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1985 Schwinn Traveler - Is it worth $50?

Old 05-27-13, 12:58 PM
  #1  
katyroq
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1985 Schwinn Traveler - Is it worth $50?

Hi everyone,

I am brand new to this forum. I just found a Schwinn Traveler for $50 and thought it seems like a good bike with just a few upgrades. I plan to use it to commute to work, about 9 mi total each day.

I have a few questions.
1) Am I correct that this is a 1985? The imprint on the head badge said 0235
2) Could the frame really be 17"? Everything I've read seems to say the women's bicycle was offered in 19" or 22" frame size.
3) How important is frame size? I'm 6 foot tall, so I could definitely use a larger frame. But if I can get the seat & handlebars high enough (safely), is there any reason NOT to use this?
4) Is this a good purchase for $50? Everything is original except the seat, so there may be some updating to do. I was told that the tires do not hold air, so the bicycle definitely needs new tubes (tires?). It was kept outdoors in a shed, so there is some dirt and rust, so it would need cleaning and oiling the chain. I do not know how the shifters or brakes work, as it's not ride-able due to flat tires.

Here is what I know about it:
Schwinn Traveler
Made in Chicago (imprinted with 0235)
Serial number: SI 400227 845

Frame:
Measures 17"
Cro Moly 4130 stays double butted main tubes
Frame built in America

Wheels:
Weinmann made in Belgium
27x1.25 16x630
Malliard quick release lever on front and rear wheels

Gears:
12 speed
Suntour AR on rear derailleur, shifters

Thanks in advance for the help! Pictures below

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Old 05-27-13, 01:02 PM
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DiegoFrogs
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That frame is going to be way too small for you. Even at $50, it will be a money pit that will never fit you well.

Though, I'm sure you could flip it quickly to someone much shorter than yourself. Higher end mixte frames are pretty uncommon.
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Old 05-27-13, 01:06 PM
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The bike is very good value at $50 even with all the rust problems, but I am skeptical that it will fit you at 6 ft tall. Given that it is an upright mixte, you might be able to make this work with a mountain bike seatpost and a tall quill like this nitto technomic: http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup....FegWMgodwGUAwQ. If it doesn't work, you can always sell it for what you paid for it without too much trouble. You need to be handy in doing your own work though as this bike will need it.
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Old 05-27-13, 01:13 PM
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WNG
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Is it worth it? Yes. Kinda rare too being that the frame is a pseudo mixte. I think it looks like a 19", but may still be small for your 6' frame.
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Old 05-27-13, 01:31 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Originally Posted by katyroq View Post
1) Am I correct that this is a 1985? The imprint on the head badge said 0235
According to the serial number the "I4" indicates the frame was built in September '84, while the 0235 headbadge no. indicates the bike was built on Wednesday January 23, 1985. It is indeed an '85 model.

2) Could the frame really be 17"? Everything I've read seems to say the women's bicycle was offered in 19" or 22" frame size.
You can see the catalog page for that bike here, and the specs are shown here. From the specs you can see that the Ladies' model was indeed available in a 17" size frame.

3) How important is frame size? I'm 6 foot tall, so I could definitely use a larger frame. But if I can get the seat & handlebars high enough (safely), is there any reason NOT to use this?
According to Schwinn's sizing charts, a 17" framed road bike is suitable for somebody with a leg length of between 24" and 29". That would translate to an average human body of between 4'2" and 5'0" in height. This bike would technically be way too small for somebody 6' tall. You could use a long seatpost, but then the handlebars would still be too low.

4) Is this a good purchase for $50? Everything is original except the seat...
This was a relatively low-end bike at the time, but just about any complete bike is worth $50. As you can see from the catalog page and specs, this bike originally came with different handlebars, brakes, brake levers, and saddle. If those changes are good for you then it should not be necessary to try to change them back to original (in addition it would not be cost effective to do so).

The biggest problem for you is the size. I'd recommend selling it as-is and getting something that fits better instead.
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Old 05-27-13, 03:09 PM
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Yeah, I figured $50 for a complete bike was a good deal. And I love this one! The tires aren't good, but I filled them up and took it around the block, and it feels great! Very smooth ride with no noise from the chain, etc. Not bad considering it's pretty dirty/rusty.

Surprisingly, for the tiny frame, leg extension is only ~2-3 inches too short on me. The current seatpost is only 180mm, so I figure I'll try a 350mm and not worry about the handlebar height for now.

Also, pardon my ignorance, but how do you change gears? I see the shifters, but I'm not sure how they work. Can someone help me out with what kind of shifters they are (see pic above) so i can look this info up? Thanks.
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Old 05-27-13, 03:18 PM
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WAY too small for you. Needs a complete overhaul and then some. Since you are not prepared to do this it will be a money pit that won't fit you in the end. Re-sell and get your $50 back and buy something that fits, preferably ready to ride. You might be able to get $75-100 for it, even in that poor shape.
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Old 05-27-13, 05:47 PM
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Shift gears by pedaling while shifting. If the chain is making noise or skipping, microadjust the shifter while pedaling till it quiets down.

Raleigh Sprite Mixtes come in tall sizes. I have two of them in Ann Arbor. I have yet to come across a tall Peugeot or Motobecane mixte.

I would bet dollars to donuts that 1985 Schwinn has original 30 year old lubricants in the wheel bearings and crank bottom bracket. While a great price, the comprehensive maintenance/reconditioning with parts, done by a local bike shop, will run close to $200.
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