To Schwinn or Go Green?

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Ulu

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I recently rescued this Manhattan “Green” bike which was pulled from a muddy grave. It needed quite some work, an I stripped the whole bike down and refurbished it to suit me. But now I have another frame…
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It got lots of love and grease, a seat cover, grips, 2 new tires, and a new patch on the flat rear. The front brake was smashed, so running bare up front.
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The rear has a Sturmey-archer AWC mk2,
3 speed hub with coaster brake. Wheels turned out to be very nice, and all the bearings were savable except for the bottom bracket, which got a new (sealed bearing) shaft set.

It is really a sweet ride, although the frame feels a little small to me. I only paid $100 for this, and I’ve invested $100 in new tires and parts, plus a little bit more in materials and consumables.

I spent $200+ on bicycle tools “just because.”

Anyhow I was pretty happy except that there is no front brake, and then this came along. I wanna say, here on this Sunday, Praise the Lowered, and forgive me for buying a Chinese “Schwinn”.

But now I have another frame…

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As a former Schwinn Tornado owner, this stuff almost made me cry. This fo-thin, high-quality sticker was stuck to the high-quality frame with high-quality double-sided sticky tape.
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There were a lot of plastic bits on this bike that matched it in quality, including the plastic pedals, and the “Shimano” shifters and derailleurs.

This was a very clean bike and it had been kept indoors, so the Shimano stickers had not actually fallen off yet. Therefore they were still technically Shimano parts right?

Anyhow I bought this bike partly because it had nice aluminum alloy wheels and like-new tires, and no flats and nice grips and a really nice seat.

But mainly the alloy wheels with quick release hubs, which will fit on my wife’s mountain bike, and will be a big improvement over the steel rims. Certainly not pro quality put good enough for her toodleing around the neighborhood.

The center pull brake fit right on the front of my bike with no big problem. The pads are in great shape (but rather hard composition. They got to go!)
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OK there was one problem. I didn’t have a brake lever, and these ungodly Shimano things have the worlds most complicated plastic shifters.

Anyhow with a hacksaw and a grinder etc. I relieved this device of its unnecessary shifter bits. It is still a beater-bike so I didn’t buff anything.

before:
image.jpg

After:
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Sharp eyes might notice that I actually took a picture of the other lever, because I forgot to take it before I cut the thing up. It’s about the same.

The carnage of a fake Shimano shifter:
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I never did sand and repaint the entire frame on the Manhattan bike because I wanted to see how it rode before I invested that much money and effort. It actually surpassed my expectations.

But it feels a little small and the paint is dingy and I have this blue Schwinn frame with beautiful shiny paint. It is also about 2” taller and 2” longer. I think it will fit me better but I also think it will be about a pound heavier. At least. The tubes are also a little larger in diameter the same may be thinner as well. I don’t know.

So should I transplant all my gear onto the “Schwinn” fake made in china bike? At this point I’m not sure I want to use anything else off of it on the Manhattan bike.
 
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I like what you did to make the brake levers. Doesn't look half bad...
If it was up to me, the parts would go onto the Schwinn. It is more my style.
 
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Literally had a Shimano Rapidfire shifter in my hands this weekend pondering the same operation. I switched to thumb shifters, but the brake levers on the old pods are so comfortable. My bracket is painted black, so it wouldn't have looked as good. I had abandoned the idea, but you're pulling me back to it.
 

Ulu

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I stripped down the Schwinn today. I don’t have an official bike vice. I do have this hokey anvil which is pretty stout. Here’s a partial view of my junkyard full of old parts and plastic plumbing from my aquarium experiments. There’s my Wagner heat gun on the ground. It came in handy today.
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Everything came off easily until I got to the alloy crank arms. I didn’t wanna strip the threads in the aluminum so I got the puller as tight as I dared and then started heating up the arm with a heat gun.

After a couple minutes it got warm enough that it loosened without a pop. I watched the wrench fall under its own weight.

Aluminum heats up and expands three times as quickly as steel does so this is pretty quick, safe and successful.

