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70s fillet-brazed Schwinn Sports Tourer!

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70s fillet-brazed Schwinn Sports Tourer!

Old 01-21-19, 10:41 AM
  #1  
TenGrainBread 
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70s fillet-brazed Schwinn Sports Tourer!

There's a variety store in LA called Coco's run by a vintage car and bike enthusiast, among other things. It's essentially a variety store with a bike shop in it. He sells a mix of vintage stuff and newer used bikes, some of which he tunes and rebuilds, but he usually leaves the more interesting/valuable stuff untouched. I follow them on social media, where he posts new bikes he gets in. A couple days ago he put this up for sale:

Bone-stock 70s Sports Tourer in Opaque blue. Probably a 1973 or later. Looks like a 22" in Schwinn sizing (aka a 56 CTT, 53 CTC). Record hubs, Schwinn Approved Suntour bar ends, TA Professional 3 bolt cranks, and a Schwinn Approved GT300 Le Tour RD, which is a rebranded Shimano Crane (34T capacity!). Happy this is one of the models with the nicer specs, rather than one of the stem shifter models.

He posted it for $250, which I gladly paid. He's shipping it to me. Soon as I get it I'll take a look at the serial number and date it. My plan is some mostly period-correct upgrades and a 700C conversion,













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Old 01-21-19, 10:46 AM
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Delicious 3 arm TA crank. Nice score.
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Old 01-21-19, 11:48 AM
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One hell of a deal! I gave up searching for these a while back, too few and too expensive.
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Old 01-21-19, 11:58 AM
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Looks nice! Paint and decals in great shape. I have a Schwinn in that color and wouldn’t have thought green tape would look that good. Awesome bike.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:15 PM
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Lucky you! I see that you're the one who was advertising for just such a bike in the "Frame doesn't Fit" thread. Nice that you also found one with the Schwinn Approved (Suntour) barcons.
One note of caution in reference to dating these with the serial number. They made a TON of '73 dated frames, outfitted and sold years later. I've got a couple with colors that were only offered in '75, but they have '73 serial numbers. Component dates and some parts variations will help you nail it down a bit more. The particular model of skip-tooth freewheel is one of the things to look at.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kdogbikes View Post
Looks nice! Paint and decals in great shape. I have a Schwinn in that color and wouldn’t have thought green tape would look that good. Awesome bike.
I think that is dirty, faded blue tape.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:58 PM
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Is that some type of filler they put in where a kick stand would go ? I've never seen that before...Also, is this Sports Tourer a rare Schwinn ? Is that what makes it valuable ans sought after ?
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Old 01-21-19, 01:11 PM
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Saw it on Coco's, and loved it. A Sports Tourer is definitely high on the "want" list for me. Congrats on a good buy!
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Old 01-21-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RollingBuffalo View Post
Is that some type of filler they put in where a kick stand would go ? I've never seen that before...Also, is this Sports Tourer a rare Schwinn ? Is that what makes it valuable ans sought after ?
It looks like some sort of chromed steel plug for the kickstand mount from the picture. I'll have to investigate when I get the bike in hand.

In the 70s there was a line of 3 fillet-brazed bikes in Schwinn's lineup, right under the lugged Paramount variants: Super Sport, Sports Tourer, Superior. They were all brazed by hand, were straight-gauge chromoly instead of hi-ten, and had varying levels of frame features and build specs. The Super Sport generally had stamped dropouts and a one-piece American crank, while the Sports Tourer got forged dropouts and three piece alloy cranks (Nervar or TA usually). I believe the Superior's frame was the same as the Sports Tourer but maybe some nicer finishing and came with a nicer build kit. Of course this all varied slightly year to year. Supposedly the geometry is the same between the three.

Not a ton of these were made but I wouldn't call them rare. The Superior is somewhat hard to find, Sports Tourer a little easier, Super Sport much easier. They fly under the radar because they used the same paint schemes as the electroforged Continentals/Varsities, many of them came with stem shifters just like the lower end varieties, and the fillet-brazed joints resemble the electroforged joints.

Last edited by TenGrainBread; 01-21-19 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 01-21-19, 01:44 PM
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Toured on a Super Sport all over the Midwest in the 70's. They make a good touring bike, albeit the chain stay needs a centimeter or two in extra length for heel clearance. My friend, Billy, had the Sports Tourer. Looked like the same tube set, different drop outs and BB shell. If I recall correctly, the 24" frame and fork weigh about 7 pounds. Not exactly light, but still a really good ride.
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Old 01-21-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
Lucky you! I see that you're the one who was advertising for just such a bike in the "Frame doesn't Fit" thread. Nice that you also found one with the Schwinn Approved (Suntour) barcons.
One note of caution in reference to dating these with the serial number. They made a TON of '73 dated frames, outfitted and sold years later. I've got a couple with colors that were only offered in '75, but they have '73 serial numbers. Component dates and some parts variations will help you nail it down a bit more. The particular model of skip-tooth freewheel is one of the things to look at.
Yeah, it was a happy coincidence!
I'll keep that in mind when dating. Good to know.
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Old 01-21-19, 03:27 PM
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These are my absolute favorite Schwinn. That one is indeed the 22" Schwinn frame size and has seen a few changes/upgrades over the years including the wheels, crankset, freewheel, saddle, "World Champion" decals on the seat tube, deleted kickstand and brake extension levers. The Schwinn Approved barcons (replacing the Twin-Stik stem shifters) was the only actual Schwinn factory option on these bikes, however they could also be installed by the dealer upon delivery. While it is probably a true '73 based on the original parts I see, on these bikes the serial number only indicates when the bare headtube was stamped, before it was even brazed into a frame. Here was the original catalog page for '73:

