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Old 04-05-13, 09:15 AM   #1
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Schwinn Super Sport Rebuild

I rescued this bike from obscurity yesterday in the long forgotten darkness of a college house's basement. I am now looking to fix this baby up and make it ridable. I do not have a road bike, but really enjoy riding on the road. I also have quite a bit of time on my hands, and a modest budget, so I am willing to buy whatever parts and tools I need to fix this up, but do not really want to pay for anyone else to do the work (both a pride and financial issue).

So here is what I was thinking I need to do, please correct, criticize and comment:
Remove the front and rear lights
Clean everything!!!
Remove the handlebar tape and retape
I guess in theory I can rebuild the wheels, but, I was thinking to just buy new wheels, tires and tubes
The chain, crank, and rear gears look pretty good, just dirty.
For the seat, is there a way to recondition the leather seat? Or should I just replace it?
Replace the break pads

This is all I have come up with so far, what am I forgetting? What else do I need to check out?

Thanks for your help. I will keep you posted as I make improvements.
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Last edited by jhaddad8; 04-05-13 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Title change
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Old 04-05-13, 09:36 AM   #2
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The Classic & Vintage forum guys will want lots more photos. The early '70's Schwinn Super Sport you have is a bit of a rarity: it's not the "electro-forged" frame like the Varsity, but fillet-brazed chrome-moly.

Sounds like you've got a good start. I would also think about replacing the normal items that deteriorate with age: chain, cables & housings, tires & tubes. The wheels are 27" and decent quality for the time, so I wouldn't replace them. Clean them, rebuild them with new grease, and they'll be fine.

The chrome parts probably need rust removal and polish. There's a bunch of methods (again, look at the C&V forum), but as old Schwinn shop guy, I'll point you at Quick-Glo: . As long as the chrome isn't flaking, Quick-glo will restore the chrome to nearly original.
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Old 04-05-13, 10:30 AM   #3
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Those extension levers on your brakes are known as "suicide levers"; you might want to consider whether you want to keep or remove them.
Definitely replace the brake (not "break") pads; Kool Stop Salmon ones are often recommended.
You might consider replacing your cables with modern die-drawn stainless inner wires and lined housings.
In addition to the Quick-Glo mentioned above, Nevr-Dull polish works well in bright metal parts; it leaves a wax finish which helps protect the metal but is best removed from your wheels' brake tracks with alcohol.
Please keep those Vice-Grips away from your bike, they are rarely the appropriate tool for bike work.
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Old 04-05-13, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jhaddad8 View Post
I rescued this bike from obscurity yesterday...
That's a 1973 Schwinn Super Sport in Sunset Orange with a 24" frame. It looks to be all original including the Brooks B15 saddle. You can see that bike on the original '73 catalog page here:

Remove the handlebar tape and retape
The original tape on that bike is color-matching vinyl "flexon" plastic made by Hunt-Wilde for Schwinn, normally sold in 5-yard rolls (one roll does a complete handlebar). That type of tape hasn't been made for years now, but is still available on eBay. Unfortunately Sunset Orange happens to be one of the hardest to find colors. While it is correct for a restoration, on a rider many people prefer modern tape, so that is up to you.

I guess in theory I can rebuild the wheels, but, I was thinking to just buy new wheels, tires and tubes
I'd true up the originals and use them as-is, new wheels will be relatively expensive. The hubs on that bike are fairly nice aluminum high-flange units made by Normandy for Schwinn, and the rims are 27" Weinmann alloy that polish up incredibly well (Mothers is amazing on those). Worst case if the rims are trashed I'd purchase new Sun CR-18 rims and lace them up to the existing hubs using new stainless steel spokes. Those rims come polished and look period correct yet are much stronger:

For the seat, is there a way to recondition the leather seat? Or should I just replace it?
That is a Brooks B15 Champion Standard saddle, in good condition they sell for $50 to $100 on eBay. Yours doesn't look that bad, I'd try reconditioning it with Proofide.

Other than that I'd clean out and re-grease the front and rear hubs, the crank bottom bracket, and the headset. Any original grease in there will have turned to something resembling peanut butter or even plastic, it should all be cleaned out and replaced. The crank bearings should be fine (they are virtually indestructable) but you may need new bearing balls for the hubs and headset.

You could try cleaning the chain, but it might be easier to replace it with a new one. If you go new, use an SRAM or KMC "8-speed" chain. Those designated for 9-speeds or more will be too narrow. Hope this helps.

Last edited by Metacortex; 04-05-13 at 02:16 PM.
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