Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Vintage Schwinn downtube shifter issues

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Vintage Schwinn downtube shifter issues

Old 06-22-21, 06:57 PM
  #1  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
Vintage Schwinn downtube shifter issues

I have just restored a 1964 Schwinn Varsity and the downtube shifters (with braze-on brackets, not bosses) seemed to be fit and secure when I took it apart, but when I put it back together the shifter keeps wanting to slip off of the braze-ons. No matter how tight I clamp it down. When I try to mount it above the braze-on brackets the shifter clamp won't tighten around the down tube.

For now, I have cut a strip of rubber from an old tube and wrapped it around the tube above the braze-on brackets and clamped the shifter down tight over the rubber strip, it is tight'ish and won't slip down below the brackets now but it visibly moves to one side when I pull the lever to shift. I looked for a clamp-on boss set but the down tube appears to be 26.4 mm rather than the 28.6, which is about as close as I can find to 26.4 with clamp-on bosses. I thought of converting it to a stem shifter and putting cable hangers where the downtube shifter is now, but I like the downtube shifters... AND the cable hangers are still also 28.6, still too big. Also thought of just getting a different down tube shifter, but nothing I'm finding appears to be the correct size (and that's verified by comments on various sites by posters who confirm their shifters are too large for the 1960s down tube Schwinn.

Seems like this should be a really easy non-problem, but it's not. Anyone else had this issue, and if so, how did you solve it? I'm a new member and can't post pictures until I get ten posts, otherwise I'd post a few here.

Last edited by kmerskine; 06-25-21 at 07:26 AM.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-22-21, 07:54 PM
  #2  
juvela
Senior Member
 
juvela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 308 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2628 Post(s)
Liked 957 Times in 744 Posts
-----

hello and welcome to the forum

perhaps this parts drawing will help you to communicate with readers...



-----
juvela is offline  
Likes For juvela:
Old 06-22-21, 11:22 PM
  #3  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 8,352

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 162 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2538 Post(s)
Liked 1,807 Times in 1,216 Posts
Originally Posted by kmerskine View Post
I have just restored a 1964 Schwinn Varsity and the downtube shifters (with braze-on brackets, not bosses) seemed to be fit and secure when I took it apart, but when I put it back together the shifter keeps wanting to slip off of the braze-ons. No matter how tight I clamp it down. When I try to mount it above the braze-on brackets the shifter clamp won't tighten around the tube.

For now, I have cut a strip of rubber from an old tube and wrapped it around the tube above the braze-on brackets and clamped it down tight, it won't slip down below the brackets now but it visibly moves to one side when I pull the lever to shift. I looked for a clamp on boss set but the tube appears to be 26.4 mm rather than the 28.6, which is about as close as I can find to 26.4. I thought of converting it to a stem shifter and putting cable hangers where the downtube shifter is now, but I like the downtube shifters... AND the cable hangers are still also 28.6, still too big.

What gives? Anyone else had this issue, and if so, how did you solve it? I'm a new member and can't post pictures until I get ten posts, otherwise I'd post a few here.
Welcome aboard, glad you found us, you're in the right place.

As was said in the other thread, we need pics, you need 10 posts, 5 X 2 days, respond to any posts here to get there.
merziac is offline  
Likes For merziac:
Old 06-23-21, 05:41 AM
  #4  
juvela
Senior Member
 
juvela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Posts: 11,097
Mentioned: 308 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2628 Post(s)
Liked 957 Times in 744 Posts
-----

the final year for these downtube controls on the Varsity was 1966

beginning with the 1967 model year they came through with the Twin Stik stem controls


-----
juvela is offline  
Old 06-23-21, 09:32 PM
  #5  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
Thanks for posting this.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-23-21, 09:42 PM
  #6  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,284

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental and Cannondale M400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 267 Posts
Does it have a band clamp kmerskine ? It sound like it does since you were able to wrap an inner tube around it. I'm with you on keeping the down tube shifters.

Pictures will help. If they are the original band clamps, I wonder if they got bent out of shape. Pictures are going to help.

Put some pictures in your gallery and perhaps someone can retrieve them and post them. Otherwise, post five comments a day and you'll be up to the required 10 posts in two days.

