BOAL: 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer

I started looking on Craigslist for a Schwinn Super Sport as I was working on the other two bikes. Located one 60 miles north but was unable to get there before it sold. Wouldn’t you know it in that it was opaque blue like the one I had. Then I saw this Sports Tourer located 2 miles away from me and it was $75 less so I arranged a meet up in a grocery store parking lot.

The name Sports Tourer didn’t ring a bell. I knew of the Varsity, Continental and Super Sport but that was it. Some research expanded the line upwards to Sports Tourer and the highly desirable Paramount. When the seller arrived she had a helpful neighbor get the bike out for her. This was in June and I could see that she had medical issues so I stayed a little farther away as she could not afford to get the virus. This was strongly reinforced the Thanksgiving weekend when my wife tested positive because of an outbreak at work and a few days later I did. While my wife had noticeable symptoms I had absolutely no outward symptoms of any kind.

I noticed right away that the Schwinn was a 22″ frame. Close examination showed that this was the project I was looking for. Every system needed restoration and cleaning of the noticeable corrosion on the chrome everywhere.

This original Brooks saddle has seen better days. Both from England.

Crank set from France

Derailleur by Shimano out of Japan

Schwinn approved bike rack stays

Schwinn approved lights and generator will be boxed and not re-installed

My favorite part of the bike is this decal for Berkeley Cycle now long gone

Now time to dis-assemble the entire bike

Here are the small chrome parts cleaned up. The Schwinn freewheel of course needed another special tool to remove so now I have three different removal tools. I was told by those in the know at the Schwinn Bike Forum that one didn’t disassemble it but instead soaked it in lacquer thinner and then drained to remove old oils, grease, and debris. After that was done one was to oil the inside by letting oil leak inside by placing it on the outside perimeter. That is where the Nyoil, I use on fine moving parts as in a camera, came in handy.

The rims, and especially the spokes, needed a lot of work to clean up. First 0 steel wool, followed by 000 steel wool, and lastly my special auto metal polish. The spoke protector was replaced by an OEM one off eBay whose cost out weighed working on the old one. Exact same tires here as on my Univega. Hub bearings all cleaned and re-greased as seen previously.

Crank disassembled into separate pieces in order to clean. The crank bearings inside numbered seven in a plastic cage which was cracked on one side. I decided to ditch them all and used new loose bearings which now numbering eleven giving me a very smooth crank.

Bearings cleaned and re-greased in the pedals

Time to re-assemble the bike and lay out the new cables. Decided not to replace the gray cable housings with correct gray cable housings but instead high quality red cable housings and coated cable. Ebay helped again by having correct Schwinn red handlebar tape, brake pads, and a Brooks saddle in brown.

Didn’t try to clean the metal rings given the more delicate nature of the plastic like material surrounding them

New Schwinn decal

Have only been able to take the bike on one 20 mile ride when I had the free time. It is without a doubt a very smooth riding bike as some have said. When stopped in Walnut Creek along the bike trail it garnered some attention. Must be the “resale” red color of the bike which is very striking in person. One person even offered to buy the bike while there but it will never be for sale. My 11 year old is not quite able to get on the bike and when he tried the result was not pretty so he will stick with something smaller for now.