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Rank the 80s Schwinns

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Old 02-03-19, 09:33 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
I know y'all said "80s", but I really like my 78 Volare. For the past couple years it's gotten the most mileage of all my bikes...
+1. Difficult to not include it here.
(Fortunately there's a "February Red Bikes" thread waiting for it to make an appearance. )
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Old 02-03-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
I'm curious what you think the very best 80s Schwinns are by year and model. Tempo, Circuit, Super Sport, Prologue, etc. Not asking about Paramounts.

(If you'd rank a Cimarron or Voyageur above all others, well I'd be interested to hear about that too.)
My first ride was on a borrowed Varsity...loved it..but down the line i purchased a World...loved it even more. Got stolen but got another
and still have it and WorldSport
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Old 02-03-19, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
...Which reminds me of a question I've got about it. Was the Volare Schwinn's first foray into contracting out high quality road bike production to Japanese companies?
I recently rebuilt the headset on my '71 Super Sport and found a funny-looking "T" logo in the steer tube, leading me to suspect that perhaps the fork had been contracted out to Tange.
The fork was a perfect paint-match to the frame so surely original to the bike. Perhaps though just the steerer was made by "T".

I think that perhaps the LeTour was the only other bike made in Japan in the early days of contract-building for Schwinn, guessing that would be around 1976-7 or so.
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Old 02-03-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
I know y'all said "80s", but I really like my 78 Volare. For the past couple years it's gotten the most mileage of all my bikes when the polar isn't vortexing. Even more than my Redcay.

Which reminds me of a question I've got about it. Was the Volare Schwinn's first foray into contracting out high quality road bike production to Japanese companies?
paging @ Metacortex
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Old 02-04-19, 12:12 AM
  #30  
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1986 Schwinn Catalog:


I'm a bit of a Peloton fanboi. The rear triangle is not black paint, but is in fact black chrome, and the main triangle is chromed underneath the paint. It's about as light as a Sherman tank, but also about as tough.


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Old 02-04-19, 08:18 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Well, I'll throw the Circuit into the mix. I've got a Prologue (and a Prologue TT) but the Circuit is the one that I get my strava KOM's on for some reason. It just dances beautifully under me when I'm up and in full sprint.

Mines' sporting Athena 11 speed now.


This Circuit has a similar decal treatment to the Columbus Tenax Schwinns below it in the lineup, but those chrome stays with the black paint just look so great. I think this is my favorite of the non-Prologue, non-Paramount Schwinns in terms of appearance. Love it!
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Old 02-04-19, 08:30 AM
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Someone posted an article on this forum one time that was discussing the Greenville, MS plant that produced most of the late '80's Schwinn llightweights. The article was from 1987, and was discussing how that year was the year that the Greenville plant finally got it right in terms of craftsmanship after some earlier struggles. Also, the '87's of some of the higher end models (maybe Tempo on up?) have investment-cast lugs at the critical seat stay/top tube/seat tube junction.

Either way, I have a mostly original '86 Prelude (sport touring geometry) and a tricked out '87 Super Sport (racing geometry), and I love the ride of both of them. And they were relatively cheap compared to a lot of the bikes that vintage steel enthusiasts flock to. Could I tell the difference between these Columbus Tenax frames and a Circuit or Peleton with Columbus SL in terms of ride? I don't know.

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Old 02-04-19, 03:58 PM
  #33  
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80's Schwinns are very nice rides for the budget-conscious. I've never ridden a Prologue but from what I hear they are the bomb.
Here's my stash.. Two built in Japan by Panasonic, and two built stateside in Greenville, MS
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Old 02-04-19, 04:22 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
Someone posted an article on this forum one time that was discussing the Greenville, MS plant that produced most of the late '80's Schwinn llightweights. The article was from 1987, and was discussing how that year was the year that the Greenville plant finally got it right in terms of craftsmanship after some earlier struggles. Also, the '87's of some of the higher end models (maybe Tempo on up?) have investment-cast lugs at the critical seat stay/top tube/seat tube junction.

Either way, I have a mostly original '86 Prelude (sport touring geometry) and a tricked out '87 Super Sport (racing geometry), and I love the ride of both of them. And they were relatively cheap compared to a lot of the bikes that vintage steel enthusiasts flock to. Could I tell the difference between these Columbus Tenax frames and a Circuit or Peleton with Columbus SL in terms of ride? I don't know.
Here's some info from around that time;


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Old 02-04-19, 07:23 PM
  #35  
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The LeTour was at the bottom of Schwinn's sport bike category, but I have been very happy with mine. I have an '88, with True Temper tubing, made in Mississippi. The geometry just feels right, like it was made to measure for me and it really smooths out the chip seal roads that are becoming the norm around here. It originally came with Sun Tour Accushift, which worked fine, but I have been trying different things. First it was a Tricolor drive train and SIS 7 speed levers. Now, I am setting it up with a triple, SIS bar ends, and fenders.


