Sunday, May 8, 2011

Schwinn Traveler Restoration / Conversion Part 2

Hello and Welcome,  I am  not sure if was noticeable but, I got a little out of sequence on posting this project. I think it started with the real cork grips. This was the first time I had ever used them and I was eager to share it with you. So forgive the confusion. Second thought, If  you have been here before, surely you must be used to it by now. I hope you enjoy the restoration, I sure did.

Below: The original seat post came with an adapter to make it fit the seat-tube. The post did not clean-up all that well. So I dug through my collection of salvaged seat posts and came up with this one.The chrome is pretty good and it is a perfect fit without the adapter.
Above: The Schwinn (S) collar bolt all cleaned-up. I removed the rust using my 18 volt rechargeable drill/driver with a "fine' brass wheel brush attachment.
Above: The rechargeable drill/driver has proved to be indispensable. It started as a temporary solution to the problem of not being able to locate brass wheel brushes for my 4 & 1/2 inch Ryobi Angle Grinder. I have become accustomed using the drill. I like the slower speed. Much easier (and safer) to use on the small parts. I do still hope to find the brass wheel brushes for the Ryobi. It really makes quick work of cleaning-up larger bolt heads and parts.
Above: The Bell saddle is from my local K-Mart, it runs about 25.00 US. I may swap it for the saddle on my Physio Phat. I like the color and texture and the springs. It is just a "wee bit wider" than what I wanted for this bike. Although the wide comfort saddles are popular here. We are, after all "the fattest people on the planet". No wonder, I remember when a 16 ounce Coke was considered Huge. Now you order a large Coke and they bring you a 5 gallon bucket. Enough about that.
Above: It actually occurred to me, that this being a commuter project. I should clean-up the brake calipers before mounting the fenders. So after taking the calipers apart and cleaning and polishing all the parts, I installed them loosely on the bike. The SKS fenders were no problem. The 45mm fenders gave me plenty of clearance. NOTE:If the fender-struts are mounted to the same eyelet or threaded hole as a rack, you will need longer screws.
Above: The rear wheel is finished and the tire is mounted. The truing of the wheel and greasing of the bearings and removal and clean-up of the free-wheel all went well. I have also installed the rear derailleur (without hooking it up) and a new Schwinn chain. As always, I want to get all the basic drive train stuff working before I start routing cables. The 45mm SKS fenders worked out great. The SKS fender chart shows 35 mm for a road racers. But for 27 x 1&1/4inch tires you want to go with the 45 mm. I had a tough time getting the 35 mm fenders to work on the Raleigh. I think for the 35mm fenders you don`t want to go any bigger than 27 x 1 & 1/8 inch road tires.
Above: Here is one of the pedals before refurbishing. While it is rusty, it really does not look hopeless. You can tell the rust is really not all that deep.
Above: The pedal after brushing and polishing. First I get as much of the rust off as I can with the wheel brush. Then I get all the places I could not get to with the brass detail brush. After that I polish it with the Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover. You really want to make sure you use your safety glasses when using the wheel brush as they do shed bristles. I have been also wearing a disposable respirator mask lately when doing rust removal. I also added a few drops of oil to the pedal spindle and spun it a few times. Then just a touch of grease on the threads and it`s ready to be mounted.
Above: What you are looking at is a piece of 1x6 wood clamped into my work-bench vice. Then I used a C-Clamp to clamp the rack mounting bracket in place so I can re-drill the hole big enough for the old style collar-clamp bolt. As always I keep a drop of oil on the tip of the bit to keep it from burning up. I did all this because, If you drill this piece without securing it. It will bind up on the bit and spin at a high rate of speed. And it hits like a razor blade.
Above; Here is the Sun-Lite rack mounted using the re-drilled mounting brackets. I added a reflector from my box of salvaged reflectors. At this point I have also cleaned-up the front derailleur and mounted it. And I ran the rear derailleur cable.
Above: This shot shows the rest of the cable routing pretty well. With the head or stem-mounted shifters, you want to make sure both shifter cable housings are the exact same length. If they are not, it may be noticeable from a side view. As far as the brake cables go. I like to keep them long enough that the cable will never kink. But also short enough that they are not hanging all over the place. And the cables should be making all the bends as smooth as possible. For brake cable housings,you might want to turn the handlebars while holding the housing in place before making the cut. This will assure you that the cable and housing are long enough. To short, and you may activate the rear brake just by making a sharp turn. Also pay attention on how your cable routing effects other cables when turning. Notice: I chose to run the "right or rear brake cable" inside the shift cable up against the head tube. This way I keep the rear brake cable routing as smooth as possible especially where the housing goes into the braze-on cable guide. This is a spot where kinks in the housing are typical.
Above: This is the finished project. I have a little more enamel touch-up to do.
And I am sure I will be making a few more minor adjustments.
Above: Another shot of the bike, this one from the left side
Well my friends, That`s about it for the Traveler Restoration/Commuter Conversion.
I`m still not too keen on the saddle, but I`m working on it. Before I sign-off, Here is the latest pic of the "ever evolving" Physio-Phat taken on my morning ride a few days ago.
Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE


  1. i just need a direct step on what i need for my bike like u have and were it goes can u let me know the bike parts and were it goes u can rech me at

  2. Hey Paul.
    A good place to start looking for parts and accessories would be at For "installation help" check "you tube". If you need info on any part of the bikes repair or restoration use the "Search This Blog" box in the top right corner of the opening page on this blog. Enter what part you are working on in the search box. Example head-set or crank or rust removal. And a list of posts will come up that contain information on the subject you entered. Good Luck with your project.


Cycling Blog Directory