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Electro-forged Schwinn Continental at just 39 lbs. !!

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Electro-forged Schwinn Continental at just 39 lbs. !!

Old 03-20-19, 08:59 AM
  #26  
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Nice looking Schwinn! Very cool Severson Schwinn sticker. I'm also a Metric fan Seems taller than 24" Search for Hunt Wilde tape on ebay, the color might be hard to match, is this it?

The GB Girder stem is a great option for lighter weight Super Sports and Sports Tourers that don't have them, you can get a bit more height with it. I'd keep the rack, I really like the way it mounts to the seat clamp. Also, keep the turkey levers, as mentioned you can get very good (and comfortable top position) braking with them if the brakes are adjusted (I don't know about cutting them, and would not).

I'm growing to like the Twin Stiks as well, you need special cables though, and sometimes the head can get stuck in the shifter (though yours look good). I got some NOS Huret cables, but it looks like compatible cables might be available?

I think I had a similar Schwinn Approved seat made by Messinger -- it was pretty uncomfortable.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:16 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by specialmonkey View Post
Nice looking Schwinn! Very cool Severson Schwinn sticker. I'm also a Metric fan Seems taller than 24" Search for Hunt Wilde tape on ebay, the color might be hard to match, is this it?
That looks to be it exactly and I guess Flexon is a term to remember, I'll save the link and hopefully if I need tape down the road I'll have a source. Do you where Severson was located? I found some info that seemed to indicate Chicago, but I don't know how big they were. If you like Metric, you've got to be OK Thanks for the info !
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Old 03-20-19, 02:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
...I haven't had it on the rack yet and haven't removed the rear wheel, can you describe what the problem & fix are?
It's a combination of things, the extra weight, and you have to pull the derailer rearward on older bikes in many instances, plus the chain loses all tension and can do an unwanted loop, etc.
Then there is the kickstand with the bent foot that sometimes gets well-entangled in the spokes of the wheel.
Also, best make sure that the retaining bolt for the derailer claw mount is tight, it's what holds the derailer claw/bracket in place when the axle nut is backed off and the wheel removed.
Compared to a modern bike it's rather difficult!

Changing saddles will require a Schwinn-dimensioned "seat post guts" clamp if the original saddle used flat (instead of round) rails. These old clamps are somewhat rare and expensive, expect to pay $20 or more for one.

I'll post a photo of my old "late-1962" Continental (with original chromed fork), and one of my 1975 Varsity:


Last edited by dddd; 03-20-19 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 03-20-19, 02:58 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by samkl View Post
I'm glad people appreciate these. When I was working as a mechanic at the local co-op last summer, I dreaded the prospect of working on a Varsity/Continental/Suburban, what with their heft, their oddly sized headsets, and their invariably awful, neglected condition. I hated these bikes on some level. On many levels, actually. And I still do.

But I respect their heft, their sheer refusal to break, and the fact that other people actually seem to like them. That's gotta count for something.
^^^ THIS ^^^

