Monday, April 21, 2008

New Tires for the Schwinn

Yesterday, after getting a good ride in, I decided to head to my local bike shop and see if they had any tires that would fit my Schwinn. I know at least one of the tires on the Schwinn is original. It is bald, cracked, and crumbling.

The guys at the shop hooked me up with a set of 27 ¼" Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tires. I made of point of saying "weight is not an issue!".

Mounting Them...

The old tires came off pretty easily. The rim tape, which looked it was plastic, didn't look like it was going to be easy to replace. So I just put the new rim tape on over it. The guy at the bike shop recommended that I do not go over 80 PSI when mounting these tires on the original wheels. He said that the steel rims might not be able to handle the higher pressures. I can tell my wheels are steel because aluminum doesn't rust.

Crappy Brakes

The front brake calipers had oxidized just enough so that they wouldn't pivot. I loosened up the assembly and took a hammer to them to "free them and shake out the corrosion". It worked! Now instead of no front brakes, I have crappy front brakes. These calipers will need to be replaced at some point.

Test Ride

I took the Schwinn out in the neighborhood behind me for a test ride. It is a one mile hilly loop. Man, that bike is heavy. It doesn't help when the bike auto-shifts out of the lowest gear either by itself, or when my knee hits the center pull shifter. The front brakes weren't really working. They would grab, but not release. good for only stopping (barely) but useless for slowing down.

At one point the crank kicked back and now I have a new scar on my calf much like I did when I repeatedly did this when I was 14.

Then, Near the top of the hill the chain snapped. I happened to have a zip lock bag on me and I put the chain inside that. Then I walked up to the top of the hill, and rode the bike down to my home. I have a feeling this will be a long term project bike...