Monday, September 16, 2013

1982 Schwinn Superior Preservation

1982 Schwinn Superior - Updated April, 2014
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation


Recently my friend Dave may have come across the find of a lifetime.  A 1982 Schwinn Superior in museum quality condition.  It did need a good cleaning and a repacking of the bearings, other then that it needed nothing.

The history of the 1982 Schwinn Superior is fascinating and thanks to some research and a phone call by Dave some details about its history that is little known has been uncovered.  The 1982 Schwinn Superior is quit a bit different the the previous 5 or six years of the superior line and part of the 1981 line.  Schwinn at the time had a hand built division that built the Paramount line and a few other bicycles along the way, the quality of that division was starting to become poor and Schwinn shut down the division and eventually moved it to Waterford, Wisconsin.  There was some tubing and lugs left over from the Paramount, to use up the materials Schwinn built up the frames and put the Superior name on them.

There have been many speculations where the frames have been built, I have seen people speculate Chicago, Japan, built by Panasonic like other Schwinn models but thanks to one little blurb mentioning a name and a phone call by Dave to this gentleman that was in the blurb a lot has been determined.  The blurb mentioned a name and that the frames where outsourced to a small company and built by two frame builders in Racine, Wisconsin.  Dave looked up the name in a Racine, Wisconsin phone directory and found a phone number.  Dave called the number and talked to the actual frame builder, he is now 81 years old, retired and more than happy to discuss the frames.

One side note, after some Research I lived a few blocks from the Gentleman in Racine from 2004 until recently.  I wish I knew then, I would have walked over there sometime ago.

Through this gentleman Dave learned that this gentleman was told that his frames are the best frames Schwinn ever had made, that even today a few people in the know can spot these frames when the frames have been striped just by the brazing and quality.  The bare or raw frames where then sent back to Schwinn for painting and assembly.

The gentleman also told the story that when they closed down there shop in Racine, Wisconsin in the early 1980's Trek in Waterloo Wisconsin purchased all of there equipment.  I can not confirm this story, he did mention that Trek was still working out of a barn at the time.

The 1982 Schwinn Superior frame is built with Reynolds 531 tubing and Nervex lugs, the same tubing and lugs of the Schwinn Paramount.  The lugs are beautiful, the same intricate detail and swooping points of the Paramount.  Older Superiors where not lugged frames.  Two difference from the Paramount is that the chainstays are longer on the Superior and the Paramount frame was chromed and left the lugs chromed.  I own a Schwinn Volare, the Japanese Paramount, the Volare has a chromed frame and lugs.

The Schwinn Superior is equipped with a Campagnolo Gran Sport crank set, Campagnolo Gran Sport derailleurs with Gran Sport shift levers, Campagnolo wheel hubs, Campagnolo Gran Sport brake set and levers and Campagnolo Gran Sport pedals and clips.

Dave Schwinn Superior happen to come with an original Jim Blackburn rear rack, original Blackburn racks say Jim Blackburn not just Blackburn.

I am absolutely dumbfounded by the condition of this bicycle, it took a very light careful cleaning to remove the 30 years of storage dirt and new grease.  The old grease was perfectly clean except it was old and sticky.

The paint is spectaular, the Orange pearl Schwinn had is already my favorite color of any bicycle, but to see it in new condition and shine is amazing.  The pearl just sparkles!

Photos are below, I do not have many before photos because the Superior is in such amazing condition there really is no before and after.  Nothing has been polished on the bicycle, all is being left as is. The bearings have been packed in new grease and the cables have been replaced as the old where rusted and bent.

Thanks for looking,
John Z.


1982 Schwinn Superior - Bicycle as Found - Side View 
1982 Schwinn Superior - Bicycle as Found
Front View


1982 Schwinn Superior - Bicycle as Found
Bottom Bracket
1982 Schwinn Superior - Campagnolo Bottom Bracket
Such Quality!
1982 Schwinn Superior - Bicycle as Found
Wheel
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation - Side View

1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation - Angle View

1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation
Front View
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation
Front View
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation - Drive Train View
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation
Campagnolo Gran Sport Derailleur
1982 Schwinn Superior - Preservation
Campagnolo Gran Sport Crankset

Update April, 2014  

Dave has really put a lot of work into his 1982 Schwinn Superior to dial it in right where he wants it.  He has added a tall Nitto stem, I think new Nitto handlebars, new leather handlebar tape with twine, a Brooks saddle, new brake lever hoods, new Ruffy Tuffy tires, new pedals that i have to look up again to get the name right, a cool knob for connecting a light to the fork and an awesome trunk bag from Rivendell.  Great job Dave, looks fantastic!!  I am extremely jealous!!

1982 Schwinn Superior - Updated April, 2014

4 comments:

  1. Very nice write-up on this bike! I actually have the exact same bike in almost the exact same condition. Was doing some research before posting it on ebay. Know anyone who might be interested?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Matt,
      I do not know anyone that is looking for one right now. Good luck with yours!
      John Z.

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    2. Hi Matt, let me know if you still have the bike. i'm interested in it. Thanks

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    3. Just came across this post thinking about selling my bike again. Still have it, still hanging in my basement!

      Let me know if you are interested - shoot me a line in my profile.

      Delete