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Labor Day N+1 High Sierra

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Labor Day N+1 High Sierra

Old 09-08-20, 03:06 PM
  #1  
bamab2
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Labor Day N+1 High Sierra

Well, I've been looking for a vintage MTB to tinker with and ran across this one. I've missed opportunities a a few others. Timing, cash flow and various other reasons. I'm finally back to work with full time hours so I jumped.
1987 (I think) High Sierra in black chrome . Deore, Joytech/Araya, Suntour roller cam brakes. I think it's pretty much original. Does anyone have a scan or link to the 1987 specs? One picture for now in as bought condition. I'll post some more as I clean and service.

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Old 09-08-20, 03:13 PM
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I think you will enjoy that bike; we sold quite a few back when I worked at a Schwinn shop in NY. Just one caution... I seem to remember that smoked chrome scratching fairly easily I think you'll like the brakes too; I have them on my Cannondale.
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Old 09-08-20, 03:31 PM
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That's a very pretty bike. I didn't realize that Schwinn started slanting top tubes that early
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Old 09-08-20, 03:40 PM
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I think only the smaller sized frames had to have the slant top tube. Larger frames were level norm.
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Old 09-11-20, 03:53 PM
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Front Fork Clip

Started cleaning and servicing. New bearings for the head set. Bottom bracket has some spindle pitting. I may swap out for a cartridge. What is the purpose of the clips on the inside of the fit legs? I figured they are a safety to keep the front wheel from leaving you but the little screw donít have much of a head. Canít be too effective.


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Old 09-11-20, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Started cleaning and servicing. New bearings for the head set. Bottom bracket has some spindle pitting. I may swap out for a cartridge. What is the purpose of the clips on the inside of the fit legs? I figured they are a safety to keep the front wheel from leaving you but the little screw donít have much of a head. Canít be too effective.


The clips are tensioned by the by the hub the screw is just nub to snap over, insert wheel that has the skewer adjusted, move the clips into place and tighten the lever.

Or just s-can them.
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Old 09-11-20, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
The clips are tensioned by the by the hub the screw is just nub to snap over, insert wheel that has the skewer adjusted, move the clips into place and tighten the lever.

Or just s-can them.
Oh ok. So itís supposed to help hold the wheel in place while you close the ever?
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Old 09-11-20, 07:31 PM
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Pre lawyer tabs. My Tempo had them.
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Old 09-11-20, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Oh ok. So itís supposed to help hold the wheel in place while you close the ever?
Yes and hold the wheel in place if the skewer fails, hopefully long enough not to die.

If the screws held the tabs, you would have to unscrew them to get the wheel off, no bueno.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:05 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Oh ok. So it’s supposed to help hold the wheel in place while you close the ever?
These are safety tabs just a bit nicer than are on most bikes. I like these ones a lot better than dangly ones on the outside of the fork that most f the Schwinns had.

On this bike you also want to get a nice coat of wax made for chrome on the frame after you get it all cleaned up to help keep the smoke chrome nice. As said it can skratch pretty easy.

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Old 09-12-20, 10:25 AM
  #11  
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I also have an 87 High Sierra- I got it 2 days before I got out of the Army- I don't ride it that often (it's a touch big for me), but it's such a cool bike I don't want to part with it.

This is really an ATB- a 'rough stuff tourer' before there was such a thing- the front rack mounts on the fork, rack mounts on the rear...

It's also got so much neat and cool stuff about it- first- the black chrome- (like everyone has said, it scratches easily) and that "craftsman" decal scheme.
The fillet brazed front end. (the Cimarron was fillet brazed in the front and lugged at the seat cluster- the HS was TIG welded at the seat and BB).
The lugged unicrown fork- the story I heard is that when the unicrown was new, people didn't trust it, so they made a lug to braze the unicrown legs to. It looks pretty cool.
The pump peg on the back of the seat post- (although yours looks like it's either not included or broken off)
The 6 speed Deore stuff- the derailleurs and the thumb shifters were the standard for years.
The Joytech high flange sealed hubs- pretty slick.
The triple butted tubing is a nice touch.
I'm not such a fan of the roller cam brakes- but they are unique.

