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Updating A Classic

Old 02-04-13, 03:53 PM
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valentin_84
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Updating A Classic

I'm going to try to help my buddy bring his old school Schwinn back to life. I'd REALLY appreciate some guidance please!

He said it's all Shimano, 3 gears up front and 6 in rear. Only other thing it says is "M5 Light Action". The shifters are mounted on the frame. He wants to bring it into the modern age with handlebar shifters and all. Can we keep the original gears and derailleurs and just get new cables and shifters, or does it all have to go?

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated!
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Old 02-04-13, 03:57 PM
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Check out this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...STI-s-or-Ergos
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Old 02-04-13, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by valentin_84 View Post
Can we keep the original gears and derailleurs and just get new cables and shifters, or does it all have to go?
So he wants brifters? How many speeds in the rear? There aren't any brifters that will shift a 6S rear, and since it's probably a friction shifting freewheel setup I'm guessing you will need:

- Shifters
- Both derailers
- Cassette
- Chain
- New rear wheel
- Possibly a new crankset depending what shifters you go with.

Once you add all this up you could probably buy a new bike. Better to narrow down the goal and figure out what the drivetrain is right now. Not nearly enough information has been provided to give a good response.
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Old 02-04-13, 06:05 PM
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Modernizing this bike to current technology will be a money pit like you can't imagine. Get some realistic estimates and I'm fairly sure you will find buying a new or modern used bike will be a lot more attractive.

Unless this bike has trememndous sentimental value, start with something more suitable.
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Old 02-04-13, 06:33 PM
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I would only recommend upgrading the bike if the frame is straight and in excellent condition, it's one of the higher end models, and it fits him well. Even then, the idea of you helping him, with not knowing that you can't just add the shifters and cables, indicates that it's not a good idea. I'm betting that the examples in the link were of people who for the most part had a lot more experience and knowledge under their belts. What you are contemplating is not only expensive, it's a fairly complex and very time consuming exercise when starting from a point of relatively little knowledge.
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Old 02-04-13, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
So he wants brifters? How many speeds in the rear? There aren't any brifters that will shift a 6S rear, and since it's probably a friction shifting freewheel setup I'm guessing you will need:

- Shifters
- Both derailers
- Cassette
- Chain
- New rear wheel
- Possibly a new crankset depending what shifters you go with.

Once you add all this up you could probably buy a new bike. Better to narrow down the goal and figure out what the drivetrain is right now. Not nearly enough information has been provided to give a good response.
What about a 7spd brifter and setting the cable limit so it can't click to the 7th?
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Old 02-04-13, 06:46 PM
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what model schwinn is this? is this a road or mountain bike? mostly shimano with 3x6 sounds to me like a mid 80s bike.

one option would be bar end friction shifters, thats what we put on my son's 1980s Trek road bike which is currently 2x7.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
What about a 7spd brifter and setting the cable limit so it can't click to the 7th?
Won't work. The spacing between the cogs is different. As cny-bikeman concluded, this whole project seems beyond your level of expertise. Sorry to be so negative but, as I said above it can, and will, turn into a shocking money pit.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Originally Posted by bradchu
Suntour Winner Pro 6-speed freewheel
(snip)
2) Sora 7-8 speed brifters (do I need a new freewheel?)







Won't work. The spacing between the cogs is different. As cny-bikeman concluded, this whole project seems beyond your level of expertise. Sorry to be so negative but, as I said above it can, and will, turn into a shocking money pit.
wow thanks for pointing that out.. somehow I skimmed over this it is his buddies bike. Yeah, don't do it man.

And Hill your right, it's 8 spd you need to do it.
Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post
"You may already be a winner."

There were two ways to build an Suntour Winner Pro 6-speed freewheel. Standard and "Ultra" Spacing. IIRC most were "Ultra", which just happened to have the same cog to cog spacing that Shimano later used for their 8 speed cassettes. I've used 8 speed grip shifters with Suntour Ultra 7 winners. The shifter just had a 7th click that didn't get me another gear.

Last edited by RaleighSport; 02-04-13 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-04-13, 08:12 PM
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There were two ways to build an Suntour Winner Pro 6-speed freewheel. Standard and "Ultra" Spacing. IIRC most were "Ultra", which just happened to have the same cog to cog spacing that Shimano later used for their 8 speed cassettes. I've used 8 speed grip shifters with Suntour Ultra 7 winners. The shifter just had a 7th click that didn't get me another gear.
Yes, Sun Tour made both "standard" and "Ultra" spaced 6-speed freewheels but, I believe standard spacing was far more common. If the bike in question has 126 mm dropout spacing the freewheel is very likely standard spaced. Ultra was a work-around to get 6 cogs to fit in the same space as a standard 5-speed freewheel in a 120 mm spaced frame and was a bit of a specialty item.

It's correct that the following 7-speed freewheels and cassettes were very close to Ultra 6 spacing and, incidentally, very close to or identical to 8-speed spacing.
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Old 02-04-13, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by valentin_84 View Post
I'm going to try to help my buddy bring his old school Schwinn back to life. I'd REALLY appreciate some guidance please!

He said it's all Shimano, 3 gears up front and 6 in rear. Only other thing it says is "M5 Light Action". The shifters are mounted on the frame. He wants to bring it into the modern age with handlebar shifters and all. Can we keep the original gears and derailleurs and just get new cables and shifters, or does it all have to go?

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated!
I've done it many times. But unless you are extremely resourceful, it is going to take a pile of cash. You are basically going to transplant a modern drivetrain onto an old frame. So you keep the old frame, handlebars, stem, seat post, saddle, and most everything gets changed. (OK, you can reuse the front wheel, but if you are anal like me, the wheels need to match. And you can keep the old brakes, but if you want modern, then the brakes will need to go).

