24" Breeze 5 speed

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sd5782

'Lil Knee Scuffer
I posted previously in the "all things Schwinn" subforum about S-5/6 24" tires, so now posting here in this forum where the whole bike belongs. My son bought this for his height and athleticism challenged girlfriend. Worse yet, she needs both feet on the ground at a stop while sitting on the seat. At least this will get her some exercise. Bike was purchased at my local co-op for $25 and seemed complete, neglected, and deteriorating.

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Teardown went fairly well and bearings and such were good. A bit of rust. Tires, tubes, and wheels were a bit of a challenge.

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One pedal was bent, and the stock seat while in nice shape looked very uncomfortable. I got it rideable and took a little spin, and everything worked. I was amazed however at the return springs on the stock GT120 Shimano rear derailleur. One had to keep the shifter tension really cranked down. Also of note is the gear ratios with the stock 5 speed. It would seem that only first and second would be used by her, or even by the original intended audience. The gear calculators show 5th gear returning over 20mph.

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So, that is pretty much stock and where I am at. I think some changes are in order. I have a Suntour 7 RD that should work. I also plan to see if a 39 tooth front sprocket from the 10 speeds has the same mounting setup. That may not look as good, but the gearing would be more practical. Interesting project either way,
 

Arnold Ziffel

Look Ma, No Hands!
sd :
I don't think you have a grasp on just what gearing that your 1976 (24 wheel-547mm) "small" Deluxe Breeze has!
I find this all too often with well meaning folks that just have the "wrong information" and then blindly go by their seat of their pants and choose something that is not what they thought it would be. Yeah, they realize after they build and ride it but hey it is super-simple math and with some simple calculations for GEAR chart, YOU WILL KNOW WHAT I MEAN, BECAUSE THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE AND ARE COMPAREABLE AMONG BIKES.

Okay, I vaguely recall that your type of 24 wheel size FIVE SPEED Breeze became first available in 1975, and was in the Schwinn line-up for 1975 model year and for the 1976 model year.
I do not remember if this special 24 wheel sized FIVE SPEED used the Model F freewheel of the Varsity/10sp Suburban/Continental/1964-1969 Collegiate..............-OR- the Model J freewheel of the 1970-1977 Collegiate and 5 Speed Suburban.

Not being sure, I have calculated a GEAR chart for both.

Model F-------------14-----------16-------------20-------------24---------------28...................................................................................
(46t, 24")------------79-----------69-------------55-------------46---------------39...................................................................................


Model J--------------14-----------17-------------21-------------26---------------32...................................................................................
(46t, 24")-------------79-----------65-------------53-------------42---------------35..................................................................................


FOR COMPARISON:
VARSITY/10spSUBURBAN/CONTINENTAL
Model F--------------14------------16-------------20--------------24---------------28..................................................................................
39t---------------------75------------66-------------53--------------44---------------38..................................................................................
52t--------------------100------------88-------------70---------------58--------------50..................................................................................


SUBURBAN 5 Speed
Model J---------------14-------------17-------------21--------------26---------------32..................................................................................
46t, 27")--------------89-------------73-------------59--------------48---------------39..................................................................................


1970 through 1977 COLLEGIATE 5 Speed (has Model J )-------------------....................................................................................
46t,26")---------------85-------------70--------------57-------------46----------------37..................................................................................



*******As You Can See From These GEAR CHARTS that the 1970 and later COLLEGIATE 5 Speed HAS A SUPERIOR HILL CLIMBING ABILITY THAN THE TEN SPEED VARSITY-CONTINENTAL-and 10spSuburban!!!!
The Seventies era COLLEGIATE 5 Speed also has a better HILL CLIMBING ABILITY than the Suburban 5 Speed due to the smaller 597mm-26 inch wheels of the Collegiate versus the 630mm-27 inch wheels of the Suburban.
YES, it isn't much of a great advantage that the Seventies Collegiate has over the VARSITY/CONTINENTAL ten speeds, but 37 GEAR is slightly better than 38 GEAR for climbing a steep hill!!! THE 1964-1969 COLLEGIATE IS FAR LESS DESIREABLE BECAUSE it has the Model F freewheel of the Varsity........with the 28 tooth first gear cog It gives Only about a 45 GEAR versus the 1970 & later Collegiate with the 32 tooth first gear cog which gives about a 37 GEAR................that makes a huge difference in rideability. Why didn't they do this earlier? Well the European derailleurs were not capable of reliably shifting anything with 30 teeth or above. Shimano(japanese) could and the 1970 Collegiate 5 speed and the 1970 Suburban 5 speed were Schwinn's first bicycles with Shimano built rear derailleurs. The Huret Allvit of the sixties Collegiates and sixties & seventies Varsities/Continentals could not shift anything greater than 28.

