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Late 60s Schwinn Super Sport questions

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Late 60s Schwinn Super Sport questions

Old 12-23-21, 10:41 AM
  #26  
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Here is a pic of a Super Sport I just refurbished for the Bike Exchange. I was able to take parts of a junk Varsity to help with this build from a bare frame donated to us. If it was my bike and I wanted to ride it frequently I would have bought an adaptor for the Ashtabula crank and installed a a lighter aluminum one. With aluminum rims it will probably weigh in at under 30 lbs. Unless you are fixing it up to sell as a collectors item you shouldn't be concerned about keeping all the original hardware. done up with new paint and decals it will be a show stopper and if you customize it will be a great conversation starter.
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Old 12-24-21, 01:19 PM
  #27  
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I appreciate all the responses and information everyone has shared here. I was hoping to go get the bike later today, but I'm having to work a long day today, and probably at least a half day tomorrow that I wasn't expecting to have to do, so hopefully it'll still be around after 01/01 because next week will likely be similar to this one.
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Old 12-24-21, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
I appreciate all the responses and information everyone has shared here. I was hoping to go get the bike later today, but I'm having to work a long day today, and probably at least a half day tomorrow that I wasn't expecting to have to do, so hopefully it'll still be around after 01/01 because next week will likely be similar to this one.
Here's to wishing you the best despite all the work. May the Super Sport be yours in due time! Hopefully you'll find time off soon.
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Old 12-27-21, 10:29 PM
  #29  
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As for the comment from someone earlier that thought that perhaps Schwinn should have reversed the names SUPER SPORT and SPORTS TOURER, well if you look logically at it from a 1971 view of the world, Schwinn did actually get the names probably right. Here is why I think so:
--- the SUPER SPORT was long in the line-up before the SPORTS TOURER arrived on the scene!
---the SPORTS TOURER is definitely by circa 1971 standards "A MUCH SUPERIOR & BETTER OVERALL "Touring Bicycle" THAN THE SUPER SPORT because of the fact that the SPORTS TOURER has a much wider gear range than the SUPER SPORT does.

SPORTS TOURER has 54 / 36 up front with a lighter weight 3 piece crank-----and----34, 28, 22, 17, 14 at Rear freewheel cogs

SUPER SPORT has 52 / 39 Ashtabula 1 piece exactly like Varsity & Continental-----and----32, 26, 21, 17, 14 at Rear freewheel cogs (same cog number teeth as 1970 FIVE SPEED SUBURBANS & 1970 COLLEGIATE FIVE SPEEDS. The 1970 FIVE SPEED Suburbans & Collegiates also have a better quality Model J (Japanese made) freewheel than what is on the late sixties SUPER SPORT. Shimano had developed a then revolutionary and patented seal for the freewheel that is the MODEL J. The Shimano made for Schwinn to Schwinn engineering specifications, GT-100 rear derailleur (first seen on 1970 Five Speed SUBURBANS & 1970 COLLEGIATES ) is ten times better and more durable than the Schwinn Approved Huret Allvit that remained factory equipment on the Ten Speed Suburbans, Ten Speed VARSITY & CONTINENTALS which had the MODEL F freewheel with 28, 24, 20, 16, 14,.
French made just ain't quite as good as Japanese made when it comes to REAR DERAILLEURS and five gear cog FREEWHEELS.


You are definitely better off with the JAPANESE rear derailleur upgrade of SHIMANO or Maeda SUN TOUR.

Heck, if you would have mentioned that you had a 1971 PARAMOUNT, well, you know that I would also say that there is no place for a CAMPAGNOLO RECORD rear derailleur, except for placing it in a Zip-lock baggie, in case some future owner of that bicycle just wants the bike to be only a museum display and not an everyday rider.
The Japanese slaughtered the Europeans in rear derailleur construction and freewheel design. The Japanese simply borrowed ("more like stole") the best of existing European designs and vastly improved the manufacturing materials employed and the quality control process after making slight design revisions.

