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Schwinn Varsity and Collegiate Sport upgrades

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Schwinn Varsity and Collegiate Sport upgrades

Old 09-10-20, 03:29 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
1) The frame and dropouts need to be re-allgned to convert to 6-7 speed. *

2) The rear derailleur may not work if it's an Allvit. You can tweak them to shift over 6 but it's going to be beyond a newbie unless they have exceptional mechanical aptitude.

* Regarding just shoving in a 6 speed wheel and hoping for the best. I don't condone that. It's a hack. Not a great idea for a variety of very good reasons I don't feel like typing out.

See Sheldon Brown's page if you want to do a 5 speed to 6 speed conversion.
Great. NOW you tell me!

All I can say is mine has the Schwinn Approved Allvit RD, the wheels and 6 speed freewheel were off an 80's World Sport, they slid in like they were made for it (no "shoving" required), the wheel is dead center between the stays and dropouts, plenty of clearance between the small cog and the dropout and it only required a very slight adjustment on the stops to work and it has been working flawlessly for 3 years now. If that makes me a "hack" I'm good with that, at least you didn't say I was "distasteful and easily triggered".
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Old 09-10-20, 03:53 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
LOL, when I was a kid Schwinns were the fancy bikes for rich kids. Everyone else rode Huffy, All-Pro, Royce Union and similar boat anchors.
So the choice was between a Schwinn and a boat anchor? Gonna need a whole new emoji to express that.
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Old 09-10-20, 06:18 PM
  #53  
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On the rear dropout spacing, I get that there is a set measurement for different cluster sizes - 120, 126 - but I've seen them all over the place on both the frames and the O.L.D on some wheels.

Supposed to be 120 ---> well, it's 122, or 118. Supposed to be 126 ---> I've seen 124, up to 129! Measured with a stainless machinist's ruler, and/or digital calipers.

By all means, get everything as close to correct as possible, but don't lose sleep. Somewhere in some city, some rider has been riding and enjoying the same beater for years and years without a clue as to how off his rear dropout spacing is.

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Old 09-10-20, 06:22 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Great. NOW you tell me!

All I can say is mine has the Schwinn Approved Allvit RD, the wheels and 6 speed freewheel were off an 80's World Sport, they slid in like they were made for it (no "shoving" required), the wheel is dead center between the stays and dropouts, plenty of clearance between the small cog and the dropout and it only required a very slight adjustment on the stops to work and it has been working flawlessly for 3 years now. If that makes me a "hack" I'm good with that, at least you didn't say I was "distasteful and easily triggered".
The thing is that many Varsities left the factory with 126mm spacing, to accommodate their patented chain-retention ring that was mounted on the small end of the freewheel (where a 6th cog might go).
The same applies to many of their other 5-speed rear wheel bikes, such as the Supersport and so on.

Perhaps for the 60's models the spacing is more like 120mm, I can't recall what I had to do to fit the 7s cassette wheelset on my 1964 model. It's not a hard frame to re-space in the rear though, because of the mild steel and modest chainstay tubing diameter.

One more thing is that in the era of five-speed freewheels, the common Normandy hubs (and many others as well) had nearly enough space for a 6s freewheel to fit right on. I installed only a 1mm spacer washer on the driveside my 1973 Raleigh Super Course rear wheel's axle in order to put a Shimano 6s Uniglide freewheel on there and still allow the Simplex rear derailer shift to the smallest (13t) cog.

It was the Campy, Phil and other (higher-end) hubs where there was usually so little extra space on the driveside that you had to add a 1mm spacer just to get a narrow-spaced Ultra-6 freewheel to clear without the chain hitting the derailer hanger after shifting to the smallest cog. This is what I recall from when I upgraded my 1975 Masi GC to an ultra-6 freewheel.

Lastly, Shimano freewheels thankfully sit just a little closer to the spokes than equivalent Maillard and Sunrace freewheels having a same number of speeds, so each case may be a little different. And bikes with claw-mounted derailer hangers or axle-stop hardware on the drive side may need bolts/nuts massaged with a Dremel grinder to allow room for a more cozy-fitting 6s freewheel!