People are often shocked when you explain to them that the SEVENTIES era 5 speed COLLEGIATE in factory form is slightly better than the VARSITY and CONTINENTAL ten speed for LOW GEAR HILL CLIMBING ABILITY!


I suggest that you re-think your decision to try using a different front crank sprocket, at least until you do the MATH and analyze the GEAR charts. Your gear calculation from some online gear calculator is plain wrong or you have inputted incorrect data or have made assumptions that are not realistic with respect to how fast of a cadence that one can pedal. The GEAR Charts seem to indicate that Schwinn knew what they were doing in developing very useable, rideable gearing. I suggest that you do nothing until you gain a clue and fully understand the GEAR chart computations and what effect any potential changes may have. I am not saying don't make any changes, as changes could be beneficial or detrimental, but at this point I don't think you have a clue yet. Once you know, then maybe GO, but until then KNOW before you say GO!!
IF YOUR 24" 547mm wheeled '75-'76 era (yours is a 1976 model as serial # EM 510985 indicates May 1976)
IF YOUR 24" 547mm wheeled Breeze has the Model J with 32 teeth 1st gear cog, then YOU ALREADY HAVE A FIRST GEAR WHICH IS SUPERIOR TO THE Seventies Collegiate, as well as the Varsity and Continental.
IF YOUR 24" 547 wheeled BREEZE has the Model F with 28 teeth 1st gear cog, then YOU ARE STILL VERY CLOSE TO THE VARSITY/CONTINENTAL/Suburban10speed ......and closer to the SUBURBAN 5 speed.
See the GEAR NUMBERS above, they calculate to 34.50 with the Model J with 32 cog and calculate to 39.43 with the Model F with 28 cog..................both 34.50 and 39.43 were rounded to the nearest number in the charts above.


Math is ultra-simple
Numerator is FRONT crank SPROCKET
Denominator is REAR SPROCKET

so you divide the FRONT SPROCKET by the REAR SPROCKET = result

TAKE result AND MULTIPLY BY wheel size = GEAR


....you can then if you wish, Multiply that GEAR number times Pi = inches travelled with each revolution of pedals

remember that Pi is 3.14

So GEAR number X 3.14 = inches travelled with each turn of the pedals

You can take that inches ----AND DIVIDE by 12 to get the amount in feet.
 

sd5782

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Freewheel on this bike is the F3 with 14-28 tooth sprockets. Playing around with gears, freewheel, sprockets and gearing is one of my obsessions when acquiring a new ride.

There is an online calculator I use all the time where one plugs in gears and actual rear wheel circumference. The results are reliable and translate to actual riding.

On the Breeze the calculations matched yours with about a 39-78 gear inch range with the 46 tooth front sprocket. That also returns 20 mph in top gear which this young lady will never do. Low gear also was over 10 mph which would rule out any hills. Remember, I mentioned this lady was not athletic. First and second gears would be all she would ever use which is not ideal, and leaves no easier gear for inclines.

Switching out the freewheel to a 14-32 was my first inclination but I don’t have the fairly rare F3 removal tool, so I plugged the numbers in for the 39 front sprocket which I have, and got 33-66 gear inches. Basically gears 1, 2, 3, 4, became 2, 3, 4, 5, and the low gear was added.

I put on the nice shifting Suntour I had, actually it is a Suntour Hero and the front 39 sprocket and that was just what I wanted. Easy swap. Second and third will be her cruising gears and first for any inclines. She may go into 4th or fifth on downhills but I doubt it. I was really quite surprised at the useful transformation.

The 39-78 gear inches might have been okay for a boys bike with aggressive riders, but not for the girls. I found the same thing on a 3 speed 26” Breeze and switched out the rear to a 20 or 21 tooth so as to have 2nd as the normal gear. I have all the old parts so nothing is irreversible, and it was an easy swap on the 24” bike.
 

Arnold Ziffel

Look Ma, No Hands!
Good to know that you do know.
I still think that your pedal cadence assumptions are Too Optimistic.
I know it does sound like splitting hairs here but it is actually really relevant.
Here is why:
PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, A STRONG YOUNG ATHLETE WOULD HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME IN ACHIEVING 20 MPH ON YOUR 5 speed limited-edition 24" wheeled Breeze.
As one can plainly see, that the potential top speed that one could hope to achieve on this 24" wheeled Breeze is going to be significantly less than that of say the 5 speed SUBURBANS or the 5 speed COLLEGIATES, and way way way below what one could realistically achieve on a VARSITY/CONTINENTAL/10spSUBURBAN.

