Bikes

Another Schwinn Prelude?

After a leisurely lunch on the Marietta Square yesterday, I came across this: Another Schwinn Prelude! It seems I’m not the only one who was unimpressed with the original rusted gunmetal gray look. The owner of this Prelude painted theirs similarly to mine. A base coat of cream with an accent color for the lugs and forks. Observe: This Prelude owner went with green, no doubt as an accent to the sexy leather Brooks seat and handlebar tape.…

Schwinn Prelude Redux: Complete?

The Schwinn is all back together now with the new paint job, decals, handlebar tape, and cabling: Here’s a before pic for reference: The red and white striped bar tape was a nice final touch: So what’s next? I might replace the seat with an old Selle Itialia Flite saddle if I can find one, but other than that, we’re pretty much done here. Anyone have a $20 steel bike they want to sell me so I can do this again?…

Schwinn Prelude Bicycle Restore: Clear Coat

It’s been a while but I finally found some extra time to slap a clear coat on my Schwinn redux. I saw “I”, but really my father-in-law took care of this one. Its delicate work, and I’m just not in to that. Maybe next time. Clearcoating is really to hide and protect. It masks any blemishes that might be left on the bike, and protects the coats of paint you slapped on previously from rust, nicks, and other marring.…

Schwinn Prelude Bicycle Restore: Decals

With all the painting done its time to move on to puttin’ fancy stickers on the bike. It occurs to me that I didn’t post a picture of the bike with the paint all finished, so here is a shot: Looking pretty slick. I ordered two sets of decals for the bike from eBay. If you do a search for whatever bike brand and decals you’ll come up with hundreds. In retrospect I should have looked for Roll-Royce decals, hindsight is often hilarious.…

Schwinn Prelude Bicycle Restore: Painting II

Its been a few weeks, but I finally moved on to the last of the painting over the weekend. In the previous post we painted the frame in its entirety with a primer and the cream colored base coat. We did a test with the red paint for the lugs and details on the fork, and it looked excellent, so we continued using the same process on the rest of the frame.…

Schwinn Prelude Bicycle Restore: Painting I

In the last post I wrapped up all of the prep work on the bike frame. It was taken apart completely, sandblasted to remove rust and sanded from top to bottom. Now it’s time for painting! Most of the tools I got to use on this project belong to my father-in-law. In the past he has painted cars and motorcycles, so using this kind of equipment to refinish a bike is probably a lot like using a firehose to fill a bucket, but its a treat to use this high-end stuff.…

Schwinn Prelude Bicycle Restore: Prep Work

Cycling might be the perfect sport for an engineer. The mechanics of a bicycle are beautifully simple, and the gear porn aspect of owning and operating a performance machine may be paramount to the health benefits of actually riding. Data is key as a cyclist as well. Altitudes, cadences, heart rates and watts determine my performance on a ride. I can criticize or praise myself in a quantifiable way, and I have my bicycle to thank for much of it.…