1988 Schwinn Le Tour as found.


Le Tour with Shimano Tri color and Brooks
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Old 02-05-19, 03:17 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
This Circuit has a similar decal treatment to the Columbus Tenax Schwinns below it in the lineup, but those chrome stays with the black paint just look so great. I think this is my favorite of the non-Prologue, non-Paramount Schwinns in terms of appearance. Love it!
I'll second the Circuit. here's my 88/89.

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Old 02-05-19, 05:41 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post


#3 . Any year Cimarron (picture shows 1989 Cimarron and 1988 Cimarron LE)


IMG_2716 by wrk101, on Flickr


IMG_2717 by wrk101, on Flickr
The 2nd one looks exactly like my 85, minus the mid blade fork eyelets. Was it a "reissue?"
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Old 02-06-19, 08:43 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by seely View Post
The 2nd one looks exactly like my 85, minus the mid blade fork eyelets. Was it a "reissue?"
No the second one is a 1988 Cimarron LE. Picked it up at a garage sale for $15 in deplorable shape. I've put a lot of work into it, not that much $$.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:13 PM
  #39  
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Just out of curiosity, what was a common weight for a finished Prologue ??
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Old 02-06-19, 06:40 PM
  #40  
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Frame, fork, and Tange Falcon headset for my 25" / 63.5cm frameset was 3000g.

Finishing weight is obviously dependent on everything else. I ran full 7900 Dura-Ace with a 7900 12-25T cassette (53-39 rings up front), quill stem conversion with 245g drop bars, Dura-Ace WH-7850 wheels (1431g for the set), and 23mm Vittoria Corsa Evo CX 23mm tires (155g or so a piece) and standard tubes (~100g). 200g seat post and a 265g Prologo Scratch Pro saddle. Single-sided mountain-type SPD pedals. 18.93 lb or 19.43 lb depending on if you're asking an official Park Tool scale or a mini hang scale. Individual component weighing on the mail scale netted, IIRC, a number about in the middle of those, or was it actually closer to the mini hang scale... I dropped another quarter pound or so when I went to 7900 10s downtube shifters and 6401 brake levers. I think I could honestly say that was 19.0 lb on the money. I still like the Park Tool reading the most.
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Old 02-06-19, 06:58 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
81-83 Superiors.

531 tubing, Nervex lugs, Campy dropouts....
...and technically a Paramount. Not that I'm complaining for its inclusion here, as I am completely and utterly biased



To be honest though, my '82 Superior does not feel as sprightly as my '61 Paramount, despite having the thicker chainstays of the later Paramounts. I'm going out on a limb here, but I wouldn't be surprised if a Prologue would meet or beat the Superior for ride feel in a blindfolded test. I doubt if the replacement fork has any real bearing on it though.

Part of me also can't stand the fact that it's next to impossible to blindfold test a bicycle.

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Old 02-06-19, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Frame, fork, and Tange Falcon headset for my 25" / 63.5cm frameset was 3000g.

Finishing weight is obviously dependent on everything else. I ran full 7900 Dura-Ace with a 7900 12-25T cassette (53-39 rings up front), quill stem conversion with 245g drop bars, Dura-Ace WH-7850 wheels (1431g for the set), and 23mm Vittoria Corsa Evo CX 23mm tires (155g or so a piece) and standard tubes (~100g). 200g seat post and a 265g Prologo Scratch Pro saddle. Single-sided mountain-type SPD pedals. 18.93 lb or 19.43 lb depending on if you're asking an official Park Tool scale or a mini hang scale. Individual component weighing on the mail scale netted, IIRC, a number about in the middle of those, or was it actually closer to the mini hang scale... I dropped another quarter pound or so when I went to 7900 10s downtube shifters and 6401 brake levers. I think I could honestly say that was 19.0 lb on the money. I still like the Park Tool reading the most.
Thanks. And us normal sized guys always start out with about a half pound handicap !
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Old 02-06-19, 07:15 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
Thanks. And us normal sized guys always start out with about a half pound handicap !
Totally. I'm just happy as a 210 lb guy I can ride wheels that are almost illegally light for my weight...and not have them fold under me. Naturally they do have a little flex, but brake rub when out of the saddle has been non-existent. Truing them is...frustrating with that low a spoke count. 1600-1800g "lightweight" wheels (for us) are even better. Half a pound for even more insurance and strength--I'll take that, too.

I'm also surprised Schwinn was happy spec'ing Prestige with it's .7/.4/.7 butting profile on some of the tubes. Makes for an excellent ride, though!
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Old 02-06-19, 11:37 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
It's about as light as a Sherman tank, but also about as tough.
Mine came in under 23lbs with clinchers. Hardly a tank.
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Old 02-07-19, 01:23 PM
  #45  
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By 80's standards, perhaps. But it's a Tiger II by current standards. Both in weight and in durability.
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