Fun fact here at BikeForums C&V, some members appreciate Varsities and Continentals and some don't. No worries, we have plenty of members in the Varsinental camp.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 06-23-21, 09:50 PM
  #7  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
I love the down tube shifter look. I'm new to restoring bikes and don't know why down tube shifters weren't the go-to for most bikes, instead of the stem shifters. I have a 1986 Bianchi, my first road bike - I bought it new from the LBS, that has down tube shifters. Another bike I restored from the 1970s has the stem shifters and although they are solidly connected to the frame, I just don't like them.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-23-21, 10:03 PM
  #8  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,284

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental and Cannondale M400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 267 Posts
Stem shifters became popular during the bike boom of the '70's. People liked the sporty look and feel of the lighter weight, agile European bikes. But for most people they rode with these new ten speeds, their hands on top of the bars rather than the drops, so it was a shorter easier reach to stem shifters. The other item that came with the bike boom was Turkey levers.

Schwinn made 1000's, maybe 100's of thousands of Varsities. Varsities with down tube shifters are less commonly seen. Let's see if someone here or the collective group can help get the shifter mounted back on the frame.
Velo Mule is offline  
Likes For Velo Mule:
Old 06-23-21, 10:38 PM
  #9  
machinist42
mycocyclist
 
machinist42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Monkey Junction, Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,693

Bikes: 1964 Schwinn Paramount P-13 DeLuxe, 1964 Schwinn Sport Super Sport, 1972 Falcon San Remo, 1974 Maserati MT-1, 1974 Raleigh International, 1984 Lotus Odyssey, 198? Rossin Ghibli, 1990 LeMond Le Vanquer (sic), 1991 Specialized Allez Transition Pro, +

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 691 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 192 Posts
Picture Assistance



machinist42 is offline  
Old 06-24-21, 06:18 AM
  #10  
Sierra
Uff Da!
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,083
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 25 Posts
Are the downtube bosses still there? If so, why not use them?
Sierra is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 07:17 AM
  #11  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
They are brazed on clamps, but the new paint has slightly increased the size of the clamp so the shifter no longer fits them snugly. There are no bosses, unfortunately.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 07:34 AM
  #12  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
And here are a few pics. I'm looking at possibly just getting some clamp-on bosses, but cannot seem to find anything online that matches the diameter of this down tube. From measuring it, it appears to be 26.4. Can anyone confirm that? I've looked online and cannot find anything confirming this, AND replacement parts all seem to be 28.6, which might be the diameter the clamp needs to be if clamped over the braze-on bracket.

kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 09:33 AM
  #13  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,284

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental and Cannondale M400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 267 Posts
kmerskine great job on the repaint and cleaning and polishing all the metal surfaces. I noticed that the cable on the front brake caliper does not align. If you put the barrel adjuster in front of the brake arm it should line up better. Are you missing the rear brake frame ferrule?

It looks like there is a band clamp for the down tube shifters. Is the clamp sliding down the down tube? You don't want that happening with new paint. Is there something limiting how tight you can make the clamp. Are the ears of the clamp touching each other?

Can you get a close up picture of the underside of the band clamp, where the screw goes through?

Edit: Thanks for posting the pictures. I was typing while you were posting. Now we can see what you are describing as it originally had braze on's for the shift lever and they were cut off. If you move the shifter clamp above the braze on's this will stop the shifter from sliding down, assuming that the band clamp is the right size. You will be left with a visible hole in the frame though.

Or is it possible that I am all wrong and this is the wrong shifter. I have to admit, I am not sure what shifter was originally on the bike. The one that you have looks correct. But the braze on on the down tube has me at a loss.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 06-25-21 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Missed new pic's
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 10:41 AM
  #14  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 5,495
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1802 Post(s)
Liked 848 Times in 642 Posts
Are there threads inside those holes on the braze-ons? If so, there might have been studs threaded into them, analagous to studs threaded into braze-on bosses for cantilever brakes. Finding the right studs might prove to be a challenge.....
madpogue is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 11:16 AM
  #15  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,284

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental and Cannondale M400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 267 Posts
kmerskine from your pictures in post #12, it looks, to me, like your Varsity had the shift levers and all the plates mounted directly to the "braze-on" . Then it looks like someone cut off the shifter studs, then some time after that installed a band clamp shift lever. So, the good thing is that you have the right pieces. The bad is that the shifter studs have been cut off and what remains has to be dealt with. Even worse is that brazing on a new stud would require repainting.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 12:28 PM
  #16  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
Velo Mule, thanks. I'm not sure what you mean re "cable on the front brake caliper does not align." Do you mean the cable housing is coming through the frame hanger for the cable? If so, I've gotten a new ferrule for a few bucks on ebay and that is now fixed (as is the ferrule that I was missing on the right brake handle).