Your stem used to be black- it's weathered to that bronze- same with the pedal cages.

I lent my bike to a relative- they left it outside over winter- and it took a beating (encased in ice). I've tried drop bars and right now it's living with a set of trekking bars on it- There's more to do with this bike.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 09-12-20, 12:01 PM
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That bike looks original, right down to the grips. Nice find!
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Old 09-12-20, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I also have an 87 High Sierra- I got it 2 days before I got out of the Army- I don't ride it that often (it's a touch big for me), but it's such a cool bike I don't want to part with it.

This is really an ATB- a 'rough stuff tourer' before there was such a thing- the front rack mounts on the fork, rack mounts on the rear...

It's also got so much neat and cool stuff about it- first- the black chrome- (like everyone has said, it scratches easily) and that "craftsman" decal scheme.
The fillet brazed front end. (the Cimarron was fillet brazed in the front and lugged at the seat cluster- the HS was TIG welded at the seat and BB).
The lugged unicrown fork- the story I heard is that when the unicrown was new, people didn't trust it, so they made a lug to braze the unicrown legs to. It looks pretty cool.
The pump peg on the back of the seat post- (although yours looks like it's either not included or broken off)
The 6 speed Deore stuff- the derailleurs and the thumb shifters were the standard for years.
The Joytech high flange sealed hubs- pretty slick.
The triple butted tubing is a nice touch.
I'm not such a fan of the roller cam brakes- but they are unique.

Your stem used to be black- it's weathered to that bronze- same with the pedal cages.

I lent my bike to a relative- they left it outside over winter- and it took a beating (encased in ice). I've tried drop bars and right now it's living with a set of trekking bars on it- There's more to do with this bike.

Enjoy!!!
Hey Golden Boy. Yeah, I've seen the post about your High Sierra. Looks nice. Did you stick with the trekking bars? I've been thinking about doing a bar conversion. Either drop, randonneur, trekking, I don't know. May add some Maxxis DTH skinwalls.

I like the little odd/different things about these. I think the brakes look cool. I may not after I try adjusting. I found a scan of the instructions so we'll see.

The lower portion of the stem is still black. I actually like the bronze color. Matches the pedals since they faded as well and blends a little with the frame color.

I guess the small size did not come with a pump peg. It's not broken off.
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Old 09-12-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
These are safety tabs just a bit nicer than are on most bikes. I like these ones a lot better than dangly ones on the outside of the fork that most f the Schwinns had.

On this bike you also want to get a nice coat of wax made for chrome on the frame after you get it all cleaned up to help keep the smoke chrome nice. As said it can skratch pretty easy.
Thanks for the info. Do you have a suggestion for a chrome wax?
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Old 09-12-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
That bike looks original, right down to the grips. Nice find!
Yep, I think it's pretty much original except for the seat and post. It had some kind of gel seat and newer post (with a bushing). I just stuck those on because I couldn't stand to look at it like that. I have an old Avocet that I may stick on it or look for something else. All in all, pretty good shape.
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Old 09-12-20, 02:43 PM
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zukahn1
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Classtime

Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-12-20, 03:53 PM
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Looks just like my smoke-chrome '87, except a couple sizes smaller. You can confirm the year by looking at the 4-digit number on the head badge; last digit is the year. I have not found a catalog for '87 featuring the MTBs/ATBs. My top tube is not quite horizontal, but is much lest sloped than yours.

Those clips on the front hub are Schwinn's alternative to the "lawyer tabs" on other bikes of that era. So instead of unscrewing the skewer after unlocking it, you release the clips. I have several '80s Schwinns and they all use this system; I've never seen any with clips on the outside of the fork blades as mentioned above.

I did not realize that the stem used to be black. Mine looks more like root beer, and indeed it's cool how it matches the pedals.

I had no problem adjusting the roller-cam brakes; the spring tension on each side can be adjusted individually, so it's easy to balance them.
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Old 09-12-20, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Hey Golden Boy. Yeah, I've seen the post about your High Sierra. Looks nice. Did you stick with the trekking bars? I've been thinking about doing a bar conversion. Either drop, randonneur, trekking, I don't know. May add some Maxxis DTH skinwalls.

