39-41 Sears Collegiate: My First Project!

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alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
[tl;dr: I got an old bicycle and intend on fixing it up. This will be proof.]

I am very excited to get started on this one. If anyone has seen my threads looking for a wartime/prewar bike, you'll know that I have been looking for a bike like this for a long time. In Colorado, these bikes seldom come up on Craigslist, and when they do, they're usually priced up the wazoo. My need for an older bike like this came from a want to have a bicycle I could ride from class to class at my University. I needed the bike to look crusty so the layman wouldn't see it as a valuable bike, but had the old age, rustic, bada$$ aesthetic I have come to love. This bicycle, usually made for Sears by Elgin, Murray, or Westfield, were sold as an entry level, cheaper bicycle (if my research was correct). They commonly were sold with put all of the "bells and whistles". However, I can see that mine has strap-marks on the top tube, indicating that at one point it had the tank. I paid $150, which I believe was a fair price. I usually only go for good deals like the '41 Westfield I got for $175, but the looming summer class with the envy of other bicyclists around campus, I stepped up to the plate. The fact that the bicycle is dubbed the "Collegiate", also seems serendipitous. I had to have it.

The owner was kind enough to throw in a Mesinger saddle along with the original, because there was a braze spot on the bar of the original. I personally like the crash tabs and style of the Mesinger, so for riding-sake, I plan on keeping it on. The bike is not without it's blemishes. There is some cheap red primer someone sprayed the rims and spokes of the wheels with and someone, I suspect, tried to repaint the darts on the frame. Aside from this, the bike seems to be just fine. There are no dents to the frame, the fork and seat stay are straight, and the wheels spin true-enough.

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I intend on keeping this bicycle's character, removing the rust and amateur layers of paint over it. With any hope, there will still be some of the original paint on the rims. If not, I do like the maroon color and will probably choose to paint them in a similar fashion. I'll go through the internals and clean out the old grease and repack it with the good stuff. I'll reupholster the saddle with some scrap leather and foam. After I throw some NOS grips on it, it should be a great fenderless rider until I can get some period correct parts like the fenders, a rack, dropstand, etc. As always, help will be greatly appreciated.

Does anyone know the year?

Here's the thread for the parts I'm on the lookout for...
https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/l...lgin-collegiate-parts-or-suitable-fit.130467/
 

alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
Schwalbe 26" x 2.30" Fat Franks showed up in the mail today. I got repro grips on the way and the correct chainguard thanks to @THEGOLDENGREEK . I got some Bontrager 26 x 2.00-2.40 Standard Tubes as replacements for the old tubes. Hopefully I can start getting this thing disassembled tonight so I can strip the primer off the rims tomorrow and see what I'm dealing with...

Any tips for a first timer in taking apart the bike?

Also, the front tire spins fairly true, while the back is slightly off. Some spokes are bent/loose. Can I simply tighten those awnry spokes and periodically spin the wheel to make sure its trued? Or do I have to replace those spokes?

Any help is appreciated...

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alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
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Got it disassembled tonight in preparation for cleaning up the frame tomorrow. Got the bearings, washers and chain soaking in cab cleaner to remove the oils and grease before soaking it in rust remover. Can someone tell me the proper (or recommended) oil and grease people use in these older bikes? Cheers! Expect an update soon.
 

Scribble

Wore out three sets of tires already!
View attachment 804954

Got it disassembled tonight in preparation for cleaning up the frame tomorrow. Got the bearings, washers and chain soaking in cab cleaner to remove the oils and grease before soaking it in rust remover. Can someone tell me the proper (or recommended) oil and grease people use in these older bikes? Cheers! Expect an update soon.

If you want to use oil to preserve the Finish, putting a coat of boiled linseed oil on the paint will sure brighten it up a little bit and protect it from further corrosion.

As for repacking the bearings. I'd recommend going with a dedicated bearing Grease, Park Tool makes a specific bicycle grease which isn't as thick as the stuff you can get from an auto parts store. But any ball bearing grease will work, I wouldn't recommend using anything lighter than ball bearing Grease when rebuilding these old bikes.
 

3-speeder

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Cool looking bike man. Glad you found something you like. Should be a lot of fun. Enjoy the rebuild and then ride the hell out of it!
 

alecburns

Finally riding a big boys bike
On the back rim there are a few spokes that are loose/ slightly bent. I think it's what's making the back wheel not real true. Can it help if I tighten those to straighten them and put just a little but of tension? I was thinking of tightening and testing its effect by spinning it while installed and see if it trues. If that makes sense?
 

3-speeder

Wore out three sets of tires already!
On the back rim there are a few spokes that are loose/ slightly bent. I think it's what's making the back wheel not real true. Can it help if I tighten those to straighten them and put just a little but of tension? I was thinking of tightening and testing its effect by spinning it while installed and see if it trues. If that makes sense?
Tightening the loose spokes is a good idea. It might only start to get it true though. Use the "Search Forums" tab at the top of the page here for helpful links, etc. Basically tightening will pull the rim the direction you want it to go but sometimes you'll want to loosen the opposite side for the same effect.

I've been told that this is a good video on wheel trueing:
 
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