Yeah, in the very early seventies, there were gas-pipe inexpensive Kmart 10 speeds, that though were of no comparison to the many quality Italian, French, Belgian, and English 10 speeds, but those lowly inexpensive Kmart 10 speeds DID IN FACT HAVE ONLY ONE ITEM (their Japanese rear derailleur), THAT WAS SUPERIOR TO THE FACTORY REAR DERAILLEURS (european ..Huret, Simplex, and Campagnolo rear derailleurs ---) AS SEEN ON THOSE QUALITY ITALIAN, FRENCH, BELGIAN, AND ENGLISH TEN SPEEDS OF THE EARLY SEVENTIES.
Oh, but you say that the European rear derailleurs did weigh less, AND YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT ON THAT, but even at the most extreme, that weight difference between the lightest European rear derailleur and the typical ,heaviest, base model Japanese rear derailleur probably didn't exceed 100 grams in the era of 1971-1972, some fifty years ago. For realistic weight difference reality: GOOGLE just how much that 100 grams is in pounds. GOOGLE: what 1 gallon of Water weighs in both pounds and also what 1 gallon of Water weighs in grams. NOW, YOU KNOW THAT 128 fluid ounces EQUALS one US GALLON. Knowing that, you then calculate just how many OUNCES of WATER will equal that 100 gram weight difference between the lightest European rear deraillerur and the heavy base model Japanese rear derailleur. WELL, YOU KNOW IT AIN'T A WHOLE HELLUVA LOT OF "EXTRA OUNCES OF DRINKING WATER".
The weight savings is rather small, when you consider that the reliability and durability of even the most basic, heavy, base model Japanese rear derailleur of the early seventies is superior in reliabilty & durability than anything in a rear derailleur unit that CAMPAGNOLO, HURET, and SIMPLEX offered at that time during the early seventies. Yep, heck yeah, the Japanese were that much better in the rear derailleur department, that everybody went Japanese by 1977, as by that time SHIMANO and Maeda SUN TOUR had slaughtered CAMPAGNOLO, HURET, and SIMPLEX in the rear derailleur department. They did it because the Japanese rear derailleurs were just better! SHIMANO went on to essentially rule the world in probably in less than a decade from the late sixties to the late seventies.
Sure, the Tour de France competitors and Tour de France winners stayed with Campy for a great many years longer than the real world serious enthusiast non-racing non- professional riders did. Campy might look cool, but Shimano rules, is essentially how it is today, and for a very good reason, ----Japanese quality and engineering!!!
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Old 12-28-21, 10:17 AM
  #30  
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@Vintage Schwinn, get over it. You could have said all of that in three sentences. Judging by the large number of vintage Schwinns I have come across that exhibited extreme wear on only one freewheel cog, I'd say that derailleur choice may not have mattered much to a consumer base that still couldn't figure out how to use friction shifting.

To the OP, build as you wish. There will be plenty of support and guidance on this forum if needed, whether you go vintage French, Italian, Japanese, or a modern update.
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Old 12-28-21, 07:39 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
@Vintage Schwinn, get over it. You could have said all of that in three sentences.
I'm not surprised. I didn't read it, due to the excessive use of all-caps. Thanks for saving me the trouble!

I overhauled the long-cage Allvit on my '73 SS, and while it wasn't easy exactly, it, it was worth it, works great now. I think it's cool that you can overhaul it. All the pieces can be removed, straightened, cleaned and re-lubed, and the pivots are adjustable for slop, unlike almost any other mech you could name. Yes, it's true, almost no one will take the time to do that, but I just think it's cool that they made it rebuildable.

While it was apart I also took the opportunity to bend the parallelogram spring a little in the direction that adds more pre-load, so there's more tension wanting to shift it to high gear (small sprocket). Allvits sometimes have trouble making that shift after they get a little dirty and/or bent, so more spring tension makes it more robust that way. No real downside to increased spring tension there; with those Schwinn-Approved extra long stem shifters, shifting effort is still low. Maybe it'd be a problem with bar-cons? The change I made isn't huge though, just a bit.

BTW, for those small housing-stop braze-ons on a SS, try the stainless housing with no vinyl sheath, from Campy, Suntour et al. (1950s thru '80s). Not original eqipment, but they work great and could plausibly have been used back then. Plus I like un-covered housing for any run like at the bottom bracket where both ends face up, causing water that gets in to puddle at the bottom of the curve. The Campy-style stainless housing opens up small air gaps on the outside of the curve, letting them dry out. Less likely to rust solid, as I've seen a few times on bikes that spend time out in the weather.

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Old 01-02-22, 11:12 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Here's to wishing you the best despite all the work. May the Super Sport be yours in due time! Hopefully you'll find time off soon.
I appreciate your kind thoughts, Pastor Bob. I still haven't been able to get it yet. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that I can't find one closer to home. My city had a Schwinn dealer going back at least to the 1920s. The same family owned it into the 1980s or maybe even 1990s when it closed. It was located in the downtown city center area. Dad told me that his parents got him his Schwinn World Traveller there around 1955, I think. My bike shop Schwinn was purchased in 1989 from a shop more out in the suburbs that wasn't open until 1973 or thereabouts. I'm not sure if they were a Schwinn dealer that early or not.

But you would think with such a long-time business that there would be more of those hand-brazed Schwinns available near me. It's been years since the last time I saw one for sale locally. There's a former C&V shop very close to my house that might have one in their inventory, but the owner died a few years ago and his heirs haven't decided on what they're going to do with it. It was like walking into a cluttered treasure cave back when the old man still ran it. He was a great guy and a tremendous help with maintenance and C&V parts.
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Old 01-02-22, 11:22 PM
  #33  
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WilliamK1974,
Keep track of that place.
One of these days they're going to decide to liquidate it all and there will be a treasure trove to go through.
You could be a fortunate beneficiary of that.
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Old 01-03-22, 05:06 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
But you would think with such a long-time business that there would be more of those hand-brazed Schwinns available near me.
Remember the fillet brazed models were around 30% more expensive and didn't look a whole lot different than a Continental- so most people opted for the less expensive model.
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Old 01-03-22, 06:22 AM
  #35  
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Super Sports are wonderful bikes, a '72 (I think - it was the one year maroon red) was my first modern adult bicycle, replacing the '58 Jaguar Mark IV I'd been using for three years as a commuter.