Plus, the headsets and bottom brackets hold up really well, even when maintained via neglect. The bearings and races are really high quality.
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Old 03-20-19, 03:20 PM
  #30  
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I rode my first bike race on a candyapple red Continental about the same vintage as that. I think it was a '61 or '62. When my parents found that I was serious about racing, we traded it in on a new Legnano Roma Olympiad in 1964, which I still have. I remember the beautiful red paint, and the quality finish. I always thought the filled welds were cool, even though they contributed to the porky weight. Mine had Huret branded derailleurs, and down tube shifters, but the same logo and graphics. It was heavy, but we had lots of adventures together. Have fun with yours. I've never come across one like mine again.
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Old 03-20-19, 03:24 PM
  #31  
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More good information for me to be aware of, thanks dddd ! Those 2 look great, I haven't seen the blue or silver as much as the other Schwinn colors.
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Old 03-20-19, 03:29 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
I rode my first bike race on a candyapple red Continental about the same vintage as that. I think it was a '61 or '62. When my parents found that I was serious about racing, we traded it in on a new Legnano Roma Olympiad in 1964, which I still have. I remember the beautiful red paint, and the quality finish. I always thought the filled welds were cool, even though they contributed to the porky weight. Mine had Huret branded derailleurs, and down tube shifters, but the same logo and graphics. It was heavy, but we had lots of adventures together. Have fun with yours. I've never come across one like mine again.
Mine also has the earlier derailers still with Huret branding, and even the chainring assembly branded as Huret.
For a short time, the earlier Continentals (like mine) had the lighter, French-made ChroLux rims instead of Schwinn's own rims (as always found on the Varsity).
The Schwinn "tubular" steel rims weigh over 1100g each, bare!
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Old 03-29-19, 03:40 PM
  #33  
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Couple pics of my chestnut continental. And to get back to the op on fenders on my blue one. They are from a bike shop, not sure of brand.

Tried cruiser style for a bit


After clean up.




As found. 7 dollars
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Old 03-29-19, 05:34 PM
  #34  
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@Kdogbikes, that’s awesome. I think the chestnut is one of my favorite colors. It’s cool to see it was possible to roll it like a cruiser, if I may ask was it unsatisfactory that way? That’s a lot of bike for $7.
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Old 03-30-19, 10:05 AM
  #35  
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Schwinn was an interesting concept.

The very core of Schwinn was their indestructibility- and that reputation carried them through until people started realizing there was more to bikes than indestructibility at any cost. But that cost was weight- and the reputation of weight has been the legacy of Schwinn after actual lightweight bikes became the norm. There's a sizable amount of people that are unable to think of any Schwinn as anything but a 40 pound toy.

As someone who often says 'weight doesn't matter' there's a point to where weight DOES matter. While I ride 26 pound bikes as matter of course- and I like riding with a full load of stuff in panniers... but when I had my Continental- just riding the bike alone- it was just too much. Fine for trotting around the neighborhood- not so fun on the little hill up to the grocery store and dry cleaners... I'm spoiled by modern bikes.

But it is important to appreciate what the Continental was in its day. The Continental was a classy bike. I love the look and the appointments- the old Schwinn "air conditioner" font- and the starbursts. I love the starbursts.

Congratulations!
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Old 03-30-19, 02:13 PM
  #36  
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The conti rode great as a cruiser. What the Schwinn Continental has going for it is the handlebars. Very comfortable upswept bend. I live in a rural area with rough roads so the simplicity and weight of these bikes work in my favor. ( although my tempo feels like a rocket after riding the heavyweights. Lol. Pic of my blue bike with fenders.
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Old 03-30-19, 03:44 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Kdogbikes View Post
Couple pics of my chestnut continental.
As found. 7 dollars
Great job on the clean up Kdog !! Did you have to repaint or were you able to bring the original paint back to such a nice shine? If you re-pained it sure matches the Schwinn Chestnut perfectly. Are those the original rims? Mine's not quite done yet, and I'm just lubing and having to hit a few minor spots, I can't wait to see how it feels on the road.
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Old 03-30-19, 04:43 PM
  #38  
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Original paint and rims. A wash with dawn dish soap then rubbing compound. in real time, the bike is in pretty rough shape paint wise, but I've painted 2 other bikes and its a lot of work. Schwinn chrome always amazes me on how it can be brought back to shine. Great thread Deal4 Fuji and I'm looking to more pics of your continental. Cheers, Kevin.
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Old 04-01-19, 06:08 PM
  #39  
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Thanks Kevin, all greased up and close to being done, I want to find a way to mount lights on the old reflector brackets and add a water bottle cage, but getting there. I polished the chrome and removed some minor rust spots, haven't waxed the paint yet.


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Old 04-01-19, 10:40 PM
  #40  
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Mount the waterbottle cage on the seat tube, so as not to damage or obstruct the decals.

