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1971 Schwinn Super Sport value and questions

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1971 Schwinn Super Sport value and questions

Old 10-18-18, 06:23 AM
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1971 Schwinn Super Sport value and questions

I've been wanting to pick up an older, made in the USA Schwinn for a while. I know the older Super Sports are good bikes, fillet brazed with plain gauge chrome moly so on the heavy side designed no doubt to withstand the zombie apocalypse.

(1) What is the value of the bike? Seller wants $250 but the bike has been hanging out for a month on CL in a smaller city in the middle of nowhere (you know, Iowa,

(2) The bike came in 22 and 24 inch. This looks to be a 24 inch. Were these bikes measured center to center or center to top? I can ride it center to top French style but too big if center to center.

(3) The bike is a bit of a boat anchor. I reckon the best way to lighten it up is probably to convert the crank to cotterless. Is that a solid conversion that won't give problems down the road? I reckon the original steel crankset may be heavy as heck but it too is designed to withstand the zombie apocalypse.

(4) What's the best way to date the bike, is it the serial no.?

The bike looks to be in good shape and fairly original:



Paging @Scooper, our guru in all things Schwinn,
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Old 10-18-18, 06:50 AM
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In your market, its more like $150 (or even less), assuming paint looks pretty good. Yes, changing the crankset will save serious weight. Wheels aren't light either. Stem looks over-extended. Lever covers are a nice touch. Several threads on converting that bike to a three piece crank. An adapter needs to be installed.

In a strong market, $250 is possible.

I paid $200 for the Sports Tourer from that era, it was pristine, and it sat on Charlotte C/L for several weeks. I would consider the Sports Tourer to be a major step up from the Super Sport with double the value of the Super Sport. Sold it on eBay for quite a lot more. But local markets are LOCAL, not eBay pricing.


1974 Schwinn Sports Tourer by wrk101, on Flickr
Yes, just look up the serial number. Rims may have date code on them. Not sure if the GB stem was coded. Schwinn didn't manage inventory well, so parts date codes could be way off actual bike year. Actual year has no bearing on value.

Size is center to top.

Last edited by wrk101; 10-18-18 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 10-18-18, 09:50 AM
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-----

wrt dating -

as recalled, 1971 was the final year for this alloy dustcap with the slot on the Atom 440.

would be interested to read the observations of our @Metacortex.


-----
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Old 10-18-18, 10:31 AM
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(3) The bike is a bit of a boat anchor. I reckon the best way to lighten it up is probably to convert the crank to cotterless. Is that a solid conversion that won't give problems down the road? I reckon the original steel crankset may be heavy as heck but it too is designed to withstand the zombie apocalypse.
...I got one of these frames in the 24" size that showed up at the co-op one year. When you do the conversion (and it's more or less required, along with decent wheels, to enjoy the ride in any direction that is not downhill), there is a weld seam on the BB shell that often gets in the way of installing the conversion cups, preventing full seating. Then what happens is you end up somewhere down the line with the dreaded "clicking crank syndrome". So grind or file that seam off nicely so you get a good seat for the cups.

It would be easier to point it out on a bike than it is to describe it. The steerer is one of those extra heavy duty ones from Schwinn as well, so it takes a smaller stem diameter.
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Old 10-18-18, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I got one of these frames in the 24" size that showed up at the co-op one year. When you do the conversion (and it's more or less required, along with decent wheels, to enjoy the ride in any direction that is not downhill), there is a weld seam on the BB shell that often gets in the way of installing the conversion cups, preventing full seating. Then what happens is you end up somewhere down the line with the dreaded "clicking crank syndrome". So grind or file that seam off nicely so you get a good seat for the cups.

It would be easier to point it out on a bike than it is to describe it. The steerer is one of those extra heavy duty ones from Schwinn as well, so it takes a smaller stem diameter.
Good to know about the BB conversion. Why are different wheels required? These are alloy rims, right?

.833 stem, right? So limited choices but I think the headset is pretty standard other than the locknut, right?
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Old 10-18-18, 10:44 AM
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-----

bikemig wrote -

".833 stem, right? So limited choices but I think the headset is pretty standard other than the locknut, right?"

