8 Chicago Schwinns $50

Discussion in 'FRESH FINDS' started by xray, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. xray

    xray

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    I had not been watching CL, because I have too many bikes. (Too many for my wife, I mean, one can never have too many bikes, right?)

    I checked in to CL a couple weeks ago and stumbled onto an ad for "8 Chicago Schwinns $50, take them all or take nothing." That was a little too tempting to ignore. I tried to connect with the seller and had a false start. "Probably better anyway," I thought. A couple days later I was still thinking about it, so I tried again, and was able to hook up with him. I went to meet him at his warehouse and started loading up the tangled mess of rusty junk - there was at least $50 worth of parts I wanted, so I took them all like the ad said. He was cleaning out a warehouse he was giving up after many years in the flea market bike business. He offered me a few other bikes for free - "just take them so I don't have to put 'em in a dumpster."

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    I didn't have room in my truck - or my garage - so I passed up a couple of decent looking old 70s and 80s bikes, Fuji and Diamondback 10 speeds, and some others. I managed to cram one old Mongoose BMX Ravage in between the tangle of bikes in the truck.

    About 5 of the bikes were old women's frames with a few good parts, but pretty beat and rusty. I stripped those and put 3 of the frames in the dumpster. There was a man's 20 inch diamond frame that was so stripped of paint from dings and abrasion that I dumped it, too, after stripping a few parts, but the handle bar stem and crank were completely seized up from sitting in the weather - just junk.

    There was an ugly red 22 inch frame with a mag wheel crank. The top tube paint was so worn I thought I'd strip the parts and junk it, but as I started into it, I realized that despite the fact it had no wheels it was a 71 burgundy one speed Speedster with a restorable original seat, really nice rubber block pedals, original glitter grips, all pretty decent original parts - and that I normally only come across 17 and 20 inch frames or the rare 24 inch frame. For some reason I hardly ever find a 22 inch frame. As I cleaned it up, it was pretty nice except for the wear on the top tube.

    I ended up putting a 3 speed Shimano coaster brake wheelset on that frame with some ape hangers and the original burgundy sparkle grips. I swapped out the mag wheel chain ring for a clover leaf, and I adapted some old 27 inch chrome fenders to fit. I polished all the rust out of them and bought some Wald fender supports made for a 36 inch balloon tire bike and modified them to make the 27 inch fenders ride close to the 26 tires. I used stainless M5 screws with acorn nuts instead of rivets to attach the new supports to the fenders.

    I still have a little work. I'm going to put some kind of cable guides on the frame, since this is a single speed frame with no guides of any kind. I'm going to take everything apart - the rebuilt fenders, etc - and add some loctite and/or epoxy. (Epoxy to the fender supports - I cut the Wald 26 inch supports and overlapped the ends to reduce the size to make the 27 inch fenders fit real close to the 26 inch tires. They are just held together by stainless M5 screws and acorn nuts now.)

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  2. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,992
    Location:
    Peshtigo Wisconsin
    Gotta love the 22" frame. Picked up 2 sharp 1970's Schwinn light weight bikes, both 3 speeds. One blue Colegate and a red Racer. Although they look close in size, my wife took to the 22" Racer right away. The 17" frame is just too small for my 5' 10" adult body, but the 22" frame is just right, :thumbsup:
     
    RustyGold likes this.
  3. RustyGold

    RustyGold

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,705
    Location:
    Mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Looks cool :thumbsup:
     

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