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1987 Brush Painted Schwinn Cimarron

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1987 Brush Painted Schwinn Cimarron

Old 04-03-15, 09:42 AM
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fender1
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1987 Brush Painted Schwinn Cimarron

Back in December (2014) I saw an add on CL for a "Vintage Schwinn Mountain Bike". Bad pictures, no real info but it looked like a 22" Cimarron. I had been looking for a large framed, vintage mountain bike to replace the 29"er I sold to pay some unexpected medical bills. The seller told me via e-mail that the bike was in "excellent shape" and "ready to ride". I wanted to believe him, soooo in the car and 45 minutes later, I meet him at his place.

I should have known that when I arrived, rather than show me to his open garage, we went down into his basement. Things were about to go from "excellent" to "not so excellent" quickly. Sitting on it side was a 22" Cimarron. (YAY!) With bubbling rust on the top & down tubes, seat stays and bottom bracket. (BOOOOO!) One half of the bike was a different shade of red than the other half, due to sun fading. Finally, it was covered in a black, shotgun mold that seemed to be growing from under the clear coat.

A new price (ahem) was negotiated and I took the bike out to my car. After being told the post and stem both moved freely (I am such a sucker, why would I believe this**********) I spent upwards of 10 minutes, trying to get both out so I could pack the bike in the car. I could see the seller watching me, throw a cursing fit, from behind the curtain of his living room window.

Once home, it was pretty clear that while structurally ok, the bike would need a repaint. I contacted sloar about a repaint. He gave me an awesome price on a frame/fork repaint but I balked. I had been down this road before. Sink lots of time/effort/money into making a project "just right" without knowing that you even like the bike. I spied a can of green, RustOleum and the matching primer from a wrought iron lawn furniture paint job on a basement shelf and thought, "why not?"

It came out ok. I replaced the worn Biopace chainrings, with a set of Willow chainrings I got super cheap (NOS), switched out the 6 speed, Uniglide for 7 speed Hyperglide, grabbed a used set of Riv Bullmoose bars (from the Riv list) powder coated gray, a set of XTR V-brakes from whatwolf and most everything else I already had. Quick ride around the block and it feels pretty good. Hope to get it out on the trails in the next week or so.


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Old 04-03-15, 09:43 AM
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Old 04-03-15, 09:49 AM
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Look sweet! Wish you'd taken some "OH THE HORROR!" before pics....

p.s. Diggin' the contrasting cables. They go perfectly with the Schwinn badge.
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Old 04-03-15, 11:25 AM
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I thought that was you asking for Bullmoose bar on the Riv list. I sent an IM but I was having problems with their log in so it may have bounced back. I have set of the odd diameter Schwinn version if you are interested, but honestly the Riv bars look nicer and probably don't need a shim.

Nice job with the paint, did you take off the headbadge before painting?
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Old 04-03-15, 11:47 AM
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What happened with the seatpost and stem? Did they come out intact?
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Old 04-03-15, 11:55 AM
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Very nice! Go get it dirty!!

And the paint looks really good, even in the closeup photos.
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Old 04-03-15, 12:34 PM
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It looks great. Very well done.
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Old 04-03-15, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by radeln View Post
What happened with the seatpost and stem? Did they come out intact?
They did but it was a close call on the stem. I had my foot in the lower triangle, using my leg to push the frame away from as I pulled and twisted on the bars. It took A LOT of effort. The original post is on the bike currently and I have the original bars and stem for it.
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Old 04-03-15, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KOBE View Post
I thought that was you asking for Bullmoose bar on the Riv list. I sent an IM but I was having problems with their log in so it may have bounced back. I have set of the odd diameter Schwinn version if you are interested, but honestly the Riv bars look nicer and probably don't need a shim.

Nice job with the paint, did you take off the headbadge before painting?
Thanks. Yeah, that was me, "shopping" on the the Riv list. I took lascauxcaveman's painting advice and did not strip it all the way to bare metal. I sanded all of the rusted areas to bare metal and any paint that was still intact, I roughed up with 400 grit sandpaper. Cleaned it with denatured alcohol and did 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of color. I sanded after the second coat of primer and then between each coat of color and wiped with the alcohol after each sanding get all of the debris. After the paint hardened a bit I buffed it with some cleaner wax.
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Old 04-03-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
They did but it was a close call on the stem. I had my foot in the lower triangle, using my leg to push the frame away from as I pulled and twisted on the bars. It took A LOT of effort. The original post is on the bike currently and I have the original bars and stem for it.
The post looks factory-new. In fact, the whole bike does. Very nicely done!
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Old 04-03-15, 01:17 PM
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Your bike looks fantastic! Enjoy- they really are fun to ride.
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Old 04-03-15, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver View Post
Very nice! Go get it dirty!!

