1940 Schwinn BMX

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes:

Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
A friend donated a bunch of bikes and parts to me last Fall and I spent the rest of the year getting people on two wheels. There was a frame with a bent fork in the pile that was obviously pre-war to me, but had been very crappily brush painted blue and white by the person who gave it to them and I paid it no mind until one day in December when I was rummaging for something else. I dragged it into my shop and set it in the corner to wait its turn in the stand. The next day it went into the stand and I took the fork off and set the parts to clean. After wire-wheeling the paint off of any of the usual suspect places for damage and the bottom of the BB shell for a serial number, it was determined to be a prewar Schwinn (I guessed '39 initially and it's '40) that could be built up into a 26" BMX. A friend with welding gear helped me fill in a couple of crank gouges and then it sat to wait for a warm day to use my pedestal wire wheel outside to strip the rest of the paint.

It had a few other parts that required restoration, such as the seatpost binder bolt, scripted seat post, brake arm retainer band/bolt, and bottom bracket cups, all of which were set aside for warm weather and the pedestal wheel treatment. I had a few different era Schwinn chrome parts in my bins, so they were collected, cleaned, polished and placed in the parts box for the project. The rims were donated MTB Disc that arrived with the pile the frame was in, so that was an easy choice. The Brooks Flyer was not currently on a bike, as it never really belonged on anything I tried to use it with, so it went into the box too. Tires, Kenda 927s that were from that same parts pile.

New parts bought for it were few because coaster brake bikes are almost as cheap and easy to build and maintain as a brakeless fixed gear. I have a few coaster brake hubs around, but they are all 36h and the rims are 32h. I opted for Sturmey Archer on both, the front being a high flange and rear singlespeed coaster. Spokes, DT Champion, which is just all about I have ever used. Fork, I'm not sure what the brand is, but it's Taiwan made and the fabrication does not look suspect to me. Stem, a new Black Ops. Bars are Fenix BMX, which seem to be well made like the fork.

I went to fleabay for the chainring and grips beccause I wanted to go vintage there. The grips are NOS Saturn Five BMX and the chainring, a Schwinn Lucky 7, which was a nod to the first BMX bike I had around 1971 in the form of a 60's Sting-Ray I had modded with motorcycle bars my Aunt had given me for my Birthday and a Varsity saddle.

The wheels were built up as soon as the hubs and spokes arrived and the parts collected just sat, waiting for the usual Colorado glimpses of Spring. After a few sporadic windows of warm, the frame was rattlecanned with Duplicolor Ceramic black and then the same clearcoat, which took a few weeks with the schizophrenic weather. Once it was cured to my satisfaction after a nice string of warm days and sunshine, it went into the stand and in an hour for so it was all together...except for pedals and a chain. I had used the chain intended for the build on a bike built for a friend and forgotten to order a new one, the venerable Izumi Jet Black. I had also neglected pedals, but have a bunch of 1/2" stuff around and just slapped some already cleaned up cheapie Wellgo nylon platforms on. The chain issue was temporarily cured by the neighborhood shop with a KMC they had in stock.

While the build finish was going on, the schizo weather reared its ugly head again and snowed about a foot on Thursday. So, waiting for the streets to dry out makes waiting for parts to finish it an easier wait. Friday, I ordered a set of Odyssey Triple Traps from a local shop and they should be in sometime today. I'll get to ordering another Izumi Jet Black as soon as I finish and get paid on the two vintage MTB restos I'm working on. It's going to get some Kenda 927 blackwalls and an era correct Schwinn head badge when I can afford it. Until then, the plan is to ride it and have some fun, including trips to the Big Wave Dave pump track.

SchWINn.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yesterday was a productive day for many reasons and this bike was at the forefront of them all. After taking care of what seemed to be a perpetually twisting myriad of other things, I took it out for a spin to get some ice cream at a local creamery. All amped up sugar, I set out from there to just ride. This bike is perfect for taking a good look around, as opposed to the usual brakeless fixed gear speeding about with my head on a swivel. I learned a few more neighborhoods and added a few more of those cut throughs (where cars can't fit) to my newly expanding list. Most of all, riding time is contemplation time and I got a few things worked out, including finishing the bike I was on with a head badge I already have and the Izumi Jet Black chain that's on the way.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Great looking build, I bet it rides awesome.
The effective top tube length is 1" longer than a cantilever Schwinn 26er, lotsa leg room for my tallness and also stable at high speeds. I've already clocked a radar sign on a hill at 30 here. Tires are next up though. The Kenda K-927s on it have a squirrely spot when transitioning turns, especially as speeds increase. The Kenda Kiniption 2.3 is what I'll be trying next.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
21,410
Reaction score
18,365
Location
Broken Hill, Australia
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
The effective top tube length is 1" longer than a cantilever Schwinn 26er, lotsa leg room for my tallness and also stable at high speeds. I've already clocked a radar sign on a hill at 30 here. Tires are next up though. The Kenda K-927s on it have a squirrely spot when transitioning turns, especially as speeds increase. The Kenda Kiniption 2.3 is what I'll be trying next.
Keep us updated, been wondering about those tires!
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I finally took it out to the Big Wave Dave Pump Track in Broomfield yesterday morning.
BigWaveDave.jpg

Getting used to a coaster brake on this terrain took a few minutes. With the outside foot all of the way down, pumping a bump in a bank made brake taps almost inevitable. Either getting my outside foot almost all of the way down and just a bit forward, or doing a slow pedal through the banks made it a lot easier,
bwd6.JPG

That bike straight-up rips. As soon as the Kenda Kiniptions arrive, I'll be going back.
 

Captain Awesome

đź‘‘ Lord of Irrelevance
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
4,433
Reaction score
7,338
Location
Sunny SC coast
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
I finally took it out to the Big Wave Dave Pump Track in Broomfield yesterday morning.
View attachment 119220
Getting used to a coaster brake on this terrain took a few minutes. With the outside foot all of the way down, pumping a bump in a bank made brake taps almost inevitable. Either getting my outside foot almost all of the way down and just a bit forward, or doing a slow pedal through the banks made it a lot easier,
View attachment 119221
That bike straight-up rips. As soon as the Kenda Kiniptions arrive, I'll be going back.


You would never get me off that track!!! :rockout:

I could wear out a set of PowerBlocks if I had a setup like that
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Great pic!
My friend Z was out there with me and we usually snap a few shots when we go ride. For some reason his camera was taking fuzzy-ish pics. I think he needs to clean the lens...
You would never get me off that track!!! :rockout:
I could wear out a set of PowerBlocks if I had a setup like that
It's a hoot. I could ride it much faster without the coaster brake. Time to fish around in the parts bins for a rear singlespeed hub and freewheel. I'll ride brakeless there.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The couple who gave me the frame for this bike finally saw it last night. They didn't recognize it at first and thought it was all new. When told it had been the blue/white house paint covered frame, stoked would best describe their reaction. Apparently it had been gifted to them after the 2013 Flood, eventually becoming a Never Round Tuit. It's happy now.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
5,065
Location
Colorado
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Keep us updated, been wondering about those tires!
I've been over to the pump track a couple of times since getting the Kiniptions and they are outstanding. Pumped up to about 65 PSI and they do exactly what they are supposed to do, roll like crazy and stick like glue.
 
Top