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The best present ever The best present ever Our friend Don Rauf has a present for anyone who loves old bikes.
Don wrote a fantastic new book about everything Schwinn. The stories are great, the photos and old advertisements look terrific. The book has a pretty comprehensive history of the Schwinn family and company. Want a personal connection to this book? Come in to the shop, see and touch one of the dozen or so bikes whose pictures grace the pages! Classic Schwinn Like most great Schwinn products, this sign is over 60 years old.
There are a lot of old Schwinn bicycles kicking around Classic Cycle. In fact, there are enough of them that we decided that they deserve their own museum section. We owe the Schwinn family a big thanks. They trained bicycle mechanics and helped build professional bicycle dealerships across the country. They built bikes for adults at a time when cycling was considered just a childhood activity.
They made industrial-age bicycles seem new and exciting during the space-age. For many of us, Schwinn bicycles are the reason we even ride a bike today. The Schwinn family is no longer involved. The bikes are built overseas, not in Chicago. Professional bicycle stores and trained mechanics are rarely involved in the assembly of new Schwinns. What is the next step after racing a stock muscle car?
Why, racing a dragster, of course. Here is the dragster bike. Springer fork to smooth out the road Watch out for your crotch Seat suspension and a fat back tire The Lemon Peeler had it all.
Built between and , Schwinn Phantoms were the most bodacious, luxurious, and feature-filled bicycles on the road. The Phantom was the ride for sunny days and impressing the other guys in the neighborhood.
This is a Schwinn Paramount just like the chrome beauty that you may have seen elsewhere in this section. This particular Paramount, a P variant for the road racer, belongs to Jeff. As you may have guessed upon spotting the Look pedals or the new Continental tires, this one still gets ridden around Bainbridge Island and north Kitsap County on sunny days. Nice chrome lugs High flange Campy hubs Brooks saddle In it was pretty awesome to have shifting options that went from about 55 gear inches on the low end 44 x 25 to about inches 52 x 13 on the high end.
For those of you not familiar with the concept of gear inches this meant slogging-through-wet-cement gears on the low end to washing-machine-spin-cycle cadence on the high end. Today you can expect a racing bike to have a spread of about 30 gear inches 34 x 28, which is pretty comfortable on most climbs on the low end to 53 x 11, which brings you over 40 MPH before you spin out on the high end.
Andy Tiernan Classics
No bottle cages Nuovo Record Campy Record brake calipers Just like Pete Brissing, Jeff is a slave to bicycle fashion and has declined water bottle cages lest they scratch the Schwinn decals on the downtube.
Probably not much of an issue for Jeff, as he does most of his riding in the early morning hours, racing point to point between coffee shops. Emil opened a small bicycle store on Fullerton avenue in Chicago and began an American cycling dynasty that would last more than a hundred years.
This sturdy relic has some interesting features. The original decal is too fragile to restore Simple and smooth rear dropouts Chainstays of triangular tubing If the Wastyn name sounds familiar, you have been paying attention.
Emil built the very first Schwinn Paramount in , and Oscar Wastyn sr. The store is still humming along at Fullerton avenue, just two blocks from the original location. You make people think about exploring the countryside and seeing new things. You had light but robust wheels. There were chain guards and matching fenders.
A few people have asked us if the blacked-out parts on a war-era bicycle were an attempt to avoid being spotted from above during air raids. No, those parts had a dull appearance for more mundane reasons. The chrome plating process for shiny bicycle parts uses chromium, nickel, and copper. All materials that were needed in manufacturing other items for the war effort.
It meant stripped-down models that used less metal.
US Number One Songs - 1959
Some bicycle builders actually constructed items needed for the war effort. Some manufacturers like Schwinn maintained their core business but worked around rationed, scarce and restricted materials while the war was going on. Schwinn responded with slimmed-down versions of their Panther, Hollywood, Starlet, and Typhoon cruisers.