Now without getting into an in depth discussion on the merits of "spinning" versus "mashing" and vice-versa and how they contribute to achieving fairly the same goal in rider's speed only through different cadences (personal style of pedalling..).
You go out and try and find someone that can pedal a 24" wheeled BREEZE 5 speed at 20 mph on level ground. You won't!
If they can, they are likely someone who is a tri-athlon competitor.
I am saying that realistically you are looking at perhaps the 15.5 mph to 17.3 mph range TOPS depending on the fitness and athletic strength of the rider. One will certainly not be able to maintain an average speed of 12 mph to 13 mph with such a bicycle in its factory original form. Sure, with a big enough hill to go down, and yes, you will exceed 30 mph unless you judiciously apply some braking.

I'm simply saying that the online calculators are great for what they can easily do, but they are not perfect and are flawed, just as the age-old caveman approach of the simple math of calculating GEAR number (gear inches) is not perfect and flawed.
Assumptions are made. Garbage in and garbage out is the norm IF THOSE ASSUMPTIONS ARE OUTTA-WACK & UNREALISTIC.

I know that you do understand this fully but for those that perhaps now or in the future who stumble across this posting as a resource for seeking information on their project bicycle, may better understand that calculations and math are really relevant towards comparing potential changes. Certainly, someone with say a single speed, 55 pound beach cruiser, finds it perhaps easy enough to decide whether to change the rear gear cog --or-- the front crank gearwheel, based on relative experience with other bikes, or perhaps their buddies' bicycles. You do need to consider that a near 40 pound, 24" steel wheel, Breeze 5 speed is not going to be directly compareable to say even a heavy 28 pound to 30 pound derailleur equipped tourist type or road-bike from any of the past fifty years. I am saying that failure to take that into consideration really skews your online calculations because realistically that someone cannot maintain the pedal cadence that you assume for the rider of that old Schwinn. Theoretically, if one could, while pedalling such an old heavy Schwinn like yours, then the degree of accuracy from the online calculator would be great but because it is far too unrealistic, your calculator gives you garbage that is too optimistic and unachievable, and if you rely on said info, you'd be using perhaps numbers that are not the best. It would be far better to use a more conservative and realistic pedal cadence that is actually achievable on such an old heavy Schwinn bicycle, to provide more useful and accurate numbers. Don't care about what pedal cadence that you may be able to achieve on your 22 pound bicycle with very lightweight wheels. You will not be able to maintain such a high "spinning rate" of the pedals on such an old heavy Schwinn. That is not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It just showcases the real-world differences that one cannot simply overlook. They are very good bicycles, but distinctly different animals in how they perform. You do need to be realistic when comparing the different animals, because like the old saying of comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges certainly applies with vastly different bicycles.

Hey, again on the GEAR number (gear inches) computations, previously mentioned:
For 700C (622mm) wheels, ONE SHOULD USE (27) FOR THEIR COMPUTATION AND TREAT THEM AS IF THEY WERE TWENTY-SEVEN INCH WHEELS. Why? Because (622mm) is close enough to 27" (630mm).
You can see that there are other assumptions that must be made to keep things Simple and easy:
Everything from (597mm) (590mm), 650, 650a, 650b, 650c sizes etc, and ( 559mm) ancient cruiser--mtn bike wheels ARE ALL CONSIDERED TWENTY-SIX (26) to keep things Simple and Easy, and it generally is entirely compareable when directly comparing the same, and not too outta-wack when comparing something that falls into that (26) category.
Heck, yes, now production tire circumference differences and shape of road contact tread patch of the tire can have a significant effect on a bicycle's potential top-speed too, but for practical and realistic purposes this really only becomes a significant factor on bicycles which are already very capable machines and less likely to impact such an old ordinary sedate bicycle.

The online gear calculators are great but do remember that they rely on realistic accurate input.
It is just one of many and all are fairly decent when fed reliable and applicable information.
 

sd5782

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Points well taken, especially about cadence. The calculators as you suggest are a guide and starting point. The one I like is gear calculator. com I believe. That one allows input for cadence too.

My starting point was a ride around the block myself. I am 64 and in moderate shape. The stock gearing was only “casual” in first and second for me. The non athletic young lady would certainly have some difficulty too.

