• If you find yourself somehow redirected from theCABE and you're being asked to enter your credit card infomation, don't do it! This is not legitimate! We do not charge for membership. TheCABE is FREE for everyone!

Let's talk Schwinn steel tubular welded rims

Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture

WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
LOL, Looks like Schwinn ruffled some feathers. Maybe they sold some production to the aftermarket to help pay for all of the expensive tube rolling equipment I saw in the Schwinn Factory. I have never seen a Schwinn built rim, "without the Schwinn name stamped into it" in my time starting in 1958. I would never doubt that anything was possible.

One thing for sure, Araya from Japan made the highest quality tubular steel rims I have ever seen. They were all 1.75 and 2.125 sizes, but I never saw a 1 3/4 S7 style from Araya. I used to use hundreds of Araya steel 20 x 2.125 rims to build heavy duty wheel sets when the BMX models were just starting out. 36 hole, 105 ga spokes, strong enough to put on a Harley.

John
I believe Araya is the only other manufacturer to use the precious Schwinn S7 designation on their rim product. This one is 36h 26", but they made 28h 20" models as well.
Screenshot_20230126-045042.png


Screenshot_20230126-045045.png

Something else to note about the Araya, at least from the surface, they seem to be seamless tubing. I need to go look at my Stainless S6 rims now, but I can't remember a pronounced middle seam on those either. While researching rim cross sections just now, I came across the term side-seamed. Hhmmm...
Eventually, I'll drag out my no knurl chrome S2 rims as well...to see if they had drain holes. Could be a way to show production evolution.

Also interesting that multiple companies use the same cross section names. I wish I could find earlier ads, but the lightweight British bikes seemed to be driving the initial production of tubular rims.
s-l500 (2).jpg


37f13b60ac768c2736350c6135b58a53.jpg




Great topic!!
 

cyclingday

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The May 1949 Lobdell ad, states that the Tubular Rim was already being produced by foreign manufacturer.

879D580D-78BD-47B3-8BCE-8D233C5DCC0F.jpeg
Note the date on the F.W.Schwinn patent.
Lobdell was already advertising their availability in May of 1949.
B68953C4-F251-4930-85F1-D915A60852B5.jpeg
Interesting that application was filed in 1946.
Man, the wheels of government sure turn slow.

Not trying to say one way or the other, but I just thought since this subject came up, that it would add to the conversation with some interesting timelines form the literature record.
Thanks, @WillWork4Parts, for posting that British advertisement for their type of Tubular Rim.
By the text in the Lobdell ad, it looks like they were the ones that were first to market that type of rim.
Maybe, Frank W.Schwinn realized that nobody had actually filed a patent on it, so he jumped on it?
 
Last edited:

Miq

I live for the CABE
Hard to say @cyclingday but Frank applied for the patent in 1946 shown under the title. It would take more research to find out who was holding what rim patents at that moment in time, but I think Frank was more concerned with protecting his ideas and techniques that saved costs in mass production. It is possible that there were already existing tubular rim patents in the US and abroad but their claims were not covering some of the novel ideas Frank had for improving costs and labor.
 

cyclingday

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Yeah, to me, it sounds like the tubular rim concept already existed over in Europe, but what Schwinn was developing, was the electro forging process that sealed the seam so that the plating process could be done without trapping contaminants inside the tubular section of the rim.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
The idea that this was an American response to earlier British innovations is a good explanation. The rim construction and styling was drawn from British innovations that occurred before and immediately after WWII. By 1948, the tubular/double-layer style rims were common for the Endrick and Westrick types. Unfortunately, the British catalogs do not seem to have made as big a deal about the rim construction as they did about the move toward chrome plating and stainless spokes in the 1930s. The pre-war catalogs tend to simply say that a better-quality bike has "Endrick" rims with chrome plating and stainless spokes. The 1948 Raleigh spares catalog does show the double-layer style construction for several patterns of rim.

