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JC Higgins 8 speed

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HyperHal

'Lil Knee Scuffer
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a choice -

one possibility would be to go to wheel size 650A or 650B

your present rims have a bead seat diameter of 602mm (Brit size EA3) this is the same as european size 650A for which a good assortment of high quality tyres in a variety of cross sections and treads is available

then there is size 650B which has a bead seat diameter of 599mm - slightly more standover clearance for you. these tyres again are offered with a wide selection of cross sections, treads and brands

if you wish to keep the bike as original as possible but would like to upgrade to the easier rolling and better braking of alloy rims you could rebuild wheels on the existing hubs with rims of this size

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I decided to go with the 650b rims. I was just about to install the new spokes when I realized that the brake pads will have to shift about 1/2” closer to the hub. There is 3/8” of travel left on the back brakes and none on the front. Any suggestions as to a solution? There is approximately 2 1/2” max distance from the center of the mounting bolt to the line passing through the pad mounting bolts.

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Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
If you've got a 26 inch Schwinn around (Racer, Breeze, Collegiate, etc.) I think they used the Weinmann 810 calipers, the next size up.
 

MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Reviving this discussion as I found an old JC Higgins 8-speed over the weekend. This one has fenders, along with the original Austrian made “Assmann” leather saddle. The initial B&W photo appears to have a similar saddle. From checking VeloBase, this was an actual Austrian saddle manufacturer. The saddle clamp is stamped “Made in Austria”. Surprisingly, I was able to remove both the saddle post and the AVA stem with very little problem.

As you can see from the pictures, this bike also has the early Huret Allvit RD, and the Simplex FD. This might confirm @GTs58 suspicion that some of these Higgins bikes received the Allvit RD’s. Very similar situation to the early 60’s Schwinn Conti’s that started with Simplex RD’s, but where switched mid-year to Allvit RD’s.

It has Weinmann red dot brake levers, with what’s remaining from what I’m guessing was the white Weinmann rubber hoods. Alloy handlebars. The brake calipers have very faint to no markings. The rear wheel has the original 26 x 1-3/8 Austrian made tire, but I have no idea who made the steel rims. Both the front and back have the classic alloy Normandy phone dial hubs.

I think the only non-original parts are the front tire and the bar wrap. No idea what I’m going to do with it as I have several other Schwinn lightweight 60’s projects going. Mainly bought the bike ($10) for the Allvit RD and the Normandy hubs.

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juvela

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
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one specification to be aware of with these is that the steerer and headset are 26.0mm size

this is sometimes referred to in the trade as "Austrian size" although Puch/Steyr/Styria of Graz is the only one who uses it

tyres are likely to be a Semperit product

rear mech likely a replacement since shift levers are by Juy as well as front mech

have lots of good fun here

curious to know the make of the 4V gear block


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MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
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one specification to be aware of with these is that the steerer and headset are 26.0mm size

this is sometimes referred to in the trade as "Austrian size" although Puch/Steyr/Styria of Graz is the only one who uses it

tyres are likely to be a Semperit product

rear mech likely a replacement since shift levers are by Juy as well as front mech

have lots of good fun here

curious to know the make of the 4V gear block


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Thanks for the info! I will remove the rear wheel this week as I’m also interested in freewheel manufacturer… which spins nicely. Both front and rear wheels are a little wobbly, but surprising spin freely.
 
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