Tuesday, July 15, 2014

1974 Schwinn Sports Tourer Restoration

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Sport Tourer After Restoration
A couple of days ago I started work on this 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer Restoration while I waited for other project parts to be shipped.  The Sports Tourer is a very interesting bicycle.  It is the classic Schwinn fillet brazed frame with some very nice french components.  It was a pretty high end touring bike in its day.  I have a soft spot in m heart for the Schwinn Superior so I am very excited to see the results and to work on the Sports Tourer.

This Schwinn Superior is in rough starting shape but the paint is probably;y pretty good under there.  The wheels barley spin,the bottom bracket is almost frozen and the headset grinds.  he good thing is nothing is frozen in place like the stem or seat post.  The alloy is dull and a little corroded but should come back to new.  The chrome has some pitting in the front derailleur but over all good shape.  The sports Tourer should come back to pretty close to new.

The frame is in great shape and the paint is in descent shape under the dirt and dullness when I cut a layer off..  The filet brazed Schwinn frames are not light but the sports Tourer is made with Chromoly so that helps.  The thing about the Schwinn Filet brazed frames is they ride extremely nice, "Like a Cadillac" is the usual description and if you are in the saddle all day that is a very nice characteristic.

On dis-assembly I ran into the french TA crank that needs a special crank puller.  I have only need this crank puller once about 12 years ago.  I looked for one on the internet and a specialty made one runs about $60 all in.   I emailed my friend Darrell to see if he had one and luckily he did.  I drove down to his house the next day and he pulled the crank for me.  Thank you Darrell!!  The crank is a beautiful crank!!

The Schwinn sports Tourer will receive a complete restoration with new cables, tires, tubes, cables housings and handlebar tape.  The red color I think is really going to pop especially with the white decals.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Handlebars

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Brake Levers

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Handlebars

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem & Shift Levers

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Front Brake

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Fork Crown

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Front Wheel

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Sport Tourer Decal

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
TA Crank

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Chromoley Decal

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Rear Brake

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Generator

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Derailleur

1974 Sports Touer Restoration -  Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Hub

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Before - Rear Wheel Hub

With the Sports Tourer broken down tot he frame I see the frame is in okay shape.  The decals are dirty and yellowed, there are some chips and scratches and the paint has a rough surface.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before - Schwinn Decal

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before - Seat Area

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Brake Bridge

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Drop Outs

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Fork

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before - Chrome Fork Crown

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Before
Fork Chrome

It took a deep cleaning to get the frame clean for polishing, a lot of elbow grease.  With the frame clean I got to work working through the grits of polish.  After a lot of polishing the frame really turned out nice, the red has a deep shine and the red looks fantastic.  The decals also cleaned up a lot better then I was expecting.  Over all i love the shine and the red against the white decals.


1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished
Head Tube

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished
Decal

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished
Brake Bridge

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished
Fork

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Frame Polished
Fork Crown
The headset & Bottom Bracket went into the crock pot to loosen the grease.  The headset and bottom bracket is in pretty good shape under the dirt, just some slight rust and pitting.  The shift levers are built into the headset, I have always liked the big stick Schwinn shift levers, they are easy to shift and hit the shift points.  

The bottom bracket was also in pretty good shape under the grease.  It is a TA bottom bracket to go with the TA crank.  

I polished all the pieces tot he headset, bottom bracket, stem, shift levers and handlebars.  They all polished very nice.  A nice thing about Schwinns from this era is the chrome is thick and comes back nice.  The headset and bottom bracket both look very nice and spin great.