For clamps, I found worm-gear hose clamps with a sufficient diameter and only 5/16" wide, though I once broke one just from heavily tightening it.
Next size up is usually a full 1/2" wide, which looks pretty huge as mounted.

Notice how low I was able to mount the cage on my Continental, so you could probably put two cages on your 26" frame just on the seat tube!
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Old 04-02-19, 11:42 AM
  #41  
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Great job, Ken! That might get close condition wise to your Sweet Speedster machine!
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Old 04-03-19, 09:20 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Great job, Ken!
Thanks Buddy, nothing compared to the job you did on the Miller lights

Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Mount the waterbottle cage on the seat tube, so as not to damage or obstruct the decals.

For clamps, I found worm-gear hose clamps with a sufficient diameter and only 5/16" wide, though I once broke one just from heavily tightening it.
Next size up is usually a full 1/2" wide, which looks pretty huge as mounted.

Notice how low I was able to mount the cage on my Continental, so you could probably put two cages on your 26" frame just on the seat tube!
That's what I'd planned as well, I sure don't want to interfere with the downtube logo. I think I can get by with just one cage as probably 25 or 30 miles would be as far as I'd ride this bike.
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Old 04-04-19, 09:12 AM
  #43  
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I found this one here for sale locally, seller asking $45. I might go check it out this weekend. I've been considering a 2nd bike for a while. I guess it even comes with a pair of tubes!

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Old 04-04-19, 10:11 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
I found this one here for sale locally, seller asking $45. I might go check it out this weekend. I've been considering a 2nd bike for a while. I guess it even comes with a pair of tubes!

Looks in really good shape, and yet another with original bar tape. I wonder what year it is with those top tube graphics and chrome fork ? They sure went a long way with the bar wrap too. I think $45 is a good price if it's your size. A lot of bike and history for that price. Mine was listed for $75 and I got it for $60. You need a 2nd bike or more for rainy days and when your go-to bike goes down and you need the w/e to get it going again

I had my long-awaited shake down (shake-out ?) ride yesterday and the old girl rode better than expected, although I did hear some creeks and pops....probably the chrome wheels. It might have been her 1st ride in 40 years. I did 15 miles and while the bike and shifting did fine, the saddle was uncomfortable in my perineum area. I'm gonna try it with the saddle tilted down a little more and see if that helps, otherwise I'll be looking a different saddle. I was hoping to keep it all Schwinn. Buy it and join the electro-force !

Last edited by Deal4Fuji; 04-04-19 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 04-04-19, 10:44 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
Looks in really good shape, and yet another with original bar tape. I wonder what year it is with those top tube graphics and chrome fork ? They sure went a long way with the bar wrap too. I think $45 is a good price if it's your size. A lot of bike and history for that price. Mine was listed for $75 and I got it for $60. You need a 2nd bike or more for rainy days and when your go-to bike goes down and you need the w/e to get it going again

I had my long-awaited shake down (shake-out ?) ride yesterday and the old girl rode better than expected, although I did hear some creeks and pops....probably the chrome wheels. It might have been her 1st ride in 40 years. I did 15 miles and while the bike and shifting did fine, the saddle was uncomfortable in my perineum area. I'm gonna try it with the saddle tilted down a little more and see if that helps, otherwise I'll be looking a different saddle. I was hoping to keep it all Schwinn. Buy it and join the electro-force !
Thanks so much for the reply! My first bike I bought as an adult was a '74 Conti in a light blue color but it was a 20" frame and I'm 6' tall, size did not work out. I ended up giving it to my 5'6" dad. This one is a 24". It was kind of a long time ago now, but I remember the ride was very smooth and I appreciated the simplicity and durability.

I may also be checking out an old Mizutani Seraph, similar to an early 70s Fuji, seller asking $35. I imagine it's 10 lbs lighter than the Conti. I have a ton of spare parts including a wheel set that would work on this one.

