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60s Schwinn Tire Mounting

Old 10-15-13, 06:27 PM
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60s Schwinn Tire Mounting

Hey there! I've mostly finished the process of turning a bicycle-shaped piece of metal into a bicycle for the first time ever , and my wife is pretty dang happy about having a bike like she had way-back-when.

It's a mid-60s Schwinn Collegiate so it has those old school no-lip rims, and I'm running into a problem getting the tires (new Kenda something-somethings) mounted correctly. Specifically, I keep ending up with a non-round tire because one section of the sidewall always wants to sink a little further into the rim than it should. Tires/tubes are the correct size.

So far I've tried hand-adjusting with zero inflation, hand-adjusting with partial inflation, and a screwdriver-leverage thing with partial inflation. I didn't do the last one too enthusiastically for fear of puncturing the tube. I keep ending up with about an 8" section of tire that isn't set up properly.

Any tips on getting a nice, smooth tire-is-actually-round ride out of these old Schwinns? Or do I just have to fight a little harder?
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Old 10-15-13, 06:48 PM
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I restored a Collegiate from the same era and bought the appropriate Kenda tires. No issues. But I did read about some people who had problems with the gumwall version of the tire and other people who didn't say what tire they had but had difficulty mounting them neatly. A Kenda quality issue?
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Old 10-15-13, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch
I restored a Collegiate from the same era and bought the appropriate Kenda tires. No issues. But I did read about some people who had problems with the gumwall version of the tire and other people who didn't say what tire they had but had difficulty mounting them neatly. A Kenda quality issue?
Entirely possible. They're not exactly a high-dollar tire, after all. But since I'm running into the same issue both front and rear I'm thinking it may be something else. Seems unlikely that I'd go two-for-two on factory defects. These are blackwalls, btw.

Planning to mess with 'em a bit more tonight, so we'll see how it plays out.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:35 PM
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A trick that sometimes works like a charm, when it doesn't it's no loss anyway.

Inflate the tire to about 25psi (just enough that you don't dent rims). Ride slowly around a parking lot or on a flat street. No hard acceleration or braking because that shifts the tire too much. Now bring it up 10 or so psi and repeat. With luck it'll massage itself home.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:38 PM
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GENIUS, that! Exactly the sort of "here's something you'd never think of" that I was looking for.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:46 PM
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Any tips on getting a nice, smooth tire-is-actually-round ride out of these old Schwinns? Or do I just have to fight a little harder?
Hi J,
I had the same problem putting Kenda 161 knobbies on my '71 Varsity. Just before you're ready to inflate the tire, wipe some rubber-friendly lubricant on both beads of the tire. I used a paper towel soaked with silicone spray. You could also use soapy water, but it will promote rust on your S-5, or S-6 steel rims. If your tires have a gum sidewall, the lubricant will necessitate a little cleanup afterwards.

Once the beads are lubricated, briefly over-inflate the tires to help the tire figure out where it wants to live on the rim. I wouldn't go too much more than 10 psi over the recommended pressure on the sidewall. After only a few seconds of over-inflation, reduce the air down to operating pressure.

From memory, I could only get up to 60 psi with the S-6 rim/Kenda 161 combination. I blew out two inner tube reaching that conclusion.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley
GENIUS, that! Exactly the sort of "here's something you'd never think of" that I was looking for.
No guaranties, but it does work magic once in a while.
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Old 10-15-13, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelBanana
Hi J,
... wipe some rubber-friendly lubricant on both beads of the tire.
Astroglide?

But seriously. Another nice idea. Damn I love these forums. I'll give an update tomorrow on my now inevitable success. (ha)
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Old 10-15-13, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley
Astroglide?

But seriously. Another nice idea. Damn I love these forums. I'll give an update tomorrow on my now inevitable success. (ha)
BTW just make sure you're not mounting an EA-3 (590mm) tire on an S-6 (597mm) rim.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:37 PM
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EA-1 for an S-6 rim, says the tire. The rims on the bike are S-5. I was told the S-5 rims would be perfectly happy with these tires. I'm reading about the differences right now and starting to wonder...