Yes, the down tube shifter is a clamp on. It was sliding down the tube when I tightened up the cables and tried to pull a lever. Above the clamps, yes, the ears were making contact and preventing me from tightening it up tightly enough. So I've gotten a piece of rubber from an old tube and cut it, wrapped it around the down tube, and used the original braze-on brackets as stops. So now it doesn't slide down the tube, but it does visibly move to the left or right when I pull the left or right lever. It will work, but it's not the perfect solution. I had to tighten the shifter band down so tightly that I was afraid it the bolts on the back would rip the metal band apart in the front. You can see from these pics that I roughed up the paint pretty good.


kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 12:42 PM
  #17  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
No, no threads. And nothing came out of there when I took the shifter off originally. When I took it off I thought it was oddly attached - just sort of settled in there snugly - and I put it on and took it off a few times to be sure I'd remember how to do it. But the paint seems to have increased the size of that fit just enough to make it no longer fit.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 12:56 PM
  #18  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 5,495
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1802 Post(s)
Liked 848 Times in 642 Posts
So that's the same band/clamp as in the original photo, cleaned up? And it fit over the braze-ons originally? Then I would say sand off enough paint to get it to fit over again. If it takes it too far down, you can touch it up with a very thin coat. It'll be under the band anyway. Might also be worth trying a longer screw.
madpogue is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 01:57 PM
  #19  
tiger1964 
Senior Member
 
tiger1964's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 1,387

Bikes: Drysdale/Gitane/Zeus/Masi/Falcon/Palo Alto

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
Liked 156 Times in 108 Posts
Those Teruh shifters are rare.

Originally Posted by kmerskine View Post
Yes, the down tube shifter is a clamp on. It was sliding down the tube when I tightened up the cables and tried to pull a lever. Above the clamps, yes, the ears were making contact and preventing me from tightening it up tightly enough. So I've gotten a piece of rubber from an old tube and cut it, wrapped it around the down tube, and used the original braze-on brackets as stops. So now it doesn't slide down the tube, but it does visibly move to the left or right when I pull the left or right lever. It will work, but it's not the perfect solution. I had to tighten the shifter band down so tightly that I was afraid it the bolts on the back would rip the metal band apart in the front. You can see from these pics that I roughed up the paint pretty good.
Perhaps consider a spacer band of a less compressible material? Some kind of plastic... or cork?
__________________
Larry:1958 Drysdale, 1961 Gitane Gran Sport, 1974 Zeus track, 1988 Masi Gran Corsa, 1974 Falcon, 1980 Palo Alto. Susan: 1976 Windsor Profesional.
tiger1964 is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 02:14 PM
  #20  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,284

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental and Cannondale M400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 267 Posts
Thanks for more pictures kmerskine . I like the fact that you placed the shifter clamp above the braze-ons, This should have stopped them from moving down, The fact that they continue to move and I noticed that the clamp ears are touching each other, may mean that the clamp size it too big for the Schwinn tube size. As you noted above, Schwinn electroforged frames have smaller diameter tubes than most other bikes of the time. The fact that someone found the correct style Huret shift levers is great, however, they may not have come from a Schwinn. At least that is my thinking since they don't seem to fit.

madpogue idea of removing the paint is based on the assumption that it worked before. Was it staying in place before the restoration? If placing the band over the braze-on's works then it also it covers the holes in the braze-on's that you don't want to be visible anyway.

Wrap masking tape around the fresh paint so that if the file slips you won't take off good paint.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 06:09 PM
  #21  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
Lol, yes, I might have the only one! By the time I realized it was upside down the cables were already connected and I didn't feel like taking it all apart to put it right side up. Figured if I can find a better solution to this it will come off again anyway.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-25-21, 06:17 PM
  #22  
kmerskine
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 30

Bikes: 1986 Bianchi, 1964 Schwinn

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 3 Posts
Yes, same band, same everything, just painted over. The LBS guy suggested the light sanding option to me today as well. Might give it a try.
kmerskine is offline  
Old 06-26-21, 11:42 AM
  #23  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 8,112

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pederson racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1106 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 395 Posts
Yeah if the clamp size is too big for the frame tube the lever axes will appear slightly out of parallel, in the "drooping" direction.
dddd is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.