Last edited by dddd; 09-10-20 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 09-10-20, 07:09 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The thing is that many Varsities left the factory with 126mm spacing, to accommodate their patented chain-retention ring that was mounted on the small end of the freewheel (where a 6th cog might go).
The same applies to many of their other 5-speed rear wheel bikes, such as the Supersport and so on.

Perhaps for the 60's models the spacing is more like 120mm, I can't recall what I had to do to fit the 7s cassette wheelset on my 1964 model. It's not a hard frame to re-space in the rear though, because of the mild steel and modest chainstay tubing diameter.
That's kind of the thing. There are so many "it depends". It might work. It might not. Varsities were made for a long time, and we don't really no what the OP has. I'm not going to steer the OP into just popping in an ebay/amazon/velomine cheap replacement wheel if it may or may not work. It might be 120 now, it might be something else. If you pry the chainstays open without worrying about it, there are a host of potential problems. They are probably not going to spread evenly, and the wheel alignment will be off. They will stress the dropouts and potentially break axles. Depending on the freewheel and hub geometry, and allvit may or may not reach all the cogs. For an old Schwinn, sure, it's probably not really going to matter. But the correct way to convert 120 to 126 is always going to be, well, correct. Perhaps then as first step the OP could measure between the rear dropouts.

As a former repair shop manager, I admit I'm a bit OCD about these things. A reputable bike shop isn't going to take shortcuts. I'm always going to advise doing things the fully correct way.

And then there's the Collegiate. Schwinn S6 is a whole other can o' worms.
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Old 09-10-20, 07:09 PM
  #56  
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Electroforged Schwinns, they’re heavy but not boat anchors. Internet cyclists like to hyperbolize their characteristics. They’re very comfortable, smooth riding utility bikes, and very durable. $30 is a decent price to pay for a rider. Make it comfortable with components of your choosing and enjoy, and sell it for $30 when you’re done with it. Don’t ride it in the rain with those steel wheels.
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Old 09-13-20, 05:00 PM
  #57  
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After reading your suggestions, I decided to go for an extended ride around my hilly neighborhood. The brakes definitely need to be replaced with some newer rubber pieces. Every time I braked I was pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard me coming, and going down hills it felt insecure. Where can I find replacement parts for that?

The friction shifting is not as bad as I thought and got a hang of it real fast and the bike is pretty fast actually, the varsity. I don't mind the weight of the bike so much as I have decently strong legs. The other problem with the bike is the tires also need to be changed, but reading here it looks like it's not being made anymore, so I'll need to do one of the suggestions here where I replace it with 27" instead of the 26", or what do you guys think?
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Old 09-13-20, 05:47 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by funsizes View Post
After reading your suggestions, I decided to go for an extended ride around my hilly neighborhood. The brakes definitely need to be replaced with some newer rubber pieces. Every time I braked I was pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard me coming, and going down hills it felt insecure. Where can I find replacement parts for that?

The friction shifting is not as bad as I thought and got a hang of it real fast and the bike is pretty fast actually, the varsity. I don't mind the weight of the bike so much as I have decently strong legs. The other problem with the bike is the tires also need to be changed, but reading here it looks like it's not being made anymore, so I'll need to do one of the suggestions here where I replace it with 27" instead of the 26", or what do you guys think?
There's an extensive current thread on here dedicated to current 27" tires that you can choose from. There seem to be more options available now than back in the day!

Brake pads for steel rims are different than brake pads for alloy rims, these tend to be more difficult to source than 27" tires.

The setup of the pads, and the toe-in angle that the pads meet the rim at will have a big effect on whether or not the brakes are noisy. Some of the Dia Compe pads from the 70's (like those on my 1977 Centurion Pro-Tour) still work perfectly today, and some don't. I will say that I've sourced a lot of still-good brake pads from old vintage bikes, but it's also true that some brake pads seem to harden in as few as four or five years.

One way to perfectly level the pad surfaces to the rim surface (while removing glazed/oxidized rubber at the same time) is to move the rim and a sheet of coarse sandpaper past the pad surface with the brake applied. Illustrated below (though not showing that I am applying the brake while turning the wheel forward with the sandpaper going along for the ride).
From there, if squealing noise persists, you might add a bit of "toe-in" to the pad positioning by carefully twisting the caliper arms with an adjustable wrench.