My experience is that novice and out of shape riders are usually more interested in a gear that takes less leg muscle in most situations. That is why some out of shape newbies are like that; they don’t want to use those muscles. They certainly don’t want to mash a higher gear at 50 rpm when they can casually pedal an easier gear at 70 rpm. Look at all the novices one sees riding around on mountain bikes spinning like crazy and going super slow.

As I said, gearing is kind of an obsession with me. I will let her try it and report back. On another point, I was quite disappointed with the stock Shimano 120 on this bike. It reminded me of a Huret on my old Super Sports.
 

Arnold Ziffel

Look Ma, No Hands!
You are 100% correct on that because riding should be comfortable and fun.
I want to apologize for my prior posts, as I can certainly see that you do know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it and that each and every step is completely logical and based on mathematical computations.
The 20 mph expected top speed figure in 5th didn't seem realistic to me and thus I did initially wrongly assume that you perhaps were not sure about everything. You do know exactly what you are doing and you do completely grasp the knowledge and importance in choosing the most useable & suitable gear range, when one chooses to deviate from the stock set up.
Your decision to go with the lower thirties Gear number (~33) for significant Hill Climbing ability in 1st gear(low gear) is a good choice (the 39T front crankwheel VERSUS the 46T front crankwheel. Fast cruising speed is not a factor and the practicality of having a significantly better LOW gear(1st gear) for tackling hills, as well as the other four gears which will see more practical useage now than before you made the change. Comfortable everyday average cruising speed has likely not been significantly impacted at all since that was never an issue under consideration to increase or make it change for greater avg cruising speed.
Logical based decisions as what you have done with crunching the ol' numbers are beneficial as your improved Hill Climbing ability will undoubtedly make for a more comfortable riding experience with very little downside to the needed top end.

As I mentioned before, one of the main factors that make a 1970 and later COLLEGIATE 5 speed so much better than the 1964-1969 COLLEGIATE 5 speed is that the '70 and later has the 14 -- 32 model J freewheel and the sixties era Collegiate has the 14 -- 28 model F freewheel. THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN RIDEABILITY WITH THE HILL CLIMBING ABILITY FROM THE 1970 and later Collegiate, and yet all the top end potential that anyone can make use of is still there if you want it/or need it.

Never overlook the Seventies era COLLEGIATE 5 speeds or the Seventies era SUBURBAN 5 speeds as they came equipped with the 14 -- 32 model J freewheel. Varsity/10sp Suburban/Continental only had the Model F with 14 -- 28.
The SUPER SPORT did also have 14 -- 32 in the Seventies.
Just throwing this out there for some of you to ponder:
For example if you wanted to convert your old VARSITY/10sp Suburban/CONTINENTAL to just 5 speed configuration, but retaining the 14 -- 28 Model F freewheel, IN ORDER TO COME SOMEWHAT CLOSE but not as good, TO THE LOW GEAR(1st gear) OF THE SUBURBAN 5 SPEED, YOU'D HAVE TO TRY AND USE a 42T Front Crankwheel.........that 42T crankwheel would still only give you 41 GEAR (1st gear LOW gear) with the stock 14 -28 freewheel of the ten speeds.
Remember that the 5 speed SUBURBAN and seventies era 5 speed COLLEGIATE have the 14 -32 freewheel.
Thus back to this example of a converted Varsity/Conti/10sp Sub into a FIVE Speed with a choice of 42T front crankwheel.
The 5 speed SUBURBAN has a 39 GEAR (1st gear LOW gear) versus 41 GEAR of a single 42T converted 10 speed.
Why choose 42 T instead of the clover, mag, or sweetheart 46T? BECAUSE YOU NEED A DECENT LOW GEAR IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY HILLS WHERE YOU MIGHT LIVE OR RIDE! In Florida or somewhere flat, it wouldn't matter so much.
--------------------------------14-------16-------20---------24---------28....................(model F)...................................................................
42T 27"(630mm)----------81-------71-------57---------47---------41.......................................................................................................


--------------------------------14--------17-------21--------26----------32....................(model J)....stock Suburban 5 Speed........................
46T 27"(630mm)----------89--------73-------59--------48----------39......................................................................................................


Now remember that the top graph is for Converted to 5 speed, from ten speed.....42T chosen based on balance of LOW & TOP end.


Here is what you'd have if you simply just converted to a 5 speed from ten by simply only using the smaller 39T front wheel
--------------------------------14---------16--------20--------24---------28...................(model F) ...................................................................
39T 27"(630mm)---------75---------66--------53--------44---------38......................................................................................................


