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For the love of English 3 speeds...

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For the love of English 3 speeds...

Old 12-03-16, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DQRider
What an excellent build! Congratulations. I really like that SA quadrant shifter on the top tube. I've got that same Banjo Bro.s saddlebag on 4 of my bikes. They fit right in on a vintage bike, and you can't beat them for the $.

How does it ride?
It is surprisingly light and pleasant. It's not truly 'fast', but it's livelier than the later, electroforge welded Schwinn bikes of the 1960s-70s. This was one of their fillet brazed frames. It has the "seamless tube" decal on the seat tube. The cottered cranks are considerably lighter than the one-piece/ashtabula alternative.

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Old 12-04-16, 08:51 AM
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Brooks Professional

Picked up a slightly worn Brooks Professional saddle yesterday for a reasonable $50.00 (CDN). Haven't decided where to use it yet.
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Old 12-04-16, 09:20 AM
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That's a stunner of a saddle! Love that aged colour. I am sure with all your projects you will find a place for it. Will this saddle let you sit upright on it in comfort or will the bike have to be a scorcher?
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Old 12-04-16, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
This 1941 Schwinn roadster had been stripped of its parts. I bought the bike because I had a bunch of 1940s-era parts for it. I bought the handful of things I needed to finish it. Before and after:


Thats quite a handsome bike and nicely done. The top hat decal is my fave.

I would prefer an earlier fillet brazed like this vs. later electro forged but really appreciate them all.

Have a freebie mid- 1960's Racer which is the EF frame (and also rims), shares the same chain ring pattern but ashtabula arm / construction.

Under appreciated, yet millions made have to wonder where are they today? My electro forge Racer is a fairly rough project but plans are to resurrect it and have as a guest loaner. Piece of bicycle history with its unique construction, never to be done again.

Last edited by crank_addict; 12-04-16 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 12-04-16, 02:40 PM
  #12055  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict
Thats quite a handsome bike and nicely done. The top hat decal is my fave.

I would prefer an earlier fillet brazed like this vs. later electro forged but really appreciate them all.

Have a freebie mid- 1960's Racer which is the EF frame (and also rims), shares the same chain ring pattern but ashtabula arm / construction.

Under appreciated, yet millions made have to wonder where are they today? My electro forge Racer is a fairly rough project but plans are to resurrect it and have as a guest loaner. Piece of bicycle history with its unique construction, never to be done again.
I've been keeping my eyes out for older Schwinn lightweights for years and have come to the conclusion that not many were made, especially in the large frame size. According to the catalogs, lightweight bikes like the Traveler were available in 23" frames. Try to find one. If I come up with a nice 3 speed Schwinn project, I'll report back here, but I've been looking for the past 25 years and haven't found one yet.
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Old 12-04-16, 05:21 PM
  #12056  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I've been keeping my eyes out for older Schwinn lightweights for years and have come to the conclusion that not many were made, especially in the large frame size. According to the catalogs, lightweight bikes like the Traveler were available in 23" frames. Try to find one. If I come up with a nice 3 speed Schwinn project, I'll report back here, but I've been looking for the past 25 years and haven't found one yet.
I had a Traveller 23 inch. It was a boat. I gave it to a bike shop.

J
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Old 12-04-16, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain
I had a Traveller 23 inch. It was a boat. I gave it to a bike shop.

J
Interesting. I haven't had a chance to try one. I suppose that could happen to me as well. I am used to Raleighs.
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Old 12-04-16, 06:01 PM
  #12058  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
Interesting. I haven't had a chance to try one. I suppose that could happen to me as well. I am used to Raleighs.
It was a hugely heavy, dull frame, chrome fenders, non standard wheel size and all. Some may like it but I passed it to a shop that build bikes for the less than fortunate. It was sturdy enough to pull a plow, maybe a farmer bought it.
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Old 12-04-16, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I've been keeping my eyes out for older Schwinn lightweights for years and have come to the conclusion that not many were made, especially in the large frame size. According to the catalogs, lightweight bikes like the Traveler were available in 23" frames. Try to find one. If I come up with a nice 3 speed Schwinn project, I'll report back here, but I've been looking for the past 25 years and haven't found one yet.
Here's something local but it may not be to your taste. Might not be 23" and it's not cheap. Let me know if you want me to keep looking.