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Old 04-04-19, 11:41 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Thanks so much for the reply! My first bike I bought as an adult was a '74 Conti in a light blue color but it was a 20" frame and I'm 6' tall, size did not work out. I ended up giving it to my 5'6" dad. This one is a 24". It was kind of a long time ago now, but I remember the ride was very smooth and I appreciated the simplicity and durability.

I may also be checking out an old Mizutani Seraph, similar to an early 70s Fuji, seller asking $35. I imagine it's 10 lbs lighter than the Conti. I have a ton of spare parts including a wheel set that would work on this one.

It looks like you're in an area of good c-list pricing for C&V. That's probably an even better deal although I'm not familiar with the brand. Nice saddle and probably SunTour components ?? - I say get both and start working on you N+ 's
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Old 04-04-19, 02:01 PM
  #47  
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That Mizutani looks like a great deal if the wheels are in decent working order. Those look like alloy rims, so emphasis on value if they are in an un-traumatized state.
The spokes even look rust-free, though I would apply a drop of PB-Blaster or similar penetrant a full week before trying to turn any spoke nipples.

Once that crankset is de-greased, the bike will already be looking a lot better imo.
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Old 04-07-19, 08:56 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Schwinn was an interesting concept.

The very core of Schwinn was their indestructibility- and that reputation carried them through until people started realizing there was more to bikes than indestructibility at any cost. But that cost was weight- and the reputation of weight has been the legacy of Schwinn after actual lightweight bikes became the norm. There's a sizable amount of people that are unable to think of any Schwinn as anything but a 40 pound toy.

As someone who often says 'weight doesn't matter' there's a point to where weight DOES matter. While I ride 26 pound bikes as matter of course- and I like riding with a full load of stuff in panniers... but when I had my Continental- just riding the bike alone- it was just too much. Fine for trotting around the neighborhood- not so fun on the little hill up to the grocery store and dry cleaners... I'm spoiled by modern bikes.

But it is important to appreciate what the Continental was in its day. The Continental was a classy bike. I love the look and the appointments- the old Schwinn "air conditioner" font- and the starbursts. I love the starbursts.

Congratulations!
The Varsity/Continental were the bikes that popularized derailleur bikes in Dumbfarkistan, aka the USA at the time. Prior to that, derailleur bikes were seen as some Euro curiosity that were purchased by weirdos, homosexuals and communists. Unfortunately for Schwinn, they did not go through and capitalize on a trend that they started.
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Old 04-07-19, 09:00 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
I found this one here for sale locally, seller asking $45. I might go check it out this weekend. I've been considering a 2nd bike for a while. I guess it even comes with a pair of tubes!

If it fits, and there is no damage, $45 is a good prices, but I'd offer the seller $25 and see what he says. Some Varsities/Continentals are collectible and worth a fair amount of money, but most of the bikes from the 70s were made in such huge numbers they will never be worth anything to a collector. I built a very good around-town beater bike on a Varsity frame.
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Old 04-07-19, 09:41 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Fissile View Post
The Varsity/Continental were the bikes that popularized derailleur bikes in Dumbfarkistan, aka the USA at the time. Prior to that, derailleur bikes were seen as some Euro curiosity that were purchased by weirdos, homosexuals and communists. Unfortunately for Schwinn, they did not go through and capitalize on a trend that they started.
They sat on it- they didn't expand upon it- Even when they realized a sizable chunk of the American population had interest in bikes- AND had an interest in bikes that weighed 1/4 less- I think Schwinn chalked that up to not enough Schwinns- why would anyone want a 25 or 30 pound (or less!?!) bike? Clearly inferior to the Schwinns, you ride bikes, not carry them. So in 1975 Schwinn had grand plans to build a new factory in Oklahoma- but that was to be another electroforging facility. Schwinn had expected the world to go on exactly as it had.
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