Thursday, October 14, 2010

Schwinn Continental Deja Vu

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Above: In the immortal words of Yogi Berra "It`s like Deja Vu all-over again". Some of you might remember that I posted a Continental almost identical to this one on 05-18-10. This is kind of a unique opportunity. You know how sometimes you finish a project and think, Maybe I should have done this or that differently? Well, I was just looking at photographs of the May Continental. I remember thinking of a few things I could have done differently.

Schwinn Continental posted  05 - 18 - 10

Above: In my opinion the hoods on the brake levers look fine. But natural cork tape or dark cork would look much better than the black. Also the saddle. I think the black/gray saddle looks ok... But, a brown Leather saddle would look 100% better. Now I might not be able to afford leather. But I CAN afford brown. As for the pedals, I`m good with the old style pedals with traps and straps. I would not want to make a change there. But the tires? On the May Continental done the way it was, black-walls would have looked better. But had I made the fore-mentioned changes, then the Gum-Walls would have been the way to go. So I will probably go with the gum-walls this time around. And I`m even considering fenders. Not the shorty`s it has now, but full touring /commuter fenders. I`m thinking the fenders I took off the Motobecane Special Sport might look real cool.

Above: This is pretty-much where I am at on the current Continental. I have cleaned-up the bearing races in the crank-housing. I won`t call it a bracket-shell because it is a one-piece crank and therefore does not have a bracket. I also cleaned-up the cups for the head-set bearings. And started to polish up the one piece crank. (oddly enough it is in three pieces)So I guess that makes it a "three-piece" One-Piece Crank (: I did place an order for tires. If they all show-up I will have three different tires to choose from.

Above: Here`s most of the stuff I stripped off the Continental. I do need to locate some handlebars. I have plenty laying around,I just have to decide which ones to use. There is a Le-Tour mixte awaiting restoration that has a sweet looking set of bars. I might borrow them for this project. I also need to get busy locating a saddle if I`m gonna go with brown or leather. I have the original levers with suicide levers. The suicide levers have blue plastic sparkle or flaked covers on them. God do they look stupid. I`ll have to cut the posts off the lever-frames to eliminate the suicide-levers. No problem there, since I`m gonna install gum-like hoods anyway. I wonder if I could find Aero-levers with gum hoods, that might look cool. I have lots to think about.

Above: The other Schwinn project is a Varsity. I have it stripped down to the frame
but I will not work on it till I have done all I can do on the Continental and am waiting for parts to arrive. That is the great advantage of having multiple work-stands. This makes it much easier to work on two bikes at the same time. I also have a third stand that breaks down easily to take in the truck for repairs. (and adjustments when delivering a bike) I have learned from experience to bring all the tools necessary to make any adjustment that may be needed for the customer.

Above is a photo I took while test-riding the Quantum. This canal is actually part of a larger canal system that runs through an older sub-division here. It`s like the Michigan version of Venice. I never noticed (or I forgot) it ran behind the VFW Hall till I rode back there on my bike. It`s true, you really do notice more when riding a bike. Well I think that`s all for now. I will post the progress on the two Schwinns as soon as there is some. Till Next Time, Ride Safe and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh


  1. Aero levers would look out of place on a Schwinn Continental.

  2. Hey Steve,
    I have been giving it some thought and I agree.
    Right now it is just a frame,crank and fork. And it already weighs a ton. I don`t think Aero-levers are going to help the situation much.

  3. Since you mentioned tires, I have a question. Do you have problems with modern tires on vintage Schwinn rims?

    When I had my rims trued for my Super Sport (which is still in progress _ I've been busy), I also bought new tires. The repairman told me not to inflate them over 50 psi, since I had the old style rims. I remembered being able to use 70 or so psi, so I tried it, and sure enough, the bead popped off the rim and the tube went POW.

    After I thought about it, I realized that the old tires had much thicker and stiffer walls, and a metal wire bead.

    How do you deal with this? Am I stuck running lower pressure? Have you found this to be a problem? Are there tires available which work better on the old rims?

  4. Hey Jay,
    Thanks for bringing that up. When I first started back into bicycles a few years ago. I had the exact same problem. I was using Cheng-Shin gum walls. I switched to Kenda K35 Gum-Walls with the wire bead and I have not had that problem. Although I still have to be careful making sure the tire is seated on the rim properly. I do this by partially inflating the tire. There is a raised line around the tire. Check the distance from the raised line to the rim. This will tell you where the tire is not seated well. You may have have to deflate the tire a few times and manipulate the tire by hand a few times before you get it right. Two things that seem to help are. First use a smaller tube. I try to use 27 X 1" tube for a 27 x 1&1/4 tire. Also make sure the tire is warm. This is usually only a problem in the colder weather. Another thing I like to do, even after I have them seated properly. Is to inflate them to about 60 to 70 lbs for a few days if possible. Then increase the pressure after a few days. I think this allows the tire to seat itself better. I do also use the CST tires but only if they have the wire bead. I have found this problem usually occurs on the old Schwinn rims. Although I have had the same problem with a Huffys. Another trick is to use rim-tape instead of a rubber rim guard. This leaves more surface for the tire to seal itself to. And if all this fails. Like the man said "run them at a lower pressure" I don`t think I have ever had to go as low as 50lbs. I think they are "playing it safe" with that number. Hey, Thanks again for bringing that up.
    It is a very common problem that, I think "most of us" deal with when we are starting out. I hope this info is helpful. I have a feeling we will be hearing more about this from the experts. And I mean that in a good way.

  5. Thanks, Hugh - that was very helpful.

    I've never seen the 27 x 1 tubes. I'll have to look for them. I've used Kenda tires in other applications and had good luck with them, so I'll check them out if I can't make my Panasonics work.


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