10/08/1954 Schwinn Collegiate - 19" Ladies Step-through - Bendix Coaster - Blue

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rennfaron

Wore out three sets of tires already!
This is a 1954 Schwinn Collegiate, a one year only, lightweight. The schwinn world, the lowest end model of the lightweights in the early 50s, ran from '50 to '53 and stopped for a year to introduce this collegiate, then the World picked back for one more year and completely stopped to transitions into the racer, which kicked off in 1956 (you do find some '55 year racers because of the Schwinn production schedule ramp up). These aren't worth much, but are very hard to find. I have only come across three examples: this ladies example, another blue ladies, and a men's example on another site (this is the only complete one I have seen). Some unique features on this model: 1) white lightweight peaked fender with red pinstripes (only lightweight I know of to have this color combo); 2) persons saddle, rebadged schwinn (stamped persons on bottom of seat pan); 3) introduction of new fork dart triple vertical lines (also used on late 50s racers), 4) bolt on miller kickstand (prior to this, the world & traveler model were integrated). These came in red, blue, green and black colors. This example is all original, down to the tires (tubes updated). I did add a large battery powered Miller headlight that I have been holding onto for a while, looking for that right bike to stick it on (these bikes didn't come equipped with light kit, but I think it works). I believe it to be a mid to late 50s headlight (it is much larger than your typical miller headlight on lightweights and I have not found any documentation on it).

I worked on this bike for a while... It took a lot of work to get it to this point. I thought it would clean up easier than it did and put up a good fight. The frame paint and fenders were the hardest part to deal with, especially the heavily rusted braces (which now shine). Per all of my overhauls, I took it completely apart and went over everything. One new thing I came across on this build, thanks to info from other members, was the use of Mr. Clean magic erasers and dang do they work well on decals. I was going over them for a long time with a light polish and it wasn't getting it that well and then the magic eraser just got it done quick and easy and they turned bright white. It also works well on paint for taking off rust stains or just getting that top layer of grime / oxidation off. Last thing to do on this bike is put the original chain back on (oh and it looks like a rear reflector came standard on these, so I need to find the correct one and put it on the bike).

Other projects:

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Excelente trabajo! She cleaned up better than I expected and looks great! That Opal Blue is killer.
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Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Thanks for posting it.
I think it's the first of these that I've seen.
Interesting that the downtube decals are like those on my '56 Traveler, but I don't think they were used on the Traveler in '54 or '55(perhaps in '55, but I've never seen one of those).
 

rennfaron

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Excelente trabajo! She cleaned up better than I expected and looks great! That Opal Blue is killer. View attachment 1114040
Thanks Gary! A lot of work on this one..Lots of scrubbing, OA, polishing, scouring pads, etc. Luckily all the pieces were there.
Thanks for posting it.
I think it's the first of these that I've seen.
Interesting that the downtube decals are like those on my '56 Traveler, but I don't think they were used on the Traveler in '54 or '55(perhaps in '55, but I've never seen one of those).
Same here until recently. I mainly got it to preserve it, document it and show it on here for reference.
Yep, same decals, and you are right that it started in '56 on the traveler. I think it is interesting how Schwinn seems to test some design elements on a model prior to a widespread adoption on multiple models (in '58, the deluxe racer was the first model out of the entire Schwinn lineup to receive radiant colors and then in '59 everything switched over). In '55 it looks like the corvette, tiger, american and jaguar picked up the same decals.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Thanks for posting it.
I think it's the first of these that I've seen.
Interesting that the downtube decals are like those on my '56 Traveler, but I don't think they were used on the Traveler in '54 or '55(perhaps in '55, but I've never seen one of those).

I believe those decals were first used on the Balloon Jaguars that debuted in late 1953.
 

rennfaron

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I believe those decals were first used on the Balloon Jaguars that debuted in late 1953.
Oh ya, you're right! Same year as the Collegiate (same catalog year, per images). I was flipping through the catalog and didn't see that sheet. Thanks
 
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kostnerave

Finally riding a big boys bike
Chuck,
I really like the handlebar geometry with those heavy "true rubber" grips. The white fenders with the red pinstripes brighten up the whole bike and really draw your eye to the decal graphics. Thank you for saving this one, it's much rarer than most would think.
Mike
 
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