1948 Schwinn Continental - Ladies Step thru - 3 Speed SA - Maroon

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rennfaron

Wore out three sets of tires already!
This one came out of the Denver area. The condition looked so nice that I figured I would bring it home. A woman had purchased it from the original owner (I think) and I assume wanted that vintage looking bike to pedal around town on but I think it ended up being more complicated to get it going than she planned for and turned it loose. Special thanks to @palepainter and @Mr. Monkeyarms for helping get the bike here (and @Mike Rosseau on backup help).

I cleaned it up quite a bit but the paint could use some more work. The condition overall is pretty amazing and it looks to have had not much use over the years (or delicate use - somewhat typical of ladies bikes). Most of the bolts/screws/nuts have almost no marks of use. One of the previous owners was a little heavy handed cleaning the decals and scrubbed some of the details away. They still look pretty good.

Overview
  • The paint still looks great and with some more polishing would really make it pop. A lot of areas are done but I kind of stopped around the decals. With how great the paint looks I am surprised the decals aren't in better condition, but that might be because of the previous owner's attempt to clean it up... The head badge is one of the nicer ones I have seen with paint infills still in perfect condition.
  • Bars are the typical gull wing style of these tourist Schwinns. The original owner had put cork grips on were glued on with with what looked to be...expanding insulating foam... It was a pain to remove and the foam had bubbled up all some parts of the brake levers and dripped down on the wheels. It also filled the ends of the handlebars as they pushed the grips. I had a set of original grips that would have been on these contis and put them on.
  • It has a very nice condition double adjustable neck. The stem expander and binder bolts barely shows any marks of use.
  • Somewhat uncommon Sturmey Archer GC2 model 3 speed shifter. From what I know about them the GC2 model was first introduced in 1948 and this version ran until '49. They were the second iteration of 3 speed shifter by SA. There was another version of this face plate design in black. The condition of this one is in top notch condition.
  • Brake levers are typical of the Schwinns during this time. They still have the cloth braided housings in pretty good condition.
  • Crank is 3 piece and typical of the contis of the time. All the grease in the front hub, head set and the BB looked to be somewhat new so I wonder if one of the previous owners tuned up before they sold it.
  • Pedals are Torrington No. 7 in really nice condition. The catalog for these says: "This model answers these requires (Lightness Without Impairing Durability) for such a pedal on Light-Weight bicycles where the rider's feet are usually dressed in everyday shoes and the pedals, therefore, should have rubber treads. A Light but Strong combination rubber tread pedal built on a racing type rat-trap frame and axle assembly.
  • Saddle is a 4502 Continental Mattress Tourist saddle. This one I replaced with one I had. The original one is in really nice condition but somehow the top shrank in size and has pulled away from the frame underneath.
  • The tires on this look period correct and most likely the originals. If so the rubber is still extremely soft.
  • Rims are an early Schwinn Tubular S-6 with dimped knurling down the center.
  • Rear hub is Sturmey Archer stamped 48 / 3. Front hub is Schwinn script.
  • Serial is U69702. It is machine stamped and I couldn't get a great shot of it with how thick the paint is. It is very faint.
  • Still need to put the chain back on...
Enjoy!

Some other bikes I have posted:
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
I'm floored once again! Spectacular example and those S-6's are killer. Where's @Oilit ? One little detail I noticed is the two rivets for the rear chain guard bracket. Only seen that on some 1956 Corvettes when they changed the location of maybe the welded on front mounting tab moving the guard forward. One rivet was used to cover the pre-stamped hole that wasn't used. And I have to say that piece was ridden and not just trips to church on Sunday. The chain ring tells me the original owner used this but took very good care of it.
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
It has those kind of goofy, eccentric grips the Continentals used. They're quite valuable and rare if they are totally intact. They love to develop cracks around the lower mouth and at the lower seam because it's thinner there. They're not really rare as a general thing, but I do indeed consider them rare if they're in really good shape, especially the bottoms of the grips.

I guess they were trying to copy English John Bull or Constrictor type grips(?). I actually like the standard, finger-groove Schwinn grips better.

As everyone has said, that bike is in really good shape. I'm kind of surprised it doesn't have Stainless S6 rims, but you could buy these bikes with almost whatever equipment you wanted.

The shifter is a short-lived thing. Schwinn used it, from what I have seen in the 1948-50 period, with most of the bikes being 1949. I have lots of Sturmey shifters in my collection, but only one good example of that type because they're hard to find.
 

rennfaron

Wore out three sets of tires already!
It has those kind of goofy, eccentric grips the Continentals used. They're quite valuable and rare if they are totally intact. They love to develop cracks around the lower mouth and at the lower seam because it's thinner there. They're not really rare as a general thing, but I do indeed consider them rare if they're in really good shape, especially the bottoms of the grips.

I guess they were trying to copy English John Bull or Constrictor type grips(?). I actually like the standard, finger-groove Schwinn grips better.
When you hold onto them it is a whole different feel than any of the other Schwinn grips I have felt. They are very large compared to other Schwinn grips. They actually feel pretty comfortable to hold onto but you never really feel like you have a solid grip on them as much as you just feel like your hands are firmly resting on them.

They pop up from time to time and usually sell for a good amount. There was a period last year where quite a few popped up and I snagged these to go on another bike but ended up not tackling that bike so here they are.

You are absolutely right about the splitting. These actually have a small amount of splitting that I need to repair to mitigate further splitting.
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Those grips were also spec’d on the Town and Country type tandem, so they are somewhat plentiful.
I wouldn’t say rare or common, but you’ll find them from time to time if need be.
Now, the ones that are truly scarce, are the prewar sports tourist type, that were made of a soft compound type sponge rubber.
Those were very shock absorbent and comfortable.
But, they did not last long and were very prone to splitting.
Probably why the switch to the more typical hard rubber compound that was used postwar.
The ultra rare type, is the prewar, brown color sponge rubber type.
I think these were made to compliment the brown glove leather saddle that was used on the sports tourist paramount model.
 
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