SCHWINN BLACK PHANTOM: What happened in 1949; We kept to ourselves
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Today you can expect a racing bike to have a spread of about 30 gear inches 34 x 28, which is pretty comfortable on most climbs on the low end to 53 x 11, which brings you over 40 MPH before you spin out on the high end. Just like Pete Brissing, Jeff is a slave to bicycle fashion and has declined water bottle cages lest they scratch the Schwinn decals on the downtube.
Probably not much of an issue for Jeff, as he does most of his riding in the early morning hours, racing point to point between coffee shops. In , Belgian bicycle builder Emil Wastyn emigrated to America. Emil opened a small bicycle store on Fullerton avenue in Chicago and began an American cycling dynasty that would last more than a hundred years. This sturdy relic has some interesting features. If the Wastyn name sounds familiar, you have been paying attention.
Emil built the very first Schwinn Paramount in , and Oscar Wastyn sr. The store is still humming along at Fullerton avenue, just two blocks from the original location. You make people think about exploring the countryside and seeing new things. You had light but robust wheels.
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There were chain guards and matching fenders. A few people have asked us if the blacked-out parts on a war-era bicycle were an attempt to avoid being spotted from above during air raids. No, those parts had a dull appearance for more mundane reasons. The chrome plating process for shiny bicycle parts uses chromium, nickel, and copper. All materials that were needed in manufacturing other items for the war effort.
It meant stripped-down models that used less metal. Some bicycle builders actually constructed items needed for the war effort. Some manufacturers like Schwinn maintained their core business but worked around rationed, scarce and restricted materials while the war was going on. Schwinn responded with slimmed-down versions of their Panther, Hollywood, Starlet, and Typhoon cruisers. To that end, they suggested that cycling would mellow a fellow out… …Cycling is an especially favorable type of exercise.
It has a very good effect on the brain, on the mental state, and on the psyche. Irvino H. Page, president, American Heart Association. Before you interupt your spouse to show off this web page, excitedly recalling the virtues of your first BMX bike, you should be warned: Your 50th birthday is coming up.
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Roger DeCoster bikes were produced from to and were sold as frame kits at most Schwinn bicycle shops across the country. The bike kits came in long or short frame versions made of chromoly. There were different color versions in nickel, Red, Blue, and Yellow. Bikes like this one with the short frame were only available in the nickel finish. The only real difference between the Mongoose and the DeCoster frame is the oval instead of round cutout in the front head tube gusset. Who was Roger DeCoster? Schwinn had to have a pretty good reason to name their bicycle motocross model after the guy.
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He was one of the best racers in motocross, winning five cc Motocross World Championships and many other national championships. His racing career was successful enough to warrant an induction into the Motorcycle Hall of fame in Our restored bike has some pretty rad parts.
The bike would have originally come with a flat-bladed fork see photo , but this has been replaced on our bike with a tubular steel Schwinn fork. One kid who had a pretty good birthday was a young Curtis Stege. This was originally his bike, purchased from Garland Cycle in Spokane, Washington. Curtis looked pretty stoked posing with his new ride….
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From to Schwinn took their style cues from Detroit well, they actually did that for decades. Andy put in a lot of hours getting his Ghost back together, and he has done a great job. In every aspect, this restoration was done just a bit better than the original. The bike is waxed, polished and it sparkles even brighter than new. Heavy, raw rock music with lots of guitar distortion and buzz. Lead singers wearing old T-shirts and flannel, not Spandex? Music videos that were just as likely to scare you as they were to get you to dance?
If you remember all of that, you probably remember that those musicians never took tour buses to their gigs, instead they rode their bikes.
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Everyone needed a nap. This looks like a Schwinn Sting-Ray. What about the bike? The bike originally belonged to video director Henry Shepherd. Henry and Soundgarden bassist Ben are brothers. The Sting-Ray now hangs on the wall here at Classic Cycle. Schwinn re-badged this particular bike as a B.
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Goodrich, and the tire company sold them at their chain of auto parts stores. Probably a local bike too, as this one sported an Auburn bicycle license plate. This Paramount Paramount was the racing division of the Schwinn line of bikes is an example of some of their finest work. Built with the best materials available at the time, the bike tips the scale at a respectable 18 pounds. Master frame builder Oscar Wastyn brazed most of the Paramounts from this era, and his design touches abound, like the open-ended seat stays and the simple and elegant lug work.
Proprietary Schwinn-labeled parts make up the component group, with silky-smooth hubs and headset, and a light and fairly stiff steel crankset. In the beginning, young Bicycle Motocross racers rode like maniacs aboard the everyday machines that took them back and forth from home to school. Like the brown Sting-Ray that we have elsewhere in this museum section, this BMX bike started out as just another Schwinn but was heavily modified to handle the rigors of bicycle motocross action. Schwinn Panthers. A decade later a lady asked Jeff if he wanted to buy the old bike she had kicking around in her garage, and what do you know?
It was a Panther. This past December Classic Cycle held a museum night event and we wanted some balloon-tire bikes to show off. Jeff grabs one of the Panthers for us, but a mystery had sprung up. Where did the 2-speed hub come from? What the heck? An extensive search of the storage held the answer: 2 bikes. Our version came with the New Departure 2-speed hub option. This was a smart upgrade that made the 65 pound bike just a little more efficient when toiling up and over neighborhood hills.
There are a bunch of elements that go into making a great bike.
Smart design that takes an idea and engineers it so that the bike rides beautifully under the intended conditions is another component. The artistic flair that makes a bike easy on the eyes is also an important part. Production that is done well is the last part.
Get the right materials and the right hands building the bike, and the finished product should be awesome. This Peloton has great frame geometry and fantastic ride characteristics that had previously only been found on bikes in their Paramount division.
The traditional design suggested that Schwinn was not keeping quite in step with their market. This particular bike is owned by our friend Mark Dankel. Bicycle Moto Cross BMX became a thing when kids started racing each other around dirt tracks, emulating the off-road motorcycle racing they had seen locally or in the film On Any Sunday. Old School BMX racing began before anyone was producing dedicated off-road machines.
Some modifications were needed, of course. The fenders had to come off.