And the paint looks really good, even in the closeup photos.
Thanks! Hopefully next weekend it will get a 20+ mile shakedown ride......I will try and get some pics to prove it happened!
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Old 04-03-15, 08:49 PM
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You consider 22" large???

Looks like it turned out well. How'd you get that paintjob so smooth using a rattlecan? Lots of sanding?
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Old 04-03-15, 10:02 PM
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Does Rust-O-Leum make a clear coat?
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Old 04-03-15, 10:39 PM
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Your effort that you put in really shows. A bike with that geometry looks sweet with those handlebars. I think it deserves some decals.
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Old 04-04-15, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by zazenzach View Post
You consider 22" large???
Back in 87 22" was pretty standard as the largest frame size available. My 86 Cannondale was a 22, the biggest they made. And the level top tube made them feel big when you were riding. An unexpected dismount could be a world of pain.
Even worse, it took a while for seatposts longer than 250 to become available. I remember running a Brooks seat cause it gave me a bit of extra height.
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Old 04-04-15, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Does Rust-O-Leum make a clear coat?
"Crystal Clear Enamel"
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Old 04-04-15, 07:08 AM
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Nice brush work! How long did it take you? What's your secret?
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Old 04-04-15, 07:13 AM
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The paint job looks great; nice choice of color to btw. Looks like a heck of a project.
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Old 04-04-15, 08:12 AM
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Rustoleum Green is not a color I would pick for a bicycle, a lawn mower or wheelbarrow? Yes, now having said that it looks great on that bike with those rims and the red cables, I'd leave it. Also, that does not look like a brush job, nicely done! Now, where'd I put my Rustoleum Green?
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Old 04-04-15, 09:11 AM
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Well done. Very, very nice.
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Old 04-04-15, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenchosa View Post
Your effort that you put in really shows. A bike with that geometry looks sweet with those handlebars. I think it deserves some decals.
Thanks. If I could find the correct decal set, I would put them on and take a shot at clear coating.
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Old 04-04-15, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Nice brush work! How long did it take you? What's your secret?
I started at the beginning of March. Not sanding or stripping off every last bit of old paint, saved a good bit of time. It was also really cold outside, so I could not use spray paint or stripper. The fumes from this paint and primer combo were pretty intense. I would put a coat on and then move it out into a basement vestibule to off gas and dry a little overnight. Then I would bring it in the next morning before work, let sit in a heated basement for a day to set up, then wet sand with 800 grit sandpaper, wipe down w/ denatured alcohol, dry it and then add another coat. Repeat drying process.

After it set up but did not completely harden, I waxed it 4 0r 5 times with a cleaner wax to try and even out the finish.

As write this I remember it was actually 5 coats of color not 3 as I stated earlier. The fumes were erasing my memory.....
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Old 04-04-15, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Rustoleum Green is not a color I would pick for a bicycle, a lawn mower or wheelbarrow? Yes, now having said that it looks great on that bike with those rims and the red cables, I'd leave it. Also, that does not look like a brush job, nicely done! Now, where'd I put my Rustoleum Green?
Maybe Rustoleum Green isn't a good bike color, but "Brewster Green" is a GREAT choice of a color for a bike.
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Old 04-04-15, 03:14 PM
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The Cimarron turned out great! Like I mentioned- I think that color green is perfect.

I love the appointments on this bike- fillet brazed in the front, lugged in the back, the lugged unicrown fork... It's nice that it has Canti mounts instead of the Roller Cam/U-Brake mounts- that gives you options galore. The one odd thing about this bike- as the top of the line bike- it has a "Schwinn Chicago" headbadge instead of having the specific model like on the Paramounts, Voyageurs, Tempos and even the High Sierra.

I think it would be awesome to get a bastardized set of Schwinn decals- a "starburst- script Schwinn- starburst" decals for the downtube and starburst fork decals, the Schwinn safety decal and the "S" Chrome Molybdenum for the seat tube.
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