM
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Some whitewall tires here.
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Old 04-14-20, 12:01 PM
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Some 26"x1-3/8" tires with white walls here with this search.

Last edited by FiftySix; 04-14-20 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 04-14-20, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Some 26"x1-3/8" tires with white walls here with this search.
Thanks for the links!!!
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Old 04-14-20, 09:51 PM
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BAck in the 70s I had a late 40s early 50s Schwinn that I bought to deliver papers on. It had a ginormous basket and I would load it with 50-70 lbs of papers I was a good 160 and would ride my brother on the rear rack some times. Those things could take the abuse and just never quit.

Unless its making noise I'm sure all the bearings are fine, A little grease and that thing will outlast us all.
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Old 04-17-20, 11:05 AM
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Ooops. Looks like I gave uneducated advice. My apologies.
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Old 04-17-20, 09:47 PM
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Wow, nice bike! That looks to be in absolutely great shape. We had a local Schwinn dealer in the town that I lived in. The guy that ran the shop was easily over 300 lbs. He would get on the bikes as start bouncing on it to prove how strong Schwinn bikes were. You will have no problem what so ever. Remember they had a lifetime warranty. I did see only one electro-forged Schwinn frame come in for warranty replacement when I worked in the same shop years later. It belonged to a motivated paper boy that was no light weight himself and he probably loaded about a hundred pounds or more of papers on the bike. He had a huge basket up front and a pair of double baskets in the back, then carried more papers on top of the double baskets and he had a bag over his shoulder.

The bike was a Schwinn Heavy Duti. The reason for the warranty replacement was that the kickstand mount broke off.

The hand grips turn tan over time. I have had good luck with getting them white again with Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush. If that doesn't do the trick try hydrogen peroxide.

Get your new tires, and enjoy.
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Old 04-29-20, 07:04 PM
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Rad bike
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Old 05-14-20, 05:59 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Nikon Fan View Post
Recently purchased a vintage Schwinn Cruiser (1962 per the serial number) in very good condition. Chrome rims and fenders are nearly spotless, everything on it is original in nearly immaculate condition. Bike appears to have been either very well taken care of or garage-kept.
Really nice! The first thing I noticed was the lack of the usual dents and paint loss near the front of that slimline tank. I guess that's one advantage of not having a front rack. I'm not a big fan of those front fender lights, and for me these need to have whitewalls, but it's still a great specimen. A vintage ('59 to '64ish) Schwinn middleweight (Corvette, Jaguar, Panther, American) in great original condition is something I've had my eyes open for.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:51 PM
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As for NEW replacement tires, check out some very recent threads over there on CABE. (GOOGLE c.a.b.e. forums )

There are discussions on the NEWEST schwinn brick tread pattern tire that one Chinese tire manufacturer has recently begun to produce.
The folks that have bought and installed them seem to be extremely happy with these tires.
The consensus from the folks is that these are the best tires that have ever been offered in terms of quality and fit.
I don't have a classic middleweight SCHWINN but my beach house neighbors ride them. This NEW Chinese tire that is made in the old SCHWINN size looks really good and it has a more bulbous, sort of balloon like appearance since the contact patch portion of the tire seems less rounded and more car-like with a perhaps more square shaped, wider appearance, though it may not actually be any wider than the sixty year old originals that they mostly copy.
The tires are relatively inexpensive but it seems that only certain merchants with a clientele of folks who ride ancient Schwinn middleweights have them in stock in the USA. The cabers over on the c.a.b.e forums will direct you to who has them in the USA or other web sources direct from China or Hong Kong.


Weight would be no issue for these super-strong ancient Schwinns.
The idiotic reply from someone that somehow that replacement Aluminum wheels would be stronger than the original chromed steel wheels is just laughable!
Yeah, the aluminum wheels would be lighter, and LIGHTER IS TYPICALLY PREFERRABLE TO THE LIGHTWEIGHT-Road Bike ENTHUSIASTS.
This ain't no dang lightweight road bike!! It is a very heavy, slow speed cruiser where ride comfort and stable manners of the traditional tourist handlebars give effortless upright riding in comfort albeit at VERY SLOW (by roadbiker standards) SPEEDS.
You've got plenty of steel spokes lacing those steel rims to the hubs................ Those are rock solid, heavy, and strong UNLESS severely rusted which as we can see, that bike looks almost brand new, though it is almost 60 years old.
The idiotic comment about the Wheel Bearings is laughable too! The person who mentioned that is absolutely clueless!
It is not a lightweight road bike! Everything on that "Middleweight" SCHWINN is heavy and overbuilt to withstand much more abuse than you could ever hope to do to it, even if you did try your best to abuse and destroy it!
SCHWINN took pride in using the best quality bearings that were the most durable and longest lasting.
UNLESS DAMAGED FROM RUST -or- UNLESS DAMAGED FROM BEING REPEATEDLY RIDDEN WITH ZERO GREASE, the bearings will likely be perfect and would only at best, need to be cleaned and re-greased.
The one thing that you gotta watch out for when Large and Tall adults decide to hit the road on ancient Schwinns and other ancient cruisers IS THE SEATPOST HEIGHT.
You gotta watch out that you do keep MORE THAN THE MINIMUM PORTION inserted in the seat post tube of the bicycle frame.
IF YOU NEED MORE, MY RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE TO PURCHASE A PHYSICALLY LONGER Chrome Plated 13/16" diameter Schwinn SEATPOST.
They are easy to find because Sting-Ray banana seat bikes had very long ones. By doing so, you'll simply have a much much longer portion down in the frame tube for the seatpost. Yeah, it will make the bike slightly heavier because of the additional weight of the more lengthy seat post..............who cares as it is a cruiser and not a road bike. My recommendation for the CHROME PLATED version is that my belief is the Chrome Plated Version is more rigid and my belief is that would be better for someone nearing the 300 pound weight range. WALD currently makes reproduction 13/16" diameter Schwinn type seat posts in various lengths. I don't think it matters in terms of what is stronger, the current production 13/16" diameter posts that WALD makes today, or the original Schwinn 13/16" diameter posts of the fifties through the seventies. Obviously you don't want to try to use the smallest frame sized bicycle with a super-jacked up, long seatpost if you're the size of an NFL lineman or an NBA center, but something like your middleweight Schwinn is more than big enough.
Yours is a great looking bicycle. Ride it proudly and have fun in the sun on it!
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Old 05-15-20, 06:31 AM
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The weak point is the seatpost. I have a Klunker built on a 1953 schwinn DX frame. I will bend a stock seatpost in one ride on the trails. I hammered a solid round bar stock into the last seatpost many years ago and it has held up ever since. The ride is pretty flexi, I can watch the fork flexing from front to back on even smooth trails, but it handles good.
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