It’s always nice if you don’t have to beat on things and as it turns out all of the bearings were just fine on this bicycle.

However there’s something about Chinese bicycle grease that must be about half candlewax. The stuff gets chunky way too fast. Also my opinion of this bicycle was all directed against China and as it turns out all the gear on this bike came from Malaysia. Clearly the worst part of Asia.

I mean these derailers are the worst kind of garbage imaginable. All you have to do is tip a bike like this over one time, and enough plastic parts can be damaged to make adjustments impossible.

As it turns out there’s like zero wear on the sprockets and chain. This bicycle simply has not been used.

There is, however, a special place in Hades for people who design plastic crap like this and foist it off on consumers as real bicycle gear.
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Looks just like the real thing until you put a screwdriver under it. SNAP!

Anyhow I wanted to put these alloy crank arms on my Manhattan bicycle but I don’t like the sprocket attachment. This is a pressed and staked assembly, and you can’t really take it apart.

Then again, I have grinders, so please stand by . . .
 

Ulu

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I decided that I wanted to try a bigger sprocket on the front and it really paid off.

By using parts from the Schwinn, I went from a 32 to a 38, and the bike was much happier, and so was I.
image.jpg

I actually only changed the drive side pedal arm and sprockets from the Schwinn. I also had to add 2” to the chain.

I was not able to buy the crank arms and sprocket so I wanted at the local bike shops. Their inventories of things are scant at best. I did get a nice set of rat trap pedals.

I ordered a new set of arms & a sprocket. No idea how long it will take.

Since this is not a show bike, but a daily rider, I am not going to repaint it right away. I want to put it together and tune it and see how I like to ride it before I make any decisions about decorations.
 

Ulu

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Well the Schwinn frame didn’t work. ;(

I had most of the gear changed over when I figured out that the rear tire was going to kiss the frame.

I’d have to mod the dropouts.

I changed it all back, but at least I put on the matching alloy lever and the new pedals.
 

Ulu

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To show you guys that I’m a good sport here’s pictures of me riding around on this silly little Manhattan girly bike that I rescued.
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Well I’m not doing it for style in this case. I mean, look at those socks!

I’m doing it for daily leg exercise, because I need it.
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I’ll see if I can find a picture of me when I weighed 240 pounds and was a professional mouse potato.

Here’s a picture of my other bike: Baggins the Nomad, a 2004 1500 Nomad. We rode Baggins 50,000 miles from restaurant to restaurant, which explains the 240 pounds.
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Anyhow I want you guys to appreciate that I stopped working on my old cars so I could fix the tired clutch on this monster.

Then I stopped working on the Kawasaki so I could build a bicycle, because I felt the need for leg exercise so badly.

I’m afraid I’ve done so much sanding that the upper body strength has severely out paced the lower. I hand sanded a ‘47 Plymouth to metal, and a whole 14 foot ‘glass fishing boat like three times.

I’m afraid it’s the only way I can afford to have all these toys. I fix them myself.

Now everything sits there while I work on bicycles. ;)

I need to at least finish fixing the Nomad before I start welding on the build off bicycle, or else I will never stop welding.

Someday you may get to see me chop the Kawasaki Nomad, because my old wife doesn’t want to tour on the bike, And this is a heavy beast with all that gear on it. 800+ pounds wet.

Finally, this is the car that I should be working on right now, because the frame is rusted out & it is beautiful welding weather outside. Don’t get excited. It’s just a Volkswagen with a fiberglass body.

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Ulu

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38 years ago….
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The P15 is in bits right now.
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When I saw the condition of the actual sheet-metal after removing the Bondo I decided that this was going to be a major customizing project.
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This car was a trophy winner when I bought it in 1984. I pretty much drove it to death and started over.
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Anyhow she’s sitting under a tarp all stripped down. All the parts are inside of another car. I will get to that in time.
 

RustyGold

Epic Level Bike Hoarder! 🏆
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One of my earliest cars was a '48 Chrysler Saratoga...when I was 11 :bigsmile:. You don't see many Mopars pre '60s, I wish more had survived.

Cool project... looking forward to seeing the finished product!
 

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