---

yes indeedy, you've got it!

(fork is an off-the-peg one produced in Nippon for Schwinn.)

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Old 10-18-18, 10:49 AM
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I really like this kind of build -- keeping the bones in place with some improvements. I always drop in a sealed BB and taper cranks, mostly because I'm a bit OCD about cranks being smooth, and the cottered ones weigh a ton. If there are seam issues you could use the fairly cheap Sunlite threadless ones -- I've had good luck with those on old Raleigh 3-speed shells after the fun of grinding them down to the standard 68 mm width. Plus if you don't have the caveman tools for removing cottered cranks you could just cut them off with an angle grinder and have 20 minutes of zen ;-).

How about the bars and seat post? Wondering if you could replace them with alloy but still have the same result visually, but with less weight.

Last thought would be a labor of love -- to rebuild the wheels with alloy rims and double butted spokes (guessing they are steel?) and drop the weight a bit more there.

The matching brake lever grips are the bomb! Not worth the $250 but maybe takes it from $150 to $156.

Graham
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Old 10-18-18, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

bikemig wrote -

".833 stem, right? So limited choices but I think the headset is pretty standard other than the locknut, right?"

---

yes indeedy, you've got it!

(fork is an off-the-peg one produced in Nippon for Schwinn.)

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I was looking for a made in the US Schwinn but I can handle a bike mainly made in the US other than the fork. It's details like this that makes this such a great website,
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Old 10-18-18, 11:33 AM
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All the adult tubular blade fork models made in the U.S. at this time up through the Sports Tourer were constructed with these vendor produced forks.

Have always assumed maker to be Tange but have no hard information.

No doubt, @Metacortex will be able to give us the years these forks were employed and the name of their producer...

Hope you have good fun with this should you elect to proceed.

As others more knowledgeable have noted, these machines are quite heavy and changing out fittings to lower weight is both trouble and expense for rather modest gain. So you would be wise to think it through prior to commencement...

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Old 10-18-18, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

All the adult tubular blade fork models made in the U.S. at this time up through the Sports Tourer were constructed with these vendor produced forks.

Have always assumed maker to be Tange but have no hard information.

No doubt, @Metacortex will be able to give us the years these forks were employed and the name of their producer...

Hope you have good fun with this should you elect to proceed.

As others more knowledgeable have noted, these machines are quite heavy and changing out fittings to lower weight is both trouble and expense for rather modest gain. So you would be wise to think it through prior to commencement...

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Agreed. If I can get it at the price I want, I think I'll leave this pretty much stock. Fortunately Des Moines is pretty flat and I've always, always wanted a bike with an ashtabula crank and turkey levers . . . .

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Old 10-18-18, 11:47 AM
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---------

Miguelito wrote -----

"...and I've always, always wanted a bike with an ashtabula crank and turkey levers . . . ."

Look out boys and girls, next he'll be mounting a safety flag!

---

Seriously, if I were interested in something like this would abide until a Sports Tourer came into view.

Found a burgundy one a few years back for a local cycling friend. It was at a flea market and cost a whopping thrity-five simolianis, All complete and original with a T.A. chainset she were.

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Old 10-18-18, 11:48 AM
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I did a French theme on my Super Sport. I did contemplate a hollow cro-mo BMX ashtabula style crank, but had the Stronglight in stock.
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Old 10-18-18, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post


I did a French theme on my Super Sport. I did contemplate a hollow cro-mo BMX ashtabula style crank, but had the Stronglight in stock.
This bike is beautiful, very, very classy. A stronglight 93 just pimps out a bike nicely.
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Old 10-18-18, 03:08 PM
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Handsome build!

Did you find some Schwinn Approved w/b clamps? IIRC the down and seat tubes on these are oversize. Most likely from AFA.

This is something for bikemig to keep in mind. If he were ever to contemplate the build of a Super Sport or Sports Tourer from a bare frame he would need to locate the special Schwinn Approved Huret front mech with its oversize mounting clamp...

