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Too slow to be smart
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Retro-Classic guys and gals. I'm in the market for a commuter bike that I won't cry about getting stolen on campus here and came upon a Schwinn Traveler. The guy says it's a 26" bike and I've found the bike in some old Schwinn catalogs under the 26" lightweight bikes. What does that mean? Is that the wheel size? My first thought was this is the frame size but he says that he is 5'9" and the bike works for him. In the catalog they don't have the bike listed in 26" so I'm stumped. This looks like a pretty nice bike and for $60, I can't say no if it's close to fitting. I only ride like 1-1.5 miles to work and class.

Thank you for any help!

Vintage Schwinn Catalogs 1899 to 1984
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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2,337 Posts
Yeah, to a non-cyclist a bike can be a 26"; referring to wheel size. Just like many of them are a "10-speed racing bike" if they have drop bars.

A 26" frame would be huge, 66cm?

Most of the cheaper bikes were 26", the better models usually had 27" tires.

I wonder how hard it will be to find 26" road tires? On second thought, probably not too bad. Malwart probably has them.

Check it over really well just because replacement parts will likely be hard to find.
If you buy it plan on replacing the cables, chain, brake pads and tires and tubes, just in case. Oh, and get good brake pads from a shop, especially if it has steel rims.
 

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Too slow to be smart
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506 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When he told me 26" I was thinking "holy sh!t thats huge!" Then he told me his height and that he rode it for a while and then I figured it was the wheel size. It just got new tires last week according to him so it could end up needing cables, a chain, and break pads. The cables and chain would cost a few dollars but shouldn't break the bank. I just searched for some tires online and they're common enough still. If I need anything else, I'll just ebay it. If I need to replace cables it'll be good practice for when I do it to my road bike soon.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Boobies!
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8,173 Posts
Something was niggling about the tire size on those bikes and as usual, Sheldon has the answer...

For example, most "middleweight" Schwinns take 26 x 1 3/4 tires, which are hard to find, not 26 x 1.75 as used on other brands. You might think that these are the same, but they are not.

The 26 x 1.75 size is the normal I.S.O. 559 mm size used on most mountain bikes; the 26 x 1 3/4 (I.S.O. 571 mm) is not interchangeable with any normal tire of similar width, although its bead circumference is the same as the "650C" size used on some high performance 26" wheel bicycles.

Designating the width with a fraction instead of a decimal usually signifies a straight-sided rim, not a hook-edge rim. The rim/tire diameter is also slightly different. Let the tire buyer beware! There are similar problems with other Schwinn tire sizes. The most common difficulty is that the Schwinn 26 x 1 3/8 (I. S.O. 597 mm) interchanges with the British 26 x 1 1/4, not the British 26 x 1 3/8 (I. S.O. 590 mm).
That said, I saw some tires on eBay so they must still be around.
 

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Too slow to be smart
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's interesting, paredown. If I buy the bike, I'll take that into consideration! If I can't find tires for it then I can't ride it...
 

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Boobies!
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Here she is! How do you adjust the brake? The guy brought it to me in the bed of his truck and it pushed the brake lever in and I can't find the place to loosen it and fix it...
Brake lever?--those look like old DiaCompes and from memory there should be a slotted screw head inside the handle--you may have to get the brake cable out of the way to see it. If you're talking about cable adjustment--screw adjusters on the brake body and top of handle too?
 

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Too slow to be smart
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506 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, they are DiaCompes. I am cleaning it right now and will look for those screws. How would I detach the brake cable or is it intuitive? I'm about to clean my road bike then I'll check back on here and then play around with the Schwinn.
 

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Too slow to be smart
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506 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Figured it out! You have to go in through the front of the brake, with the brake pulled down. There is a screw in there facing forward. I couldn't get the brake cable out easily so I just worked around it but getting the cable out would've made it much easier.

Next step, where do I get 1970's 6 speed brake cables?
 
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