Need to replace my old Schwinn 10 speed mountain bike



DeannaM

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Sep 26, 2013
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I've an old Schwinn 10 speed mountain bike from the late 1980s that I need to replace. It has held up well over time but is starting to wear out. What would be an equivalent bike to purchase for casual road biking and what would be the cost?
 

Sedona

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Apr 8, 2010
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Unless it was an upper level schwinn such as a Paramount or the like, you will be pretty decently served with any entry level unit from a bike shop. Expect to be a few hundred for a new or a couple hundred for a used(yes there are some used stores out there) but what you get at that level now is considerably ahead of what you currently have both in feel and function. I too have an older Schwinn that has a unique feel but there is a considerable amount of progress since that design. There are a great deal of models and brands that fit that bill and would serve well, so I would recommend going to a shop and testing a few to find one that clicks. :)
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Instead of limiting your point of reference to your old Schwinn, why not walk into a shop or two with an open mind? I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by your options for moderately priced hybrid bikes for casual road riding.
 

DeannaM

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Sep 26, 2013
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I'll try going to a local shop to test out a few models. Thanks so much for your encouragement!
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DeannaM

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Sep 26, 2013
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Good point! I'll check out the shops nearby. I just didn't know what to expect in terms of cost is all. Thanks!
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Quote: Originally Posted by DeannaM .

I've an old Schwinn 10 speed mountain bike from the late 1980s that I need to replace. It has held up well over time but is starting to wear out. What would be an equivalent bike to purchase for casual road biking and what would be the cost?

What is worn out?

Why can't you replace the worn components?

What is your projected budget?

For less than $200, you can buy a complete, low end Shimano MTB group via eBay ...

of course, installation is required & the "group" will come with a Cassette instead of a Freewheel so you would need a new rear hub ($20+) which you would need to lace your rear wheel onto OR you could simply buy a new Freewheel & put the Cassette in your "toolbox"

A new chain + new Freewheel doesn't have to cost more than $50.

The cost of new cables & housing varies, but simply lubing the cables/etc. may actually be sufficient to make your bike's components function better.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Quote: Originally Posted by DeannaM .
Good point! I'll check out the shops nearby. I just didn't know what to expect in terms of cost is all. Thanks!

Decent hybrids and "casual" mountain bikes start at around $350-400 these days. Inflation. I say, if you aren't going to ride singetrack, why bother carrying a shock fork and fat knobby tires? Get the right tool for the job.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Quote: Originally Posted by alfeng .
The cost of new cables & housing varies, but simply lubing the cables/etc. may actually be sufficient to make your bike's components function better.


Alf, I don't know how long you keep lubing old cables, but from my experience, after 25 years they should be replaced. As well as tires, brake pads, saddles, handlebar grips, and maybe even cogs and chains. And the bottom bracket, hubs, and headset should be cleaned and repacked.

Tell you what. You can tell Deanna which parts to buy and then she can ship it all to you and you can do the work for free and send it back to her. And then you can convince her that this thing you created is better for her purposes than, say, a shiny new Trek 7.1 FX.

And if you feel guilty about discarding an old bike, remember there are often local charities that take in old bikes, strip down the basket cases for parts, and rebuild them for distribution to the less economically privileged.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Quote: Originally Posted by oldbobcat .
Alf, I don't know how long you keep lubing old cables, but from my experience, after 25 years they should be replaced. As well as tires, brake pads, saddles, handlebar grips, and maybe even cogs and chains. And the bottom bracket, hubs, and headset should be cleaned and repacked.

Tell you what. You can tell Deanna which parts to buy and then she can ship it all to you and you can do the work for free and send it back to her. And then you can convince her that this thing you created is better for her purposes than, say, a shiny new Trek 7.1 FX.

And if you feel guilty about discarding an old bike, remember there are often local charities that take in old bikes, strip down the basket cases for parts, and rebuild them for distribution to the less economically privileged.


Well, we are both supposing a possible condition of DeannaM's bike which might be at different ends of the spectrum ...

You are presuming that DeannaM and/or other casual riders use their shifters as often as a more enthusiastic rider does ...

Maybe, yes ...

Maybe, no.

However, sometimes a bike needs a surprisingly small amount of "maintenance" to bring it up to snuff.

It's hard to tell without even seeing the bike, in person, or even a picture ...

And, worn out for me might certainly be different than for someone else ..

  • of course, parts wear out
  • parts are trashed, too
  • but, most Japanese components are well designed & can last a surprisingly long time if they are not neglected by having the bike left out in the elements
so, a surprisingly small amount of rejuvenative "maintenance" can sometimes work "miracles"

I don't have a problem with shiny-and-new ...

I just think that most "modern" bikes (¿beginning with the late 80s?) generally require fewer tools to work on & they can be suggested to be "easier" to work on because of the use of cartridge-based components which often leaves component replacement as the only practical option for most people ...