Last edited by dddd; 09-13-20 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 09-15-20, 09:51 AM
  #59  
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I've built a few Hot Rod Schwinn's in the past, a Varsity that I sold and a Collegiate that I built for my best friend who asked me to tune it up lol. Both bikes were built from my mega parts stash and that's the only reason I did it, it would cost to much to have to buy all the parts unless the bike is Special to you. The Varsity was built up using a Womans Le Tour for parts, I replaced all the Heavy Chrome steel parts with alloy parts from the Le Tour added a nos Suntour SL High Normal FD and a Suntour V-GT RD. I dropped a lot of weight from the Varsity and it was one of the smoothest shifting bikes I had ever ridden.

The Collegiate that my buddy said just needs a tune up was a total pos and the only parts I reused was the Frame & Fork everything else came from my stash. The only real upgrade I did was install a set of 7spd 700c wheels & tires, a Shimano SIS Rd and a mtb indexed thumb shifter. I really like the way this bike rides now night & day difference. I just got a Mens Suburban that I am going to build up the same way for myself.





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Old 09-15-20, 10:18 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by funsizes View Post
After reading your suggestions, I decided to go for an extended ride around my hilly neighborhood. The brakes definitely need to be replaced with some newer rubber pieces. Every time I braked I was pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard me coming, and going down hills it felt insecure. Where can I find replacement parts for that?

The friction shifting is not as bad as I thought and got a hang of it real fast and the bike is pretty fast actually, the varsity. I don't mind the weight of the bike so much as I have decently strong legs. The other problem with the bike is the tires also need to be changed, but reading here it looks like it's not being made anymore, so I'll need to do one of the suggestions here where I replace it with 27" instead of the 26", or what do you guys think?
For the brake pads, it's probably going to be easier to replace the entire pad and the little metal holder. Road brake pads haven't really changed. You can use anything that bolts on. Some bikes though had angled pads to match angle sided rims. You might want to check that. Whatever it is, kool stop probably still sells it. Kool Stop continentals are one option that will still look kinda vintage, since they've been around forever.

27" is still widely available. I'd stick with it. It was the standard for a really long time. See sticky thread previously mentioned above. ^^^

Schwinn 26 S6 ISO 597 is the rare one. The Collegiate probably uses this size. Hasn't really been used since the 60s. Kenda does still make a tire though, so no point in changing that either.
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Old 09-15-20, 11:30 PM
  #61  
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GlennfordX4 has made a great "modern Collegiate prototype" (see GREEN bike) that puts that horrible joke that comes out of Detroit, to shame. I see that GlennfordX4 has incorporated the CENTERPULLS..(....possibly salvaged from a Continental???...). I'm curious if that is the case or what Centerpulls?? From what I can tell from the photograph, he likely took the CENTERPULLS which were original equipment for a 27 inch(630mmBeadSeatDiameter) wheel so that it works well for the 700C(622mmBeadSeatDiameter) wheel.

Personally, I prefer the Single STIK stem shifter versus the Thumb shifter but when you have incorporated INDEX SHIFTING as Glennford has, then the THUMB SHIFTER is fantastic. He has done a great job on the GREEN Collegiate, and on the ORANGE Varsity too, which also has been converted to CENTERPULLS like the Continental. My belief is that the SCHWINN Twin STIK stem shifter on TEN SPEED and the Single STIK stem shifter on FIVE SPEED are fantastic with friction shifting. From inception with 1967 model year through the Chicago end, there were slight changes, factory claimed as being upgrades/improvements.............(Metacortex is the definitive expert on exactly all the slight variations from '67 to the very early eighties) You can easily tell somewhat between earlier (s) versions from the later (S) version which arrived in mid seventies.... I believe that these SCHWINN Twin STIK (and SingleSTIK for 5 speeds..) are superb for Varsities, etc set-up as Upright Tourist Handlebar bicycles. These are fantastic for basic friction shifting, no matter what derailleurs that you employ. That is another matter that SCHWINN did somewhat keep with slight improvements as the years rolled on. The front derailleurs differ in model number from very late seventies, early-mid seventies, and very early seventies. They are all decent and durable and do the job well. Circa 1975, a slightly improved minimally revised Allvit rear derailleur came on board but it still was inferior to any rear derailleur from Shimano or SUNTOUR. ...........................If you like the opposite direction ten-speed shift as seen on SUNTOUR's Spirt front derailleur and a few other SUNTOUR front derailleur models, you can certainly use those as there are thousands of 25.4mm(one inch) clamp Spirt and other Suntour front derailleurs. The sky is almost the limit as there are numerous past thread-topics here on bikeforums that are extremely detailed as to how to make perfect shims so that one can easily adapt the 28mm sized clampsize front derailleurs.... THIS IS REALLY ONLY SOMETHING THAT YOU MAY NEED TO CONSIDER IF YOU ARE STARTING FROM SCRATCH WITH A BIKE FRAME WITH NOTHING, or A MINIMAL, ALMOST STRIPPED PARTS BIKE. The factory front derailleurs all work fine if in good condition. The rear derailleur (ALLVIT) is what can really be improved upon on the Schwinn ten speeds and pre-1970 five speed Collegiates.

