Inherited the Schwinn Tandem of my childhood...

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mejaka

On Training Wheels
Hi, Schwinn lovers. I grew up fighting with my brother John over who would get the front seat of the blue tandem bike my folks bought at a yard sale in the 60s for $15. A few years ago, Mom and Dad told me they thought they'd give me the old bike, and Dad suggested it might be fun for my son Nate (then 17) to fix it up. Problem: Dad said this in front of my daughter Anna (then 14) who, in a feminist passion and without my permission or knowledge, decided to fix it up herself. I found her sitting amongst the dismantled parts and I was so upset that she angstily tossed all the bits in a bucket and never touched it again. She grew up and joined the Marines and I trimmed my anger down to the level of being peeved. But I was a little brokenhearted, because I had never intended to let either of my teenkids touch that bike. I was going to take it to my bike guy Arvin and see if he and I could fix it up together.

My husband recently cleaned out the shed and found all the parts, and for Mother's Day he thought he'd get the old tandem in running order. He soon learned it wasn't a half-day job for a generally handy guy with just the average bike-maintenance experience of those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s. But now we're on a quest.

Biggest problem: rear wheel has a crack clear across the rim. It's an S-7 5-speed.

It has Schwinn on the top bar, the arrow on the front fork. All paint is gone where "Schwinn Twinn" may have been? Chrome fenders. No third rail in front.

Any suggestions, advice, year estimations? I've never restored anything in my life and I'm not sure whether I'm going for a full restoration or just getting the bike in running order so my twin boys (13 next week!) can enjoy it the way John and I did.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Pictures would help. The serial number is on the left rear drop out where the axle nut would be. Also, these rims are welded together so maybe you're looking at the weld, and it could possibly be cracked.
 

Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Is it single speed coaster brake? Male/Female frame or Female/Female frame?
I ask because the early 1960s Tandems were Male/Female frames and were called Town and Country tandems. They had drum brakes.
A lady from Lombard Illinois whose husband came back from Korea blind wanted to still be able to ride with her husband but needed a ladies front for obvious (At that time) reasons. She contacted Schwinn, they picked up the bike and modified it as a Female/Female frame and the Schwinn Twinn was born.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Is it single speed coaster brake? Male/Female frame or Female/Female frame?
I ask because the early 1960s Tandems were Male/Female frames and were called Town and Country tandems. They had drum brakes.
A lady from Lombard Illinois whose husband came back from Korea blind wanted to still be able to ride with her husband but needed a ladies front for obvious (At that time) reasons. She contacted Schwinn, they picked up the bike and modified it as a Female/Female frame and the Schwinn Twinn was born.

Read the OP's post, it describes the bike.
 

mejaka

On Training Wheels
I didn't have pics before (bike was still in husband's truck-we tried a local bike shop but they aren't equipped for vintage).

In another group of Schwinnsters I'm being told it's probably '78 or later but that would make me 12 and I don't remember getting this bike or ever NOT having it. I know memory can be weird, but I think that would have had an effect (I got my ten-speed the next year and remember that clearly). I'm also sure that my folks mentioned getting it at a yard sale in California, and I convinced them to leave LA when I was six weeks old. Gonna ask the older sisters what they remember. I'm sure the parents (in their mid-80s)struggle with the timeline now, but Mom says she thinks it was Utah which makes me no older than 4...which is still pre-1978. I'd be interested to have a little closer estimate.

IMG_0285med.JPG


IMG_0287med.JPG
 

coasterbrakejunkie1969

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I didn't have pics before (bike was still in husband's truck-we tried a local bike shop but they aren't equipped for vintage).

In another group of Schwinnsters I'm being told it's probably '78 or later but that would make me 12 and I don't remember getting this bike or ever NOT having it. I know memory can be weird, but I think that would have had an effect (I got my ten-speed the next year and remember that clearly). I'm also sure that my folks mentioned getting it at a yard sale in California, and I convinced them to leave LA when I was six weeks old. Gonna ask the older sisters what they remember. I'm sure the parents (in their mid-80s)struggle with the timeline now, but Mom says she thinks it was Utah which makes me no older than 4...which is still pre-1978. I'd be interested to have a little closer estimate.

View attachment 1622113

View attachment 1622114
If the wheels are original not a '78 they stopped using the S-7 wheels you have in early '70s they went to the S-6 in about '72 I think.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The serial number will date the bike. Left rear drop out where the wheel bolts to the frame.
1622180


Looking at the details on the pedals and brake levers, I'm guessing that could be a 1969. But the serial number should tell you. Looks like you need new rims!
 

Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
If the wheels are original not a '78 they stopped using the S-7 wheels you have in early '70s they went to the S-6 in about '72 I think.
Hey man, isn't there something not right about the rear drum brake as well? I had two of these tandems and they both had Atom alloy drums with the 5 speeds. I believe you are correct, both mine were lightweights. (Rim size, not mass)

A serial number would settle this without fear of confusion. While I am not an expert on Schwinn Tandem serial number location, I am fairly fluent in the serial number decoding area. Check the rear dropouts (where the rear wheel bolts on), the head tube on the right under the handlebars and if all else fails the underside of the bottom bracket.

Disclaimer; I did this post without looking up any info at all, so the possibility of being wrong increases exponentially.
Rob
 

coasterbrakejunkie1969

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
rear dropouts (where the rear wheel bolts on), the head tube
Your right on with location ,I think under the bottom bracket was done in '58 it's not that old. I've been trying to get my hands on one of those up my way but the guy will not come off his price. I'm not completely familiar with the drum brakes so there may have been more then one type. Those guys would have put a couple of squirrels on the back wheel to get it out the door back in the day so who knows.
 
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