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First post -- Schwinn Speedster

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First post -- Schwinn Speedster

Old 01-10-21, 08:38 AM
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ilyaz
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First post -- Schwinn Speedster

Hello Everyone. Not sure if this is the right thread for my post. I just joined, so this is my first post aside from an intro.

The other day I almost literally pulled out of a dumpster this Schwinn Speedster bike. It was part of a shed cleanout, and it was hanging in this shed for many years. I don't know much about bikes but it seems to be almost fully functional: even the tires hold air although they did make a creaking noise when I pumped them a bit.

1. How can I figure out its age? Was looking for any stamps on the body. Didn't find any but I suspect I might have been looking in wrong places.
2. The rear and front lights powered by the dynamo did not light up when I engaged the dynamo. I am suspecting the bulbs are bad. Can I find replacements? How do I figure out what bulbs I need?
3. Should I avoid riding it? I am assuming tires might have some dry rot. Are they likely to blow up if I put my slender 200+ lbs body on it? :-)
4. Since I am a total newbie, how should I go about restoring this bike to usable condition? Is there a "basic list" and an "advanced one"?

I have a bunch of photos of the bike but can't post them yet since this is my first post.

Thank you!
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Old 01-10-21, 08:58 AM
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Welcome. We have moved your post to its own thread.

Pic Assist - https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/20254231

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Old 01-10-21, 09:04 AM
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Welcome!
The serial number is likely stamped on the head tube just below the oval Schwinn badge. Use this link to find the age of the bike https://bikehistory.org/serial-number.html
The rear hub will also have a two digit date code. The bike looks 1970's to me.
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Old 01-10-21, 09:25 AM
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ilyaz
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Thank you @BFisher!! Found it:

Congrats! Your bike is an original Chicago Schwinn.
Built: DECEMBER of 1977
So looks like a 3-Speed caliper brake model
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Old 01-10-21, 09:29 AM
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Cool bike and nice find. You will want new tires and tubes for this bike. Other than that you will want to overhaul the bike (new ball bearings and grease for the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset) and replace the consumables (that includes the tires/tubes and also the cables and housing and brake pads). Plus you just want to clean it up. Once you've done that you have a new old bike that you can pretty much ride forever. Old Schwinns were made to survive the zombie apocalypse.
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Old 01-10-21, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Cool bike and nice find. You will want new tires and tubes for this bike. Other than that you will want to overhaul the bike (new ball bearings and grease for the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset) and replace the consumables (that includes the tires/tubes and also the cables and housing and brake pads). Plus you just want to clean it up. Once you've done that you have a new old bike that you can pretty much ride forever. Old Schwinns were made to survive the zombie apocalypse.
Got it thank you. Do you know if I get bulbs for the lights? I can't yet post links, but on the bikehistory page for 1977 it shows a photo with 5 sets ("SNAP! And you add lighting safety"). The one I have is in that photo in the upper right, the one with the rectangular-shaped headlight.
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Old 01-10-21, 11:11 AM
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When replacing tires on old Schwinns be aware of what the tire sizing is. Best to figure out what you have andlook for tires using the ISO/ERTO sizing rather than 26 x whatever
Schwinn S6-S5 tire question w/ pic
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Old 01-10-21, 11:17 AM
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ilyaz
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
When replacing tires on old Schwinns be aware of what the tire sizing is. ...
Great to know thx
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Old 01-10-21, 11:30 AM
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Schwinn generator light help????
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Old 01-10-21, 01:45 PM
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I am so peanut butter and jealous
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Old 01-10-21, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
When replacing tires on old Schwinns be aware of what the tire sizing is.
BTDT. I converted my Speedster to 650A wheels (ISO 590) a few years ago. Not all that much more tire selection these days, but I was able to get Panaracer Col de la Vie tires. They are so much better than Kendas (about the only ISO 597 tires you'll find) that I considered the effort well worth it. I also got aluminum rims and a rear drum brake to boot.
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Last edited by smontanaro; 01-11-21 at 08:32 AM. Reason: wordsmithing (bikeshedding?)
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Old 01-10-21, 10:28 PM
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You may want to slide that saddle back a bit.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:57 PM
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Welcome and cool find! When you get adventurous, here's something to try out:
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Old 01-10-21, 11:38 PM
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Nice save ilyaz ! The bike appears to be in good overall shape. Add a few squirts of 30 weight oil in the rear Sturmey Archer hub with a good old fashioned oil can. At some point, you will either have a local bike shop re-grease the bearings or you will do it yourself. We'll help you out with that if you are willing. That is, unless your already know how. It's a Schwinn so it's not too difficult.

Ride it some and then plan your maintenance and updates. I'm with smontanaro with changing the wheels over to 26" x 1-3/8 (590), however, save that for later, if the wheels are good. The advantage of the 590 wheels is much better and more tires that are available.

Bike shops used to carry a supply of these old light bulbs. Find an old bike shop and give that a try. Otherwise you may be able to order it online but you may pay more for shipping than for the bulbs.

Advice varies on cleaning chrome. This bike has a lot of chrome and large sections on the fenders. I like the Turtle wax chrome cleaner it doesn't scratch the chrome, however, many like aluminum foil. Try it on a small section before doing the fenders. By the way, you don't actually have to clean it up.

You can enjoy it just as much as you found it. One of the things that I like about these Schwinn's is the chrome and the paint usually holds up well so just waxing the paint and cleaning the chrome can make it look great.

Many people don't like those mattress style saddles, however, I think that they are comfortable.

Keep posting so that you can show more pictures. We like pictures.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
You may want to slide that saddle back a bit.
Looks like the clamp is rotated 180 from its usual orientation.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Looks like the clamp is rotated 180 from its usual orientation.
I agree. However, some people like the very upright position...

Ilyaz, the bike looks like it's in very good shape. Schwinn paint is quality lacquer- some light polishing compound will make it shine. The chrome plating is also good quality- feel free to use whatever chrome cleaner you like. When I worked in a Schwinn shop, we used Quick-Glo: https://www.quick-glo.com/
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