Monday, July 4, 2016

Schwinn Lightweight Fork: "Torpedo Tube"

Early Schwinn lightweights, particularly many of those made in the 1940s-50s, feature a variety of unique parts that set them apart from English three speeds, or even three speeds made in the U.S. 

One such part is the somewhat odd, "torpedo" tube fork. While not all Schwinn lightweights used this fork (many used a "flat top" fork, while Paramounts had a different fork), you do see many New Worlds, Superiors, Continentals, World Travelers, and World Varsities with this fork.

Fresh from the parts bin is this bare torpedo tube Schwinn fork. Many people associate the flat-bladed, "ashtabula" style forks with Schwinn lightweights, but this torpedo fork offers a look at earlier approaches to a 26 x 1-3/8 inch bike fork.

The fork is solidly made, but not overly heavy. It has a clean drilling for a caliper brake bolt, and smooth joining between the steerer tube and the fork tubes. The dropouts are also cleanly made.

The only drawback here is the proprietary headset threading, which requires a Schwinn headset instead of a generic type.

These forks offer a look at the good quality and unique elements of the early Schwinn lightweights from the 1940s and 50s.