As you can see, with Glennford's GREEN Collegiate example, the one-piece Ashtabula crank with 46T is a durable marvel of simplicity....................the #64 caged bearings are likely still great and serviceable if routinely cleaned every few years by soaking them in cut in half Coke or Beer cans filled with Formula 87. Formula 87 is unleaded gasoline of 87 octane. Note which side and which "cup" each of the two Number64 caged bearings came out of, and re-install them in the same orientation after soaking cleaning-them and liberally greasing and re-installing.. You can buy new #64 bearings & "cup" sets with new Nut and lockwasher for Schwinn specific ashtabula one-piece cranks for about $15 total including shipping online.....crystal lake bicycle, wonder lake illinois is just one such supplier..... The original SCHWINN stamped #64 bearings are superior in build and materials quality if still in near perfect shape. The replacement aftermkt #64 bearings are great too............it ain't that critical if liberally lubricated, the materials quality though not as durable just means that the aftmkt replacements will only last 25 years versus 65 years for the originals in great shape that are stamped SCHWINN. I buy the NEW #64 replacement bearrings when needed from Phil C. who owns Chain Reaction Bicycles in Evans. He sells them for $2 each, as I bought a bunch of them during 2019 when I re-did a large number of ancient Schwinns to give away to folks needing transportation. His bike store is one of the few that carries a large supply of #64 "schwinn" caged bottom bracket bearings as well as the #66 other makes' one-piece Ashtabula crank bottom bracket bearings. The one-piece "AMERICAN" Ashtabula crank is a marvelous practical, and supremely durable bottom bracket set-up that is oh so simple. Yes, it might weigh more than a Sherman Tank but on any bicycle where overall weight does not matter, the one-piece crank is great. There is. really no reason to change from one piece to something more "upscale & light". Most folks who do change, get rid of the one-piece crank set-up probably just so that no one ever mistakes them for the working homeless folks riding these old bicycles as their only means of everyday transportation. Durability is great. It doesn't matter if you're trying to just keep your head above water, or if you're fortunate enough to have unlimited options.
The KENDA 597mm "schwinn tire" is fantastic and gives the most soft and comfortable ride that you'll find with these old Electroforged Schwinns even with the best 700C(622mm) and 27 (630mm) wheel/tire combinations. The only way to come close to that 597mm COLLEGIATE ride is to go to a much wider than typical, "balloon-tire" type set-up that would still fit between the forks and rear frame. Sure, the allure of having aluminum 700C wheels will certainly give you better braking in wet conditions versus pray&hope you stop with wet steel rims. Other than that and perhaps faster acceleration, and maybe four pounds lighter, you'll give up some of that old Cadillac--large ancient Buick "comfort-ride" to where the upgraded Collegiate will ride more like the SUBURBAN or VARSITY. The Varsity-Suburban has an excellent ride but the Collegiate has a better Rolls-Royce like comfort ride in comparison and the 597mm twenty-six inch wheels/tires are responsible for that. When you upgrade to 700C, you'll find that it feels like a SUBURBAN which has a great ride, but not quite the Rolls--ancient Caddy-large Buick behemoth ride. The KENDA tire is fantastic. Like all ancient variants of the 597mm tire, it is a bear for novices to mount evenly, but if you know what you're doing, it is simple and they ride oh so smooth. Be forewarned that the GUMWALL version is not perfect as to the "visual" of the gumwall outline, and the GUMWALL sidewall will begin to deteriorate after four to five years, where the BLACKWALL version will not deteriorate to such a degree even after a decade or more. Both are great tires that will serve you faithfully for many years and 2000 + miles if