Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Last Project of the Year

I have spent the fall catching up on projects sitting in my barn. This included the Manton & Smith, 1959 Schwinn Tiger, and a 1940 Schwinn New World.

This particular New World arrived as a bike "core": frame, chain guard, fenders/braces, fork/headset, seat post, partial crank set, stem, front brake caliper, and handlebars.

I took apart the core down to the frame, cleaning up everything. Here is the frame along with a complete, 1947 New World for comparison. They're very similar and the differences are subtle, but present.

I also have an array of really nice parts for this build. This box includes: Arnold/Schwinn "AS" stamped pedals; an uncommon, aluminum alloy Sturmey Archer hub from 1954; an original Schwinn script front hub; a matched set of Schwinn brake levers; and a matched set of "Schwinn Built" calipers.

The rims will be Sun CR18 aluminum rims in the English (ISO 590mm) size. Spokes will be straight gauge DT Swiss stainless. I also have a pristine, original Sturmey Archer quadrant shifter to add a nice, period touch to this relatively early New World.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

1959 Schwinn Tiger Middleweight

Next on my list of projects was a 1959 Schwinn Tiger. This is a classic Schwinn with the cantilever frame, painted fenders, and chrome S7 rims.

The concept here was to build a middleweight cruiser bike with some "adult-oriented" upgrades. This meant heavier duty seat, heavy duty seat post, wider handlebars, multispeed hub, and slightly fatter tires.

The result is a pretty nice bicycle. The multispeed hub is a Sturmey Archer 3 speed coaster brake (modern). The cable routing is custom fitted so as not to disturb the frame lines. Tires are Schwinn middleweight sized, but slightly fatter "cruiser" tires.

The bike is fun to ride, and the upgrades are welcomed additions making it a better machine for an adult who wants to get more out of a middleweight that just a short-distance, single speed bike.

They are not true balloon tires, but are a 50 psi, slightly fatter version of the Schwinn middleweight tire. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Nice Box of Parts

While things were pretty busy, I got a few minutes last night and tonight to clean up some of the better parts I have sitting in the shed. It's definitely roadster oriented.

The parts are:

1 pair of "Schwinn Built" 1940s era calipers (need to make new pinch bolts for them still)
1 pair of "AS" Schwinn pedals (rebuildable type)
1 1954 Sturmey Archer Alloy hub (36 holes, uncommon Alloy variant)
1 pair of Schwinn brake levers (1940s)
1 Schwinn Front hub (just arrived yesterday, shell cleaned up nicely)

Manton and Smith

The Manton and Smith custom bicycles is basically done. I had only a few spare minutes this weekend, but took a few shots. The frame is 21 inches from bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube. However, the frame has a very large amount of lay back, making it ride "bigger" than most 21 inch frames. This frame is actually too large for me in terms of the reach to the handlebars. A taller rider might love it though. I think this one will be going on the block to make room for a couple other projects I have out back.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Manton and Smith Continued

The Manton and Smith is starting to come together. I also added the smaller size coke bottle grips and a 1950s era "brown letter" Sturmey Archer shifter.

The top sports a white "dart" design like the frame, and the lower edge of the crown lug is outlined in matching red. I did some detailing on the fork crown to further tie it into the design. The bracket/fork bolt is in place and just needs to be cut to length.

There is still some adjusting on the wheels/axles to do. But the wheels seem to fit nicely.

I mounted a "universal" McCauley chrome chainguard. It works well with the fork and the theme of the bike.

It's not done yet, but getting there.