Dumb Schwinn question



V

vey

Guest
When I was in high school I saved my money for two years to buy a
Varsity. It cost $109. I remember the exact amount because it took so
long to save for it. I think I bought it around 1971. The dealer was in
a "big" city 30 miles away and my dad bought it for me and brought it home.

I guess I had it about a month or so and I got a flat tire. I had fixed
many flats by the time I was 14, in addition to changing bearings and
other minor work, so I confidently patched the tube, but when I went to
remount the tire, I couldn't get it right. No matter what I did, there
was always a short section of the bead that rolled in off the rim and
this created a flat spot. Before you say it, I had not bought a new tire
and the 1.75 & 1.3/4" thing doesn't apply.

I spent hours and hours trying to get the tire to seat properly and I
never could. There was no one around to ask for help. I finally asked my
father to go by the Schwinn dealer and ask why I was having so much
trouble. He told me that they laughed like hell when he asked and said
they knew why I was having so much trouble, and they would be happy to
reseat the tire for $15.

I told my dad I would be happy to ride with a flat spot forever before I
paid those assholes a dime to "fix" something so simple. I also swore I
would never own another Schwinn. And I did both.

I have since fixed many flats on many tires and never had any trouble
remounting the tire. What the hell was Schwinn doing back then to cause
me so much trouble?
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
vey wrote:
> When I was in high school I saved my money for two years to buy a
> Varsity. It cost $109. I remember the exact amount because it took so
> long to save for it. I think I bought it around 1971. The dealer was in
> a "big" city 30 miles away and my dad bought it for me and brought it home.
>
> I guess I had it about a month or so and I got a flat tire. I had fixed
> many flats by the time I was 14, in addition to changing bearings and
> other minor work, so I confidently patched the tube, but when I went to
> remount the tire, I couldn't get it right. No matter what I did, there
> was always a short section of the bead that rolled in off the rim and
> this created a flat spot. Before you say it, I had not bought a new tire
> and the 1.75 & 1.3/4" thing doesn't apply.
>
> I spent hours and hours trying to get the tire to seat properly and I
> never could. There was no one around to ask for help. I finally asked my
> father to go by the Schwinn dealer and ask why I was having so much
> trouble. He told me that they laughed like hell when he asked and said
> they knew why I was having so much trouble, and they would be happy to
> reseat the tire for $15.
>
> I told my dad I would be happy to ride with a flat spot forever before I
> paid those assholes a dime to "fix" something so simple. I also swore I
> would never own another Schwinn. And I did both.
>
> I have since fixed many flats on many tires and never had any trouble
> remounting the tire. What the hell was Schwinn doing back then to cause
> me so much trouble?


It was not you or your skills particularly.

I worked for a Schwinn dealer then. The tires were awful but the rims
were worse. Some were large and some were small. A few were nearly
round! New out of the carton tire blowoffs and mighty tire seating
struggles were a daily occurrence. We cheered the arrival of the
imported "Schwinn World" to replace the Chicago bikes because, as
assemblers, our work was quicker and less painful!
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
S

Stevie

Guest
On Nov 18, 7:34 pm, vey <[email protected]> wrote:
> When I was in high school I saved my money for two years to buy a
> Varsity. It cost $109. I remember the exact amount because it took so
> long to save for it. I think I bought it around 1971. The dealer was in
> a "big" city 30 miles away and my dad bought it for me and brought it home.
>
> I guess I had it about a month or so and I got a flat tire. I had fixed
> many flats by the time I was 14, in addition to changing bearings and
> other minor work, so I confidently patched the tube, but when I went to
> remount the tire, I couldn't get it right. No matter what I did, there
> was always a short section of the bead that rolled in off the rim and
> this created a flat spot. Before you say it, I had not bought a new tire
> and the 1.75 & 1.3/4" thing doesn't apply.
>
> I spent hours and hours trying to get the tire to seat properly and I
> never could. There was no one around to ask for help. I finally asked my
> father to go by the Schwinn dealer and ask why I was having so much
> trouble. He told me that they laughed like hell when he asked and said
> they knew why I was having so much trouble, and they would be happy to
> reseat the tire for $15.
>
> I told my dad I would be happy to ride with a flat spot forever before I
> paid those assholes a dime to "fix" something so simple. I also swore I
> would never own another Schwinn. And I did both.
>
> I have since fixed many flats on many tires and never had any trouble
> remounting the tire. What the hell was Schwinn doing back then to cause
> me so much trouble?


I worked at a Schwinn shop 73-74 and then again in the late 70's. We
sold boatloads of those Varsity's. It was a tank of a bike but it
could pretty much take what any tenage boy could throw at it. It was
common practice to keep a bottle of soapy water and a brush at hand to
help seat the tires. I never knew if it was the tires or the steel
rims that were the problem. We would also lock the tire in a vice
(shop rags to protect the tire) and lean the wheel over to help seat a
tire. $15.00 was a lot of money back in '71. I think we charged closer
to $5 to fix a flat and I think that included the tube. I think you
were treated badly. Our shop would have done that for free on such a
new bike.

Steve




Steve
 
V

vey

Guest
Stevie wrote:

> I worked at a Schwinn shop 73-74 and then again in the late 70's. We
> sold boatloads of those Varsity's. It was a tank of a bike but it
> could pretty much take what any tenage boy could throw at it.


That was the closest thing to a "racer" one could get around here. Ten
speeds, ooo-lah,lah. Only other choice was to buy something from France
or Germany and have it shipped in. That actually was not a bad deal
since the dollar wasn't floating and was still worth a little something.

Fourteen-year-old boys can be very resourceful, so I looked into it. The
price was right and shipping it to NYC wasn't very expensive, but the
deal killer was the rail freight from NYC to me in Florida -- a jaw
dropping $100. Trucks wouldn't would do LTL and it was too big for UPS
or USPO.

It was
> common practice to keep a bottle of soapy water and a brush at hand to
> help seat the tires. I never knew if it was the tires or the steel
> rims that were the problem. We would also lock the tire in a vice
> (shop rags to protect the tire) and lean the wheel over to help seat a
> tire. $15.00 was a lot of money back in '71. I think we charged closer
> to $5 to fix a flat and I think that included the tube. I think you
> were treated badly. Our shop would have done that for free on such a
> new bike.


I thought $15 was highway robbery. They were the only LBS in town. Most
people bought bikes at Wards or Sears.