Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vintage Schwinn Continental

Hello & Welcome,
Due to the weather and lack of painting space, (and confidence) The Raleigh Sports project will be on hold for a while.

Here it is my next project. A Big ole black Schwinn Continental. I restored one almost identical to this one the summer before last (guessing). I`m not expecting any surprise`s. (we`ll see how that goes) This old tank of a bike still shifts through all the gears. Even though it has been off the road for "God only knows" how long.

No care whatsoever was taken to store it properly, and it shows. And this old son of a gun is TALL, 35 inch stand-over height. And that`s with 2 flat tires!

The first step will be to take this old American road bike apart and take stock of what is to be refurbished and what will be replaced. This bike will be sold or donated when finished as it is much too tall for me. I have not yet looked up the date code. I will do that as soon as I am finished here and include it in the next post. I am hoping that I will be updating the blog before Christmas. But if I do not, I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday.

I apologize for the crappy photographs lately. But it is winter here now and the weather has been uncooperative. I will however be taking some winter bicycle photographs soon.

Word on the street is, Santa`s bringing me a new digital Fuji FINEPIX Camera with 12 times optical zoom! I realized I wanted a new camera after trying to photograph a Red-Tail Hawk in the back yard with really pathetic results.

Well friends that is all I have for today. If the weather is nice where you are, get out there and ride. But Please Ride safely and Remember to Always.... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh


  1. Rumor on the street is Santa's bringing me a camera small enough to fit in the seat bag, having grown tired of lousy cell phone photos.

    I'd guess mid to late 70's for the Varsity. Those bikes DID have nice welds!

  2. Always a good idea to have a camera handy. You never know what you might encounter. I looked
    up the Schwinn date code FR (June 1980) So you were very close. I was thinking 1983 or 84.
    The drilled brake levers cleaned up great! I just need to order the gum hoods and a roll of S-Phat handle-bar tape.

  3. I have a continental from around 1973 or 4 it isn't in the best shape is it worth anything???

  4. Hello,
    Not really worth much. The one above un-restored goes here for as low as 5.00 (garage sale)to about 20.00 (thrift store) Of course restored it would be worth considerably more. But that would depend on the quality of the restoration and what part of the country (or world) you are in.

  5. I have a 70's Continental and want to lower the gearing for some hills. Any ideas of the best way to accomplish that? Thanks!

  6. Hey Scott, Well you can go bigger on the free-wheel. Remove the Free-Wheel unit and see if you can replace it with one that has a larger(higher tooth count)low gear. You local bike shop should be able to advise you. Or order one for you. Also you can go smaller on the front crank (lower tooth count) I am assuming that it being a 1970`s Schwinn that it has a one piece crank.I have replaced one piece cranks on Schwinn(s) before. But always with an identical crank. But my best guess is that many would be interchangeable on the old Schwinns. E-Bay might be a good place to start looking. Good Luck. Let me know how it works out.

  7. I have and still ride a 1983 Schwinn continental, I bought it after I graduated from College. I stored the bike in the house for maybe ten years while running in the job market . As my kids got older and starting riding their bikes; I changed the dry rotted tires and began to ride with the kids. That was the most work I have done to the bike besides some lite oil on the gears and derailer . I still ride it to this day July 14,2010 .

  8. Hey Anonymous, That is what I love about the old Chicago Schwinn`s. Treat them halfway decent, and they will last forever. Treat them lousy and they will still last 30 or 40 years. It always amazes me when I pick up an old Schwinn that looks like it`s been to hell and back.
    But then I run it through the gears and everything "despite all the neglect" still works really well. I don`t know if they will ever build bikes this tough ever again. I hope you got to see this bike finished. If not check it out at
    Thanks for sharing your Schwinn story. Cheers,Hugh

  9. I have one from tha late 60's coffe color, how much can I sell it for?


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