'57? Schwinn American? Basket case

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
What year does 6+8 make my forks?

It looks like the original forks were longer?

Assuming that the larger tire on the red bike is 26x2.125, there appears to be almost an inch of added space above the tire on the older forks.
Maybe the blue forks I've got aren't for a middleweight?
I dug around and found another pair but they're nearly identical to those on the bike now, but those are marked 4+5.

View attachment 1380984
Although the mtb tire on mine in this pic is a 2.35", there's a noticeable difference in the fork length.

So as it stands, this bike has the wrong forks, wrong chain guard, and will likely have the wrong wheels if I build it as it sits because with S7 wheels, there may not be enough room to fit the fenders. (The front fender is going to be close).

The more I did into this lot of bikes, the more I think the guy who had all these was just building bikes from spare parts.

I think I need to decide whether to just build up a set of S2 wheels for this and hang a set of chrome fenders, and make the CG I have work and call it a beater or hang it up in the corner and wait for the right parts to show up.


The 6 + 8 on the fork indicates it was forged in June of 1968. I've never measured the length of any fork but I doubt the middleweight forks were different in length over the years. A middleweight would have S-7 rims and if you use an S-2 installing fenders won't work very well unless you use a tire smaller than the 2.125's. Not sure if you got your S's mixed up on the rims. ;) Just another FYI if you are piecing together the bikes. There was a frame geometry change on the cantilever frames between the 58 and 59 models and the rear fenders are not interchangeable unless you modify the top attaching point. If I remember correctly there was a 3/4" difference. So for your 58 frame any middleweight rear fender off a 1958 or earlier model will work.
 

bloo

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Do both your forks have the hole to mount a caliper? If not that may explain the difference in length. The forks without the hole are a whole different forging. The fender bolted directly to the fork rather than hanging on an L bracket.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
The painted fenders match the frame paint, they're wrapped up in brown paper but have no rear middle mount attached, just a hole that falls roughly just ahead of the brake bridge. The chrome fenders are used and have the hole just behind the brake bridge, about 1/4" or so. The painted fenders are 'deeper' and cover more of the tire, the chrome fenders are shallower, more like the newer Typhoon fenders.

If I go looking for the right fork, what should it be marked for a 58 American?

One thing that I don't understand is that if this fork is 1968, shouldn't that make it the same as the fork on my '69 Typhoon? The blue fork is wider and shorter by about 1/2" overall, going on tire clearance between the tread and fender bolt. A couple years ago I bought a pair of newer small brick pattern tires marked 26x2x1 3/4", they're larger than the original Westwind tires and won't clear the fork on this blue bike with fenders. The 559 sized wheels seem to fit better.
The S7 wheel with the newer tires rubs the fender bolt every so slightly.
If you look at the comparison above between my bike with the knobby mtb wheel on it, and the red bike, there's a pretty big difference in clearance above the tire. The difference is roughly the difference between the two wheel sizes. Since there's no caliper needed on this bike, the right wheels size as it sits seems to be 26x2.125 with fenders, there's plenty of room all around for this size, especially since I've already tried the 2.35 mtb tires on it.
With the 2.35 tires. there's more room on both sides and above the tire than there is on any of my 60's era Schwinn middleweights. Those 2.35 tires barely fit in the fork from the 1969 Typhoon, they rub on both sides, 2.125 tires may fit but it would be close. The
The only middleweight forks I've got that have a caliper bolt hole are from a Hollywood, ladies model that had a three speed and dual calipers, with S7 wheels (26x1 3/4"), that bike was newer, the hub was dated 1965 and the forks have. The fork has a code of 2+5.
On this fork, the 2.35 tire clears by about 1/32" on each side, any flex or deflection and it would rub.

What would have had a super wide fork, no caliper bolt, and take a 559 wheel in 65?


