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 Post subject: GSB's Schwinn 4 Banger
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:18 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:22 pm
Posts: 358
Location: London
Ive been lurking here for years, and have never added a readers bike post, so;

Say hello to my little friend...

Image

Actually, its not that little, its the XL sized 21" frame, the largest size this bike was made in...

Its one of the bikes produced by the 'old' Schwinn at the height of financial difficulties that seem to parallel those suffered by Rover in the UK. Schwinn had already declared itself bankrupt in the early '90's, and since then had progressively farmed out more and more of its production to the far east. By the time it filed for its 2nd bankruptcy in 2001, US manufacture was pretty much history. This then is one of the "last ditch" models aimed at keeping the head of Schwinn above water.

I bought this one in 2001, just after Schwinn went belly up. There was a pile of new bikes left in warehouses across Europe, and I managed to get this one at a significant discount off its original and highly obscene asking price of £1800... :shock:

Much of the bike is original, its even on its original chain! Over the years though, the titec flat bars and long reach stem had to make way for something more comfortable, and the razor blade saddle made way for something that didn't turn my backside to burger meat every time I rode it. The pedals are the ones it came with, and I even have the original wheelset in my cupboard. The rear shock was upgraded to the SID air shock from the "homegrown" model, although by that time the homegrown version no longer "special". It was just a label in the sales brochure, and made in the same factory as the base model using the same frames. Handmade US built versions fabricated by hand from 6061 were history...

Recently, as I do from time to time, I've been looking at more modern machinery, and pondering a possible change of bike. Since I bought this other bikes have come and gone, but this one has always remained with me. Its still creak free, crack free, and blessed with a rear end that is in my opinion unequaled by any suspension design that has come about in the 13 years since this was built. So for the time being at least, I'm keeping it...

What I am doing though, is modernising it. Despite very -very regular stripdowns and rebuilds the mechanical components are now past thier best. The chain is a little stretched, the chainrings a little worn, and the cassette teeth a little rounded. The forks were always woeful, so they're going too, along with the original headset. The 160mm rotors on the original Hayes brakes are effective, but look a little feeble compared to modern machinery, so they're gone too, replace by slightly more modern items from Hope. I'm also going to explore the possibility of fitting 27.5" or even 29" wheels to it, utilising new CNC'd dropout plates to move the rear axle line to provide the required clearance. This isn't the work of a moment though, I've got the "linkage" suspension analysis software to learn first...

With a bit of money and more modern tech, the bike will be better than new. The only thing I can't do much about is the paint. Despite layering the frame with oodles of frame tape when it was new, there are chips on every tube. Most tiny, but some quite chunky. I could get it resprayed, or even polished, but it'd look a bit bare without the decals, and finding those now is like trying to buy a part from Rover. Schwinn is still in business, but only in name...

So, does anyone have any idea where I could get a set made?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:22 pm
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Location: London
I think that this bike may have to be sold. I've got my eye on a Whyte PRST-4, a bike that the engineer in me has always, always wanted. There's only so much room in my stable, and I can only realistically make use of one full suspension bike, so my beloved banger is probabley going to a new home...

Watch the for sale section, it'll be there just as I figure out which bits I want to keep for the Whyte.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:08 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:59 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Springfield, VA--USA
GSB,

Did you ever sell?

What took it's place?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:22 pm
Posts: 358
Location: London
Hi. Yes, I did sell the Schwinn. It was unsurprisingly more valuable as individual parts than as a whole, but most surprising of all was that the rear brake was worth more than the frame, but it seems 22mm Hayes brakes are literally worth their weight in gold. Good bike though. That rear end was very-very good.

The stable now contains a pair of Whyte PRST-4's, and a Felt hardtail that I built with electric propulsion for my daily off road commute to work.
Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:24 pm 
Posh Mark
Posh Mark
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 5982
Location: As far from the city as you can be ....
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Great Scott there is a lot going on in this pic:

Image

More details and pics please 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:22 pm
Posts: 358
Location: London
Your wish is my command;

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=309902


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:47 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11108
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Why a pair of the Whytes?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:22 pm
Posts: 358
Location: London
highlandsflyer wrote:
Why a pair of the Whytes?


At first it was a case of VeloFrog selling a frame that was cosmetically much better than mine, so I intended to swap frames and sell my one on. Then I realised spares are hard to come by for these bikes, and I thought having a spare frameset would be a good idea. It's not like it's going to depreciate in value sitting in my loft after all.

However, that seemed to be a bit of a waste, so I'm currently building it up with some lightweight components so my wife can use it. My own slightly shabby frame will go to Maldon Powder Coating for a fresh coat of hard wearing Mercedes Silver (or perhaps smoked chrome :wink: ), just as soon as I find someone who can recreate the decals for me.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:05 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
Posts: 11108
Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Cool! Very sensible.


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