Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle After
1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Before
This morning I started a restoration of a 1986 Schwinn Prelude.  In the thousands of bicycles I have worked on I can not remember ever working on a Schwinn Prelude.  Not remembering the Prelude very well I did some research.  As far as I can tell in 1986 the only difference between the Prelude and the Le Tour is the Prelude is Columbus tubing and the Le Tour is True Temper tubing.

This Schwinn Prelude is in just okay starting condition.  The paint is pretty rough and has a lot of chips and scratches.  The alloy is a little corroded but not to bad, the chrome does have some rust but should polish out nice.

The Prelude will receive a complete restoration along with new cables and cable housings, new tires and tubes, a replacement fork and new handlebar tape.  It should turn out to be a pretty nice bicycle when all is done!

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Handlebars - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Crank - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Front Derailleur - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Wheel - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Wheel - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Brake - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Rear Brake - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Seat post Area - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Shift Levers - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Stem - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Stem - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Wheel Rim - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Before
I started by tearing the Prelude down.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Frame Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Frame Before - Drop Out

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Frame Before - Top Tube

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Frame Before - Seat Tube

I an a little angry at this point because none of my after photos of the frame after polishing turned out, they all came back corrupted files.  Not happy about that at all.  The frame polished out nice, the grayish paint polished nice, there are a lot of chips though that are distracting from the grey paint, for some reason the chips stand out against the grey color?  Coming up with a good matching touch up color will be very important.

With the frame polished I got to work on the headset and replacement fork.  The original fork is slightly damaged, a nice new chrome fork will be its replacement.  The new fork needs to be cut to size, I measured the old fork tube and transferred it to the new.  I have a cutting jig that is used for cutting seat post and forks that guide the saw and make a very nice straight cut.  After the fork is cut I cleaned the cut threads with a file.  The headset and bottom bracket where very gritty and rough to start, I cleaned and polished both and installed the headset and fork.  The chrome fork looks great with the grey, adds some pop to the Prelude.  I will need to drill out the rear brake caliper mounting hole to accept the recessed nut, the fork was meant for nutted brake calipers.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
After

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
New Fork & Old Fork
1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Fork Tube
Cutting Jig

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Fork Cut

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration \
Headset Cups - Pressed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Headset Complete

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
New Fork - Complete

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bottom Bracket Bearings
Packed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Complete
Next came the brake calipers.  You can see in the photo of the calipers before a broken barrel adjuster.  I have been looking through my small part storage containers for a replacement, I am sure I have one will just take more time to go through it all.  The calipers where in descent starting condition beside the broken barrel.  I disassembled the calipers, polished the components and reassembled the calipers with proper lubrication.  I am happy with the results of the calipers, they look good.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Calipers - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Caliper - Exploded

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Caliper - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Calipers - Before & After

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Caliper  - Exploded

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Caliper - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Calipers - Complete

 Next was the crank, the crank is a very nice Sakae SX crank.  I disassembled the crank and cleaned and polished the components. the chainring bolts had some pitting of the chrome, they polished nice as possible.  The crank overall looks great, I am very pleased with the results.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Crank - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Crank Exploded

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Crank - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration -  Crank - Installed
The derailleurs where ok to start, a little corrosion.  After cleaning, polishing, and flushing and lubricating the pivot point both derailleurs look great and function smooth.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Derailleurs - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Derailleur - Complete

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Derailleur - Installed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Exploded

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration -  Rear Derailleur - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Installed
The Schwinn Prelude is moving along pretty fast.  The stem and handlebars where next.  Sems from the mid 1980's will always be my favorite, well except for a few from the 1940's and a few from the 1960's, but those are rare and expensive, I have always like these stems compared to the millions made in the 70's and the threadless stems of today.  The alloy stems from this time are refined to he max, the lines are right, the shape is refined and hey are not all that heavy.

The Prelude's stem polished nice, it is a little textured like the ones on the resent Le Tour restorations, but looks great.  The handlebars are nice Sakae Road Champion handlebars, also my favorite era for handlebars.  The stem and handlebars look great next to the chrome fork.