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Old 01-21-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
These are my absolute favorite Schwinn. That one is indeed the 22" Schwinn frame size and has seen a few changes/upgrades over the years including the wheels, crankset, freewheel, saddle, "World Champion" decals on the seat tube, deleted kickstand and brake extension levers. The Schwinn Approved barcons (replacing the Twin-Stik stem shifters) was the only actual Schwinn factory option on these bikes, however they could also be installed by the dealer upon delivery. While it is probably a true '73 based on the original parts I see, on these bikes the serial number only indicates when the bare headtube was stamped, before it was even brazed into a frame. Here was the original catalog page for '73:

I was hoping you'd chime in on this one!
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Old 01-21-19, 03:36 PM
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I love the MCM styling of the decal scheme of the Schwinn bikes. If'n it were me- I'd get a starburst Continental fork decal to throw on there- just for another starburst on there.

One of the things I've seen- (I'm sure you'll search threads) is that the darkening on the decals can be removed with a Mr Clean Magic eraser!
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Old 01-21-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Toured on a Super Sport all over the Midwest in the 70's. They make a good touring bike, albeit the chain stay needs a centimeter or two in extra length for heel clearance. My friend, Billy, had the Sports Tourer. Looked like the same tube set, different drop outs and BB shell. If I recall correctly, the 24" frame and fork weigh about 7 pounds. Not exactly light, but still a really good ride.
A Super Sport was my first serious road bike, back in '72. About six years ago I found an orange '73 and built it up into an exact replica of the first one: Removed the inner brake levers, chain guard around the crank, swapped the rims out for sew ups (first guy in the Presque Isle Bicycle Club to show up with them) and replaced the stem shifters with Huret downtube levers. Still a favorite ride of mine.

Looking at it yesterday, thinking all it really needs is to replace the crank with that Nervar I've got on the shelf and finally get rid of that Huret Allvit for something more modern Huret. All I need to find is a bottom bracket conversion kit.
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Old 01-21-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
These are my absolute favorite Schwinn. That one is indeed the 22" Schwinn frame size and has seen a few changes/upgrades over the years including the wheels, crankset, freewheel, saddle, "World Champion" decals on the seat tube, deleted kickstand and brake extension levers. The Schwinn Approved barcons (replacing the Twin-Stik stem shifters) was the only actual Schwinn factory option on these bikes, however they could also be installed by the dealer upon delivery. While it is probably a true '73 based on the original parts I see, on these bikes the serial number only indicates when the bare headtube was stamped, before it was even brazed into a frame. Here was the original catalog page for '73:

$220.00. That was a hell of a jump from the $150.00 that would get you a Super Sport. Which is why the latter are easy to find, but the former are very difficult.
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Old 01-21-19, 04:40 PM
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Thanks for the info @Metacortex and @The Golden Boy

Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Looking at it yesterday, thinking all it really needs is to replace the crank with that Nervar I've got on the shelf and finally get rid of that Huret Allvit for something more modern Huret. All I need to find is a bottom bracket conversion kit.
I believe the Truvativ American->Euro conversion kit works well on these. If I remember correctly PastorBob used it on his Super Sport extreme makeover.

I've also always wanted to try using a new Profile Racing chromoly crank on a Super Sport. They make chainring spiders compatible with their cranks for doubles and triples, and American bottom brackets as well. Would be really cool to sport a US-made, light-weight, top end BMX race crank with a triple on a Super Sport!
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Old 01-21-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by RollingBuffalo View Post
Is that some type of filler they put in where a kick stand would go ? I've never seen that before.
I'm pretty sure it's just a chrome bar-end plug pushed into the place where the kickstand used to be so there wouldn't be an obvious hole showing.

Nice bike, OP!
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Old 01-21-19, 05:53 PM
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Those kickstand plugs are exactly like the bar end plug, just a smaller diameter.

Nice bike.
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Old 01-21-19, 08:17 PM
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Very cool! I love the opaque blue. I had a yellow sports tourer frame at one point and have a superior. The superior does not have a kick stand mount... can’t remember if the sports tourer did. IMO, the sports tourer graphics are better than the superior.
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Old 01-21-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RollingBuffalo View Post
Is that some type of filler they put in where a kick stand would go ? I've never seen that before...Also, is this Sports Tourer a rare Schwinn ? Is that what makes it valuable ans sought after ?
Steel bar end plug was done from time to time.
Fork could use some double check on a jig, looks a wee bit pushed back, nothing scary.
I dont think bone stock, the hubs would not be Record, and the cranks... maybe.
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Old 01-21-19, 09:08 PM
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The braze-on kickstand? I had a 1975 Schwinn Approved LeTour. The bolted on kickstand,, lasted like 3 years. It fell off, someplace. The Superior was a higher end Schwinn. Check the rims, Schwinn used to make their own wheels. Their own sized wheels & tires. You want modern, "hooked rims" The inside (vertical wall) of the rim is a hooked,, to hold modern high pressure tires. After the Chicago factory closed, they build some Schwinn's in Miss. In the 1980s'. Others were built by Panasonic & Giant.
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Old 01-21-19, 09:29 PM
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I always thought the 70’s Schwinn used the funky Ashtabula crank ..
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Old 01-21-19, 09:51 PM
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Great find. I'd love to find one of these as well one day.
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Old 01-21-19, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
I always thought the 70’s Schwinn used the funky Ashtabula crank ..
Super Sport did. Sports Tourer and Superior had a threaded "European" bottom bracket shell.
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