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Lime 1963 Schwinn Sierra

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Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Eric - why do we see one of the bolts affixing the inner chainwheel mounted head in and the other mounted head out? (third bolt hidden by crank arm)
I'm not quite sure what you're seeing. It's an old photo from when I first put the bike together, but the only bolts that I remember changing are the ones for the 36t "granny" that I installed. I had to turn those around to mount it.
Here's a photo of it that I just snapped.

1724467
 

Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Those front derailleur cages are a pretty good replacement. I use them too.
The logo isn't quite the same, but it's close.
The originals are pretty much unobtanium at this point.
Here is an original for comparison.

1737302
 

MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Iv never noticed that, agreed that the originals are hard to find in nice condition. good info. thanks
You have a beautiful Sierra. Great shape and love the lime! Great to see you have the original Lycett saddle too. Your original FD looks like it's in pretty good shape. I have several, and only one looks that good. If I were you, I would not swap it out for the shiny new one. But if you are going to swap it, I'll buy the old one!

I noticed your serial# is J332240 equates to a build-date of 09/11/1963. My 63 Sierra has a serial# of J334647, which has a build-date of the following day... 09/12/1963. Most interesting that you have the Huret branded chain rings, FD, and RD. My 63, built the following day, has the Sprint branded chain rings, Sprint RD, and Huret FD. There are several posts (on this site or others) that explain when Schwinn ran out of original parts at the factory, they would install similar. In this case, Schwinn was transitioning from Huret branded to Sprint branded for the 1964 year (all 64's were to receive Sprint parts). They must have started seeing some of the new Sprint pieces arrive to the factory in Sept of 63, and started using them on 1963 bikes. Your 09/11/63 might have been the last to get full Huret, and my 09/12/63 bike might have been one of the first to get Sprint... or at least with the Sierra line. On Bob Hufford's site, he mentions his early 1964 Sierra (02/17/64). That bike, like mine, has the Sprint chain rings and RD, but has the Huret FD. They must have had a lot more of those Huret FD lying around. Which is odd since you'd think Schwinn would order like-amounts of the FD and RD's. Then again, Schwinn was not known for good inventory control either.
 

Pedalsnostalgia

Finally riding a big boys bike
You have a beautiful Sierra. Great shape and love the lime! Great to see you have the original Lycett saddle too. Your original FD looks like it's in pretty good shape. I have several, and only one looks that good. If I were you, I would not swap it out for the shiny new one. But if you are going to swap it, I'll buy the old one!

I noticed your serial# is J332240 equates to a build-date of 09/11/1963. My 63 Sierra has a serial# of J334647, which has a build-date of the following day... 09/12/1963. Most interesting that you have the Huret branded chain rings, FD, and RD. My 63, built the following day, has the Sprint branded chain rings, Sprint RD, and Huret FD. There are several posts (on this site or others) that explain when Schwinn ran out of original parts at the factory, they would install similar. In this case, Schwinn was transitioning from Huret branded to Sprint branded for the 1964 year (all 64's were to receive Sprint parts). They must have started seeing some of the new Sprint pieces arrive to the factory in Sept of 63, and started using them on 1963 bikes. Your 09/11/63 might have been the last to get full Huret, and my 09/12/63 bike might have been one of the first to get Sprint... or at least with the Sierra line. On Bob Hufford's site, he mentions his early 1964 Sierra (02/17/64). That bike, like mine, has the Sprint chain rings and RD, but has the Huret FD. They must have had a lot more of those Huret FD lying around. Which is odd since you'd think Schwinn would order like-amounts of the FD and RD's. Then again, Schwinn was not known for good inventory control either.
Interesting stuff. Ill most likely clean up my original FD and see how it looks and then decide which one to use, either way ill keep the original for future projects. I find that the 64 sprint FD is as hard to find in good condition as the Huret maybe even harder.. Thanks
 

MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Interesting stuff. Ill most likely clean up my original FD and see how it looks and then decide which one to use, either way ill keep the original for future projects. I find that the 64 sprint FD is as hard to find in good condition as the Huret maybe even harder.. Thanks
Sounds like a plan. Be careful on the FD clean-up as the chrome on those Huret FD's is very fragile and might flake off. I would not use any type of abrasive material... not even steel wool. Maybe just soapy dawn diswash soap and your fingers.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
You have a beautiful Sierra. Great shape and love the lime! Great to see you have the original Lycett saddle too. Your original FD looks like it's in pretty good shape. I have several, and only one looks that good. If I were you, I would not swap it out for the shiny new one. But if you are going to swap it, I'll buy the old one!

