1975 Schwinn Continental

1975 Schwinn Continental
This is the bike before most of the restoration work - click to view full-size

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

75 Schwinn Continental: Head-On Collision...

Riding up a blind curve on the prairie path, someone riding high-speed on the left side of the path instead of the right. Basically, a young guy around 18-20, who was riding on the street that the trail crosses, cut left onto the trail right in front of me. I was riding on the right side of the path, and he should've been doing the same. We both wound up on the ground sitting on our butts. Neither of us was injured, thankfully.

However, my front wheel went straight into the frame of his bike, and it's twisted up like a pretzel. I was about 8-10 miles away from home on the return leg of what would've been a nice forty-mile ride. I'd ridden from Oak Brook Towers in Oak Brook, IL (Corner of Butterfield & Meyers) out to the prairie path along Ardmore, then West to Wheaton, and South to St. James Farm forest preserve along Butterfield road, about twenty miles one-way. I even saw a couple of deer up close on the trail where I turned around at St. James Farm. 

I was on my way back, just a little bit East of Glen Ellyn, but not yet to I-355 when the accident happened. I had to call my wife for a ride home, the bike was difficult to even walk.

I have a spare rim from the rear of a Schwinn Varsity that matches the existing rims. I'm going to have to have the Varsity rim re-spoked to the continental front hub, which will cost at least $70.00, and my bike will be down for a week and a half because I can't pay for the work until a week from Friday. 

Additionally, I'll be spending more quality time with the steel wool, as the bike shop will do mechanicals, but won't detail the rim like I want. 

On the plus side, I did learn of a local Schwinn shop that has a lot of vintage bikes and parts in Glen Ellyn, so I'll stop by there and see what they might have for my ride soon. I'll save the results on that for another post.

I'm also eternally grateful to my sweet wife, who dropped everything to come to my rescue. That rim was so bent I couldn't even walk the bike without hoisting it on the back wheel, and I was still ten miles from home.

Ride on,


Friday, July 8, 2011

75 Schwinn Continental: Bike In The Shop Until Monday...

...where Bicycles, Etc is installing an aftermarket front deraillure while I search the web for an original unit. Installed cost for the aftermarket deraillure is $49.

I'm keeping the old one until I can truly replace it.

Ride on,


Thursday, July 7, 2011

75 Schwinn Continental: Some Great Riding, And An Old Lesson Re-Learned...

...the hard way.

First, I got a good ride in with my wife on the 4th of July along the Prairie Path. I'd say about fifteen miles round-trip for me, eight for her.

Then yesterday I rode my bike to the gym and did 45 minutes working out on all the upper-body machines, then rode home.

Today, I put in 30 miles round-trip alone. I rode from Butterfield & Meyers in Oak Brook to Main and Liberty in Wheaton, then back. It was on the way home that I re-learned an old lesson.

The bolt and standoff that go across the bottom of the front deraillure was missing. I hit a hard bump at high speed, and the chain bounced enough to catch the lower ends of the deraillure, yank it forward, and thoroughly mangle it.

The last time that happened, I was 15, and getting a new one was only a matter of money. Now, the bike is 36 years old.

Sigh. Help me, Ebay Kenobi!

Ride on,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

75 Schwinn Continental: The Tire Issue Was As I Suspected...

...which I figured out by taking out the flat inner tube and inflating it outside the tire.

There's a large pin-hole on the rim-facing side about two and a half inches away from the stem.

I filed and laquered the drain holes inside the rim both directions from the stem. I then added a couple of layers of masking tape in the same areas. Now I'm just waiting for a chance to ride to prove it out.

Ride on,