your bicycle is not stored outdoors in the elements. The KENDA (597mm) twenty-six inch "Schwinn" tire (37-597) has the tread pattern very much like the factory tire that was fitted to Seventies bike-boom era Collegiates-Breeze-Speedster ...etc, except that the current KENDA tire is better in every way than the new factory tire was back then. Other than the gumwall decoration not being perfectly uniform as the seventies era versions were, other than this, the current KENDA tires (both Gumwall & Blackwalls) are significantly better than the new tires were in the seventies. The KENDA (37-597) tires are incredibly inexpensive at approx $20 each including shipping ONLINE where they are widely available as there is no shortage of them as it still is a very popular tire because so many of these ancient BREEZE, SPEEDSTER, RACER, TRAVELER, COLLEGIATES, etc are still being ridden 45 years to 75 years after coming out of that ancient Chicago factory. Yes, fifty years ago, there were many different makers of these EA-1 597mm 26 inch tires with different tread patterns. I challenge you to show any particular EA-1 , S5, S6 37-597 in this exact size from the past that is worth a damn, compared to this Seventies era SCHWINN tread pattern. I don't think you will find one that is half as good as far as tread pattern design. I have more than fifty years of experience of owning these 26 inch SCHWINN "lightweight" bikes with this 37-597mm 26 x 1 3/8 schwinn size. Don't underestimate the current KENDA tire! It is a great tire. There is no chance of this KENDA 37-597mm tire being discontinued in the next few years as there are probably a million Schwinns still on the road or in sheds/garages/attics only needing tires/tubes/brake pads/grease to be functional. Twenty years from now, it might be a different story as most everybody will be gone that was riding these old Schwinn bikes when they were being sold new during the bike boom of the early seventies and before that in the sixties, fifties, and end of the forties. The ancient Cabers are successfully using these 37-597mm tires on their very ancient Schwinns that have the original wheels which call for a 599mm bead seat diameter tire which is obsolete and no longer produced. Sure, you aren't gonna find any of your local bike shops carrying 597mm tires............none have for forty years other than SCHWINN stores which have been gone for a long long time too.....................basically local bike shops want to sell new bicycles and thus stocking 27 inch tires and the 590mm common 26 x 1 3/8 twenty-six tire IS NOT IN THE EQUATION because availability cuts their own throat by giving the customer the choice of keeping the old-bike versus functional rather than spending the dough on a new bicycle which offers larger register sale and probably greater margins than keeping the old machine on the road. A new bike is a rolling adverising billboard for that bike store........the old bike still rolling on the road is testimony to the staff-technicians at that bike store.....but New sales are critical to remaining an ongoing concern unless located in a market possibly like NYC where there might be huge business in just keeping old bicycles serviced and rolling along.
The issue with obtaining 597mm 26 tires is NOT AN ISSUE!!! You can go online and order them and have them at your doorstep within six days, and you'll find that at least from the suppliers that I have ordered from, that the tires are FRESH and they come Mailed wrapped as opposed to twisted up like a pretzel. Don't knock the 597mm KENDA tires on the original COLLEGIATE wheels because they ride great. I doubt that most folks that express concerns about 597mm tire selection/availability have ever even ridden a COLLEGIATE with fresh new KENDA tires. The ride is more comfortable and plush than what you can get on a SUBURBAN-VARSITY-CONTINENTAL because of the 597mm tires/wheels. That is the reason that the COLLEGIATE, and Breeze/Speedster & others were SO POPULAR BACK IN THE DAY even though they weigh about an 1/8 of a ton!

