Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Schwinn Continental Progresses

Hello and Welcome.
The temp shot up to a blazing 25 degrees F today. So it was time to get back to work on the Continental. Lately it has been so cold I have not been able to get any real heat going in the uninsulated garage/shop. But this afternoon I managed to get the shop up to 50 degrees F. And for a Michigander this time of year that`s like 75 degrees.

The Continental is coming along nicely but there is still much work to be done. I refurbished the derailleurs last week. Today it was all about taking the brakes apart (completely) and cleaning and polishing each and every part. And installing new Jag Wire X Caliper brake shoes.

The rear center pull caliper brake (Japan)polished and rebuilt. I chose not to put the huge reflectors back on. After all the work I did on these brakes I want to be able to see the #%*$ things.

The front brake (Switzerland) rebuilt and polished. I will never understand why Schwinn did some things so well while totally ignoring other things. These are really nice brakes for their time. But then I look at the crank and ask my self the age old question, what the hell were they thinking?

The rear derailleur refurbished is actually looking pretty good. But it would have looked a lot better if I had not shown here with the old (temporary) chain. Totally off topic for a sec. Yesterday I spotted a "Kool lemon" yellow Schwinn Heavy-Duty for sale. I mention this because that is one bike that Schwinn really got right. When I was a Detroit News "paper boy" the Schwinn Heavy Duty was definitely the paperboy's bike of choice. It was a real work horse. But what makes for a good work horse doesn't necessarily make for a good race horse.

The front derailleur all cleaned up with new (salvaged) limit screws and springs. This is why I try to save every possible re usable part. When cleaning up the front derailleur I could not help but notice how dingy the limit screws looked. So fortunately I had a few broken derailleurs laying around and scavenged these pristine limit screws and springs for this derailleur. QUICK TIP: If your rear derailleur will not shift up to the largest cog (first gear) before you mess with the limit screw, check the rear derailleur cable for slack. More often than not the problem is not the limit screw. Also clean and lube the derailleur. More often than not, these two steps will take of the problem.

Above: I guess there is no need to explain why I am replacing the saddle. The Tonka tyke bike came with a better saddle that this bloody God awful p. o. s.

It`s late so I gotta cut it short. Next I will clean-up the stem and the drop handlebars, brake-levers and the front cable guide. Also all the goodies are ordered which include a new saddle, tires, handlebar cork tape and new pedals! I already have the new inner-tubes tubes. Tomorrow I have to take a relative to the doctor for minor surgery. I hope to be home early enough to get started on cleaning up the stem and bars. Until next time Stay Warm and Ride Safe and PLEASE remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE


  1. Hello,
    Boy, you sure do an excellent job cleaning and polishing those parts. They look great. I am going to look back through the old posts to see what you use. That is going to be one classy/flashy Schwinn!

  2. For the chrome. I always use TurtleWax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover. And for Aluminum and Aluminum alloy I use Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish.And I almost never use a steel wire brush. Brass is much less likely to damage the finish.As for adhesive removal I use GOO-GONE
    Quick tip: Mothers is also great for breaking down old hardened grease on bearing cups. Just be careful not to leave any on the parts. I`m sure it would also break-down the new grease as well. I use vinyl gloves when working with any of these chemicals. I would strongly recommend that you use them too. And protective glasses as well.

  3. Hi, I am restoring a 1980 Schwinn Continental (black) and wanted to see if you know how to get any replacement decals? Also, your site is great! You do a great job explaining things in the restoration process. Thanks!

  4. Hey Barry S
    In the "Bicycle Related Links" section in the right column. Check-out Classic Resources, Cyclomondo decals and Velo decals. You should be able to find what you are looking for. Good Luck with your project.
    Cheers, Hugh


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