And who is going to do the work? The labor if you pay a shop will be substantial as well.

I've done a few 7 speeds using 8 speed STI. Not ideal, but close.

Even if you are very resourceful, a used modern bike will cost you less $$.

A couple of my keeper upgrades. The only thing original in either one are the forks, frames, and headsets:

1992 Paramount Series 5, originally 7 speed DT Shimano 105, now 8 speed STI, mainly Shimano 600 tricolor:



1987 Schwinn Prologue, was 7 speed tricolor, now 9 speed Dura Ace STI (wheels are Shimano 600):


Last edited by wrk101; 02-04-13 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-04-13, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, Sun Tour made both "standard" and "Ultra" spaced 6-speed freewheels but, I believe standard spacing was far more common. If the bike in question has 126 mm dropout spacing the freewheel is very likely standard spaced. Ultra was a work-around to get 6 cogs to fit in the same space as a standard 5-speed freewheel in a 120 mm spaced frame and was a bit of a specialty item.

It's correct that the following 7-speed freewheels and cassettes were very close to Ultra 6 spacing and, incidentally, very close to or identical to 8-speed spacing.
Just to clarify, I'm not endorsing or saying it'd be worth doing, just that it can possibly be done.
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Old 02-04-13, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by valentin_84 View Post
Can we keep the original gears and derailleurs and just get new cables and shifters, or does it all have to go?
Empty it over a bin.

Actually, this project would make sense if you can find a modern bike with a trashed frame for cheap...

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Old 02-04-13, 11:28 PM
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we don't even know WHAT 'old school schwinn' this is, with 3x6 shimano gearing.

is it a steel or an aluminum frame? if its aluminum, you aren't going to cold stretch it to fit a 130mm or 135mm wheel.

is it a road or a mountain bike?
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Old 02-04-13, 11:41 PM
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I'm gonna keep repeating this until I see other folks saying it: you can run a full-width cassette in a 126mm OLD with no worries if you use an off-centre rim.

The rim only needs a 2mm offset to give it the same dish as a 130mm wheel with a plain rim.

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Old 02-05-13, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Empty it over a bin.

Actually, this project would make sense if you can find a modern bike with a trashed frame for cheap...
well, you guys have given me A LOT to think about. But I think this is probably the best answer. Probably pretty damn hard to find though :-/
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Old 02-05-13, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by valentin_84 View Post
well, you guys have given me A LOT to think about. But I think this is probably the best answer. Probably pretty damn hard to find though :-/
I'm still curious, what exact bike is this? I didn't see if it was road or mountain or hybrid or what. Also do you have a picture or few of the bike?
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Old 02-06-13, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I'm still curious, what exact bike is this? I didn't see if it was road or mountain or hybrid or what. Also do you have a picture or few of the bike?
It's a road bike. No model name anywhere on it...
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Old 02-06-13, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by valentin_84 View Post
It's a road bike. No model name anywhere on it...
I'm guessing a mid to late '80s Schwinn Voyager. The Trure Temper sticker throws me though, from researching, it appears that most Voyagers from that period used Columbus tubing unless that is the same thing?

Does the Schwinn head tube emblem have a date code on it? THat will narrow the frame down a lot. But for now considering it has a triple crankset, I'm guessing Voyager since that is Schwinn's touring bike.
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Old 02-06-13, 11:30 AM
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That's not a triple crankset! The serial number, head badge, brand/model of hub and rims would probably be enough to identify it. Even the ideal of a wrecked frame and perfect, compatible parts does not necessarily justify an inexperienced person, probably not possessing the proper tools, transferring the parts to a Schwinn frame. There's nothing outstanding enough about that frame to recommend it.
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Old 02-06-13, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
That's not a triple crankset! The serial number, head badge, brand/model of hub and rims would probably be enough to identify it. Even the ideal of a wrecked frame and perfect, compatible parts does not necessarily justify an inexperienced person, probably not possessing the proper tools, transferring the parts to a Schwinn frame. There's nothing outstanding enough about that frame to recommend it.
What are you talking about? Look at the pictures the OP posted just 2 posts up. There are 3 pictures where you can see the triple crankset.

I just noticed that the OP said that the bike was 3x6. I did a little more research and I think the might also be a Le Tour or Passage. This is a fun mystery without knowing the date code on the head tube.
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Old 02-06-13, 12:18 PM
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Not all old bikes are classics. Most of them are just old bikes.
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Old 02-06-13, 12:43 PM
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everything you change on that bike will make it less classic. if the wheels run true, and the cogs aren't excessively worn, I'd give it new cables, new brake pads, new chain, adjust, and ride the pants off it. if you really don't like downtube shifters, move them to bar end shifters aka barcons. there's a barcon kit that uses your existing shift levers.
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Old 02-06-13, 12:52 PM
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Technically, only bar end shifters made by Suntour are Barcons. It was their proprietary name for them.
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Old 02-06-13, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Modernizing this bike to current technology will be a money pit like you can't imagine. Get some realistic estimates and I'm fairly sure you will find buying a new or modern used bike will be a lot more attractive.

Unless this bike has trememndous sentimental value, start with something more suitable.
Yep. Keep it close to stock. I'm in the process of getting a '72 Schwinn Continental back on the road. I looked into what it would take to modernize the gear set-up. It would be several hundred dollars & I would end up with an overweight mediocre road bike that looks odd. The Continental is going to have 2 x 6 with different stem shifters. That's it. Now I have a charming period piece.
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