Generally, American lightweight design in the 1930s-40s was reactive to British introductions and innovations. The pre-war Schwinn lightweight appears in its style and design to be based on pre-war Hercules (frame, equipment, some of the threading and sizing) and BSA (the three-piece crank chainrings on the New Worlds, for example), though with Schwinn adaptations to the construction and equipment. Schwinn touted its lightweights in the couple years immediately before Pearl Harbor, whereas similar cable brake multi-speed bikes had been available in Britain for quite a few years by that time.

Schwinn's move to the 597mm rim rather conveniently also matches the fact that the same rim size was used by the "sportier" British bikes running 26 x 1-1/4 tires. Unfortunately, Schwinn stuck to 597mm for its lightweights, cursing us with only Kenda tires 70 years later (going to the British 590mm would have been nice for us today). The Kendas aren't bad, but I'd love to be able to get a good set of Michelins for my Schwinns like I have on some of my Raleighs.

The other thing to consider is that when Raleigh came on strong in the US after 1945, their products represented an upgrade over the more basic pre-war Hercules bikes that were sometimes seen in the US. The competition was definitely stronger after 1945, and the vast majority of "foreign" type bikes in the US were British in that period.

I don't think Schwinn invented the basic tubular/double-wall rim concept, but it seems to me their focus was on improving it as to joinery, production ability, and plating.

Capture.JPG
 

Porkchop & Applesauce

Wore out three sets of tires already!
1945 was B.P. (before Palmer) so it's a little fuzzy.

1945 was a new start up, not much new happened to my knowledge. I believe there was still a lot of material shortages due to the war. I do have a good collection of old consumer catalogs, but I don't think they were an annual catalog release thing, like we saw in the later years. The early catalogs were artist drawn (lithographs I believe) not photos like you see in the 60's and 70's catalogs. The artwork on the early catalogs was beautiful.

What specific questions do you have about 1945 production?

John
As far as I am aware the only Schwinn documentation that’s showed up for the 1945 Schwinn’s is a production number of 98000. We know the factory was lost in 48 and factory documents were lost but there were many dealers that would possibly have their own documentation of these. So basically any paperwork for them would be awesome! Heck even a single sales record for one bike would be great! A dealer register showing the bikes they sold would be amazing.
 

Bendix

Look Ma, No Hands!
@Schwinn Sales West , good info!

LOL- leftover regular tubes... On the Colorado Front Range we sold TR tubes on so many new bikes that we finally started installing them during the build of sub-500 dollar units, explained to the customer they were already in there, cost extra for the tubes but no labor, and we would remove/replace them if they desired. I don't remember any requests for removal during the 7 or 8 years we did it. Before the huge influx of new people to town in the 2010s everybody was aware of the thorn issue. Made busy Saturdays a lot less hectic! But boy, did we have the leftover tubes! In the winter we'd roll them up and put 'em in a bin for a buck or two, and still they multiplied! A friend had (has) a shop in the Black Hills, where they apparently don't have goathead thorns- I had him do a UPS pickup for several boxes of tubes one time, just to make them go away! We still threw away bunches of them- in the way, boxes would eventually get dragged outdoors, get rained/snowed on, the boxes would fall apart... ;)
 

cyclingday

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The idea that this was an American response to earlier British innovations is a good explanation. The rim construction and styling was drawn from British innovations that occurred before and immediately after WWII. By 1948, the tubular/double-layer style rims were common for the Endrick and Westrick types. Unfortunately, the British catalogs do not seem to have made as big a deal about the rim construction as they did about the move toward chrome plating and stainless spokes in the 1930s. The pre-war catalogs tend to simply say that a better-quality bike has "Endrick" rims with chrome plating and stainless spokes. The 1948 Raleigh spares catalog does show the double-layer style construction for several patterns of rim.

