Monday, August 31, 2015

Schwinn Mania

Over this past year of rescuing and refurbishing old bikes and finding new homes for them, I failed to realize until now that the brand that I have worked with the most is Schwinn, by far. Of 15 bikes that I have found new owners for, 7 were made by Schwinn. It comes as no surprise since millions of bulletproof electro-forged frames were turned out every year during Schwinn's golden years (also see this link).

When I first got into bikes, I did not find Schwinns very appealing but somehow, as I learned more about them and worked on more of them, they grew on me. By some twist of good fortune, as I wrote about before, I now have my very own electro-forged Schwinn 3-speed, albeit heavily modified. Without further adieu, I have decided to share here the colorful assortment of Schwinns, electro-forged or brazed, that I have worked on.

Green 1972 3-speed pair for me and my sister

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Schwinn Twins

I have finished updating my 1972 Schwinn 3-speed for now.  First things first, the bottom bracket had to be cleaned out after being ridden through the flood.

It hadn't occurred to me until after the fact, but one-piece cranks are very poorly sealed compared to the 3-piece kinds.  The outer "plate" is the actual bearing race so water (whether clean or dirty) enters very easily.  When the bike had a chance to dry out after the flood, there was sand inside the bottom bracket making all sorts of grinding noises.  To make matters worse, the bolts for the chain guard were rusted on so I couldn't completely remove the crank.  The best I could do was pressure-wash the balls with WD-40, blast it with compressed air, and put it back together ... and then I poured oil down the seat tube to wash the sand outward as the crank was turned.  Crude, I know, but that was the only way I could think of. The grinding noises did disappear.