Okay call me crazy but you can never have enough bikes.
If you are a serious cyclist you are probably aware of the ‘Keepers of the Rules’ otherwise known as the Velominati and you will know about rule #12 which states that “The correct number of bikes to own is n+1” with a minimum of three. n being the number you currently have so one more than that. This group are extreme cyclists and I don’t honestly consider myself one of them but some of their ‘rules’ are worth quoting.
So I was casually browsing my local flea market and this coppery/golden joy was shouting out at me.
A quick once-over told me that although it was over 40 years old it had barely been ridden and had all the original parts including it seems the bar tape which looks like it has just come out of the factory (even the brake pads!). The tyres (with a Y you American’s:p) are the only thing that really tell you how long it’s been sitting around – they are at the point where they just want to get off the rims and go find an adventure on their own without the bike holding them back.
So a quick negotiation on price and I walked away with it for very little money.
Not exactly sure what I will do with it other than replace the tyres and get in in road-worthy state which shouldn’t take much than a couple of hours with a cloth and some oil. It’s all there just a spattering of rust here and there which should clean off and the chain may not survive but fingers crossed.
For the record this is an American built Schwinn Continental from about 1973 (I think). It was made in Chicago (before manufacturing moved to asia) and was the upper mid-range of their models. It’s 10 speed with the shifters mounted on the handlebar stem From the little amount of research I have done in the last 24 hours the colour is one of three available at the time; Chestnut.
According to the brochure at the time (Thanks to Schwinn Cruisers);
“Here’s the perfect “short tripper” To school… a morning workout..or a weekend spin, the popular Schwinn Continental is an ideal choice. A balanced combination of high performance features to make riding the pleasure you’d expect in a ten- speed bike. Enjoy sheer fun and exuberance of riding out under your own power. Available in four frame sizes to fit most adult-size riders.”
Frame: Schwinn designed and manufactured diamond style durable steel. Tubular front fork.
Frame Finish: Sky blue, chestnut and silver mist.
Wheels: Aluminum alloy high flange hubs, lightweight steel rims.
Tires: 27″ x 1 1/4″ high pressure Sports Touring gumwall.
Handlebar and Stem: Randonneur alloy handlebar.
Crank Set: Lightweight one-piece crank. Two plateau Schwinn-Approved chainwheel 39-52 teeth.
Pedals: Reflectorized rattrap-style.
Derailleurs and Gears: Schwinn-Approved front. GT-260. Schwinn-Approved rear. Cog: 14-17-20-24-28 teeth.
Brakes: Dual position, center pull alloy brakes. Easy adjusting brake barrels.
Saddle: Matex Racing style.
Weight: 35 to 38 lbs. depending on frame size.
Once I have cleaned it up and ridden it a few times I’ll decide what to do; whether to keep it or pass it on (shhh don’t tell the Velominati)