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Old 10-18-18, 03:18 PM
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Some jackass had already cut off the hanger on mine, so Suntour




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Old 10-18-18, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
(1) What is the value of the bike? Seller wants $250 but the bike has been hanging out for a month on CL in a smaller city in the middle of nowhere (you know, Iowa,
I'd say closer to $150-$200 because of the condition, however it does appear to be original and still has the Brooks saddle.

(2) The bike came in 22 and 24 inch. This looks to be a 24 inch. Were these bikes measured center to center or center to top?
That bike has a 24" frame, measured by Schwinn center to top. They added a 26" frame size in 1972.

(4) What's the best way to date the bike, is it the serial no.?
The serial number only indicates when the headtube was stamped (before it was even brazed to the frame) so it can be much older than the actual bike assembly. Original components changed over time so that is the best way to date these. Based on the 1st gen Atom 440 pedals and GB rando bars this would indeed be a '71 model.
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Old 10-18-18, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
No doubt, @Metacortex will be able to give us the years these forks were employed and the name of their producer...
So far on these I've documented Tange and Ishiwata, however there may be perhaps one or two other unknown manufacturers.
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Old 10-18-18, 09:15 PM
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Thanks so much for this information @Metacortex!

Always greatly appreciated here.

Do you have any dates on the use of the contracted forks from Honshu?

From my very small sample size I got the impression they began in the later 1960's and were used at least into 1978.

Heck, it's been so long now me dull auld "braine" can no longer recollect Arnie's bankruptcy annum...

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bikemig -

if you get one of these machines, or the frame therefrom, ye shall be able to read the markings on the steerer. as i recall it there is a JIS or similar looking symbol and perhaps two letter/number markings. one of the letter/number markings is likely an indication of steerer length.

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Last edited by juvela; 10-18-18 at 09:16 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 10-21-18, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
Do you have any dates on the use of the contracted forks from Honshu?

Unfortunately I do not. What would be the identifying logo or stamping for those?
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Old 10-21-18, 09:15 AM
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Honshu be the main island of Japan, where most of the nation's manufacturing is situated.

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Last edited by juvela; 10-21-18 at 12:00 PM. Reason: syntax
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Old 10-23-18, 01:45 PM
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Sold mine a few years ago for $180. Believe it was a late ‘71 build, but a ‘72 model cause of the green color or something like that. Smooth riding, smooth looking bike in great original paint colors. Not light, as noted. But should be an easy sale if you go that route. I remember what a hassle it was to get the built-in kickstand off/on to clean it; it wasn’t moving smoothly.
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Old 10-24-18, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
Sold mine a few years ago for $180. Believe it was a late ‘71 build, but a ‘72 model cause of the green color or something like that...
If it was Opaque Green it was a '72 build The serial no. only indicates when the headtube was stamped, before it was even brazed to the frame.At that time Schwinn did not build bikes in advance of the model year.
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Old 10-24-18, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
If it was Opaque Green it was a '72 build The serial no. only indicates when the headtube was stamped, before it was even brazed to the frame.At that time Schwinn did not build bikes in advance of the model year.
Yes, “Opaque green”! That was it. Thanks
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Old 10-24-18, 09:51 PM
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I built this Sports Tourer from a frame with some parts from mkeller.
Rides as smoothly as a big old Cadillac.

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Old 10-26-18, 01:02 AM
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I ended up with 2 Super Sports during the 2016 Clunker Challenge. A 1966 I got for $25 and a 1971 for $20. Both looked pretty bad, still had their Brooks saddles, also in sad shape, but I saved them. After the challenge, I did a crank conversion on both and lightened them by a few pounds. Schwinn measured from center to top of seat tube, which is above top of the top tube. Mine are both 22" and varied a bit in size compared to each other. They do ride like a Caddy or Lincoln.

There are conversion kits out there that clear that BB ridge. The one I used had 4 bolts & cost around $15, the TruVativ kit only has 3 bolts and doesn't clear the ridge.

My 66 is the Coppertone and the 71 is yellow, Just gave the 71 to a kid in our church who out grew his old bikes after a growth spurt and will probably out grow the SS in a year or 2 as his big brothers are both 6'6" or so. Don
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