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Schwinn Traveler

Old 10-19-15, 08:47 AM
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wannabridin
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Schwinn Traveler

Hello all! First off, I'm very ignorant with bicycle terminology, so please have patience until I can catch up. I'm a motorcycle guy, so the human powered variants don't make as much sense to me yet :-P

This is my first dip into bicycling. I found this old Schwinn that needed some TLC for $10 at a flea market. The frame was the right size, and I'm a fan of all things vintage, so I figured it would be a fun way to get into bicycling (I need to get back into shape for snow skiing season and I'm not a big fan of running) and save some bucks too.

Well my goal is to save as many of the parts as I can, through rebuilding and cleaning. I'm pretty handy with restoring stuff like this, so as long as I have a decent path forward, I should be able to have this back on the road soon.

The bike has Suntour AR components, but they are in pretty rusty shape. I just purchased a NIB front derailleur off ebay for $13, so I still need help with the rear. I'm wondering if anyone has a clean but rebuildable rear derailleur for me to purchase as I missed the good deals on e-bay right now.

The plan is to clean up what I can, get it road worth, and then start tweaking to suit. I have some questions though, so if anyone can answer them for me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

-My front wheel has some pretty crusty/rusty spokes. I can clean most of it off, but is it worth it to re-lace and replace spokes?
-I need wheel bearings, as I lost some of the bearings when I disassembled, plus I'd like to just clean, replace and repack. Thoughts for bearing replacements?
-My rear freewheel (the gearset on the back wheel right??) is rusted pretty bad, but is there a way to rebuild the whole thing, inside and out??
-I'd like to replace the head bearings, so are any special tools required to replace the bearing cups?
-What all do I need to replace on my lower bracket (the shaft that connects the pedal arms together) as it's not turning, so what is replaceable down there?
-Finally, what kind of torque vales should I be using for everything??

I'll get some pictures up asap, thanks for all the help!!
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Old 10-19-15, 08:49 AM
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Oh yes, I forgot to mention, my plan for the rebuild is to disassemble, fully clean, repaint and then replace/upgrade the components I can to get it road worthy.

Then throw some lights, computer and whatnot on it and just ride it as much as I can.

And another question from the wife: I've heard all the rumors about bicycle riding and it lowering your sperm count, and since we're trying to have a baby soon, is there anything I can do to avoid these rumors coming true?? Thanks!!
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Old 10-19-15, 09:12 AM
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Find a bike co-op and you will find all kinds of deals on used parts.

Reusing/cleaning rusty spokes = non-starter for me.

Replacing spokes with SS is all about the quality of the hubs and rims. Steel rims or stamped steel hubs = forget it. Also make sure hub cones are good before you waste money on spokes.

If you are resourceful, you will find nice used wheels for about half the cost of spokes. I typically reserve re-spoking for high end wheels and rims. Otherwise, not worth it. And I buy spokes on line in bulk. Buy them retail, and the cost really doesn't make sense.

Best way to make sure rumors don't come true = ignore rumors.

On wheel bearings, I NEVER reuse old ones. Bearings can be bought in bulk for about 2 cents each. I buy them in packs of either 100 or 144. 1/4 inch for most rear wheels and bottom brackets, 3/16 inch for most front wheels. I do reuse head set bearings, they are not as critical IMHO (headset is not turning 60 to 100 RPM).

Back to my original suggestion, find a co-op. Otherwise, you are going to be spending $$$ on tools. See how much you are going to do with bikes before dropping $$ into tools. Lots of specialized tools on bikes. And there is a lack of standardization on vintage bikes. So some tools for bike A won't work for bike B, etc. I have a drawer full of bottom bracket tools for example. I also have at least twenty different freewheel tools, and I don't have them all. Some of the tools are long out of production (expensive).

Rebuilding old freewheel is waste of time and money. Flush it out, relube it and if it does not work good enough, replace it. New freewheels can be had on line for about $10. Plan on replacing chain too ($6 on line).

Don't get carried away spending a lot of money on this bike. The Traveler from that era was very basic (from a time where basic bikes were really basic) and it has limitations. Get it ride ready, ride it for a while, and keep an eye out for a deal on a higher end vintage bike.

Last edited by wrk101; 10-19-15 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 10-19-15, 09:20 AM
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Well I have a buddy with some specific tools, so I'll likely just borrow his for the rear freewheel remover and lower bracket remover. (Otherwise, these tools are pretty cheap on amazon with good reviews.)
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Old 10-19-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wannabridin View Post
Well I have a buddy with some specific tools, so I'll likely just borrow his for the rear freewheel remover and lower bracket remover. (Otherwise, these tools are pretty cheap on amazon with good reviews.)
FWIW, tools add up. To rebuild one bike you will need a chain tool, freewheel tool, cone wrench set, cable cutter, crank set puller, pedal wrench, lock ring tool, BB fixed cup tool, BB adjustable cup tool (there are several different styles), spoke wrenches, HS wrenches.

If you replace your bottom bracket, the tools you use to remove the old one will be different than the tools you use on the new one. Same for the freewheel.
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Old 10-19-15, 09:40 AM
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Oh dang. Well I guess I'll be calling on my buddy a lot then. He recently rebuild a vintage Fuji from the ground up.

