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1964 Continental in Coppertone

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1964 Continental in Coppertone

Old 02-15-15, 02:49 PM
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commodus192
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1964 Continental in Coppertone

Thought I'd share another new purchase - a 64 Schwinn Continental in the ever lovely Radiant Coppertone. It's serial number indicates it was made two days after my 64 Varsity in Coppertone.

The man who owned it bought it off his Doctor friend in 1970 because he never rode it. After he bought it, he didn't ride it either. He's had it all these years in his garage and decided to let it go and was actually a touch emotional over it, which I of course, respect. Obviously no tremendous feat in overhauling/cleaning up these old Schwinns. The only hard part was it's old gumwall tires completely boiled over and turned to this bubbly crispy glue. Put some old panniers on it - and it rides super.



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Old 02-15-15, 03:02 PM
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cb400bill
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Nice pick up. Great color.
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Old 02-15-15, 03:29 PM
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Great find, and nice to get the 24" frame size (largest available at that time) with the more-useful chainring gearing of the "Sprint" components era.

From the looks of the saddle height, I think you did well to get the 24", since these bikes feel (and are) rather short on the forward "reach" dimension.

It will be interesting to see how it handles with loaded front and rear panniers.

One thing I notice is the more normal handlebar bend on your 1964 than my 1962.5 Continental, which positions my brake levers/hoods much lower in front. I'll have to try bars like yours, since as it is my saddle-to-handlebar drop feels excessive, and even looks excessive. Even with the 10cm stem I installed, the angle from the saddle down to the hoods feels too steep on this bike. And I'm no fan of the half-step (third-step?) rings, either:

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Old 02-15-15, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Great find, and nice to get the 24" frame size (largest available at that time) with the more-useful chainring gearing of the "Sprint" components era.

From the looks of the saddle height, I think you did well to get the 24", since these bikes feel (and are) rather short on the forward "reach" dimension.

It will be interesting to see how it handles with loaded front and rear panniers.

One thing I notice is the more normal handlebar bend on your 1964 than my 1962.5 Continental, which positions my brake levers/hoods much lower in front. I'll have to try bars like yours, since as it is my saddle-to-handlebar drop feels excessive, and even looks excessive. Even with the 10cm stem I installed, the angle from the saddle down to the hoods feels too steep on this bike. And I'm no fan of the half-step (third-step?) rings, either:

Thanks Bill; much appreciated.


DDDD - hey thanks! I thought you might appreciate it. It's funny - in that the size of the head tube is larger, when it is parked next to the varsity, which is the next size down, they are pretty much the same height. The handlebars are much wider than the Varsity one's - but the owner stated he hadn't changed a thing on it - except bar tape a few years ago when he thought he might take it out for a spin (as well as tossing the old leather saddle...darn it). Your brakes do look exceptionally far for a reach - at least for me. I'm 5'9". I'm looking forward to seeing how it handles with the panniers loaded up - once the roads are clear of salt and slush. I've seen pics of your blue boy - it's stunning.

I know people hate the Schwinn brake suicide brake levers, but I'm going to put some on. I ride a lot in the city, and I find them so useful for those slow spins at red lights and such without having to bend over every 20 seconds.
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Old 02-15-15, 06:01 PM
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Great find!!
I'm currently re-doing a 64 Continental in Coppertone also...

BTW if you want safety levers, you'll need later brake levers. The safety levers will damage the quick release on the 64's levers.
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Old 02-15-15, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Great find, and nice to get the 24" frame size (largest available at that time)...
The Varsity and Continental frame sizes were *listed as 19", 21" and 23" in 1964: Schwinn catalogs, 1961 - 1970 (184 of 765)

Originally Posted by commodus192 View Post
It's funny - in that the size of the head tube is larger, when it is parked next to the varsity, which is the next size down, they are pretty much the same height.
Good observation! *Note where I said sizes were "listed as" above. That's because the 19" and 21" frames actually measured 20" and 22" respectively (c-t), while the 23" size was accurate in that it really was 23". This is why your 21" Varsity and 23" Continental seem very close in size, they are actually 22" and 23" respectively, differing by only an inch.

Schwinn finally corrected the mislabeling of the smaller EF frame sizes in 1971 when they simply changed the 19" and 21" designations to 20" and 22" without actually changing the frame dimensions. In addition at the same time they changed the 23" frame size to 24" (an actual change in size, not just designation), thereby finally establishing a true even 2" spread between all sizes. Just so you know I'm not making this stuff up this info comes from a Feb. 1971 Schwinn Dealer "News Flash" bulletin.

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Old 02-15-15, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnman67 View Post
Great find!!
I'm currently re-doing a 64 Continental in Coppertone also...

BTW if you want safety levers, you'll need later brake levers. The safety levers will damage the quick release on the 64's levers.
Thanks Schwinnman - good luck with yours - I love these things. The 60's variety are tough to find in good shape. And yes - thank you on the brake levers; I noticed they likely wouldn't work on their current. I'm a weirdo with trying to keep things as original as possible, but I really like having those extra levers!
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Old 02-15-15, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
The Varsity and Continental frame sizes were *listed as 19", 21" and 23" in 1964: Schwinn catalogs, 1961 - 1970 (184 of 765)



Good observation! *Note where I said sizes were "listed as" above. That's because the 19" and 21" frames actually measured 20" and 22" respectively (c-t), while the 23" size was accurate in that it really was 23". This is why your 21" Varsity and 23" Continental seem very close in size, they are actually 22" and 23" respectively, differing by only an inch.

Schwinn finally corrected the mislabeling of the smaller EF frame sizes in 1971 when they simply changed the 19" and 21" designations to 20" and 22" without actually changing the frame dimensions. In addition at the same time they changed the 23" frame size to 24" (an actual change in size, not just designation), thereby finally establishing a true even 2" spread between all sizes. Just so you know I'm not making this stuff up this info comes from a Feb. 1971 Schwinn Dealer "News Flash" bulletin.
Well that makes sense - honestly I find all your observations and knowledge on the subject of these bikes, as well as dddd's, to be fascinating. Love learning more about them. I was pondering what it was that would make the feel of each bike be so similar, since the head tubes were clearly of a different size.
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Old 02-16-15, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Commodus...

I have several 60's Varsities (63x2,65x2 66x2) and Continentals (62x2,64) and a 63 Sierra...

I also try to keep my bikes as original as possible, but early 60's stuff is hard to get. I would suggest a set of Weinmann levers something like these to help keep the vintage look...

Vintage Weinmann Brake Levers Road Bike Double Safety Bars Schwinn Approved | eBay

I'll try and get pics of my project up sometime soon...
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