1381008

(I just noticed something about this bike, its a Hollywood, dated 1965 in Flamboyant Red, yet they only list Radiant Blue and White with rose in the catalog.
This bike belonged to a neighbor who grew up across the street from me as a kid, she was a few years old and had owned this bike since new. (I bought it years ago and swapped the frame out for a same year Men's Racer frame I found). I used the fork and CG from the Racer.
 

gkeep

I live for the CABE
What year does 6+8 make my forks?

It looks like the original forks were longer?

Assuming that the larger tire on the red bike is 26x2.125, there appears to be almost an inch of added space above the tire on the older forks.
Maybe the blue forks I've got aren't for a middleweight?
I dug around and found another pair but they're nearly identical to those on the bike now, but those are marked 4+5.

View attachment 1380984
Although the mtb tire on mine in this pic is a 2.35", there's a noticeable difference in the fork length.

So as it stands, this bike has the wrong forks, wrong chain guard, and will likely have the wrong wheels if I build it as it sits because with S7 wheels, there may not be enough room to fit the fenders. (The front fender is going to be close).

The more I did into this lot of bikes, the more I think the guy who had all these was just building bikes from spare parts.

I think I need to decide whether to just build up a set of S2 wheels for this and hang a set of chrome fenders, and make the CG I have work and call it a beater or hang it up in the corner and wait for the right parts to show up.
Keep in mind this by bike was found with BMX pedals and straight red longhorn bars, modern rims. No telling if the forks and truss rods are original to the frame.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The painted fenders match the frame paint, they're wrapped up in brown paper but have no rear middle mount attached, just a hole that falls roughly just ahead of the brake bridge. The chrome fenders are used and have the hole just behind the brake bridge, about 1/4" or so. The painted fenders are 'deeper' and cover more of the tire, the chrome fenders are shallower, more like the newer Typhoon fenders.

If I go looking for the right fork, what should it be marked for a 58 American?

One thing that I don't understand is that if this fork is 1968, shouldn't that make it the same as the fork on my '69 Typhoon? The blue fork is wider and shorter by about 1/2" overall, going on tire clearance between the tread and fender bolt. A couple years ago I bought a pair of newer small brick pattern tires marked 26x2x1 3/4", they're larger than the original Westwind tires and won't clear the fork on this blue bike with fenders. The 559 sized wheels seem to fit better.
The S7 wheel with the newer tires rubs the fender bolt every so slightly.
If you look at the comparison above between my bike with the knobby mtb wheel on it, and the red bike, there's a pretty big difference in clearance above the tire. The difference is roughly the difference between the two wheel sizes. Since there's no caliper needed on this bike, the right wheels size as it sits seems to be 26x2.125 with fenders, there's plenty of room all around for this size, especially since I've already tried the 2.35 mtb tires on it.
With the 2.35 tires. there's more room on both sides and above the tire than there is on any of my 60's era Schwinn middleweights. Those 2.35 tires barely fit in the fork from the 1969 Typhoon, they rub on both sides, 2.125 tires may fit but it would be close. The
The only middleweight forks I've got that have a caliper bolt hole are from a Hollywood, ladies model that had a three speed and dual calipers, with S7 wheels (26x1 3/4"), that bike was newer, the hub was dated 1965 and the forks have. The fork has a code of 2+5.
On this fork, the 2.35 tire clears by about 1/32" on each side, any flex or deflection and it would rub.

What would have had a super wide fork, no caliper bolt, and take a 559 wheel in 65?


View attachment 1381008

(I just noticed something about this bike, its a Hollywood, dated 1965 in Flamboyant Red, yet they only list Radiant Blue and White with rose in the catalog.
This bike belonged to a neighbor who grew up across the street from me as a kid, she was a few years old and had owned this bike since new. (I bought it years ago and swapped the frame out for a same year Men's Racer frame I found). I used the fork and CG from the Racer.