One thing is certain and that is that the many examples that you see here in this thread are more Collegiate like in a modern sort of way than that overpriced Detroit thing that looks less like a Collegiate than the perhaps better Target/Walmart Wayfarer, etc- Collegiate like Chinese import that sells for about $200. Perhaps Detroit should go back to the drawing board. That has been a statement that has been applicable to automobiles for at least fifty years now.
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Old 09-16-20, 05:59 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by funsizes View Post
After reading your suggestions, I decided to go for an extended ride around my hilly neighborhood. The brakes definitely need to be replaced with some newer rubber pieces. Every time I braked I was pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard me coming, and going down hills it felt insecure. Where can I find replacement parts for that?

The friction shifting is not as bad as I thought and got a hang of it real fast and the bike is pretty fast actually, the varsity. I don't mind the weight of the bike so much as I have decently strong legs. The other problem with the bike is the tires also need to be changed, but reading here it looks like it's not being made anymore, so I'll need to do one of the suggestions here where I replace it with 27" instead of the 26", or what do you guys think?
27" tires are still being made.....

https://www.benscycle.com/wheel-good...8-25914/search


KOOL-STOP brake pads are the way to go...

https://www.benscycle.com/kool-stop-...br5547/product
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Old 09-16-20, 07:28 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
GlennfordX4 has made a great "modern Collegiate prototype" (see GREEN bike) that puts that horrible joke that comes out of Detroit, to shame.
Oh, come off of it. Nothing against Glennford's tasteful upgrades, but even though the modern Collegiate is a Pacific Cycle publicity stunt and is ugly due to Pacific-directed concessions to modern frame ideas, it is a handbuilt cromoly frame. It's miles ahead of anything electroforged.

Now, don't get me wrong, it is all well and good to drink the electroforged Kool-Aid. But the great majority of commuter cycling - what bikes like these should excel at - do not require a frameset overbuilt to survive being thrown off a two-story building. Expectations of abuse is not a measure of quality. It's about time that commuter bikes get a bit of respect in the tubing department. The cro-mo Detroits are a step in that direction.

I might add that I really get ticked off when bygone day thumpers come around to conflate Detroit Cycles' business ethos with the Pacific marketing stunt. Detroit is a small American bike builder that needs all the business they can get (which includes assembly and crating of the offshore-built NYC CitiBikes). They are making handbuilt bikes made in the USA. This is exactly what Schwinn stood for in the first place.

Detroit Bikes is the exact type of bike business that people like you would be praising if you'd take your blinders of the past off. This is a small newcomer that is deserving of support. I've made this point before in a thread dedicated to the discussion of this bike: New Schwinns built in Detroit

Take a look at this shop tour of Detroit through How its Made. Truly handbuilt bikes made by craftspeople living and working in Detroit. (Unfortunately, How its Made edits the video to show a frame tacked up, but not welded entirely - I wouldn't hold this against them).


You may know some things buried in your rambling, single-paragraph posts, but you're dead wrong on this one. Not to mention that you're being a hypocrite to your own nationalistic hyperbole.

-Kurt

P.S.: Please learn how to make paragraphs, as a point of respect for others tasked to read your posts. Thank you.

P.P.S.: This entire post brought to you by someone who collects and more or less worships bike share bikes built in China and assembled from Taiwanese components and doesn't consider himself a nationalist
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Old 09-16-20, 10:51 AM
  #64  
eeuuugh
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I fixed up a 5-speed Collegiate with S-6 tires a few months ago. Cleaned and waxed the frame, replaced the brake pads with Kool-Stop continentals, redid the cabling, and new grips. Also replaced the horrible stamped-steel stem, which probably saved a few ounces. Came out beautifully.
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Old 09-16-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
I fixed up a 5-speed Collegiate with S-6 tires a few months ago. Cleaned and waxed the frame, replaced the brake pads with Kool-Stop continentals, redid the cabling, and new grips. Also replaced the horrible stamped-steel stem, which probably saved a few ounces. Came out beautifully.
Nice job restoring it.

How did you deal with the headset, bottom bracket and hubs?
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Old 09-16-20, 08:30 PM
  #66  
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We got some good looking Collegiats posted. Nice job! There is some inspiration here.
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Old 09-17-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post

P.P.S.: This entire post brought to you by someone who collects and more or less worships bike share bikes built in China and assembled from Taiwanese components and doesn't consider himself a nationalist
YYESS! Bike nerds gathering in solidarity, gently counseling one another on their foibles. Makes the heart warm.

PS: i'll take anyone's Allvit derailers. They're glorious!
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Old 09-17-20, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Nice job restoring it.

