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Columbia War Time / Victory Bicycle Help Needed

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TequilaMockingbird

Look Ma, No Hands!
Will these work? I need the tubes... I assume I need the rim strips too.
I haven't worked on my own bike in 40+ years...this is exciting.

Key thing to understand is to disregard tire designations like 26 x 1 3/8 and 26 x 1.375 which are not the same size. Stick to the ISO designations which represent the bead seat diameter in millimeters. Stock VG295 rims take 26 x 1.375 tires which are ISO 599 and not available new. The Kenda K23 tires are meant to replace the Schwinn S6 size and are ISO 597 - only 2 mm smaller than your rims are designed to take. You can finesse them onto your rims without much difficulty, but they have two disadvantages: 1. the beads are much smaller in cross-section than the original tires and may blow off your rim when fully inflated if not perfectly seated. This happened to me and I ended up finding a pair of (probably 50-year-old) NOS Uniroyal 26 x 1.375 on eBay that are amazingly soft and supple. I have been riding on them, but I'm careful to clean them with a moist cloth and lightly lube them with silicone grease after every ride to keep the air off them and forestall dry rot. 2. Kenda is the only brand currently manufacturing the ISO 597, so you take the tread pattern they offer in gumwall and sometimes black if you can find them. I worry they will probably stop making them at any time. I have one for a spare.

As to the pedals, Torrington #8 is the right pedal. They are crazy expensive and hard to find the right size bearings for. I still have my bike's originals, but don't have them on the bike because the replacement bearings are a bit undersize (I suspect they're metric) and one of the spindles has a bad thread and no amount of cotton string and grease would keep the locknut on. I found some Chinese-made block pedals with reflectors on walmart.com that fit the crank threads perfectly and don't look particularly anachronistic on the bike. I held my nose and installed them, since I enjoy riding the bike, and I can install the Torringtons whenever I want the bike to be original.
 
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TequilaMockingbird

Look Ma, No Hands!
Key thing to understand is to disregard tire designations like 26 x 1 3/8 and 26 x 1.375 which are not the same size. Stick to the ISO designations which represent the bead seat diameter in millimeters. Stock VG295 rims take 26 x 1.375 tires which are ISO 599 and not available new. The Kenda K23 tires are meant to replace the Schwinn S6 size and are ISO 597 - only 2 mm smaller than your rims are designed to take. You can finesse them onto your rims without much difficulty, but they have two disadvantages: 1. the beads are much smaller in cross-section than the original tires and may blow off your rim when fully inflated if not perfectly seated. This happened to me and I ended up finding a pair of (probably 50-year-old) NOS Uniroyal 26 x 1.375 on eBay that are amazingly soft and supple. I have been riding on them, but I'm careful to clean them with a moist cloth and lightly lube them with silicone grease after every ride to keep the air off them and forestall dry rot. 2. Kenda is the only brand currently manufacturing the ISO 597, so you take the tread pattern they offer in gumwall and sometimes black if you can find them. I worry they will probably stop making them at any time. I have one for a spare.

As to the pedals, Torrington #8 is the right pedal. They are crazy expensive and hard to find the right size bearings for. I still have my bike's originals, but don't have them on the bike because the replacement bearings are a bit undersize (I suspect they're metric) and one of the spindles has a bad thread and no amount of cotton string and grease would keep the locknut on. I found some Chinese-made block pedals with reflectors on walmart.com that fit the crank threads perfectly and don't look particularly anachronistic on the bike. I held my nose and installed them, since I enjoy riding the bike, and I can install the Torringtons whenever I want the bike to be original.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Correct - whether the Kenda 597mm tire will fit the old 599mm rim is a case-by-case thing. They work acceptably on some of the rims, and on some they either won't seat correctly, or they will slip out of position once brought up to pressure. But if you can get the Kenda tire cheaply, might be worth a try if you have no other alternatives at hand. Experimenting still beats bare rims while trying to find new old stock 599mm tires and waiting forever.
 
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