AS YOU CAN SEE IF YOU WERE TO SIMPLY CONVERT THE 10speed TO 5speed BY USING ONLY SMALL FRONT 39T, YOU WOULD LOSE SIGNIFICANT TOP SPEED POTENTIAL.
Choosing the 42T aftermkt Front crankCHAINwheel for an Ashtabula one-piece style crank will likely be a somewhat better compromise UNLESS HILLS IN YOUR AREA ARE SIGNIFICANT.
Perhaps it would be better if you swapped to a Model J (14 --32 ) freewheel from seventies era Collegiate or 5 speed SUB
You are not limited to doing that or swapping the rear wheel of a 5 speed SUBURBAN which does the same thing...
You do have other available seventies era freewheels which offered something like 14 -- 30, 14 -- 34 and 14 -32 or maybe with 13 instead of 14 at the high.
YOU DO SEE THAT YOU HAVE AVAILABLE CHOICES AND YOU HAVE BOTH THE ABILITY TO change both the front & rear, or just one or the other, or none if you wish to keep it the same.
Sd certainly understands how this relates, as he mentioned possibly considering a freewheel swap.
What I simply would like is that everyone that even casually runs across and reads this thread, to have perhaps just a little more understanding of the very simple mathematical computation of GEAR numbers and what they are and how they can be used in a meaningful way to both compare similar bicycles and to help anyone tailor a particular bicycle to their needs such that it would provide a more fun and pleasureable riding experience.

I do apologize for going on and on, and possibly coming off as a jack-ass, though that was never my intent. Perhaps just a tiny bit of some of this info is helpful to someone perhaps now or in the future when working on some project bicycle.
I sincerely believe that many folks seemingly want to tinker and modify without any basics to guide them and they end up causing problems that did not exist previously. It is one way to learn if your alma mater is Hard Knocks University.
I have seen it often and recently with bike riding pals and others I've just met while riding. Some of these folks have new modern expensive super lightweight road bikes that they spent more than five grand on and they are tinkering with changing gearing but they haven't got a clue.......essentially they are part swapping without really knowing the basis of how or why or what such a change might do........yeah they do realize that after riding said bike for a good number of miles.. One can certainly argue that they are having fun and learning something at the same time, but I'd not mess with a good thing unless I definitely knew how to proceed to actually improve or fine tune the gearing. Learn and experiment all that you want on something other than your primo primary ride, so you can have a pleasurable uneventful nice long ride. Nothing is worse than riding something that just isn't set-up or adjusted properly. Do those shakedown and adjustment rides on those such project bikes close to home with perhaps a few tools in the seat pouch. Don't elevate those bikes to A1-ready 2 ride status until they are.
Enjoy the ride.
 

sd5782

'Lil Knee Scuffer
No worries here Arnold. Your knowledge and info is appreciated. You were also correct on the age of that bike. Catalogs say 75 and 76 only.

And yes, that front 46 tooth sprocket looks nice which got me to thinking of trying the Schwinn 14-32 on this, but the numbers aren’t promising looking. The Suntour rear derailleur I put on could possibly shift it.

Stock gearing with 14-28"……39, 46, 55, 64, 78 gear inches
Stock with 14-32 freewheel…..34, 42, 52, 64, 78 inches
Stock 14-28 and 39T front……33, 39, 46, 55, 66

I hoped the 14-32 would be more interesting looking. The young lady hasn’t ridden the bike yet so she can judge. Is that F3 freewheel French threaded? It has a different freewheel tool than the couple of ones I have that work on most schwinn. Thanks for the info, and I’m sure others appreciate it also.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
No worries here Arnold. Your knowledge and info is appreciated. You were also correct on the age of that bike. Catalogs say 75 and 76 only.

And yes, that front 46 tooth sprocket looks nice which got me to thinking of trying the Schwinn 14-32 on this, but the numbers aren’t promising looking. The Suntour rear derailleur I put on could possibly shift it.

Stock gearing with 14-28"……39, 46, 55, 64, 78 gear inches
Stock with 14-32 freewheel…..34, 42, 52, 64, 78 inches
Stock 14-28 and 39T front……33, 39, 46, 55, 66

I hoped the 14-32 would be more interesting looking. The young lady hasn’t ridden the bike yet so she can judge. Is that F3 freewheel French threaded? It has a different freewheel tool than the couple of ones I have that work on most schwinn. Thanks for the info, and I’m sure others appreciate it also.

Nothing Schwinn used was French threaded even though some parts were made in France.
 
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