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old schwinn upgrade

Old 09-09-09, 10:26 PM
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jcutch
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old schwinn upgrade

I am new to cycling, especially road bikes. I also have very little money to spend on the sport. My friend gave me an old Schwinn road bike. Not sure of the year or model but I would say early 80s. I would love to get this thing up and running and have a functional road bike to ride around.

The main thing I need are new wheels. the current ones are steel and they are horribly bent. they are 27". I have been looking for a good pair of alloy wheels, preferably quick release. the cheapest I have found are from Niagara cycling. but it appears they don't come with any cogs on the back wheel? do I need to find a wheel set with the same amount of cogs as my old ones? is it possible to just buy the wheels and put the cassette I have on the new wheels? any help would be great.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:15 AM
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Yes you can. A shop charges about $5 to remove or you could spend a lot more to buy your own tools.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:30 AM
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A tool to remove your freewheel (you call them cogs) is under ten bucks - probably $6.00 or $7.00. Make sure you get the right one for the type of freewheel you have. There are many different kinds and you have to get it exactly right. You might even buy the tool from your LBS if they carry them or can order it for you. Bring in your wheel so they can get it right. If your bike is from the eighties instead of the seventies, you are in luck. The older freewheel keys/tools with two or four prongs really sucked.

Anyway, you might as well get the tool because you will need it next time you break a spoke. By the way, make sure to harvest and keep the spokes from the wheel you are throwing away. One of the magical things about the old 27" wheels is that the spokes were pretty standard. Sure, there were some variations, but most of them use common spoke lengths.

Another great way to get cheap wheels is buying old bikes at thrift stores and yard sales and cannibalizing the parts. The hard part is that the bike you cannibalize is often as good or better than the bike you are fixing.

Good luck with your bike. If it is that old, consider cleaning and re-greasing all the bearings; wheels, bottom bracket, headset. Your bike will thank you for it with a smoother ride and longevity.

You will need bearing cone wrenches and a bottom bracket wrench, but remember - all the tools you need will cost you less than one tank of gasoline.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:33 AM
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I have just finished equipping an old Schwinn Paramount to use as a touring bike, and completely renovating a 73 Motobecane. You can still find new rims on ebay (NOS=new old stock) and many places on ebay will still have NOS freewheels. Hint: go to ebay, click on advanced search, go to bottom and search only items from seller "bicyclists_retreat". Type it in just like that. This vendor sells nothing but parts for older bikes from the 70's and 80's. Mind you, it will cost you to bring that bike back to great condition, and when you are finished, you will most likely have to resort to places like ebay to find replacement parts as needed, and they will only get harder and harder to find. I found 27" rims on ebay just now "http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=27%3A+rims&_sacat=See-All-Categories" Good luck and feel free to PM me for any particular questions regarding that Schwinn.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:03 PM
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thanks for all the help and suggestions, i really appreciate it. Its good to know i can have a bike shop do this for cheap, but I would also enjoy learning how to do it myself. I've been doing research online and watching videos and stuff. it looks like i need a cassette lock ring tool and a chain whip? the chain whip is what seems to be expensive. any suggestions on where to get inexpensive tools?
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Old 09-12-09, 08:14 PM
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You most likely don't have a cassette, and therefore, you won't need a chain whip. Just the freewheel removal tool, and (because of the age of the bike) a near limitless supply of explosive muscle power, oh and a very large wrench.

By the by, I'm all for doing your own wrenching, but on a 20+ yr old freewheel, I would take it to the LBS. That thing will seriously be seized up.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:24 PM
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Ask yourself if this bike is worth dumping money into first of all. Replacing the wheels is a fairly big expense.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:24 PM
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Hi icutch -
If you feel compelled to learn how to do it your self and are watching "how to" videos, you have been bitten by the bug, and may as well face up to the fact that every conceivable nook and cranny in your garage will soon be occupied by bikes in various stages of disrepair or completion. (It is eminently satisfying to see the transition).

There are lots of on-line stores that carry bike tools and you can read some opinions on some of them in this thread:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=581820

Good luck with your project and may there be many more.
-A
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Old 09-12-09, 08:45 PM
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ok, now i'm a bit confused. I was pretty sure I have a cassette. the bicycle wheel itself moves freely with out the set of cogs rotating. meaning i can spin the set of cogs backwards with the entire wheel remaining completely stationary, is that a cassette or a free wheel?

Also, i have definitely gotten the bug, its fun. I like bikes but i cant afford even ones I've seen on craigslist. but i think i can get this thing going with new wheels for about 60 to 80 bucks and then some new cables and it should be good to go! i hope.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:57 PM
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That's both freewheel's and cassette's.

The difference, the freehub is integrated into a freewheel and screws onto the bub as a single unit. The cassette is just that, a group of cogs that slide onto the freehub, and then a lockring keeps the cassette clamped in place on the freehub.