There was no such thing as a 65 Hollywood with gears and caliper brakes. Someone here was looking for a girls frame that was set up for caliper brakes in the mid 60's but there was no such animal. I just measured a 1955 Corvette drilled fork and a late 50's Tornado non drilled fork and the length difference from the bottom of the shoulder to the axle slot was only 1/4" difference. If you look at the catalog images for the 1955 thru 1957 American, all had a drilled fork, but that doesn't mean that all the ones made were equipped like that. Also the 57 image did not have the flat rear fender bridge. A 58 fork will have full pin stripes going down the fork legs. These were used thru the 1960 models and a few early 1961's. The small fork darts showed up on the 1961 models. If you have the correct fenders for that American, you'll need to check them and see how the front fender was attached before looking for a fork. If they were attached to a drilled fork then the fenders will have the L bracket for mounting with a bolt. If the fender just has a hole then the fork it was mounted to was not drilled. Also, the date stampings on the forks started in the early 60's and no 50's forks that I've seen had that date stamping. There was also a change on the fork steer tube and the stems in 1966. The steer tube gauge was increased making the hole diameter smaller which in turn made the stem diameter smaller.

Center fork darts were used from 1955 thru 1960. This actual fork is from a 1959 when they were first equipped with a chrome crown.
1381430
 

bloo

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Here is my 1961 Speedster with 26x2x1-3/4 small brick S7 tires.

wectmeg-jpg.jpg


The wheel/tire outer diameter would be larger than 26x2.125 (559) balloons because as Rivnut said, the OD would have been the same with stock s7 26x1-3/4 tires. My forks are non-caliper and measure 3" wide, center to center of the blades, measured at the fork crown. Of course it gets wider at the bottom to fit a standard Schwinn front hub. There is 1/2" clearance between the tire and the underside of the fork with no fender bolt.

Caliper-type forks are longer. I see GTs58 just posted that the difference is 1/4". That's not much but it is hard to miss in pictures once you are looking for it. My "non-drilled" no-caliper fork, does not have the boss to drill, or even enough metal to have a hole there. That is another detail that is hard to miss once you are looking for it.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Keep in mind this by bike was found with BMX pedals and straight red longhorn bars, modern rims. No telling if the forks and truss rods are original to the frame.
After 60 or so years, I suppose most of these bikes have been through a lot, there's often no telling what was changed or modified.

I had a 65 Typhoon as a kid that belonged to a neighbor where I grew up. He had bought that bike brand new to deliver newspapers with. He wanted a Heavy Duti but they didn't have one in stock so the dealer 'converted' a Typhoon. They changed the wheels and handlebars and he ended up with a Typhoon with 105 spokes and knobby tires with wide handlebars. I bought the bike off him when I took over his newspaper route back then.
For a while around here, there were a ton of old Schwinns with 140 spoke wheels and springer forks added. These days they're pretty rare.





If you compare a 1-3/4 x 26 tire on an S7 rim to a 2.125 x 26 tire on an S2 rim, you will find that they have the same diameter and circumference. The only difference is the width.
It seems to depend on the particular tire, the 26x2.35 tires I used for comparison measure 26 1/2" tall, I got a set of Kenda S7 tires that measure only 25 7/8" tall, the new 'small brick' Duro tires are taller, and wider than the original Westwind tires.

With this bike, width isn't an issue, its got a ton of room, but not a lot of room for added diameter.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
The Hollywood's serial number was EA53083, its still hanging on the wall outback. It had S7 rims, a Sturmey Archer AW hub and trigger shifter. I didn't use the rear hub, I swapped it out for an RB2 Bendix. No clue if it was original or something someone made up, it came to me from an estate sale in the 90's. The rear caliper attached with a vertical bolt and a special caliper or adapter.
 
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Rivnut

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I’ve made the “L” shaped fender attachment brackets from some thin sheet metal. Cut to the shape you need, drill a couple of hole in the right places, and pop rivet the bracket to the fender. Almost everything will be hidden under the fork or behind the head of a screw or a washer So no one will see them.
 
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