Friday, February 15, 2013

1970 Schwinn Breeze

After a fair amount of scrubbing, polishing, rerouting cables and removing copious amounts of mystery wire, this fun little Schwinn made its maiden voyage down the hills to Chrissy Field. Manufactured in August of 1970, it rides as well as many modern counterparts and moves along nicely on 26" wheels with its venerable Sturmey Archer three speed hub shifter. It has some interesting quirks like the 26 inch wheels that take 597's rather than the typical 590 tires and believe me 7mm makes a big difference. It's also all in American nut and bolt sizes so if you ride mainly Japanese bikes or even just modern bikes in general you may need a couple new wrenches to work on these old Chicago bikes. I've had visions of English roadster style riding since the last couple were stolen. This is a great budget move in that direction. I even picked up a wooden clam crate for the back, similar but somehow seems more appropriate than a wine crate and more useful than the bare rack for my needs.

Coming at it with low expectations probably helped but its a fun bike to ride now that it has new brake pads and actually slows down when you squeeze the levers. I'll at least be hanging on to it into the summer or until I find something nicer or at least a little more solid. It's an adequate bicycle but being a budget bikes for the ladies in 1970, it's not exactly built to handle a heavier male rider or the demands of getting around San Francisco. Either way it's a classic I'd probably hang on to if I wasn't at capacity for bike storage. It's looking better with each cleaning but it will keep much of it's well earned patina.

Chain guard and stylish crank
Complete with vintage rack and  comfortable saddle
A decent looking bike

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