The shift levers polished very nice and look great installed next to the polished stem.  The handlebars also polished very nice.  All that shine looks fantastic installed against the polished red paint.  All the chrome and polished alloy is what i think of when I think of a classic bicycles and this Sports Tourer is turning out to be a fantastic example.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Shift Levers - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brake Levers - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset, Bottom Bracket &
Shift Levers - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset Cups = Pressed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset Cups
Pressed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset Bearings - Packed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset Race
Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Shift Levers
Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bottom Bracket Bearings
Packed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Complete
1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem & Handlebars - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem &Handlebars - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Stem & Handlebars - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Complete
The crank is a beautiful TA crank made in France.  This crank is pretty rare with the chain guard built in.  The crank does have 49 parts not counting the TA bottom bracket.  The crank requires a special sized crank puller.  I am lucky my friend Darrell had one that fit and was kind and removed it for me.

All those chain ring bolts and nuts where pretty stuck and made of soft metal so it was a pain in the but to get apart.  I sprayed all the pieces with penetrating oil and let it soak for a day, that helped a lot.

All the pieces polished beautifully and assembled looks fantastic, I love it, this might be my favorite crank ever and is pretty rare.  I could not be happier.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Crank - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Crank - Exploded

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Crank - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Crank - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Crank - Installed
The brake levers  where in pretty good shape to start, i cleaned and flushed the levers and then polished them.  They polished very nice and I love how the copper release tap turned out, such a nice contrast.  The brake levers look great and fill out the cockpit area.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brake Levers - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed
The brake calipers are the Schwinn approved center pull Whinneman calipers.  I like the center pull calipers, the are the better working calipers from the era and always polish very nice.  These calipers where no different and polished very nice.  For the Schwinn Sports Tourer the rear brake has a longer reach then the front brake.  The calipers turned out very nice.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brakes - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brakes - Exploded

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brakes - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Brakes - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Brake
Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Brake
Installed
The derailleurs where pretty rough.  The front derailleur is a Schwinn Approved derailleur and the rear is a Le Tour derailleur.  I love the rear derailleur, it looks beautiful and I love the detail and the drilled holes in the cage, it is also very light.

I disassembled the derailleurs and cleaned and flushed them many times.  After polishing the front derailleur turned out pretty nice and the rear derailleur turned out fantastic.  Again, I love the rear derailleur, I wish I had one for myself.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Derailleurs - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Derailleurs - Exploded

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Derailleurs - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Derailleurs - Complete
For how much I like the Schwinn fillet brazed frames in the Sports Tourer and Superior models I wish they did a little better on the seat binder clamp, it is heavy and clunky.  I polished the binder clamp and the cable hanger and they turned out very nice and look good installed.

I also cleaned and polished the seat post and this time, it is alloy but is also kind of light, I am happy with how it polished and how it feels.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Seat Clamp & Cable Hanger
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Seat Post - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Seat Post & Seat Clamp
Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Seat Post
& Seat Clamp - Complete
The main body components turned out very nice and so far the bicycle is truly beautiful.  I love it!

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Main Components - Complete

The Sport Tourer's wheels where in extremely rough shape, the wheels took every ounce of my skill to bring back and I am very proud of the results.  The Sports Tourer wheels could have been easily replaced or even relaced to new rims and spokes but I really think the Sports Tourer deserved the original wheels in their original make up.

The spokes took a lot of work and I did actually had to replace a few of the spokes and a few more spoke nipples.  The original spokes are very nice and very light butted spokes.  The wheel hubs took a good deal of cleaning and a lot of polishing but they turned out fantastic!!  I love high flange hubs, I think these are Normandy hubs with the Schwinn Approved made in France logos but I am probably wrong on that.  I do not really know the Sports Tourer history very well.

I polished and trued the rims and considering where they started the turned out beautiful! I then installed the new Kenda Gum walls and gave them a spin, Perfect!!

I included a photo of the wheel skewers before and need to yet take an after photo, they are very pretty and ornate for a wheel skewer when they are all polished out.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Freewheel - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel - Old Grease
1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Hub Bearings Packed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - New Kenda K35
Gum Wall Tires

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Wheel - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel Rim
Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel - Old Grease
1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Polished

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Front Wheel - Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Wheel Skewers - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Wheels - Complete

I took some before photos but forgot to take a few after photos of the Sports Tourer wired and the handlebar tape installed.  I was to excited to get the Sports Tourer out in the sun.

