View Full Version : Schwinn Henderson Information

06-27-2008, 01:53 PM
I have a 1936 Schwinn Henderson, but I suspect the handlebars are not original. Does anyone here know what style the original handlebars would have been for this type of bicycle?

06-27-2008, 02:36 PM
Girls or boys? If boys most likely cross braced handlebars.

06-27-2008, 02:46 PM
Boys- originally had a Torrington stem, but I found it was broken off inside the tube. I managed to get it out. But the stem was indeed busted and the handlebars appeared to be a set from the 1950s that someone threw on because they didn't like the originals. The bike was a barn find, but where the original bars are is beyond me.

06-27-2008, 02:54 PM
Those Torrington stems are tempermental. Here is a pic (http://usera.imagecave.com/markIVpedalpusher/Mead/1937MeadRangerbySchiwnn.jpg) of my 37

06-27-2008, 03:54 PM
They appear to be a lower grade pot metal, though I will say I like them for sentimental reasons- I grew up a few minutes away from the Torrington Company's factory in Connecticut.

Are the parts on your bike re-chrome parts, or is that original? That's a nice machine you have there.

I'm in a dilemma right now in that I want to keep the bike as original as I can, but the original chrome on most of the bright work is gone. The original parts are all there, except for the handle bars and a couple of small items, but the chrome condition is pretty bad (as in almost none).

I've heard suggestions like "put some light oil" on the baremetal of what used to be chrome and it will stave off rust for quite some time. Does that work?

06-27-2008, 04:24 PM
Light oil or wax will help prevent more rust once you clean the part up but you really have to keep up with it. Atleast in So. Cal when riding by the ocean. You'd be surprised how well old parts clean up even with most of the chrome is gone.

You can pick up another Torrington stem no problem they pop on ebay and range between 35-75 (high end)

I would agree in keeping the bike as original as possible. If the chrome parts on your bike are too far gone in appearance, they don't do the bike justice and the frame and fenders have better paint in relation to the chrome you can always swap the parts with original replacements in a little nicer condition. Some purist may disagree but thats OK just my .02 cents. I would recommend hanging on to the the original parts though.

When I got my bike almost all the chrome parts were spray painted silver over rust. It took 2 months to clean it up. No re-chromed parts. The wheels are from another motorbike. You should post a pic of yours or keep us updated with your progress with pics.

Have fun!

Andrew Gorman
06-27-2008, 06:29 PM
For what it's worth, even if the parts look rusty and pitted a lot of the chrome is probably still there- the rust seems to blossom out from pinholes. Try scrubbing the parts down with a brillo pad and water and see what happens. The results can be pretty amazing. This will usually work if there is still some chrome showing. Minimal effort and possibly good results.

06-27-2008, 09:20 PM
Sounds like I'm headed for a set of the old crosspiece bars then. I'll try and locate some.

Another couple of questions:

Does the "Phantom Deluxe Reflector with Glass" (the rear fender type) fit these prewar Schwinns?

Also: does anyone know of a source for a proper brake arm clamp?

06-28-2008, 10:34 PM
I think 35/36 motorbikes are supposed to have the smaller stimsonite reflector see attached (http://usera.imagecave.com/markIVpedalpusher/Pre-War/MeadBrownMotorbike10.jpg)vs. the larger 3 inch reflector. The 36/37 autocycles and the 37 "cycleplane" deluxe motorbike had the 3 inch stimsonite reflectors. How many holes are in your rear fender? Got pics of your bike yet? What kind of rear hub do you have? You can really use any brake arm clamp that will work.

06-28-2008, 11:08 PM
If I recall the fender has two holes in the back- I fabricated a little steel flex hook for the drop stand, but it doesn't work terribly well. I used the holes for that. Would that reflector require a third hole?

Hubs are New Departure- the rear is a Model D.

hmmm I've seen that type of reflector before- I think it was an early Autocycle I saw on display.

No recent pictures, though I do have an older one after I applied a temporary paint to preserve the formerly chromed parts.


I'd originally thought those bars to be original, but the grips were wrong and they didn't fit well in the Torrington stem (they moved around even with the stem at max tight). I also continually saw period Schwinns with the long crossbar handle bars. The bicycle was bought new by a local resident in about 1936 or so. My grandpa bought it from him a couple of years later and rode it until he got a car sometime during WWII. He stored it in his barn. My dad's cousin (so my first cousin once removed?) rode it during the 1950s, but got in an accident with it. At some point then the reflector vanished and (I believe) these handle bars were added. After that it sat in the barn again from the late 1950s to about 1997 or so, when I found it and my grandpa gave it to me. I cleaned it up as best I could and rode it for several years until I put it under a big dust cover and stored it in my parents' garage. Recently I've seen more and more examples of these bicycles turn up on the net, often as restored examples. I decided that these guys had to be getting their parts from somewhere and started to hunt again for stuff to add. I'm currently trying to make the bike into an "original as possible" riding machine that looks nice, but rides well too.

06-28-2008, 11:31 PM
Nice double bar and cool history on the bike. It will look sweet once you get your cross bars mounted. Memory Lane (http://www.memorylane-classics.com/) has the drop stand clips or they pop up on ebay. I don't know the answer regarding the reflector issue and your bike. Don't drill any holes in your fender make sure you find out what reflector should be on there. If you take a picture of the rear fender and post it that will help.

06-29-2008, 02:56 PM
I've bought a set of bars- they certainly look pre war era to me- they have the crosspiece and the art deco style of stem, as well as black "coke bottle" grips.

Somebody apparently painted them with a light grade hobby paint, but underneath that there is still decent chrome. I figure I can strip the paint and then just clean up the chrome with bronze wool.



I'm still debating whether to use that stem or to get another Torrington stem. They are on ebay, but they're not terribly cheap.

06-29-2008, 06:21 PM
Very nice! That stem will work great and if you still want to get a Torington stem keep watchin one will pop up at a good price then you can sell that one:D

06-30-2008, 11:14 PM
Interestingly enough- I recently found a thread in the Schwinn restoration forum that featured a picture of a very similar (or perhaps the same) stem, and listed that as a different variety of Torrington stem. I wonder if perhaps this stem is indeed a Torrington after all. I think I'll take a closer examination when I next get the chance.

old hotrod
07-01-2008, 07:26 AM
According to the old Island Cycles catalog, the stem on the crossbar set was made by Rollfast and was used on a lot of bikes.

07-01-2008, 10:31 AM
According to the old Island Cycles catalog, the stem on the crossbar set was made by Rollfast and was used on a lot of bikes.

Thanks for the information- do you happen to know whether these could or would have been used with Schwinns too?

I'd ideally like something that could have been or was used with Schwinns in general, so I'm not way off with my parts.

08-19-2008, 10:03 PM
Update: a little hard work (or a lot) pays off for sure. I was on vacation last week and got quite a bit done on the bike. It sure is a looker! I'm down to finding some old stock pedals and some more proper tires. I'm not overly concerned in that division since I ride the bike. I still do have the original pedals and tires+tubes, but since I ride it, they're off for now.





08-19-2008, 10:17 PM
thats a beauty:D