Dad bike 2.0

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May 10, 2016
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So, these days I’m fortunate enough to spend a lot of saddle time with a co pilot.
My current ‘dad bike’ is functional, but lacking just a few things I’d like. Namely, more gears, and hand brakes.

(After starting this, I realized I don’t have a good picture of my current set up. I’ll edit that in soon) - picture a few replies below.

My starting point for this build is a ‘81 Schwinn cruiser 5. In very beautifully crusty condition.



I was gifted this bike some time ago by a good friend who’d owned it since new. Stoked that I can finally breathe some life back into it.

I aim to buy nothing for this build, and use parts on hand. I also (true to form) aim to keep it somewhat era correct for ‘81-‘83.

A quick search through some junk piles, and few turns of some wrenches later-


Some Araya 7x, front sealed suntour hub, rear sealed Suzue hub, wald long horns, a 180mm crank, and the smaller chainwheel from a sidewinder (39 tooth). Not pictured is the fork, but I’ve got options.

The above took place during ‘nap time’ monday.
Tuesday (today) after work I started on the wheels. Repacked the rear hub it was loose and dry. Got the freewheel off so I can do the math on gear ratios with others I have. Mounted some tires I had. White walls weren’t my first choice, but they’re nice rollin, and puncture resistant.


The paint is pretty bad in a few spots, so I think I’m going to do a little touch up just for bare metal protections sake.


Oh, and I plan to have this wrapped up and riding by this weekend.
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Was able to knock out a few things at lunch time today.
Some ‘touch up paint on the bb and brake bridge.

Blends decent enough. I just didn’t want too much raw steel as this bike will live outside.

Was also able to get a headset sorted. The previous one was super roached, so I dug out a few bits that make it slightly more presentable. While I was at it I attached the fork. The steerer was a little long, but I don’t like to cut them. Never know what I may wanna do with the fork in a year or two.
Test fit the wheels-


The derailuer hanger on this derailuer is bent, so I’ll have to sort that out. But lookin pretty straight forward.

I also may switch the chainring to a different tooth count. I plan to run a 6 speed freewheel, and I know what range I like my cruisin ratio to be, so I’ll aim to have the third gear be that. That’ll give me 3 lower, and 2 higher options.
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Managed to get a picture of dad bike 1.0.
As you can see, not a whole lot different. But, this frame doesn’t have a rear bridge, and hand brakes are one of the objectives. I do have one of the adapter things for a rear brake, but that’s not somethin I really want on a bike that’ll live outside year round.
The child seat requires a layback (for me) so that I don’t hit my knees. Not my favorite look, but it works. That’s also why the new build will have long horn bars, so it can sit a little more upright. I am somewhat bound to the current stem as well as the seat needs a slightly longer stem to fit it properly, and it needs to be 21.1 insert diameter. But, since you can’t really see it, that’s fine.

Today lunchtime task was crank/ bb.
Sorted through some stuff and came up with a decent 24t BB. Cleaned up the 180 cro-mo crank, and found a Dotek spider and 40t sugino chainring that’ll get me at a better gear ratio.


If I have time this evening I’ll sort the brakes. The ones that came off are pretty beat.

Was also able to straighten the derailuer hanger yesterday.

Should be able to button this up tomorrow during nap time, and set its maiden voyage right after.
Last night I was able to get the brakes, derailuer, and wheels on.
Was able to finish up the cockpit and cables during nap time today.
Just about to take its maiden voyage.



Ended up having to use the same stem and bars due to the restrictions of the child seat. But, accomplished the goal of more gears and hand brakes front and rear. Since my wife and I have about the same inseam, this creates a bike she’ll be also able to use. So, win win.