I do need to take a photo of the stem and handlebars installed.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Stem - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Stem - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Handlebars - before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Handlebars - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Stem - Installed
 The shift levers are next, the shift levers are nice Sun Tour friction shift levers.  They started a little rough, there was a little rust on the mounting hardware and the levers where very dirty and dull.  After cleaning, polishing and lubricating the levers look like little jewels.  The before after of shift levers is one of my favorite parts of a restoration.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Shift levers - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Shift levers Cleaned &
Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Shift Levers - Installed
Next is the seat post and pedals.  the pedals where in ok shape, they took a lot of cleaning and lubricating to get to spin smooth.  The pedals then polished pretty nice for pedals and the amount of wear and tear they take.

the seat post is like always my favorite type, fluted.  I like the looks of fluted, gives that area of the bicycle a little character.  the seat post polished very nice and looks great with the new saddle.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Pedals - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Pedal - Installed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Seat Post - Installed
The brake levers where a little beat up, but the hoods are good and still soft.  I cleaned the levers and then polished out the metal.  The levers look good and I like the look of the cut outs on the levers.  I also treat the hoods with a rubber treatment to clean and protect them.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Levers - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Levers - polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed


I just realized I need a photo of the bicycle to this point.  I did not do well with photos today I guess.

Next is the wheels, the wheels are nice wheels, they are pretty dull and grimy, also the front wheel rim is a little beat up but still has lots of life left in it and a little polishing will make it look good.  The freewheel was stuck pretty good on the rear wheel, it took the persuader to remove it, the three foot long crescent wrench, it always does the job!  The rear wheel had some nasty grease, the front wheel grease was really bad and the bearing cones where set so tight it was a amazing the wheel turned at all, which it barely did!

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
Rear Wheel - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Old Grease
1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Wheel Hub - Polished

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Front Wheel - New Grease

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Rear Wheel - New Grease

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - New Kenda k-36 Tires

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Wheels - Complete

At this point I drilled the rear of the fork to accept the recessed nut.  The brake caliper fits perfectly and looks incredible against the new chrome fork.  So happy with the results.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Fork Drilling

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Caliper - Installed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Brake Caliper - Installed

At this point its just running new cables and housings, installing the handlebar tape, installing the chain and tuning the Prelude.

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - New Bits

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - New Cables & Handlebar Tape
 Installed

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - New Cables & Handlebar Tape
Installed

The pearl gray paint was incredibly hard to match, pearl gray is not a common color, heck gloss grey isn't exactly easy to find.  I got a reasonable match to the gray but the finish is to satin, I am going to make another attempt with a light gloss grey and mixing black and silver to see if I can get a better match.

The prelude took some work to get to stand shift good.  The rear derailleur hanger needed to be aligned, I did not take a photo of this, I will take a photo of the derailleur hanger adjuster tool and post it soon.  With the rear derailleur hanger aligned the rear derailleur need a slight adjustment for it had a slight twist in it.  After that the Schwinn Prelude shift very nice, I am very happy with it.

In the end the Prelude has come a long way, I am very proud of it.  I am not a huge fan of grey paint but it is definitely growing on me!  The bike shift great, everything spins or functions smooth and that chrome fork looks incredible against the gray and all the other shiny bits.  Maybe the chrome fork and the shine is why the gray is growing so much on me.  

The winter he just keeps getting worse, I have been waiting a couple of days to get a sunny day for photos,  it is sunny today but at time of the photos the temperature outside read -6 degrees (Yes, Fahrenheit) so needless to say final photos where taken indoors.  I apologies for the indoor photos, the lighting really sucks but the best natural light I can get indoors.

This winter is just awful, worst in years, I usually get at least a 100 miles of riding in January, which isn't much but enough to not go cabin fever, riding on twenty degree dry days, but we haven't even had those.


1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Side View

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Angle View

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Handlebars

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Stem

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Half

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Front BRake

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Shift Levers

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Rear Brake

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Drive Train

I was reading today in the 1986 Schwinn brochure that the 1986 Schwinn Prelude weighs 24 lbs, I thought no way so I weighed it, sure enough 24 lbs 5 oz, technically more then 24 lbs but still unexpected!

1986 Schwinn Prelude Restoration
24 lbs 5 oz, who would have thought?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I had a question about the outside diameter of the headset cups as I'm trying to upgrade my headset and fork in this same bike.

    ReplyDelete