1976 Suburban

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Siestabikes

Finally riding a big boys bike
I picked this up about about a month ago. fresh grease, some newish tires and what a ride!

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Arnold Ziffel

Finally riding a big boys bike
That is perhaps the best looking bicycle example of the later day SCHWINN graphics that I have ever seen.
New bikes in the showroom didn't usually look that good!
As long as you or the rider is at least about 5'-10" or perhaps maybe 5'-9" with long legs and seat all the way down..

That 24" frame was the biggest one that was available for SUBURBANS, though the CONTI & VARSITY could be had with larger, gigantic frames during some years in the SEVENTIES.

PERFECT RELIABLE SIMPLICITY WITH A WIDE GEAR RANGE AND A ROLLS-ROYCE LIKE RIDE!!!
The 5 Speed SUBURBAN is a better, more durable bicycle than the CONTINENTAL, VARSITY, or 10speed Suburban.
32 teeth 1st gear beats the 28 teeth 1st gear.......though the 39front (small) and 28 rear on TEN SPEEDS is slightly better with its 38GEAR versus the 39GEAR of the 46front and 32 rear on FIVE SPEED Suburban.
.........................say hooray hoooray for SHIMANO as it is significantly better than Huret Allvit. The Allvit was decent enough though, unlike some other European rear derailleurs.

Frames on the Suburbans are essentially exactly the same as CONTINENTAL, as it has the same tubular front fork.
The SUBURBAN is the VARSITY with the TUBULAR FRONT FORK of the CONTINENTAL, although the SUBURBAN has the exact same L.S. 2.4 Weinmann Side Pull Brakes as the VARSITY while the CONTINENTAL has Center Pull Brakes.
Obviously, the CONTI. has alloy handlebars and stem, where the Suburban has heavy steel like seventies era Varsity except that the SUBURBAN has the 7881 model Tourist handlebars and Weinmann tourist levers.
Oh yeah, the FIVE SPEED Suburban has that tiny little "nub eye" at the "vee" at the top of the bottom bracket(hanger set) housing, for mounting the traditional full chainguard.
But if you've got a project bike or several parts bike Schwinn frames, etc, from electroforged heavy "lightweight" Schwinn bikes whether 10sp, 5sp, 3sp, or single speed, in either step-through(women's) or diamond (men's) Frames, you can easily build a 5 SPEED, or a more modern 7 speed, with either original Schwinn 597mm (26") S5/S6 wheels or newer-new-late model donor 700C (622mm) wheels with 7 speed, or original 630mm (27) 27 x 1 1/4 wheels.
You are NOT limited to only using the 46 T Clover, MAG, or aftmkt Sweetheart 46T front chainwheel. YOU CAN USE MOST ANY crankChainwheel that fits any ashtabula style one-piece crank with any number of teeth from thirties to fifties BUT REMEMBER TO DO THE MATH TO BE CERTAIN THAT SUCH A COMBINATION WILL BE BEST FOR YOUR RIDING NEEDS.
Heck don't worry if your best project frame was of TEN SPEED origin Because It Is Extremely Simple to MacGyver a small eyebolt or something similar to the bottom bracket (hanger set) housing in order to utilize a stock Schwinn full chainguard.

REMEMBER: the 1966 and later SCHWINN frames are Significantly Better than 1965 and earlier because of the stronger, thicker walled headtube. 66 and up requires 21.1 mm diameter stems.................'65 and earlier requires 22.2mm diameter stem.
Unless you weigh more than 250 pounds and intend to ride spiritedly downhill on roads at 20 MPH or above, then you have zero issues with the '65 and earlier frames UNLESS it has significant Rust. If you are going to load the bike as in carrying stuff and gear or are going to ride fast down hills where you might hit a bump or tiny pot hole or irregular rough road surfaces, then you should opt for the 66 and later frames as they are much smoother and have better steering control due to the fact that the thicker walled head tube is far less likely to vibrate and shimmy under extreme conditions. If you'll never encounter "extreme conditions" then it makes zero difference because a 65 and earlier will be fine unless significantly rusty.

SUBURBAN 5 SPEEDS and 1970 onward COLLEGIATE 5 SPEEDS are the best all-around "lightweight" heavy electroforged bicycles that SCHWINN ever made.
1977 marks the FFS introduction, but from the 1970 model introduction of the SUBURBAN through the 1976 model year, you have perhaps among the most durable, best slow riding, super comfortable, upright tourist type bicycles ever made in the 1970 - 1976 SUBURBAN 5 speeds and the 1970 - 1977 COLLEGIATE 5 speeds.
The '70 and '71 Suburban 3 speed is good for a three speed (1970 & 1971 only) but the 5 SPEED has wide gearing that is more practical and nearly as wide as the 10 speed, and the 5 speed is a much much more durable, better bike than the 10 speed because of lack of front derailleur and better Japanese freewheel and rear derailleur versus French.

