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Old 10-01-17, 06:03 PM   #1
kelseydeanna
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What can you tell me about this bike?

I bought this Schwinn Collegiate at an auction for $40.
Pictures attached, I can provide more close-ups if needed.

From what I have read, I believe it's from 1970?
I'd love to clean it up and ride it around town. I haven't tried it out yet...I'm not even sure if it works, though it seems to be in good condition. Where do I start? Is it OK to paint old bikes or should I leave it as it is?
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Old 10-01-17, 06:17 PM   #2
CliffordK
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It is a $40 bike.
It will never be a $1000 bicycle, no matter what you do with it.

Paint it, swap parts if you wish... And HAVE FUN.

If you have the time and expertise, the first thing I would do on a 40 year old bicycle with unknown history would be to remove and replace all the bearings and grease in the wheels, bottom bracket, headset, and lube the derailleur. New chain? True the wheels. Then add new tires and ride it.
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Old 10-01-17, 06:27 PM   #3
kelseydeanna
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Thanks. I have little to no knowledge of bikes other than riding them so I'm excited to learn with this one and make it my own. Are there any online tutorials? (I'm heading to google, but if you or anyone knows of a good "how to" site for beginners, I'd love it if you could point me to it!)
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Old 10-01-17, 06:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kelseydeanna View Post
Thanks. I have little to no knowledge of bikes other than riding them so I'm excited to learn with this one and make it my own. Are there any online tutorials? (I'm heading to google, but if you or anyone knows of a good "how to" site for beginners, I'd love it if you could point me to it!)
The following organizations have interesting vids on youtube:

Performance Bike
Art's Cyclery
Park Tool
Made Good
Bikeman4u
RJ The Bike Guy

I may be leaving some out. I believe there are some vids that would show up under searches for vintage or classic that would show more refurbishing compared to mechanical stuff. You might want to start with RJ, then Performance and Art's. I've done most work I can but I haven't painted yet - I plan to do so in the spring.

One of my bikes is a cruiser. I've had some fun with it. I would recommend the following:
  • Get rid of rust (WD-40, or CLR, or stronger, with an abrasive like steel wool)
  • Clean the unpainted cruddy parts like hubs, spokes, rims, bearing balls, and nuts, with mineral spirits, or glass cleaner if degreaser isn't sufficient
  • consider cleaning inside of tubes with steel wool drill gun attachment
  • clean frame and fork with car soap or degreaser
  • grease bearings and races and repack, balance axle, redo brakes, shifter, derailleurs (you may need a mechanic or someone like me to help at first)
  • may want to remove bottom bracket cartridge, clean bottom bracket, clean entire cartridge (if it is a cartridge, taking apart what you can), and reinstall bottom bracket (again may need help at first); you might be happier with a 1-piece crank and that might be what you have (I recently took mine apart and found a heavy grease to repack it (still don't necessarily have perfect tools for retightening bottom bracket nuts)
  • remember to grease theads, bearings, and seat post (maybe a heavy duty #2 grease on some and a simple #2 grease on others)
  • I may be leaving off some items

I would consider a six degree handlebar. You may have a foot brake hub, which is different than rim and disc brakes. Not bad as a second or third bike with foot brake (removing disc brakes) or if you only like to ride a little bit. I haven't ridden a cruiser with hand brakes but it could work. I should add I like the mixte style frame (mine isn't; mine has a curved top tube whereas yours is parallel to the bottom tube). Some people might like the fenders and chain protector - you could be like me and take them off (weight savings and you have to clean the bike anyway). Looks like the lights might be too heavy. I could recommend bike lights from Cateye or another company. Can't see your pedals too well but there is such a thing as cruiser pedals.

Check for a size label on your rims. You may be able to downsize tires and may be happier with smaller tires. For example, my cruiser rims are labeled as 1.75" (suggesting I could use a 1.75" tire) but the bike came with 2.125" cruiser tires. I replaced them with 1.95" mountain bike tires and I think the 1.95" tires are better, perhaps because both size and design. Not easy to see but it looks like your tires might be okay. Where do you plan to ride?

Last edited by eric044; 10-01-17 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 10-02-17, 08:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelseydeanna View Post
I bought this Schwinn Collegiate at an auction for $40.
Pictures attached, I can provide more close-ups if needed.

From what I have read, I believe it's from 1970?
I'd love to clean it up and ride it around town. I haven't tried it out yet...I'm not even sure if it works, though it seems to be in good condition. Where do I start? Is it OK to paint old bikes or should I leave it as it is?
According to the DExxxxxx frame serial the frame was stamped in April 1969. I would absolutely recommend not repainting and simply polish the existing paint. Be careful when polishing around the decals as they can be fragile. Here are the catalog pages for that bike in 1969:


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Old 10-02-17, 01:45 PM   #6
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Don't forget to consider safety equipment, such as gloves, goggles, respirators, particle masks, full masks, and ear protection. There may even be safety requirements.
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Old 10-02-17, 05:11 PM   #7
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...Schwinn paint was pretty good stuff, as was their chrome. It's doubtful any paint you put on it will be as durable, so I'm +1 on the advice to take it apart, clean and polish the existing paint, clean up the components and regrease everything that uses grease. I commuted for a couple of years on a Schwinn collegiate ladies frame that was an outstanding color of purple. They're a little heavy, but very well constructed and durable.

From your photos, I can't tell whether you need new tyres, chain, and brake blocks. But it you intend to keep it and ride it for a while, those are the tings you would want to replace with nesw stuff. The Schwinn rims in the 26" size were a special tyre, Schwinn S-5 was the designation.
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