Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Saturday was strip day on the Schwinn Suburban. Though the bike looks well enough from a distance, it has not been ridden in a number of years, so good practice dictates ripping everything off the bike. Most of the bad news I could see coming; being new cables and tires. Most of what I discovered in the tear down process was good news.

When I pulled the wheel bearings, I was happy to find that the bearing cones show signs of almost no use.  On a bike that has seen heavy use, the cones will be polished over their entire surface. The cones on the Schwinn have just a faint track starting, so they are practically brand new. In all cases, any part involving bearings (hubs, headset, bottom bracket) was in perfect shape. I packed them with fresh grease, and they should be good for hundreds of miles.

The brake pads have worn to fit the rim a bit, so the bike has been used, but it's still the equivalent of a car with less than 20,000 miles on.

While working on the hubs, I pulled the dry-rotted husks that were once referred to as tires. Underneath those nasty bits were a pair of perfectly usable tubes. I refilled the tubes, and no leaks showed, so I'll probably run with them for a bit.

The big problem with this bike are the rims. The front is not too bad, but the back almost makes you seasick when it spins in the truing stand. Beyond the usual side to side, the rim goes up and down and even has a twist to it. It's reached the point that the tire will no longer turn freely without contacting the brakes on both sides, and running into the fenders. In short, this thing is whack. Truing wheels is something unique to working with bikes, so this should be good practice.

That is as far as I got Saturday. Next shift the end of this week

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