I own a number of Seventies era Suburban 5 speeds and 1970 - 1976 Collegiate 5 speeds.
I ride twice a week with a group of serious tennis players, half marathon competitors, old ex- collegiate swimmers and modern day triathlon competitors in a group known as the Vintage Schwinn Riders Group. We all have golf shirts and I have windbreakers and tennis warm up jacket, and golf bag towel that has this design that I did just for heck of it, some years ago. It is simply the classic late 1960's and 1970's white oval headbadge placed on the LEFT CHEST with a really cool font letting that makes the word Vintage above the oval headbadge, and a really cool looking font lettering making the words Riders Group below the oval headbadge.
Initially I did these on all black golf shirts. Over the years I've done most solid colors and most of the varied bright colors were on the women's polo-golf blouses that they wanted, and some Tees and other stuff. I don't do the actual shirt printing. Like for other unrelated projects, I simply designed it and paid a professional firm that I've used for other unrelated projects but with logos and printed gear and apparel. I like using them because I bring them new specific brand and type shirts and blouses etc because my friends and I don't want stuff that looks shabby or deteriorates quickly. So yeah, it is fairly simple to do the same kind of thing for yourself or group locally in your town....... you only need someone that is a professional that does that stuff, whether or not that they have 25 employees and over a million in plant/property/equipment and $10k per month lease or just one person working out of their garage.
The key to it is to find QUALITY shirts that look good, fit good, and stay nice and don't pill or deteriorate quickly.........RETAIL COST is NOT necessarily an indicator of what is or is not a better garment. No joke: "the GEORGE wallyworld cambodia made 58% Cotton/39% Polyester/3% Spandex TWO BUTTON mens Golf shirts that Walmart stores carried in 2017, 2018, and 2019 were among the best shirts and these were super inexpensive.....though you had to inspect the batch at the Walmart store to find only ones with perfect uniform stitching and uniform spacing of button holes and perfect collar.......Wallyworld had solid black, navy blue with thin white banding around the very end of perimeter of both the collar and sleeves, and also a burgandy with the same thin white banding, as well as a black shirt with that same thin white banding.......anyway those are just a few really inexpensive ones that turned out great.
We aren't complete nerds so we don't all wear the VSRG shirts on our rides.......the initial idea was to wear these just elsewhere but I wore one in a sprint triathlon competition and that summer while competing in the city amateur golf tournament. I wore one while doing a Bikes & Beers ride in another city on a 5 speed Kool Lemon '72 Collegiate with a License plate tag behind the seat that reads 2 COOL 4 U. I had a lot of fun ribbing a large number of others by saying I am twice your age on a bike that weighs twice as much as yours, and has only five speeds, where yours has 21 and you can't get up this hill and I'm having no problems at all. Lets say that a lot of folks came and said hello and wanted to talk about the old Schwinn after the ride.
I typically ride either a 21" Green Women's '72 FIVE SPEED SUBURBAN or a yellow '72 Collegiate on the 22 to 25 mile road ride that our group tries to do twice a week on roads, not paths, though the roads we do ride, make up about a six mile loop through a park with relatively light automobile traffic and 20 mph automobile speed limit. It takes us about 2 hours, maybe a little less to do twenty something miles. Yes, I can do it alot faster on my competition race bike but the whole point of this is just to have fun riding where everybody can have fun. Too many people forget that. I doubt that Mario Andretti or Richard Petty drive to the grocery store at 160 mph..........possibly Richard on the Interstate in NC, as about 25 years ago, I seem to vaguely recall a story that probably is total fiction saying that he nudged someone's bumper in the left lane because they weren't going fast enough and folks reported that the slow-poke blocking the left lane was only doing 89 mph.
Get out and enjoy riding your beautiful classic old Schwinn. Don't ever give it a thought about what others might think about riding something so heavy or old. If the pace isn't hurried, you can ride almost anything with gears and still really enjoy the ride. The SUBURBAN 5 SPEED is much more capable than most folks realize. You own a beautiful great example that looks as if it came directly out of Ziggy's time machine(the Quantum Leap tv show from years ago).
 
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