I'm betting 99.9999% percent you have a freewheel. My 1986 Schwinn Voyageur (with 27" wheels) had a 5 speed freewheel.

Freewheel (I'm assuming yours looks just like this, probably even the same spline pattern):



And not like this:


Last edited by johnknappcc; 09-12-09 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 09-13-09, 10:20 AM
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Btw, the "bent" wheels may simply need truing rather than replacing. Has a mechanic seen this bike?

See here for some research links.
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Old 09-13-09, 10:26 AM
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What model Schwinn ?
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Old 09-13-09, 04:19 PM
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If it has steel rims replace them with al. wheels. You can get new 700 style wheels and have more tires to choose from. Make sure that the brakes can be lowered about 1/4" before you go with the 700 wheels.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:45 PM
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ok. so I'm oretty sure i have a free wheel then. Assuming this is true, can i just buy these wheels "http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_info.php?products_id=34353" get the free wheel removal tool and swap the old free wheel onto this new back wheel? is it that simple or are there some more bumps i may encounter?
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Old 09-14-09, 09:02 AM
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I would want to decipher the cryptic "SF" in Niagara's product description:
"Wheelmaster Rear 27 x 1-1/4 Wheel SF Quick Release A Ly".

Take a good look at the Park repair website: It's a good resource for getting started...
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=48

-I should highlight some lessons for using the recommended freewheel removal tool, that I learned on my 1st unsupervised attempt:

1) Once you seat it on the FW, insert the skewer and nut it, just loose enough so that it can break free, but secure enough so the removal tool cannot back out of the cogs, and cause injury to you, or it.
2) (This may obvious, but it is better to do this with a tire on the wheel, so you have a grip).
3) Use a big wrench - it's easier and safer. (I use the one pictured below)

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Old 09-14-09, 04:56 PM
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Find your bike here and maybe we can help you more... http://www.trfindley.com/pg_schwinn_cats.htm
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Old 09-15-09, 10:34 PM
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so i'm pretty sure its a world sport, from the 80's. its hard to tell cause the paint and writting is all worn off. is there anywhere i can find a cereal number or anything?

Also I'm pretty sure the free wheel on the back is a suntor with two notches... i will try to get some pictures up. that will probably help
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Old 09-17-09, 03:33 PM
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"cereal" ??

Look on the rear dropouts, and on the head tube.

Also look for signs that the cereal number was filed or ground off...
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Old 09-17-09, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jcutch View Post
so i'm pretty sure its a world sport, from the 80's. its hard to tell cause the paint and writting is all worn off. is there anywhere i can find a cereal number or anything?

Also I'm pretty sure the free wheel on the back is a suntor with two notches... i will try to get some pictures up. that will probably help
Serial # should be on the bottom bracket, turn it upside down. If it's suntour 2 notch, let the shop remove it. You can tear up a remover quick if you don't do it right.

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Old 09-17-09, 04:28 PM
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You will need to know the spacing on the back drop outs. I am guessing it is either 120mm or 126mm. Most modern hubs are spaced 130mm and would require resetting your rear triangle. The fronts are still 100mm and would be ok.
If you are replacing the wheels you might consider going with 700 series models because there are more types and sizes of tires made for them. The brake pads will need to go about 4mm lower to contact the rim.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DMF View Post
"cereal" ??

Look on the rear dropouts, and on the head tube.

Also look for signs that the cereal number was filed or ground off...
+1 on the head tube, didn't even see it until cleaning one day . . .

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Old 09-18-09, 10:57 AM
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I recall seeing a site that mapped at least some serial numbers to years of manufacture, but I don't have the link readily available. Try googling "schwinn serial number".
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Old 09-18-09, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Ask yourself if this bike is worth dumping money into first of all. Replacing the wheels is a fairly big expense.
about the best thing I've read. I have a number of old asian Schwinns, 2 I got just for the wheels & a few other bits for the use on other old ones so you need to ask yourself "where are you goin' with this ?" Unless of couse you simply must have that special bike. I've followed this post since it's inception, it's growing peculiar.
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Old 09-23-09, 01:22 PM
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ok, i'm getting a lot of info and input. I know you all mean well but it is way more than I need. I have an old bike that i am learning to work on. I'm not a serious rider, and I don't have a ton of extra time or money for this. I would just like to know how feasible it is to get new set of 27 inch wheels and put the freewheel i have (suntor, 5 cogs, 2 notch removal thingy) on a new set of wheels. I don't need any thing fancy or high preformance, just something not bent. any help would be great. thank you.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:19 PM
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I tried to offer help. You recall the question as to whether the wheels are truly bent beyond salvage? Got a pic?

Got money? Than all things are possible. But if you got money, why bother with an ancient and problematic bike?
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