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Let's talk Schwinn steel tubular welded rims

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WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Speaking of oddballs...
I had only seen this SCHWINN TUBULAR S-EA3(yes it's stamped that) in ads, until I found this one at the Portland IN swap last year.
It definitely was not popular. Lol
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!

WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Had a 40s New Departure rear hub in it...no matching front wheel at the swap either. No clue what it was from. The lady selling the stuff inherited it all and had no clue. I think the tire was from the 70s. The catalog I saw the rim in was roughly 1950.
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Had a 40s New Departure rear hub in it...no matching front wheel at the swap either. No clue what it was from. The lady selling the stuff inherited it all and had no clue. I think the tire was from the 70s. The catalog I saw the rim in was roughly 1950.
That's the first Schwinn S-EA3 I've seen or heard of, thanks for posting! I wonder if Schwinn was considering offering the 590 mm rims as an option? Was this a Schwinn catalog or a retailer?
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I'd heard Schwinn made at least some EA3 rims (590mm) as well but have never come across one. You may be able to date the rim using the knurling in the center. There's a thread somewhere here about how the knurling on the S6 changed.

Schwinn's marketing was savvy with EA1/597mm. It was a size associated with British sporting/road bikes and club bikes prior to 27x1-1/4. Schwinn put its S6 designation on it, sold tires, and sold it as innovation. Their bicycles were very good, though their marketing was arguably even better.

I acquired three sets of unused S6 EA1/597mm rims from a closed-down bike shop awhile back. They were the 1970s era S6s. The welds were somewhat roughly finished. You could tell they had been rough ground to the point of making the rim usable but lacked a degree of fine sanding and final prep. Even in an unused state, if you put the rim on the truing stand, you will see slight side-to-side movement where the weld is. Even NOS, they won't run totally dead-straight because of the weld. Otherwise, they're decent enough rims. But they are certainly straight enough to build decent wheels and function with calipers. Final finishing on the British rims, I find, is generally better until you get up to the Schwinn S6 stainless, and then they are on a par with British. But S6 is what you want on many of the old Schwinn 3 speeds.
 

WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
That's the first Schwinn S-EA3 I've seen or heard of, thanks for posting! I wonder if Schwinn was considering offering the 590 mm rims as an option? Was this a Schwinn catalog or a retailer?

You made me go look.
Not called out by S-EA3 in this 1960ish(pictures Panther II) Retailer catalog. These are the images showing the rims without knurling that got me thinking stainless rims were advertised.
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Called out by EA3 in this 59 Schwinn catalog(pictures Panther II, but has what I assume is an older font cobra crest seat mast decal).
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Also called out by EA3 in this 1954ish catalog(pictures Multispeed Bendix where spares aren't available yet).
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Schwinn Sales West

Finally riding a big boys bike
Not that it's important but, I do not remember any Schwinn produced EA-3 rims.

Schwinn kind of used the 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" designations interchangeably like the S5 and S6 were different, but work together.

The above parts listing reminds me that the British EA-1 sizes were almost always 32 front or 40 hole drilled for the rear. Usually coupled to a internal geared hub.

Maybe we should start a 12 step group. We could have weekly meetings at the Dairy Queen and discuss bicycle rim sizes.

John
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Those are good catalog pages. With the EA3, the spoke counts are interesting. With the 32-40 spoke count options, it becomes a way of enabling the use of higher-end British hubs on the Schwinn bikes. And the 36-hole EA3 would enable use of Schwinn wheels on a British bike. The EA3 size also broadens the array of tires, especially after the mid-1950s. I find the time period of these catalogs interesting in that the higher-end British road and club bikes moved from 26x1-1/4 to 27x1-1/4 more and more over the course of the 1950s, whereas the EA3 tires remained much more commonly available. You had Schwinn tooling up for EA1 production in the S6 rims in the late 1940s, but within just 10 years, the British were replacing that size on many of the sportier bikes with 27 inch.

I wonder if there was thought given at Schwinn to abandoning the EA1. As a manufacturer, was there concern that EA1 was a dead-end size in terms of quality tires, with the gradual abandonment of that size for club bikes in Britain? We all know how it ended up... several options today for EA3 and just the one for new EA1 tires...
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
You made me go look.
Not called out by S-EA3 in this 1960ish(pictures Panther II) Retailer catalog. These are the images showing the rims without knurling that got me thinking stainless rims were advertised.
View attachment 1775981

View attachment 1775980

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Called out by EA3 in this 59 Schwinn catalog(pictures Panther II, but has what I assume is an older font cobra crest seat mast decal).
View attachment 1775998

View attachment 1776001

Also called out by EA3 in this 1954ish catalog(pictures Multispeed Bendix where spares aren't available yet).
View attachment 1775999

View attachment 1776000
Excellent information, thank you!
 

WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Not that it's important but, I do not remember any Schwinn produced EA-3 rims.

Schwinn kind of used the 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" designations interchangeably like the S5 and S6 were different, but work together.

The above parts listing reminds me that the British EA-1 sizes were almost always 32 front or 40 hole drilled for the rear. Usually coupled to a internal geared hub.

Maybe we should start a 12 step group. We could have weekly meetings at the Dairy Queen and discuss bicycle rim sizes.

John
I think at the first meeting we should generate some Public Service Announcements about S7 tires for S7 rims. Lol
 
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