I noticed your serial# is J332240 equates to a build-date of 09/11/1963. My 63 Sierra has a serial# of J334647, which has a build-date of the following day... 09/12/1963. Most interesting that you have the Huret branded chain rings, FD, and RD. My 63, built the following day, has the Sprint branded chain rings, Sprint RD, and Huret FD. There are several posts (on this site or others) that explain when Schwinn ran out of original parts at the factory, they would install similar. In this case, Schwinn was transitioning from Huret branded to Sprint branded for the 1964 year (all 64's were to receive Sprint parts). They must have started seeing some of the new Sprint pieces arrive to the factory in Sept of 63, and started using them on 1963 bikes. Your 09/11/63 might have been the last to get full Huret, and my 09/12/63 bike might have been one of the first to get Sprint... or at least with the Sierra line. On Bob Hufford's site, he mentions his early 1964 Sierra (02/17/64). That bike, like mine, has the Sprint chain rings and RD, but has the Huret FD. They must have had a lot more of those Huret FD lying around. Which is odd since you'd think Schwinn would order like-amounts of the FD and RD's. Then again, Schwinn was not known for good inventory control either.


I'd like to see some detail pictures of your Sierra. Contrary to popular folklore, the serial dates are not build dates. The date associated with the serial number is the date that number was mechanically stamped on the drop out part. There is no record of a frames build date and there was no record of the final build date. In 1976 Schwinn started stamping the final build date on the headbadges and that's as good as it gets for any build dates. The dropouts starting with November stamped serial numbers were normally used building frames for the next years models. There were times when September and October stamped serials were also used on the next years models like the new 1950 Phantom. I'm wondering if your dropout was at the bottom of a parts barrel that kept getting filled with new pieces before yours was possibly used to build a frame a few months later. It's happened before, and with your next year model equipment I'm wondering if any other 1964 parts were used on your Sierra. There were multiple little changes from one year to the next. For example, the 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966 all had different brake levers.
 

MN_Schwinn

'Lil Knee Scuffer
I'd like to see some detail pictures of your Sierra. Contrary to popular folklore, the serial dates are not build dates. The date associated with the serial number is the date that number was mechanically stamped on the drop out part. There is no record of a frames build date and there was no record of the final build date. In 1976 Schwinn started stamping the final build date on the headbadges and that's as good as it gets for any build dates. The dropouts starting with November stamped serial numbers were normally used building frames for the next years models. There were times when September and October stamped serials were also used on the next years models like the new 1950 Phantom. I'm wondering if your dropout was at the bottom of a parts barrel that kept getting filled with new pieces before yours was possibly used to build a frame a few months later. It's happened before, and with your next year model equipment I'm wondering if any other 1964 parts were used on your Sierra. There were multiple little changes from one year to the next. For example, the 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966 all had different brake levers.
GT, I think you could be right… my bike might have been stamped on that day, but probably was built-up later on. Ugh, massive screwup on the chain ring… I do have Huret. I have had my 66 varsity on my mind, which has the Sprint chain rings.

Nevertheless, I still have a mix of mostly 63 parts and some 64 parts on my Sierra… here’s the full list:
Huret FD w/Huret FD post clamp (old style Huret font)
Schwinn Sprint branded RD
Huret 40/47/52 Chain rings
Huret down tube shifters
Lycett saddle
AVA stem w/Alloy drop handlebars
Weinmann Vainqueur 999 (embossed - not the sticker type) CP brakes
Weinmann “Patent” red-dot brake levers
Schwinn S-6 steel rims w/Normandy “bullet hole” hubs
Atom QR Skewers
Atom Freewheel (14-15-18-22-28) w/Large 9-slot chrome pie plate
“15 Speed” screening is still present (very faint)
Union U40 Pedals w/reflectors (must have been added later, but I think 63 Conti’s had Unions, so who knows)

My fork# is stamped 2098. Thru conversations with Eric Amile earlier this year, both his 63 and 64 Sierra’s are stamped 2098, but the crowns are different. My fork crown match’s his 64. The odd part is the 64 part catalog says the fork was to be #2084.

I’ll post pics at a later date… I’m currently re-lacing the S-6 rims with new stainless spokes. Half the bike is still disassembled after doing some major clean-up. But as you can see, I have some type of hybrid 63/64 Sierra. All the parts match one year or the other.
 

Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
One of the most significant significant differences between the '63 & '64 models, at least according to the catalogs, is that the '63 model had the steel S-6 rims, and the '64 model had Weinmann aluminum alloy rims. Another significant difference was that the '64 model got a 30 tooth cog on the freewheel instead of the 28 tooth on the '63 model.
 
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