Vintage Bicycle Repair and Riding: American and English Bicycles
Saturday, September 9, 2017
A Schwinn New World Bicycle (1941)
I love fall weather. I don't like the loss of daylight in the evening, but the weather is great. I took this 1941 Schwinn New World for a ride this evening.
I decided to take close-ups of a few features. The New World badge is simple and elegant. This particular badge is worn, but still legible. I love the splash of color the blue and red paints add.
The decals are also worn, but in overall good shape. I call this sort of wear "honest wear" because it shows the bike's age (now 76 years), but does not show abuse or bad treatment.
I love the "hat-in-the-ring" decal. It traces back to Eddie Rickenbacker's 94th Aero Squadron in the U.S. Air Service in World War 1. Today not many people will recognize this symbol. But in the middle of the 20th century, especially before World War 2, the symbol was well-known as the symbol of the great ace Rickenbacker and his fellow American pilots.
Here's something more obscure: an "AS" decal that does not signify Cro-Mo, but instead shows "Genuine Seamless Steel Tubing". Basically this means the bike is fillet brazed rather than welded, and that the tubing is plain carbon steel rather than Cro-Mo. This is found on the pre-war New World bikes. After WW2, the New World became an electroforge welded steel frame bike. The ridges around the tube joints in the picture are the fillets.
The Brooks B66 is my favorite saddle of all time. It has been produced for around 90 years, and for good reason: it works superbly. It's comfortable, has just enough spring, and is just sporty enough to ride hard when you need to.
The pre-war New World is a simple, well-made bicycle. It is emblematic of the utility light roadster bikes of its time. I think prices on these are generally below what they could be. Give one of these bikes a try if you find one.