Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Can I convert a Schwinn Suburban to a raod bike?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Can I convert a Schwinn Suburban to a raod bike?

Old 07-27-08, 05:55 PM
  #1  
talleymonster
Emeritus...a second time?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Can I convert a Schwinn Suburban to a road bike?

I've been dying for a road bike for a while now. I have a 1974 Scwhinn Suburban project bike in my garage. I am wondering if it can be converted into a road bike of sorts? Swap in some drop bars? Would the geometry work? It may be a dumb question, but it never hurts to ask...

Would it be sacrilege for me to even consider doing this to this bike? It's not in bad shape, and everything is original....


Last edited by talleymonster; 07-27-08 at 06:00 PM.
talleymonster is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 06:15 PM
  #2  
amckimmey
Senior Member
 
amckimmey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 522

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quick way, just flip the bars. Not really the best bike to be a road bike, but just flipping the bars to be drops will give you more downward aggressive fell.

don't forget to flip the brakes and grips, maybe take the generator off, lot of weight, the fenders can stay.

It would give you the real vintage road bike look.
amckimmey is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 06:18 PM
  #3  
shubonker
danke
 
shubonker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nyc
Posts: 822
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Should probably work, i would strip most of the stuff off and replace em. STI SHIFTERS!!!!!!
shubonker is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 06:20 PM
  #4  
anthegreat1
Custom User Title
 
anthegreat1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I commute on a Suburban. n The bars were flipped when I got it but I picked up some Bullhorn handle bars for it. I also replaced the stock pedals with clips and straps because they are horrible. The seat sucks too.
anthegreat1 is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 06:53 PM
  #5  
(BB)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you do you will have a relaxed and very heavy 5 speed road bike.
You can swap out rims drop the fenders to lighten the load, but the ashtabula cranks, make it tough to upgrade the drive train.
They are great town bikes/grocery getters. I have a 71' that gets regular use.
Personally I would clean it up, ride it like you got it and keep looking for a more suitable road bike project.
Oh, and +1 on the saddle being a bummer.
(BB) is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 07:03 PM
  #6  
anthegreat1
Custom User Title
 
anthegreat1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you can upgrade the cranks. Harris Cyclery has the BB adapter you need.
anthegreat1 is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 09:08 PM
  #7  
sonatageek
Senior Member
 
sonatageek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cleveland,Ohio
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A lot of work and expense to achieve an about 30 pound road bike. I wonder if the geometry of the suburban was any different than the Varsity or Continental, which were (really heavy) road bikes?
__________________
My blog
http://radiocycles.wordpress.com/
sonatageek is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 09:33 PM
  #8  
envane
Senior Member
 
envane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 828
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The most important thing is to lose the dork disc on the rear wheel so other roadies don't make fun of you.
envane is offline  
Old 07-27-08, 09:45 PM
  #9  
bigbenaugust 
always rides with luggage
 
bigbenaugust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: KIGX
Posts: 2,106

Bikes: 2007 Trek SU100, 2009 Fantom CX, 2012 Fantom Cross Uno, Bakfiets

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by envane View Post
The most important thing is to lose the dork disc on the rear wheel so other roadies don't make fun of you.
yeah, that thing looks like a Marie Callender's pie plate... or a super-rare 11-42 tooth Shimano cassette.
__________________
--Ben
2006 Trek SU100, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, and a Bakfiets
Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014), 2008 Citizen Folder (2015)
Non-Bike hardware: MX Linux / BunsenLabs Linux / Raspbian / Mac OS 10.6 / Android 7
bigbenaugust is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:19 AM
  #10  
walterk46
Electro-Forged
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It wouldn't be sacrilege. Schwinn offered several of its models in "tourist" and "sport" versions. The "sport" versions had drop bars. I had a 5-speed Suburban in the "sport" version. It was an odd mix, with drop bars, stem shifters, and a chainguard.

I put a lot of miles on the old girl, in several different iterations. At one point, I built it up with a modern wheelset, an 8-speed cassette in the back, and a bar-end shifter as a winter bike. I liked it so much I rode it all the next summer, too. But after a while, I got tired of the extra weight and the flexy-frame. Its back in the basement now.
walterk46 is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:21 AM
  #11  
huhenio
Barbieri Telefonico
 
huhenio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 3,522

Bikes: Crappy but operational secondhand Motobecane Messenger

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by talleymonster View Post
I've been dying for a road bike for a while now. I have a 1974 Scwhinn Suburban project bike in my garage. I am wondering if it can be converted into a road bike of sorts? Swap in some drop bars? Would the geometry work? It may be a dumb question, but it never hurts to ask...

Would it be sacrilege for me to even consider doing this to this bike? It's not in bad shape, and everything is original....

m520 that thing and roll ...
__________________
Giving Haircuts Over The Phone
huhenio is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 08:34 AM
  #12  
bab2000
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 524

Bikes: riders:Schwinn Continental ('80), Specialized Crossroads Sport ('07), Schwinn Super Sport (73), Schwinn Superior (76), Projects: Schwinn Sprint ('74), Trek 800 & Schwinn Continental ('71)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by envane View Post
The most important thing is to lose the dork disc on the rear wheel so other roadies don't make fun of you.
I think the disc provides character to the older vintage bikes.

And since this is about Commuters, why would roadies care about such a heavy frame bike. The disc is there for equipment protection, removing only exposes you to a possible issue that will liekly occur at the worst possible time.

The Suburban is heavier, even heavier than the Continental and Varsity. Have never notice frame flex. It should ride like being on rails, yet gear range is limited for hills with only the single front gear.

The stem should accept drop bars, but I do not think worth the effort to add different brake levers.

Flipping bars would be my choice as well. Did so many years ago to my trusty Huffy, made ride up the big hill from ball practice easier and also, easier to straddle bat across the handle bar as well. Did not not understand the whole geometry thing then, but it did improve the styling as well, to a 11 year old at least.
bab2000 is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 09:25 AM
  #13  
anthegreat1
Custom User Title
 
anthegreat1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm am upgrading mine even though most consider it a waste. In truth the only thing that won't transfer to another frame is the $20 BB adapter. So when it's all said and done and I find a better frame only $20 is invested into the frame.

I just upgraded the wheelset and am actually converting it into a fixed gear. I have mine below 30lbs now. I know it's still heavy that just means when I can afford a lighter more modern bike I'll be fast as hell.
anthegreat1 is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 09:38 AM
  #14  
ItoDoeblin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dude - we're going to be creepy vintage 70's bike twins. I have a 70s huffy sana that is my project bike - basically the same bike, but w/o the generator and dork disk. Waiting for the drop bars and suicide kit to come in the mail, and then it'll be ready to roll
ItoDoeblin is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 09:44 AM
  #15  
cg1985
Goon
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Posts: 864

Bikes: Rocky Mountain RC30, Soma Sport Fixed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's a perfect fram to convert to a fixie :-)
cg1985 is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 09:47 AM
  #16  
pathdoc
Hey let's ride.
 
pathdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,002

Bikes: Torelli road bike, Tsunami tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just look for an inexpensive road bike. The relaxed geometry and weight makes this less than ideal frame for a road bike.
pathdoc is offline  
Old 07-28-08, 04:16 PM
  #17  
talleymonster
Emeritus...a second time?
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
m520 that thing and roll ...
What?
talleymonster 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

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.