About ten years ago, nostalgia got the better of me and I picked up a '73 (once again, I think - this time it was the one year only orangish-red) which I built up identical to that original bike: Sew-up wheels, Huret downtime shifters, removed the 'safety levers', chainwheel guard and dork disk, unfortunately didn't have a Brooks Swallow saddle available to finish it correctly. Around 2018 I picked up a square tapered bottom bracket conversion kit and installed a Nervar crankset, then sold the bike in the last periodic culling at the 2020 Westminster swap meet. That was the year for selling off my "Erie college memories", as my Lambert went at the same time. The picture below is from about 2015, the duplicate of what I was riding in college:



Built like this, they're very good bikes, swapping out the Ashtabula crankset for something lighter in alloy is probably the second biggest improvement you can make after swapping the wheels. At one point, I tried a Huret Svelto as a replacement for the Allvit, but much to my surprise I was disappointed in the performance, and went back to the original. No, replacing French kit with Japanese was never considered. Too common an option. I've never had a disdain for the Allvit, probably because I remembered this was a 1962 piece of technology and well thought of back then, and we actually liked them at the bike shop because they were able to take the abuse that the average first time Bike Boom customer would put them through. While we, the staff, would prefer to ride Simplex Prestige, we'd virtually stiff-arm a customer into using an Allvit. All before SunTour started showing up in quantity, of course.
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Old 01-03-22, 06:27 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Remember the fillet brazed models were around 30% more expensive and didn't look a whole lot different than a Continental- so most people opted for the less expensive model.
Availability was also an issue. During the Bike Boom, customer were pretty much following the delivery trucks to the shop and pounding on the door for us to open and sell them the bikes coming in, while we were unloading. Said customers didn't realize we'd sold those bikes six weeks earlier, and the best we could do for a Schwinn (or Raleigh) was to put you on the list for the next shipment, and take your deposit.

Prices back in 72-73 were $100.00 for a Varsity or Suburban, $125.00 for a Continental, and $150.00 for a Super Sport. So it was pretty much evenly divided between looks (the Continental's rims were prettier) and availability. I ended up with my first Super Sport because the Johnstown, PA dealer had one in stock. For the Johnstown market, $150.00 was a bridge too far when it came to bicycle prices, but the Erie market had no problem paying those kind of prices.
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Old 01-04-22, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Prices back in 72-73 were $100.00 for a Varsity or Suburban, $125.00 for a Continental, and $150.00 for a Super Sport. So it was pretty much evenly divided between looks (the Continental's rims were prettier) and availability. I ended up with my first Super Sport because the Johnstown, PA dealer had one in stock. For the Johnstown market, $150.00 was a bridge too far when it came to bicycle prices, but the Erie market had no problem paying those kind of prices.
It's great to hear from someone who experienced these things first-hand. My city was known as a pretty blue-collar factory town. We had several foundries, such as Wheland Foundry, Ross-Meehan Foundry, and more than a few textile operations like Standard-Coosa-Thatcher, Davenport Hosiery, and Peerless Woolen Mills. Out away from the city there was a company-owned town with worker housing known as Lupton City which was built for the Dixie Yarns operation. The mill and several of the supporting structures have been demolished, but most of the worker housing still remains. Now, we're less known for that and more celebrated for our scenery and outdoor activities.

There were also the more professional classes, such as doctors and lawyers, and the HQ's for a some insurance companies. Many of those had recreational facilities for their employees out near the TVA-dammed lake. The city also had a university which had been founded by the Methodist Church in the 1880s. It still exists under state university control. So, we had a mix of pretty wealthy company owners, a professional class, a large middle class, and then the working class. Working class people might start at the bottom of whatever job they could find in one of the mills or factories and then work their way up. More than a few of those people would make it into the upper middle class.

All that to say that the city had several car dealerships ranging from the luxurious to the mundane, and there tended to be more than one bicycle shop in town at any given time. It appears to me that that there were a couple of them in the downtown area, and then some of the more suburban areas might have had one as well. And don't forget stores like Western Auto who also sold bikes. The oldest bike shop was probably the one known simply as The Bike Shop. It was located downtown from at least the 1920s until sometime in the 1980s. It was the primary Schwinn dealer. Now, the question I wish I could ask them is what their sales ratio of Varsity-type bikes compared to Super Sport/Superior type bikes would have been. No doubt the Varsities would have come out ahead, but in a city this size with such a broad income spectrum, I can't see it being a shutout. But the owner's been deceased for a long time.
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Old 01-04-22, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
WilliamK1974,
Keep track of that place.
One of these days they're going to decide to liquidate it all and there will be a treasure trove to go through.
You could be a fortunate beneficiary of that.
Yeah, I drive past the place a couple of times per week just to check on it. A couple of years ago, even after the old man died, they had a nice new sign made and hung in a very visible location, but it was only up a few months. I was able to contact one of the family members on Facebook back in the summer, and he said that the city made them take the sign down because the business wasn't actually open for business. I may contact him again and ask if he would check the inventory and see what they might have in the line of Schwinn brazed frame bikes.
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