How did you deal with the headset, bottom bracket and hubs?
Fully overhauled with new bearings in the hubs and BB. The headset bearings were a little rough, but I kept them, since they were the slightly larger size used in some old Schwinn headsets. I swapped the upper and lower bearings as the upper set was in better shape and the lower bearings take all the load while riding.

The bike had been sitting unridden in a friend's yard for two years, and I didn't intend to do more than get it rideable, but all the bearing surfaces were in great shape, I kept thinking how good the chrome would look if I cleaned it up a little, and I love the old Schwinn paint jobs (though this one was very late 70s I think, and didn't have the metallic silver undercoat of earlier models). So it got the full treatment. Even the wheels tensioned up beautifully.

It came to me with a Varsity that was in much worse shape, I posted about both of them in the "What have you been wrenching on lately?" thread. The Varsity was also an electroforged frame, but came with the tubular fork made in Japan or Taiwan the last year or two of Chicago frames got (80 and 81 I think). Just realized I never posted a final picture of the Varsity so here it is!

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Old 09-17-20, 09:17 AM
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While we're on the subject, here are three all-chrome (no idea who did it, but I suspect factory - the serials were all pretty close) 1980 Varsity / Continental frames I unearthed in the back of a local shop back in 2008.

I only had parts to partially build up one as a Continental.











The rims are incorrect, of course, but I didn't have any S7's (and wasn't willing to spend a dime to get any good used ones - they're really quite horrible).

I traded and sold off all of these (I knew from the start I had no space or desire to keep them), but I enjoyed the partial build. I really wanted to do a full build on all three just for fun - (I didn't need 'em, but really wanted to put them together).

-Kurt
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Old 09-17-20, 05:28 PM
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Holy Chrome !!!!
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Old 09-17-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Holy Chrome !!!!
It's the perfect bike for it - almost everything hung from it is chromed steel!

-Kurt
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Old 09-17-20, 09:56 PM
  #72  
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Those CHROME PLATED frames and your project chromed Continental are beautiful. They look like something that CONTROL would design for Max, 99, the Chief, and Larribee to use. Don't forget your sunglasses, especially if you add the optional chromed Varsity fenders.
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Old 09-17-20, 11:31 PM
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I've always found that Ashtabula bottom brackets and old school American style one piece cranks are extremely easy to overhaul. In a way this one piece design was superior to cottered cranks. If it had evolved it might have become standard. I suppose though that in a way modern 2 piece cranks do owe a debt to the old Ashtabula style. Digressing a bit. I just mean to say that these bikes are actually pretty easy to work on.
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Old 09-18-20, 07:35 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I've always found that Ashtabula bottom brackets and old school American style one piece cranks are extremely easy to overhaul. In a way this one piece design was superior to cottered cranks. If it had evolved it might have become standard. I suppose though that in a way modern 2 piece cranks do owe a debt to the old Ashtabula style. Digressing a bit. I just mean to say that these bikes are actually pretty easy to work on.
Sealed BB for a one piece crank, anybody? 24tpi. There was once even a hollow chromoly OPC, believe it or not. https://www.planetbmx.com/shop/tange...pc-cranks.html

I love the one piece crank. For a city bike, commuter, etc., they are ideal. Nice thin steel arms look good. Plenty of good platform pedals available. Weight weenies can go eat a steak and walk up some stairs. It is a great design in its simplicity, strength, and low cost.
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Old 09-18-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I've always found that Ashtabula bottom brackets and old school American style one piece cranks are extremely easy to overhaul. In a way this one piece design was superior to cottered cranks. If it had evolved it might have become standard. I suppose though that in a way modern 2 piece cranks do owe a debt to the old Ashtabula style. Digressing a bit. I just mean to say that these bikes are actually pretty easy to work on.
Two things could be done to make square-taper servicing easier for the everyday person: Self-extractor Allen bolts and sealed BB's with hex patterns on them for removal and reinstallation. Heck, even for narrow spindles where this wouldn't work, a recessed hex pattern would still work better than that *(#@$&*(_@#$()#*$!!!!!!! Shimano spline pattern, which may be the biggest PITA bike-specific tool pattern I regularly deal with

-Kurt
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