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1954 Schwinn Hornet takes on water after a rain?

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1954 Schwinn Hornet takes on water after a rain?

Old 05-01-19, 12:26 AM
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1954 Schwinn Hornet takes on water after a rain?

I've found this out after turning it over a couple times. Not something that happens with my other bikes that sit outside. Why?

I have to take it to the shop for BB bearings, might as well fix this too. She's 65 and has a double jointed kickstand as it is.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:44 AM
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It's getting in from somewhere - Seat tube, head tube, or bottom bracket.
Some folks use silicone caulking at the seat post exit, etc.
For the bottom bracket, about the best you can do is to grease it well with waterproof boat trailer grease.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:40 AM
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During the BB work ask the shop to drill a shell drain hole.

Water gets into just about anything given time and motivation. We often see drips coming out of bikes during working on them. Andy
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Old 05-01-19, 07:12 AM
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Does it have an open top seatpost with a wrap-around saddle clamp? That could be the water's entry point.
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Old 05-02-19, 12:11 AM
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You tell me.


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Old 05-02-19, 12:12 AM
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I really don't intend to drill a drain hole in this bike.
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Old 05-02-19, 05:47 AM
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Yes, it seems to have an open top seatpost and, if you are unwilling to drill a drain hole, expect water and rust, in that frame. It's lasted 65 years so far but the water will see to it it doesn't last another 65.
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Old 05-02-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I really don't intend to drill a drain hole in this bike.
That's up to you, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it. If water is getting in, it's best if it has a way to get out.
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Old 05-02-19, 03:29 PM
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What do you mean by 'open top seat post'? It's no different than any other bike I have ever owned. I don't have any such problems with my Rollfasts...I think it's missing a seal in the head tube or something as it didn't start happening until the stem and fork separated earlier this year and I had it in for repairs. I've owned this bike for nearly two years.
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Old 05-03-19, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
What do you mean by 'open top seat post'? It's no different than any other bike I have ever owned. I don't have any such problems with my Rollfasts...I think it's missing a seal in the head tube or something as it didn't start happening until the stem and fork separated earlier this year and I had it in for repairs. I've owned this bike for nearly two years.
An open top seat post is essentially a hollow tube. Most modern seat posts are closed at the top, with the seat rail clamp integral to the seat post itself. By the design of your seat (wide, hangs low), it's probably not likely that water is entering here.

Headsets don't typically have "seals". Some of them do, but I don't think you Schwinn's would by design. That's not to say you couldn't put a little sillycone somewhere up there, if you knew where water was getting in.

I think you really have three choices, to keep this frame in the good shape it's in now:
  1. Store the bike inside, or covered.
  2. Drill a drain hole in the bottom bracket.
  3. Try to seal the point of entry (could be many places).

I don't think #3 will be very effective, at least not long term. #s 1 and 2 are probably your best best. #1 will save the rest of the bike as well (chrome, paint, etc) from the elements. #2 will at least let the water get out, after it's found its way in.
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Old 05-03-19, 06:19 AM
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One other thing that I would recommend is to treat the internal frame with some of the rust preventative treatments that are out there on the market. I treat all of my steel frames with them to ensure that they last as long as possible.
FWIW. I would never store a gem like that bike in the direct elements.
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Old 05-03-19, 07:57 AM
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Beautiful bicycle ��
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Old 05-04-19, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
One other thing that I would recommend is to treat the internal frame with some of the rust preventative treatments that are out there on the market. I treat all of my steel frames with them to ensure that they last as long as possible.
FWIW. I would never store a gem like that bike in the direct elements.
My house is tiny and I have four others out there, soon to be seven others. My avatar has been outside for maybe 12 years now. I don't think the housing inspector would like me to keep 3 Schwinns, 3 Rollfasts, a Shelby and a J.C. Higgins in the house...and they are all daily drivers.

It's not crazy like the guru who had 92 Rolls Royces...too many enablers in togas for him, I build these to ride. If I could build a roof over them from the side of my shed I would but that's really not happening, and I doubt Darla was stored any different before me except for being in Arizona.
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Old 05-04-19, 02:20 AM
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PS The question had nothing to do with draining the water, it was why it's there in the first place and that's a brand new one on me after 45 years.
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Old 05-04-19, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, it seems to have an open top seatpost and, if you are unwilling to drill a drain hole, expect water and rust, in that frame. It's lasted 65 years so far but the water will see to it it doesn't last another 65.
I have a couple of older bikes with open seat posts like this Raleigh Olympian. I also like cut-out saddles so It's imperative I have some type of cover to keep water out when the bike is in the rain. A pretty simple method is to get a large headed plastic screw from Lowes or HD and glue it over the seat post hole.

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Old 05-04-19, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I think it's missing a seal in the head tube or something as it didn't start happening until the stem and fork separated earlier this year and I had it in for repairs. I've owned this bike for nearly two years.
Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
You tell me.

Is that bike supposed to have a washer above the top bearing race, but under the locknut on the headset?

I was looking at my bike with a threaded fork and if that washer would be missing, water would funnel in past the inner I.D. of the bearing race even with the locknut present.

Scroll down to mid-page in first link
https://custommotoredbicycles.com/stems_goose_neck_threadless_headsets_1inch1_18_inch

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Bicycle-H...-/110939208460

On second thought, I think all that would happen is the steer tube threads would get rusted.

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Old 05-05-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Beautiful bicycle ��
Ah, somebody got it.
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Old 05-05-19, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Is that bike supposed to have a washer above the top bearing race, but under the locknut on the headset?

I was looking at my bike with a threaded fork and if that washer would be missing, water would funnel in past the inner I.D. of the bearing race even with the locknut present.

Scroll down to mid-page in first link
https://custommotoredbicycles.com/stems_goose_neck_threadless_headsets_1inch1_18_inch

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Bicycle-H...-/110939208460

On second thought, I think all that would happen is the steer tube threads would get rusted.
You're on the right track. It's in the shop now so money has been thrown, it will work out.
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Old 05-06-19, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I really don't intend to drill a drain hole in this bike.
If it's a collectible bike that you want to keep original then the solution would seem to be storing it inside.
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Old 05-09-19, 10:09 PM
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If the next owner wants it that way after I die, that's up to them. The fenders were from a '48 and repainted, the rack is a repro from Bicyclebones and the tank I'm preparing had battery damage below the horn. I'm not a museum, and this small house is already chock full o' stuff. The housing authority won't stand for it either, and I have EIGHT bikes.

But thanks for all of your concerns. We've had rains all year and this was a new problem that surfaced after I had the stem and fork rejoined.
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