To that end, they suggested that cycling would mellow a fellow out… …Cycling is an especially favorable type of exercise. It has a very good effect on the brain, on the mental state, and on the psyche. Page, president, American Heart Association 50 years later, these are still good reasons to go out riding on your Typhoon. Your 50th birthday is coming up. Roger DeCoster bikes were produced from to and were sold as frame kits at most Schwinn bicycle shops across the country.
The bike kits came in long or short frame versions made of chromoly. There were different color versions in nickel, Red, Blue, and Yellow. Bikes like this one with the short frame were only available in the nickel finish.
The only real difference between the Mongoose and the DeCoster frame is the oval instead of round cutout in the front head tube gusset. Schwinn had to have a pretty good reason to name their bicycle motocross model after the guy. He was one of the best racers in motocross, winning five cc Motocross World Championships and many other national championships. His racing career was successful enough to warrant an induction into the Motorcycle Hall of fame in Extra-strength bolts Troxel quilted saddle Original flat steel fork Our restored bike has some pretty rad parts.
The bike would have originally come with a flat-bladed fork see photo , but this has been replaced on our bike with a tubular steel Schwinn fork. Curtis and his bike Making adjustments One kid who had a pretty good birthday was a young Curtis Stege. This was originally his bike, purchased from Garland Cycle in Spokane, Washington.
From to Schwinn took their style cues from Detroit well, they actually did that for decades. Polished and sparkly Spring-loaded comfort This particular bike belongs to our friend Andy Caro. Andy put in a lot of hours getting his Ghost back together, and he has done a great job. In every aspect, this restoration was done just a bit better than the original. The bike is waxed, polished and it sparkles even brighter than new.
Heavy, raw rock music with lots of guitar distortion and buzz. Lead singers wearing old T-shirts and flannel, not Spandex? Music videos that were just as likely to scare you as they were to get you to dance? If you remember all of that, you probably remember that those musicians never took tour buses to their gigs, instead they rode their bikes. Everyone needed a nap. This looks like a Schwinn Sting-Ray. What about the bike?
Henry and Soundgarden bassist Ben are brothers. The Sting-Ray now hangs on the wall here at Classic Cycle. Starlet front end B. Starlet chain guard Fender dart and pinstrpes Auburn bicycle license Schwinn re-badged this particular bike as a B.
Goodrich, and the tire company sold them at their chain of auto parts stores. Probably a local bike too, as this one sported an Auburn bicycle license plate.
This Paramount Paramount was the racing division of the Schwinn line of bikes is an example of some of their finest work. Built with the best materials available at the time, the bike tips the scale at a respectable 18 pounds. Master frame builder Oscar Wastyn brazed most of the Paramounts from this era, and his design touches abound, like the open-ended seat stays and the simple and elegant lug work.
Similar decals on many early Schwinns An elegant crankset design Proprietary Schwinn-labeled parts make up the component group, with silky-smooth hubs and headset, and a light and fairly stiff steel crankset. In the beginning, young Bicycle Motocross racers rode like maniacs aboard the everyday machines that took them back and forth from home to school. Like the brown Sting-Ray that we have elsewhere in this museum section, this BMX bike started out as just another Schwinn but was heavily modified to handle the rigors of bicycle motocross action.
It was a Panther. This past December Classic Cycle held a museum night event and we wanted some balloon-tire bikes to show off. Jeff grabs one of the Panthers for us, but a mystery had sprung up. Where did the 2-speed hub come from?
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An extensive search of the storage held the answer: Our version came with the New Departure 2-speed hub option. This was a smart upgrade that made the 65 pound bike just a little more efficient when toiling up and over neighborhood hills. Smart design that takes an idea and engineers it so that the bike rides beautifully under the intended conditions is another component. The artistic flair that makes a bike easy on the eyes is also an important part.
Production that is done well is the last part. Get the right materials and the right hands building the bike, and the finished product should be awesome.