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Old 09-14-05, 10:14 PM   #1
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schwinn johnny g spinning bike in bad condition. need advice.

schwinn johnny g spinning bike in bad condition. need advice.

okay, i'm an idiot. i blindly bought a schwinn johnny g spinning bike on craigslist from a guy who seemed fully honest. he said the bike had some issues with the paint but worked "flawlessly."

he was charging 170.00. he brought the bike to my house at night, i rode it for 3 minutes (STUPID!), paid him, and he left.
when i woke up, i was dismayed to see the bike was covered in rust. i tried to get some of the rust off and succeeded a bit. there is rust on the pedals, the flywheel, the brake cable/springs, the floor levelers, underneath the handlebar plastic coating, and on all the bolts. it's BAD.

to make matters worse, when sitting on the bike, the ride is reasonably smooth but noisy with clicking noises.
however, when standing, it CLUNKS with each revolution.

any suggestions on what to do? i'm miserable and could kick myself for trusting the seller.
i live in san mateo county (near san francisco).
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Old 09-14-05, 11:36 PM   #2
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The rust is easy to take care of. Remove the rusted nuts and bolts and take them to a hardware store and get stainless-steel replacements. For the rest of the rust on the bike itself, get some TurtleWax Chrome Polish and it'll take the rust off. Really stubborn thick rust can be removed with naval jelly. Then wax over that area to protect from the elements. If this bike will be outdoors, you can spray the bare metal spots with a spray-can of clear polyurethane finish. There's a particular can at hardware stores that's designed for protecting decorative bare metal like brass and copper garden pots.

The clunk is probably the pedal or bottom-bracket bearings. Spin the pedals by hand and wiggle them to see how much freeplay there is. You can take apart the pedals, clean and re-grease the bearings. Put it all back together and adjust the bearing-cone to give smooth operation.

The bottom bracket is most likely a normal cotterless-crank design. It too, can be disassembled, the bearings and bearing-cups can be replaced with new ones. Use loose bearings instead of the retainers and you can squeeze in 2 more balls for smoother operation. Grease everything up, install and adjust to give smooth operation without any freeplay.

So you're looking about about 1-3 hours worth of work max. If you can't do it yourself, most bike shops can do that work pretty easily.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-15-05 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 09-15-05, 01:00 PM   #3
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The Schwinn branded Spinning bikes use a standard cartridge BB. $20 will get you a brandy-new one. Use one of those 3M refinishing pads from Home Depot to get the rust off of the flywheel and use a rust reformer and spray paint combo to fix the frame and bars. Then tape the bars with handlebar tape to protect them, and give you a better grip on the bars. Replacement stainless hardware will complete your restoration. If you want a repair manual, go to and order the one Jeff Wimmer wrote. We just got rid of a dozen of those bikes and replaced them with the newer StarTrac model. Which bike do you have? The Elite (red wheel) or the Pro (black wheel)? If you have an Elite, keep an eye on the SmartRelease clutch on the flywheel. They can be problematic after hard service.

Good Luck

Satanic Mechanic
STAR 3 Spinning Instructor

2011 Lynskey Sportive (Shimano Ultegra 10s)
2010 Cannondale Synapse (Shimano 105 10s)
1988 Cannondale SM400 (Suntour XC-M 7s)
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