[Edit] But the old tires say "for S-5/S-6 rims," which leads me back to Yes, they are interchangeable.

...Why am I suddenly thinking of the days when Subway cut their bread in that ridiculous "v" shape while everyone else in the world was slicing it down the middle like a sandwich should be cut?
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Old 10-15-13, 09:48 PM
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EA.1 and S-6 are the same 26" size, ISO 597mm. Usually S-5 is used for the comparable 24" tire, but I've seen the same thing with S-5 and S-6 used as equal.

So now it's a matter of trueness to size (tolerance) and decent seating.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley
...Why am I suddenly thinking of the days when Subway cut their bread in that ridiculous "v" shape while everyone else in the world was slicing it down the middle like a sandwich should be cut?
I actually miss that! Kept things in better, I thought.
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Old 10-15-13, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
BTW just make sure you're not mounting an EA-3 (590mm) tire on an S-6 (597mm) rim.
That's exactly the issue that got me my first bike shop job. The head mechanic was so impressed that I managed to lever an EA-3 tire on an S-6 rim (using motorcycle tire levers) that he offered me a job. 35 years later, look where I am.
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Old 10-15-13, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
That's exactly the issue that got me my first bike shop job. The head mechanic was so impressed that I managed to lever an EA-3 tire on an S-6 rim (using motorcycle tire levers) that he offered me a job. 35 years later, look where I am.
HAHAHAHA Awesome!
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Old 10-16-13, 08:27 AM
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That problem was extremely common with the old Schwinn rims. There's an obscure Park tool used to pull up the bead, but we always used Fantastic or 409. Others have suggested soapy water, alcohol, etc. First make sure the bead line is not raising away from the rim anywhere else (esp. at the valve). Then deflate the tire, apply the slippery stuff to the problem area, and slowly re-inflate, again making sure the bead is OK all the way around. You will often need to overinflate, sometimes as much as 20 psi.
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Old 10-16-13, 03:45 PM
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So I went with the suggestion from cny-bikeman. I've always got 409 on hand, and this is a "Who knew?" use for it, so what the hell let's give it a shot.

Verdict:
Holy cow it's even easier than the post made it sound. Tires are perfect. Wife is happy.

Formula 409: the next WD-40? Hmmmmm

Big thanks to everyone for their tips and tricks. You're awesome.
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Old 10-16-13, 04:05 PM
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Glad it worked for you. Also useful for taking off handlebar grips, especially foam. I used something similar the other day to move some pads on a kakak car rack. I just flatten out the end of a spoke with a hammer and carefully slide it underneath then spray some "stuff" in and smoosh it around. Stays in place fairly well when dried, but some cheap hair spray or clear laquer holds better.
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Old 10-16-13, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
That's exactly the issue that got me my first bike shop job. The head mechanic was so impressed that I managed to lever an EA-3 tire on an S-6 rim (using motorcycle tire levers) that he offered me a job. 35 years later, look where I am.
Serves you right!!!!


BTW- doesn't anybody spit on tires to make mounting easier anymore?
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Old 10-16-13, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
BTW- doesn't anybody spit on tires to make mounting easier anymore?
Didn't occur to me. hahaha
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Old 10-18-13, 04:33 AM
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I stay away from water based "lubricants" because of rust and corrosion problems.

A friend decided to try silicone spray once and it was a nightmare! Its too slippery, and almost impossible to remove.

My favorite is a spray can of vegetable oil. Slippery, wont hurt rubber like a solvent might, and wont cause corrosion. Rims I have changed tires on multiple time have been SUPER easy to do.

-SP
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Old 10-18-13, 06:26 AM
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A very small amount of liquid is required, sprayed only on the tire, and I would not care for the appearance and dust-collecting issues with spraying on an oil. let alone problems with braking should some migrate to the rims. To each his own.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:48 AM
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I've used the following technique when the tire is loose on the rim.

Lay the bike horizontally so that the tire is not in contact with the ground or anything else. Then inflate it. The tire will inflate evenly on all sides, thanks to Bernoulli's Principle.
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