Saturday, December 3, 2016

1941 Schwinn New World

The final project this year is the revival of a 1941 Schwinn New World. This is a dark red colored, standard sized men's bike that was stripped of its parts and left only a "core".

The bike still had its frame, part of its headset, its fork, two of the three fender braces, the fenders, and the fixed bottom bracket cup. Pretty much everything else was missing.

The challenge here was to take a bicycle core and build a full, high-quality bike of it that would also be very faithful to the 1940s era of New World bikes.


The result is a very nice bicycle.

 I needed to build a three piece crank set. I located some 1940s era Schwinn bottom bracket parts. This is a cottered crank set with the familiar clover leaf sprocket.
At first, it seems like it might be the usual one-piece clover set up. Instead, it's a very nice, three-piece set with Schwinn script on the crank arms.



 Interestingly, Schwinn apparently copied English Hercules or Phillips parts when it designed its cottered bottom brackets of the 1930s-40s. I had a bunch of Birmingham Hercules parts in my boxes and found that the adjustable cup and lock ring fit perfectly. Hercules cotter pins needed only minor filing to fit. The spindle is a Phillips and fits nicely, though probably is a shade longer than the original Schwinn spindle would have been. It is very close and works well though.

 I was lucky enough to find one of those generic, McCauley Metal chainguards from the early 1940s, and it even came in the correct color. These chainguards appear to have been made for a variety of bicycles and had adjustable mounting hardware. I had a bag of the hardware unused, so decided to use the clean hardware on this bike. The chainguard turned out to be a nice match.

 The grips are Schwinn script type, but are reproductions. They're pliable and comfortable. The bell is appears to be an elevator bell made into a bike bell. This came from Amazon and is new.


The resulting bike is quite nice. The red is a little faded in spots, but it seems to have fared pretty well. 
Overall, the presentation is pretty good. I opted for white walls because they look nice with the red. A brown Brooks B66 saddle is comfortable and finishes the bike.  It has a correct Sturmey Archer shifter.



The pedals are Torrington #10 and the bike rides really nicely. It's nice taking a bare bike core and building it into a high-quality, period piece, especially one this old.

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