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike - $200



condition: good
make / manufacturer: Schwinn
model name / number: Suburban
size / dimensions: 3 speed


Vintage Schwinn Suburban 3 speed bike in good condition.
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Old 12-04-16, 09:55 PM
  #12060  
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Originally Posted by BigChief
I've been keeping my eyes out for older Schwinn lightweights for years and have come to the conclusion that not many were made, especially in the large frame size. According to the catalogs, lightweight bikes like the Traveler were available in 23" frames. Try to find one. If I come up with a nice 3 speed Schwinn project, I'll report back here, but I've been looking for the past 25 years and haven't found one yet.
Yeah, the earlier ones (before the 1960s) are very uncommon in that larger size (though the catalogs say they made them). I would certainly hold out for a 1964 or earlier bike (blade front fender models). I guess that's like Raleigh in some ways, but Schwinn degraded in a number of ways over the years, from high-quality 3-speeds meant for serious riders, to heavy campus/newspaper route type bikes that were durable, but really did not perform well.

Other brands had tall frames: Dayton, Colson, and Westfield/Columbia. As a matter of fact, someone very recently uncovered a WWII-era tall frame Dayton over at the CABE.





These makers all seemed to model their "lightweights" (as opposed to balloon tire cruisers) off of English designs. In fact, the cottered Schwinn bottom bracket I re-built on that red bike had interchangeable parts with Birmingham Hercules stuff. The adjustable cup and lock ring on the bike are Hercules, and the spindle is from a Phillips.
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Last edited by SirMike1983; 12-04-16 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 12-05-16, 03:09 PM
  #12061  
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I'll play. Just got this today for $10 on CL. If anyone can help me figure out the year of this bike, I'd greatly appreciate it! Even if just a ballpark of year range.Thanks!




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Old 12-05-16, 03:45 PM
  #12062  
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As always, the date best used is stamped on the rear hub.
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Old 12-05-16, 04:16 PM
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Wasn't aware of that,thanks. It says 62 then an 8 spaced separately.
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Old 12-05-16, 04:29 PM
  #12064  
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Originally Posted by 2cam16
Wasn't aware of that,thanks. It says 62 then an 8 spaced separately.
That would indicate that the hub was made in August 1962. Assuming it's the original wheel, that puts a high-end on the age of the bike. Cosmetics are consistent with an early 60s bike, so likely a 1962 model.
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Old 12-05-16, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
That would indicate that the hub was made in August 1962. Assuming it's the original wheel, that puts a high-end on the age of the bike. Cosmetics are consistent with an early 60s bike, so likely a 1962 model.
Awesome. Thanks John!
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Old 12-05-16, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Yeah, the earlier ones (before the 1960s) are very uncommon in that larger size (though the catalogs say they made them). I would certainly hold out for a 1964 or earlier bike (blade front fender models). I guess that's like Raleigh in some ways, but Schwinn degraded in a number of ways over the years, from high-quality 3-speeds meant for serious riders, to heavy campus/newspaper route type bikes that were durable, but really did not perform well.

Other brands had tall frames: Dayton, Colson, and Westfield/Columbia. As a matter of fact, someone very recently uncovered a WWII-era tall frame Dayton over at the CABE.





These makers all seemed to model their "lightweights" (as opposed to balloon tire cruisers) off of English designs. In fact, the cottered Schwinn bottom bracket I re-built on that red bike had interchangeable parts with Birmingham Hercules stuff. The adjustable cup and lock ring on the bike are Hercules, and the spindle is from a Phillips.
That is the only Schwinn cottered crank I have ever seen! I'm convinced that production of American lightweight, diamond framed bikes was actually quite low even if they are featured in period catalogs. My hobby with this style bike started in the late 60s. I had a job at a Schwinn/Raleigh dealer during the summers of 69-70. Even when I started riding 10 speed road bikes, I kept my interest in the old 3 speeds. So this has been years and years of attending auctions, flea markets yard sales and junk day tours. I couldn't even guess how many old English bikes have passed through my hands over the years. And in all that time, the only American bike that has ever come home with me is that Westfield framed Elgin I showed you a while back. True, I am discounting the 60s and 70s Racers and such. I've only lately given in to later Raleighs. 1950s cantilever framed Schwinn bikes are still common, but the early lightweights like you have in your collection seem to be exceedingly rare.
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Old 12-06-16, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Here's something local but it may not be to your taste. Might not be 23" and it's not cheap. Let me know if you want me to keep looking.