Now I forgot to mention that I should have access to some media blasters as well, so I should be able to clean up everything nicely. I might even be able to get the spokes clean up well.

the head bearings were trashed, so I'd like to replace the set there too.
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Old 10-19-15, 10:43 AM
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Ahh...newbie...newbie's be wise to listen to "old timer" (sorry Bill!)...but @wrk101 is VERY knowledgeable...be wise newbie...listen/learn/take in!

And...

Welcome to the Bike Forums...
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Old 10-19-15, 10:49 AM
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noted!! I understand to listen to the others.

Question: is a shimano 400 a replacement for the suntour ar rear derailleur? They certainly look nearly identical! If so, I can get one of these for much cheaper and in better condition on e-bay. Thoughts??
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Old 10-19-15, 03:25 PM
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Shimano 400 was really low end and mediocre from that era. Suntour had patented technology, so their low end stuff was better. Head to the co-op.

In general, avoid getting parts for a Traveler on eBay. Ebay is best for the one special part you need to complete a project.

Also, check with your LBS (local bike shop). Mine has a few tubs of good parts that have been removed from other bikes. Any part in the tub is $6 at my LBS.

Not all bike shops save old stuff. You need to check around and find the shop(s) that do.
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Old 10-19-15, 04:44 PM
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hmmmm. we don't have a co-op around here. at least not one I could find through google-fu and LBS calls.

I did find a NIB FD, suntour, for $13, so i figured that was worth the gamble.

I WOULD use my RD, but the cable end seat adjuster (threads in) disentegrated upon removal. I might try to remove the rest and salvage everything. If I can salvage it, then I'll be reusing that part after some extended elbow grease!
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Old 10-20-15, 11:43 AM
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as promised, here are some pics.

I was able to get started on cleaning all the parts. the RD is actually starting to clean up pretty well. I need to pick up some small dremel wire brushes today to get into the nooks and crannies, but I think it'll be able to get cleaned up nicely. The rest of the rust will be dealt with through an evaporust bath.

I did have to drill out the old cable end adjuster. I figure I can get a new one with a slightly larger thread and just re-tap the holes and thread it on in there. Shouldn't make a bit of difference. Hopefully the LBS will have one from an old derailleur just sitting around.

I looked more closely at my wheels too. Front rim is alloy, rear is steel. both are araya rims. front hub is a sunshine, but I can't tell with the rear one. I'm going to finish removing all the rust from the front spokes and then evaluate for pitting or significant material removal. I'd like to get an al rear wheel, but I'm not sure if it's worth it or not yet. i haven't decided yet.
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Old 10-20-15, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Shimano 400 was really low end and mediocre from that era. Suntour had patented technology, so their low end stuff was better. Head to the co-op.

In general, avoid getting parts for a Traveler on eBay. Ebay is best for the one special part you need to complete a project.

Also, check with your LBS (local bike shop). Mine has a few tubs of good parts that have been removed from other bikes. Any part in the tub is $6 at my LBS.

Not all bike shops save old stuff. You need to check around and find the shop(s) that do.
There are two LBS here that aren't chains, and specialize in consignment and cheap bikes for college students. Their stock swells in May, and shrinks in Aug/Sept. One has a pretty good stock of used parts (pulls from worn out bikes), priced a little cheaper than eBay.

One disadvantage of the local bike co-op is that it's manned with bike nuts. High end components tend to get picked up pretty quickly. Midrange hangs around for a while, but most of the bins are pulls from dept store and entry level mainstream bikes.
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Old 10-21-15, 10:34 AM
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So it looks like I'll be able to use salvage the RD after all. some long soaks in my ultrasonic cleaner helped loosen everything followed by some small wire cup brushes on the dremel really helped to finish the interior rust removal. next up with be a soak in some oil to get everything lubricated and get some final rust off.

ordered a crank removal tool, so i can hopefully finish stripping the frame down before the weekend. I'll probably just take the rear wheel up to the LBS for disassembly and assessment on condition. hopefully they'll have some cheap replacement wheels if that's required.

i'm getting excited!
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Old 10-21-15, 05:48 PM
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how do I know if a replacement wheel is going to work with my bike and components? ignorant question, i know, but i think i'm going to be int he market for new wheels soon.
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Old 10-23-15, 11:17 AM
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Finished up rebuilding the RD last night. I think it came out pretty well. Enough polish and cleaning to last awhile, but still some patina to give it character.

Also stopped by the LBS (Bicycles Inc in Hurst/Bedford, Austin helped me out, that place is awesome!!). Got new al wheels, bars, neck bearings, bottom bracket (with sealed bearings), rear freewheel, tires and tubes for under $250.

Also got a set of TRP RRL SR Retro brake levers, they were just too cool not to. And I picked up some "Mystic Green" Testors One Coat Laquer spray paint to paint the frame and fork with. I'll be polishing up everything else that I can, and then going with saddle brown cable housings and bar tape to finish it off. All in all, should be a pretty cool bike for about $300ish bucks. Not too shabby!
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