Generally, American lightweight design in the 1930s-40s was reactive to British introductions and innovations. The pre-war Schwinn lightweight appears in its style and design to be based on pre-war Hercules (frame, equipment, some of the threading and sizing) and BSA (the three-piece crank chainrings on the New Worlds, for example), though with Schwinn adaptations to the construction and equipment. Schwinn touted its lightweights in the couple years immediately before Pearl Harbor, whereas similar cable brake multi-speed bikes had been available in Britain for quite a few years by that time.

Schwinn's move to the 597mm rim rather conveniently also matches the fact that the same rim size was used by the "sportier" British bikes running 26 x 1-1/4 tires. Unfortunately, Schwinn stuck to 597mm for its lightweights, cursing us with only Kenda tires 70 years later (going to the British 590mm would have been nice for us today). The Kendas aren't bad, but I'd love to be able to get a good set of Michelins for my Schwinns like I have on some of my Raleighs.

The other thing to consider is that when Raleigh came on strong in the US after 1945, their products represented an upgrade over the more basic pre-war Hercules bikes that were sometimes seen in the US. The competition was definitely stronger after 1945, and the vast majority of "foreign" type bikes in the US were British in that period.

I don't think Schwinn invented the basic tubular/double-wall rim concept, but it seems to me their focus was on improving it as to joinery, production ability, and plating.

View attachment 1775308
Exactly!
Well said!
 

Schwinn Sales West

Finally riding a big boys bike
Are you gonna be using your desktop or your phone to do all this?
Photos on my phone. But it's easier for me to work on the laptop.
John

The idea that this was an American response to earlier British innovations is a good explanation. The rim construction and styling was drawn from British innovations that occurred before and immediately after WWII. By 1948, the tubular/double-layer style rims were common for the Endrick and Westrick types. Unfortunately, the British catalogs do not seem to have made as big a deal about the rim construction as they did about the move toward chrome plating and stainless spokes in the 1930s. The pre-war catalogs tend to simply say that a better-quality bike has "Endrick" rims with chrome plating and stainless spokes. The 1948 Raleigh spares catalog does show the double-layer style construction for several patterns of rim.

Generally, American lightweight design in the 1930s-40s was reactive to British introductions and innovations. The pre-war Schwinn lightweight appears in its style and design to be based on pre-war Hercules (frame, equipment, some of the threading and sizing) and BSA (the three-piece crank chainrings on the New Worlds, for example), though with Schwinn adaptations to the construction and equipment. Schwinn touted its lightweights in the couple years immediately before Pearl Harbor, whereas similar cable brake multi-speed bikes had been available in Britain for quite a few years by that time.

Schwinn's move to the 597mm rim rather conveniently also matches the fact that the same rim size was used by the "sportier" British bikes running 26 x 1-1/4 tires. Unfortunately, Schwinn stuck to 597mm for its lightweights, cursing us with only Kenda tires 70 years later (going to the British 590mm would have been nice for us today). The Kendas aren't bad, but I'd love to be able to get a good set of Michelins for my Schwinns like I have on some of my Raleighs.

The other thing to consider is that when Raleigh came on strong in the US after 1945, their products represented an upgrade over the more basic pre-war Hercules bikes that were sometimes seen in the US. The competition was definitely stronger after 1945, and the vast majority of "foreign" type bikes in the US were British in that period.

I don't think Schwinn invented the basic tubular/double-wall rim concept, but it seems to me their focus was on improving it as to joinery, production ability, and plating.

View attachment 1775308
I'm surprised that I don't hear you guys talk about the less popular British EA-1 26 x 1 3/8-1 1/4 tire size? It's the same interchangeable size as a Schwinn S5 or S6.

Schwinn did not have the only weird tire sizes. Why there was so many confusing similar lightweight sizes available over the years, I have no idea. Seems like they needed to consolidate, which happened anyway as companies went out of business. The 24" lightweight diameters still had the dual sizes, but the 20" lightweights were all the same, go figure.

John
 
Last edited:
Top