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike - $200



condition: good
make / manufacturer: Schwinn
model name / number: Suburban
size / dimensions: 3 speed


Vintage Schwinn Suburban 3 speed bike in good condition.
Based on the length of the head tube I would say that is a 21"...

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Old 12-06-16, 09:22 AM
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[QUOTE=2cam16;19233526]I'll play. Just got this today for $10 on CL. If anyone can help me figure out the year of this bike, I'd greatly appreciate it! Even if just a ballpark of year range.Thanks!

All indicators look as though it was made by Raleigh for Huffy.
(fender shape, fender bolt location on rear dropouts, brake handles, crank, and the "Made in England" stickers are good clues for a sleuth like me!)

A good score for 10 bucks!
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Old 12-06-16, 11:09 AM
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Thanks bazil!
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Old 12-06-16, 12:00 PM
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[QUOTE=bazil4696;19234874]
Originally Posted by 2cam16
I'll play. Just got this today for $10 on CL. If anyone can help me figure out the year of this bike, I'd greatly appreciate it!

A good score for 10 bucks!
Can't see it?
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Old 12-06-16, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
I guess that's like Raleigh in some ways, but Schwinn degraded in a number of ways over the years, from high-quality 3-speeds meant for serious riders, to heavy campus/newspaper route type bikes that were durable, but really did not perform well.
From my understanding, a lot of it had to do with Schwinn going the way of "lifetime warranty" on frames as a way to get a leg up over the Huffys and Roadmasters in the American market. And the way they did that was by developing the Electro-forging process of framebuilding to guarantee a frame that would most likely not break. The positive of that was these frames will probably outlive the apocalypse or whatever. The negative was they were heavy and "dead" feeling. So when lighter bikes really came on the scene in the 70's, Schwinn couldn't compete, especially since it would have been prohibitively expensive to retool the Chicago factory to make mass-scale lighter frames.
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Old 12-06-16, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx
So when lighter bikes really came on the scene in the 70's, Schwinn couldn't compete, especially since it would have been prohibitively expensive to retool the Chicago factory to make mass-scale lighter frames.
Would it really have been prohibitively expensive? Or did they just hope that their investment would keep paying off? A lot of people and companies fall for the fallacy of sunk cost.
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Old 12-06-16, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Would it really have been prohibitively expensive? Or did they just hope that their investment would keep paying off? A lot of people and companies fall for the fallacy of sunk cost.
I don't know. It's been awhile since I read a history of Schwinn book. And I am no Schwinn expert (if you are, feel free to chime in and correct me or somesuch.) But what I gathered was:
  • By the 70's, Schwinn's management was pretty conservative and no longer innovating. Not only did Schwinn fail to see trends like BMX and MTB emerging, (trends they inadvertently have a hand in creating), they were actively against them for a bit, seeing them as faddish and dangerous. They may have had the attitude of "let's wait for this lightweight bicycle nonsense to blow over."
  • The electro-forging equipment was indeed expensive and to replace it would have cost a lot of $$. And they probably would have tried to pass this along to the employees ("We'll have to cut benefits/pay to pay for this new equipment") who were pretty disgruntled and would eventually strike in the early 80's.
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Old 12-06-16, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Here's something local but it may not be to your taste. Might not be 23" and it's not cheap. Let me know if you want me to keep looking.

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike

Vintage Schwinn 3 speed bike - $200



condition: good
make / manufacturer: Schwinn
model name / number: Suburban
size / dimensions: 3 speed


Vintage Schwinn Suburban 3 speed bike in good condition.
From scanning the catalogs, this looks like a 1970 or 71. Schwinn offered a three speed Suburban sporadically through the years: 70/71, a one off in 79 (which would have had different lettering) and then 91/92/93 when it was ONLY offered as a three speed. (I didn't know they did that!)
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Old 12-06-16, 06:12 PM
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[QUOTE=clubman;19235274]
Originally Posted by bazil4696

Can't see it?
Huh?
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