The owner of the Sports Touer supplied new pedals for it but I did not think through it at the time that the pedal threads would be French threads for the French crank.  I restored the old pedals the best I could, they turned out just okay but they where extremely rough to start.  

I wired the Sports Tourer and installed a synthetic leather black handlebar tape.  The cable housings are white and the handlebar tape is black on purpose, the white highlights the Schwinn Sports Tourer decals and the black contrasts the decals and housings, I think a very nice look.


1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Pedals - Complete
                                     
1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Original Schwinn Saddle
Installed

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - New Cables & Cable Hosuings

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - New Handlebar
Tape
 The original rear rack is not in he greatest shape but I think it deserves a chance to clean up some and be installed.  Its original and just fits.  I cleaned it the best it would and then did some minor polishing with ally polish and some 0000 fine steel whole.  The rack turned out pretty nice and looks great installed.  Again I forgot after in shop photos, it looks good in the final photos.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Rack - Before

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Rear Rack
Before
I was super excited to get the Sports Tourer out in the sun and for a test ride.  Here is a good tip if you do a total restoration, check to make sure all bolts are tight especially the stem and handlebar bolt.  I check all bolts a couple of times but I must have missed this a bolt because i took off and the handlebars rotated down, a little awkward but no major problems.

With the handlebars back in order the test ride went very well, just some slight adjustment to the brakes.  The Schwinn Sports Tourer Surprised me that it is a lot lighter then I was expecting and road fantastic.  The ride was very good but did not feel anything like I was expecting, it is surprisingly nimble and quick.  I guess it is a sports touring bicycle so that would explain it.

In the final photos it can be seen how truely stunning the Sports Tourer is, the red pops, the decals pop and the black synthetic black handlebar tape and black saddle are perfect. The bright works shines bright and that TA crank is beautiful. I love this bike, wish it was about 10 cm larger!


1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Handlebars

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Stem

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Brake

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Wheel

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Stem

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Half

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Saddle & Rear Rack

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Drive Train

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Crank

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear Wheel
 I had my bag I used to use to commute to work with handy and I wanted to see how it looked on the Sports Touer as it is a sports touring bicycle, I should have put my canvas saddle bag on but still looks good with a bag.

1974 Sports Touer Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Saddle Bag
I really enjoyed the Sports Touer and it was a heck of a challenge, I am proud of the results, thanks for the interest.

John Z.

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for the information on the year of the Sports Tourer. I am not real familiar with the Sports Tourer history the information is appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the post and the completed bike.

      Thank you for your interest,
      John Z.

      Delete
  2. My dad has a red Schwinn Sports Tourer that looks just like this. Needs a polish and cleaning. I'm an avid cyclist with a nice carbon bike, and was contemplating putting a little work into the old Schwinn. Seeing your pictures and work makes me second guess the idea.

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  3. Nicely done. A lot of work to be sure! Me? I bought a ST back in ’72 when I was 18 … Before that a Continental… have had it ever since, and I’ve stayed true blue, no other bicycle either … Did a major overhaul on it about 2 years back . Replaced everything having ball bearings … WHAT a difference!!! New wheels with Shimano XT hubs , Velocity Dyad rims, and bought a spoke tensioner, created an Excel spreadsheet recording each and every spoke’s tensions and brought the spokes into proper tension between 110kgf and 130kgf. while entering into a Zen state doing so.. ��
    BB replaced with Shimano, got the Shimano XT long cage rear derailer, spread the rear seat stays to 165mm for about 2 hours, released tension and presto … proper width for the 130mm rear hub and 11 gear Shimano 11-46 cassette.
    Qt:
    Anyone still reading this post??
    Anyone know if a new fork can be mounted onto this beast?
    I currently am running 32mm tires … would like wider …
    Yea, I know, why don’t I just buy a wider tire bike? I suppose it’s emotional … I get all teary eyed over it … ��

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