Of course, component replacement is not as economical as simply replacing-or-repacking the bearings ...

UNLESS the rider is paying someone else to do the maintenance at an LBS, that is ...

  • what does a "tune-up" cost, now, AND just what gets done?

  • certainly, replacing the cables & housing will cost less than a new bike
AND, probably qualifies as a DIY project for most people

Of course, sometimes it IS more economical-and/or-practical to buy a new bike!
 

ambal

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Oct 15, 2010
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Stick with shwinn they're a great brand, much better than the junk made in asia.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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Quote: Originally Posted by ambal .
Stick with shwinn they're a great brand, much better than the junk made in asia.

Where have you been, ambal? Except for the Paramount, there hasn't been a Schwinn made in the US since the mid-1970s.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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oldbobcat said:
Where have you been, ambal? Except for the Paramount, there hasn't been a Schwinn made in the US since the mid-1970s.
And not even all of the Paramounts have been made in the US. When the Paramount OS came out, there were two versions: a version made in the Waterford factory in Wisconsin and one made in the far East.
 

DeannaM

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Sep 26, 2013
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Only about 4 of the 10 gears are working which is what is worn out. My apologies for leaving this out. As for budget I wasn't sure what to expect to pay and was looking to find out what is out there in the market right now. I probably would like to stay between $300-$400 at the top end since I'm only a casual rider. Thanks.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Quote: Originally Posted by DeannaM .
Only about 4 of the 10 gears are working which is what is worn out. My apologies for leaving this out. As for budget I wasn't sure what to expect to pay and was looking to find out what is out there in the market right now. I probably would like to stay between $300-$400 at the top end since I'm only a casual rider. Thanks.


I presume that your bikes's problem doesn't stem from slack cables when the chain is on either the smallest Cog or smallest Chainring.

With THAT out of the way ...

Does your bike have THUMB SHIFTERS?

If so, then a new pair of THUMB SHIFTERS can be bought for under $20 off of eBay 24/7/365 (you can spend more, of course!!) ...

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=shimano+deore+shifters&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=thumb+shifters&_sacat=0

Here are two examples which will set you back less than $14 ("free shipping") & already have the cables installed ...


http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Shimano-SL-TZ20-3-2-x-6-Speed-Thumb-Shifters-Set-w-wires-/140898565978?pt=US_Shifters&hash=item20ce357f5a

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FALCON-MTB-Bicycle-ATB-Flat-Bar-Clamp-On-Thumb-Friction-Shifter-Set-/221285484594?pt=US_Shifters&hash=item3385a48832

DIY installation simply requires setting the chain on the smallest Cog & the smallest Chainring, detaching the old cables from their respective derailleurs, removing the current shifters from the handlebar ...

Then, lightly lube the cables with a dab of "vaseline" & insert them in the cable housing (oldbobcat would probably recommend replacing the cable housing ... it's a good idea, but not always necessary), pull the cable through the housing so that there is very little visible between the housing & the shifter, attach the shifter to the handlebar, remove the slack in the cable & secure to the derailleur. Done!


A Phillips head screwdriver + an adjustable crescent wrench (or, separate wrenches if you have them) and/or (possibly) some Metric Allen wrenches are the primary tools which you will need.

You will want to trim the excess cable after it is attached to its respective derailleur ...

  • THIS can be the trickiest part if you don't have good "wire cutters" either a good set of "dikes" (diagonal cutters) or possibly the integrated wire cutter on some pliers (MANY cutters will simply mash the cable unless you silver solder the ends ... a recommendation which I have not tried is to put a drop of SUPER GLUE on the cable where you want to cut it)
  • if you have a HARBOR FREIGHT anywhere within 20 miles of where you live, it is worth going there for generic tools (their ORANGE handled "pliers" have cutters which can snip BICYCLE cables cleanly even if the section to be cut has not been silver soldered ... at least, the ones which I have)

  • IMO, a lot of people trim their cables too "short" ...
  • I generally prefer between 1-and-2+ inches because the cable is easier to pull taut when there is something to "grab"

BTW. If your bike's cables currently have end caps, then if you are not ham-fisted then you can gently un-crimp them with a pair of pliers by squeezing them perpendicular to the crimp ....

Otherwise, wrap some masking tape around the ends.

Silver soldered ends don't need to be capped/taped.

Of course, you can buy new end caps at your LBS.

OF COURSE, even more expensive shifters + tools (if necessary) will cost less than a new bike.

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Worn friction disc(s) can (probably) be replaced with some DIY disc cut from Milk Jug caps OR similar material.
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Again, if the teeth on the Cogs/Chainrings are worn, then the Freewheel/Cassette and/or Chainrings can be replaced rather than replacing the whole bike.
 

DeannaM

New Member
Sep 26, 2013
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Wow, lots of great information here! Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I'll print off the instructions and check out the links. I didn't know that replacement would be so affordable.