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My oldest Schwinn find yet, and in good condition!

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My oldest Schwinn find yet, and in good condition!

Old 10-06-15, 06:58 PM
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dddd
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My oldest Schwinn find yet, and in good condition!

Today was a perfect day for riding, so after a 25-mile morning "hills" ride I rested up and headed out on a second ride, to Taqueria Herradura of course!

My munch-time rides are seldom complete without sliding into the Salvation Army thrift store however, so I parked my '87 Jamis Dakar out front for the usual brief pass-thru.

I was about done passing the usual herd of discarded modern dept-store bikes in front when I noticed two new arrivals, one a rather nice Target-store Schwinn mtb, but the other one demanded further inspection.

I noticed right away the older-style stem, bars and saddle. Then on to look at the fork, frame and that chainring!

I braced myself for a peek at the price tag, knowing that "exceptional" bikes do sometimes come in with astronomical price tags attached, but the tag was only $200, with some possibility of negotiation.

The negotiation wasn't happening since the bike had just arrived, but I guessed early-1950's and so pulled out my seldom-used credit card.

I ghost-rode the bike home alongside my suitably-geared Dakar, 1.5 miles with two heavy climbs. I even got my six-tenths of a super burrito home safely hanging off the Jamis' handlebar.

So here's quick pic. The serial # indicates 8/3/1950, 10 years older than me! I think the frame is all brazed, the fork is forged, and the chainring will need explaining to this newbie of really old Schwinns, since my Schwinn knowledge is mostly limited to bikes I've owned. Front wheel and grips are newer replacements, though no fork bending is apparent and the replacement wheel thankfully looks the part. Rear hub is New Departure. If this bike has been repainted it was a very good job, given the white trim and lining details. The actual color looks lighter than in the picture because of the white background.

Sorry about the huge photo for those with smaller screens or slower connections!

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Old 10-06-15, 07:06 PM
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Cool find. That looks like it is in great shape. Cool!!
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Old 10-06-15, 07:57 PM
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Beauty! Nice find.
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Old 10-06-15, 08:02 PM
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That seat looks so cool but that has to hurt.
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Old 10-06-15, 08:04 PM
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Have a ladies Packard bicycle that is very similar to that with the same design on the DT and TT, and similar (or even identical) fenders. It does not have that weird "fake springer" think that's on the fork of this one. Neat find!
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Old 10-06-15, 10:45 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 10-06-15, 11:51 PM
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The fender lines ... the paint job ... there's a lot to like. Nice find.
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Old 10-07-15, 12:38 AM
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I had a 1949 girls frame that was a match to that bicycle. Man was it heavy. Sweet ride, will make an excellent drop bar, 650b conversion!!! Jk!
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Old 10-07-15, 12:52 AM
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Thanks for the comments! The chain is weird, has both long and short links. I don't know what to call it, I've heard of inch-pitch, block-chain and skip-tooth, but don't know how to distinguish them.

I'm thinking of putting a distressed B17 saddle on there, since by chance I recently bought the 5/8" special clamp I will need to adapt to the Brook's round rails. Also I might use the Bendix two-speed coaster wheelset from my '62 Traveler if the tire diameter is close to the same.
Heck, I've also got a 650B derailer wheelset on an old cheapo Libertas that might make for an interesting temporary enhancement.
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Old 10-07-15, 04:45 AM
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The chain is a skip tooth and that is the original chainring. IIRC it is known as the Schwinn Hearts ring.

The bike is in such amazing, near original, shape, I'd be hesitant to go hanging modifications on it. But I realize it is yours and you should enjoy it as it best suits you, so I say go for it, or find a buyer who will double your money!

I have a 1930s Elgin that was given to me by the family of a church member that passed away. It's a cool bike, but impractical to ride here in the mountains. It needs lots of work, but I can't find the time for a bike that I won't ride and only look at. I'd like to sell it, but I can't do so because the family wants to see me hang onto it. So there it sits, basically a burden in my life.
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Old 10-07-15, 05:12 AM
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I've seen one Schwinn that old before. This is a very cool bike.
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Old 10-07-15, 05:40 AM
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Braze some MAFAC cantis on there and head down Repack!!!




Seriously, really great find in REALLY great shape. Congratulations!
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Old 10-07-15, 05:57 AM
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Nice find...very nice looking Schwinn!
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Old 10-07-15, 06:05 AM
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Very nice, that seat is really easy to recover. The seat pans will seperate making it simple to apply new material. The sprocket is sometimes called a sweetheart sprocket. Check for marks on the front of the frame, it may have had a tank and they do reproduce that type. These are my main type of bikes that I collect and have and had several. Takes an iron butt and strong legs to ride any distance. Enjoy it.
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Old 10-07-15, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Thanks for the comments! The chain is weird, has both long and short links. I don't know what to call it, I've heard of inch-pitch, block-chain and skip-tooth, but don't know how to distinguish them.
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
The chain is a skip tooth and that is the original chainring. IIRC it is known as the Schwinn Hearts ring.

The bike is in such amazing, near original, shape, I'd be hesitant to go hanging modifications on it. But I realize it is yours and you should enjoy it as it best suits you, so I say go for it, or find a buyer who will double your money!
...those skip tooth chains are difficult to come up with, so be careful with it. Otherwise, enjoy.
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Old 10-07-15, 01:15 PM
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Nice...

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I think the frame is all brazed ...
My guess is this frame was electro-forged. It was a process proprietary to Schwinn. There is a write-up about it on Sheldon Brown's site. From what I understand, it required special-purpose machines which no longer exist.
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Old 10-07-15, 02:48 PM
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Very nice, and I'd bet the paint is original. Skip-tooth refers to the tooth pattern on the chainring. Inch-pitch refers to the distance between links on the chain. You need a skip-tooth chainring to use a inch-pitch chain and vice versa.

That's pretty heroic to ghost ride it 1.5 over big hills. I've done stuff like that, and it's hard.

I think you got a good price, because it's hard to find old men's bikes that have been used so lightly.
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Old 10-07-15, 04:28 PM
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Yeah, wow. Major score. I've got a 1950 Schwinn but it looks nothing like that. I've had it for years and it's one of the bikes I'll never part with.
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Old 10-07-15, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for the photo of your '50! I almost wish I had the freedom to build it up as a custom like yours, but I will probably go in the opposite direction by sourcing an original wheel, grips and saddle covering, then decide on suitable tires, probably "chain"-pattern re-pops.

Noglider, I think you are right about the paint. I found a large drop of white paint on the rear rim, but the circular embossment on the chainguard seems to have the residue of the pattern of the original waterslide transfer.

Skip, I didn't think that electroforging had been in use in 1950. I didn't see any of the EF "rings" at the usual attachment points between the chainstays and bb shell, that part is clearly joined right at the shell, but you are right about the EF treatment at the headtube joints and where the DT and ST join the bb shell! Also there is obvious electric butt-welded joining at the rear dropouts.

Pastorbob and 3alarmer, thanks for the education and heads-up on the rare chain. I will have to consider whether riding this bike is practical, especially since I live up on a hill.

Sloar, I plan to re-cover the saddle. Thanks for the info on the seat base assembly.

Thanks all for the nice comments! I'm glad I bought it. I will have to figure out what this style of fork is all about, it appears to be a simple reinforcement that was common back then, it doesn't look like suspension since the fork looks pretty stout to begin with.
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