I like the little odd/different things about these. I think the brakes look cool. I may not after I try adjusting. I found a scan of the instructions so we'll see.

The lower portion of the stem is still black. I actually like the bronze color. Matches the pedals since they faded as well and blends a little with the frame color.

I guess the small size did not come with a pump peg. It's not broken off.
Right now it's still with the trekking bars- I'm not totally sold on it like this- again, it's just a little too big, so I don't know if the bars just aren't working, or if this size just needs to stay with flat style bars for me. What I didn't like about the stock riser bars was that my hands would hurt after 6-7 miles or so- with nowhere else to put my hands.

There should be some pix of the bike with the drop bars I had on it- I was just using some SR World Champion bars and was using barcons.

The brakes are not difficult to adjust the tension of- for me it was getting the cable length right on the cam plate. There's a little tool that you put in the roller screws that holds the rollers the optimal distance apart. You should be able to score one off eBay for $5 or so. The spring tension is cool- just hold the collar and adjust the tension with a 13mm wrench and the 5mm center bolt tightens the whole unit. It's kind of difficult to describe, but really easy once you do it.

My rear axle bent or broke or something... so I scored a beautiful set of wheels with Suntour XC sealed hubs.

I totally agree with you about the bronze/root beer color of the stem and pedals! I got a set of bear trap style pedals that I decided not to use because the pedals look so cool.
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Old 02-05-21, 03:20 AM
  #19  
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I have a black chrome High Sierra from '88. I bought it as just a frame, and the finish was kind of beat up, but I wanted to preserve the finish, so I clear-coated it. The problem was, What clear coat will stick to chrome? I did a bunch of digging and came up with Peacock Labs Permalac. Pricey, but it claimed to work and seemed to be the best stuff. It's been on for almost a year now, and I can say that so far the clear coat has been holding up pretty well.

I really like how it handles, except the front end is not stock. It was a bare frame when I bought it, and the fork I put on was from an older Bianchi that was shorter axle to crown and has thinner fork blades. To try to fix the steering I put a 650b on the front, and it worked out pretty well. I love the action of the roller cams.

I also have a yellow '87 HS I'm building up for long trips.

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Old 02-05-21, 05:01 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by bamab2 View Post
Does anyone have a scan or link to the 1987 specs?
Whoever scanned most of the Schwinn catalogs that show up online seemed mostly interested in road bikes, leaving a gap in documentation of their mtb lineup from 1986-1989.
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Old 02-05-21, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by HopHornbeam View Post
To try to fix the steering I put a 650b on the front, and it worked out pretty well. I love the action of the roller cams.
Interesting approach. Were there any issues getting the front roller cam to align to the 650B rim?
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Old 02-05-21, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Interesting approach. Were there any issues getting the front roller cam to align to the 650B rim?
Thanks, but I can't take credit for being deliberate about that decision. I just noticed that there was a lot of space, and tried a bunch of wheel/tire sizes on that fork until I got handling that I liked. I don't remember for sure, but I think it started because I had a flat on the 26er that was on the fork and I needed to get somewhere fast. So I grabbed the front wheel off my 700c bike and slapped it on, sans brakes. Since the fork was from a different bike, it had canti/v brake studs. I used cantilever brakes and was able to angle the pads up enough for good rim contact on 650b.

Interesting fork, with tons of clearance. Studs were placed for 559, but there is enough space to allow me to fit up to a 700 x 38, and I could probably fit up to a 26 x 2.7 on width. Made by Tange for Bianchi, which are the only two words stamped on it. It is not a biplane, but looks like a biplane would if the space between the planes were solid.

Roller cams on the back under the chainstays, cantilevers on the front.

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Old 02-05-21, 05:53 PM
  #23  
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Oops, just realized I wrote that the axle to crown was taller. It was actually shorter. Edited in my original post.
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Old 02-05-21, 06:32 PM
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Some Specs.

Sorry no '87 but '86 and '88 are probably close/same, enjoy...

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Old 02-06-21, 12:52 PM
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As can be seen, geometry is not the same between the 21" '86 and '88 models. I think I recall reading somewhere where geometry changed, but I can't remember if it was between 86 and 87, or between 87 and 88.
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