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dabigboy 02-25-16 12:37 AM

Okie couple getting back to it, Schwinn Crossfit, and ???
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Hi all,

Looks like my wife and I are going to tackle cycling this year. We've biked only a bit since getting married, but I kinda got the bug after using the rent-a-bikes to cruise a park and river in a town we visited a couple times last year (the bikes were fairly lousy for all but the most leisurely of comfort riding, but they got the job done). I've been hitting the web for info on what to look for/avoid in a bike, and this site seems to contain a considerable amount of good information and helpful, experienced riders. :)

My wife and I have been married a little over 5 years now, and have started to do more things outdoors...camping, exploring, got into fishing about 2 or 3 years ago. We really enjoy it. Bikes seem a logical next step, but especially for fitness purposes. I've managed to knock off some weight through diet-only, which is great, but I am still a good 25lbs overweight. Biking is something I enjoyed as a youth, and it's something we can enjoy as a family, while also getting a good workout.

Today was quite a good started with a conversation with a customer of mine during a service call. I mentioned that I was going to be looking at a couple bikes after work, and he goes "Oh great! I used to cycle.....hey I have a repair stand you could probably use, you can have it!" Sweet! So after a while we go to the garage, he hands me what looks to be a nearly brand-new stand, insistent that I take it at no charge. I finally got him to accept a $20 for it. Just as we are about to go back in the house, he says "Oh wait, there's something else you might could use." He then shows me a little bicycle repair kit, with various low-profile wrenches, chain tool, hub sockets, etc. Well, between that and my own tool collection, I am almost set for repairs & maintenance. Now all I need is a couple of bikes!

Fast-forward to after work....I arrange to purchase a ladies' bike for my wife off Craigslist: an Eddie Bauer, which seems to be made by Giant from what I can find out, so I assumed it was at least decent. Got to the guy's place, he has STACKS of rims, bike frames, parts, and a few complete bikes. But, the EB was nowhere to be found. He pointed me to an old Huffy, apparently he thought that's the one I was after. I looked around and finally found the EB.....banged up and dumped on a stack of other frames, with no wheels, and a very bent rear derallieur. I might have offered him something for the frame and remaining bits if I thought it was a really good bike, but I didn't think it would be worth that much investment. Bummer!

Driving home I was pretty bummed....I had been all ginned up to bring my wife a nice bike I could fix up and get going for her. Then I remembered another number I had saved, for a guy selling a ladies' Schwinn Crossfit. He had not set a price. Dialed him up, asked him to throw out a price: $30. Sold!

Now I know a lot of the newer Schwinns have been relegated to dept store of my first jobs was as an assembler at Wal-Mart, which mostly involved building/fixing/tuning exceedingly cheap bikes. I wasn't sure if this one was from a dept store, or if it was a little higher up in the Schwinn food chain, but for $30 I was willing to take a chance.

The bike actually turned out to be better than expected (not necessarily a common occurrence in the CL world). I guestimated its vintage to be early to mid 1990s, but not really sure. I know it looks older than the Schwinns I used to work on at Wally World in the early 2000s. It's stamped Taiwan, not China, so I suppose that's something. Frame is straight. Amazingly, everything pretty much works on it, even the shifting is nearly perfect. And the tires are practically new! Looks to me like it may have spent some time outdoors earlier in its life, then at some point in recent history, received attention and upgrades/replacements to get it roadworthy. The tallest rear sprocket looks newer than the rest (it's shiny), the tires still have the little stubs on them (and no signs of cracking), Presta valves are shiny and new looking, the rims are in awesome shape and probably have not seen harsh weather, and the brake hardware looks fresh and new, despite the fact that other hardware (like the bolts that hold the brakes to the frame) is showing rust in some places. Crank bearings feel good too, though that could just be an indication of not-much-use.

I still plan on taking it apart and giving it a good cleaning/lubing, and deeper inspection. I'll probably let my wife ride it a bit with all the current components to make sure she likes it, then repair/replace a few things here and there. It needs a new spoke guard (has a typically yellow/chipped one now, probably original), possibly a better saddle, and I'd feel a little better with some metal brake handles on there. I'll also need to add a kid seat (we have two small kids).

I'm not too familiar with specific brands and models of bike components, but it looks like the tires alone might be worth more than what I paid for the bike (they're Bontragers). I figure if all else fails, I can use the wheels & tires/tubes on something else. Win!

Now I just need a spoke wrench, a Presta adapter, and a bike for me...the search continues!


10 Wheels 02-25-16 05:38 AM

Hey dabigboy,

Welcome and have fun with the $30 bike .

YogaKat 02-25-16 06:38 AM

Welcome to BF from a fellow Okie! Sounds like you are off to a good start.

RonH 02-25-16 06:47 AM

Sounds like it was your lucky day. :thumb: Have you visited any bike shops? And forget that presta adapter. Most decent floor pumps and frame pumps will work with presta and Schrader. I not sure if I know how to use the schrader half of my pumps. ;) My bikes have all been presta.
You didn't mention anything about your age but if you're over 50 stop by the 50+ forum. I hang out there. I'm 71. :beer:

obed7 02-25-16 08:19 AM

welcome to the forums

dabigboy 02-25-16 11:19 PM

Thanks all,

I'm about 17 years shy of the 50+ forum, but I hope to still be biking by then. :) Have not been in a bike shop in nearly 7 years, as I don't want to purchase new, and I don't feel right using their bikes for fitting/testing when I'm not going to make a purchase. There are a few nearby that I may visit when I start needing parts (I like to shop local).

Thanks for the tip on the Presta valve, I had not really started thinking about pumps until today.

Found a 2000 GT Saddleback (reasonably) cheap that needs love, trying to get hold of the guy so I can go check it out. But now it's gonna have to wait until next wife and I are heading to Texas tomorrow to work on a Huey! :)


dabigboy 03-01-16 07:18 PM

Well I did a light tune-up (it needed almost nothing) and safety check of the Schwinn the other day, and my wife took it to the store and back. She loves it! There are a couple minor fitting adjustments she wants to make, and she doesn't like the seat, but other than that I just need to go through it and clean/grease everything as required. This may be the first non-BSO she's ever had a chance to ride, I'm really happy to get it going for her.

More good news: I got myself a bike too, last night. It's a 2000 GT Saddleback, for $50. Seems to be all stock. It's not in nearly as good of condition as the Schwinn, but should make a fun rebuild project for me. I'm posting that in a new thread.


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